Friday, October 20, 2017

Interview with Alexandrea Weis, DAMNED

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Damned is book 1 in The Magnus Blackwell Series. It is the journey of a ghost and his road to redemption after living a less than honorable life. Magnus Blackwell haunts his abandoned mansion, Altmover manor. One day the house is bought by an architect and his fiancé, Lexie Arden. A woman with an ability to see the dead, she and Magnus begin a strange relationship that takes them across the country from Maine to New Orleans. They unravel secrets, and become part of the voodoo culture in New Orleans, ultimately uncovering a new destiny for both of them.

Do you have a favorite character?
I adore Magnus Blackwell. He is aristocratic, elegant, diabolical, and in the end, a compelling character who is as much fun to write as he is to read.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes, I have had several characters begin as a line in a book and grow into a novel. I like to intertwine characters throughout novels I the same way people pop up in different avenues of life. I believe it keeps characters interesting and real.   

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
In the beginning, yes, and I soon turned to Indie publishing. After so many Indie books, I found an agent and a publisher. Experience has become something agents and publishers appreciate in Indie authors. I find more and more they are turning to the Indie market to find new talent. 

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I go where my muse takes me. I find it so much more entertaining than sticking to an outline. I consider it more channeling than writing. Somebody has to be putting those thoughts in my head.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Too much to put into a few sentences, but suffice it to say I have learned every aspect of what it takes to put a book out there. From the writing and editing process to publishing, to marketing. It is a never-ending cycle, and there is always more to discover.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
This is difficult because as a writer I just want to write. There are authors who are better at marketing and spend a great deal of time with promotion. But as you write more books and get bigger, you need help. It gets to be too much, and PA’s are a godsend at times.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Don’t write what everyone else is writing. Don’t; copy trends, don’t go after the big sales. Just write. In the end, people stay with a writer whose words and stories they love. Those are the readers who will put you on their one-click list and follow your stories no matter what you write. You can’t write a story your heart isn’t in. It shows in your words. Follow your heart, and you will succeed. And don’t go into this thinking you will make money, you won’t. We do this because we love to write. 

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Animals. I am a wildlife rehabber and work with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries rehabilitating orphaned and injured wildlife. I often sit and write with a baby squirrel, raccoon, or rabbit in my lap When I am not writing, I am up to my elbows in fur.

What’s next for you?
I will be jumping into editing my next release, The Chimera Effect. A new fantasy/thriller series. The first book will be out spring of 2018. It is a fast-paced journey into the development of Keenan Blythe’s extraordinary abilities set off by a strange abnormality in his DNA. He must hunt for the murderer of his wife and kidnapper of his young daughter while coming to terms with the changes awakening within him.     

Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Adult, Supernatural

Over a hundred years after the death of Magnus Blackwell, Altmover Manor sits abandoned.
Lexie Arden and her fiancé, Will Bennet, are determined to rescue the neglected Mount Desert Island landmark. They want to make Altmover Manor their home. But Magnus has other plans.
A spirit bound to his former residence, Magnus finds himself inexplicably drawn to the young woman. She has a supernatural gift; a gift Magnus wants to exploit.
As Lexie and Will settle in, secrets from Magnus’s past begin to surface. Compelled to learn all she can about the former owner, Lexie becomes immersed in a world of voodoo, curses, and the whereabouts of a mysterious dragon cane.
Magnus’s crimes won’t be so easily forgotten, and what Lexie unearths is going to change the future … for everyone.

Author Bio:
Alexandrea Weis, PhD, is an award-winning author of twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. ~Winner of the gold medal from Reader's Favorite Book Awards for Romantic Suspense, the Silver Medal from the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year awards for Romance, the gold medal from the Feathered Quill Book Awards for Romance, and an InD’Tale Magazine RONE winner for Paranormal Romance. Weis is a member of the Horror Writers Association

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.
One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

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