Author Interview from Words in Sync

My full tour schedule and links can be found at Dark Minds Book Tours (<–highly recommended).

The following interview was part of my bumper post for Day 3 of 7 on the BLOOD LIFE blog tour courtesy of on her personal blog. I am extracting the interview portion only here in case you missed it, but for the full experience and to read her impressions of my book, or to enter a giveaway, visit Words in Sync.

Otherwise, here’s the get-to-know-me-a-little-better part of it. Enjoy!

The Interview


The Personal Questions

  1. What’s your idea of total happiness?

Riding a horse bareback through the woods on a clear spring day.

  1. Which trait do you most deplore about yourself?

Sometimes I can be very indecisive, and I don’t like it at all!

  1. What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?

Chastity!  haha

  1. What’s your worse vice?

Probably impatience.

  1. What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty.

  1. Do you have a mantra or motto?

Don’t ever be afraid to make sure you’re happy, too, regardless of what that may mean.

  1. Which living, and which dead person, do you most admire and why?

Living: my mom. She is the strongest person I know and I love her and look up to her with all my heart.

Dead: Marilyn Monroe.  She was beautiful and tragic.  Intelligent and talented.  Never afraid to speak her mind, and despite her addiction and her past, she tried her hardest and gave everything her all.

  1. What is your greatest regret?

I guess I’m supposed to say I don’t have any, but that would be a lie.  I have a few regrets in my life.  But I’d say the greatest one so far was giving an ex a second chance that didn’t deserve it.  It ruined a great flow I had built in my life, and it was a mistake.  I lost things because of it.  One of those things being my horse.

  1. When are you most likely to lie?

When I might get in trouble if I don’t.

  1. What is your favourite (song) and why?

I have so many favorite songs!! This is a very hard question for me to answer because I really love music.  At the moment, it is Conjure One – “Extraordinary Ways.”

  1. What is your favourite cuisine?

Veggie burritos!!

  1. Have your personal experiences (or situations) influenced you, creatively? Give us an example.

Oh yes.  In all of my writing, there are personal experiences past and present scattered through the text.  For instance, Devendra, my witch/vampire heroine, is loosely based on me.  Her looks, her actions, her strengths/weaknesses, her favorite things.  She’s my inner witch.

  1. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate and how much is   learned?

Most, if not all, of my creative abilities are innate.  =)  Though, I always pay attention and learn things from others.

     14.  How often do you read? What are you reading now?

I read as much as I can.  Sometimes, I’ve just got too much work and life things that get in the way.  But I love to read.  Right now I’m reading: Possessing the Secret of Joy: A Novel

15. What other interests do you have?

Health and fitness, eating and cooking healthy vegetarian/vegan cuisine, horror films, animal advocacy, yoga.

16. What was the last movie you went to see?

Cabin in the Woods.

       17. Do you have a favourite genre?

HORROR!  =)

The Writer Specific Questions.

  1. What got you into writing?

My lifelong love of words, the paranormal, and storytelling.

  1. Are you an indie or traditional author?

Indie.

  1. Did you publish the first book you wrote?

Yes, I did, under my own imprint: Bright Eyes Press.

  1. What is your biggest problem with the writing process? How do you tackle it?

Finding the time. I do my best to put aside at least a couple of hours a day for writing, whether it is in a story I’m working on or blogging. Also, stress slows me down creatively, so making sure I’m taking care of my whole self is important.

  1. Do you feel writing is something you need to do or want to do?

Writing is hands-down something I need to do. It nurtures my soul like nothing else can.

  1. Whose writing inspires you most and why?

Edgar Allen Poe.  He was my first ever inspiration and will always hold that spot in my heart.

  1. If I gave you a license to brag, what would brag about? Give us the links.

Well, myself, of course! ;-)  I am a writer (obviously), so my first book should definitely be looked at, as well as my website: http://www.giannaperada.com – and I am also a proofer, light copy-editor, and book interior layout designer for small publishers and indie authors. I’ve been doing that for several years: http://www.brighteyes.org

  1. How does your creative process benefit you?

It allows me to write my stories with my own unique voice. I sit down at the computer and channel the muse. My fingers move to their own rhythm. I’m just along for the ride.  😉

  1. Do you believe that creativity and genius go hand in hand?

I think it depends on the person, but mostly, yes.  =)  You are your own creative genius.  Each and every one of you.  Whether you use it/see it or not.

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Tour Stop #1: Sassy Book Lovers Interview

I’ll re-post any interviews that happen along the way for my Dark Minds Book Tour, just in case you missed them. But you should really visit the site if you’d like the full experience.  =) They all have giveaways to offer, and some give their review of the book as well.

This interview courtesy of Sassy Book Lovers.  Enjoy!  I’m always quite the candid one. 😉

Q1. What or who inspired you to become a writer?

Early on, I was drawn to paranormal stories and dark twisty movies. My family is full of creative genius; I guess it was always in my blood and there wasn’t one single trigger to get me going on the thought. Although, Blood Life was inspired by a paper I wrote on vampires in junior college. The professor hated my topic and gave me a D, even though it was a great paper. So, I left her class after telling her off and went home to start writing the first draft. 😉

Q2. Who is your favourite Author & what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have many favorite authors. I guess the author that truly inspired me to write about vampires was Anne Rice. Her intricate, romantic, and dark alluring worlds intrigued me. Her way with words really spoke to me and resembled mine (at least I thought so).

Q3. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Letting it be finished. I couldn’t let it go. I kept revising and reediting it. That’s why it took me 15 years from start to finish. That won’t happen with the next book. The first born is always a little special.

Q4. Has the paranormal been something that has always interested you?

Always! Ever since I can remember; even as a little tiny girl.

Q5. What was your favourite chapter to write and why?

I’d say my favorite was the first sex scene between Roman and Alexandria. I am a very passionate person, so writing erotica like that came so naturally and exciting. I’ve toned it way down since the first draft, let me tell you… only because I felt what is there now is enough for that story. Had it been a straight erotica story, I would have left it as it was originally.

Q6. What was the most surprising things you’ve learned in writing your book?

That I can really tell a story from beginning to end! It was such a trip to piece it together, and this particular book, since it was written over the span of 15 years, has undertones that tell the story of my life and growth as a writer and a person. It’s pretty cool if you think about it.

Q7. Do you ever experience writers block?

Yes! Usually when I’m stressed out in my daily life. Stress really affects my writing.

Q8. What is the last book you read?

“Inside the Outside” by Martin Lastrapes. Excellent book!

Q9. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?

My inner witch, Devendra. She’s the bomb. I love everything about her.

Q10. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Exercise. Watch movies. Have coffee/tea with good company. Watch live music. Read. Cuddle.

Q11. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I wanted to be was a nun (I went to catholic school). That quickly turned into a bus driver (WTF?) and then a veterinarian. Writer came next and stuck. =)

Q12. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Me… Or Madeline Stowe. Or Sherilyn Fenn. Or Monica Bellucci.

Q13. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes, always remain true to yourself. Don’t write for others; write for you. And write with all your heart.

Q14. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thanks for giving my debut a chance and for your amazing support! More to come, even stronger than the first, so stay tuned! =)

Some quick questions…

Q15. Light or Dark chocolate?

Dark

Q16. Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunset

Q17. Dogs or Cats?

Cats

Q18. Tea or Coffee?

Coffee

Q19. Favorite Colour?

Purple

Q20. Favourite Disney movie?

Old Yeller

Blood Life is currently on tour!

Dark Minds Book Tours is currently hosting a 10-stop tour of Blood Life. So far the reviews are very mixed, from a 3-star “sick and twisted” to a 5-star “amazing read!” I’m loving this roller coaster . . . and it’s only day three of 10.  😉

You can find the complete tour schedule here: http://ow.ly/cuJuo

Win A Free Digital Copy of BLOOD LIFE!

Greetings!

Because I love to share, and want as many people as possible to read BLOOD LIFE before DEVENDRA is released, I am giving away three digital copies for free! Winner can choose from kindle, ePub, or PDF formats. The entire world is eligible (as long as the winner has an email address).

The only thing(s) you need to do to enter is share this giveaway via twitter, facebook, or blog (reblog) with your own followers, fans, and friends! That’s step one. If you just want to help me spread the word, but don’t need to enter, stop here.

Step two (IMPORTANT FOR ACTUAL ENTRY) is to come back HERE to this blog post and leave a comment letting me know that you’ve shared the news and where! Viola! You’re name goes on my list. 😉 If you only share, that’s wonderful and thank you!! But if you want to enter the contest, you must complete both steps.

I’ll put all entries into a randomizer and pull three lucky names on Friday, July 13th, at midnight. Let’s go!! Spread the word… and thanks for playing.

Blood Life is a vampire/witch thriller full of blood, magic, love, violence, and sex. The witches and vampires of the fictional world of the Spectrum have united and created a race of half-breeds called the Combined. These are very powerful entities, but their race has been threatened by a rogue vampire with very old, powerful blood named Lokee, son of the Great Witch, Devendra. This story is about letting Fate play out, but in all its turmoil, trying to save one woman who will be the key to saving the Combined.

Can the Combined’s strongest adversary form an army to defeat them, or will the power of three keep the race on top? Centered around the lives of four integral characters, Blood Life is a fresh and unique paranormal adventure. Meet Devendra, a powerful witch descended from one of the first lineages; Lokee, her son and worst enemy; Roman, her friend and companion; and Alethea, the key to it all…

Blood Life is a full-length paranormal horror novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal, dark fantasy, horror fiction, witches, vampires, and supernatural horror.

Paranormal Encounters: Do You Believe? Story #1

I think the main reason I write about the paranormal at all is due to unexplained life experiences. I am drawn to the supernatural. I believe in ghosts because I’ve seen them, felt them nearby, been touched by them, and even saved by one.

That last one, “saved” by one, refers to the time I was hit by a car at 16 years old. There I was riding my bike IN THE BIKE LANE (apparently silly me?) when a car swerved and crashed into me from behind at about 35 mph. I only heard this happening behind me, along with a cry from my boyfriend at the time to “look out!” I had no time to react as the car hit me, but in the seconds between impact and consequence of impact, I literally felt hands under my arms, at the arm pits, lifting me up and tossing me to the side. My bike was tangled up in the vehicle, and sent with gravity up and backward into the windshield, making a nice spiderweb crack, and then moving up and over the top, landing in the rear of the vehicle, a bit mangled. Wrecked, actually, beyond repair.

I, on the other hand, landed off to the right side with only a broken wrist (which protected my face from the pavement on instinct) and a banged-up hip that pops to this day. Officers at the scene were amazed, perplexed even, as to how I ended up where I did. They were quoted saying, “Judging by the impact, you should have been lifted up with the bike and taken for a much worse ride. You’re one lucky girl!” I didn’t tell them what I felt happen.

The interesting thing: my grandfather, whom I was very close to, had died only a week or so earlier, and his hospice nurse happened to drive by at the precise moment to witness this accident. She saw the whole thing and, as she comforted me while we waited for transport to the hospital, asked me what happened; how I ended up where I did? I felt compelled to tell her exactly what I’d experienced, and to my relief, she attributed it to my grandfather’s spirit watching over me. I completely agreed. That was a nice experience. My heart was warmed and I felt safe.

However, that’s not always the case. Another noteworthy experience happened just a couple of years later. My group of friends at the time developed a fondness of going to the graveyard at night, saying it was a very active graveyard and if you went enough, you might actually see something. They’d gone countless times before I ever joined them. And when I finally agreed to go, an active night it was!

This was one of my more haunting encounters, one that followed me around for years. There we were in the heart of the Petaluma graveyard at around 11:30 p.m. Out of nowhere, all of us pointed at the exact same time to a group of headstones where we witnessed several “people” running and crouching between them. Only, there were pebbles and dead leaves all along where they were moving and not a sound produced. Then these “people” seemed to notice us, and responded by moving straight toward us (still producing no sound on the leaves). In fact, they seemed to float.

We ran like crazy. For some reason, I was trailing behind (like the typical female in a horror movie). Except I didn’t trip over anything. I was doing just fine until all of the sudden I felt something tug fiercely at my shirt, which knocked me back a few steps. I turned around to see where they were, kind of a dumb move, but purely out of instinct, and right there in front of me was what I want to call a shadow of an adult male form. I felt a tug at my wrist, and then a slight push that knocked me off balance and into a tree behind me. I wiggled away and continued to run, not looking back until I reached the group. My friends had seen this happen to me, but didn’t make a move to help. They were all too scared! I guess I would have been, too, but thanks guys!

After that night, they begged me to go every time they went. Those crazies continued to go! But never saw anything except for the night that I went with them, so they were convinced that I was some sort of “key.” Great. Not the kind of key I’d like to be. Those spirits were mean. No thanks! Not something to mess around with.

For years I would see these shadowy figures from the corner of my eye, but when I turned to look closer, they’d be gone. I thought, “Okay, this is just my nerves. I’ve been traumatized. I’ll get over it.” One night I was driving down the 101 freeway with my best friend at the time and right there in the center of the lane was a “shadow man.” Thinking I wasn’t really seeing anything at all, my friend yells, “Look out!!” I drove right through it and she freaked out, looking at me in disbelief. I pulled off the freeway and explained everything to her. She believed me, thank goodness, and talked me into attending a free “healing” at the Berkeley Psychic Institute (Santa Rosa location). That she’d been wanting to go try it out for a while and what a perfect reason to go.

We showed up at the door on one of their free community nights. A woman by the name of Jane greeted us. She was so warm and inviting. It was myself and two girlfriends. They went in first, but I was blocked by Jane immediately. She looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Oh, no, not you! You need to be cleared first.”

What?!

After “clearing” me, she allowed me inside, pulled me right over to her area, and proceeded to tell me that I had beings all around my space. Some good and some bad. She was going to clear away the bad. I then told her of my recent experience and she nodded as if she knew the whole story already. She also said I had been a powerful witch in a past life, and that the spirits around me were quite attached to me. They couldn’t let me go, so I might have “bouts” of experiences with them for the rest of my life, but she also made the point to say that I was strong enough to keep them at bay myself. If they ever overwhelmed me, like they had been of late, I was to look her up for a true cleansing.

Wow. What do you say to that? Sounds a little hokey, and if I hadn’t experienced it all first-hand, I might have agreed with that. But I’d had many paranormal experiences since I was a child. And now it all made sense to me. Sorta. Apparently, I was sensitive to energy. At least that’s what Jane believed, but I never found her again. Which was also strange to me. Then  again, I only knew her as “Jane.” No last name, so that didn’t help.

There have been more experiences, but those were the biggest, most noteworthy to blog about. Do you believe in spirits or beings? Have you ever been haunted or saved by one? Share your experiences with me! I’d love to hear them, and I am a believer, so you won’t have any flaming here.  At least not by me.  😉