The JR Bunnies welcome Author Felicity Heaton!
Claimed by a Demon King is the second book in the Eternal Mates romance series, following on from Kissed by a Dark Prince. It takes us down into Hell, to the Third Realm and the demon king Thorne’s war to protect his kingdom from the Fifth Realm. Things are heating up down there, with the Fifth King constantly pushing Thorne’s forces to their limit and weakening his numbers. Of course, things will be heating up for another reason when Prince Loren leads his legion of elves to Thorne’s aid and Sable leads her band of mortal hunters from Archangel with him. Thorne has been dreaming of Sable since first setting eyes on her, and the huntress can’t seem to keep the burly demon king out of her wicked dreams either, but she isn’t about to sit back and let the demon king claim her without a fight.
Kissed by a Dark Prince was the first book in my new Eternal Mates series. The Eternal Mates series is a spin-off from my Vampire Erotic Theatre series, and both of them are paranormal romance series. This one focuses on the broader world outside of the theatre in the original series and all the different fae, demon and supernatural species there, as well as a demon-hunting organization called Archangel.
Readers will get to adventure in fae towns hidden in our world, or in demon bars, and take trips into Hell where the dark elves live in their paradise-like kingdom and the seven powerful demon kings rule their grim realms, and often war with each other. Demons and elves aren’t the only immortal creatures living in Hell though. There’s the Devil and his loyal demons too, gods and goddesses, dark witches and fallen angels, dragon shifters and bear shifters, among others.
I was inspired to write it because I wanted to explore the world of the Vampire Erotic Theatre more and delve deeper into the lives of the other species I had mentioned and touched on in that series. I also wanted to bring elves into the world of paranormal romance and give a new spin on them, and also on the concept of fated mates.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I write outlines for all of my books, and put together character profiles for all major characters too, and gather information about the world. I’m very thorough in my preparation. My outlines are compiled from all the notes / scenes I’ve written down while working on other stories and then filling in the gaps. Sometimes, my outlines end up huge! The outline for Claimed by a Demon King, which is the second book in the Eternal Mates series, was around 25,000 words. That shows you how serious I am about plotting before writing. The outline was a quarter of the length of the first draft of the book! It really helps me work in any plot twists and misdirection if I plan it all out in advance. I do let the characters have their way at times, but normally the book follows the outline.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I have always loved paranormal creatures, in particular vampires. I was reading and dreaming about vampires from a very early age, together with werewolves and witches, and dragons too. It was natural for me to blend romance with paranormal, and I feel at home with this genre. I love being able to let my imagination go wild and it’s wonderful dreaming up these new worlds and new takes on creatures everyone knows. I like to put a new spin on things for my readers.
I’ve written all manner of genres in my time as a romance author. I think I’ve written something for all the main ones—historical, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction. In the end, I came back to paranormal because that’s the one I feel most passionate about.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
The heroes in both Winter’s Kiss and Hunter’s Moon, both in my Vampires Realm series, were the most difficult to write because I had to get their reactions and reasoning in those books spot on and it was really hard. They weren’t very nice to me and refused to cooperate.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
No, I never draw inspiration from real life. Obviously there’s a little of me and probably a good dash of my husband in my characters, but I haven’t actually used anyone as an inspiration for a character.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Probably that moment where I’m faced with an outline, character profiles, and a blank word document with Chapter One written at the top and I have to psyche myself up to starting writing the first draft.
I think I’ve been around so long that they probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear any of it. I think they know me pretty well now. I’m very open and honest with them, so they know all about me and I know plenty about them.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I love anime and manga, both Japanese in origin, and can happily sit watching a new anime series or reading a new manga, letting the world drift by unnoticed by me. I also have a passion for playing PlayStation games, especially ones such as Assassin’s Creed (I had always wanted to be an assassin), Uncharted, Tomb Raider, and the Final Fantasy games. I like exploring the worlds and the characters, and unravelling mysteries during the adventure.
What TV Show/s are you addicted to?
I like the staple paranormal shows like The Vampire Diaries, Lost Girl, Sleepy Hollow, and I’m also really into Game of Thrones and Arrow. I used to like True Blood but I went off it in season five and haven’t watched it since. I’m also a big fan of Happy Endings and The Big Bang Theory.
Do you have a hobby that you like to try and squeeze in?
When I’m not holed up in my writer’s den, I’m outside at archery practice, honing my novice skills with a recurve bow.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I need to have my outline in place. I can’t write without one. Once I have that, then I can generally write like the wind if I get into the zone. If I hit a patch when I just can’t get the words onto the page, it’s normally because I haven’t plotted that scene enough. I just plot it out quickly and then I get writing again.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I’ve always used music to influence my mood. I’m a bit of a method writer. I have to live the scenes in order to make them exactly right and as powerful as they can be. I have playlists for fights, and romantic moments, and sorrowful moments too. My books also get individual playlists if I have the time. If I don’t, and I’m on a tight deadline, I tend to switch between albums that I think suit the mood of the book.
Do you write one book from start to finish or are there multiple works underway at any given time?
I can’t write more than one book at a time. I can write a book, and write notes for another book, but I can’t write two or more books in tandem. I feel it detracts from the book I’m writing, and that I’m not giving it the attention and focus it deserves if I’m leaping about from book to book. Plus, I write big series and it’s dangerous to jump from one series to another! On top of that, I think my characters and voice of the books would blur, and it would do an injustice to both.
Where were you when you got your first contract? What was the book and who did you tell first?
The only time I’ve had a contract is when I was originally e-published back in 2005. I’ve been indie since then, doing everything myself and building my brand and career. I was excited when I was contacted by a Spanish publisher and they wanted to translate some of my books into Spanish. The first person I told was my husband.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was either 14 or 15 and it was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The only romances I read as a teen were classic romance stories. My parents used to joke about me having my nose in a book all the time we were on holidays.
Do you have an all-time favorite romance book?
Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian. I loved that book. It made me fall in love with the Midnight Breeds series even though I hadn’t thought much of the first book in it. I went back and tried the second book, and have devoured every book since.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
I’m deeply in love with Lara Adrian. I would love to meet her. She writes the most amazing books and I always have to get the signed copies when a new one comes out. I wish I had the rest of them signed too.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m lucky enough not to have one now. Writing has been my day job since 2011. Before that, I was a web developer and designer, which comes in handy as I can design my own book covers, graphics, website, email newsletters, and make all my book formats.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and an all-time favorite?
Wow. I can never pick a favourite movie. I have a thing for movies and a huge collection, so asking me to pick is a bit like asking someone to pick their favourite child. I love the old James Bond films and most Marvel / DC films, in particular the X-Men / Wolverine and Thor series.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on my next release right now, which is Hunger, the eighth book in the Vampires Realm series. That novel will come out in May. After that, I’m releasing the first Guardians of Hades series novel, the next Her Angel series novel, and have the third Eternal Mates novel lined up for the end of the year.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I would write with Lara Adrian in a heartbeat.
How did you hear about the “bunnies” at Joyfully Reviewed?
It was so long ago that I can’t remember. You guys were reviewing my books way back when and I’ve always loved what you do, and think it’s fantastic that you’re still going strong!
Where can readers find you?
Mailing List: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/newsletter.php
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of ice cream? Cinnamon.