Welcome to another day of our Backlist Bash. Today I’m being selfish, but it’s my blog and they’re my rules, so that’s allowed, right? Anyway, today’s book-in-question is one of mine. It’s a dark urban fantasy with some nasty horror elements, and it’s called Devil’s Daughter. And yes, kids, I get to answer my own questions!
SHR: What makes this particular book your favorite?
It’s very close to my heart. As many people know my father passed away six months ago, and this story is a direct response to his death. I started writing it an hour after he died, and by his funeral four days later, the first draft was finished. I don’t remember writing large portions of the story, but I do know that I was able to give my main character, Lydia, the opportunity to save her father’s life, which is something I couldn’t do myself. The process of writing Devil’s Daughter was cathartic and it helped me begin to deal with the loss.
SHR: Who published it? When?
No Boundaries Press, August 2012.
SHR: Tell us a little about what you went through to get it published.
The real trouble was before it was contracted. I wrote it, and it was rough. Very rough. Thanks to a beta reader with a lot of patience, I worked through the syntax and continuity issues and turned it into something publishable. Then Kharisma at NBP was wonderfully patient with me as I slogged through edits and threw a temper tantrum over cover art. It’s a wonder she didn’t hang me for being a brat.
SHR: On writing in general: What’s the hardest part for you? Why?
I’d say writing, but that would be cheating. I have trouble not with the writing part, but with the promotion part. There’s only so much time in a day and my days are full of a real job and a baby, so I walk a fine line between writing and getting my name out there. If I had more money, I’d hire a publicist so I could focus on the stories instead of the sales.
SHR: Unrelated: What’s your favorite color?
Purple. Especially if there’s red close by. Red Hat Lady in training? I hope not…
ABOUT DEVIL’S DAUGHTER:
Dark Urban Fantasy
“The Devil is a busy man.”
Lydia St. Clair was seventeen when she made her first deal with The Devil. Now twenty-one years old and a professional bounty hunter, Lydia possesses a unique set of skills that make her valuable to Lucifer’s grand plans. In the four years since that fateful night she has come full-circle, and now her nemesis has come back to collect on that debt.
Unfortunately for Lydia, He has leverage that will leave her questioning her own humanity.
The Devil is a sneaky bastard and he knows how to play upon the weak. He twists lies just enough to make them true, and when his victims are confused, he strikes. That’s how he got me. My name is Lydia St. Clair and I murdered my father.
Don’t look at me that way. It wasn’t like I signed up to be one of his henchmen. Not consciously, anyway. I didn’t understand what I was getting myself into. I was young and sloppy and didn’t know anything at all. Kids never do, but part of being a kid is that you can’t tell the little buggers anything at all.
My problem was that I was a little wild…okay, so I was a lot wild. My Daddy did his best with me, but I was one of those lost causes from the start. Stable suburban childhood. Supportive, God-fearing parents. Successful, intelligent older brother who was a complete suck-up.
Me? I was a bad egg.
I smoked. I snorted. I tripped. I drank. And yeah, I drove around a lot while doing all of those things. I was invincible, after all.
My story starts the night my life ended. I’m still alive, but this life isn’t mine anymore. I gave up my rights to it in a drunken stupor on my seventeenth birthday.
As usual, I was out far too late and I was so messed up I couldn’t make heads or tails of the world. And I was driving. It was 2 a.m. and I’d just dropped my boyfriend off outside his apartment. Kellen was twenty-five, by the way. And yeah, my parents hated him. But he has nothing to do with this story.
The inside of my car still smelled of pot, sex and vodka. My vision was blurry because I was drunk and high and still tripping in the afterglow. Heavy metal blasted from my speakers and I was too busy sucking on the cancer-stick between my lips to pay much attention to my surroundings.
I tore through the sleeping neighborhood at about sixty miles an hour and wheeled my car into the driveway before ever consciously thinking to hit the brakes. A lot happened in the next thirty seconds but it wasn’t until the following morning that I processed any of it. And it went something like this:
I hit the brakes but I’d already put the car through the garage door. When I stumbled out, stunned by the impact, I heard a voice. Pinned between the front of the car and the overturned lawnmower was my Mom’s favorite lawn chair.
And my father.
He’d decided to camp out in the driveway and wait for me to show that they knew what I was out doing and that I was sneaking in late, not that much sneaking ever went on. I ended up taking him, the garage door, the lawnmower and the lawn chair out in one fell swoop. Totaled all four.
At some point I sobered up enough to focus on his voice and found him draped over the hood of my car, crushed, unconscious and bleeding, but still alive. I think I screamed. I know I started sobbing as I tried to pull him free. Each tug raked my knuckles against the mangled grille of the car, but I didn’t feel it. All I felt was the tiny pieces of my heart breaking loose as my Daddy drew nearer and nearer to death. The whole time I apologized and begged him not to die.
It was about then that time stopped. The steam from the ruined engine paused mid-air and hung there like a heavy cloud. My Daddy stopped moving. I stumbled a little because the earth stopped moving, too. A rank, burning smell filled my nose and made the bile rise in my throat. I wobbled a second time, and not because of the sudden stillness.
And then he was just there. A beautiful, blond man in a crisp, white suit and shiny, black shoes. He carried a black fedora with a long, white feather in its buckle in his left hand and an obsidian cane in his right. His blue eyes burned like hellfire. He smiled, and a chill ran up my spine.
“He’s dead,” He said, and the tears ran down my face like rivers.
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