Volume 1: Chronicles of the Cursed
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Number of pages: 367
Word Count: 68183
Cover Artist: Javier Charro
Charlene (Charlie) Bennett is a simple waitress in the wilds of Hyder, Alaska whose father has just gone missing. Isolated and alone, her fathers' disappearance is nothing new to her, but this time things are a little different.
For starters, there is a handsome stranger, Daniel that has come to town and while Charlie has never taken more than a passing interest in strangers, she has an immediate and intense attraction to this one. Secondly, she's soon to find out that this stranger isn't what he appears. He's about to throw Charlie's entire world into a major upheaval.
Now Charlie has to decide if she believes this strangers' incredible story and follow Daniel or if she wants to stay in the only home she's ever known for an uncertain future and an absentee father. As she comes to terms with what Daniel shows her, she realizes that he's the only true thing in her life and leaves everything she knows behind to follow the handsome stranger.
She was standing in the middle of the poorly lit living room surrounded by chaos holding a baseball bat looking more like a scared child than the woman she was. "Charlie, please open the door." The voice sounded so familiar to her, but what on Earth would he be doing here, and how did he know where she lived. She moved towards the door. "Daniel?" "Yes. Charlie, please trust me, we don't have very much time, please open the door and let me help you."
She was very confused but she moved slowly to the door. She knew that Daniel couldn't have possibly done this mess, unless he had done it when she was working. But why would he do something like this and then spend the evening with her. "Charlie, please hurry, we don't have much time and I need you to trust me. I had nothing to do with what's happened in your home, believe me. I'm here only to help you."
She reached for the locks on the door and slowly turned them to open the door. Before she could even turn the knob, Daniel had turned the door and pushed his way in. He quickly moved through the door and closed it again and locked it pushing furniture in front of the door and windows. Charlie was standing there staring at him with the baseball bat still in a defense mode. "You can put that down; it won't do you any good anyway."
Charlie was disoriented and didn't understand what was going on. "What are you doing here? And how do you even know where I live?" Daniel hadn't stopped moving around the room moving furniture into defensive positions around the doors and windows. "I followed you Charlie." "What?! How did you follow me? I drove off and you were still standing in the parking lot when I left." "No Charlie. I wasn't. You saw me following you; you just don't want to admit that you knew it was me. But we don't have time for this right now. Please get whatever you need to leave this place forever and get to the back door as quickly as you can."
She was just standing there looking at him in bewilderment. What the hell did he mean he followed her? She had no idea what he was talking about, and leave this place forever, why on Earth would she do that? "Charlie. MOVE." His voice was filled with urgency and terror and Charlie snapped to her senses.
"I don't understand. What's going on?" Charlie was near tears, she didn't deal well with pressure to make snap decisions and was feeling overwhelmed by what was happening. "Charlie. I don't have time to explain everything to you, so please you will have to take some of this on faith until we can discuss this in a way that I can explain. Please. You know I would never hurt you; in fact I'm doing my best to prevent just that. But you are in serious danger right now, and I need you to focus and do as I say. Can you do that for me?"
Charlie was blinking back the tears but nodded her head. She didn't know why she trusted this man, but he'd not given her any reason not to and right now he was thinking straight and she wasn't. "Go into your room, grab as much clothes as you can put into a backpack. Nothing more than a backpack. Say you understand me." "I understand." "Good. Take only what you can carry in this one backpack, nothing more, and only take what you need. I know it's hard to let go of some things, but they are only possessions, so decide if they are worth your life. If they are, take them, if not, leave it. Say you understand me." "I understand, but..." "We don't have time, Charlie. NOW."
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I think I was much like the typical child where what I wanted to be changed daily. There was a time I thought I’d be a lawyer or in law enforcement, but something always stopped me from that path. I always had a passion for both reading and writing, but it wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I started thinking that I could make a living from writing. I dabbled in short stories and even screenwriting before I finally found what made me happy.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I’m a firm believer in you dress for the job you want, so once I decided that I wanted to make some sort of living at writing, I started calling myself a writer. It wasn’t until I finished writing my first book that I changed that term to author.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I spent 7 full months just researching each and every detail of the story. There were so many religious aspects of my story and I wanted to convey my thoughts in a way that wouldn’t put the reader off. After researching, I spent another year off and on flushing out the story line and coming up with a first draft. The bonus is that I had already planned on this being a series, so I’ve fully flushed out the next few books in the series.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I think I’m like every other indie writer out there. We work a full-time job to keep food on the table while we toil away the wee hours writing. I’m currently working as an IT professional for a major ISP in the US. My area of expertise is fiber based services for large business customers. I work mostly with Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent and MRV devices.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Glimpse of Darkness: Young girl loses her father, finds out she's half angel, marked for death and leaves the life she knows behind.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I am self-published via Createspace
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I think it depends on the book. This particular book, I spent 7 full months just researching each and every detail of the story. There were so many religious aspects of my story and I wanted to convey my thoughts in a way that wouldn't put the reader off. After researching, I spent another year off and on flushing out the story line and coming up with a first draft. The bonus is that I had already planned on this being a series, so I've fully flushed out the next few books in the series.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m currently working on several things. I’m focused on book two – the sequel to Glimpse – which is titled Blind Horizon. In addition, I kick around a ghost/horror story and a World War II story I’ve been formulating. My pet project is a non-fiction book that focuses on bravery, tentatively titled How Brave Are You? I’ve finished that book and am currently shopping around literary agents.
What genre would you place your books into?
Paranormal/Fantasy, but I do have the inclination to cross genres.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always had a fascination with angels and the story of the Nephilim. I had been studying religious texts (for fun) and kept digging deeper into the legend. Before I knew it I was seven books deep and could name all the listed fallen angels. That’s when the story first began brewing.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I would love to be an angel. Especially having the abilities that I give to my angels, that would be so much fun. I think I’m a bit of an oddball, as I tend to like the periphery characters more than the main characters. For me, my favorite character is a tie between Fifi and Mo, they are so very distinctly different characters and their backstories were the most interesting to write.
How long have you been writing? and who or what inspired you to write?
I always had an inclination to internalize things, so I started writing when I was pretty young. Diaries and journals started me on the path and once I hit high school all I could do was write short stories and poetry. Anytime I felt overwhelmed I’d simply escape into my stories. I think my mother was my biggest inspiration to write, she’s always told me I could do anything and be anything I wanted.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I really do. I think most writers are creatures of habit. I like to have a clean desk – I hate clutter around me when I work. Beyond that, I like to listen to classical music or David Garrett when I write. I like music without lyrics when I work.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do. So far they have been pretty complimentary, even the folks that didn’t care for the book still said constructive things. As long as the review is constructive I’ll take what the writer says to heart. Any that are just negative to be negative, I try not to let them tear me down.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I think the title comes from the story, so once I had the story developed the title just came to me.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I have a number of books for names, so usually I have an idea of what I’m looking for and just use the book or the internet to make a final selection. I like using real places in my books so the internet is a huge help on that.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I have a general idea on the character or place when I start looking for the name.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I use a character interview before I even begin writing. I want to know what my character is going to do or say before I even get started. I think knowing everything about my characters helps me write a more germane reaction to events.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
There was no intention on my part to convey any message, however, if the reader sees one, who am I to argue?
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I see ebooks as convenient, but I’m old school, I like the smell of a good book. I think having an actual book (and I do prefer hardback) in your hand evokes pleasant childhood memories for me. It’s visceral.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Every year I pick up a new copy of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontё, it’s been my favorite book since I was 12 and I’ll probably keep reading it until the day I die. So I’ve read it several times, but I’m not saying how many. J
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think there are some movies that have transferred well, for example The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit were both handled very well. I think it depends on if the director has a true love for the subject or not. Peter Jackson loves TLoTR and the Hobbit so he treated them like any fan would, with love. The absolute worst for me was Sleepwalkers by Stephen King. The movie was horrible and didn’t do any justice to the book.
Your favorite food is?
Chocolate – especially dark chocolate.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to music, so I run the gambit from Classical all the way to hard rock. But I love Lana Del Rey, Sigur Ros, David Garrett and Apocalyptica.
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
J.R.R. Tolkien – in fact, I even have a LoTR’s white ink tattoo on my left forearm. But again, I’m pretty eclectic, and love to read new and interesting books by anyone. I have a rule when it comes to books (or television); I give it three chapters (or episodes) to hook me. The first is exciting, the second is character development and the third is the root of the story.
Nicole Delacroix was born in Frankfurt Germany to a German mother and American Military father. Her parents instilled in her a deep love of the written word and a profound respect for literature in all forms. So it's little wonder that from the moment she could first write she knew that writing would always be a part of who she is. From short stories to dabbling in scriptwriting she passes her time with her day job as an IT professional but feverishly writes well into the night. Her passion for literature encompasses many different genres but her heart beats true with fantasy and science fiction. She's fiercely loyal to friends and family and is eagerly awaiting the day when she can move to London England, her childhood dream.