Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: October 14, 2014
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 63,000
Cover Artist: Angela Roquet
In war, everyone loses...
Reaper Lana Harvey is finding out the hard way. When Grim's new second in command, Jenni Fang, recruits her for a special mission, the biggest victory over the rebels is tainted by a crushing and immediate reprisal. The rebels have a new general working in the shadows of Limbo City, luring gods, reapers, demons, and souls to the dark side.
The Afterlife Council’s orders to locate the new rebel base are overshadowed by a desperate and mysterious plea from Grim to find the abducted Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. Where Lana and Jenni find one, they hope to find the other. But some discoveries have a way of bringing one to their knees.
Caim’s ship hadn’t changed much, except for the addition of a few dozen hell spawn scaling the masts and railings of the black boat. The main deck was an overflowing mass of leathery flesh and barbed tails. A herd of satyrs paraded around the quarterdeck, puffing into wooden panpipes, while sirens and succubi danced to the haunting tune, spinning frenzied circles around splintered mast poles. The wind ripped at their hair and grazed their naked bodies, leaving chapped patches along their thighs and breasts.
Caim lounged along the edge of the stern deck. His pale skin looked sickly and transparent. Despite the heat and the abundant nudity, he wore a thick, dark robe. His black wings were oily, almost sparkling in the broad daylight. Where his chin and jawline ended, the flesh peeled away, leaving the length of his neck raw and tarry. The sight of him made me cringe. I couldn’t imagine what it did to Jenni.
Caim reached out to fondle a siren as she spun by, clawing at her flesh with his blackened fingertips and leaving deep cuts that quickly welled with purple blood. He cackled, flashing sharp teeth and black gums. The siren hardly spared him a gasp before falling under the spell of satyr pipes once again. She swayed and rubbed against a succubus, smearing the forgotten blood until they were both coated. A leathery winged demon dipped down to steal a taste with his forked tongue.
Gabriel’s grip under my arms tightened. “This is a terrible idea.” He grunted under the weight of me and my axe. The paint on his wings probably wasn’t helping either. One slid up my arm and I hissed from the roughness of it.
“I agree, but it’s a little late to turn back now.” My heart accelerated in my chest as I scanned the ship, desperately searching for an opening. It was looking more and more like a crash landing would be our only option.
A few seconds later, Maalik rounded the stern with Jenni in tow. It had been a smart move putting me with Gabriel. Maalik would have never dropped me on Caim’s ship, and the plan would have been shot all to hell. He glanced across the chaos to find Gabriel and me, and I could tell that I was still getting top billing on his worry list. I could live with that today I decided, taking in the scene unfolding beneath us.
Gabriel sucked in a tight breath. “Show time.” Then he dropped me on a pile of napping hellcats on the forecastle deck.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
In some form or another, I’ve always wanted to write. For most of my teen years, I wrote scripts for an animated series I wanted to create. At 16, my English teacher suggested writing a novel. I shifted gears at that point, and the rest is history.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I’m also a freelance graphic designer. The biggest job I’ve worked on for the past 5 years is a monthly real estate guide book. It takes me about a week to design each month. The other three weeks are spent writing. The graphic design experience has come in handy. I design my own book covers and promotional materials and swag items, like Purgatory Lounge beer glasses. Also, I recently signed on with Jason T. Graves’ new author services site, Clever Foil Hat, as a cover designer.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The title is Psychopomp, and in less than twenty words… Lana is back, and the god Hypnos is missing. Secret missions reveal shocking rebel spies and Grim’s mysterious past.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I started out with an agent and plans to go the traditional route… but things fell through, and self-publishing was so much more appealing than starting the agent/editor search over from the beginning. At first, I thought self-publishing would be a temporary thing, a stepping stone until I found the patience to start querying again. I think I’d still like to work with an agent someday. I’ve met a few I really like at conferences. But I will still continue self-publishing for the most part. I can’t imagine not publishing this way. Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak. I just really enjoy having the final say on every step of the process, from the cover design to the release date. Still, I’d like to release something the old-fashioned way too. Just for the experience, and so I can say I did it.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. There are so many factors, and I don’t stick to a schedule like I should. The very first novel that I wrote (that never saw the light of day and never will) took 4 years to write. I was told by a few editors that it was too long and it had too many characters. It was also high fantasy, which I haven’t been able to tackle since. My third Lana novel only took 3 months to hammer out a first draft.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
More of the same. Most of what I have on my writing schedule for the next few years is urban fantasy. More in my Lana series, a new adult urban fantasy series, and a YA urban fantasy trilogy.
What genre would you place your books into?
Urban fantasy. That’s the general term for anything supernatural set in modern times. When I first published, I labeled my books Bangsian fantasy, a term coined by John Kendrick Bangs, author of A Houseboat on the River Styx. Stories that take place in the afterlife fall into this genre, but the term is so seldom used, and urban fantasy is much more marketable.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Urban fantasy was and still is my favorite genre to read. The modern world setting just makes the supernatural elements so much more believable and exciting. It felt like a natural choice to write.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I know a lot of authors who claim that they don’t, but I don’t believe them. lol. As an indie author, I think reviews are especially important. I don’t have a big publishing house’s stamp of approval, so reviews are all new readers have to go on. I read reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Nobel, Smashwords, and a few other places on occasion. I even check the UK Amazon site, since I have a few readers across the big pond. Reviews also provide great feedback, and the really passionate ones make my day! Not only do they attract new readers, but they encourage me to keep writing. : )
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Baby name books are useful for characters, but a lot of the places in my series are linked to the realms they’re in. I have some marketing experience, so the branding comes easily. With the genre I’m in, I have too much fun coming up with business names, logos, and slogans. Some of them are obvious and easy, like Purgatory Lounge and Athena’s Boutique. Some of them take a little more thought or research. The Inferno Chateau and Drunken Dove Brewery (featured in the anthology short story coming out next May) are among my favorites.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I usually take care of character and place names first, but sometimes I’ll invent a character and then do some research before giving them a more meaningful name. Like my character Arden Faraji. Faraji is Swahili for consolation, which is fitting for a reaper with his demeanor.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Yes. All of the above. I’ll take whatever I can get my hands on.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
The Wizard of Oz will always be my favorite. The movie too. I’ve read/seen it too many times to count.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Oh boy. That’s a really tough one. I think there are some movies that do their book justice… and some that if the character names were changed, you’d never know what book it was based on. It really depends. Sometimes it’s best to watch a movie without book expectations. To treat it like it’s an entirely different story, simply inspired by the book. I think the Wizard of Oz was done well, though there were still some significant changes from the book. I think the Harry Potter movies were fantastic too, yet, once again, there were some significant changes from the books.
Your favorite food is?
Sushi. Any and all kinds. I really enjoy making it at home too, even though it takes me forever.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I can’t pick just one. Our Lady Peace, Ani DiFranco, and Bif Naked.
Urban fantasy author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, and random craft supplies. Her obsessions include the Wizard of Oz, over-sweetened coffee, and all things Joss Whedon. She's a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you're doing isn't hurting anyone, she's a fan of you, too.
Angela lives in Sedalia, Missouri with her husband and son. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords.
You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com
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