Today, in conjunction with SupaGurl Tours, I am very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for A.M. Hargove's book: Determinant!
As part of this tour, Anne has stopped by for an interview!
But before she answers my questions, let's take a look at her newest book and get a peek at the trailer!
Title: Determinant (The Guardians of Vesturon #3)
Publication Date: June 30, 2012
Buying Links:January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.
Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.
Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?
I was lost in the events of the day and the amount of work I had and I was still nursing my wounded ego as I headed out of the lab. As I made my way down the corridor, I noticed six men advancing toward me.
It wasn’t their actions I noticed so much or even the way they walked. And though it was an oddity for them to even be here at all, it was their attire that captured my attention. They were dressed identically, in an extreme fashion, much like members of a gang or secret society. Large and muscular, they wore black vests and their bare arms were almost completely tattooed with tribal symbols of a sort. Metal bands their chests and their legs were tightly encased in leather. Knee high boots and black gloves finished off their ensembles.
As I neared them I felt my flesh tingle and the hairs on the back of my neck come to attention. Gooseflesh erupted and alarms started clanging in my head. I sucked in my breath and as I did, my eyes connected with the apparent leader. I say this because he was in the front of the formation as they plodded along.
Time stood still as our eyes connected. His were an uncanny shade, lavender with hints of indigo and specks of silver. It was a hue I was unfamiliar with but they were intriguing and fascinating. The alarms were still ringing in my ears and the air felt electrically charged around us.
I turned into stone. I couldn’t move a muscle. He cocked his head as his eyes bore into mine.
I distinctly heard his command in my mind and I was helpless to disobey him. I felt myself take a deep cleansing breath. I questioned him with my eyes. He flicked his head toward his men and they stepped back several feet.
“Who are you? Why are you here?”
I was confused by the demanding questions swirling in my brain but felt compelled to answer him. I had never used mind reading to communicate, but I was sure he would hear my answer.
“I’m January St. Davis. I’m here working on an internship for college credit.”
“You are human?” he asked with incredulity.
I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. Why would he want to know if I was human? What a ridiculous question!
And now, let's hear what Anne had to tell me!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I graduated from college with a minor in journalism and was only one class short of a double major in it. I had always envisioned writing romance novels as I was hooked on them from the time I was in junior high. I used to hijack my mother's books back then (so you might say I inherited my addiction!). My career path took an entirely different route and I never had the time to focus on writing until recently.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
That depends on the book. For example, I started writing Determinant at the beginning of April and it was in my editor’s hands the second week of May. I’m currently writing Dark Waltz, which is the first book of my newest series (an adult spin-off from Determinant) and it’s taking me longer because I’ve had a ton of interruptions. If I can focus solely on the writing, I can write 5000 to 7500 words per day. If I can escape to our mountain house, where I’m alone, the count can skyrocket.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I get asked that a lot and I honestly don’t have a good response. I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head. When a good one lands, it just sticks and keep hounding my brain until I write the story. The character literally bugs me to death.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I get up around 6:30 am, clear out my inbox, and start writing. I could write all day. I never tire of it. I sigh when I hear the garage door opening, which is my signal that my husband is home from work. LOL I’m happy to see him, but that means it’s time to close up the computer!
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I’m so fortunate to be at the stage where the balance is all my choice now. My youngest daughter is in college and I’m writing full time...so the only balance I have is my husband, myself, my pooch who is my constant companion, my volunteer activities and my fun stuff!
What elements do you think make a great story line?
Lots of romance, tons of conflict, mystery, thrills, and there always has to be that big bad guy!
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Ending the thing! I’ve had other authors tell me they had difficulty getting to 70,000 words, and I had trouble cutting it off at 100,000. I could go on and on and on! Of course, then the characters would be 90 years old and in the nursing home, LOL!
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written three full length books and one novella and I’m currently writing my fourth full length book. I can’t say I have a favorite. I love all of them. The Guardians of Vesturon is based on a family of six siblings, and I’m in love with all of them. The race is from another planet, and not to give too much away, Vesturions tend to be unusually attractive. They are aliens, but human like in appearance, except their characteristics are unlike any human you’d find on Earth. Each of the characters are different in their personalities, from bold and demanding to sensitive and tenderhearted. Because of the differences in them, the books are different too.
Do you have a favorite character?
No, I can’t say that I do. I think I identify more with Rayn (from Survival and Resurrection) than any of them, but that doesn’t mean he’s my favorite.
Where do you write?
Anywhere I can. I use a laptop, so I can work anywhere.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I worked for corporate America for over 25 years and I decided that I wanted to be a free bird and never wanted to work by anyone else’s rules again. I decided to self publish because I could do it my way, when I wanted and how I wanted. I never considered any other way. I have a friend who’s a literary agent who keeps bugging me, but I keep refusing to go that route. I’m not interested in deadlines, or working under anyone else’s guidelines.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Yes, but I never trusted what they said, lol! I think family doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, so everything they told me I took with a grain of salt. Now when I discuss my books with them, they’re more open about things and they tell me if they like a certain scene better than another. Of course, my husband and son aren’t big romance fans, but I have to hand it to them because them read and critique everything. They keep telling me they see the books as movies.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I’m an outside hiking, backpacking, camping kind of girl. If you’ve read Survival, all the backpacking scenes that took place up in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and on the Appalachian Trail were from my own experiences. That’s my gig. If you’d ask me if I had two months to do anything I’d want...I’d want to put on my pack and start at Springer Mountain in Georgia and hike through Virginia on the Appalachian Trail, and go until I hit the two month mark. I’ve done most of it through North Carolina, which is the most mountainous, but I’d like to do more.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Do it! Write anything...short stories, start a blog, write a novella...just do it. Attend local seminars. Join Goodreads. And read, read, read. Read in the genre you love, but read everything you can get your hands on. If you love fiction, read fiction, all kinds of it.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
Okay, this is SO not fair! I can’t possibly answer this question because there are so many books I love. I can honestly say there wasn’t really one author that inspired me to write. I think every author of every book I ever wrote, inspired me to write. And that includes book I hated! But to get back to authors I love, I would have to say JR Ward ranks high on the list because she’s brilliant. She has excellent story lines and what’s not to love about those brothers? I love Jennifer Armentrout’s book. I think she’s a wonderful YA author. I haven’t read her adult books yet, though they’re in my queue. I love Dannika Dark’s Mageri series. I love Sylvain Reynard’s books Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture. They’re beautifully written based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. I tend to read Indie books (for the obvious reasons!) and I love John Corwin, Janelle Stalder, Shelly Crane, Lila Felix, Christie Rich...and I could go on and on!
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Absolutely! I have a group of AWESOME beta readers--Terri, Alana, Midu, Juls, Shelly, Lissa, Fiona and Laurie. They help me with everything from the story line to grammatical issues, wording, etc. I don’t know what I’d do without them. And then I have a proofreader and my super awesome editor Jenn Nunez.
Are you working on anything now?
Oh yes ;-) I mentioned Dark Waltz above. It’s an adult paranormal/sci-fi/urban fantasy blend that’s a spin off series based on a character, Jurek Herdekian, from Determinant. It’s quite a stretch for me because it’s my first venture in the adult arena but it’s going to be much darker than anything I’ve written before. Jurek, whom you’ve met if you read Determinant, is sort of a good/bad boy, but he was such a strong character I couldn’t let him go. He demanded his own story so he got his way and that’s what I’m working on now. As soon as I’m finished with this first installment, I’ll start working on the fourth book in The Guardians of Vesturon, reEmergent.
Thanks Brooke, this has been so much fun being here today!
Thanks, Anne, it's been great having you here!
Below is a little information about Anne and if you scroll to the end, a little surprise giveaway!
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
A.M.’s Boss: Hello.
A.M: Hey Boss, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.
A.M.’s Boss: Why ever would I want to do that?
A.M.: Because I quit!
A.M. hit the end button and speed her husband.
A.M.: Hey hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?
A.M.’s Hubs: Sure...having some car trouble?
A.M.: Not at all. I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.
A.M.’s Hubs: WHAT?!
A.M.: It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.
So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published . Her series, The Guardians of , around a family of six siblings and is a mix of , mystery, suspense and of course, love. Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels, and Beginnings is her prequel novella to the series. Determinant, her third in the series will be released 6/30/12.
(It didn’t really happen like that, but you get the idea!)
You can stalk Anne here: