How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
Psychopomp is a Greek word for spirit guide, an escort of souls to the afterlife. Which would mean that Lana, as a reaper, is a psychopomp. It’s a fun word that just felt right. My friend Tommy brought it up some time ago, and I instantly knew that it would have to be a title in the series.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
Most of the time I title my books first. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like a vital part of the outlining phase, especially for a series. I like to have a theme in mind. Like Kim Harrison’s Clint Eastwood variations. Or MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead & Un---. Or Charlaine Harris having the work dead in all of her Sookie novels.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I’m working on a short story for an anthology collection titled Badass and the Beast: 10 “Tails” of Kickass Heroines and the Beasts that Love Them. My contribution centers on Lana and her two hellhounds. There’s a visit to the Drunken Dove Brewery in Summerland, where Gabriel’s favorite beer, Ambrosia Ale, is made. It should be a good time, even though it takes place soon after the tragic events in Psychopomp.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
When it comes to my Lana series, one of my biggest challenges is trying to juggle so many characters. When a world consists of all the figures of all the religions, it’s hard to decide who to include in the story. I’m constantly getting emails from readers asking why I left so-and-so out of the mix. Luckily, it’s a series, so I can add in more as I go… as long as my eyes don’t cross trying to keep up with them all.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Gah! That’s such a tough questions. I hate having to pick just one. When it comes to fictional series in my genre, I really enjoy Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. Rachel Morgan is such a fun character! And the alternate history with the tomatoes wiping out a quarter of humanity is my very favorite explanation for supernaturals coming out of the closet.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
A lot of my settings are in the afterlife, so I’ll stick to reading about those. lol. There are some really interesting books about the heavens and hells I’ve come across. One of my favorite titles is “Go to Hell: A Heated History of the Underworld” by Chuck Crisafulli. For the real life settings, where Lana and the gang jump over to the mortal realm to harvest, I either use settings I’m already familiar with or I rely on the Google gods.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
I designed all of my book covers! : ) I’m a graphic designer by day. Most of the work I do is for real estate guides, so the book covers and promo/swag items are a fun break for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read all the things. I know it’s not the most original piece of advice, but it’s still the best. Read everything. Even things that aren’t in your genre. Especially things that aren’t in your genre. I used to write book reviews for a newspaper in Ohio, and I had to change up my reading habits to provide a more rounded selection for subscribers. There is a lot of inspiration to be found in unexpected places.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog! : )
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.
About the Author:
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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