Friday, March 20, 2015

Interview Underworld Queen by Sharon Hamilton

What inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and have kept a journal since I was 5, so I guess I always thought I would write some day. That day finally came when our house burned down in 2008 and I suddenly found myself needing a change of pace, looking for a more creative way to heal. I was good in real estate sales, some would say one of the best, but I needed to do something else. Writing took hold and I haven’t looked back since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

It’s hard to describe my own style, but I guess I like humor, even in stressful situations. One of the reasons I enjoy writing SEALs, because of their smacktalk. But I find I can put humor in any character, paranormal or elite ops. I like my characters to lose themselves in their issues, have big blindspots the reader sees and says, “Oh No! Don’t go there…” I do like a deeper point of view, and hopefully I always deliver it.

Do you write in different genres?

I write now in paranormal and the romantic suspense genres. I have some time travel/futuristic in me too, though.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

LOL. That’s like asking which is better, chocolate mouse or hot fudge Sundays. They are a refreshing change from each other. Paranormals are fun for all their special powers. Military heroes are fun because they truly are heroes, quiet heroes who save the world and don’t brag about it. So, I’m torn.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

The heroine, Audray, was the bad girl in books 1 and 2, Heavenly Lover and Underworld Lover. But she was a strong character – too strong to discard to the dust pile, so I decided she needed her HEA as well. I thought the Queen was catchy, but she’s really the Director. Just that her luscious paramour, Jonas Starling, calls her his queen. So that became the title.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

When I was writing it, the title was Queen of the Underworld. But I shortened it. I try to make titles so a thoughtful reader would remember what the book was about.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The premise of the book is: Heaven isn’t 100% perfect by design. The Underworld isn’t 100% evil by accident. Good, true good, usually is aided by true love, and it is perfect because it’s chosen, not preordained or forced or followed. That makes it a greater good, because it’s more rare. Evil comes from the lack of soul, from domination and control without deserving of such.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

I wish I could meet Jonas Starling in the flesh! But no. My characters are always a minestrone soup of my experiences throughout life.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

When I want to feel smart, I read Diana Gabaldon. When I want to feel inspired, I read something that has sold billions of copies and I think I can do better. LOL.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Bella Andre and Tina Folsom have both been very kind to me, and I consider them friends. We’ve laughed and I’ve learned way more than I’ve been able to give back, but that’s one of my goals, to give back. Ultimately, we have to find our own style, groove, if you will. So, I think they have mentored me in that they’ve shown me what could be. Being a successful author is 40% your writing and 60% the business. They’ve been excellent role models of that business mentality.

What book are you reading now?

Just finished another book. I can’t even read the shampoo label today. It will be a military romance, though.

What books are in your to read pile?

I won’t outlive that pile. I have some on the Navajo Code Talkers because I’m going to do a book with that as the theme. I read a lot of online articles for research, but I don’t read a lot of books.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

New SEAL My Home 3/31/15 release. Then another SEAL release in June. I will add one more to my vampire series, and a hybrid, Gideon: Fall From Grace about a vampire made into a guardian angel by mistake. He’s a very mixed up dude. That one will be this fall now.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

This is an emotional scene where she learns that her earthly father had been buried next to that of her sister. This was new information about her past.

The red Maserati growled through the gates of Central Valley Cemetery, rumbling up the drive to the top of the hill. Her mother had said to look for the big Guardian angel statue holding a little lamb—the section where her sister was buried, next to her father.

She parked the car under a hulking willow tree, its ancient branches hovering over and touching the red beast, hiding it in shadows. The afternoon’s heat was coming to a close. Puffs of dandelion seeds blew in the breeze, dotting the air, dancing with moths and flying insects, against the ever-present background noise of the freeway.

It took her several seconds to exit the car. She saw no one, but she felt watched. Stepping out into the light of day, she noted the birds had stopped chirping. She expected something, not sure what it was. The hairs at the back of her neck and on her forearms bristled. She’d gotten her revenge, and it felt good to have that chapter of her life closed forever. But she also had the eerie feeling someone had been following, watching her every move. She felt like a target.

Her lunch, what little of it she ate, hung undigested in her stomach. Her red boots ascended the crown of the hill and stopped just before the looming statue with wings, which protected the little lamb. The white marble had turned gray and was streaked as though crying. Birds had dallied there and an abandoned nest sat in the crook of the large angel’s arm next to the body of the lamb.

Audray had never experienced grief before. This emotion had always been just out of reach. But the devoted expression on the face of the angel moved something inside, and she was surprised to find tears rolling down her cheeks. Something has been lost. Something is gone forever.

She bit her lower lip as she leaned forward to read the inscriptions on the ground. To the left she read:

Lt. W. Michael Steele

December 25, 1945 to June 4, 1980

Rest in Peace. Your earthly work is done.

Husband, Father, Soldier
Guardian of the Weak
Protector of the Weary

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Don’t have to, but I love traveling. I love to write while cruising. One of my SEAL Brotherhood books, Cruisin’ For A SEAL was 60% written on the boat.
Traveling places where the stories takes place is fun. I go to Italy and France once or twice a year.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Kendra Egert did Underworld Queen.

Kim Killion does my SEAL Brotherhood series, the new ones.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep the writing engine strong by writing a little every day. You must be easy to start and hard to stop. Never ever give up. Never let someone who knows nothing about you and your soul make you feel bad. Learn who to trust, but trust many. Just stay away from the people that suck the lifeforce out of you. Don’t waste a bit on them. (My favorite in real estate is:  Don’t wrestle with the pigs. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.)

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I listen to a lot of Secret Garden when I write the angel stories. Two Steps from Hell, Thomas Bergersen, Michael Whalen, some of Pat Metheny, Kim Robertson, Helios’ Requiem of the Night for vampires and angels. So many lovely soundtracks. 

Underworld Queen
The Guardians
Book 3
Sharon Hamilton

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, 
Mystery and Suspense Romance, 
Romance – Angels, Romance - Fantasy

Publisher:  AL Publication

Date of Publication:  December 30, 2014


Number of pages:  285
Word Count:  80,000

Book Description: 

Audray has just assumed the title as first-ever Queen of the Underworld.

As she attempts to consolidate her rule, characters from the past threaten to destroy her and the love she shares with Jonas Starling, a 300-year old dark angel. When she discovers she has been the recipient of a miracle, suddenly their whole immortal lives are changed forever. 

Will they survive the coming war or get snagged in the power struggle over not only the underworld, but the human world as well?

Book Trailer:

Available at   

Amazon         Amazon UK        Amazon Canada

iBooks         Barnes and Noble 

Excerpt Jonas Starling, Hero:

The charred remains of the executed dark angel smelled like the soil at a slaughterhouse Jonas had seen as a child. It was disgusting then, and it was even more disgusting now, as his black boots trudged through the crispy black flakes, kicking up a fine dark-grey dust that got lodged in his nostrils. He forced a sneeze to clear himself out, but was rewarded with a whirlwind of fine particles—the remains of the dark angel who had come to meet him. Jonas had not told Audray everything about his past and this now festered like a splinter under the nail of  his moral code. He might have to reveal things he’d hoped he could bury forever, along with the story of his youthful love and her family who had died, partially because of who he’d become.
He had to see for himself what was left of the fellow. He found a melted silver medallion, like a large dollop of shiny wax, still attached to the grape wreath silver chain some of his ancestors wore when Jonas was a boy. He couldn’t make out any indentation or markings as he cleaned the smooth surface from the black grit of death. It reflected back his distorted face.
Although already dead, Jonas had begun to cherish his afterlife as an immortal dark angel. His relationship with the new Director made him feel strangely alive for the first time since becoming immortal some three hundred years ago.  After his disastrous years at Court, where he’d been conscripted into doing despicable things, he’d slipped aboard a vessel bound for the Caribbean, and set up a new life on several of the islands there, until he’d been discovered and then took the only option available to him as a last resort: join the Underworld as a dark angel. 

It had been a long three hundred years, and he’d considered ending himself in a true death. Until recently, he’d wondered if he could tolerate living forever. But finding Audray had changed everything and opened up a brand new bright future for Jonas. She was every bit his equal, in intelligence and strength of character. Her desires in the bedroom also matched his perfectly. If he could have a thousand nights with different women or one night with her, he would take her anytime. He’d thought of himself as completely dark and brooding. But these past few weeks he was beginning to feel the warm afterglow of—could it be—love?

About the Author:

Sharon’s NYT and USA Today bestselling novels are almost-erotic Navy SEAL stories of the SEAL Brotherhood. Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion and true love. This series continues with book 8, SEAL's Promise, which will release November 11, 2014. All of her SEAL Brotherhood Series are available in audio book. She has maintained an Amazon top 100 author status in Romantic Suspense for since the end of 2012.

Her Golden Vampires of Tuscany are not like any vamps you’ve read before, since they don’t have to go to ground, and can walk around in the full light of the sun. Honeymoon Bite, Book 1 of the Golden Vampires of Tuscany Series, has earned the Amazon designation of #1 Gothic Romance. It and Book 2 in the series, Mortal Bite are both available on audio as well.

Her Guardian Angels struggle with the human charges they are sent to save, often escaping their vanilla world of Heaven for the brief human one. You won’t find any of these beings in any Sunday school class.

Sharon lives in Sonoma County, California, with her husband and two Dobermans. A lifelong organic gardener, when she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.

"True Love Heals in the Gardens of the Heart"

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