What inspired you to become an author?
My unrelenting need to write drove me to it. I write daily. It’s essential to me. I love exploring fictional worlds, which I can do by reading, but I also love creating worlds. I have stories to tell, and if I wasn’t writing for others I’d still be writing for myself. It’s nice to be able to explore my fears and experience things that I never will in real life through literature.
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
The title of my new book, Bite the Bullet, came from something my (loosely termed) ‘hero’ said to the heroine. This first book is very much about Darcy throwing herself into becoming part of a vampire cohort which she hadn’t wanted to join. She has to ‘bite the bullet’, so to speak. There is an alternative reason too, but you’ll need to read to discover that. ;)
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That’s a hard question. I’ve already written most of the series and throughout all the books there are themes about being brave, fighting on, holding onto hope, loving, trusting friends, learning to trust yourself while also accepting your flaws and mistakes. In a way, Bite the Bullet is setting the scene for the much larger story, but it remains an exploration of trust and deceit.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not much in this one. Some of the interactions between characters were loosely influenced by friendships and rivalries I’ve experienced.
What books/authors have influenced your life?
Little Women and To Kill a Mockingbird are childhood favourites. The exploration of morality and ethics in both always interested me. However, I’m also a big fan of fantasy and getting lost in an emotive story, which is why I love Lord of the Rings and Chicagoland Vampires. I like to be made to feel something that I might not ordinarily do.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Chloe Neill, without a doubt. I love her Chicagoland Vampire Series and I’ve learned a lot about what I want to write from reading her books, even from aspects of her stories which I’m not overly fond of. I love her combination of normality – nerdiness and a love of pizza – and fantasy.
What book are you reading now?
I’ve just downloaded The Iron Sword by Jocelyn A Fox and Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward so I’ll be starting those soon. Just as soon as the book launch is behind me, I’m going to take a few reading days.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on the rest of the Vampire Cohorts series, while jotting down the thousand other ideas that assault my brain daily. Book Two is in first draft form, so I’m about to start the second draft of that.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I exhaled sharply as his hand brushed my knee and trailed up my thigh. “I wish you’d accept us,” I croaked, each word rough with desire. “Because it’s not fair to keep doing this to me. I’m not convinced that ‘tease’ and ‘mighty leader’ are personas which mesh well. Why begin seduction if you’re going to jump away like I’m a viper at any moment?”
“That’s where we have a problem,” he admitted bitterly. “It’s why I’ve been avoiding you. When I’m with you the sight, sound and scent of you seduces me, with every second it becomes harder and harder to resist. You’re a siren, and despite everything I’m supposed to be, around you I’m just a man. I only wish life was uncomplicated enough to allow that.”
“Conn,” I sighed, hurt that even as he came closer he was preparing to push away. “You ought to consider that life is complicated enough to merit taking some time to just be a man now and again. Do me a favour and come to that realisation for yourself, before I realise that waiting for you is a waste of my existence. You might be my sun, but sooner or later I could settle for a star. It’s be basically the same, after all, even if another would never make me burn as you do.”
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
I designed it. It isn’t what I envisaged originally, but one morning I was sitting a best friend’s (and PA/Proofer/Beta Reader) living room, cuddling her cat, and I started to illustrate. The cover is the creation I came up with. I prefer it to my original concept.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
I’m actually writing book six of the series and I have a Spotify play list for the whole series which can be found at Spotify
For Bite the Bullet alone, the track list features:
Points of Authority – Linkin Park
Figure it Out – Royal Blood
Give Me Back My Life – Papa Roach
Papercut – Linkin Park
How To Save A Life – The Fray
Poison – Alice Cooper
True Love – Pink
One Step Closer – Linkin Park
Stupid Girl – Garbage
Imperial March from Star Wars – John Williams
Human – Gabrielle Aplin
Runaway – Linkin Park
Bring It – Trapt
Star Wars – John Williams
Bite the Bullet – Machine Head
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Iris plays an important part within the book.
Bite the Bullet
Angela Louise McGurk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Angela Louise McGurk
Date of Publication: 12 December 2015
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 116,000
Cover Artist: Angela Louise McGurk
Let me tell you what it was to be made vampire. It wasn’t birth. Birth implies pushing, tearing forth into the light, screaming. Becoming immortal was to be pulled, to be tugged irrevocably into darkness, and it was silent.
I should have fought, any person should fight, but my mind had been filled with a hazy calm which forbade any battle. Struggling had been the last thing on my mind, even when my bus arrived and my assailant waved it on, dismissing my last hope of escape.
Yet my lack of rebellion was far from the most unsettling part of the stranger’s control over me. The truth was that the man could’ve asked anything of me and I would’ve complied, but he didn’t need to vocalise his request. I knew instinctively what he wanted. I sighed and surrendered myself as he held me against his front in a lover’s embrace, tipping my head and willingly giving him access to my throat.
“One day you’ll understand,” he whispered, his tone subdued. I’ve often wondered since if he was really talking to me. Perhaps he’d been talking to himself, persuading himself that one day I’d know and accept his reasons for what he’d planned for me.
I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Because when my fangs came in, my world altered irrevocably. It became somewhere dark, somewhere filled with murder and blood, where magic was sinister and where even my closest ally seemed more like an enemy... Even if he did make my heart skip a beat.
Two uniformed vampire sentries stood outside the door. They nodded to Lex and James as we approached. They also eyed me with unveiled curiosity before opening the timber access and their scrutiny made me uncomfortable.
Here we go, here was the interest that would make me feel like a specimen in a petri dish, or some newly discovered species which had previously been thought extinct.
I tried to ignore my unease, but realistically what hope did I have? Nerves caused my stomach to churn and nausea to raise its ugly head as James herded me into the building and across an entrance hall. I could hear the laughter of many people coming from a room to the left of the hallway. More people than I wanted to face, judging by the noise. Not that my reluctance mattered as it was in that direction which James propelled me.
I wasn’t given a chance to catch my breath, to prepare myself for my introduction to the cohort. I was simply thrust among them, and I swore I’d never forgive James for that act of cruelty. Silence fell the moment I entered the oppressive atmosphere of the grand dining room, with its walls panelled in dark wood and a vast number of vampires congregated inside.
They turned towards me, stared at me with increasing scorn as their expectations plummeted. They arched brows at my tattered clothing and messed up hair, and at the blood which I’d sloshed down my front during my mad dive for the bottle which James had opened. This was not going to make the sort of impression I needed, not if I wanted to make friends.
Did I want friends?
My first instinct was to run, but with Lex and James flanking me there was no way out, nowhere to escape to. I was trapped, and I was being looked at as though I were some unwelcomed insect which had crawled in from the street. That should’ve irritated me but such concerns faded away to nothing when my eyes finally met his, my Sire’s.
Conn O’Dowd was as recognisable as I’d predicted, even though I hadn’t seen his face at the bus stop. His deep blue eyes caught mine and our gazes locked, held. His burned with something I couldn’t fathom, something so intense it felt familiar even though I couldn’t explain why. He was tall, broad, and even the bulk of him seemed familiar, although I’d only ever felt the press of his body against my back that once, as he drank from me. His long hair was a mix of dirty blond and brilliant golden waves, which were tied back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was stunning, Adonis like… Or Thor like. And I hated him all the more for his perfection.
He stared at me a moment longer, as if assessing my worth, as if assessing whether I deserved a place in his household. Then his expression changed. Conn looked at me as though I was one of those silly mortals who’d flocked to apply for the change, rather than as someone who had been given no choice.
He’d turned me, hadn’t he? Wasn’t it a bit late to wonder whether or not he wanted me here?
Disappointment flickered in the depth of those impossibly dark blue eyes. Then he turned away. Just like that, his attention moved on from me, refocusing on the redhead at his side. The woman laughed as he leaned over, whispering in her ear, and something welled up inside me; something dangerous and reckless.
Anger pounded through my veins until I could hear my pulse in my head. How dare he? How dare he take away my life and then turn away from me without so much as a word, especially to cavort with some woman who’d probably begged him to change her. I hated them both as they stood at the front of the room, whispering to each other.
He thought he could change me then ignore me?
He thought he could rip my life away and expect me to silently take whichever position he deemed I should fill?
To hell with that.
My anger peaked and overflowed, and when it did it triggered the strange link that bound me to my maker, just as drinking his blood had done. It dragged me forward, and I stepped away from James and Lex before either could think to stop me. I was pulled down the length of the hall by incorporeal ropes and when Conn noticed my approach he seemed surprised, uncertain.
There was so much I wanted to say to him. I wanted to ask him why he’d turned me, why he’d broken the law, and why he was lying about my consent. I wanted to rant at him, to vent my fury in a tirade of accusations and hate. Yet words wouldn’t come, they were trapped in my chest by the ball of fear and fury which painfully blocked my throat.
I acted in spite of my inability to form words, and my hand flew out of its own volition.
The blazing red handprint I left on Conn’s cheek glowed momentarily, before his vampire ability to heal masked it from sight. Indignation hardened his expression into something cold, something frightening, and behind me a communal gasp swept through the room as every single one of the congregated vampires stared at me in disbelieving horror.
Way to make an impression, Darcy.
What the hell had I just done?
About the Author:
Angela grew up in a small pit village in the county of Northumberland in England. Currently she lives in an entirely different pit village in the same county, along with her husband and their two children. She qualified in Architectural Technology and has worked in construction, as well as running her own wedding stationery and graphic design business. Currently Angela's time is taken up with chasing a three year old, a four year old and a kid in his thirties who really should know better. Between that she works, writes and draws.
She is currently writing the final book in the Vampire Cohort series while editing the first book in the series for publication, as well as trying to store up the hundred other stories which are always racing around in her mind! While a love of writing has always been part of Angela's life, in recent years it has become a daily requirement. The vampires, werewolves, gods and fae just won't leave her alone!
Among Angela's other loves are camping, kayaking, the Lake District and history. She is a bit of a sci-fi geek, a bit of a Joss Whedon fan, and has such an eclectic taste in music it would take pages to write down what she likes.