Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
My book title’s usually come to me in the middle of writing the book. For the Dark Dream Series, I do start out knowing that the title will either have the word ‘dream’ or ‘nightmare’ in the title.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to feel that no matter what struggles they might have gone through in life to never give up on your dreams and to remember we all have strength inside us we didn’t realize we had.
What books are in your to read pile?
My TBR pile is getting almost as big as my read pile. The top three are; Fallen by Julie Morgan, My Soul to Keep by Marianne Morea, and The Devil’s Angle by Christine Alvarez.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I am currently in the middle of writing Dreams in the Dark, which is book two of the Dark Dreams Series, as well as editing Endless Nightmare: The Origin of a Demon, which is the origin story of one of the series main characters, Empusa.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s an excerpt from Endless Nightmare: The Origin of a Demon -
A gust of wind appeared out of nowhere, slamming Empusa back against a rock wall with force. When she tried to move, she found herself held there by an invisible force.
"Release me, now!"
Empusa salivated in anger. No one held her down. She might be trapped in this hell hole but she refused to let anyone manipulate her, not ever again.
"As soon as you release your weakness, I will. Lesson number one, Empy-pet. You are nothing with emotions. Nothing if you care for anything more than just yourself. I will not help you escape, but I will give you the powers to be able to. It's in your hands what you choose to do with them. I will teach you the power to become anything you want. Have anything and anyone you want. I will give you no love, no comforting words, no signs of affection. I will ice your heart, darken your soul and make you the demon, the woman, you were destined to be."
Even if Empusa could move at that moment, she didn't think she would have been able to. For decades she'd slowly been losing the girl she once had been; that innocent eyed, soft child who wanted to please everyone and never expected anything in return. She'd learned firsthand what being like that had gotten her. If she’d been stronger, if she’d stood up for who and what she was, she wouldn't have ended up trapped in hell in the first place. To stop feeling those pesky emotions like fear, sorrow, or hope; to only count on and care about herself sounded perfect to her. To no longer wake up from her heart twisting in her chest from the loss of her family, from the isolation she felt. To no longer fear death, but to laugh in its face and dare it to come get her. To not just show the rest of the world she didn't care about anything other than herself, but to actually feel it inside. That was the woman she wanted to be. She wanted to be numb enough the distractions of all those wasteful emotions no longer crippled her. Most of all, she wanted to one day have the power to escape this prison and feel the steady stream of Hecate's blood against her skin as she bathed in it.
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
Google and Youtube were my travel guides for my current release. Dare to Dream takes place in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and while I have not had the pleasure to visit there, I have taken every Youtube tour of the city and studied every map I could get my hands on. I can’t wait to finally get to go, because it’s such a beautiful city.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes for you to write a book, whether it be a couple months or a couple years, just keep writing. And always remember, the first draft doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be written.
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
While writing Dare to Dream, I listened to a lot of classic rock, which I blame on Nathaniel. The panther has a love for that genre of music, while I am not a big fan. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing is the song the book centers around, and is even Nellie’s ringtone when Nathaniel calls her.
Dark Dreams Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: 11/17/2015
Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 72,835
Cover Artist: Ariel LeAnn
Nellie O’Malley has spent her afterlife hunting and killing demonoids. As a slayer she never faced one she couldn’t destroy, until now.
The hunter has become the hunted.
A nameless, faceless enemy stalks her every move. Nellie must find a way to stop the unstoppable before it kills her, or worse, goes after the one person she can’t live without.
He is her best friend, she is his soul.
Nathaniel Ogapoge has been in love with only one woman. Unfortunately, she sees him only as her best friend. With her life now in peril, he will stop at nothing to protect her. Even if it means putting himself in the direct path of evil and risking everything.
“It is time for another,” Renata, the Queen of the Damned, announced as she straightened the flowing silk material of her silver gown so it draped perfectly around her. Perched on the edge of a reflecting pool high up in her tower in the middle of Gehenna, she glided her fingers over the surface of the water. The rippling effect caused the face of a young blonde female to come into focus. “She will be my newest creation and she will be perfect.”
Glancing away from the reflection, she peered up at Berith, Gehenna’s warden, who stood opposite her, hands tucked into the front pockets of his jeans. His perpetual scowl present across his chiseled face, Berith’s eerily-glowing orange eyes narrowed on her with annoyance. Not that she gave him her full attention, her thoughts were still lost in the vision appearing in the water. She didn’t particularly care he was even in the room.
“Have you lost your bloody mind?” Berith questioned. “I mean look at her. She doesn’t look old enough to know how to use the rifle she’s holding, let alone be able to kill demonoids. Is this what you are left with then? Is this where your abilities have taken you? You now recruit scrawny females to do your bidding?”
Renata raised a brow, watching Berith jab an accusing finger at the girl’s reflection. Too many years had passed since she’d last been given a slayer, and at the moment she didn’t need to hear Berith’s opinion on the matter. While her husband, Buer, was in charge of capturing and keeping the deadliest of demons within the confines of Gehenna, it was her duty to keep reign on the demonoids.
Two types of demons inhabited in the world: the ones born that way and the ones who were turned into such. The most dangerous, however, were the ones created. Those creatures were known as demonoids.
Demonoids were contrived from the darkest of all human souls. Ones so beyond redemption their evil called to certain gods and demons. These gods and demons would feed on those souls, transforming what once was a man into the deadliest and most nefarious of creatures. The job of her slayers was to eradicate them; to make sure no demonoid remained on the mortal realm or any other.
Renata dismissed Berith’s comments with a flip of her strawberry blonde hair. “You know as well as I do I have no choice in who is brought to me. At this point, I would take a ten-year-old girl with bowed legs if that was my only choice. I haven’t received a soldier in over a century and my troops on the mortal realm are dwindling.” She glanced back down at the image in the water. Yes, the female was young and not the usual soul given to her, but she would make do. All her slayers were chosen for a reason and Renata would not question the decision. All she concerned herself with was whether her new slayer would be strong enough to kill the demonoids when they came at her.
The female about to become Renata’s newest slayer was not a warrior or a soldier as she was accustomed to. Those females were easy to convince to take on the duty of a slayer.
No, this female never fought a day in her life, but as soon as the breath left her body and her heart stopped beating, the contract of services would already be signed. She would belong to Renata until the day the Queen of the Damned decided to release her of her duties. As of present, not one of Renata’s slayers relinquished her duties.
However, the job of her slayers came with its benefits. Renata bestowed one power upon them. A power already lying dormant inside them. Upon their agreement of service, they would also gain the abilities of speed and strength. Abilities to help assist them in their tasks.
Berith’s low growl snapped Renata’s head up, scattering her thoughts. She didn’t need to ask what agitated with him. By the way he stood ramrod straight with a far off look in his eyes, she knew he held a conversation with another in his mind. Only one female could cause him to look both distressed and fascinated all at the same time. A demoness, who happened to also be the bane of Renata’s existence.
“Oh just go to her, will you? We both know if you don’t then you’ll become even more of an ass than you usually are. I have to concentrate on this, and apparently you need to find a way to lock the demon-whore up so she isn’t a constant distraction.”
The way Berith’s eyes narrowed on her, along with the slow curling of his lip and twitch to his left eye, proved her assumption on whom he conversed with. He hesitated for a moment, as if trying to decide whether he should stay or go. Just as he turned to leave, he crossed over and knelt down beside her.
“Don’t mess this one up, Renata. Make sure she knows what she’s getting herself into. I would hope you have learned from past mistakes.”
Renata refused to acknowledge the statement. She always knew what she was doing. Swirling her finger around in the water, she watched as the images rippled amongst the waves. This one here would do just fine, and judging by the progress being made, the time to meet her newest slayer neared. By the bright yellow sun rising in the horizon, Renata knew the female’s time grew shorter. It wouldn’t be much longer before her final breath escaped her lips. Renata wasn’t heartless though, she mourned the loss of such a brave girl, but she knew the ugliness of death must take place in order for others to be saved. That was the motto of her slayers - to protect and serve those who could not protect themselves.
About the Author:
K. Margaret is a paranormal romance author living in Georgia. Her love for words, storytelling, and mythology started as a teenager and continues to grow. When she isn’t sucking down pots of coffee and writing, or hanging out with her teenage daughter, she can usually be found in front of her TV watching football, her other obsession.