Monday, September 09, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Paige Cuccaro Author of Heaven and Hellsbane

What inspired you to become an author?

I read a book. It was called, Interview with a Vampire. It changed everything for me. I’d always been a good reader, not crazy reading everything I could get my hands on, but I’d read more than what they assigned in high school. And then I discovered Anne Rice’s book. The characters, the sexy and horrific paranormal world, the way she brought everything to life with her words…I wanted to do that. I wanted to pull a reader into a world I created and make them feel the story as though it was happening right in front of them. I was hooked.

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

Heaven and Hellsbane, my current release, is the second book in the Hellsbane series. In it, Emma Jane Hellsbane is the kick butt, half human – half angel heroine. The title, HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE is a reflection of Emma’s ongoing struggles between wanting to be normal, and accepting that part of her is not—and all the heavenly allies and adversaries that come along the way.

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

I’m trying to think back…it’s happened both ways. I’ve thought up awesome titles and then tried to work out a story to go with it. But I can’t really remember a case where that worked. The stories always seem to fall flat. My best stories are born on their own—usually out of an idea for a great character—and then the title comes from the story. Like my Hellsbane series. Emma Jane came to me first and I knew she had to have a memorable name. That name, HELLSBANE kind of spoke for the series as a whole.

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

Not really. I mean, I didn’t set out to teach a lesson or push an agenda. The only underlying message is that good and bad are hardly ever absolute. Even people seen as evil have a reason for what they do. And to them it’s always a good reason. Most people don’t set out to be evil. They do what they have to do to get or achieve what they see as important, either for themselves or someone/ something they care about. It’s all a matter of perspective.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Of course, I’d have to say Anne Rice, author of  Interview with a Vampire. It wasn’t  just that one book though, Anne Rice’s work as a whole has always been an inspiration to me. But writers like Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison totally turned me on to the updated urban fantasy genre. They’re fantastically talented and hugely inspirational.

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

Wow, that’s a hard one. My kneejerk response would be Anne Rice. I mean, I adore her and would love to spend time talking about writing, vampires and New Orleans. But after a little thought I think I’d probably choose Jim Butcher. He’s created a unique, memorable, character in Harry Dresden and a fantastic world interwoven with the reality we all know. Mr. Butcher posted several writing lessons on his blog and they were fantastic. I can just imagine what I could learn with him as a personal mentor. 

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

Right now I’m working on a romantic paranormal for Entangled’s Covet line. It’s exactly what the line is quickly becoming known for, a beloved romantic trope with a magical paranormal twist. I don’t want to say a lot more than that. It’s still in the delicate developing stage, but let’s just say this one’s really going to have some claws.

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

I’ve done a ton of research. Not sure if I had to, but I wanted to. I love doing the research. For HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE, I drew on the research I’d done for the overall series about biblical fallen angels, and the Book of Enoch. I also did some scouting for settings.

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

I don’t normally listen to music when I write, but I did have a playlist that put me in the mood for this book.

Everlast was my go-to band for HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE with…

I’ve Seen Better Days

White Trash Beautiful

Saving Grace




What it’s Like

Lonely Road

Turn Your Lights On – Santana & Everlast

I listened to some Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper and some Boston – Carry On My Wayward Son, and a little Skynyrd – Free Bird and last but not least, The Cranberries –Zombie.

Thank you so much for having me and letting me blab about my book and my love of writing. I hope everyone enjoys the latest installment of my Hellsbane series, HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE and that you’ll give me a yell on Twitter @paigecuccaro or Facebook if you get the chance!

Heaven and Hellsbane
Hellsbane Series,
Book Two
Paige Cuccaro

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Ebook ISBN 978-1-62266-887-8
Print ISBN 978-1-62266-888-5

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 97,000

Cover Artist: Karen Phillips

Amazon   BN

Book Description:

Someone’s killing angels and turning the half human, half angel illorum warriors against their angelic supporters. If the supernatural baddy behind the attacks isn’t stopped soon, Heaven itself could fall victim. The Council of Seven has called in the best they’ve got to find the killers, and no one’s more surprised than Emma Jane Hellsbane when it’s her phone that rings.

But when her own angelic mentor—and off-limits hottie—Eli is targeted, Emma takes it personally. With Emma hot on the trail of the growing army of assassins, though, hackles start to raise around her. Everyone wants to know if she’s in it to protect all angels or just one in particular. The Council has their suspicions…and so does Emma’s boyfriend.

Now Emma isn’t just fighting off demons, rogue nephilim, and Fallen angels, but she’s defending her honor as well. The problem is even Emma Jane isn’t sure of her motives. One thing she does know: if she doesn’t figure out the killers’ identities soon, she may not live long enough to know what, or who, she really wants.

It’s all in a day’s work as Heaven’s ultimate bounty hunter.

About the Author:

Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.

Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, and three daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.

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