Monday, June 18, 2012
Interview with Tamela Buhrke, Author of Angel Unraveled
What is your favorite paranormal creature and why?
I LOVE Pixies! They are tiny, fly and get into mischief. My favorite use of pixies is in The Dresden Files when Harry bribes them with pizza and endears himself to them so much that they start cleaning his house. Pixies that clean my house! That’s what I’m talking about.
Kim Harrison also has a great pixie named Jenks who is very handy for detective work and small pilfering.
We may be seeing some pixies in book three of my Watcher Series.
When was the last time you read something you wrote early on? LOL! I did about a year ago. Man! That was…horrible! LMAO!
Last year, I moved. As I was packing I ran across files of stories I wrote in high school. Some of it held promise, but one was a trashy historical romance based in Greece. Every other page held sighs, longing glances and flowing hair.
I considered throwing it away, but was afraid someone would find it and it would come back to haunt me later. The ghost of scary-manuscript past.
What was the last book that you read that just made you go WOW?
The first two books of Game of Thrones rocked my world. I aspire to be that good—only more humorous.
In the Paranormal genre, any of Karen Moning’s Fever books blow your hair back. She can really take you down the rabbit hole and back again. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but be prepared for the worst. Any author that has to put a disclaimer at the end of a book, to reassure her fans that everything will be okay has done an epic job of creating tension. Karen Moning is a goddess.
Which book are we talking about today and what is it about?
The first book of my series is Angel Unraveled. It’s about a reluctant psychic who stumbles on street drug that temporarily turns users into vampires. Worse, a sassy she-demon threatens to unleash the drug as a virus—converting the human race into monsters.
What inspired this book?
Honestly, I was getting bored with strong female characters that always knew exactly how to handle things when they were introduced to the paranormal world. I knew that if I ever met a real vampire, I’d act like an idiot. There would be gibbering.
Who are these woman that could meet fairies, shapeshifters or vampires and not blink an eye?
I wanted to create a character who’d have a real response (a.k.a. gibbering), but still be smart and strong. Someone who doesn’t have it all together. She might wear the wrong things, or trip over her own feet, but had the inner strength to both face the task of saving the world and the harder journey of discovering who she really is.
And I wanted it to be funny. I’d like to think that I put the funny in urban fantasy. Hmm....
*Writes that down as a possible slogan.*
Tell us something about your characters that we wouldn’t be able to figure out by reading the book.
Andi is a closet Justin Beiber fan. Vampire Esteban runs an advice blog for the lovelorn preternatural. Johnny just wants to be a rock star. But that last one we already knew.
Ethel and Macy are both hiding some very big secrets. We’ll find out more about both of their secrets in book two. Let’s just say that there’s more behind why Ethel avoids her training responsibilities and constantly leaves Andi in the dark. And there is a reason for why Macy and Andi are friends. One that goes far beyond just being college roommates.
They aren’t as different as they appear.
But that’s as much as I’m willing to tell.
Is the next book in the works? Can you tell us a bit about it?
The next book is out! Yay!
In Angel Unprepared Andi goes on her first official assignment. She’s sent to the Fairy realm to solve the murder of several fairies. As a result, she not only finds herself traipsing through a strange new world, but gets bobbed about through time as well. Ooh... and her love life takes a turn for the much more interesting.
Where can readers purchase your book?
Angel Unraveled - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CIRVX4
Angel Unprepared - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007K8OGYQ
May we read an excerpt from the book?
“Hand it over.”
I reached into my back pocket and pulled out the card with the address on it. Ethel put it up to her nose to smell it. She rolled her eyes and murmured a little prayer. Ethel patted my legs to get me to sit up, and sat down next to me. I was still hugging the pillow.
“My poor girl.” She crooned, brushing a stray hair out of my eyes. “What in the world made you think that it would be safe to search out a demon?”
My eyes widened. Tucker sat down in the chair across from us.
Ethel laughed. “You think I wouldn’t know? Why do you think I’m back? Hmm?”
She held the card out in front of my face. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it as she moved it back and forth. I needed to know more about the demon. The card would give me access to her. If Ethel would just let me go, I wouldn’t even get out of the car.
“The card has a spell on it,” she said, then mumbled a few strange words. To my amazement, the paper started to smoke and in moments it was nothing but ash floating through the air.
“It was luring you to the demon.” She walked into the kitchen and deposited the remains in the sink, then came back and sat next to me, taking my hand. I was shaking the fuzz out of my head. My need to get in the car had disappeared. I could see the idiocy of the plan and how perilously close I had been to driving right into danger.
“This is my fault, really,” she admonished herself with an angry shake of the head. “I should have taught you more.”
She reached forward and squeezed my face in her hands, jiggling my whole head back and forth.
“But you were just so stubborn! I knew you hated all of this.” She waved her hands around the room. “So I put some precautions in place and hoped that your need to hide from the world would keep you safe. I knew one day you’d come around, and then we could finish your training. I just didn’t expect her to show up so soon.”
What in the hell was she talking about?
I was about to ask when there was a knock at the door. Lola strolled into the apartment. He was dressed in his Marilyn outfit. A long, pale, yellow halter dress with a large black belt and three-inch patent leather heels.
“Ethel! Darling! You’re back,” Lola called, giving her a simpering smile
Ethel patted my hand and stood up to talk to Lola. She walked over and, to my amazement, smacked Lola full across the face, causing his blond wig to fly across the room. The nearly bald man scrambled, in his flowing yellow dress, like a crab across the floor to regain his hair. While he was down, Ethel grabbed Lola’s ear and twisted. Lola shrieked in pain.
“When did Councilman Rogers buy you, Lola?” She yelled. “Hmm? How long have you been betraying me and putting our sweet Andi in danger?”
To my surprise, Lola began begging.
“The councilman threatened to shut us down if I didn’t help him,” he sniveled. “Up until today he had just asked me to watch and report things to him. I never thought he would actually harm her. I just didn’t want my girls to go to jail.”
Ethel snorted, letting go of Lola’s ear and patted Lola on his bald head.
“Get your hair and go home,” she ordered. “I’ll be over later to get a full report.”
Lola put the hair back on his head a bit crooked. The tears had magically disappeared. He smoothed out his skirt and stood up straight. I detected a glint of rage as he strode gracefully out the door, slamming it behind him.
“Why did I ever quit smoking?” Ethel yelled, waving her hands around.
Where can your readers connect with you on the web?
I started young. Sneaking reads at night, flashlight under the covers. On the outside, I was a normal kid. Reading kept me quiet and out of trouble. On the inside, my imagination swelled like an alien fetus in an unwary human host. Sweaty hands gripped pages filled with adventure, peril and heroism. Pages were turned. Gasps were uttered. The stranger the tale, the greater the journey, the bigger the monsters... the more intoxicated I became. I was hooked on fantasy.
Growing up in suburban Chicago, I used reading as an escape the mundane realities of life. In high school, reading turned to writing. It took a long time and moves to many parts of the country before I'd start taking my writing seriously. Currently, I'm working on book three of my Watcher series. Now I've got a mermaid splashing around in my head, waiting her turn to tell her story. As of next month, I'll be living on the beaches of Mexico and releasing the mermaid from the confines of my mind and into the wide world of print.