Diana has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator and a morgue assistant. So it is no surprise that her books are realistic and brilliant. I for one can't wait for more.
So even if you have had the pleasure of reading Diana's books or not, I hope you enjoy this interview! Also make sure you enter the contest. Diana is giving away a few signed books. Oh and the March Monthly Giveaway has a copy of Blood of the Demon in the running. Make sure you vote for it!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon?
Diana – The series is about Kara Gillian, a homicide detective in south Louisiana who has the ability to summon supernatural creatures known as demons. In Mark of the Demon, Kara has recently been promoted to Homicide Detective, and when she finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man has been gone for three years, but now he's back for an encore and leaving clues that he is well-versed in demonic lore. Matters become complicated when her attempt to summon a minor demon to aid her in the case goes awry, and she ends up with the alluring and powerful demonic lord Rhyzkahl in her summoning circle instead. In addition, she’s forced to work with FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff—who clearly doesn’t trust her, yet who might be far more than he seems. Kara must draw on her skills as a police officer and summoner of demons to stop the Symbol Man and keep him from summoning something even she can’t control.
In Blood of the Demon, Kara is is doing her best to get her life back to normal after the somewhat messy resolution of the Symbol Man case. Unfortunately, there's little about Kara's life that’s ever normal or simple. When Kara discovers that a Ryan Kristoff is somehow known to the demonkind--and not in a good way--old doubts surface and new problems emerge. Moreover, her investigations into the deaths of several seemingly unrelated victims reveal disturbing links to the arcane.
But matters get more complicated when she discovers other links between the victims, leading her into a morass of political corruption. And it doesn't help that the demonic lord Rhyzkahl has asked her to be his own summoner, a commitment that could have quite a few advantages and plenty of pitfalls. Politics--whether among humans or demons--is a dangerous game with very high stakes, and Kara is learning that lesson the hard way.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Diana – It was a long process in some ways. The seeds of the ideas came from my own experiences as a police officer and a morgue tech, as well as my love of all things “out there.” I’ve always been a big reader of science fiction and fantasy, but I’ve particularly loved those books that have blended the real world with the supernatural. So, when urban fantasy and paranormal romance started becoming so popular, I was in heaven! It felt only natural to write in a genre that I adored so much.
However, the actual details for the series came to me in bits and pieces. I’d originally tried to write a “straight” mystery/thriller, drawing on my law enforcement background, but I couldn’t seem to make it “sing” for me. Then one day I was working an autopsy where there were some odd injuries on the victim, and I started wondering how injuries caused by a supernatural creature would be explained away by people in the real world... and from there the concept was born of a real world cop with a link to another world.
Amber - What kind of research have you had to do for the books so far? Anything interesting or is research boring?
Diana – Even though I’ve drawn heavily on my own background, I’ve had to do quite a bit of research and fact-checking. Luckily, I have a zillion contacts in law enforcement and forensics, and most of them are all too used to getting odd calls or text messages from me with off-the-wall questions. However, for the third book, Secrets of the Demon, I had to go out of my comfort zone, and do actual research on subjects I knew nothing about. However, I continue to be pleased and amazed at the fact that complete strangers can be so incredibly willing to take the time to fill in the details for me.
Amber - How many more books will there be in the series? Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?
Diana – At this time there are three more books in the Demon series under contract. The third, Secrets of the Demon, has been turned in, and I’ve started work on the fourth, Sins of the Demon. I’m also under contract for three books in a new series about a white trash zombie who works as a morgue tech (for easy access to brains!) It’s a coming-of-age story for the undead [grin], and I’m looking forward to starting work on it next year.
Amber - Have you always wanted to be an author? and why did you pick the paranormal genre?
Diana – I think I’ve always wanted to write, though it wasn’t until my late twenties that I began to think seriously about actually getting published. As I said earlier, I have a total infatuation with anything science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, you name it! I’m definitely an “Old Skool Geek”, and I have a hard time imagining writing anything that doesn’t have that touch of the mystical or “What if?” in it. I’ve tried, and it’s never gone well. ;-P
Amber - Something I have always wondered about is how authors come up with the names for their characters. How do you pick the names you use in your books?
Diana – I wish I had an exciting and thrilling answer for that, but it tends to be some what random. Major characters get a fair amount of thought when it comes to naming; I try to find something that seems to fit their personality. For secondary characters, I’ll sometimes go through the obituaries and mix and match first and last names. Every now and then, though, a character will be named after someone I know, or, in one case, a minor (but very important) character’s name was a mix of the names of two officers I used to work with who were killed in the line of duty.
Amber - What is the easiest and hardest part about being an author?
Diana – The easiest part is the actual writing. The hardest part is the business side of things—the editing, the paperwork, the promotion, the travel, the taxes, the self-discipline... Luckily the joy of the final product makes it all worth it!
Amber - How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?
Diana – I train in martial arts. I have a black belt in Hapkido and I’m currently working toward my black belt in Kenpo. I also took up knitting a while back, and have found that it’s a great way to let my mind go “free”, so to speak.
Amber – A lot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?
Diana – I’m one of those weird writers who needs Silence to concentrate. I’m very easily distracted, so anything with lyrics, or even a catchy tune, is off-limits when I’m working. The only exception to this is when I go and write in a public place (which I do at least once a week, simply to get Out Of The House.) Since I’m Distractable Girl and Nosy Girl as well, I stick the earbuds in to keep from listening in on conversations around me. However, it’s always something purely instrumental and fairly unintrusive, such as the soundtrack to Return of the King.
Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?
Diana – All of them! LOL But I’m a sucker for Charlaine Harris’s books, I ADORE the J.D. Robb “In Death” series, and I’m anxiously awaiting the next book by MLN Hanover. (If you haven’t read his books yet, you should. He’s a brilliant author, and the series has a wicked-cool arc.)
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Diana – I’m not sure what kind of creature this would be, but I’d love to be able to do “magic” and cast spells, and shoot lightning bolts, and make slow-moving cars get out of my way on the interstate!
Diana is giving away three autographed copies of Blood of the Demon! That means we will have three lucky winners this week!
How to enter
I wanna hear about your favourite Demons! Books, TV, Film or some of your personal ones ;) Any Demon you can think of and want to tell us about!
No Demon - no entry
Earn more entries for each place you link this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!
You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.
Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.
Keep the contests going by using the Amazon links below and around the site!
The contest will stay open until Sunday 4th of April 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.