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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Author Interview & Contest with Diana Rowland

This week I am really excited to have author Diana Rowland here on Amberkatze's Book Blog. Her debut book, Mark of the Demon, was one of my favourite debuts last year and her second book in the Kara Gillian series Blood of the Demon is one of my favourite reads this year.

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!


Contest Time!

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.

Good Luck!


Curling up by the Fire said...

I haven't read any of Diana Rowland's books yet, but they have been on my wishlist for quite a while now. I'm glad for the opportunity to win one of her books.

I think one of my favourite Demon-related books or series is that by Stacia Kane. I'm thinking of Demon Inside or Demon Possessed.

icewoman96 at gmail dot com

bittenbyromance said...

I have read Mark of the Demon it was wonderful! I have Blood of the Demon in my TBR pile, I have to get to it soon... Dont enter me just stopped by to read the interview of on of my favorite authors. Great interview!

Van Pham said...

Great interview! I have read MOTD, and loved it thanks for the contest :)

my favorite demons are from the show 'supernatural'...there are so many of them in every episode.

van p.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Diana's books everywhere but am ashamed to say I haven't had the pleasure of reading them yet (though I'd love to). My favorite demons are the tortured type. Half good, half evil, walking the line. Like Cole in Charmed and Ruby (or so I thought) in Supernatural. I haven't read many books with demons them, but I have to recommend Jackie Kessler's Hell series. They're full of great demons. :-)

jeanette8042 said...

Loved reading the interview. I've heard fabulous things about her series!

My favorite demons are the ones in Larissa Ione's Demonica series.

lilazncutie1215 @ yahoo.com

Barbara E. said...

My favorite demon is Giguhl, from Jaye Wells' Red-Headed Stepchild. He ends up as a hairless cat, and is wonderful comic relief.

Llehn said...

I love Julie Kenner's California Demon. It's one of my favorite demon books ever because it's action packed and very clever.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

Angie Fox's Accidental Demon Slayer had a demon that showed up in the toilet bowl. Lizzie takes care of him with flare. This was a hilarious book but come on what self respecting Demon is going to take up residence in a toilet bowl.
I can't believe that I've never read one of Rowland's books. Off to check my wishlist & TBR pile right now.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
(='.'=) Happy Easter from Bun!

Vickie said...

MARK OF THE DEMON is next up on the nightstand after I finish THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA.

My favorite demons were the ones that showed up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The scariest ones were the ones who took people's hearts and took everyone's voices. The demons had those blank scary faces and floated up the ground when on the hunt for hearts.

donnas said...

I really like Lugh and the others in Jenna Blacks Morgan Kinsley series.

Linked - http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2010/03/contests-found-328.html
Sidebar - http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Ina said...

Hi there!
thanks for a very interesting interview - Dianas books are already on my wishlist and I will def read them soon!

angel mentioned above her favorite demon is Cole - oh, I loved him in Charmed too!!

but my favorite demons are connected with the Lords of the Underworld - every men has a demon inside and I really enjoyed their books so far!

wish you all the best,

+ I've emailed my friends ;)

Kimberly B. said...

Oh, I've heard good things about this series. I think my favorite demon is probably Algaliarept (wonder if I spelled that right) from Kim Harrison's series The Hollows. He is very charming, but remains terribly dangerous at the same time. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to have the chance to win oneof Diana Rowland's books. I haven't been able to read one, but they sound so good, I have plans to do so.
My favorite demon is Cole on the TV show "Charmed". He's yummy!

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Mark of the Demon was on of my favorite books of 2009.
My favorite demons are the demons in Larissa Ione's Demonica series.

elaing8 said...

Great post.
my favorite demon form books is Giguhl-Jaye Wells' Red-Headed Stepchild.On tv I love Supernatural.


cait045 said...

I love Al from Kim Harrison's The Hollows Series. Hes hilarious!


SandyG265 said...

I love Japhrimel in Lilith Saintcrow's Dante valentine Series

doreen lamoureux said...

I love the Interview with a Vampire...Tom Cruise was so demon like. He was so bad.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

doreen lamoureux said...

Shared this here:


dorcontest at gmail dot com

doreen lamoureux said...

Emailed a friend and sent you a copy.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

Aimee said...

I've gotta go with Skip the demon from Angel. He looks all bad-ass, and then he and Angel just hang out and chat. :p Until he goes full-on evil later anyway. And his name is SKIP. Coolest. Demon. Ever. :D

Anonymous said...

lords of the underworld ddemons, they totally rock
notsure wihc i like best but looking forward to torin stoyr


Persephone said...

I like Newt from Kim Harrison's Hollows series. She is off her little rocker and powerful as all heck.

patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

wanda f said...

Hi Diana you are a new to me author I will definatly be reading your work this series sounds great .Four of my favorite demons are Cade from Desires After Dusk,Rydstrom from Kiss Of A Demon King,Doyle from the tv show Angel,and of course Ciarran from Demon's Kiss

throuthehaze said...

My fave demons are from Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

jellybelly82158 said...

I really like the demons in Jenna Black's Morgan Kinsley series

I haven't had a chance to read Mark of the Demon yet but it sounds great.

Julie S.

Unknown said...

I haven't had the chance to read any of Diana Rowland's books yet, but they have been on my wishlist for quite some time now!

My favourite demons would be:

- Cadeon in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series, and
- Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as vampires are considered as a kind of demon inhabiting the body ofa human)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Oh I loved her first book she had a strong women heroine. I like that not many books do.

I love the Rachel morgan series Al the demon he is so funny he never gives up haha I have faith that hes not such a bad guy he has change alot through out the Rachel morgan series


mariska said...

Wow...what a great chance to win and read Diana Rowland's books ! I'm so excited about this since i haven't READ any of them.

Well, i'm agree with others that say, COLE in Charmed is their favorite, and it's MINE too ! love him in Charmed.

i tweeted : http://twitter.com/becunique/status/11343947422

uniquas at ymail dot com

Aik said...

I haven't read any of Diana Rowland's books, but I'm looking forward to reading them! My favourite demon is Lucian from Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

I tweeted:


aikychien at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite demon is the former demon Jezebel from Helle's Bells by Jackie Kessler.


heatwave16 said...

I love the karaoke demon from Angel. :)

I also tweeted - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/11456352168


whitewolfreads said...

One of my favorite demons is Al from Kim Harrison's Hallows Books. Gotta love a demon in crushed velvet!!


Thanks for the giveaway!

Cathy M said...

Love the demons in Larissa Ione's series, especially Lore.

Also loved the Buffy episodes when Angel turned into a demon.