Today we have another author visiting us today here on Urban Fantasy Reviews. Tamela Buhrke is the author of the book Angel Unraveled which is going to be reviewed later on today (so stay tuned)!
UFR: My favorite question to ask is if you had to choose, what would the theme song for your book be?
TB: "Everyday Superhero," by Smash Mouth. It is about superhero who is unsure inside but keeps his game face on for the world. I especially like the line: Try to save the world, but never really sure.
Andi, my heroine, is thrust into a position where she has to save the world. She's not happy about it and really doubts her own abilities. So I think the song would make a nice theme to get her pumped.
UFR: Since we are all readers here (this is a book review site after all), if Andi was in a book club what book would she be reading?
TB: Right now she'd be reading Time of My Life by Celia Ahern. The story is about Lucy Silchester who gets an invitation to meet with Life. Lucy is forced to examine how lost she is in her own life. I think Andi can relate to Lucy. She can also relate to getting a supernatural wake up call.
UFR: Is there a character in the book who shares a bit of your personality?
TB: I'm a blending of Andi and her friend Joy. I've always a been a geek. Like Andi, I was always tripping over myself, getting dirty and falling apart—just as the cute guy showed up. Like Joy, I'm a non-traditionalist who grew up in a very conservative, traditional household. Joy's quest to find herself and break from those traditions mirror my own. I even considered becoming an acupuncturist. By the way, we'll be seeing Joy lose a bit more control and get pretty experimental in book two.
UFR: One of the most interesting things about books with a paranormal flare is the different types of beings/races an author can chose to put in their book. Your book brings a bit of a twist to vampires, how did you decide this was the direction you wanted to go?
TB: Well, I wanted to go back to a more traditional vampire. Vampires are dangerous creatures and I wanted bring that back. But I also wanted to give each vampire a distinct personality. Too many vampire stories have the brooding, sexy thing... and that's about as deep as they go. To me, a vampire started out as a person, so they are going to have a variety of personalities and eccentricities.
That's why one of my vampires can never keep up with fashion. In real life, many people lose track of the fashions as they age. Calhoun feels his time is better spent on other things. When you've lived over a hundred years, it's easy to lose decades. So we find him wearing a lot of polyester. However, Esteban, the Master vampire of Arizona is the opposite. He's very fashion conscious from his days of being in the Spanish royal court. He's also a bit of a metrosexual who enjoys hair product and body sprays. In fact, he sells his own line of body products.
I also thought that, just like there are mixed races in life, there would be mixed races in preternatural creatures. So I have mixed breeds and half-vampires. Most of these creatures are misfits. In fact, Esteban specializes in gathering misfit preternaturals into his territory for protection.
UFR: What was the hardest scene for you to write and why?
TB: The hardest scene was one that hit me by surprise.
Andi has a ghost who has been hanging out in her apartment. His name is Johnny and he was formerly Andi's upstairs tenant, before his untimely and suspicious death. Truth be told, she really didn't like him when he was alive. He was kind of a dork. He dressed up in corny costumes (a habit he kept as a ghost) and played role playing games. Andi just didn't get him. But as a ghost he'd helped her through a bad period in her life, so their friendship had blossomed.
With that in mind, I had planned for him to stay with her.
So imagine my surprise when I found myself typing a scene where Johnny decides to cross over. He'd finished the task that he'd stayed to do and now it was time for him to go. I was shocked! I cried as I typed. I didn't want him to go, even as I knew it was the right thing for him. I mourned with Andi.
I'd heard other authors say that their character's had minds of their own. I'd experienced some of that myself. But I'd never had a character go against my wishes and write themselves out of the story! It was crazy!
UFR: Andi is a psychic in your book, have you ever been to a psychic? And if not what would you ask a psychic if you did go to see one?
TB: Actually, I have a bit of psychic in me. I've known things before they happened. They were never anything that I could have changed. It always left me questioning the point. Why know in advance if there's nothing that can be done? I think that's why I gave Andi such negative views of her own gifts.
But what would I ask a psychic? Hmmm.... I'd probably ask the same questions that Andi gets so bored of hearing. I'd ask questions about relationships and income. Maybe, I'd ask if my next series (a paranormal thriller) will get a movie contract? That sounds like something fun to know!
I believe most people want reassurance from psychics. We want to know that our lives, and the lives of those we love, will be happy.
UFR: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
TB: I'm going to quote self-help expert Barbara Sher, because I completely agree with her: Isolation is the dream killer.
It is very easy for authors to squirrel away in their own little worlds. But to advance as a writer in today's world, you need others. Network with other writers. Create a community of writers to share your techniques, your fears and your dreams. They will help you improve and grow, keep you going when you want to quit and cheer you on as you succeed.
UFR: Since we are all readers here, who are some of your favorite authors?
TB: That's so hard! I could write such a long list. Right now I'm really enjoying Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews as authors of urban fantasy. They have very authentic characters with strong plots and a bit of romance and humor—my favorite combination!
Some of my favorite authors outside of urban fantasy:
Anne Bishop writes hauntingly beautiful fantasy books. They are dark and complex, yet filled with so much hope.
James Rollins is my favorite for action thrillers, because he often includes a dollop of paranormal.
Elizabeth Peters will forever be my favorite mystery novelist. Her Peabody character is the quintessential victorian damsel who can get herself in (and out of) any kind of distress.
Gah! There are so many!
UFR: This is the first book in the series, is there any hints you would like to give our audience for the sequel?
TB: I'm so excited that book two, Angel Unprepared, will be coming out in mid February. We'll see Andi and Esteban getting closer, in unexpected ways. She meets the leader of her people—a formidable woman who also happens to be Andi's great aunt. Through her aunt, Andi discovers that someone from earth is murdering fae on one of the fairy worlds. Andi is appointed to find out who. Unfortunately for her, the murderer has a time traveling amulet. So Andi must chase the culprit between worlds and through time.
We'll learn a lot more about Andi's growing skills. She'll also learn more about her own past and how unknown forces have influenced the course of her life.
UFR: Finally is there anything you would like potential or current readers of yours to know?
TB: February will be a big month. Angel Unraveled is coming out as a print book in the beginning of the month. I've just approved the cover art.
Angel Unprepared will be available as an ebook mid month. Plus, there will be a free ebook of short stories about Esteban's adventures (outside of Andi's life) coming out at the end of February. So stay tuned for that!
I believe we'll also be giving away a free book of Angel Unraveled here on UF Reviews!
Thanks again for joining us here on Urban Fantasy Reviews, Tamela. It's been a great experience getting to know you and the characters a little better. And we will be doing a GIVEAWAY later on today when the review comes out so stay tuned for the review in just a couple of short hours!