Hi Carla, welcome 🙂
This is your debut novel! Congratulations! Can you tell us a little behind the inspiration?
I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of romance, but always felt there was something missing from every vampire story I ever read. I suppose in a way, this is the story I always wanted to read.
5 best things about being a writer
Flexing my creativity in the ultimate role playing world.
Seeing the characters that live in my head come alive on my laptop.
Reading great reviews … okay, I’ll admit it, I read the not so great ones too
Having access to a fabulous writing community like RWA as well as the support of my local chapter, Low Country RWA.
Being able to stay home and do what I love the most (okay I’m not able to do that yet, but I live in hope!)
Let’s talk about your newest release: A Vampire’s Soul
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here
Oh boy, I am so bad at this but let’s see … In ‘A Vampire’s Soul’ Rowan has to deal with the consequences of loving a vampire, and discovering she is bound to him in ways she doesn’t understand. When the truth about her role as a Promise is revealed, she is forced to make a decision that could cost her everything.
Please tell us about the characters in your book?
Gabriel is an Original Vampire who has been in love with Rowan ever since he first saw her. Frustrated that she doesn’t remember him, he’s worried he may lose her, especially if she remembers what being his Promise means.
Rowan believes she’s finally hit the boyfriend jackpot with Gabriel, even though he’s obviously keeping secrets. Convinced this is due to criminal activity, she’s completely floored to find out she’s been sleeping with a vampire! She can’t pretend it doesn’t make a difference, but she has to decide if her feelings for him are strong enough to accept what he is.
As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I wanted Rowan to be an ordinary girl, but I also wanted her to be a great girlfriend. Her loyalty to Laycee is, I think, one of her best qualities. With Gabriel it was hard to find anything that surprised me, but I did find an unexpected vulnerability beneath all that testosterone!
What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?
OMG! I don’t think there’s any one particular scene that I can point to and say I enjoyed writing this more than anything else in the book. Some scenes were a definite struggle to get down, and others almost seemed to write themselves, but I did like the meeting between Rowan and Sebastian. Despite having her world completely turned upside down, Rowan hasn’t lost her sense of humor.
If this wasn’t a dream, or a wide-awake hallucination, then there could only be one other explanation. After taking my blood not a dozen steps from where I was now standing, Gabriel must have accidentally ruptured a vessel or caused me to throw a clot or something else equally fatal.
“Aw, fuck it – I’m dead, aren’t I?”
My visitor laughed, a deep sound that was a surprise coming from such a lithe frame. I’d been hanging out with vampires too much, forgetting that not every male had to be built like a brick outhouse. “No, that comes with a lot more bells and whistles.”
“Oh really?” That was good to know … I think.
“Yes, really. Think more Las Vegas. Besides, I’m not an escort.”
“You ought to be,” I said in frank admiration. “I mean you’ve got it all going -” His slightly disapproving look cut me off in mid-sentence. Shit! Wrong type of escort! “Are you sure I’m not dead?”
“Would you like me to prove it?”
Curious to know what this might involve, I nodded. I didn’t see him reach for me, but I felt his arms around me, pulling me in close. There came a whisper of air as feathers folded around me, and then his mouth was covering mine and he kissed me. And he knew how to kiss – oh boy, did he ever!
His lips were soft and warm. His tongue stole inside my mouth filling me with honeyed ambrosia, and promising me things I didn’t even know I could want. Part of my brain went all Jiminy Cricket on me, demanding to know why I wasn’t stopping him, while another part was telling me to just enjoy it. I doubt there are many girls who can say they’ve been kissed by a vampire and an angel in one lifetime, and I could go one better. I’d been kissed in the same twenty-four hours.
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
Almost everything that takes place in the Dark Realm was difficult because there‘s so much at stake for Rowan. This is the ultimate test, and she has no idea what the outcome will be, but the love she has for Gabriel gives her the strength she needs.
“What are you going to do with me?”
Putting his elbows on the arms of his chair, he steepled his fingers and rested his chin on them. He stared at me for the longest time before finally asking, “Would you really have sacrificed all you are for him?” My throat tightened, preventing me from speaking, so all I could do was give a single nod of my head. His expression changed to one of bewilderment. “But … why?”
“Because I love him,” I managed to say as my throat magically released itself.
He waved a hand, and everything on the table vanished, including my glass of iced tea. “Love,” he sneered, “is the biggest lie of all.”
“That’s only because you’ve never known it,” I blurted out.
He stood up so suddenly his chair tipped over, and it took only three angry strides for him to reach my side. Grasping my wrist, he pulled me to my feet.
“Are you so sure this love you feel for the vampire can endure? That it will withstand temptation, greed, lust and all the other petty vices your kind as so easily swayed by?”
“Yes,” I declared firmly. “If you had ever experienced love, true love, then you would know it can survive all those things and so much more.”
Letting go of my wrist, he took a step back and looked at me, his eyes hooded. “Care to make a bet on it?”
“I – what?”
His question took me by surprise, and I stumbled, catching the edge of the table to steady myself. H repeated himself. I looked out at the garden, seeing the beauty, the grace, the perfection of each leaf and petal. And knew none of it was real.
“You’re not going to let me leave this place unless I make that bet, are you?”
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?
Gabriel – Liam Hemsworth
Rowan – Lily Collins
Laycee – Hayden Panettiere
Aleksei – Eric Dane
Katja – Emily Blunt
Anasztaizia – Emma Stone
I think we can all agree I’d make a terrible casting agent!
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
Good Lord – I’m the last person in the world to give anyone advice!
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2014?
My current WIP is a third book for the Vampire’s Promise series, which I hope to have finished by the end of summer/early fall. I also have a demon/fae novel that’s been lurking around and needs to be completed!
Where can readers get in touch with you?
The best place would be through my website, Carlasmithauthor.com I have a contact page and I would love to hear from anyone!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
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“I’m not afraid of you,” I said.
God knows I ought to be, but I wasn’t. Gabriel was a supernatural creature, one who, by design, preyed on humans. But he had never once tried to harm me – unless almost making me pass out from multiple orgasms counted. In truth, he’d had plenty of opportunities to hurt, maim, or even kill me, and I’d never once felt even mildly threatened by him. If anything, I was the one who’d laid some pretty damaging physical trauma on him. And he still had the scar to prove it, much to my chagrin.
And knowing he was a vampire? Frankly I’d been more frightened seeing Aleksei on my doorstep than I was right now. Although, in all fairness, that might be because I’d not had sex with the Russian.
“That’s good to know,” Gabriel murmured quietly from the open doorway. “I never want you to be afraid of me, Rowan.”
“Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I’m terrified by what I now know you’re capable of” – thanks to my current enrollment in Professor Aleksei’s Vampire 101 class – “but I’m not afraid of you. There is a difference.”
Frowning slightly, he considered my words, and then, appreciating the rationale, graced me with a truly relaxed smile. It lit up his face, and his dimple winked sexily at me. “So … what do you want to ask me?”
I thought it important to deal with the obvious first. “I guess you really are a vampire, huh?” I said.
“Yes, I really am.”
From the tone of his voice he could just as easily been admitting he was a Seventh Day Adventist, or had been born in Latvia, or only ate meat the third Sunday after the vernal equinox. It was strangely deflating, and I felt a little let down. Truthfully, I’d been expecting something more with his admission. Lightning, peals of thunder, and demonic laughter from outside the window would not have been amiss.
Gabriel was a creature that could take my life as easily as drawing breath. I know, I’d seen him do it, but all I could focus on at this precise moment was the fact he was also the lover I’d been waiting for. And I think that said more about me that it did him.
Into The Dark
Rowan Harper’s world has been wrenched apart. The man she thought she loved—the man she does love—is a vampire, and not the kind that glitters.
Running away isn’t an option. Gabriel isn’t just her lover. She’s bound to him in ways she can’t comprehend, ways that put both of them in desperate danger even as Rowan’s desire for him blazes anew.
The rules of her life before are gone. But she has a power of her own, a power she is remembering in fits and starts even as time races against her. With her life and Gabriel’s very soul on the line, Rowan has to choose who to believe—and who to trust…