3/19/14

Interview with Erin Zarro

We are having a give away going on for March. What item are you giving away? (Anyone can win the item by going to the rafflecopter on the right hand side of the pg.) 

An ebook copy of Fey Touched, my debut novel and a $5 Amazon card.

First why don't you tell us a little about yourself? 

I'm a novelist and poet from Michigan.  To pay the bills, I work as an office manager for a small marketing firm.  I've been writing since I could hold a pen and taught myself to type at age 7.  I'm married to my own Prince Charming, and we have a feline daughter who we think is part vampire.  I love all things creepy and scary, a damn good story, and donuts.  Can't forget the donuts.

Newest release?

My newest release is In Flames, a FREE anthology of flash stories.  You can get it on Smashwords here:http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349458
 

What can we expect from your stories, action, drama, romance,sex, blood and guts? 

A little bit of everything.  Fey Touched, the book I'm giving away, combines sci-fi and fantasy, romance, sex, and some horror.  My stories always have a dark side.

Do you have a favorite character in your stories? Who? and Why? 

This is such a tough question!  I have a few favorites, but I will pick one.  Alisia from one of my unpublished dark fantasy novels-in-progress is probably my favorite.  Not only did she spring into my head fully formed, but she's the Queen of Snark.  She says the things I wish I could say.  And she's strong, driven, and has an unbreakable will.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you? 

Wow, another tough question.  I love all my characters.  But I suppose Francesca from Fey Touched would qualify.  She basically tortures and brainwashes Asha, one of the main characters, but is also very creepy and maternal.  She's weird.  
 

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series: 

Fey Touched started its life on 11/1/03 when I joined National Novel Writing Month for the first time.  Back then, it was a vampire romance and became my first finished book ever.  It languished on my hard drive for years until one day, while at work, the idea of the Fey Touched world came to me completely and in great detail.  Fey Touched is no longer a vampire romance, which is good, because that's been overdone.  Instead of vampires, there are Fey - but they are based in science, not myth.
 
Another thing is that I am not a dog person, but I fell in love with my sister's boyfriend's dog, Kipper, who is a German Shepherd/Ridgeback mix.  I don't know how...I just...love him!  So I put him in Fey Touched, except he's a female dog named Pixie who is psychic.  It sounds incredibly weird, I know, but so far, most people seem to love her.  And she plays a major role in Fey Touched and in the second book.


Has there been any other authors who have inspired your work or helped you out with your stories?

 If I were to give you as list, we'd be here awhile. ;)  I've been inspired by so many writers in so many different ways.  But I think the most inspiring writer for me is Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series.  It's set in a dark, gritty version of Dublin and her Fae are completely different from what's out there.  And the things the main character goes through...and how she transforms into a true warrior is nothing short of amazing.  If I could write something half as good as that, I'd be happy.
 
And also Terry Goodkind, whose Sword of Truth novels inspired me to write fantasy.  Before that, I wrote contemporary romance and frowned on fantasy as being "too complicated."  I am eating my words and happy to do it. ;) 


What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? 

Leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Tell the world about it.  The more people talk about it, the more people will find it.  

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published? 

Oh, yes.  Do not believe that there is only One True Path to publication.  I believed that for years and tortured myself trying to write a "perfect" manuscript for agent submission.  Luckily, I discovered self-publishing and realized that it wasn't the vehicle that got the story to readers that was important.  It's the story that matters.  Nothing else.  Don't torture yourself, and believe in your story enough so that you will find a way to get it out there.

Do you have a favorite author? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work? 

I have many, but I'm gonna give  a shout-out to my good friend SM Reine, who I've known forever.  She's talented, sweet, and has always helped me with writer things.  But more importantly, her books are AMAZING and awesome and unique.  I've never read anything like her books ever, and they are heartbreaking and beautiful and brilliant and wonderful.  I cannot say enough.  Check her out. She writes several series.  The first one I started with was her Descent series.  I'd read an early draft of what is now book one, Death's Hand, and was amazed even then.  It has only gotten better in each incarnation.  Now?  It's out of this world amazing.  Go check it out.  I'll wait.

Can you remember one of the first things you wrote? What makes it memorable? 

Oh God, yes.  A story about unicorns (*rolling eyes*) and a really bad story about four sisters whose parents get a divorce and they get split up.  They're memorable because they were my first attempts at novel writing.  Ouch.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works? From everything -- a song, a comment someone makes, a movie, another book, science-y stuff, sci-fi stuff, dreams, real life. My brain takes all these things, blends them up, distills them into something cool, and hits me with a hammer until I notice.  Fun times.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies, pets or stories you would like to share? 

Well, I do fine art photography and have my own darkroom (it's a dying art, I know, but so beautiful).  I also used to read Tarot cards semi-professionally.  I am learning to ice skate after being terrified my entire life of getting injured.  And, of course, the aforementioned cat-child who's part vampire.  Hailey was originally my husband's cat and when we moved in together, she became mine, too.  She's...interesting.  And I love her so much.  Oh, yeah!  The women in my family, including me, are psychic.  

Favorite places to travel or visit? 

I'd love to go back to New Orleans someday.  I went there pre-Katrina and fell in love.  I also want to visit Ireland, because I am Irish and I want to see it so badly.

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:( Include links to were we can find your work) 

Warning: explicit language ahead. 

Amazon link to Fey Touched: http://www.amazon.com/Fey-Touched-Erin-Zarro-ebook/dp/B008R15JFK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393180737&sr=8-1&keywords=fey+touched



The people inside the small reception area stared at me as I signed in. I supposed it was my 

leatheror maybe my perpetual scowl.


The too-perky, too-blonde receptionist smiled. “Dr. Howard will be with you shortly.”


I returned the smile, nodded, and took a seat in the far corner of the spacious, brightly-lit room. 

It was decorated in warm tones, from the sage green sofas to the deep red throw pillows. The 

coffee table was glass that shone so bright, I wasn't sure if it was real.


This was Howard and Sons, the best of the best when it came to bloodline tracking. They were 

the pioneers of the method and they were discreet.


The door on the side opened, revealing a short woman dressed in neon pink scrubs. Way to hurt 

the eyeballs. “Heather Abraham?”


That was me. No way was I giving my real name out here. There were all sorts of people I didn't 

want to know what I was doing.


I stood, took a breath, and followed the retina-straining trail of pink through a hallway filled 

with paintings and pictures.


We turned a corner, and then another, and we stopped in a sterile room that reminded me of the 

dentist, chair and all.


Neon Lady held out her hand. Her nails were painted, you guessed it, neon fucking pink. “I'm 

Amy. I'll be assisting Dr. Howard during the procedure.”


I just loved the way they talked 'round here. Procedure. Assisting. As if this were more than a 

prick of a needle and a computer readout. Crazy. But that was why I was about to pay them big 

bucks.


The door opened and a man entered the room. He was tall and thin and looked to be about 

twenty. He was clean-shaven and wore his long black hair in a ponytail that hung halfway 

down his back. That didn't exactly scream scientist and genius to me, but what did I know? 

Maybe he had a rebellious streak.


He held out his hand, grinning. “Hi, I'm Gregory Howard. And you are..?”


Heather,” Amy supplied.


I put my hand up to stop her from saying anything else. “Actually, my name is Fallon, but I 

was being – ”


Dishonest?” Dr. Howard asked. But there was no judgment in his voice, just curiosity.


I couldn't look him in the eye. “Uh, discreet. I'm a Hunter, and I didn't want anyone to know 

about this.”


Dr. Howard nodded as if it made perfect sense. “Ah, I understand. We get that a lot around 

here.”


He then launched into a long, overly complicated explanation as to what they would do for 

the procedure, most of which went flying over my head. But I tried to understand, I really did. 

The only thing I got was that they'd take my blood, run it through the database, and then Dr. 

Howard would interpret the results. Easy peasy, huh?


So I settled in to wait for Amy to get the vampire gear. In the dentist chair. Staring out the 

window at the ominous night sky.


We don't get a lot of Hunters here,” Dr. Howard said. “Don't you guys have a thing about 

keeping the bloodlines pure?”


I nodded, glancing at him. “Yeah, we do. But I think I have a missing relative somewhere.” I 

smiled. “So I'm investigating. It's what I do best.”


I bet,” Dr. Howard said with a grin. “I bet it's an interesting life, chasing down the bad guys.”


I let my eyes widen just a little bit. “Very exciting. Except the part where they get punished. 

That I could happily never see again.”


Dr. Howard arched a brow as Amy reappeared. “Punishment?”


I leaned in. “It's top secret,” I whispered. “If I told you, I'd have to kill you and Amy. And that 

would be way too messy.”


Amy blanched. “Um, I've got the stuff. Let me see your arm.”


She did the pokey thing while Dr. Howard fiddled with a small laptop computer. She took the 

blood and handed the vial to him.


Come over here and have a seat,” Dr. Howard said, gesturing to the seat that sat next to him.


My stomach clenched with nausea as minutes ticked by so slowly I'd thought time had stopped. 

That I was forever perched on this moment, waiting, dying. Not knowing.


Here's what I'm doing. See this slide? I'm going to place a drop of your blood on it.”


I watched, transfixed, as Dr. Howard took an eyedropper and sucked some blood into it. A drop 

of blood...


Then he dropped the blood onto a clear slide that was attached to a huge, scary-looking 

machine.


Amy took the eyedropper from the doctor.


He turned to me, smiling warmly. “Now the machine will analyze the blood, query the 

database, and come up with something.”


On Dr. Howard's laptop screen, a bunch of words scrolled down. I squinted, but couldn't read 

them.


It's thinking,” Dr. Howard said. He typed. Changed screens. Consulted a tiny datapad I just 

noticed beside the computer. At one point, he glanced at Amy, who frowned at him.


This is very interesting,” Dr. Howard said. “The database pulled up something very...odd. I'm 


in the process of double checking and running the query again.”


I felt as if all the oxygen had left the room. “Are you sure you're using my blood?”


Amy chuckled. “Straight from your vein to Dr. Howard's hand.”


Wow, I've never seen this,” Dr. Howard said a few moments later, facing me. “Are you sure 

you want to know what I've discovered?”


My gut twisted. Was it bad news? “What's wrong? I'm not like, an alien or something?”


Dr. Howard smiled. “No, but it's just about as puzzling. Look.” I moved closer, my stomach 

churning.


He pointed to some numbers and a picture of a DNA strand. “The machine pulls up a bloodline 

name based on the DNA. You see this name here? This should be your family name.”


I blinked. “That's not my family name.”


I think I can explain why,” Dr. Howard said.


I wasn't getting it. “Huh?”


Dr. Howard glanced at Amy, who shrugged. He looked at me dead in the eyes, and I tried not 

to flinch. “You know – and I know – you're Fey Touched. But this here shows that you come 

from 



a Royal Fey bloodline. But what's most interesting is that it's not a full match.”


Clearly I wasn't hearing right. My legs collapsed under me. Dr. Howard and Amy jumped to 

catch me, guiding me back to the dentist chair. The room spun. “Okay, what are you saying? I 

don't understand.”


Dr. Howard pointed to a list of numbers on the screen. “This shows us that your DNA has been 

altered.”


Well, no kidding. I'm Touched.”


Dr. Howard shook his head. “No. These weren't the modifications for the Fey Touched, at least 

according to the official records.”


I glanced at Amy, who shrugged helplessly.


Dr. Howard went back to the computer and pulled up something else. “Your family tree, based 

on your DNA.”

I stood even though the room pirouetted around me. “My family tree?” I looked at the screen 

and this time, I almost fainted for real.The family tree I was looking at was not the family I 

belonged to. And the bloodline name he'd shown me wasn't the one I'd grown up with...


Which meant...holy fuck, was I adopted? Whose family did I belong to?


My stomach dropped to the floor and suddenly I couldn't breathe.


My mother and father weren't my mother and father. In fact, according to this, I was part of the

Royal Fey bloodline.


No fucking way.


I scanned the family tree again, looking for a mistake, anything that I could grab a hold of, 

anything that would give me reason to not believe this.


Off to the side, there was an unnamed, deceased female. But that barely registered.


This is a mistake,” I said, and my tongue felt like sandpaper. My fingers twitched.


Bloodline tracking is ninety-nine point nine nine percent accurate,” Dr. Howard said gently. “I 

take it this wasn't what you expected?”


Hell no. Understatement of the year.


It was wrong. It had to be.


Thanks for visiting us here on JBR! We wish you great success!
Julie Ramsey
ADM JBR

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