Today I’m taking a break from NaNoWriMo
panic productivity to feature a new release from fellow urban fantasy author Sheri Queen! I haven’t read this novella yet, but so much about it intrigues me. It’s both an installment in a multi-author project and acts as an introduction to Queen’s own universe, the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series. Please enjoy the following interview with the author and check out more details about the book below.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
It’s my protagonist’s job—bounty hunter. I decided I wanted to separate my novel from the many other bounty hunter ones, so I came up with the gender switch of huntress. It worked.
Is there a message or theme in this story your want readers to be aware of?
There are several themes within the story, mostly about family and relationships, but the biggest one is that it’s okay to be different. Love who you are, and don’t let what others say make you think you’re not good enough.
Is this part of a series? If so, can you share a little about what’s coming next?
This is a short novel that’s part of a multi-author series, The Hotel Paranormal. Over twenty authors have penned their own paranormal story set in a common world—the Hotel. It’s been so much fun to do. Basically it’s a hotel set in an alternate dimension that’s a gathering place for paranormal creatures.
The Hotel Paranormal is the place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn, and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.
Also, I’m using this as an introduction to a new series I’m working on, the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series. The next novel will be out in 2017, although I don’t have a release date as yet. It will see Janda Gray take on her hunter role in earnest. She’ll have great joys and even greater sorrows as a Sleepy Hollow Hunter.
Is there a process you go through when deciding your character’s names?
I find names in all sorts of places—street signs, town names, shop names. My character, Janda Gray, was inspired by a florist shop—Janda’s Flowers. Lol. If the name fits the character, why not?
What made you become an author?
I love reading. It was my go-to activity growing up. I make up stories in my head all the time, so I thought it would be good to actually learn how to write them down. The other thing about being an author is that you can do it any place. It’s portable. I spent years getting uprooted as a Navy wife, and it’s hard starting over all the time. This is something I wish I had done sooner, but at least I’m doing it now.
Beginning writers look to published authors for advice, so what words of wisdom can you give new authors?
Well, I’m still a new author. This is my first release. I have other stories written, but other than some short stories in a college journal, I have not been previously published. I’d say, keep at it. Don’t give up.
Do you have one particular character in your current novel that you just love?
Besides my main character, I have several I really like. Sebastian, the vampire in the story, is probably one of my favorites. He was a lot of fun to write.
Social media takes up a lot of an author’s time, but it’s crucial to expanding our readership. Can you tell me which social media platforms you prefer to use when connecting with your readership?
This is a hard one for me. I’m building my following, so I try to hit most of the major platforms. I connect with a lot of people on my personal Facebook page, but I restrict that to people I know. Pinterest is a lot of fun, but Twitter and Instagram seem to be the best spots for me to connect with potential readers.
How do you want to be remembered as an author?
I write stories I hope people will enjoy and that will resonate with them in some way. I don’t need to be remembered, but if one of my characters makes a difference in someone’s life, then I’d be happy.
What new stories/projects are in your pipeline?
The next story in the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series is a priority. I also have a science fiction short story that may be dusted off to become part of a group anthology in the spring. That’s plenty for me at the moment.
Coffee or tea? Or, neither?
Neither. I don’t want to give up the summer weather, so I’m still drinking lemonade infused with fresh strawberries. Lol.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate all the way!
It changes with my mood. It was red, now it’s deep green. Who knows what it will be tomorrow?
Favorite TV series or movies that inspire your creativity?
There are several, but the most recent ones are on Netflix. I love Jessica Jones. Also, Penny Dreadful, although some of that can be tough to watch. On television of course, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones. AND, Outlander. I read that whole series years ago, so it’s cool seeing it do so well.
Where do you prefer to write?
In warm weather, I love being outside. Otherwise, I have a writing room that’s in a quieter area of my house. Really, I will write pretty much any place.
Do you have a playlist to listen to when you write, or do you prefer the quiet?
I like to play certain tunes when I’m just getting into my writing, but most of the time I prefer no distractions. Generally, I write where it’s quiet.
Reading preference: ebooks, paperback, or hardcover?
All of them. My Kindle and a paperback go with me on plane trips, to the beach, and pretty much everywhere. Hardcovers are bulkier, so I read those when I’m at home. Plus, those cost more, so it would have to be a special series for me to splurge on them. For instance, Harry Potter. Absolutely, must be in hardcover. Those are keepers.
If you could vacation any place in the world (or universe), where would you go?
Some place isolated and in a natural state. I love the water, too. I like to wander, though, so it would have to be a series of places to satisfy my inner wanderlust.
What three things are in your refrigerator right now?
Yogurt (chocolate variety), Kale that only I seem to like, and I’d say lemonade, but I just drank the last of it. I guess I need to go to the grocery store.
Most writers wear many hats, but if you weren’t a writer, what else would you be?
I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life, but I have a special spot in my heart for anything craft-oriented, especially my quilting. I had a longarm quilting business for ten years, but those monstrous machines (12 feet long) are hard to keep moving around.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Janda Gray’s a Lykoi—part werecat, part wolf—shunned by both sides of her lineage.
She yearns for the day when she can escape the disdainful glances and leave her home on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow, NY. When she lands a lucrative bounty hunter contract, she thinks her life is finally turning around. All she has to do is lure her werecat target from the safety of the Hotel Paranormal.
Then she meets a werepanther. Her life will never be the same.
Alexander Holden, second-in-command of a powerful werecat clan, is accused of murdering the woman he was to marry. He must find the real killer to clear his name or spend the rest of his supernaturally long life on the run.
Complications arise after Janda falls for the man she’s supposed to be capturing.
Now she must decide if following her heart is worth risking everything, including the love they’ve found in each other’s embrace.
Love is about making sacrifices. Saving him is all that matters.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. In particular, she loves visiting old graveyards.