Thursday, January 9, 2014

Interview with Alicia Sparks, Primitive Fix #paranormal #shapeshifters

Today we have an interview with Alicia Sparks. She's discussing her shape shifters in Primitive Fix, her latest release from Beau Coup Publishing. Who doesn't love some shape shifters on a cold morning? Settle down with something hot to drink and enjoy!


Interview questions for Alicia Sparks… 

Quick round:

Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice? Chocolate. In any form at all. Preferable frozen and creamy.

Favorite Movie: Right now, Fight Club, but I go back and forth on that one. I recently watched Cabin in the Woods, and it was incredible.

Favorite Color: Rusty orange

Favorite book/author: Hmmm. Right now, I’m reading Laurann Dohner’s New Species series. I’m really into it. I don’t know if I have an all time favorite.

How do you feel about bacon?
I can take it or leave it. I’m not a big meat eater.

The REAL questions… 
Tell us a little about yourself.
By day, I am a superhero of epic proportions, bringing literature to the masses by teaching British and American lit to rural high school students. They think I’m weird. I have no idea where they got that from…By night, I am a super goddess vixen who does dishes, cleans up after kids and spends time with my hunky husband.

What’s under your bed?
Baby clothes. Seriously. I have a huge plastic tub of my 3 year old’s old clothes under there. They don’t fit into the chest with the rest of the kids’ baby clothes (4 boys). And there’s an assortment of ponytail holders, bobby pins and various other hair doo-dads that I rip out in the heat of passion.

What comes first, plot or characters?
Usually, I will hear a conversation between two characters, so in that sense the characters come first. Then I get a better sense of their plot. I don’t start writing until I get a good grip on both. I usually know how the story is going to end before I ever write the first word.

Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
I used to be a pantser, but I don’t have the luxury of following the characters anymore. Now, I have a very tight outline that will allow me to do whatever needs to be done as far as major plot points before I ever start writing. New rule: I don’t write until I’ve written the outline.

Oddest thing on your desk? 

A voodoo doll, but if you knew me, you’d know that’s not very weird. I bought it at a voodoo shop in New Orleans. It’s for creativity.

What’s your most interesting writing quirk? 
Probably my commute to work. I drive an hour to and from work every day. I have a playlist that goes with each book, so as I’m writing a book, I’ll listen to its playlist over and over until I get a scene just right. It drive people crazy who ride with me. My husband is like, “Can’t we listen to something other than Theory of a Deadman over and over?” I change playlists for each book, and when I’m in between books, it takes a while to pick up the “vibe” of the next book.

What’s your favorite thing about the genre you write in? 
When I’m writing paranormal, the best thing is that there are no rules. I can make these characters do anything I want them to do. When I’m writing contemporary, I like that I can “build my own man” as my friend Ginger Ring put it.

What is the hardest thing about being an author?
I was going to say you should ask what the easiest thing is, but I skipped ahead and see that it’s the next question. I think right now, the hardest thing is trying to keep my personal life and my writing life separate from my daily job life. I don’t think what I write is appropriate for my students to read, and they are extremely hormonal and curious. So I’m not able to really talk about my writing in my day to day job.

What’s the easiest thing about being an author? 
I get to do what I love. Writing is a compulsion. It’s hard to believe that I took 5 years off and only recently got back into it. I don’t see how I ever quit. I write very quickly and can hammer out anywhere between 3000 to 5000 words in one writing session, so I have no excuse for not writing.

What do you wish someone had asked you for an interview question? 
Hmmm. I guess I’d like to be asked what I plan to do with my first million (Retire from teaching). Or whether or not I’ll quit my day job when it comes in (YES!!!). I think people need to understand that writers are people. I don’t see us as being superhuman or “special” or having some kind of weird ability. I can’t cook to save my life, so writing is my talent, my skill. Just because I write about wild sex doesn’t mean I’m a ho. It’s interesting because I get messages from guys all the time asking me for either sex advice or sex lessons. I’m like, dude, if I wrote murder mysteries, would you ask me to help you kill someone? So, I’m rambling now. Yeah. Writing is hard.

Tell us about your latest release!
I’ve been working very closely with Sable Hunter and her team at Beau Coup Publishing. I have put together a series of books set in Louisiana about a shape shifter family of tigers. I have wolves in there also, and who knows what else will show up! Each book will take us deeper into the story of how the shifters came to be and why there is a war going on amongst themselves. The series is the Primitive Series, starting with Primitive Fix, then moving on to Primitive Need. The books are set in the Atchafalya Basin in Louisiana and show a lot of the rich cult
ure, history and settings that I live with on a daily basis.

I’m also working on a zombie series that is a different kind of zombie than what you are used to. Traditional zombies are heavily linked to voodoo, so I used New Orleans as my setting and Lake Ponchartrain as my catalyst for what is happening in the books. My theory is if you go into the lake on St. John’s Eve, you will not die. Instead, you will be “reanimated” but just like in Pet Semetery, something will be different. My main characters are coming to terms with what happened to them and what they are now. This will be a long series where readers get to know Genesis, Cassius and Craven, my three protagonists. They will come to understand the love triangle between them and how Gen has to choose which man is the one for her. The first book, Soulbound: The Fallen, will be out soon from Beau Coup.

I also love hockey and am obsessed with hockey players. I have a hockey series based on the fictional team the Memphis Mayhem. It is in the works, and the first two novels are being opted by Ellora’s Cave. I’ll let you know what happens with them. All I can say about it, is if you don’t watch hockey, boy are you missing out! I’ll leave you with a few names: Dan Girardi, Brandon Prust, Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Zetterberg, the Sedin twins, Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Bryan Boyle…Oh, you want me to stop listing them so you can look them up? Did I mention smoking hot coach John Tortorella. Look him up. Smokin. I’m telling you.

More about Primitive Fix

In Primitive Fix, readers will meet the tigers of Louisiana, the Maddux brothers, Kenyon and Nik, and will come to understand what happens when a shape shifter gets caught in animal farm and sold to a roadside attraction. When Nik is captured and sold as a rare white tiger, his brother Kenyon will do whatever it takes to get him back, even if it means calling on the one woman who makes him crazy. Sage’s family owes a debt to Kenyon’s and it is her job to bail him out of whatever situation he ends up getting himself into. However, Sage is tired of always running to the rescue and being “needed” by him. She wants something more.

Excerpt from Primitive Fix: Kenyon

As she turned into the motel parking lot, pulling her little car past the eighteen wheelers that had parked there overnight, she finally spoke. “After this, I’m through.”

“Through?” He knew silence equaled ultimatum. It always had.

“Yes. Done with all of it. You. Your family. My family. This connection we are supposed to have. The way I’m assumed to be at your beck and call. Through.”

She couldn’t mean that. Even though it had been a while since they’d seen each other, he still wanted her the way he always had and always would. If she did mean it, he knew it would kill him. He had never known a pair of mated second-borns to live without one another.

“You can’t walk away from me.” Pain clenched his gut as the words came out sounding more like a growl than English. The full implication of her words hit him. If she was really through with him, he would live the rest of his life in mourning for her. She was his. Meant to be his. Decreed to be his by her birth. There was no way he could let her go. He always knew she would come back to him due to either her family loyalty or tradition, but if she cut the ties with him and walked away…he couldn’t bear to think of it.

“I want out. I don’t want to be called back here every time you get into trouble, every time you need a quick change artist to cover your ass. Find someone else. I want my own life.”

He grabbed her hand, pulling her wrist to his, lining up the tattoos on their skin, tattoos that had been there since they turned sixteen and marked them as belonging to one another. “Your life is here. Your life is bound up in this, with me, with our families.”

“Then my life is a lie. This obligation is a lie. I want more.”

“What do you want, Sage? To go blow up whaling ships and set fire to puppy mills? If you want a fight, there’s one right here in this state. There’s enough legal mumbo jumbo and wildlife causes that need a vigilante to keep you busy forever.” And there’s me. The last was right there on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t say it. He wouldn’t beg her to stay, but he had to find a way to convince her nonetheless.

Sage pulled away from him, ignoring the heat from his fingers as they grazed against her skin, ignoring the way her heart hammered in her chest and the way her body wanted nothing more than to lean into him, press against him and forget she had ever told him what had been on her mind. But she had to get away from him, from this thing between them that would never be more than just obligation. Her tattoo practically burned under his touch, the bastardization of the Fleur de lis a symbol of the land shared by the Maddux and Villalobos families, a land they had vowed to protect. The symbol also marked her as the second born, belonging to Kenyon Maddux, second born of his line, a fact that she’d heard ad nauseum since she turned thirteen.

Even so, she would never forget the first time she had gone to Lafayette to meet Kenyon. Her grandfather had brought her to the Maddux compound a few months after she’d turned thirteen, and even then the dark haired boy whose tiger stripes were just now beginning to come into view fascinated her beyond belief. She had watched him the entire week she had been there, catching his golden stare on her until they had finally spoken to one another. What followed was her first kiss, a peck on the cheek, that ignited a fire inside her she wasn’t old enough to understand.

Even though Kenyon was still the only one for her, she’d had it up to her neck in tradition, was sick of the word and every implication from it, was tired of this misplaced sense of loyalty that always got her the same thing—a demand from Kenyon, a proclamation of his ownership over her. It wasn’t what she wanted from him, but what she wanted was a thousand times more complicated.


Being away from Kenyon had solidified that notion, the one thing he had never voiced, the one thing she wasn’t sure he could offer. As silly as it sounded, as movie of the week as it was in its madness, she wanted Kenyon to love her the way she loved him, all the way to the pit of her soul in a way that had nothing at all to do with traditions and tattoos and had everything to do with two people who belonged together.

“Fine.” Kenyon uttered a word she never thought she’d hear, an agreement. Setting his jaw and stretching his long legs as he opened the car door and stood, he looked more than a little dangerous, his golden eyes glowing. “You help me free my brother and you can walk away but I want you to know one thing, Sage. If you walk away from me, I will not chase you. If you don’t want to be here, I won’t go after you.”

“Fine.” It was her turn to say the word, to set her jaw in sheer determination. Grabbing her bag and flinging it over her shoulder, she closed the car door and steadied herself, straightening her shoulders, not letting him know how deeply his agreement had cut into her.

It was what she wanted. Freedom. But it felt like a dagger in her heart.

The breath that Sage blew out should have been liberating, should have felt like freedom, but it wasn’t. It was crushing, lodging in her throat, cutting off her airways.

“Fine,” she heard him mutter under his breath as he took off, his long strides leaving her in the parking lot as he headed toward the motel room.

I was wrong! She fought the urge to take back what she had just said, realizing how stupid she sounded in her own head. This was what she wanted. Kenyon’s undying love or freedom from the whole situation. She just never thought it would hurt this badly.

Sage helps Kenyon break his brother out of his cage, but Nik is lost in the scuffle, injured and afraid. He finds help in a cabin in the swamps and in the arms of Juliette, a woman who is human but whose powers to heal are something very supernatural. In Nik’s story, we learn why he left the Maddux compound. As the chosen leader, the first born, it is his duty to lead his people, but Nik doesn’t want to lead. He just wants to be free. There’s nothing like the freedom he finds in Juliette’s arms. But Juliette has a secret that can destroy them both.

Excerpt from Primitive Fix: Nik

She leaned into his hand when he reached out and touched it to her cheek. In that moment, he realized he would die for this woman even though he didn’t even know her name. She spoke to something in him that was so primal, so much a part of him that he couldn’t explain or deny it. When she turned those soft eyes at him and he saw the sadness in there, the pain she held, he knew he had to protect her. Whoever had hurt her would pay, and he would make sure it was a painful ordeal.

“Let me inside,” he whispered, leaning forward, cornering her on the sofa so that she couldn’t move. Putting one hand on each side of her body, he trapped her there and didn’t stop leaning into her until their breathing aligned and her breath was washing over his face. “Tell me,” he coaxed, the words floating out to caress her cheek.

“If I tell you, you have to promise me you won’t go after them. I’m safe now. Bringing back the past will only stir up trouble.”

He couldn’t make that promise. There was no way he could make that promise when the only thing he wanted to do was kill whoever had hurt her. “I can’t promise you that if you don’t tell me what’s going on. Tell me and then I may give you my word.”

“You may but you can’t promise for sure.”

“You saved my life. When you pulled me out of the swamps the other day, you saved my life. And I owe you for that. I owe you for bringing me back to life.”

Her tongue darted out over her bottom lip and it took every ounce of strength he had not to lean in and run his tongue along the same trail. When she raised her eyes back to his, they seemed to look straight into his soul. The shiver that ran through his body went straight to his cock. He wanted to sink it into her body and bring them both to the edges of pleasure, to replace all the pain that had been in both their lives.

“Fine. I’ll tell you. But you have to give me some space.”

He didn’t want to give her space. The last thing he wanted was to move away from her but he found himself pulling away, giving her what she wanted. Dragging a hand through his hair, he settled against the back of the sofa, his leg touching hers. “This is all the space I can give you. Now, please. Tell me.”

She swallowed hard and let out a long, low sigh. “I don’t know where to start.”

“Start wherever you feel comfortable.”

Blurb for Primitive Need, coming soon from Beau Coup Publishing:

In book 2 of the Primitive Series, Primitive Need, readers will meet Logan, Juliette’s brother. Ten years ago, Logan Quinn’s life was on a high. As one of the top Black Hawk pilots in the military, he flew in and out of dangerous situations, transporting soldiers away from the battlefields. One day, during a routine mission under clear skies, a storm came from out of nowhere, taking down his helicopter. Unwilling to give up on one of their best pilots, the military doctors seized the opportunity to use new technology to rebuild his arm as a robotic extension of his body, complete with nerves and cyber skin. Soon after, the surgery was deemed a failure, and Logan’s career was over.

When the mayor of Bon Teche, Louisiana lost his wife in a freak plane accident, he was determined not to lose his daughter, so he hired Logan to watch over Hadley, much to her chagrin. She didn’t need a watch dog, and was determined to give Logan hell. But that was a long time ago, and now the man who is sheriff of Bon Teche is the only one who can set her on fire, even if Hadley knows she needs to stay away from him.

When Hadley is taken by Les Damnes, Logan is determined to get her back, but what he doesn’t realize is that the experience has changed her, and even as she pulls him to her, she pushes him away, keeping something hidden. Hadley learns what was done to her when she was taken, and she knows she is the only one who can get back what was stolen from her. But Logan can’t let her go, and he will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened a Primitive Need inside him.

Primitive Fix is available from Beau Coup Publishing in ebook and in paperback. Primitive Need is coming soon!

Connect with Alicia Sparks on the Web!

Twitter: @AliciaSparks_

Thanks for stopping by! 

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