Interview with the author of Judgement of Souls, a Vampire Gothic Horror novel
Interview with Margarita Felices, author of Judgement of Souls.
About Judgement of Souls
JUDGEMENT OF SOULS is a Gothic horror in which a naïve pure-blood Vampire is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel, a nightclub owner and his group of friends and after Daniel’s best friend is murdered by Max, becomes embroiled in the search. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement, but he’s her love and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.
Our interview with Margarita:
Firstly, tell us about your book/series.
JUDGEMENT OF SOULS is a vampire trilogy and a Gothic Paranormal Romance in which a naïve pure-blood vampire, Rachel de Grosnez, is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel (a mortal), who owns a nightclub with his best friend Tobey, and after Tobey is murdered by Max (Rachel’s ex-lover), becomes embroiled in the search for an ancient vampire book. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement with them and the search, but he’s the love she’s been waiting for and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m busy putting the final touches to the prequel to Judgement of Souls. I started the trilogy at the end and I’m working my way back in time. In this story we come across the dreaded vampire hunters called The Righteous and we follow Rachel and Arun over a 300 year period which includes the French Revolution, sword fights and Arun falls in love!
What inspired you to become a writer?
The voices in my head wouldn’t shut up! I guess I just like telling stories, it’s nice to lose yourself in some situations, and escapism is always a plus!
How long have you been writing?
I started to write stories in junior school believe it or not. By the time I reached secondary school I had dozens of stories churning around in my head. But my teachers in English studies always limited me to ten pages per story when we were assigned essays – very frustrating! But I had been known to fill up to three exercise books per story and I suppose they didn’t have the time to read all of it.
What is your relationship with your characters? Do you have a favourite? Is there one that you find a bit more difficult?
Yes I suppose I do have a relationship with them. There is a little bit of me in each one, even Max who isn’t very nice. He has certain arrogance about him and I suppose he gets that from me. My favourite is Rachel; I find her character extremely sad. She’s lonely and she wants to have human contact but it’s not always possible because of what she is. And she is also the one I had more of problem writing. I didn’t want to make her a weak and feeble character but I didn’t want her to be so hard that you wouldn’t associate with her. It was a fight to keep her as near normal as possible.
Is there anything that you find challenging about being a writer?
The time that I try to schedule for writing doesn’t always happen. I work full time, I tend to my mother who is disabled and lives seven miles away. I have my own home to attend to and also have a partner that I need to spend time with. So writing at times becomes non existent and then it makes me guilty because my characters need to live and I’m avoiding them.
Do you write freehand at all or straight onto your pc?
Mainly straight onto the PC, but I carry a Dictaphone and make notes when I think of something that may sound good in the novel.
Do you have a strict writing routine/word count per day?
Oh no, you can’t write like that, if you do it becomes a chore rather than letting you enjoy your journey, so I wing it. Some days I can write chapters or a few pages and some other times; I barely get a page written. It depends on how I feel, I try to get myself into a zone with music or even by watching a film of the same genre and then when I open up my files, I find my characters waiting for me and then we just go.
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
They are beautiful, fascinating and alluring. They have seen so many things over the centuries, but people forget how lonely it is.
There is a strange fascination with something that can live forever; the film industry has done wonders for bringing them to the fore of popular culture. Even though some ridicule the Twilight series, you have to praise the author for taking a genre and making it different. It’s something that I’ve tried to do, my story is not about vampires trying to take over humans, it’s about taking care of one of their own who has stolen something from them. It’s a treasure hunt with a few laughs and lots of sword fighting.
Do you have any plans to write in a different genre in the future?
I have written a short story about a con artist who sets up as a psychic and also another short story which is a romantic tale of lost love. But I love to write paranormal stories; I have at least another five stories waiting to be written. After I finish the trilogy, I’m going to focus on a story about a serial killer and then one about a witch in the 16th century.
Are you also an avid reader? What are you reading at the moment?
I bought a Kindle two years ago and read in my lunch breaks. Funnily enough, I prefer to read from it, it makes it easier to follow. Right now I am reading Byzantine Gold by Chris Karlsen – I started it today but I’m such a slow reader. I like to take my time and savour every word from authors, I don’t want to miss anything by reading to fast and skipping past things I don’t understand.
Doctor Who has just arrived in his Tardis. He puts you charge of the time machine, what would you do?
Heh heh this made me laugh. Having worked briefly on the series (it’s filmed just up the road from me), I’ve actually operated the Tardis! And as much as I enjoy Matt Smith, I would take it back to David Tennant and perhaps tour the galaxy or perhaps spend my birthday in each century starting from medieval – then right up until this time next week to get the winning lottery numbers, then come back.
The vampires are attacking! Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it! What was it? And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?
Aww not fair, I’m watching TV and the only thing to my right is the TV remote! Smack! No, nothing. All I think I’ve done is annoy the hell out of them!
The afore mentioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?
Well life goes on. As an immortal I can travel to all those places I’ve always wanted to see and get there at double speed!
In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!)
Zombies!!! Noooo! Flame throwers and lots of power packs for it…
You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?
Definitely Anne Rice. She’s just so descriptive in her work and I’d love to gain some insight into her thinking.
Freddie Mercury. I loved his songs and his showmanship. I miss him loads.
Edgar Allan Poe. After dinner we could sit by a roaring fire while he tells us stories to curl our hair!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don't give up. If you have a story that is dying to be told, then work hard to tell it. But make sure you are doing your best work and you get an editor that can help you make the most of your manuscript. Don’t give up even though you may get rejection letters. If everyone thought like that there’d be no books, no films. Keep writing, even if its dribble! Then read, re-read and edit. Try and write a little each day. One hundred words a day is seven hundred a week, twenty-eight hundred a month and one hundred words a day is so simple! And always carry a Dictaphone or a notebook and pen!
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Every author strives to make stories that you will enjoy. Please treat it with care and when you’ve finished reading it – review it. That’s the only way we can tell if we’re doing a good job or not, plus it helps to get sales and although most of us write for the sheer pleasure of writing, some of us are trying to make a living from it too.
I live in Cardiff, Wales, home to castles, mountains, rugby, Doctor Who and Torchwood, with my partner and three little mad dogs and I work for a well-known TV broadcasting company. I love living in Cardiff because, for all its modernisation, there are still remnants of an old Victorian city. I love writing and will always base my stories in Cardiff because it has such character. When I can, I go out to the coast and take photographs, we have a lovely castle in the city centre and a fairytale one just on the outskirts, so when I feel I can’t write anything, I take a ramble to those locations and it clears my head.
I suppose it was inevitable that some day I would write a novel. My teachers at school used to limit me to no more than ten pages. I was a reporter on the school magazine and later became its Editor. When I left school, I paid my way through college by writing short stories for magazines; I later took a course in scriptwriting and came third in a BBC writing competition. I am Gothic; I love the fashion, the architecture and the music. The club in my novel is real. While writing this current book, I got all my club material and clientele from here; I wouldn’t have finished that section without it.
My first full length novel is called Judgement of Souls: The Kiss at Dawn and is the first in a trilogy. But I wanted to do things a little different; so I began by writing the ending to the trilogy, I’m hoping that it will tease your curiosity into knowing how they all got there. I am currently writing story two, the prequel, and after that will be the very first book in the series. I’ve written short stories for magazines, one about a woman who after an accident is given blood and then starts to see grisly murders in her dreams and the other is about a fake psychic which is now available for download and I finished my very first romantic story which is also available via Amazon.