Interview – Heather Linn, author of Shattered Skies
Torn between the day and the night, Catalina treads a dangerous, deadly trail among the monsters; sex is her weapon. But what happens when her heart takes over and she falls in love with the head monster, the leader of a new breed of Vampire that is chillingly capable of killing her and the humans she loves?
Courageous Catalina never had the chance to live in the normal world we take for granted. Instead she was born into a world ruled by the alien Vampires that have taken over the planet. Half the human race is dead, the survivors have been raped and pillaged, and the alien Vampire invaders have bred a nearly indestructible new race, the Dominus, a horrific genetic mix of human and vampire.
Catalina and her small family of rogue humans have been led by a brooding Doctor since their infancy. So far, they have managed to live secretly among the new deadly breed of monster, killing when they can.
Then Catalina, the black sheep of the family, rejects the subservient female role assigned her, and demands to be a warrior on the front lines with the men, bedding one Dominus after the next, in a world where sex kills. Hell bent on destroying as many of the Dominus as she can, Catalina is drawn to the bed of the King Dominus, Akia. Her emotions flare in his presence and she feels a strange, tumultuous, magnetic pull towards him and him to her, but this star-crossed attraction can only lead to death. But for whom?
Firstly, tell us about your book/series.
It’s a series that finally tells the truth about the vampire world. Vampires aren’t demons from this world, they are aliens from another world that are determined to take us over. We are nothing but food to them, or slaves or breeding mates. They will stop at nothing to dominate us. They alter us genetically and create a hybrid race called the Dominus, and these beings can walk in the daylight being neither Vampire nor human. The series tells of a group of rogue humans that have survived the vampire invasion under the leadership of a young doctor. The doctor has raised a group of children from infancy and trained them to be warriors against the Dominus, only their weapon is sex. In this world sex kills and any Dominus that sleeps with a human dies. The lead character is Catalina, a young woman, courageous and unselfish, a dedicated warrior that will willingly lay down her life for others. But her emotions can get the best of her and she falls in love with a handsome fellow warrior Darien and the sexy Dominus King Akia. She becomes trapped between worlds; she becomes trapped within her herself, trapped by her own emotional world as love and lust battle it out. There is no way out for her and there is danger everywhere she looks.
What are you working on at the moment?
This is a tough question for me; it would be easier to ask what I am not working on. Right now I am trying to keep my main focus on the release of the second book in the series, Shattered Skies: Night Waves, comes out March 20th. The second focus is book three which is already starting to take on a life of its own.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I love to entertain. I remember going to family get-togethers and how me and all my cousins would put on little singing and dancing shows. I am horrible at both singing and dancing; I mean I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and I have a severe rhythm deficiency. So I was really relieved when I realized I could tell a good story and hold people’s attention that way, it was a lot less painful for everyone involved.
How long have you been writing?
I was allowed to write down something creative for the first time in my 7th grade English class. We had to take a common occurrence and write a Greek Mythology-like explanation for it. I wrote about the dew on the grass in the mornings. My explanation for the dew was something so simple to me. I made the dew tears. I wrote about a little goddess that had to pretend she had the perfect life, so popular, so well liked and always smiling, but she was never anything but happy, until she went home, and the fake smile could be put away till the next day. Every night she would lay in bed and cry herself to sleep, and her nightly tears made the dew every morning. My English teacher, Mrs. Stoner, took the time to keep me after class and tell me that my writing was very good. I really do think she is the reason that I kept writing. More teachers need to be like her.
What is your relationship with your characters? Do you have a favorite? Is there one that you find a bit more difficult?
Ok this is going to make me sound completely unhinged but these characters are real to me. They have been in my head forever. I would have to say Drake is my favorite to write, he has a huge part in book two. I would love to hang out with Cat though. I think we could get in a lot of trouble together. Akia is my most challenging character. He is so complex. He is the ruler of the world so he has to be tough, but he is tortured because it is hard to be tough all the time and expect people to like you
Is there anything that you find challenging about being a writer?
Time. Time is my biggest challenge. When the characters decide it is time for me to express them in writing, they don’t care if I am in the middle of my day job, or trying to sleep at night. It seems that every time I don’t have time to write, that is exactly when I get the call to write as if I have all the time in the world. And at those times, I can almost guarantee I won’t have the inspiration to form a sentence let alone a plot. But somehow I get lost in it and the characters take over and words and plot fill the page.
Do you write freehand at all or straight onto your pc?
PC all the way. I realized a long time again that I can type faster than I can freehand. Plus let’s be honest I use the backspace a lot, it’s a lot easier to erase on screen than on paper
Do you have a strict writing routine/word count per day?
I really wish I could say yes to this. I have tried. I want to be one of those goal oriented authors that can stick to a schedule but that isn’t me. There are weeks that I write nothing and then I sit up at 3 am with the urge and I have 20,000 words by 9am.. Pure chaos.
Is there one question that you wish that you would be asked in an interview? If so, what is it and what’s the answer?
Wow you just asked me the question that I have always wanted to be asked in an interview and now I have nothing. Lol Hmmm how about, What are your five favorite scents?
1) The ocean
2) Old books
5) And the way it smells right after a rain storm
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
I think this question deserves two answers.. First I would say immortality. The thought of living forever , without the fear of dying is a very magical element. Secondly getting blunt and right to the point… Everyone wants a bad boy or girl and a blood sucking creature that can rip you apart is about as bad as it comes..
Do you have any plans to write in a different genre in the future?
I would love to do a step inside of the mind of the serial killer kind of thing,.a crime novel.
Are you also an avid reader? What are you reading at the moment?
I love to read. I have about four books going right now 1) 50 shades darker 2) The Pact 3) The last Anita Blake Book 4) World War Z and 5) Kim Harrison’s latest…. My books go with my mood. I read what I am feeling.
Doctor Who has just arrived in his Tardis. He puts you charge of the time machine, what would you do?
I have to be honest I am a Doctor Who Freak. I think this was the question that I spent the most time on. I mean really a Tardis the things I could do with it, right? After narrowing my choices down to about 150 cool things I decided to ask my nine year old son which choice he would make. He looked right at me without skipping a beat and said “that is simple mom you would give it to me.” So in order to not be disowned by said 9 year old I guess I am giving it to him.
The vampires are attacking! Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it! What was it?
My Stainless Steel Coffee Mug
And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?
I would win of course. I fully believe that Caffeine can save the world. Unless of course it is a really sexy vampire and he promises to change me;) if that happens all bets are off.
The afore mentioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?
Now I aggravate the heck out of the vampire that bit me until he changes me and then I start making a plan for the rest of eternity.
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!)
A really long, sharp, Japanese sword would be the practical answer here…. But if I didn’t have my Ipod I would go crazy. I have to have music.
You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?
2) Stephen King
3) Betty White
Can you give us five random facts about yourself?
1) Until I was three I lived in a haunted house.. and yes I’ve seen ghosts
2) Lady Bugs Creep me out
3) I am addicted to the life time movie network
4) I love “men” movies, war, fighting, action.
5) My Grandmothers were and still are my heroes
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t stop writing. Break the book down into parts. I write the last page of my books first, that way I know when I start what I am trying to build towards for the end.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy the Books. Please by all means message me on Facebook when you finish reading them. I love hearing your thoughts… The best part of writing for me is knowing if I entertained you. I promise I will answer all messages.