Today's Spooktacular Spotlight Author is Mark Henwick!
He's brought us some Sleight of Hand
“Vampires? Vampires are the flickering illusions of Hollywood. They do not exist. We do. We are the Athanate, the undying. Humanity's secret companions on this earth. Are we amoral monsters? Evil incarnate? Perhaps. But is it easier to create a new monster in a human body, or free one that is already there? The truth is, the monster is inside you. The Athanate powers do no more than tempt it from its lair inside your head. What happens next is down to you.”
Amber Farrell is a struggling private investigator in Denver, with a dark history she can’t talk about, voices in her head and a weakness for exciting cases. As a former special ops soldier, she’s tough, resourceful and quick witted, but if you told her that her life would soon depend on her cowboy boots and a handy fire extinguisher, or that she’d ever hug a client, she’d laugh.
Her army career was cut short when a vampire bit her, and the army are very interested to see what happens, so they’re keeping her under observation.
Things were looking almost bearable last week. Sure, she’d had to kill three rogue vampires a year ago, but the local vampire community hadn’t followed up on it. The army hadn’t hauled her back to a cell yet. She had a low profile, a place to stay, an office to work in and an investigation to keep her mind off what she might become herself.
Then the investigation gets out of control and she breaks up a drug smuggling operation on her client’s premises. The client sues her. She’s thrown out of her office. The drug boss puts a contract out on her. And she’s down to the last $60 in the bank.
What she needs is a normal, routine case to work on while things blow over. She knows that. But when Jennifer Kingslund, a prominent local businesswoman, comes to Amber with a complex case including something ‘weird’ that might include werewolves, she can’t resist.
It all gets worse very quickly.
The vampires come calling. A contract killer hunts her through the streets of Denver. An attempt is made on Jennifer’s life by a biker gang involved in the drugs business, and Amber starts to realize that her client, her case and her personal life are tangled in something far bigger and more dangerous than she suspected.
Amber’s going to have to balance them all. She’ll need to come to terms with vampires, werewolves and witches. She’ll need to keep the army, the police and the FBI at bay. She’ll need to make her peace with her family and friends. She’ll need to make new friends in unexpected places and move through the highest and lowest parts of human society to solve the case and help prevent the paranormal disaster which is looming over everyone.
And all the while she is herself changing in ways none of them can understand and no one can predict.
Where to Buy
A Little Facetime With The Author
K.S. Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
I have a list of things I was formerly, with a career covering engineering, computers, sales, marketing and management in healthcare and other industries. All of those are behind me now, and, since July 2011, I have been a full-time writer. It was a worrying step to move from well salaried employment to writing, and downright frightening when I quickly realized that I had to be an ‘indie’ and do everything myself. Having said that, I’m enjoying every day and my books are selling. I feel very, very lucky.
K.S. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
I thought I was about half way through the first book when I went on a week’s writing course down in the remotest parts Devon. Sure, I learned some techniques, but the real payload was connecting with other crazy people who wanted to write and coming back supercharged with a commitment to the group that I’d finish the book before Christmas. (I did, even though I wasn’t half way, as I thought, but only a third of the way through).
As I drove away from the isolated farmhouse where the course was held, a small herd of deer appeared out of the mist and trotted across the road in front of me. The last one was a pure white stag. I’ve taken this as some kind of Celtic blessing on my writing!
K.S. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
I wanted to write about the time I read my first novel. I managed to put aside the desire until 2011 and then the opportunity came up to leave business. My wife had become tired of me closing a novel and saying “I could write that”, so she ‘encouraged’ me. Think kicking and ass.
K.S. What genre do you write?
Urban Fantasy. I have ideas in other niches of speculative fiction, but I’m kinda busy at the moment!
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?
It’s difficult to pick one thing in isolation. Since I started writing, I’ve used the internet to connect with other writers and have felt a tremendous energy in the community. It helps when you’re in the dark, swampy middle of the book!
I couldn’t possibly pick one author. I’m going to have to cheat and say Frank Herbert for Dune and The Dosadi Experiment, Lois McMaster Bujold for The Curse of Chalion and others in that world, Robert Zelazny for Lord of Light and Princes in Amber, Faith Hunter for Jane Yellowrock, Kim Harrison for the Hollows, Jim Butcher…I’d better stop now.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
Ha! See kicking and asses above. They’re very supportive, letting me have the head space for writing and then betting on the next day’s sales at dinner.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?
How difficult it is to lock a plot into position and keep it there. I am, by training, an engineer. You would think I would structure my novels to death, but the process is a mad descent with scenes, subplots and story objectives emerging early in the development and then the plotline wriggling like a snake between these fixed elements.
K.S. What inspires you?
Two things: other people doing it right and other people doing it wrong.
K.S. Where can we buy your novel?
Amazon and Kobo.
The prequel (Raw Deal) is free at the moment.
There is only one Henwick , but for convenience, here are the links:
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
Reading: Read. Then write.
Writing: Start. Don’t stop.
Facebook: Start. Then stop.