April 20, 2014

Interview with Author Miranda Stork

Hi everyone! We have an interview with Author Miranda Stork today and we are happy to welcome her to the page and blog today. Besides the interview we have info on her books as well.

What is your book(s) about?
Most of my books tend to be a jumble of my favourite genres, but they're always predominately paranormal and filled with suspense. There's always romance and fantasy elements too, but I wind them in as the characters see fit - I might be author, but they decide their own destiny! My current series, the Scarlet Rain Series, is about a group of immortals (demons, werewolves, witches...you name it!) creating a Rebellion against the Clan, a large group of vampires who have taken over society, and are imposing their own bloody rule on humanity. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I can certainly give you my bio, which I think says a lot more about my personality and the way I think than simply stating my statistics will. Here it is:

I'm Miranda Stork, and I'm addicted. Addicted to writing and reading books, anyway. And chocolate, but that's another issue - no interventions, please.

I live in the middle of a forest in North Yorkshire, spending my spare time as the wild woman of the woods, scaring small children and upsetting the sheep. On the days that I feel like being civilized, or I haven't got any unicorns to ride, I sit down and pour the tumbling thoughts in my head out onto digital paper. Mainly the thoughts and characters come out in paranormal form, with a good smattering of romance, because everyone likes a good cuddle. But you can also find strong elements of thrillers, myths, and even dystopia amongst the pages of all my novels. I've wanted to write books ever since I first realised that fairytales were not the newspapers of the fairy kingdom, but the imaginings of actual people who wanted to tell fancy made-up stories to other people. From that moment, I was hooked. 

Why do I write?Good question. It might be easier to just keep the stories in my head, or even just to write them for myself. But I want to share them. There is no greater delight for a writer than when a reader devours your book, and declares, "Something in that novel resonated with me. And I want MORE." So grab your lucky clover and a baseball bat (there's some nasty paranormal creatures where we're going), eat the cookie with 'eat me' tagged on it, and enter through the tiny door into the world of Miranda Stork...

What started your interest in writing?
Reading, really. I've wanted to be a writer since I was seven, and I even remember the day I decided to become one - I had just finished an Enid Blyton novel, a writer heroine of mine, and I was so in love with the characters and descriptions that I decided there and then to pursue a career in writing. Many other things have changed about me over the years, but never the urge to tell stories to other people.

What are your currently working on?
At the moment I'm finishing up my Scarlet Rain Series, with Books Three and Four (Book Three out May 25th). I'm also working on a historical novel, and another paranormal series due out in November of this year. I'm still undecided what I'm going to do with that series, but it will definitely be paranormal.

How long did it take you to get your rough draft finished on your latest release?
I'm still doing it, hehehe! On average, for any of my rough drafts, it now takes me about two-three weeks, depending on what else is happening in my life. I'm also studying for a degree at the moment, so it takes me a lot longer when essays are due. It's an improvement on my first though, that took two years!

If you could be any paranormal creature what would you be?
I think I'd like to be a fully-fledged witch, as I'm pagan. Although pagans often do rituals and little spells, we certainly can't shoot fire out of our fingertips or turn invisible, but I'd sure like to! Who wouldn't want to be able to use magic to their advantage? I could certainly get my writing done faster. 

What was the first book you remember reading?
The very first book that I read alone was The Little Mermaid, the Ladybird Books version. I was in love with the idea of swimming in the sea to speak with fish and live in waterlogged cities, and at bathtime I used to pretend I had a fish's tail until the water got too cold, hehehe. I think I also remember reading Little Red Riding Hood, but I used to always feel sorry for the wolf at the end. Guess it explains why I first wrote about werewolves in 'Conner', my first novel. 

How did you come up with your title?
My current WIP has the title 'Creator of Shadows', and it's a repetition of all the titles in the series, which end with 'of Shadows'. Each title represents the main protagonist of each novel, in this case 'Creator', and the 'Shadows' are mysterious shadowmen that help the Rebellion in each book, although no one knows much about them...

Who is your support team?
I have a HUGE support network, and I don't think I can narrow it down into a few sentences. I have tons of author friends who pick me up when I'm down, as well as tons of non-author friends, who luckily for me, do the same. My readers offer support to me too, because without them, I wouldn't be able to tell any stories at all. And last but not least, my partner is the centre of my support. Without him quietly cheering my corner and beta reading for me, I wouldn't even be a published author. 

What do you do when your not writing?
Sleep? No, seriously, I do other stuff. I love hiking where I live, as it's all forests and hills, and even a rainy day is beautiful in Yorkshire. I love painting too, and I try to finish off a few oils when I get a spare moment. All the gasp in between are filled up with marketing, reading, movies, and seeing friends.

What was the lastest book you read?
The latest book I read was 'Choice', by Jean Booth. It's a tale that blends Atlantean (am I spelling that right?) mythology, paranormal elements, and the timeless addition of romance. It was a fab book, and I would recommend anyone who likes a blend of myth and paranormal to pick it up. 

Where did you get the idea for your book(s)?
From life, really. Anything, anyone, and everything can become a particle of an idea. I think a lot of my ideas spring initially from folk tales of paranormal creatures, and stories about ancient gods and goddesses, but a lot of what's happening in present day can inspire me too. The Scarlet Rain Series is an (extreme) play on what might happen to humanity if we continue being too greedy and not thinking about the planet and other people around us. So anything that catches my interest, is the short answer. 

Are any of your characters like you?
Hmm....yes, in a way. I think I'm quite a strong person, and I like to imbue this in all my female characters. I never want any of the ladies of my novels to be submissive, wishy-washy women, and if they start off that way, they always go on a journey that will make them stronger. I don't mean necessarily that all my female characters are kiss-ass heroines punching people, sometimes it's more of an inner strength with them. So I think that's a reflection of how I feel about myself. If I had to choose just one of my characters that I think most reflect me, it would probably be Arianwen Harris.

What genres do you write in?
Paranormal, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Dystopia...I write in whatever genre the story comes in. I'm heavily influenced by classic literature, which for the most part (even gothic horror) blended several elements together at once. For me personally, I write that way because it feels the most natural, if I'm telling more than a mere snapshot of a character's life. Life itself doesn't come in genre form, so I don't feel my character's lives should be any different.

Is there anything you will never write about?
I'm open to the idea of writing about most things. I think as people change as the years go by, the idea of what they want to write about might change. I can see a day where I might want to write historical fiction more than paranormal, for example, even though I love writing both at the moment. Having said that, I can't see myself ever writing a political thriller of any kind, they just do nothing for me, even though I love other kinds of thrillers.

Do you have a favorite quote from your book(s)?
I like lots of quotes in my books, but this is my favourite from my current WIP, meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek - "I feel Hope is a dangerous quality to hold onto. It makes you believe you can move mountains, when you can barely move a rock. And Reality is when you realise you've put your back out." - Feoran, Creator of Shadows.

Is there anything you would tell aspiring writers?
Be really, really certain you want to publish your work. You have to have a skin thicker than an elephant's, and be prepared for people not liking your work, as well as those who love it. And on top of all this, you must learn about marketing before you start, otherwise you're just another tiny fish in a big, overpopulated pond.

Sorry for the negative stuff! But here's the good stuff. Do what your heart tells you to write. Don't be constrained by a genre, or a trend, just write what comes out naturally. You can't force what your style will come out with, and you should always stay true to what you know best. You might be surprised how many readers really want what you're putting out there.

If zombies attacked what kind of supplies would you want?
How long a list can I have? Hehehe. I'd definitely want something to defend myself with, maps, and a few good quotes written down. I can imagine nothing worse than escaping a zombie horde and having no snarky line to pull out. 

Who designed your cover(s)?
I do my covers myself. Everyone who grabs my books says that they like them, so I'm happy to carry on doing them. I also do covers professionally for other authors, so hopefully I'm doing something right!

Have you learned anything from writing your book(s)?
Wow, that is a BIG question. I've learned a ton of stuff over the past two years. I don't think I'll ever stop learning either, as it's such a rapidly-changing industry. I've learnt a lot with marketing, which improves all the time. In terms of my writing, I try not to include anything which would bog the book down and not have it zip along with action, like passive voices or unnecessary descriptions. My characters have developed too, becoming richer through their actions and decisions, rather than the reader being told about how they've changed.

What was the hardest part of writing your book(s)?
Coming to the end! I'm always sad when I have to leave the characters and stop writing about them; they're all like my babies. Aside from that, writing about a death of a character always hits me a little hard, for the same reasons. 

If you could sit down with any author dead or alive who would it be?
Just one?? This is hard. But if I had to choose just one, it would have to be Bram Stoker. He created a character who was so well-known across the world, and so synonymous with the vampire genre, that Dracula still inspires books, movies, merchandising and TV series to this day. Very few characters have had that kind of impact, and I'd love to know where he got his ideas from.

If you cowrite a book with any author who would it be?
I'm actually going to be part of an anthology this year (Rehab Is For Witches), and the last story is to be written between five other authors and myself. I couldn't think of five other authors I'd rather do a book/story with, so I'm going to cheat and add five; Tara S. Wood, Elle J Rossi, Cynthia Valero, Tyffani Clark Kemp, and J. A. Howell.

What is your favorite paranormal being?
It changes all the time, but at the moment it would be a toss-up between witches and demons. There are so many ways to use those two creatures, that the possibilities are literally endless. 

How do you react to a bad review?
Nowadays, I let it breeze over me. Not everyone will like my books, and that's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I write because I love it, and enough people seem to love my stories too, that I don't let any review, good or bad, influence the way I go about writing. I think a dazzling review can be just as damaging as a bad review, if you use it as a marker that your work is perfect. A bad review that is polite and points out crucial parts of my book that were missing something can help me, as it allows me to improve on an area that I might not have thought about, or missed altogether. Part of being a writer is adapting and improving all the time, and reviews are for readers to use. 

Do you keep a notebook near your for when new ideas pop into your head?
I do! I have a slew of notebooks lying around my house in various places, including one by my bed. I put one there after I had an incredible dream one night, woke up and realised what a great book it would make, and promptly forgot it once I'd searched for somewhere to write it down. I won't make that mistake again, hehehe!

If you write a series do you reread your previous books before you begin the new one?
Yup, ALWAYS. I have so much packed into any of my books, that it's necessary for me to refresh myself. I often have at least three or four separate strands going on in the same novel, that eventually come together in the end. I'm always worried I might forget a character or miss something important.

Does much research go into your novels?
Quite a lot, now I think about it. I even research the character's names, so that they fit carefully to their personalities. I like to make sure things like geography and history are correct too, and can easily get lost in the internet if I'm not careful with my time! 

Is there anything you wish to say to your readers? 
Thank you for being awesome?! Seriously, thank you. I love that you love my characters as much as I do, and there's nothing like hearing that they left a tiny imprint somewhere in your soul.

Author Links:
Blog/Webpage: www.mirandastork.com

Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten… 

Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man… 

Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks… 

As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…

The year is 2038. 

Feoran has followed through on his promise to enslave humanity, and humanity is being crushed under his oppression. Anyone who rebels is sent to the Factory. 

Until one woman, Psyche Tawton, decides to run. 

And she will prove his undoing. 

Psyche leads an everyday life—well, for someone alive in the era of the Clan’s long shadow. A single event involving her best friend and her friends’ vampire master puts her on a road to rebellion, causing a ripple that will change the course of history, and the lives of those she comes into contact with. 

Then she meets Torolf. 

A werewolf with a chequered past, Torolf is instantly intrigued when he lays eyes on the violet-eyed beauty, but the wolf within him cannot accept a human as his mate. But deciding whether they should give in to their desires is the least of their troubles, as Feoran sets them firmly in his sights and makes them the centrefold for his newest horrific campaign. Starting with her best friend sent over to the Factory. 

With the help of Torolf, the other immortals, and the Human Rebellion, Psyche will be the catalyst for the most important change in human history since the Clan took over. But she will also be the catalyst for her own fate, unlocking a secret about herself that is so destructive… 

…it may kill her.

Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate... 

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresistible feeling that seems to bind them together... 

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that pursues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin's lost memories. 

As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed...?

Erin is the werewolf Queen of Athol Castle. She has no memories of the events of a few months ago, where she believed herself to be a psychologist, and met the enigmatic and charming Conner... 

Filtiarn has taken over Conner’s body once more, and is relishing being in control. Cruel and sensual, he decides to work on a plan...to take over humanity. He begins a war...of werewolves against humans. But unknown to him, Conner is fighting against him within his own body, to set things right, and to bring Erin back from her own darkness. He tries to undo a great mistake from long ago, using Erin’s famed sword, Sioctine, as remnants of his own memory come back to him, opening up the present he now lives in. 

At the same time, another enemy is using the situation to their advantage, following the werewolves at every turn, threatening to undo everything that Conner is struggling to obtain... 

But will he be able to bring Erin back from Filtiarn’s grasp, or is it too late? And will he be able to stop the war against the humans progressing? 

And who is threatening to take over not only the humans, but the werewolves as well?

Sex and the paranormal have always gone hand and hand, and these stories will delve into your deepest fears and fantasies.... 

A young woman has a strange urge, one she cannot fulfil-she dreams of fangs and blood along with her most sensual thoughts. She is beginning to think she will go mad, when a chance encounter with a stranger occurs at a country hotel... 

A simple night in the woods with her possibly ex-boyfriend starts terribly for Selena, and gets worse at it turns murderous. But what she doesn't realise is that sometimes murderous creatures get a taste for women lost in the woods... 

Elisabeth is a useless Wiccan witch, with less power in her whole body than anyone else's little finger. So when she finds an advert advertising help with finding your magickal niche, she decides to take it up. But the bearer of the advert has another reason to attract her to him... 

Having been alive longer than any other vampire she knows, Arielle has fought quite a few hunters in her time. But one night a hunter breaks in who catches her attention, and her desires...and a vampire’s desires may not always be what you want them to be... 

Warning! This book contains graphic scenes of sex, mild BDSM scenes, some swearing, very hot and sexy men and women both paranormal and human, and just a sprinkle of cheekiness!

Reborn City-Miranda Stork 

Nyx has one mission in life; bring down the brainwashing of New Omsk’s citizens, and release them from their mundane lives of toil. The year is 2355, and the world is a new place. A Governor is in charge of every city in the world, and humanity is attempting to rebuild itself after recovering from a war that nearly killed it. But this Governor has set his eyes on the intrepid little hacker, Nyx, and he will stop at nothing to get her. But perhaps he needs her more than he ever dreamed he would…as do his citizens.

The wheel of the year turns, bringing the joy of spring, the warmth of summer, the richness of autumn, and the merriment of winter. But eight Celtic festivals link these seasons together, bringing with them romance, lust, danger, and even magic. From a city under threat from night-time creatures at Ostara, to a selkie caught by the light of the Lughnasadh moon, to a writer caught in the flames of a fiery goddess at Imbolc.

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