Friday, January 13, 2012

Cursed Blog Tour - GIVEAWAY and Author Interview with S.A. Archer

Is everyone ready for another fun January weekend?  I think we'll be sticking around home, trying to get some projects done...and I'll be finishing up some editing jobs, hopefully...  I'll have to toss in a good nap or maybe some movie time for myself to make it worthwhile :-).  Thankfully, it IS a long weekend, which means the hubs will be home an extra day!

Today, I am hosting S.A. Archer during his Cursed Blog Tour.  Archer is writing a few fantastic series of dark urban fantasy stories/novelettes, and this definitely isn't the last you'll hear from him and his co-author, S. Ravynheart.  So, let's get to the interview, and y'all be on the lookout for these guys again next month!

In case you missed my review of Cursed, you can check that out HERE.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!!!

Author Interview
S.A. Archer
Cursed (Touched I)

GL:  Please introduce yourself to everyone.

SA:  My pleasure. I’m S.A. Archer, but most folks just call me Archer. I am half of the team that created The Sidhe, a serialized Urban Fantasy adventure which includes the Touch, Rise of the Unseelie, and the Champion of the Sidhe mini-series.

GL:  Now, tell us about Cursed and the Touched series.

SA:  Touched is a five-book mini-series starring London Eyer, a private investigator who specializes in parahuman cases. In the first story, Cursed, London is ‘hired’ by a Sidhe. Because London has previously worked for wizards, the mortal enemy of the fey, there is only one way to ensure her loyalty. Against her will, the Sidhe Touches London. The magic of the Touch is a curse for humans. Although it gives a wonderful and erotic high, the magic is more addictive than any drug. If she doesn’t receive the Touch every few weeks she will begin to suffer terrible withdrawal pains. Throughout the series London is going to struggle to try and reclaim control over her life. Given that there is no cure for the Touch and the Sidhe are being hunted to extinction by vampires, wizards, and unscrupulous lesser fey, London’s future is anything but certain.

GL:  What other work do you have out now?

SA:  We have two other mini-series besides Touched. The first two books in the Rise of the Unseelie mini-series are already available. Aftershock follows Donovan, former head of the Unseelie Elite, in the aftermath of the Collapse of Mounds, the fey home realm. He will be gathering the young, untrained Sidhe before the predators can destroy what remains of his race. Scars of Silver is the second book which introduces Malcolm, a captured 17-year-old Sidhe exploited for his Touch magic, and furthers Donovan’s mission to rebuild a home for the Unseelie on the earth realm in modern day Ireland.
We also have the first two books in the Champion of the Sidhe series available. This is the Seelie line, and follows Lugh throughout the Collapse and into the devastation that follows. All fey are half physical and half magical. Without the Mounds to recharge their magic, the fey will eventually Fade. In the second story, Champion of the Fey, Lugh begins the hunt for the artifacts needed for a long shot mission to rebuild the realm of fey.

GL:  What is the inspiration for this dark, dangerous world you have created?

SA:  The world, characters, and story of The Sidhe arose out of a role playing game developed by my partner, S. Ravynheart, and myself. The intense game between he and I lasted for months, with him manning the helm of the Unseelie forces and me spearheading the Seelie. The game was just for fun between the two of us, and for a while it was something of an obsession. What resulted was a massive and detailed world with a fully realized history and culture, characters with incredible depth, and an intense storyline full of action and twists beyond what either of us could have created on our own. When we reached a natural resting point in the saga, we looked over all we had created and though it was too amazing not to share.

GL:  This is incredible!  I always love it when a book or series comes out of something cool like this!

GL:  What prompted you to release your series in short stories or novelettes? 

SA:  We spent a lot of time working out the details of how best bring the stories to the reader. Because it was so massive and in depth we knew we couldn’t do it justice with the traditional novel format. We wanted readers to be able to decide for themselves who to root for. There are no villains, per se. Each character fully believes in the rightness of their point of view and is willing to fight to defend it. We wanted to give the reader the option to side with the freedom-loving and wild Unseelie, or with the noble and civilized Seelie, or with the outsiders like London who is caught up in their world, but not fully a part of it. While the different lines can be read individually, there is a lot of cross over when you read them all, making the story come fully to life in multiple dimensions.

We also felt that with serializing the novellas and bringing them out on a rapid schedule the readers could step into the world and remain a part of it more easily than if they had to endure the long waiting period that occurs with novels. We stay tightly focused on the story and don’t dilute the intensity by add the filler that you find in many novels. So you won’t find our characters working a day job, chit chatting with the neighbors, or any of the other mundane activities that is often used to beef up the word count just for the honor of slapping the label ‘novel’ on the story. We stick tightly to the meat of the action and the story is more powerful for it.

GL:  I agree.  I think this is a perfect way to release this story, and I think the readers will all appreciate it greatly!

GL:  Of all your characters, who was/is the most difficult to write?  Easiest?

SA:  Lugh gives me more trouble than any of the other characters. It has to be his way, in his words, or he shuts up and won’t give me anything. When he’s on a roll he is wonderful to write. It’s almost more like channeling than writing. But if I try and steer things a certain way, or force the story to come when he’s done talking for the day, I can’t get anywhere with it. I had probably five false starts for his first book before I finally got “End of the World.” And about half of the original version of “Champion of the Fey” got tossed and rewritten from scratch. He and I have a system that works now, though. He talks and I write. I don’t even try and argue with him anymore. He’s far too Seelie to have it any other way.

As for the easiest to write, I would have to say Malcolm. Not that what he goes through is easy, because he has a really hard time of things, especially in Scars of Silver. But he’s got such a wonderful and genuine voice. I don’t have to reach for his words or his thoughts or his emotions. He was sixteen when he first discovered he was Sidhe, and then he promptly ran away to figure out who he is and what being Sidhe even means. He is completely unaware and unprepared for what happens. Probably more than any other character, Malcolm will go through a lot of growth and changes.

GL:  Whom do you relate to the most?

SA:  That is not an easy question to answer. Whenever I am writing any particular character I submerge myself within them. For me the story is the most powerful when I can put myself fully into their point of view. So while writing any one of the characters I relate completely with them. While writing London, I suffer her frustration and desperation as she deals with the curse, and her intense bliss whenever she experiences the Touch. When I am writing Lugh’s adventures I feel his dedication, determination, and deep love for his people. It is like that for each one, even when they have opposing goals and mindsets.

GL:  If you were given a choice, what type of creature would you like to be?

SA:  That’s easy. I’d be a Sidhe. They are half magical and half physical, which allows them to live forever, in theory. Of course, it is their innate magic that makes them so desirable as prey. Especially for their Touch, which is as erotic as it is addictive. I would love to possess the beauty and grace of the Sidhe, but more than that, I would love to experience magic the way that they do. To feel it kindle within them and then burst forth to manifest through whatever unique aspect of magic they possess. For them life is magic. Without magic there is no life.

GL:  With all the vampire books out there now, were you worried at all about including vamps in your work?  (FTR: “I” don’t think you should be!)

SA:  The vampires aren’t the focus of the stories, so I wasn’t worried about the books becoming lost in a sea of similar titles. There are not a lot of people writing about the Sidhe yet. Vampires are fundamentally sexy so I don’t see them going away any time soon. Even though I identify more closely with the Sidhe, I can still get into the vampire mentality. I mean, hasn’t everyone seen a picture of someone truly hot and thought “I could so bite that”?

GL:  Or be bitten by that ;-)…

GL:  What is on the agenda?  What do we have to look forward to?

SA:  We are getting ready to release Addicted, London’s second book in the Touched mini-series. Events in this story will have repercussions in both of the other two lines. All three mini-series are going to start interweaving even more as we build to the fifth and final books in each line. But we are not stopping there. Not by a long shot. Think of it more like the season finale. All three lines will come together explosively and ignite a whole new set of mini-series that will follow. With the storyline we have yet to cover there is at least a few years’ worth of books to come.

GL:  I am looking forward to it!

GL:  What do you enjoy when you aren’t hard at work writing?

SA:  Writing is my passion and the world of the Sidhe is my obsession. Even when I am not actively writing I am working on the stories in my head. I’m a discovery writer, so as I am driving along or doing whatever I am watching scenes play out. Once in a while I’ll sit down and watch a program on Netflix, but even then I’ll catch myself thinking, “Orlando Bloom would be perfect as Lugh.”

GL:  I’m very much the same.  Anything and everything can be an inspiration; then sometimes, everything just comes completely out of nowhere.

GL:  Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?

SA:  I spent about a week and a half in Ireland a few years ago. That was an awesome trip. Some of the photos from that trip are actually in the background in some of the covers. The backdrop for Cursed is Bunratty Castle, although for the story we are using it for the tower where London meets Bain. I went over to Ireland with certain ideas about what I thought it would be like, but it was very different. Almost every little town has a castle and it’s an ordinary sight for them. As you drive along those way-too-narrow roads there are places where you can see the rolling hills stretch out forever, and it is all partitioned off like a patchwork quilt with low stone walls about two feet high. The whole time we were there we only saw two fast food restaurants, and we ate in them both so we could use their WiFi. I draw from that trip a lot in the stories, most of which takes place in Ireland. I’d love to go back again.

GL:  Ireland is number two on my list of places to travel someday (soon)! 

GL:  Have you ever met anyone famous?

SA:  The most famous person I have met was the stunt guy for Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movie. He came to the mall, all dressed up as Vader, with a couple of storm troopers as escorts, and the Vader theme music blaring. He even did the thing where he picked someone up by the throat and they dangled for a few seconds before he put them back down. I was about eight years old and thought it was massively cool.

GL:  That is awesome!

GL:  Any big plans/resolutions for the New Year?

SA:  My writing partner Ravynheart and I are lining everything up to release all five books in our three mini-series, so fifteen books in all, throughout this next year. That sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but I am loving every minute of the writing. I really love these characters and their story, and I can’t wait to see it all unfold. We are also already in the planning stages for the next group of series that will follow.

GL:  I wish you all the best!  I know this year is going to be a huge success for you both….

Thanks so much for stopping in today!  I'm looking forward to having you guys back next month!  

Here's where you can find Archer: (free fiction blog)

The guys are generously offering up the entire Touched series to one lucky reader.  Each of the five books will be sent to the winner as they become available.  Please complete the following form OR leave a comment below with your email to be entered to win.  Good luck!!

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