Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Magical Return and Serena Shay

Hi Rhonda, Thanks for having me here today. I like what you’ve done with the place. By the by, what great questions you’ve asked…I could have gone on and on! ~sassy smile~

How long have you been a writer?

Oh I’ve always been a writer, only I didn’t listen to the characters in my head until a few years ago. As a kid I was always playing with my imaginary friends, acting out little stories I’d come up with. As a teen my imaginary friends became more internal and questioning. “What if this happened?” “How can we get such-n-so together with wa-whoz-a-what?” “What if Barry bad guy gets in-between Sheena Lovegood and Dirk Dogooder?” Clearly, I wasn’t listening or I’d have gotten it all down on paper. As an adult, real life hit loud and large, effectively drowning out the voices until a few years ago. When my characters came back, they did it with a vengeance. No more waiting around the green room in my head (which is gorgeous, by the by. They took me on a tour.) Nope, they wanted to tell their stories and I was the conduit. It’s been a heck of a ride so far!

What is your favorite thing about writing?

The surprise. Yep, definitely the surprise. I tend to be both a plotter and a pantser, but no matter how much pre-writing work I do on a story, my characters are always able to surprise me. In A Magical Return, the heroine Emterra has an Other, Irene, living inside of her. In my plotting, Irene was to be motherly. Well, when I started writing, Irene slithered in as sexy as you please and insisted there was nothing motherly in the feelings she had for Emterra. So what’s an author to do but say yes ma’am and write it the way they want it. ~grin~

How many books have you written? How many have been published?

I have four written, two published and about a half a dozen other started. Many times my stories get their start as a flash fiction piece. An idea I’m compelled to get down in a scene, be it from the beginning, middle or end of a story. We’ve been doing a lot of flash fiction over at my group blog Shapeshifter Seductions, about a town by the name of Talbot’s Peak. It’s been a riot. I can be found there on Friday’s giving tours of the town as a frustrated duck shifter, or I’ll be taunting the town’s sexy newspaper editor with a new switch I’ve found. (He has this thing about wood.)

Do you find love scenes difficult to write?

Oh gosh no. Those are my favorite scenes to write. LOL When I started to seriously try my hand at writing, none of my characters had a sweet love story to tell. Which was fine by me—I always ended up frustrated when I’d read the closed door romance. I mean, we know they’re not playing chess in there… ~wink~

What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?

The freedom to create a fantasy world of my own liking. I love taking a normal place and time and filling it with unique characters or going the other way, creating a totally abstract world and dropping non-paranormal people into it, just to see how they do!

Do you characters talk to you?

24/7! Ever since the day they got tired of waiting for me to listen and bust down the green room door they’ve been talking to me. Some quite verbally, others in pictures or movie-like clips in my head and some even whisper to me in my dreams. They’ve become like cherished friends. The do quiet down once I’ve written their story though.

Who controls the storyline, you or your characters?

Definitely them. I actually have very little control of the stories I write, which I’ve learned can be a bit dangerous and a whole lot time consuming. I’m more the moderator and the fingers that put the words on the paper.

Do you set timelines when you’re writing or write when the feeling hits you?
Actually, it’s a little bit of both. I try to set timelines and page/word counts, but only when I’m getting down to the end or struggling to keep the characters on task. Other than that, I let my characters tell me when they are ready to go, which they almost always are! ~wink~

Do you have any tips for new writers?

You know, this is probably the same advice they’ve heard from other authors, but write something, be it a story, short story, flash, or blog, everyday. Missing one day can quickly turn into two then three… Also, read! There is so much writing technique you can pick up by reading plus it stimulates the writing mind! The one other word of advice…never be afraid to put your thoughts down on a piece of paper, no one sees it but you until you’re ready to share and you’ll be surprised with what you come up with!

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you like to be and why?

Not really a what, more like who… Anita Blake. Yep, I’m a fan. Human Vampire, Shapeshifter without the change, but ya know, who knows what the future holds, Monster hunter extraordinaire with the love and adoration of a few good men! Pretty darn nifty. ~smile~

Tell us a little about your book.

A Magical Return is the story of love both lost and found in a world brimming with magic if you’re willing to open yourself to it. Check out the blurb below to learn a little more about the characters…

The Loss
Conleth “Cole” Douglas, warlock and vessel, needs a miracle. A destructive force has taken hold of his town and it will take more than just he and his magical Other, Cole, to eradicate the Evil. When an attempt to open his lover, Emterra, to their shared destiny fails, Conleth and Cole take extreme measures to stop the rising darkness. Their only option: take it, and themselves, into another realm.

Emterra “Irene” Azzurra, untapped witch and vessel, has given up on finding her own happy-ever-after. Devastated by the loss of her one and only love she becomes disinterested and remote, closed off from a life without Conleth. Even her job as the mayor of the dying town of Douglasville, MO, fails to sustain her, until she gets a blast from the past…

The Return
He’s back, alive and whole, but he didn’t come alone. The evil they’d hoped to contain in a distant realm has returned with him and is out to finish the job it started. There can be no failure this time, the now middle-aged, Emterra must accept her Other or doom the town to an agonizing death.

Skeptical of his sudden homecoming, Emterra is afraid to hope that his return could be true. She balks at the idea of opening her heart to him again. Especially when he looks like the same young Goth from ten years ago and tries to convince her she’s sharing skin with a magical being.

Can Conleth prove his claims of magic and the Others to be true? Can Emterra allow herself to believe in love and his wild claims? Or will the returning Evil finally swallow this town and all its inhabitants into the deepest realms of hell.

A Magical Return will be available June 20th 2011 at the Liquid Silver Books site. www.liquidsilverbooks.com

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?


April 1st, 10 years ago
Northern Missouri, outside of Douglasville, in a barren tobacco field
Giant plumes of fire shot into the air, bracketing both the stage and Conleth ‘Cole’ Douglas within their heated embrace. The pyrotechnic display filled the night sky with showers of crackling flames.
An unknown force had let loose a demon within the town of Douglasville. Malevolent was too nice a word for this beast. This evil was a promise maker, a soul sucker, a bloody life taker, and now it was Conleth’s job to send it back to Hell. The only problem--he wasn’t nearly strong enough on his own. For this, he needed Em.
Emterra Azzurra was many things to him, his friend and lover, his soul mate--but right now what he needed the most was the thing inside her. Deep within the body, he knew quite intimately, was a being of magic, a source of goodness, an Other--one who had the ability to work with his own Other to defeat the evil bearing down on them now.
“Terra quod ventus nos queso ye, adeo nos, reperio vestri populous.” ‘Earth and wind we beseech ye, come to us, find your host’.
Together Conleth and his Other called the wind and summoned the earth. The task put a strain on their waning energy, as neither power was theirs to wield. Yet, they could only hope there was enough force to release Emterra’s powers, link her to the earth and air around them, and free her Other.
Magic spiraled through the crowd, seeping into pores and burrowing under skin, looking for its host, looking for Emterra. She was here. He could feel her; his Other had scented her life force as she’d entered the field of battle.
Con knew Emterra had the power to control the wind and a body to embrace the being she carried inside. With practice, she would hone the skill to become truly powerful, a force to be reckoned with, but time was an indulgence neither could afford. He had to encourage her to try, right here and right now. A gentle introduction to her new life was something he could not give her this time as he had in the past.
He prayed she would forgive him.
“Em,” he whispered inside her head. Her thoughts were a confused jumble of fears and questions. She didn’t yet believe in psychic links as Conleth did, but this was the only way he could find her in the mass of humanity about to be used as food.
“How can I...in my head...Con.” Her emotions were scattered, but in her newly cop-like way, she’d locked them deep down inside. “What are you doing?”
“Something good, my love, nothing that can hurt you.” He hoped. “But I need you to trust me.”
“Con, I’ve always trusted you, but...but this time, you’ve gone too far...please stop.”
“Do you remember our last concert, Em?”
He flashed a vision of them into her mind, taking her to a past where they soared into the eclectic world of musical freedoms and expressions, while around them, drugs and liquor flowed freely. Amid the rabid throng, they too screamed and beat their hands in the air to the squeal of the electric guitar and each bang on the skins of the drum.
“Don’t, please don’t make me remember this, Con.”
Her mental plea broke his heart. A heart that had always and would always beat for her and her alone. Unfortunately, his love and devotion to her were not enough to keep him from what he had to do, no matter how painful it may be.
“I’m sorry, my love, but you must remember. I need, no--we--need you to remember..”.
He sent her another vision. This time it was a memory of those magically successful moments when she had relaxed and let go enough for her Other to come close. She stood in the past, her hands high above her head as he’d cupped her breasts from behind. They swayed to the ballad screeching from the massive speakers. Nipples hardened to painful points between his fingers and thumbs as he squeezed them. He held her tight as she shook, he knew, from the shocking power filling her body.
“Say it, Em,” he’d whispered. “Say the words.”
“Vicis congelo,” she screamed into the sky above them. The Latin words for ‘time freeze’ rang clearly through the air.
Everything slowed. The band, being further away from them, moved as if they were stuck in a muddy bog, starting and stopping, their sounds low and slurred. The fans surrounding them, however, froze in pre- and post-head-banging modes. They stood amidst the previous chaos, enthralled by the strength of this new gift.
A steel door ended the vision with a finality that worried him. They were back in the present, with evil all around them, and again she squashed the emotions and thoughts inside her. “Em, please...”
“No Con, that vision is nothing more than a drug-induced nightmare of a time best forgotten. It wasn’t real...”
Conleth’s Other began demanding release. “It was very real, Em, and what you did then, controlling time, is what we need now.”
“Stop it, Con, just stop this. The time for foolish pranks and pretending to be magical are over--it’s time to grow up!”
Goddess, he thought as he was pushed back into the background of his mind, exchanging consciousness with his Other--they were screwed.

Where can your readers reach you?

I can be found at www.serenashay.com or mostly at my blog http://serenashay.blogspot.com/

I’m also a regular at my group blog Shapeshifter Seductions http://shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com/

Thanks for being with us today Serena!


  1. Hi Rhonda, Thanks for having me here today! :)

  2. Congrats on the new release, Serena. I'm looking forward to diving into it soon.


  3. Enjoyed the interview and congrats on your new release!

  4. Serena, your sheer creativity always draws me into your books, and your flash scenes at ShapeShifter Seductions.

    My characters run the show, too, and love throwing in those monkey-wrench surprises.

  5. Thanks Gem! I hope you enjoy Con and Emterra's story. :)

  6. Thanks Bree! Rhonda asked some great questions, it was a really fun interview! I can't wait until July 7th so I too can feel the Burn. Good luck with the release. :)

  7. Thank you, Savanna! I'm so glad you enjoy my work. ((hugs)) and ~smiles~

    LOL...I wonder, did Zin and Zol love throwing some hellishly hot surprises yours or Kandy's way... Thank goodness you Aug release is so close!

  8. Yeah, the hellhound rascals... enough to turn it into a novel instead of a novella. And Kandy ended up being more complex than I realized at first.

    Oh, those characters just love roping us in, then hogtying us to their stories. LOL...