The (nearly) Naughty Nine with Xandra James
So today, we welcome Xandra to nine for he week. And start the week with a paranormal twist!
Hi Xandra, Welcome to Raven's Nine for the Weekend. Glad you could drop by.
Q We'll get this one over first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A Hi Raven, thanks for having me here today! A bit about me, okay… I'm 33, married with cats, and have boxes and boxes of books that I hope one day to get bookshelves for (the boxes are normal, right?). I dislike celery and beef hula-hoop crisps intensely and will try every excuse under the moon to get out of doing the housework… just ask my long suffering hubby! I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and my first ever release – a novella called Reluctant Revenge -- is out with Pink Petal Books on December 1st
Q Thanks, now we can probe a bit more. What are you writing at the moment? Going to share any of it with us? (I know that's really two questions, but hey we will call it a and b)
A Well I've just finished writing a paranormal short story that had me pulling my hair out. I love writing novellas but this was my first foray into short stories and it was like giving me a huge box of chocolates and then telling me I could only eat three. It was hard. Thankfully, my muse (okay, it was the coffee) helped me get through it and I finished the first draft a few days ago.
The draft is pretty rough and it'll make me cringe if I share so I'll wet your appetite with a short excerpt from my upcoming release, Reluctant Revenge. I told you it was out soon, right? December 1st… ;)
The cracking of his neck was the only sound he made in the darkness as he reined in his natural impulses and took another deep breath, calm spreading slow and easy through his mind but not his body. No, his body was on high alert and waiting.
Minutes ticked by as he watched the door, his patience at an all time low. The creature he was waiting for finally walked back out thirty minutes later and moved across to the small undercover smoking pit. Alone, the Strix lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. A habit most creatures relished, given their life expectancy and moon healing abilities. Jeremiah – the self professed lady killer Strix – stood silently, unaware he was being watched.
This would be Nash’s only opportunity. Time had run out for this little punk and he was sick of looking at Jeremiah's pretty face.
He stepped out of the shadows, keeping his head bent low but his eyes sharp, Jeremiah his constant target. As a trained Enforcer he would use any advantage he had, and right now the hybrid blood running through his veins helped him to stealthily approach and subdue.
The cigarette was left to burn on the ground, the only sign someone had been there as Nash retreated back to his hiding place with his prey.
Shadow covered him once more with the wriggling Strix silently choking under the strain of his hold. The Strix was no match for Nash's unusual hybrid blood, his strength and power over-powering the young creature.
Nash watched the club door and the close vicinity. No one had seen him and no one was looking for the person in his arms. Part one of his mission was complete.
Jeremiah strained against the hold as he was lowered to the ground, Nash’s bicep squeezed at its throat. The fight was leaving the creature as it used its remaining energy on scraping and scratching at his arm with its extended nails, but Nash didn’t release his hold until the body sagged some more. Dropping it the last few feet to ground, Nash kicked him, then followed him down with a knee resting on his chest, hand at his throat.
"You picked up the wrong woman this time my friend." Nash pulled the sharpened stake out of the messenger bag tucked around his neck and shoulder and held it against Strix flesh. Its eyes widened as realisation finally struck. He obviously wasn’t the quickest flesh-eater in town.
"I was under instructions. I have no interest … you can have her--"
The stake smashed down into Jeremiah’s chest with a mortal wound six inches deep. Nash wasn’t sure whether his lightning quick reaction was more that the Strix's breath had stunk to high hell or the fact that he’d been so quick to give the woman away. He hoped it was the latter.
Oh wow, on my to buy list! So…
Q How long have you been writing?
A Forever. I've always loved books – especially romance books, and I've always 'known' I was going to be a writer, even though it took me until I was 25 to actually finish writing a story! I am the Queen of first chapters it seems and my poor laptop and notebooks are full of them. I actually started writing fiction 'seriously' a little over a year ago. I think time finally caught up with me and I realized it was now or never so I entered New Voices 2010 (the mills & boon competition) and didn't place at all in it. I did meet some of the nicest writers ever though and I guess the rest is history. J
Q What is your favorite genre? To write or read.
A I'll read most romance genre's but I love a fun contemporary author like Janet Evanovich, a quick Mills & Boon read in most any of their lines but mostly I adore reading paranormals full of humour and hot heroes. Kerrelyn Sparks is a must buy author for me.
I love writing paranormal romance most of all I think at the moment. I relish being able to make a character just a little bit weird and wonderful but still make them bow down to that very human emotion of falling in love.
Q Where do you prefer to write? What do you wear? And eat? (OK, I know this is cheating as well, but we need all the gen in our naughty nine)
A I would love to say I have a lovely office, full of books and top of line technology. In reality I usually write on my old laptop, sitting in my lounge, trying to balance my coffee and usually a cat or two. Most often I'll wear a t-shirt and shorts or track-suit bottoms as I don't like to feel restricted. Of course, when I have visitors, I have to actually do my make-up and hair so they don't think I'm a complete slob. And I'm not a big eater when I write. The most important thing to me is having a constant supply of coffee. When I'm in the writing zone, I'll very often forget about everything, including my lovely hot drink…
Q So three things you love
A My family, my books and sweet things J
Q Three you don't
A My family, no wait… okay, err. Bullies, arrogance and spiders.
Q Three things you would like to happen in the next three years? Feel free to add to the three things you don't,
A To keep getting published and to actually improve as a writer, to win the lottery (I can hope, right?) and to be happy and healthy surrounded by those I love. What I don't want to happen, well, the opposite of those things I've just said! Lol.
That's it painless eh? Thanks for dropping by and giving us a peek into your life. Feel free to add any links to blogs websites etc so we can all find out what you are up to.
You can find me on Twitter @xandrajames, Facebook and at my website www.xandrajames.com or at www.thebookbordello.com (where I love to promote fantastic romance books and their authors!).