I am excited to host L.D. Rose, doctor by day, committed writer by night (or weekend…or any other time off!). Her debut novel, Releasing the Demons, has been described as intense and action-packed with heart-pounding, hold-your-breath scenes; as you can imagine, her readers anxiously await another book!
Here, L.D. talks about making time to write, finding inspiration from music, and beating her muse into submission (I’m sure many of you can relate!). Read on for her insights and for excerpts from her debut.
How long have you wanted to be a romance writer?
This may sound crazy, but I didn’t start taking writing seriously until I went to medical school. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a doctor, but I’ve been a writer my entire life and I always wanted to see my work published some day. Working in the medical field and watching people become sick (and sometimes die) on a near daily basis made me realize if I wanted to achieve my goal of publishing a novel, I shouldn’t wait. I should go for it, no matter how busy or crazy life is, because who knows what could happen tomorrow? Many patients I took care of voiced so many regrets while they lay on their deathbed and it really got to me. Don’t put off your dreams or one day you may not have a chance to achieve them.
Was this the first book you had written?
My first book was a 250K word monster I wrote in college that’ll never see the light of day. It took about three years to finish, but I learned so much from it. When I wrote Releasing the Demons in medical school (which took two years to complete), I think I finally had a handle on what writing a novel was all about. I’m no expert for sure, as I’m always learning something new every day, but I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from that awful first book, LOL.
What inspired you to write Releasing the Demons?
This entire series has been in my head for a very long time! I used to participate in role-playing games in high school and college (yep, total geekery) and I used to create character profiles all the time. My six boys for the Order of the Senary popped up in a slightly different manner then, but the overall gist was the same—six genetically engineered half-vampire mercenaries created by the U.S. military to take out vampires in a pseudo-post apocalyptic NYC. Each of these fellas has their own superpower(s) due the dramatic side effects of species hybridization with both physical and mental manifestations. I love stories with some element of romance in them so I had to hook each of these boys up with a special lady, and my muse pretty much took off with the idea and ran with it.
Do you work on simultaneous projects?
No, I really try to stick with one project at a time. Of course when inspiration strikes me, I write down ideas for sequels and new series, but if I don’t stick to my guns on one book, I’ll never get it done! I’m easily distracted so sometimes I have to beat my muse into submission. 😉
How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?
Being a doctor certainly doesn’t help, LOL. I’m a hardcore weekend (or rather, day off) and vacation warrior, and sometimes I’m able to steal short periods of time during the work week, but it doesn’t always work out. I have to find time to study as well since I’m a resident physician, so it’s pretty much a juggling act. Not to mention the hubby needs attention too! You just got to MAKE time. Carve it out from your busy life and give it attention, just like you would with anything else (like your hubby, for instance!). I’ve had to abandon things (like cable) and I honestly don’t miss them—make time for what’s important to you, and if writing is important, then treat it that way.
Were you involved in a writer’s group?
I joined a wonderful writing group (the CoLoNY chapter of the RWA) who were super welcoming and very supportive. I give them all the credit for encouraging me to get out there and submit my manuscript to publishers.
Who gave you feedback as you worked through writing the book?
I had several beta readers who helped me out during RtD’s various stages, all of whom are so precious to me! Some are purely readers, others writers, and I think it’s important to have a mix of both. Their feedback has been invaluable and I wouldn’t be published without them.
What kept you going through the process?
Music is a huge inspiration for me and I have playlists for each one of my books, both written and unwritten. I do have to write in silence, but outside of writing, I’m constantly playing tunes that inspire certain scenes, qualities and characters in my WIPs. I’m also addicted to Pinterest (who isn’t?) and I have boards for my ideas and stories. Visual aids definitely fire up my muse! 😛
Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?
Nope, not at all. I don’t believe in writing for a market–I just write what I love!
What did you do when you got the go-ahead?
I received my contract from Soul Mate Publishing in an email and I stared at it for quite some time in disbelief. It took me almost a week to realize it wasn’t going to vanish and I had to, you know, answer it!
Who’s the first person you called?
My husband was home and I pretty much squealed and leapt onto him in excitement. 😀
What has surprised you most about this process?
Before I even thought about publishing RtD, I did some research into the industry. I was fully aware of the rapidly changing environment of eBooks and self-publishing and knew even traditionally published authors needed to take on a bigger role for marketing. The influx of books into Amazon has been tremendous and it’s hard to get your book to stand out (particularly if it’s in a saturated market, like vampires for instance). Although I expected all of this, you don’t really know until you go through it, and I’m definitely going through it now, LOL.
What would you change if you could?
Absolutely nothing. I’m happy with the route I took and I’ve enjoyed seeing my book out there in the world. 🙂 Sure, everyone wants a big publishing contract on their first ride out, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to unleash RtD. 🙂
Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren’t over yet.
Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.
Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn’t a man at all—he’s a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she’s ever known.
In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B013GVCC7I
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013GVCC7I
L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.
Author page: facebook.com/ldroseauthorpage
Valerie kept her eyes locked on the glass windows covered with cigarette prices and beer ads, watching Tattoos pay up at the cash register. Once she reached the side of the building, she pressed her back against the warm brick wall. Sweat trickled down her spine and she wiped her clammy hands on her jeans before she drew her Beretta. She listened for the bell hanging above the store entrance, and when it jingled, she peered past the corner of the building.
There he is.
Holding a pack of Marlboros, he slipped it into his back pocket along with a silver money clip. He walked back toward the Chevelle, scanning the area one more time as he stepped off the concrete elevation.
This is it. Do it. Now!
With her gun pointed at the ground in a two-handed grip, Valerie pushed off the wall and turned the corner, staring at his back. Her voice was loud and clear as she called, “Blaze.”
He stopped and pivoted around. A fleeting expression of confusion filled his face, but it quickly turned into shock as she lifted her gun and shouted, “Freeze, NYPD!”
Gasps and shouts resounded as everyone turned their attention on her. Some people ducked while others gawked, and she wished they would just climb into their cars and get the hell out of here. She did her best to ignore them, keeping her focus solely on the man before her as she carefully approached him. He didn’t make any sudden movements, his brow furrowing as a muscle in his jaw ticked.
Valerie flashed her badge to prove she wasn’t bullshitting. “Get your hands in the air where I can see them.”
He slowly lifted his arms and spread his hands out wide. Then spoke with a voice like black gravel, matching his appearance all too well. “What’s going on here?”
She closed in on him, his presence becoming more and more overwhelming. Sirens resonated in the distance, sending a trickle of relief through her. He didn’t appear armed but that didn’t mean jack.
“Turn around and get down on the ground. Now!”
Anger consumed the confusion on his face but he surprisingly complied, giving her his back again before dropping to his knees with his hands above his head.
She kept her gun aimed and her mind submerged in the well of her calm. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d arrested someone; she usually shot to kill. “Cross your ankles,” she ordered, and he did so, crossing his booted ankles as if he’d done this before.
Valerie placed her foot in the space between his legs, so if he attempted to stand he would end up flat on his face. People finally backed away as she removed her tungsten carbide handcuffs from her utility belt, gripping the Beretta with knuckles white as chalk. Tungsten carbide was the only metal strong enough to hold a vampire, but she used it on everyone, regardless of species. Two New Rochelle cruisers whipped into the gas station, blocking off both exits before four officers leapt out of their respective vehicles. Valerie put the gun up and cuffed Blaze’s dominant hand, swinging his right arm around before latching onto the left.
He didn’t put up a fight. He didn’t even flinch. But he balled his big hands into fists at his back. She read him his Miranda rights as she cinched the cuffs around both of his thick wrists.
“You have the right to remain silent—”
“I have the right to know what’s going on,” he growled, showing her his savage profile.
“Anything you do or say can be used against you in a court of law.”
“What are you arresting me for?”
“You have the right to an attorney.”
“Fuck the attorney—”
She yanked the chain of his cuffs, bringing his solid body against her as the faint scent of cologne tickled her nose. She leaned into his ear, anger flashing through her as she thought of bloody grass and charred flesh.
“You’re under arrest for the murder of Elena Delgado. Now get the fuck up and move.”
His body hardened, his heart thudding in his chest. If that wasn’t enough, the stirring low in his belly sure as hell was.
He wanted her. Badly.
And so did the leech inside him.
“Blaze?” She peered at him with concern, taking a step closer.
He snapped out of it, realizing she’d asked him something he completely missed. “Huh?”
“Do you want some coffee? Something to drink? Eat?”
Yeah, you. He swallowed his saliva, straightening. “I should get going.”
“Oh.” She tried to hide her disappointment but she was bad at it. She wants you to stay. “Where are you heading?”
“Probably home for a few hours. Rest up a bit.” And drink about a gallon of blood while thinking of you. “You know.”
Valerie set what he assumed was the bag of coffee on the counter. She took another step toward him as a wave of jasmine swept over him, tugging him in places he shouldn’t be tugged.
He took a reflexive step back. Goddamn it, he was fine. He’d been fine right up until now. What the hell just happened?
Bad idea, Blaze. Bad fucking idea to starve yourself and walk into her apartment at dusk, with that body, and that face, and those eyes, and that smell . . .
“I’ll show myself out.”
She looked entirely confused as he turned away and headed for the door. Christ, he was acting like he’d never been in a woman’s apartment before, and God knew he’d been in many. But he’d never been this hungry around a woman before—at least, not in ordinary circumstances. And he wasn’t famous for his control.
He could feel it, that ugly darkness inside him spreading through his veins, making his lips and toes tingle. The leech opened its jaws and yawned, sucking down what was left of his civility. His gums tightened, squeezing his canines, urging them to grow, to elongate.
To spring free.
He needed to get out. Now.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” he ground out, his voice a near growl. “Good night, Val.”
He slammed the door behind him and managed to stagger ten paces down the hall before his limbs stopped working. Sweat dripped down the sides of his face and trickled down his spine. His hands shook and he clenched them into fists. He stood there, chest heaving, heart pounding, fangs pulsing, cock throbbing. He closed his eyes and lifted his face toward the ceiling, trying to wrestle the monster down, trying to beat it back into submission.
But it was already too late.
Through the din in his head, Blaze heard a door click behind him, disengaging from its frame. It creaked open slowly as jasmine slithered through the hallway toward him, rising up and striking at his senses, delivering the final blow. He craned his neck and spotted her.
Valerie’s blond hair fell in a curtain as she peeked out, looking for him. Her eyes widened when she found him, still standing in the corridor, and she quickly retreated.
“Sorry,” she murmured, but before she could close the door, he was already there, his hand propped against it.
She looked at him in pleasant surprise. “Blaze, I—”
He didn’t give her a chance to finish. He seized her mouth with his before he slammed the door behind him and locked it shut.