13 Questions with Denise Verrico

13 questions

Let’s have a devilish round of applause for our newest featured author, Denise Verrico. For episode 92 Denise has decided to share with us a sneak peek into her newest novel, Servant of the Goddess.

You may recognize Verrico’s name from her popular series Immortyl Revolution, and the Servant of the Goddess just so happens to be the fourth installment of the series. Since our preview is a part of the series, I wanted to find out all I could about the Immortyl Revolution and Denise was excited to share.

“The idea for the series evolved over a period of time. I kicked the first novel, Cara Mia, around for a long time before I sat down to finish it. Back when I was reading a lot of Anne Rice, I had a dream about a female vampire. I’d never read a book about one at the time. My husband and I brainstormed a little. He suggested exploring the fact that my protagonist was a woman and the implications of being both female and a vampire. Vampire sexual politics–who knew?

I based a lot of the Immortyl culture on ancient ones. I created a multi-layered society that enslaved three fourths of their population. Then I got interested in biotechnology and came up with the idea of a race to harness immortality. The revolution was Kurt’s idea entirely. The little bugger decided to take the series this way. It’s funny how a character can hijack a series. Cedric MacKinnon, the hero of the third book, started out as a love interest for a character in the planned later novels. He soon became one of my favorites. His story begged to be told. An entire religious cult and art form were born from his creation. This is why I love speculative fiction so much. You can do things like this. I really get into building the world and the characters.

I like to tell a story about people and their foibles, even if those people happen to be vampires. All good stories are ultimately about a human inner conflict.”

Denise was also kind enough to attach the official Press Release for all of you to check out: ***Childhood fascination with Vampires serves as Author’s inspiration for book series

Vampires have been capturing Urban Fantasy Author Denise Verrico’s imagination since childhood and now she shares that vivid imagination with countless readers throughout the world. Servant of the Goddess, Book Four of the Immortyl Revolution now available.

Columbus, OH – Vampires have been capturing Urban Fantasy Author Denise Verrico’s imagination since her days growing up in Western Pennsylvania and now she shares that vivid imagination with countless readers throughout the world. “My favorite television show as a child was the soap opera Dark Shadows, and my favorite author in the vampire genre is Anne Rice. I like the Gothic and historical aspects of her books. I must give her credit for influencing me,” says Verrico. Readers of the Immortyl Revolution series are taken with the one-of-a-kind twist on vampires that Denise brings forth and in the unique locales in which her writing takes them. Ms. Verrico says, “Inspiration comes a lot from my non-fiction reading. I’ll read about a place or historical period, and I’ll want to create a character to reflect it.”

Servant of the Goddess is the fourth novel of the urban fantasy vampire series written by Denise Verrico. This installment follows up her debut novel, Cara Mia, which introduces the characters and world of Immortyl Revolution and its sequel, Twilight of the Gods and My Fearful Symmetry.  Set in 2001, Verrico’s My Fearful Symmetry introduced a new vampire hero, Cedric MacKinnon, a temple dancer in service to the Goddess Kali, who learns his beauty and speed render him a lethal weapon. “My vampire society originates in India. In my third novel, My Fearful Symmetry, I delve deeper into the origins,” says Verrico.   “In the fourth book, I unite heroine Mia Disantini and Cedric in a way that raises some sparks.  It takes place in NYC in 2001, so there will be momentous events my characters must deal with.”  As in all her novels, Servant of the Goddess maintains a science fiction twist on the genre, action-packed thrills and a touch of romance.***

Currently there are currently four novels and a collection of three shorts.  I’m concentrating on some other projects at present, but there will be probably two or three more Immortyl Revolution books. For those of you wanting to learn more about the series, be sure to check out Denise’s website: immortylrevolution.blogspot.com

Now, Denise may be a preschool teacher and a small press author; but she hopes to one day make the big move and open her own press. “I’m dog tired at the end of a day, so I need to drink a lot of coffee when I get home to write.  I learn a lot working with kids.  It’s cool to see them interacting, their conflicts and cooperation.  I do have children as characters in my books, but they aren’t in any way based on kids I know.  I write about cast-offs and street kids. I would like to write a kids’ book someday, if I can come up with a good idea. I want to keep writing and having books published.  I’ve been a small press author, but I hope to see the urban fantasy novel I just finished published by a New York press.  My husband and I may start a small press someday.”

As many of you readers know, I’m always curious to learn what lured our authors to the darker side of things and it’s no different with Denise. She was nice enough to answer all my random questions and let us in to how she became infected with the horror bug.

“I like a good scare and loads of suspense.  As a writer, the dark side of humanity is fascinating.  I like to explore what makes a person become a monster.  When I was a kid, horror and sci fi movies were my favorites.  I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was eight and watched Dark Shadows on TV when I was six.  Dark Shadows started my love affair with vampires.  My vampire novels are much darker than a lot of Urban Fantasy.  There are relationships explored, but I’d hardly call them “romance”. I’m also biased toward vampires.  They are the monsters most like us.  I also love serial killer books like Silence of the Lambs and Darkly Dreaming Dexter.  I eat up true crime stories.  My husband is seriously concerned when he sees me watching all those murderer bios on TV.  However, I do like my zombies, if the gore is done in interesting ways and there’s a good story.

Despite the fact that I love horror, I used to be really squeamish about blood.  I almost passed out watching the George Romero film Martin.  However, I had to do a blood draw every day when I was pregnant with my son because I had gestational diabetes.  I got over it somewhat, but I still have to look away when I have blood taken.  I can watch surgery shows and horror films without a problem now.”

Denise has been busy as of late as well, “I recently finished an Urban Fantasy novel, and I’m working on a fantasy novel set in an 18th century culture. I have a steampunk horror story I’m playing with.  In addition to new editions of the Immortyl Revolution novels, there will be a short coming out featuring one of my vampire characters.  I hope before the end of the year.”

For more information on Denise Verrico, please check out these sites:

deniseverricowriter.webs.com

immortylrevolution.blogspot.com

 

My Fearful Symmetry and Women Scorned

I’ve read four vampire novels in the last six months and I’ve noticed that each vampire book that I read has a different take on what vampires would be like. This is what I think makes vampires so interesting. There are so many different ways to tell a vampire story and in each story the vampires themselves can have very different personalities.

A good example of this is My Fearful Symmetry by Denise Verrico. Denise Verrico was heavily influenced by the show Dark Shadows and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Denise’s vampires aren’t like the vampires that Anne Rice wrote about. The vampires in My Fearful Symmetry enjoy being vampires, they’re  religious but use it as a way to hold power over others and they keep other vampires as slaves.

The star of My Fearful Symmetry is nineteen year old Cedric MacKinnon. He makes his living as a prostitute in England and has recently discovered he has AIDs. He gives up prostitution and starts to perform as a street musician. One night he meets a mysterious stranger named Raj. Raj is a vampire and promises to give Cedric wealth and eternal youth if he agrees to join him.

Cedric agrees thinking that his life can’t get any worse then it already is but his life is no easier as an immortal being. He has to move to a temple in India and is forced to  go through rigorous training  to become an adept. Adepts are dancers, artists, servants and sex toys for the elder vampires. Being an adept is one step above being a slave but adepts are taught that they are artists that perform in the name of the Indian goddess Kali.

As an adept Cedric has to give up his real name and take on the name Shardul. He lives with the other adepts and servants and gets trained by a female vampire named Sandhya. Though Sandhya is rough on Cedric a relationship starts to blossom between the two. Sandhya has taught adepts for over 100 years and she has a dark past just like the other vampires trained to serve. Adepts are held in high regard but they have very hard lives. If they can survive their initial training they are then subject to torture by some of the elder vampires and get used for sex in order to advance their master’s political interests. If things weren’t bad enough for the serving class there is also a revolution going on.

Some vampires have formed an alliance and are swearing allegiance to a leader named Loki who was named after the Norse god of mischief that was destined to destroy the other gods. Cedric at first wanted nothing more then to live with his master Raj but as an adept he starts to see things in a different way. He starts having visions of a violent destiny and has to decide to join the revolution or continue to serve his master.

My Fearful Symmetry is actually the third book in The Immortyl Revolution series of novels. Books one and two are set in a different location and about different characters in the revolution. Book three introduces a new cast and is set in a different part of the world but by the end of the book you get to see one of the main characters of the first book. You don’t have to read the first two books Cara Mia and Twilight Of The Gods to enjoy My Fearful Symmetry.

My Fearful Symmetry is more of a dark fantasy then a horror novel but it has a good story, lots of action, good sex scenes, a love story and there are some ghoulish scenes to keep horror fans happy. I loved the character of Cedric and I liked watching him change throughout the story. This is kind of like a coming of age book. You see a young teenager turned into a vampire who at first is an immature, self centered, single minded kid but by the end he is an adult who tries to protect those around him.

One of my favorite scenes was where Cedric has to go through a purification ritual and is forced to sit in a dark space for one cycle of the moon. He is able to drink only blood mixed with a herb that brings on hallucinations. I also enjoyed the sword fights in the book and finding out about the adepts training.  Another item in the book that was interesting was seeing how Religion means nothing to the vampire leaders but they use it to get what they want and to keep the adepts in line. In one scene towards the end an adept spills a food tray on an elder vampire. The elder vampire insists that the adept’s master Kalidasa must kill him but Kalidasa says he can’t kill him because the adept is in the service of the goddess Kalli. Earlier in the book Kallidasa allows an adept to be sexually abused but when he fears loosing a servant he uses religion to save him. My Fearful Symmetry is a good urban fantasy that shows us a vampire society that mirrors are own. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

The next book I  want to talk about is from Journalstone books and is called Women Scorned by Angela Alsaleem. The story follows a woman named Camilla who was just murdered,  now an ancient spirit possesses her, using her as a tool of vengeance. Tortured by visions of murdered women, she is thrust into a world of terror as she seeks a way to rid herself of the nightmare she has become.

Camilla is still trapped in her body but has no control. In order to live she feeds off of a substance that is on the breath of criminals. This is the least of Camilla’s problems though, because there is a cult stalking the spirit that inhabits Camilla and they plan on using it to release a horde of demons on earth.

I have to warn you on this book you shouldn’t read it if you have a weak stomach because there is a lot of gore here but there is some great characters and its a well written story. Mainly Women Scorned is a tale about revenge and asks the question can you really move on after you punish your enemies. This is a hard core bloody horror novel that will make you squirm in your chair, if you like a lot of violence then pick this one up.