Interview with Guest Author
Where imaginary friends – and enemies – dwell inside a never quiet mind.
Thank you for stopping over to visit, Zathyn. I loved meeting you at GRL last year! (Even though I don’t have a pic of Zathyn, he’s delish! Trust me ) In case my lovely readers don’t know who are, I thought I’d do a little sit-down visit with you and help us all get to know you a little better.
You’re such a sweet and interesting person, thank you for agreeing to stop by today. (And for the special artwork you brought along with you.
Zathyn: Thank you for asking me to stop by today!
There’s so much that makes each author and voice unique, so I have to ask—what makes your stories different from other authors out there?
Zathyn: What makes my stories different? Hmm. I guess one common thread with my books is more plot less sex. Or, in some cases, no sex whatsoever. I’m not afraid to leave that aspect out if I don’t think it fits the story. I also like writing a broad range of themes, from comedy to hard-hitting angst, to thriller, and I currently have a sci-fi short story in the works, too. I’m also known for creating characters that aren’t perfect and are facing personal, mental, or physical challenges.
Unfortunately, another difference between me and most other authors is I’m not a prolific writer. I wish I could produce more books than I do, but that isn’t the case.
I love your characters and stories (and so will my readers when the get to the excerpt you’re sharing). When did you first consider yourself an author?
Zathyn: When The Curtis Reincarnation was published. Up until then, I was a writer working with a mentor to learn the craft. Once ‘Curtis’ was published, then everything changed. A writer writes, whether that be fiction or non-fiction. Whereas an author takes on the responsibilities of professionalism that comes with any job. That’s how I see it, and how I differentiate between the two.
What do you do when not writing? Who’s the man behind the books?
Zathyn: I’m also a digital artist, and own Scarlet Tie Designs. I design pre-made and custom cover art. I also sometimes work on custom art for clients, and sell my original artworks. Rather than work primarily with stock photo images, I use Daz Studio and Photoshop. When I’m not creating art for work or pleasure, I’m generally found scouring eBay for clothes, shoes, or makeup! I am an eBay junkie and not ashamed to admit it.
As for the man behind the books? I’m exactly the same in person as I am on FaceBook or Twitter. What you see is what you get. I’m a little freaky, a little eccentric, a little introverted, and a lot friendly!
LOL 😉 And a totally doll too! If your writing was translated, which would be your preference: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?
Zathyn: Movie. But, I would have to have complete say in who played the main characters, and oversee any changes in the script. In fact, I’d have to write the script. So, given that, they’d probably kick my arse out of Hollywood and brand me as being too difficult to work with.
Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?
Zathyn: My family disowned me when I came out in the year 2000, and haven’t spoken to me since. So, given that, I really don’t give a rat’s arse what they think. The only one who did start talking to me is my mother and, again, I really don’t care what she thinks. Yes, she does know. Have I had a heart to heart with her about her ‘feelings’ about it? No. I never will, either.
Does that sound bitter? It does, doesn’t it? (lol) The truth is, I’m a grown man. I can do what I want, and I don’t feel I need to explain myself to anyone. At the end of the day, I go to sleep knowing I’m a good person, and that’s all that matters. What I write, and what I create in my artwork, is my choice and no one else’s. I do not need the permission or validation of family, friends, or a partner.
Sadly, that happens all to often. I ask the question, but my family sounds a bit like yours. Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?
Zathyn: I have, actually. Although, I didn’t actually meet him, I saw and heard him one day when I was at a shopping mall during the Christmas rush. He was the inspiration behind my short story The Statue. I wrote a dedication in the front of the book for him.
I dedicate this book to the beautiful young man I saw on Christmas Eve, who walked into a store of grumpy shoppers and inspired this story. You were the only person smiling, laughing, and having a good time. I listened to people’s underhanded comments referring to you as crazy. I couldn’t see crazy any more than I could see your friend. What I saw was adoration and love.
Wow! What a cool way to find your muse. Who is your favorite author and why?
Zathyn: I don’t have a favourite author. I read a lot, but I tend to mainly read non-fiction.
Do you as an author concentrate on one genre? Or do you feel like you should try to find your voice amongst the genres?
Zathyn: As I said before, I write across a wide range of genres. I’d get very bored if I didn’t. I get a story, or character, in my head, and it doesn’t matter to me what the setting or genre is. I’ll give it shot, even if I’ve never written it before. Like the sci-fi one I’m working on. Sure, it’s not full on sci-fi, like Star Wars or anything. But, still in that genre. Something I’ve had in my mind for a while and finally got around to starting.
I love writing different genres. It’s challenging, and pushes me outside my comfort zone. It’s a great way to keep learning, and that’s always important.
And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?
Zathyn: I’m working on a novel called Inside His Reflection. It’s about ¾ done, and I’m pushing myself to get it finished before GRL in October. One of the main characters, Elijah, is the most tortured character I’ve written. Considering how I like to torture my boys, that’s a big call! Thankfully, he has a wonderful man at his side to get him through to a HEA.
If all goes to plan, and I get the novel finished on time, I’d also like to have HAI-21 (The Sci-Fi short story) out before GRL, too. That one will definitely be self-published, because I intend for it to be a graphic novella with lots of cool sci-fi artwork.
That all sounds like more for me to have to read 🙂 and your art is … *sigh* I’m not sure which character above I want to snuggle more lol. And I can’t wait to see you again at GRL!
AMARA: The Rebirth
M/M Erotic Paranormal Vampire
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: April 2014
Length: 90,000 words / Novel
Matthew and his husband, Dean, are slayers, trying to end the choke-hold Amara half-breed vampires have put on Nottingham City and kill the leader, Amdis. A diary supposedly written by legendary Emrys Amara is sent to them via the Royal Mail, yet they doubt an orphaned vampire could have survived the demise of his clan. Meeting Emrys proves them wrong. Matthew falls deeply; Dean’s jealousy takes a sinister turn. A chain of events involving werewolves, and kidnapped children, follows as Amdis teams up with another vampire clan.
Can Matthew and Emrys save the children while rebuilding the Amaras as the greatest vampire clan in history?
I pressed my hand to my jacket, feeling the comfort of a gun hidden in the inside pocket. A couple of quick bullets into the brain of a rogue vampire could paralyse them for about ten seconds. My trusty razor sharp switchblade and I could behead a vampire in fewer than five. Perhaps I was a little more nervous in this cemetery than I wanted to admit.
“Try behaving like a decent human being for a change, Dean.” I slipped my hand inside my jacket, curling my fingers around the gun handle. “Quit it with the insults.”
“I like you, Matthew.” The boy peered at me with a small smile. “You’re a nice man. I don’t like Dean, but I like you.”
“I’m shattered,” Dean snarled. “I don’t give a fuck whether you like me or not, Red.”
“You should,” the boy said. “I never forget those who are nice to me. I never forget those who aren’t.”
In the second it took for me to react, it was too late. All I saw was a streak of scarlet flash in front of my eyes. Dean’s shrieks pierced my ears. I stood in a catatonic state of shock, staring toward the church front where Emrys Amara swept Dean within a fractured moment. He had my partner in a headlock, arms pinned behind his back. Emrys’ fangs were bared, ready to sink into Dean’s neck.
Dean’s screams switched to gagging gasps. His throat compressed by Emrys’ forearm to the point it strangled the shrieks. White fangs remained bared when Emrys lifted his gaze to me. The speed in which he’d transformed and snatched Dean was mind blowing. It left me frozen on the spot. Emrys hadn’t followed through on the attack. Any other vampire would have killed Dean by either breaking his neck or plunging fangs deep into his jugular. Not for a second had I thought the unassuming redheaded boy sitting in the backseat of my car was Emrys Amara. I hadn’t said a word. Hadn’t moved one way or another. I stood frozen on the spot while Emrys and I played a game of who could out stare whom first.
“Shall I kill him?”
I had to think fast. Amaras weren’t murderers. At least they never used to be. I raised my hands in a show of peace. Making sure Emrys knew I wasn’t planning on peppering him with bullets, even though it would have been as useless as peppering him with spit balls. Not to mention how pissed off he’d have been if I resorted to firing a gun.
“As tempting as that sounds,” I replied. “I’d rather you didn’t.”
I’ll never forget the expression on Dean’s face when I gave my reply. I only saw it in a glance, but recalling it makes me smile. It was a mixture of fear, anger, and shock. As if he’d have killed me himself had he not been in a compromising position. Truth was there wasn’t anything I could do. If Emrys wanted to kill Dean, he would’ve. End of story. There was no miraculous anti-vampire mace in my pocket. All I had to save my husband were words and the hope Emrys hadn’t turned into a killer during the time he’d been without his clan.
“It would be my pleasure to do it. I’ll make it quick. For your sake, not his.”
He was toying with me. Like a tiger rolling around its enclosure with its much weaker handler. Vampires are not beautiful creatures. They’re not the romantic leading men or vixenish heroines of movies or books. Their white pallor, pale sunken eyes, and cold skin were not sexy. They look like walking corpses. But not Emrys. He looked like a delicate angel. His white complexion was like porcelain. His eyes were the palest shade of green. Long, dark scarlet hair fell around his shoulders. I’d never seen a more beautiful creature and, even while he braced for the kill, he took my breath away.
I kept my hands up and didn’t move closer. “I appreciate the offer,” I said. “Problem is, if you kill him, chances are the cops will think I did it.” I shrugged. “Even if they don’t think that, I’d have to pay for a funeral. It’d be easier on me if you let him go.”
I’ll also never forget the expression on Emrys’ face when I finished my plea. He gave me a crooked smile. Enough for me to see one of his fangs press into his bottom lip. I returned his small smile with one of my own. Relief flushed through my body. Until Emrys sank his teeth into Dean’s neck.
I heard another scream. Saw Dean’s legs kick out at random. I surged forward, then back, then forward again. Stunned, horrified, and helpless. It was all over in a few seconds. Dean fell to the ground, coughing and spluttering when Emrys released his grip. At this point I should’ve rushed to offer assistance. Should have run to my husband’s side, wrapped my arms around him, smothered him with kisses and words of comfort. I didn’t. I left him hunched on the ground while I watched Emrys approach. The bite was a dominance display. Never meant to kill. Meant to put the fear of God into Dean and, quite possibly, me at the same time. By the look of the wound on Dean’s neck, it wasn’t deep and not aimed at his jugular. Emrys hadn’t bothered sealing the evidence of what he’d done.
Just because Emrys released Dean didn’t mean I was willing to throw caution to the wind and trust him. After all, he’d bitten my partner. If you wanted to stay alive longer than a day or two in this business it paid to never let your guard down. Rule one: Never trust a vampire. Obviously Emrys wanted something. He hadn’t arranged this meeting in an effort to expand his social circle. As long as he believed we could give him what he wanted, we were relatively safe. I say relatively because… Rule one: Never trust a vampire.
“I’ll take your car keys,” Emrys held out his hand. “Hand them over, please.”
I did as asked, with duress.
“Thank you. My name is Emrys Amara.”
“I figured.” When I accepted an offered handshake his skin felt like warm satin sliding against my fingers. “Matthew Mitchell.”
“Son of a bitch,” Dean growled, staggering over, rubbing at his neck. “You bit me!”
“I beg your pardon?” Emrys turned, narrowed his eyes, and curled his lip. “If you speak to me from now on, you’ll do so with respect.”
Emrys had my keys. Soon he’d have my car. Very soon I could’ve been stuck in the middle of nowhere. “What do you want from us?”
“I want you to follow me to the car. You, Matthew, will sit in the front with me.” Cocking his head, Emrys glared at Dean. “You, bitch, get in the trunk.”
I wished I could say the same thing to Dean and get away with it. ‘You, bitch, get in the trunk!’ I almost laughed, especially when Emrys snatched Dean by the collar and dragged him along the ground toward the car. I followed behind. I may sound heartless, and I’m willing to take that risk, but it looked funny. This tiny vampire, who I estimated stood about five foot four, dragging Dean with no more effort than it would take to drag a wet rag.
When we reached the car, Emrys opened the trunk and snapped his fingers. “Get in.”
“Matthew! Are you gonna stand there and let him get away with shoving me in the trunk?” Dean shook with humiliation, leaves and grass stuck in his hair, his hand to the bleeding wound on his neck. “I’ll suffocate in there.”
“With any luck.” The curl of Emrys’ top lip to show off fangs was enough inducement for Dean to obey. “Not a sound from you, got it? Not a murmur.”
“How far are we going?” I supposed I needed to say something to ensure Dean didn’t suffocate.
“Not far enough for him to die.” He closed the trunk. “Please, get in the car.”
Zathyn Priest is an Australian writer with severe vampiric tendencies. Absolutely convinced the sun could turn him to a pile of ash, Zathyn prefers to write under the cover of darkness. This serves two purposes, with the first being the afore mentioned sunlight danger, and the second being the fact that nighttime means no annoying phones ringing or people knocking at the door. Zathyn has written four published novels using this strange moonlight technique. AMARA: The Rebirth, The Curtis Reincarnation, The Slayer’s Apprentice, and Liquid Glass. He has also written three short fiction works. The Statue, Left of Centre, and One of Those Days. Zathyn lives with two greyhounds called Chrissy and Eldon, a cat called Fran, and a duck called Charlie.
Find & Follow Zathyn Online:
Author Website: www.zathynpriest.com
Blog: Broken Pencil – http://zathynpriest.com/brokenpencil/