Friday, 4 December 2015

Interview with K. M. McFarland

I finished reading Vampyr: The Complete Trilogy last week and today the author, K. M. McFarland, has been kind enough to join us for an interview.

Hi Karen, before we get our teeth into the questions, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi, Rainne, Thanks for having me.
I was born in Nashville, Tennessee and grew up near Panama City, Florida. I’ve been in New Orleans since I was twelve, and I call it home. I’ve had careers in public relations, marketing, and sales, but now that I’ve retired early from the workforce, I have the time to do what I love without the distraction of a job.

When and why did you decide to become a writer?
I have always loved writing, so that’s a good reason to pursue it. I’ve written articles for small papers and short stories over time. I’ve made attempts at writing a novel in the past, but kids, earning a comfortable living, etc. had to come first, so writing projects always got placed on the back burner and forgotten about. As soon as I found myself with time on my hands, I started writing, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?
I’ve been reading a lot and studying the craft. Writer’s groups have been a big help as well. Other writer’s experiences and advice have been helpful. When I wrote my first novel, Song of the Vampire, I was all over the place. I didn’t write it in order, and I think it’s pretty obvious, it’s a first novel. I actually didn’t intend for it to be a series at the time, but once I got started, I felt so connected to the characters that I just wanted to continue to tell their story. I wrote the second book in order, and I found Under a Bourbon Street Moon flowed easily doing it that way. Masquerade flowed easily as well writing it in order.

Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
I would love to say I get up at six every morning and spend eight hours writing, but I honestly don’t have a routine. It depends on the day. Some scenes in my books go back to an earlier period in time, so my writing requires a lot of research. I spend a lot of days just reading and researching Voodoo as an ancient religion, nineteenth century New Orleans, paranormal activity, etc. to try to make my stories as factual and realistic as possible. Some days it’s about hanging out in the French Quarter experiencing the sights and sounds of the vampire’s world. That’s when ideas usually come to me, so the next day is spent transferring them from my head to my computer.

Can you tell us a bit about your books, and what inspired them?
I have always had a fascination for vampires and the different ways humanity perceives them. I have wondered how vampires could exist in the modern world with forensics, security cameras, and advanced technology. I’ve also wondered how a vampire feels after being turned, and how this would affect his relationship with his loved ones. So I decided to explore that. The Vampyr series takes you into the heart, mind and soul of the vampire.
New Orleans French Quarter and Uptown Garden District is the backdrop for the series. Besides being known for its bars, music, and nightlife, New Orleans is a haunted city filled with legends and folklore of ghosts, Voodoo, spells, potions, and superstitions. It has a colorful history unique and different from the rest of the south. In this wonderful city built on a swamp, we bury our dead above ground so we won’t meet up with them again with the next hard rain. All of these things triggered my imagination, and I wove it all into a story.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Anybody who has a love for vampires, paranormal and paranormal romance. There’s romance between vampires and mortals as well as between vampires and vampires. There are lots of twists and turns, so don’t ever think you know where the books are going because you may be surprised.

And where can we get our hands on them?
You can get them at Amazon and you can read them free on Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon | Amazon U

Give us some insight into your main character, Quinn Forrester.

I’m so glad you asked that, Rainne. I love talking about my hero, Quinn. Here’s a summary I wrote about him for my website:
Quinn Forrester is a former successful rock star whose career abruptly ended when he was mysteriously turned into a vampire in 1989. Ripped apart from the love of his life and baby daughter, Quinn lived in isolation for eighteen years; until the night he reunited with his daughter, Nadia.
Aside from being a bloodsucker with preternatural abilities to control the human mind and move at high speed, Quinn is pretty much a normal guy. He owns and controls all three vampire bars in New Orleans including Vampyr; Bourbon Streets' coolest music club. He is devoted to his businesses and his family.
Even though Quinn was turned at a young age and appears to be in his mid-twenties, he has matured over the years, and his character possesses great wisdom and strength. Quinn is the glue that holds everything together with the vampires and humans, and when one of the family members has a problem, Quinn always has the solution.
His appearance is a bit of a throwback to the eighties with the long blond curly hair. He prefers to dress casually in his black snug jeans, usually with a black shirt and black boots. But boots can get a little uncomfortable in the New Orleans heat and humidity, so you will often find him wandering around in flip flops in the warmer months. If clothes make the vampire, one would never know Quinn is a vampire by his attire.
He didn’t stop smoking when he was turned into a vampire, but he says it doesn’t matter because he’s already dead so it’s not going to kill him. Quinn depends mostly on alternative methods for acquiring blood, but he does enjoy drinking from humans who are willing to be food for vampires. He has a gentle spirit. Just don’t mess with his family.
If you want to know more about Quinnn and his world, you can go to the website and read The Interview:

Tell us about the wonderful covers and how they came about.
The covers are awesome. They were all done by the marvelous cover artist, Julie Nicholls. She is so much fun to work with, and she does amazing work.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely. There are so many books out there to choose from. You have to wow them with your cover. Whether readers judge a book by it’s cover or not, the cover is the first thing they see, so it has to stand out and make an impression on the potential reader.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on the fourth Vampyr installment and a paranormal romance. I’m beginning a series of short stories set in a haunted bed and breakfast in New Orleans French Quarter. You get a bed in this one, but you may be the breakfast. I plan to release all of them in 2016, so it’s going to be a busy year.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe a movie or a TV series being made from one of my works. Well! That was meant to be humorous, but if we’re going to dream, we should dream big!

What’s the one piece of advice you would like to share with other writers?
One thing I see all the time is writers getting upset over a bad review or a low sales ranking, etc. Unfortunately, that’s going to happen. There will always be those who love your work and those who don’t. You can’t please everyone. I think we have to develop a thicker skin and not be discouraged by the negatives. Take the bad with the good, blow it off, and keep writing.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m also a photographer, and I love shooting pictures of the unusual. I just got an account with Instagram, and I’m still figuring out how to use it. Once I figure it out, I’m going to start posting some of my photographs there. I also enjoy music, art, yoga, swimming, and reading.

Which writers do you admire?…
I’m a huge Anne Rice fan. The Vampire Lestat is responsible for my obsession with vampires.

…and what is your favourite book and why?
I loved the Vampire Chronicles, but my favorite is Cry to Heaven; one of Anne Rice’s earlier novels about the castrati used in the Italian Opera in the eighteenth century. I fell in love with that book.

Thank you very much for joining us, Karen. I like to finish my interviews with a fun question, so...
If you were ever stranded on a deserted island what would you miss and which three books would you take along?
I would miss my family, wine, and coffee. It would probably be a great time to write a book in case I would ever got back to civilization. But for reading, I think I would want something entertaining that I have never read before that would take my mind off of my distressful situation. I have The Fallen Angels series by Julie Nicholls (Demon Within, Angel Within, and Ascension Within) in my TBR to read when I get the time, so that would be my choice.
Thanks for interviewing me, Rainne.

Connect with Karen on her Website and on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads & Amazon.

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