Today I’m interviewing Ally Shields, author of the Guardian Witch series. Her most recent release is Fire Storm, book five in her paranormal urban fantasy set. We’re having fun with some serious and not so serious questions.
If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
This is an easy one. I’d love to be a horse, a wild one that ran free in the American West when there were no fences. I think they are the most spectacular animals on earth, and there is nothing more beautiful than to watch them run.
I couldn’t agree more.
What books would you take with you to a desert island?
Tolkien’s Trilogy, a stack of Georgette Heyer’s regency romances, a pile of Agatha Christies, and JD Robb’s Eve Dallas series. I’d still run out quickly, so I hope I would get rescued in the first week or two.
What prompted you to write your book?
I started out to write a traditional mystery, but soon realized my heroine was a witch. I had read several paranormals just before that but couldn’t find any new ones I hadn’t read. So I wrote Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch Book 1) because that’s what I wanted to read. I kept writing the series to find out what happened to Ari and Andreas and their friends. I never know exactly how a story is going to go until I write it.
What’s your favorite room in your house?
My office, which is the most creative place.
What is your writing process?
My stories always begin with the characters. Once I know my characters well, I can picture where they’d live and what kind of story they would get involved in; then I start writing and allow each character to tell me their part.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t do anything weird like stand on my head or write in the nude, but I think we all have our quirks. I tend to be a slave-driver until the first draft is finished and maybe the first self-edit, then I begin to dawdle through the next few passes until I’m thoroughly sick of the story. It’s still hard to let it go, and every time I look at it I begin to “tweak,” changing a word here, a sentence there. Eventually I have to just say “enough” and hit the submit button.
Coffee or tea? Beer or wine? Sweet or tart?
Coffee, black. Wine, mostly red, but I won’t turn down a good white. I even like white Zin. Sweet definitely, but I also love the combination of sweet and tart.
What’s your next project?
I currently have two books in edit: Wild Fire (Guardian Witch 6) and Cross Keys (an elven urban fantasy), and I have just started the first draft of Circle of Fire, book 7, the final chapter in my Guardian Witch series. I’m already obsessing about saying goodbye to these characters.
What types of books do you like to read?
I read mysteries, urban fantasies, thrillers and romantic suspense. I also have a weakness for regency romances like those of Heyer that are full of humor and wit. Since I was recently in New Orleans, I’ve been indulging in New Orleans’ paranormals, especially those with ghosts!
Thanks for a fun interview! I’m looking forward to your next books.
Sometimes you just need to stay alive to fight another day.
Six months ago Ari moved in with the vampire prince Andreas. They defied the vampire elders in Europe, killed their enforcer, and have waited for retaliation that never came.
On a trip to Italy, Andreas is captured by the vampire rulers, the notorious O-Seven, and taken in chains to their stronghold in Germany. Ari goes after him, even though it’s against the orders of her Magic Council. She is fired for her actions, losing her special Guardian powers at a time she needs them most.
But the vampire rulers are not through with her or with those who attempt to help her. They launch attacks in Europe and at home in Riverdale. Ari is forced to fight them on several fronts, and victory grows increasingly uncertain.
Her last chance to rescue Andreas is a daring plan that places her in the hands of the O-Seven and relies on untested witch magic, the final hope for their survival.
“The scent stops here,” Ramon said. “They followed it to some kind of circle drawn on the ground, where it ended. To be certain, they’ve searched a half mile radius.”
Samuel and Ramon pulled back the brush, and the group entered the clearing. Ari drew back a step. An oppressive black aura, a dark thundercloud of haze, hung over the immediate area. She didn’t say anything, because the others couldn’t see it, but other remnants of the sorcery circle were obvious to all. The scent of sulfur, the ring of ashes. She moved forward to examine the ash used to draw the circle and recoiled in disgust. Human ashes. Not unexpected because the ability to teleport was produced by a dark arts spell. The most complex spells required a level of power typically achieved through human sacrifice or at least the use of human remains.
She stood and walked the circle. Sophistrina’s coven used black magic to teleport, but this wasn’t big enough to hold thirteen witches. This ring held no more than five or six creatures, and some of them had been werebears. And Sophistrina didn’t use human remains. At least not when Ari knew her.
The air at the edge of the circle shimmered. “Intruders,” she shouted. “Get out of here.” She leaped forward to protect her companions, throwing up a temporary barrier with the magic powder she always carried in her pockets. Lilith pulled both her guns; Samuel began to morph into tiger form, and the foxes snarled a warning, but backed away, ready to run.
Energy crackled, and as if Ari’s earlier thoughts had pulled them in, Sophistrina and her coven materialized outside the prior circle.
“Hold everything. It’s Sophistrina.” Ari thrust out a restraining hand to keep her companions from attacking, but she kept her eyes on the witches, waiting to see the coven’s mood. The last leader of this group had indeed tried to kill her. It paid to be cautious. Especially when they showed up at this particular spot.
“Why do you seem so surprised?” The high priestess smiled at her from the other side of the barrier and cocked her head to one side. “Didn’t you call me?”
You can find Ally’s books at the following online sites:
Contact Ally at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Ally-Shields/e/B009AKNDZU
Trailer link (Youtube): Fire Storm book trailer:http://youtu.be/cer_uURx62s
Thanks for such a great interview, Kate! What fun.
Hey, Kate. Great interview, Ally. Excellent excerpt! Really makes a person want to keep on reading. I’ll FB and Tweet. 🙂