Basically, the story revolves around…well, maybe I’d better let you read Katrina’s synopsis:
Midnight Reflections introduces a society where vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and witches freely roam amongst the ordinary humans. One such human, Tara Daston, only wanted a fun night out dancing with her boyfriend. Getting killed was certainly the last thing she ever expected and waking up three days later as a vampire was the last thing she ever wanted. As Tara struggles with her death and new unlife, she also becomes involved in a hunt for a vicious serial killer. During her own investigation into the killings, she meets Tom Duncan, fellow vampire and lead agent of the Preternatural Investigation Agency, who is not at all amused at what he considers to be her interference. However, the serial killer soon takes notice of Tara and is intrigued, forcing her to work together with Tom and the rest of the agency to stop the murders.
Sounds intriguing, in the vein of Vampire Vacation and just about anything from L.A. Banks and Kim Harrison.
Fortunately, I was able to tear Katrina away from her book-supporting duties long enough for an interview. Please ignore the length of the session (that’s the journalist in me). Just read and enjoy.
An Interview with Katrina Michaels
Greg: How did you get interested in werewolves, vampires and other aspects of the supernatural?
Katrina: Well, I can’t actually pinpoint how my interest started. I’ve always been intrigued by fantasy and supernatural stories. When I was a kid, I loved the animated movie The Last Unicorn. I think my first vampire movie was The Lost Boys and I really became interested in the genre when I read the first Laurell K. Hamilton book. And, of course, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show not the movie). I’m generally a fairly analytical person, so I think I love writing stories of magic and supernatural creatures to even myself out. We can’t be serious and logical all the time after all.
Greg: Will Midnight Reflections be the start of a series? If not, what are you currently working on?
Katrina: Yes, Midnight Reflections is the first in a series of five books. The second book -- Dead Awakening -- is currently with my editor and should be out in print next fall. However, I also have ideas for at least two other books, which might become series, outside of the Preternatural Investigation Agency series.
Greg: Sympathetic vampires seem to be the in-thing (particularly with Generations X & Y), what with Twilight, "Anita Blake," Vampire Academy, Underworld, etc...How do you horn your way into such a crowded market?
Katrina: It is becoming a crowded market so the way to set yourself apart is to try something new. Most of the books that involve vampires also deal primarily with angst and romance. Now I don’t mind either, but I like my books to also have humor, action and mystery and that is what I created. Unlike many of the novels out there, Midnight Reflections does not have any obvious romance. Yes, there are subtle hints of future romance, but nothing overt. And while Tara and Tom do have some angsty moments, they also smile and laugh and remember that life is not completely all about suffering.
My style of writing and storytelling is a bit different from what is already out there in the market, which I hope will appeal to people who are looking for something new or unique. I greatly enjoy criminologist shows (such as CSI and Criminal Minds) and books (James Patterson and Jeffrey Deaver). Which is why Midnight Reflections is more a murder mystery with supernatural characters than anything else.
Greg: How do you think vampires and werewolves fit into modern society? Why have they suddenly become acceptable and do you think we should keep at least a few bogeymen around?
Katrina: People are attracted to the dark and mysterious. In a world where science has explained many of our mysteries, we need a little fantasy. Exploring the world of vampires and werewolves allows us to indulge the dark side that exists in everyone.
To me, vampires have never been as scary as real people. It’s not the movies that involve people turning into monsters that stop me from turning out the light at night. No, it’s the movies about serial killers and stalkers that make me check my closets before going to bed. We still have plenty of bogeymen out there.
Greg: What was the hardest part about writing "Midnight Reflections"? What about the hardest part of getting it published?
Katrina: The hardest part about writing for me is that I don’t write in a linear fashion. I start to write Chapter One, but then I get a very clear idea of something that would happen near the end of the book and have to write that scene before I lose the inspiration. And then I come up with an idea that causes me to rewrite the few chapters that have already been written. Also, when I start writing, I have the general story in mind with some very clear scenes that I know need to happen, but the rest of the story develops only when I start writing. But in the end, it all comes together.
For publishing, it is the waiting. You send off to one of the few publishers that still accept unsolicited manuscripts and then have to wait around 3-6 months before hearing the response. And since you can really only submit to one publisher at a time, if you get rejected then you have to start over with a new publisher and wait some more.
Greg: Who inspires you to write?
Katrina: I don’t know if I can say that one particular person inspired me to write. I’ve always loved creating stories since I was in grade school. But I will say that I’ve been influenced by certain authors.
I’m an avid reader of many different genres. As I said, while I do enjoy books involving the supernatural, I think I have been more influenced by authors like Jeffrey Deaver and James Patterson. They both write fascinating mystery / thrillers that take the reader by surprise with sudden twists and leave you enthralled as the killer stalks his next unsuspecting prey. This is a genre that I love, but I also love creepy supernatural books and movies. When I started writing this book, the first question I asked myself was what if a vampire started hunting a serial killer, and the story progressed from there.
Greg: What was the last really good book about vampires, werewolves or other supernatural elements that you've read?
Katrina: Hmm, that’s a hard one. The book I’m reading now -- A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison -- is captivating, but I would say that the best I read recently was Nightlife by Rob Thurman. It’s an excellent urban fantasy with many different supernatural elements mixed together into a fascinating world.
Greg: What was the last book that really wasn't worth your time?
Katrina: That is a question I don’t think I can answer. I may not enjoy every book I’ve read, but I would never consider one not worth my time.
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Again, I want to thank Katrina Michaels for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with Wicked Writers. I also want to let our faithful fans know that Midnight Reflections is available through Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and bookdepository.com.