Monday, February 11, 2013

Interview with Alexis Cain (author of Ensuing Darkness)

Alexis Cain is the author of Ensuing Darkness, the first in The Dark Chronicles series.  I had the pleasure to review her book. You can check my review: HERE.

And now here's a little interview with her. Keep reading and find out more about this new author and her novel :)

Alexis Cain was born during a storm, in a room with no windows and no electricity. She used to hate reading fiction so much her mother made it a punishment, and then suddenly something clicked. Now she can’t stop writing it.
She currently lives in Texas with her fiancé, a fellow bookworm, their two dogs, Athena and Persephone, and a cat named Chaos. She is presently attending Full Sail University in pursuit of a degree in Media Communications, while also following and continuing to support her fiancé as he enters the Air Force.
When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, inventing recipes, or pouring over more books. Ensuing Darkness is her first novel in her series “The Dark Chronicles”, and she is now hard at work on the sequel.

Find out more about her: 


Q: What Inspired you to write Ensuing Darkness?
Alexis: Well, I guess I’d have to say Stephenie Meyer did. My dislike for the Twilight saga inspired my own, very different story.

Q: What did you dislike about the Twilight saga?
Alexis: Bella was definitely not a character I would look up to. She didn’t make smart decisions, she was too negative, dramatic, and when Edward left she got flat-out stupid and suicidal. Everything seemed so dramatic (including how the Cullens acted as a whole), emotions were exaggerated, and like everyone else I heard say, I also dislike sparkly vampires.

Q: But you did read all the books? There must have been something good about it if you finished the series?
Alexis: Yes, well her style of writing was good enough to keep me interested, but apart from that and a few of the scenes I actually liked, I think I finished it mostly to see how it turned out. I guess I hoped that in the end Bella would decide not to give up her soul? I was very disappointed.

Q: How is your series different?
Alexis: Well, [smiles and chuckles] in most every way. My character is bright and happy, she has friends that stick with her, and she is very strong-minded. I try to slip humor in there whenever it’s possible, because who doesn’t like to laugh? My vampires are also different than Stephenie’s because they weren’t once human. My vampires were born vampires and they drink human blood, but from blood banks instead of actual humans.

Q: What age group would you say this is written for?
Alexis: It seems that doesn’t apply now as much as it did, with younger and younger kids reading books meant for a higher age. My series is meant for about fifteen and up.

Q: How long did it take you to write “Ensuing Darkness”?
Alexis: I initially finished it when I was sixteen, but after dozens of rejections, I gave up on the idea and started exploring other stories I’d always played with. Life then did what it does best, and I was so busy that not only was I dead tired by the time I got home, but I also had writer’s block. In the end, I have to thank my wonderful fiancé for convincing me to take another look at this story, and I’m glad I did. What “Ensuing Darkness” is now, is not even close to what it was.

Q: How many books are you planning to write in “The Dark Chronicles” series?
Alexis: Honestly? I’m not really sure at this point, but definitely more than three. The sequel would be twice the size of “Ensuing Darkness” if I kept with the trilogy idea. That means 600-800+ page book, which is a bad idea for several reasons. I’m having a difficult time outlining just where to end each book. Right now I would project up to five or more books after this one.

Q: It was a surprise to discover the creatures in this book. There are many books that present them, but yours however, have some original characteristics. How did you come up with this kind of creature? Did you have to do a lot of research?
Alexis: Yes, I did a lot of research on every type of vampire there is all around the world. I chose the famed Transylvanian Vampire specifically for the vampire that made his kind famous. Dracula. The specific reasons for this choice, I cannot share just yet. You don’t want me showing all of my cards right now, do you?

Q: Kota has a really original name, how was it to write about her? Is she based on any real person? Do you feel related to her, or share some side of her personality?
Alexis: Kota, for all intents and purposes, is my alter ego in some aspects. When I was writing, I made her everything I wanted to be. Strong, confident, somewhat fearless at times, but as for the sarcasm, being smart-elec and nosy, I was already quite proficient in those areas.
I have to add this because it’s funny enough to me to note, that a few years ago I became a waitress just like Kota. I never even realized that I had finally become Kota until my sister pointed it out.

Q: When are we going to find out why Kota is so special?
Alexis: In the sequel, but then again, you will be discovering many other surprises and mysteries as well.

Q: I like the fact that Kota is not the typical lonely, non-popular, confused and ordinary girl we see in most books of this type. Was it on purpose or is that just part of who she is?
Alexis: I’m glad you brought this up. I like strong characters, which is one of the reasons I disliked Bella so much. How are you supposed to have faith in a character who is constantly acting reckless, and never seems to grow a conscience? If you make the characters strong and smart, you open up higher levels of plot depth, because the smarter and stronger your character is, the more complex their difficulties have to be. It also helps the reader because they know what’s right and wrong, and so should the characters. Reading about someone constantly being stupid will make me put the book down instantly, but reading about someone along the same intelligence level as me or higher? Now, that’s interesting.

Q: Kota and her friends enjoy hunting, do you also? How hard was it to introduce into the story?
Alexis: Yes, I like hunting, and I like guns. It wasn’t that hard to introduce into the story because not only was it part of her area’s culture, it was just part of her. Adding it also became necessary to bring out some truths about some of the characters. I’ve never really read any books with hunting thrown in so casually either, so I thought, “What the heck?”

Q: Connelly and his family are very interesting. Why write about a big family and not just an intriguing new guy? How hard was it to create so many new personalities?
Alexis: For the plot and the ultimate ending I have planned, a family was required. Not only that, but adding more people adds complexity and depth if done right. Making the personalities weren’t hard for me, because I come from a big family.

Q: I love all the dancing. I think it’s a great addition to the story. Do you enjoy dancing? Why include dance and especially professional dancing into the story?
Alexis: I wanted an alternative to just having my characters pick up and move from place to place. That had been done too much, so I decided on this not only because if was different, but because it set the perfect scene for the ending. I actually don’t know how to dance, but I would love to learn. One of these days, I might actually succeed in convincing my fiancé to learn with me.

Q: What can we expect from book 2?
Alexis: On Kota’s side, you will find more mysteries, more surprising creatures, and even more danger for her and her friends. She will be discovering not only new things about herself, but about her friends as well, and all of it combined may prove too much. The Peters will be in true hiding in the mountains of their homeland, but don’t mistake that for surrender. They’re still training, tracking, and refining the moves of the next step in their deadly plan.



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