I had the great pleasure of interviewing Aurrora ST. James, and now I get to share the interview with all of you! *Squee* This was so much fun!! I also have the cover and an excerpt from her new release Gavril of Aquina to share! You are in for quite the treat!
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Aurrora St. James and I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, dog, and cat. I write historical fantasy romance and paranormal romance with heroes who must overcome personal adversity to win their heroine. They’re tough, fierce, and lethal, but for their woman, always caring and tender. I love to write romance!
2. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author. What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism, believe it or not, was that I write porn, along with the implied thought that I should be ashamed of myself. Or that a book was hard to get into. What those comments taught me, was that my books aren’t for everyone (in the case of the porn) and to pay attention to pacing, especially in the beginning.
The best compliments I’ve received are when people say that they can see and smell the story, as if they were really there. That the characters felt like real people to them. Or that they ask questions a week or two after they read it, because they are still thinking about the characters. That makes me feel really good.
I’m thrilled to say that most people seem to really love my books.
3. What do you do when you are not writing?
Not writing? What’s that? I read like a madwoman. I love to read almost as much as I love to write. Occasionally, I play a hidden object game as well. They’re great for taking my mind off things.
4. How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve read paranormal romance for a long time and always enjoyed it. Recently, I’ve started to read medieval romances and highland romance. I love both. In the case of my new series, Lords of Magic, the hero actually picked the setting. His story came to me pretty much complete, including his kingdom and his people. I hadn’t planned to write medieval fantasy, but now that I have, I love it!
Ugh. Marketing. I do a lot of promotion on Facebook. I’ve joined a number of Facebook parties to reach new readers and post teaser cards which have a snippet of the book’s text. I also hand out bookmarks everywhere I can, talk about my books, and generally annoy anyone nearby. I also try to get my bookmarks out to upcoming conferences across the US for readers to take a look at.
One new trend I am trying is Facebook marketing. They can target audiences close to your book genre, you give them an amount you want to spend and how long to post the ad, and they show the ad on the timeline of people who meet your target audience. I’ve heard from fellow authors that this works well.
6. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The majority of each book is my imagination. However, some of the characteristics of different characters or scenarios are based on life experiences. For instance, the police captain in Set in Stone loved to twirl things in his hands. (Pencils, brooms, etc) My dad has that same characteristic and once broke my grandmother’s lamp by accident.
7. What project are you working on now?
I am working on Stefan of Caeli. It’s about a dragon shifter who searches for his mother and unexpectedly gets captured by her people and thrown in the dungeon to be tortured. While there, a woman is tossed into the cell beside his. But is she a spy? Or an innocent victim of these odd people?
8. If your book were made into a movie, who do you picture playing each characters part?
Let’s see. If Gavril of Aquina was made into a movie, I would have Minka Kelly play Shyla (even though Amy Lee was her photo inspiration) and Chris Hemsworth for Gavril.
I love ice cream! I can’t eat chocolate, so vanilla and strawberry are my favorites.
10. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you! For my readers and fans, I appreciate you so much. You’re the greatest and I love being able to bring you characters that I hope you enjoy as much as I do. And if you haven’t read my books, I hope you take a chance on them.
Also, I love to hear from my readers. So feel free to contact me. I answer every email. (Unless you are from the Middle East and trying to hit on me even though my Facebook page clearly says I’m married.)
Gavril squatted before her, noting that she had removed the spit from the fire and eaten. She left the hare by the coals to warm and plenty remained, yet he couldn’t muster an appetite. His breath rushed out in a white cloud as he skimmed a finger lightly down her cheek and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She shivered again beneath his touch. It was colder here on the mountain than their solitary blanket could warm.
He shouldn’t. He really shouldn’t.
When he was king, he might not have worried about her comfort. Parties, banquets, women, and liquor claimed him then. He’d been too wild to worry about comfort other than his own. But the man he’d become cared. Without another thought, he tugged off his boots, lifted the blanket, and slid in behind her. He shifted his big body against her and pulled her close.
He told himself he would stay just long enough to warm her up. Then he would move back to the other side of the fire and keep watch through the night.
He told himself she was better off being a little bit cold than being held by a man like him.
He told himself he was a fool.
No woman had ever felt so good in his arms.
Gavril slowly stroked her arm as he thought back over her story. She had suffered. But if she hadn’t come to Aquina, they never would have met. And that he couldn’t think about. If he were honest with himself, he wasn’t ready to part from Shyla.Otherwise, he would have walked away, regardless of the danger to himself.
Shyla shifted, pressing her sweet bottom against his hips, as she settled into his embrace. Gavril thought he might die as his body immediately reacted. Blood shot to his groin, making him hard in seconds. It took all of his control not to roll her onto her back and kiss her right then, starting something he shouldn’t—something he couldn’t—finish. Only his sheer will not to cause her more pain held him back.
With a ragged breath, he pulled the blanket about their shoulders, wrapped her in his embrace, and shared his warmth.
She sighed, her body relaxing against his as she absorbed his heat. Her hand settled over his, wrapped around her waist.
Gavril closed his eyes. In the two years since his return to Aquina, he hadn’t dared to dream of a future. He’d kept his thoughts firmly on surviving. On scratching out a living as best as a deposed king was able.
With Shyla, all that changed. Having her in his arms was like heaven itself. He felt like a man. Not a street urchin or a king. Just a simple man with a beautiful woman who stirred his body, mind, and if what she said was true, his magic. He felt lust rising sharp and hot, and, for the first time in years, a desire for… more.
He dreamed of lying before a hearth with her, snuggled as they were under a blanket, their bodies perspiring from an intense round of lovemaking. He dreamed of waking with her in his arms as the sun came through the shutters. He dreamed of growing old with Shyla in his embrace.
And he wanted that life like he’d never wanted anything before.
Gavril rubbed his thumb against her soft hand, savoring that small touch. He craved it like a dying man. In a sense, he was. He was dying of loneliness. Shyla’s simple kindness of taking him in eased that need inside him. Though he knew it was wrong, he soaked up every touch, every smile she offered.
As if she knew his need even in her sleep, Shyla wound her fingers with his and lightly squeezed.
He breathed deep, smelling the cinnamon scent of her hair, and allowed himself to relax. Heat from her body seeped into his skin.
With Shyla tight against him, wrapped in his arms, Gavril slept.
This looks like a fantastic read. I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us today, Aurrora ST. James! I had a blast!!