My Familiar Stranger
By Victoria Danann
By Victoria Danann
The Order of the Black Swan #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: April 21, 2012
Number of pages: (estimated 370)
Word Count: 111,268
Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?
My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.
1. What are some of your favorite witchy reads?
Well, if you mean non-fiction, I would have to mention my own. That would fourteen years of Seasons of the Witch, The Seasons of the Witch Primer, and The Witch's Dictionary. Then there is the four year curriculum I wrote for Seasons in Avalon School of Witch Arts which is a masters course for witches and magicians in what they would no doubt call the Danann Method. Next to that would be The Master Grimoire published by my company, 7th House.
If you mean witches for fun in fiction, that would be Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Kresley Cole), The Lace Reader (Brunonia Barry) and, of course, Practical Magic (Alice Hoffman).
2. If you were a witch, what power would you want and what one would you hate to have?
Since I am semi-famous for being a witch, it's hard to answer that question as asked. Assuming we're talking about the folkloric variety of witches, I would want glamour without the usual accompanying drain on power or emotion.
3. Practical Magic vs. Bed knobs and Broomsticks?
My personal practice is more conceptual than either one. I do sometimes rely on practical magick because it's so organic and innate to the feminine character, but I normally rely more on mind magick; gaining the cooperation of The Powers That Be to make slight (usually) adjustments in reality.
4. What was the toughest scene you ever had to write?
Sex scenes are always a little speed bump. We all know who has what and where it goes. Finding fresh ways to present that challenges creativity and, if you're not careful, you will get a review with the dreaded "the sex was repetitive" tag line.
5. Midnight Margaritas or Pumpkin Juice?
Please don't make me choose. I'll gladly party at midnight, but my spouse will drink my margaritas and his, too. As to pumpkin juice. Really? Ew.
6. What are you working on now?
The third book in the Black Swan series entitled, The Summoner's Tale. This is Baka's story, which readers have been begging for, along with a secondary storyline running simultaneously that I'm keeping under wraps for now. We plan to release it February of 2013.
7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Absolutely. First, decide whether you are a merchant or an artist.
If you're an artist who writes, go watch the movie Dead Poets' Society and pay close attention to the absurdity of attempting to quantify or graph art. If anyone tries to talk to you in terms of the inner circle lingo, just rip out the page and press forward with birthing the expression of your unique perspective and voice.
If you're a merchant who sells books, then attempt to identify the formula that sells and write what's already been written with just enough changes so that you're not tapped for plagiarism.
This book starts off with action that really moves, and continues that feeling throughout the story. There were a few bumps in the flow of the work, but the story line was great. When Elora is sent to another world to save her life, she arrives rather unceremoniously in the middle of a paranormal ops group bent on slaying vamps. Ram and Storm are two of the members of the Black Swan Society and become part of a love triangle that will keep you turning the pages.
If you enjoy paranormal romance, you will like this book. The story at first is like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but really evolves into its own. Elora is deceptively fragile at the onset, even as she survives being hurled through dimensions and landing in a bloody heap in the middle of a vampire/human war. She really became the kind of kick butt heroine I enjoy reading about.
Great start to a series I can't wait to continue with-the best part is that book two is going to be out in October!!!
On a side note, I am completely interested in checking out Victoria's nonfiction titles. They sound positively witchy and wonderful! Let's take a vote on which one you want to hear about most!
For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.
Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston's premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.
This series will include some of my actual experience in the paranormal with fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing "metaphysician", but most of the material is fantasy.
“Since the ancient Greeks, and probably since we became sentient, men have been asking the question, ‘What do women want?’ I think I know what the answer is – at least for a lot of us - and it’s related to why Paranormal Romance is so popular with women and so satisfying to the core in a way no other genre can be. Before I began writing for this audience, I read about two hundred PNR books and realized that there is one element common to almost all and that it can only be expressed in a fantasy world. Can you guess what it is?” (NOTE: You don’t have to match my answer to win. I’m always interested to hear what other PNR fans think.)
The prize is a free download of M.F.S. with Smashwords coupon. Anyone who gives a thoughtful answer wins.