Today I’m happy to have fellow Ellora’s Cave author, Cornelia Amiri here. Her hot new release, Valkyrie Vampire Ball just came out. It’s the fifth book in her Dancing Vampire Series and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Enjoy this quick interview with Cornelia and be sure you check out the giveaway she’s doing at the bottom of this post.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
In 2000, I received an e-mail form Awe Struck eBooks accepting my novel, The Celtic Fox, I was on cloud nine. Bubbling with happiness, I was more animated then usual at my day job, then at Compubank. I followed my standard good mornings with, “Did you hear about my book?” I e-mailed my publisher, Kathryn Struck, to tell her that I too was attending the Romantic Times convention and that I would love to meet her. She replied, “I am taking all the Awe Struck authors to dinner on Thursday and would love for you to join us.” I walked around work waving the e-mail saying, “Look, look, I’m going to have dinner with my publisher and the other Awe-Struck authors.” That first book came out in 2001, now 14 years later I have 24 published books with other publishers, including Ellora’s Cave as well as some indie books. In fact I republished The Celtic Fox as an indie book on Amazon.
What draws you to write fantasy and/or paranormal?
My love for fantasy began with my love of history, my favorite time periods and people are the Dark Age and Ancient Celts. It’s a time period few people have accurate knowledge of, so I have to make a world previously unreal to the reader, real to them, just like fantasy and sci-fi authors do. In the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley, I use fantasy to bring the readers into the belief system of the characters. I want to make the druid teachings of the times come alive to the readers. So in my books, people can shapeshift, there are selkies, dead ancestors cross over to speak with you and help you out, gods fall in love with humans, and, from time to time, dragons visit from their alternate dimension. In the Dancing Vampires Series, I set my stories in present time in the Scottish Highlands but I draw on the Celtic lore of the dark fey, the baobhan sith. I also use Celtic mythology, Scottish gods and goddesses, especially goddess Morrigan in most of the books in the series. In addition, I included Norse mythology in Valkyrie Vampire Ball with goddess Frey and the valkyrie.
What was the inspiration for Valkyrie Vampire Ball?
My inspiration for the Dancing Vampire Series came from the Scottish lore of the dark fey, the baobhan sith (bah vawn shee) vampiric fey, who roam the Scottish highlands. All of them are women, no men. They are voluptuous and enticing beauties always garbed in green dresses. Also, they have talons, no fangs. Like other vampires they drink human blood and they fry in the sunlight. Many call them dancing vampires as they look for young men coming from the pub at night. The baobhan sith dance with them until the men are exhausted then they transform their nails to talons. The dancing grows rough as the baobhan sith rake their nails across their dance partner’s back. They claw at the men’s skin, draining their blood, so they can drink it. My Dancing Vampire series is a modern take on the baobhan sith. These seven wicked sisters end up on a quest for love. As the dark fey, the dancing vampires, are an aspect of the Celtic War and fertility goddess, Morrigan, I use her as a secondary character throughout the books. It interest me how much the Norse War and Fertility goddess, Freya is similar to Morrigan. I realized that the Valkyrie are also a lot like the baobhan sith. I have also always been intrigued by the Viking roots of the Scottish Clan Gunn. So I made my hero, Tor, a Gunn. Both the valkyrie and the baobhan sith are after Tor as his ancient genealogy is both Scottish and Norse. I get to have Morrigan and Freya face off against each other. This was a super fun book to write. I think the readers will find it a lot of fun and hot, hot, hot.
Tell us about the Dancing Vampires series.
There are seven Baobhan sith sisters who cross from the fairy realm of underhill to roam the Scottish Highlands on a quest for love. The books in the series are Dance Of The Vampires, Vampire Highland Fling, Ever So Bonnie A Vampire, One Dance With A Vampire, and Valkyrie Vampire Ball the fifth novella in my Dancing Vampire series comes out November 28. The last book in the series, Some Vampires Shimmy will be coming in December. It is the story of the last two sisters left underhill, Fuamnach (Foom na) and Aithbhreac (Af ric) who like their five sisters, discover the wild delights of romance with the men of their dreams (http://www.ellorascave.com/series/dancing-vampires-1.html)
What’s next for you?
The last book in the Dancing Vampire series is next, Some Vampire Shimmy. The last of the single vampric fey sisters have taken up belly dancing and Steampunk and are ready to shimmy. It’s all sizzle and steam when Afric and Foomna get together with a sexy rock guitarist and a hot looking god at a Scottish Steampunk Con. Afric swore she’d never love a human but Kade’s got her tied up in Celtic knots with the erotic pleasure of his shibari rope. The War Goddess Morrigan discovers Afric’s attraction to a human and turns up at the con to put stop to it all. Torn between her goddess, her sister and her lover, Afric strives to find a way to have it all.
The baobhan sith—vampiric fey—Mordak and her sisters search the highlands for men to dance with and drink from. The moment Mordak spots Tor, she burns for his touch and yearns for the taste of his lips in a lingering kiss. Before she can sway her hips in a seductive dance to enchant Tor, three Valkyrie land in front of him. Mordak is not about to let the Norse blondes fly off with the man she chose.
Tor never expected to run into six gorgeous women on his way to the pub. It’s the redhead, Mordak, who catches his eye. When she fights the Valkyrie and saves his life, he knows she’s the woman for him. But Mordak lives in the fey realm where he can’t go and she promised her sisters she’d never fall in love with a human. Can he escape the Valkyrie who want to slay him and win Mordak’s love even though he’s only human?
Buy Link: http://www.ellorascave.com/valkyrie-vampire-ball.html
Author Bio and Links:
Cornelia Amiri, who also writes under the name of Maeve Alpin, is the author of 24 Celtic and Steampunk romance books. She lives in Houston Texas as does her son and granddaughter and her cat, Severus. Severus is a writer’s cat, he loves books. He likes to knock them off the bookshelf, sit on them, and sniff the open pages. He also uses the computer, he sits on it, lays on top of it, and walks across the key board almost constantly. You can visit Cornelia at her web site: http://CelticRomanceQueen.com and FB page: https://www.facebook.com/CelticRomanceQueen
To celebrate the new release, Cornelia is giving away the first three eBooks of the series Dance Of The Vampires, Vampire Highland Fling, and Ever So Bonnie A Vampire along with a deck of Ellora’s Cave 2014 Hoedown/Showdown playing cards. Please leave a comment below to enter the contest and include your email so she can reach you if you win.