Today I'm so excited to welcome my very dear friend and writer extraordinaire Madelyn Ford to the blog. I had the pleasure of reading her first story, Faith Revisited, last year and I was hooked. Her work is dark and gritty (think urban fantasy and tons of heat) and I couldn't get enough. She truly is an author I endorse and adore. But enough about my fixation with the author herself, on to those questions!
Take it away, Mad!
1. What is your favorite beverage when you write?
It’s a triple shot caramel latte or really sweet iced tea, depending on season. Really weird, I know, but I can’t drink coffee in the summer, unless it’s iced. Too hot here already.
2. What is your favorite font to write in?
I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite font but I use Times New Roman. It’s become habit since it is one of the standard fonts for most publishing houses and I’m just too lazy to change the entire ms after it’s finished.
3. What music do you listen to when you write (or do you prefer it quiet)?
That really depends on what kind of scene I’m writing and also who the characters are. With My Avenging Angel, my playlist consisted of a lot of Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Hollywood Undead. And you can never go wrong with some Metallica for the fight scenes.
4. When it comes to those all important jotted notes, which is it – composition pads or sticky notes?
Neither. I am so disorganized, I would lose them, lol. I keep everything in Word, even my notes.
5. What’s your favorite snack when pounding away at the keyboard?
It used to be Twizzler’s cherry bites or the pulls but my butt started getting too big for my chair. Now I try not to snack as I’m writing.
6. What inspires you when you write?
Lately it’s been hard. I’ve been in a funk. But in the past, it was always the desire to learn what happened to these two characters I’d grown to know and care about. Not being a big plotter, I normally start a story understanding the bad guy has to lose and the good guys have to win, but I never know how that is going to happen until the end. It’s that quest that usually keeps me going.
7. What do you turn to when you stumble across a road block in the creative process and need to regroup?
You know, I never really had this problem until recently. I’ve continued to plow through the story, even though it’s been giving me fits. Sometimes, I’ll call my crit partner and try to talk it out. But I’ve yet to find a real solution to the problem.
8. Where do the ideas and concepts for your work come from?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Lol. No, really, I have no idea. I’m influenced by everything around me then my twisted little mind mashes that all together and out pops words on the screen. Sometimes, I’ll read it back and think where in the world…
9. What do you wish there was more of in the market?
Really good shifter stories. I love them and I’m not even particular about what species of shifter, wolves, cats, dragons, bears…I love them all.
10. Lastly, what advice would you give to an up and coming writer that hopes to submit their work and become published in the future?
Don’t give up. The hard part is actually finishing the ms. You should feel proud for just accomplishing that. As for publishing, all it takes is that one person who believes in your story. I know it sounds trite, but it’s the truth.
Tell us where we can find you on the web. Or share any upcoming projects with us!
My Avenging Angel Excerpt:
It’s Victoria Bloom’s twenty-fifth birthday. But is she out celebrating? Oh, no. She’s in a stuffy old attic with the Three Stooges—a.k.a. her so-called spirit guides. There’s a demon who wants her dead, the same one that killed her mother two decades ago. No worries, say the Stooges. All she has to do is summon an angel. What could go wrong?
Well, plenty when you summon the wrong angel. The next thing Tory knows, she’s got one very bad-ass, pissed-off and sexy Archangel on her hands.
Michael, mighty warrior, leader of an elite team of demon killers, is shaking in his heavenly combat boots. Not because he finds all humans distasteful. But because he’d rather face Lucifer himself than the woman his soul has just recognized as his mate. Binding himself to a mortal, one who will eventually die, is the one path he’s sworn never to follow.
It’s too late now; his fate is sealed. With one touch, she becomes as necessary to him as the air he breathes. He will move heaven and earth to protect her—but against a demon as powerful as Asmodeus, heaven and earth may not be enough…
Warning: This book contains one bad-ass Archangel with a fiery, um, sword, a witch who blows things up, one nasty demon who is trying to kill them both, and ghosts who make interfering their mission. Steamy sex is had, even with the voyeur ghosts—though Tory is still blushing.
Asmodeus stared down at the sniveling, postulating human, a sneer lifting the corner of his lips. He’d been ripped from his dimension, brought to this godforsaken plain known as Earth and he wasn’t happy about it. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the protection spell the man had woven into the circle surrounding him, Asmodeus would have killed the weakling for his audacity.
“Why have you summoned me, human?” he demanded, taking a step forward to test the barrier. He was delighted to find a slight weakness in his invisible cage. He could work with that.
“I ask your help, my lord,” came the timid reply.
Folding his arms across his wide chest, Asmodeus watched as the man remained on his knees, head bowed to his chin, and found the action mildly mollifying. He might just hear the human out before he killed him.
“You called me forth to ask my help?”
“Yes.” Brown eyes met his briefly before dropping back to the floor. “There is a woman—”
“I am the Lord of Wrath, king of the vengeance demons, not a damn matchmaker. Release me now, human,” he growled, rethinking his earlier plan. He was going to enjoy taking this creature apart piece by tiny piece.
The man’s head shot up, surprise lining his features. “I don’t want her love, my lord.”
“No? Then what is it you seek?”
Eyes narrowing, a look of intense hatred bleeding into those brown orbs, the man growled, “I want the bitch dead.”
“And if I do this for you? What are you willing to sacrifice?”
Asmodeus studied the pitiful being for a moment, then a grin slowly spread across his face. Dead he could do. In fact, he would relish every moment of the act: skin tearing beneath his nails, blood oozing forth and the fragrant cries of pain tickling his ears. But he was getting ahead of himself. First there was payment. And then he had to decide if he would kill the human after reaping his soul or just maim him, leaving him alive to do Asmodeus’s future bidding. Oh, so much pain, so little time.
With one tiny hand, she brushed sweat-drenched hair from her eyes while she reached out with the other, fingers trembling slightly, to nudge the prone figure on the bed.
“Mommy,” she whispered. Her gaze fell to the empty bottles littering the bedside table and she knew it was a waste of her time. Mommy always got like this after the bad man left. But she had to try. “Please, Mommy. You need to wake up.” She grew louder as her urgency rose. “The bad man is coming back. We have to hide.”
The soft voice in her ear told Tory she was running out of time. Hands swirled out of the mist in an attempt to herd her away from Mommy but she clutched Mommy’s shirt tightly in her fists. Unexpectedly, pain exploded throughout the side of her head, filling her eyes with tears. Mommy had hit her.
“Go back to bed, you little shit,” Tammy Bishop mumbled, rolling away from her. “Get out of here.”
The voices were frantic now, raising the level of terror coursing through Tory’s small frame. Then she sensed him, the bad man, the one Mommy had said was her daddy. But she’d felt the evil rolling off him and knew Mommy had lied. Tory’s daddy was a prince. Or an angel. Or maybe a princely angel. Just not the bad man.
She let the mist guide her into the hall closet and burrowed under a blanket that had been thrown carelessly on the floor. Surrounding her, the mist obscured the blanket and her presence beneath it only moments before the front door of their little apartment crashed open. She slapped a hand over her mouth to conceal a tiny cry, tears beginning to slowly leak down her cheeks. The voices murmured softly, trying to soothe her, but it wasn’t until heavy footsteps went unheeded past her hiding spot that Tory’s immediate panic receded. And then the screams began.
Clasping her hands tightly before her, Tory began to pray to the angels. She didn’t want to die and even though Mommy sometimes called her a baby, she wasn’t. Tory knew if the bad man found her, he would kill her. And so she prayed until Mommy grew silent and the laughter began. The sound, one Tory knew she would never forget, chilled her to the bone. Her prayers were forgotten as pure terror filled her soul, squashing all that was good, all the hope and love within her, leaving her dejected and heartsick.
It called to her, trying to draw her into its evil web, and the only thing holding her back from answering was the mist. They saved her that night, the spirits drawn to her light, not releasing her from their otherworldly grip until all was silent and the veil of evil had lifted. Only then was Tory able to crawl out of the closet.
“Mommy?” she called as she slowly trudged down the hallway.
Coming to a stop outside Mommy’s bedroom, the hands tried to hold her back, but she slipped right through their grasp. Their protection had weakened them and she had to see…had to know.
What filled her vision stunned her for one split second before high-pitched screams of horror were ripped from her throat. And while she shrieked, tears streaming down her cheeks, trails of her mother’s blood slowly trickled down the walls.
Thanks so much for dropping by, Mad. You are welcome here anytime! :-)