Sunday, March 27, 2011

Janet Elizabeth Jones

Writers can't say it enough: it takes an industry to produce a book, but only one person can give it life. That's you. Before you think I'm being glib, dear reader, let me say it this way.

A story passes through a hundred hands and hearts on its way to you, and it takes every single one of those creative, devoted minds to create, produce, distribute and put that story into your hands--but it takes your imagination to make the story real. Your imagination is the essential, ever-changing, ever new, magic ingredient in every story, and no two readers imagine a story in the same way.

Just so you know, you're the person I want to reach. You're the one. It's all about you. Whether you're near or far, struggling or safe, happy or sad, feel welcome on this planet or disenfranchised by society, whatever your story is, if my story fails to touch a chord in your soul that we share as human beings, or if my characters fail to ring true to the depth of your oh-so-human heart, then I haven't compensated you for the time, money, and trust you've invested in the book.

You may only be looking for a few hours of escape. You may not need happily-ever-afters. But we all believe to some extent in the power of love. We believe because we've seen it in our lives, or in the lives of others. It's out there. The kind of love we can give our heart to on our own terms and cherish for the rest of our lives. A love that won't shy away from pain or anger, the killer emotions that make us sick at heart and road weary. A love that won't shrink into the shadows the first time we shine our inner light in its direction. A love that answers to the name we give it in our deepest dreams. A love that speaks for itself. Incubus is about this kind of love.

My hope is that you will see in Meical Grabian and Caroline Bengal some of your own uncompromising courage, that stuff that gets you out of bed every morning. Okay, for some of us that's coffee, and though many of us would argue that coffee and courage are interchangeable, coffee doesn't sound as poetic as courage. And even if you threw away your rosy-tinted glasses a long time ago or find feel-good preambles like this one a little tedious, you have to admit, loving someone, and letting them love you back, takes a lot of guts. For Meical and Caroline, it's literally a matter of life or death.

Thank you for dropping by today. Now, I'll quit the warm-fuzzies and let my characters do the talking. Here's Meical Grabian, Caroline Bengal and Benemerut Neshi (aka The Alchemist).

Meical Grabian:
To save his kind, Meical Grabian agrees to participate in a dangerous experiment. One that takes his vampire's thirst for blood and leaves him hungering for something new. An incubus can be sated only with passion—but what woman could love what he's become?

Interviewer: Meical you're the first of The Alchemist's test subjects to survive the transformation. I understand nothing went the way either of you anticipated.

MG: That's right. Not even Neshi could have predicted the outcome. I survived, but I'm not exactly what he had in mind. I've been asked not to give any spoilers though, so I'll leave it at that.

Interviewer:  We know what a vampire is, but can you explain what an incubus is?

MG: An incubus feeds on human sexual pleasure. He uses dreams to arouse his prey. It's his prey's passion that sustains him. Unlike a vampire, he's impervious to sunlight, which is why Neshi felt that this particular transformation would create a more normal--more human--existence for vampires. In essence, they become givers, not takers.

Interviewer:'s always your prey's pleasure? Yours doesn't matter?

MG: (grinning) Well, it's hardly awful if I enjoy it, but yes, my own pleasure does nothing to keep me alive. Only Caroline can do that for me, and only her pleasure. And to answer your next question, yes: it matters if there's an emotional bond between an incubus and his prey.

Interviewer: just read my mind...

MG: Sorry. It's a reflex. But yes, based on Neshi's initial findings, even if an incubus only meets his prey in dreams, his sustenance is proportionate to the emotional bond they have. He might subsist for a while on random, nightly gymnastics with someone he'll never visit again, but he won't survive. Eventually he'll turn ugly and gaunt and starve to death. And there can be no use of force, either. That gets you dead quicker than starving. It's a fail-safe Neshi built into the process. For someone who can turn you into ashes with a glance, he's surprisingly sentimental and old-fashioned.

Interviewer: There was another reason why you agreed to be The Alchemist's guinea pig, wasn't there, besides wanting to enjoy sunlight again? Your friend Ellory Benedikt and his family were in trouble, right? Tell us a little about that.

MG: Yes, Ellory was facing a showdown with an old enemy he couldn't possibly defeat without the help of our vampire community, but most of them were either too afraid to join his side, or they chose to ally with his enemy. His family--his mate Talisen and his adopted fledgling vampires--would be next to die. I owe Ellory a lot. If not for him, I wouldn't have survived after I was turned, so there's nothing I won't do to help him. The only one powerful enough to see the Benedikts through their crisis was The Alchemist, but like most of us, Ellory doesn't trust Neshi, especially since most fledglings Neshi encountered became fodder for his experiments. Also, it's a fact that Neshi doesn't give his help for free. The best way I could help Ellory was to make it worth Neshi's trouble to offer asylum. So I swore my willing participation in his experiment in return for his promise to protect the Benedikts. I really didn't care what happened to me after that. I just wanted a little time at sunrise before I died. That's all that mattered to me. Until Caroline.
("Meical Grabian was first interviewed on the Romance Lives Forever blog."

Caroline Bengal:
Caroline's compassion and earthy beauty tempt the hunger Meical has desperately been keeping at bay. And soon Meical is visiting Caroline's dreams, seducing his prey while she sleeps.
Interviewer: Caroline, we know there are catastrophes that change people’s lives overnight, but it’s still hard to believe. One day you’re a successful child psychologist, and the next, you’re literally running for your life, hiding out in the back roads of the Poconos. How did it happen?
CB: I’d been working with my mentor and his patients in the El Paso area for about a year. Trauma cases are my specialty, so one night, he called me in on an emergency case at the hospital to help a catatonic little boy the police found wandering along I-10. He’d witnessed something so violent that he’d disconnected from his identity, but gradually, I was able to piece together who he was. He turned out to be the son of a powerful criminal the police had been after for years, and the information I uncovered while helping the boy enabled the police to finally bring his dad to justice. And that’s when everything in my life went wrong.
Interviewer: Because even from prison, he had enough influence to retaliate against you.
CB: Right. Bad Dad got mad.
Interviewer: I know what happened next is especially hard for you to talk about. His people did eventually get to you, and you actually lost a leg because of that attack. But something intervened that night and kept them from killing you.
CB: Yes, but I can’t talk about that either. I promised: no spoilers.
MG: Of course, Caroline’s escape so angered her enemy that he sent a professional assassin after her–I didn’t get to kill him until later–but from the moment he began hunting her, she didn’t know a moment of safety.
CB: Until the night I pulled you out of a snowdrift.
Interviewer: And that’s where your story really starts. And we’ll stop there, and let the readers find out for themselves what happened next.
Benemerut Neshi (aka The Alchemist):
In his human life, Ben was a physician in ancient Cairo. As a vampire, he's the closest thing to a druggist that vampires have, but his efforts to find a way to transform vampires into incubi and succubi have made him an outcast among his own people. It's a deadly process, and only one vampire, Meical Grabian, has survived it. Night Raven News wants to take a closer look at the vampire who made Meical's incredible, if perilous, transformation possible.
Interviewer: For the benefit of our audience, I'd like to explain, that even though your methods have made you out to be a monster, what you're trying to accomplish is a way to enable vampires to sustain themselves on human passion rather than blood. If they survive the transformation, ideally they'll even be able to withstand sunlight. 
But during your work with Meical Grabian, there were unexpected results, and though we know the experiment wasn't exactly a failure, something definitely went wrong. We're not trying to give away spoilers, but we'd love to hear your side of it.
The Alchemist: I think it best that the readers find out for themselves. 
Interviewer: Oh, come on, we won't think less of you. You're among friends here.
The Alchemist: Until I get hungry again. And that's not intended to titillate your audience. This is the legacy of my long existence: uncontrollable hunger. And it will only get worse, as I live on, unless someone intervenes on my behalf.
Interviewer: Someone like Shelby Mackleroy?
The Alchemist: It remains to be seen. She has her whole life ahead of her. She needs time to grow and live and be happy, to come to herself, to find her place in this world. Her world. Not mine. Regardless of the fact that she holds my life in her hands, it must always be her decision to choose me, or not. Until she is able to do so, the best thing I can do for her is stay out of her life.
In the meantime, I'll use what sanity I have left to keep working. But if I am to achieve a peaceful and pleasurable symbiosis between human and vampire, I must have subjects with which to test my findings. I claim the vampires who are unwanted, unprotected, hunting where they shouldn't be, preying on humans who are not their rightful prey, or trespassing on another vampire's domain. Regrettably, these are most often the young and weak of my kind: the fledgling vampires. 
And before you ask me the next question on your mind: no, I don't allow them to suffer, though everyone thinks otherwise. I do have a heart, such as it is. It lies in pieces spread from one end of this earth to the other, and Shelby is the only person alive who can make it whole again, if I can survive my hunger enough to still be fit for her.
Interviewer: But if you can give vampires the chance to feel the sun again, like you did for Meical Grabian, I'd think they'd be flocking to you, even though there's a risk.
The Alchemist: It depends on the vampire. Some love the night; others still long for the sun. But even if they want what I can give them, they have to trust that the process is worth the danger. They have to trust my methods. They have to trust me--their worst nightmare.
Interviewer: Thank you for your honest answers to my questions, Ben. I'd like to know how things work out for you and Shelby. Maybe we'll be reading your book soon, and everything will turn out alright for you both.
The Alchemist: That is the hope that sees me through every long night of my existence, but only time will tell.
So now you have had a brief moment with the author and the characters.  We hope this has tantalized your reading senses. The links to pick this book up in either print or e-book are below as are all the ways to stay in touch with the author.
E-Book – Incubus
Print Book – Incubus$item.i_origcat
Author Places:


1 comment:

Janet Elizabeth Jones said...

Thank you so much, Tina, for hosting my post today! And once again, I'd like to thank Otherworlds Publicity for doing such a fantastic job on my blog tour!

:D Janet