Give a warm welcome to P.G Forte today, and her story, In the Dark, coming out in December. Be sure to watch for it!!! Keep in mind that this is an unedited excerpt.
1. How did you get started with your writing?
I’ve always written—poems, short stories, commercials, even a couple of short film scripts. But it wasn’t until maybe ten years ago that I finally got serious about writing novels. Like with most things in my life, I blame my kids for that. I already knew I was a writer but they needed more tangible proof.
2. What/who is your biggest muse?
Is it too weird to say California? It really has been a major source of inspiration for most of my work to date. It’s just so beautiful here and I love the weather…oh, and, speaking of inspiration, all the wineries don’t really hurt in that regard, either.
But there’s also an internal muse—who can prove very elusive at times—and who will probably take great offense if I fail to mention her…him…uh, it? *sigh* We’re having some minor gender issues, at the moment.
3. Is there a character in one of your books you connect with the most?
You know, there really isn’t. I love all of my characters…well, okay, other than a couple of the villains. Every book I write, I find new characters to love and while I’m in their heads I’m sure they’re the greatest people ever invented. Except when they’re being difficult and giving me grief, of course. When that happens, I threaten to visit unimaginable misery on them unless they get back in line pronto.
Does that count as connecting?
4. What do you like to do in your free time other than write?
Okay, I guess I have some free time. And, actually, I’ve recently made a commitment to try and spend more of it exercising because I’ve really of gotten out of the habit and that’s never a good idea. To be honest, I’d spend 24/7 at the computer if I could get away with it—and if I could talk someone into bringing me meals on a more-or-less regular basis. I would kind of miss being able to sleep, though.
I’m a little obsessed, in case you couldn’t tell.
Other than that…I like reading, traveling, cooking, learning new things. Of course, the best part of learning new things is being able to incorporate them into books. Yep. Definitely obsessed.
5. What are some of your favorite books? Any genre or author.
Oh, that’s always a tough one. Every time I get it my mind goes blank and I immediately forget all the great books I love. Since I’m working on a vampire series, at the moment, I should probably mention Tanya Huff’s blood books and her smoke series. Her vampires are some of the least eye-roll-worthy I’ve read…although, to be honest, I found the lack of sex in her books somewhat disappointing. Sharon Ashwood also does a nice job with her vamps in Ravenous.
I have logistical problems with a lot of fictional vampires. I want vampires I can believe in. Re-animated, flying corpses that can’t be seen in mirrors and shrivel up at the first hint of sunlight are not believable…but, of course, that’s just my opinion.
6. Where is your writing sanctuary?
I’m lucky in that I can write almost anywhere—especially if I’ve got the right music. Currently, however, we’re living without a dining room, since that’s where I’ve set up my office.
It’s nice. It’s got a wall of books, a window for my plants, racks for my CDs, an antique Stickley rocking chair I picked up at a yard sale. It’s also hopelessly cluttered—the walls are covered with ‘visual aids’ to put me in the right frame of mind. And it’s become home to all of our pets for some reason…must be my magnetic personality. LOL!
7. How did you celebrate “selling” your first book?
I didn’t. I was too much in shock. I kept having to re-read the email because I was that sure it was a mistake. lol!
8. What is your favorite thing about Samhain?
9. Is there something you would like to see more of in RomanceLandia?
How about something I’d like to see less of? Which would be rules. When I started out writing romance (or, what I thought was romance) I was amazed by all the people who told me I ‘couldn’t’ write about certain things. I want more diversity and less clichés. And I wish people were less fixed in their definitions of what makes a romance a romance. I mean, we’re talking about love stories, right? Well, that’s not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing.
I like to write and read stories that are a little bit (okay, sometimes more than a little bit) outside the box. But I still think the box should be bigger and more inclusive. Too often, people in RomanceLandia are overly resistant to ‘new’ or ‘alternative’ genres. I want more mixed genres and cross genres and twisted, bent genres. In fact, I wish mixed genre was its own genre…or at least a sub-genre of something else.
10. Tell us about your editor.
San Francisco, California
Saturday, November 1st, 1969
When you live forever you’re bound to make a few mistakes. It goes with the territory, especially if you’re still partly human. To err is human—isn’t that how the saying goes? It doesn’t matter how old or how careful or how intelligent you are. Every now and again there’s going to be something you fail to take into account. It’s inevitable. There’s really very little in this world more prone to miscalculation than the human heart…or even the mostly human heart.
It wasn’t that Conrad Quintano thought himself immune to such failings, but after almost twelve hundred years he had grown a bit complacent. How many missteps could there be left for him to take? He thought he’d seen it all—everything new and old under the sun—life, death, comedy, tragedy, the rise and fall of civilizations; all the glory and depredation of which humankind is capable. But he hadn’t ever seen anything like Suzanne Marie Fischer. Lovely. Desperate. Dying.
Suzanne, or Desert Rose as she was calling herself at the time, had been living on the streets of San Francisco when he met her. A petite, free-spirited, dark-eyed waif, she was only one of countless, teenage runaways drawn to the city by Scott McKenzie’s lyrics in the waning days of the 1960s.
She certainly wasn’t the first pretty face to ever cross Conrad’s path and even he knew she wasn’t likely to be the last. All the same, he fell for her the way old men have always fallen for young girls: hard. He was blinded by his feelings for her; by his lust, his love, his passion, his need. Call it what you will. He was rendered thoughtless, selfish, reckless, ruthless. And so he came to make what was, quite possibly, the biggest mistake of his very long life.
“My babies?” Suzanne gasped the last time he saw her; her agony finally beginning to make itself apparent, determination blazing suddenly in her dark eyes. “They’re… Are they…?”
“They’re fine,” Conrad responded automatically, gazing at her helplessly; the woman he’d loved. The woman he’d killed. He had no idea how it was she could still talk, or even breathe. Certainly her heart was no longer beating. If it was he’d have heard it. “A boy and a girl. They’re both…fine.”
“No.” Her head rocked back and forth. “Not fine. They’re your kind, aren’t they? They’re like you?”
“They’re Vampire, yes.” He’d known them for what they were the moment he’d laid eyes on them—even though the idea ran counter to everything he’d previously believed to be possible. Newly born vampire twins. That was something even a millennia’s worth of experience hadn’t prepared him for.
Vampires were made, not born. He knew that to be indisputable fact. And, yet…
“I could tell. I could feel them growing inside me and…and I knew.”
But Conrad couldn’t face thinking about what she’d known, what she’d felt, all she must have gone through these past months in order to carry her babies to term. “Who did this to you?” he demanded instead, gesturing at the bandages that covered her savaged throat, focusing his rage on something he could do something about: exacting his revenge on her attacker. “Who hurt you like this? Tell me.”
Suzanne shook her head. Perhaps she didn’t know the answer. Perhaps she no longer cared. “Take them,” she murmured, her gaze holding tenaciously to his, her voice even fainter than before. “Safer with you.”
“Sssave them. For me?”
Them? It took a moment for her meaning to come clear to him. She was asking him to care for her children, the babies who should not have been born, whose very existence spelled disaster, both for them and for anyone foolish enough to try and shield them.
Conrad roused himself from his own feelings—from his grief, his confusion, his pain, his loss—long enough to consider hers. Finally, he met her gaze and nodded. “I will, mignonne. I promise. I’ll protect them with my very life. Forever.”
Suzanne seemed satisfied, but then the fire went out in her eyes leaving only the pain. “Hurts,” she whimpered weakly. “Kill…me. P-p-please?”
But even if Conrad could have brought himself to honor this final request, he knew there was no need. As her eyes closed and she slipped away from him for what would be the very last time, he stroked her hair and answered softly, “I already have, little one.”