Monday, July 26, 2010

Character spotlight with Jeremy

Hello. I’m Jeremy and I’m the ghostly character in His to Possess, Su Halfwerk’s standalone & sweet paranormal romance release from Devine Destinies

Since Su is busy with a dark fiction novella, she asked if I could be interviewed. I accepted :)

What makes you special? What differentiates you from your kind? Do you have special abilities?

I’m not sure what differentiates me from other specters—I haven’t met any since my death, but I know what makes me special—Stacy’s affections for me. The love of a good woman can do miracles to a ghost’s vitality.

Tell us about your most current adventure.

His to Possess is indeed an adventure, the sweet type. It started when Stacy began appraising valuable books at the mansion I was haunting. At that stage, I had settled into a gray and dull existence, but the moment she stepped through the mansion doors, my days were gray no more.

I’ll share with you a short scene here, this is the first proper chat I shared with Stacy.

A weary look had crept in and settled over her beautiful eyes. When she leaned forward, more candlelight softened her already delicate features, as she asked, “Are you a good guy, or a bad one?”

Jeremy shook his head desolately and settled back on the floor cross-legged. “If I were one of the bad guys, would I tell you?”

Stacy pursed her lips. “No. I guess not. You have a valid point there. Just know that my protective circle will stop any contact between us.”

He mulled over that information for a moment. He understood that she had to shield herself. “I understand.”

Jeremy could hardly maintain the thrill that surged through him, even though their conversation took place on the dusty, cold marble floor of the kitchen, in the darkness of the mansion, with the storm raging outside.

Her temple furrowed. “You sound familiar.”

“That’s because we’ve met before.” He beamed at her.

She considered that for a moment, and then nodded. “You mean while you were alive? Where?”

Jeremy decided to be honest with her, since she already knew his spectral nature. “No. We’ve met after my death. To be specific, this afternoon.”

“No. I’ve seen only Paul this afternoon, and he’s no ghost.” She scowled at him. “Are you one of those playful spirits?”

Jeremy raised both hands in entreaty. “No, no, no. I would never lie to you.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I’m not sure what had happened, but when you fainted, I managed to gain form for one instant.”

She gasped, her eyes widening. “You’re Jeremy? Stacy swallowed hard, seeming at a loss. “Well, why did you disappear again?”

“I have no clue how I gained form and then lost it. I’m as confused about it as you are,” he replied. But deep inside, Jeremy’s confusion took a back seat. God. I am talking to Stacy! Even after death, there are miracles.

He pointed his chin at the candles. “You seem experienced at conjuring spirits. But you don’t know how this happened either.”

Stacy shook her head. “Ah, no, I am as inexperienced as you appear to be in this. I’m a Sensitive, as my grandmother used to say—sort of a ghost whisperer by inheritance. It means I can draw the spirits to me easily.”

Happiness swarmed Jeremy’s heart. For the first time, he was happy to be the only ghost in the mansion. “Wow. So, you don’t know how I was able to gain physical form.”

Stacy cocked her head to one side. “I think you’re starting to repeat yourself.”

“You think I don’t know?” Jeremy ran shaky fingers through his hair and chuckled awkwardly. He noticed that Stacy’s eyes fixed on the spot where he sat, as though she could see him. “It’s just that I’ve dreamt of this—talking to you—since the first day you started working on those books.”

Stacy continued to gaze in his direction without uttering a word, which Jeremy found unnerving. Does she regret conjuring me? “You’re silent,” he said softly. “What’s wrong?”

“Tell me, why do you run your hand through your hair?”

Jeremy shrugged self-consciously. “I do that a lot when I’m nervous.”

Only after he finished his reply did the meaning of her words sink in.

If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?

Trust your muse more often and believe in your intuition, it guides you well—no, not the voices you hear, Su.

Are you happy with the way people perceive you?

Can’t say I have an opinion about that. As a ghost, not many people can see or hear me—only Stacy can. However, through the book, I got the chance to be seen, heard and felt by many. I’m happy with that outcome.

Does your author ever try to take over the story? And how do you deal with it?

Does the sun rise from the east? Su tries, but she is a logical person. Approach her with logic and probable outcome, leave her to think about it, and she will most probably listen.

What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you?

Let’s see…my death was sudden and uninteresting. Now, meeting Stacy during the role casting for the book was a life changer.

Role casting? That’s interesting. Tell us how you ended up in His to Possess.

Su’s muse announced the role casting in our world. By the time my turn came, Su had been through a shadowman, a revenant and few others—I came right in after a poltergeist. You should’ve seen the state of Su’s office after a poltergeist demonstrated his talent. That spirit made me look angelic in her eyes. When Stacy stepped into that almost demolished room to deliver a document Su had requested from her during her role casting the day before, our gazes met. Su couldn’t miss the chemistry.

Is there a message you want to get across in this interview?

Yes. Value your life, with its shortcomings and troubles. Never give up hope, not even in the after life. I’m the biggest proof of that fact.

If you were brought into this world, what would be your first order of business?

A huge bowl of jamoca ice cream along with a bag of very salty chips. I never knew how important taste buds were until now. Stacy keeps telling me to stop staring at her while she eats, but I can’t help it. Like everything else she does, I became engrossed in watching her.

Have you ever lost control?

I was the epitome of mellowness during my life. After my death, I almost lost control at a very crucial point. *frown* I’m sorry, but I don’t like to remember that moment, and prefer not to talk about it.

What are your opinions on Paul?

He’s a pompous full of himself chauvinist who lost a good thing in his life, and for that I pity him. His loss is my gain though, and for that, I thank him.

What are the pros and cons to being a ghost?

Pros: No need for sleep, food, warmth, materialistic gains.

Cons: It puts limitations on the type of life I want to give to Stacy.

How does one become a ghost?

I know only the first step—dying. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Do all dead people become ghosts? I don’t think so, but I’m aware of one thing—if you die without accomplishing a very important goal in your life, you tend to hang in there waiting for its fulfillment. I’m not sure if there are other criteria.

Describe your best kill. Why was it the best?

I haven’t killed anyone, but was on the verge of killing two people in one go.

What kind of abilities do you get when you become a spirit?

Invisibility, mood swings mainly due to loneliness, immortality in a sense.

What makes being with a ghost the best sexual experience?

LOL You’ll have to interview Stacy for that one.

Do you really see a bright light when you die?

Hmmm, I haven’t seen one when I died, so I’m not sure how true this bright light business is. Perhaps you see it when you truly depart from this plane.

Can you touch things in the traditional way?

Traditional way? Not all the time.

What’s the one thing that is difficult to get used to as a ghost?

Not being noticed, felt and perceived as an entity, as though I’m nothing.

Do ghosts have a social calendar to adhere to?

:) Not me. But there are different types of spirits around, perhaps they have a social calendar.

Thank you Devine Destinies for accepting His to Possess and for having these thought provoking questions. If you desire to get in touch with either Stacy or myself, then send us a note through Su’s website:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Author spotlight with Su Halfwerk

Su, what has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?

My family. They believed, and still do, in my talent and creativity. Their encouragement and flexibility to accommodate my schedule has been a great help. Even my eight-year-old son is supportive and offers to give me monsters whenever I’m stuck in a scene. How a monster would help anyone is beyond me, but I’ve learned not to argue when he’s helping. Seriously, bad idea! :)

How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?

I’m a bit of both, I’m afraid. I start off by plotting for no other reason but my fear of forgetting the events, their sequence and the twists. A gold fish’s memory is better than mine. As the story progresses, I start changing details impulsively, as long as the main events of the story remain unchanged.

What makes a book great in your eyes?

Two things:

1. Suspense is an important element. If the readers don’t speculate, then they will not care and will put the book face down on the first picnic bench they find.

2. Plausibility is another factor. JK Rowling created a magical world loaded with mythical creatures, magical spells and unbelievable obstacles. A realistic magical world!

What influences your writing? And why?

Unfortunately, my mood influences my writing schedule and the writing itself. I think the answer to the why bit lies in the stars. I’m as typical a Taurean as they come. 8-D

Who is your favorite all-time author?

Indisputably, Kresley Cole. Her Immortals After Dark series is a must read.

Do you write in one genre or several different ones? And why?

Besides the paranormal romance, I write in the horror and thriller genres. Why? I guess I’m drawn to the darker side of the fictional world. Of course, His to Possess, though paranormal romance, is sweet, and that’s the work of my characters. They held me down and forced me to do it :)

To know more about my writing check out my website:

If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

At a cottage on a beach. If you’re going to grant this wish, please make sure there is electricity in the cottage—for my laptop.

How do you deal with the dreaded writer’s block?

I don’t get writer’s block. On the other hand, I suffer from total addiction to writer’s procrastination. I handle it the same way I handle everything else in life, I tempt myself with a reward if I do get off my %$# and go to work again. No work, no reward.

Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?

I paint, here’s a link to some of my paintings:

I also design book trailers, here’s the trailer for His to Possess:

To date, which is your favorite story? Which one did you have the most fun writing?

His to Possess. Its details fit in place as tight as a jigsaw puzzle pieces. I had no difficulties with it—the characters were easygoing and the ending surprised me as much as the next person. In simple words, it was exciting, suspenseful and engaging.

You can read more about His to Possess here

How do you go about developing your characters and setting?

Usually, the sequence is like this:

1. I get the idea for the book.

2. Then I sit and decide on the characters’ personalities, concentrating on their flaws and strengths to decide on their background and their occupations. Lots of research goes here.

3. Finally, I decide on the location of the story—again, loads of research—to give the characters the best environment for conflict and climax.

However, for His to Possess, Stacy’s job was the first thing that came to my mind, even before the idea of the book. Go figure!

Thank you for these challenging questions. I would like to leave you with one thought:

Don’t give up hope no matter what challenges life hurls at you. There’s always a way, might not be an easy one, but give it a try. You might be surprised.

I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed answering its questions.


Su Halfwerk