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Choose your sin with ...

Anya Bast

 

I want to talk about your latest release The Chosen Sin. I'm very intrigued by Daria and Alejandro, the setting, and social structure. Please tell our JR readers a little bit about Daria and Alejandro and their world.

Essentially the book is about a crackdown on a vampire cult in space. Thatís the external story. The internal story, the romance, is between Daria and Alejandro. Daria was duped and used by the villain of the tale in a highly damaging way. As a result she lives only to take him down. Sheís built high walls up around herself to prevent that deeply emotional injury from happening again.

When she finally has a shot to take down the villain, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Sheíll have to become a Chosen (a vampire) to do it. The man who turns her and gets her into the villainís compound is Alejandro Martinez, a Chosen with whom she has a heated past. Alejandro is the only man sheís met who has the ability to break down all those walls sheís built up and she doesnít want that.

But Alejandro has different ideas.

Ultimately the book is about the light and darkness that exists in all of us and the lengths we might go to obtain revenge. Thereís some dimension to the villainóheís got some sympathetic characteristics. The book is about intimacy and finding love even when youíre terrified of being hurt. Because who isnít afraid of that? Who hasnít closed down and turned away in the face of risking yourself on an intimate level? I donít think many people can say theyíve never done it.

Hereís the book video for The Chosen Sin, if anyone would like to take a peek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEr7Tl4HEbI

 

How did you come up with the title?

The title was originally The Darkest Kiss, but there were two other books out this year with the same title so it was changed at the last minute. My editor came up with the title The Chosen Sin and it was inspired. I love that title.

 

Who designed the cover?

Isnít it fantastic? The response to the cover has been overwhelming. The cover design was done by Rita Frangie and the cover art was done by Tony Mauro. Tony Mauro has done all my cover art for Berkley so far and I just love his work. Itís incredible. The art for my Elemental Witches series is equally as breathtaking.

 

What has been the response thus far to this new book?

Itís been really positive. Iíve had some great reviews and comments on blogs and in personal emails. I think people recognize the uniqueness of the book. You donít run into vampire cults in space very often.

I think most people respond well to deeper, layered characters as well. The villain in this book is probably one of the more complex Iíve ever written. I took a few risks with this book. I knew it might come back to bite me in the book, but so far, so good.

Iíve also had many people say the chemistry between Alejandro and Daria is really strong. I hope it reads that way! I certainly felt it when I was writing the characters.

 

Will you write others in this same genre?

Iím not sure yet. I have a number of other projects in the works and never meant for this book to be the start of a series. I may write more futuristics, but Iím honestly just not sure right now. I do have a few in my backlist, however, including Water Crystal (Elloraís Cave), a book that Iím very proud of but is not very well known.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Hmmm. Not anything off the top of my head, but if I reread the book Iíd probably find twenty things. Iím pretty self-critical and I could revise a novel into the next century and back and still not be completely happy with it.

 

I want to talk about The Elemental Witches series. What inspired this series?

I wish I knew! It started off as a seed of an idea and blossomed from there. I wanted to do something new and different and, at the time, there werenít many witch-themed books on the market. I wish I could pinpoint the exact thing that inspired the series, but I really canít. I grew it and grew it until it became the world that it is. Now Iím busy growing a different world!

 

Can you tell us a little about Witch Heart, which is due to be released in January?

Witch Heart is Adam and Claireís book. Adam was a secondary character in Witch Blood (and appeared very briefly in Witch Fire). Claire shows up at the end of Witch Blood as a captive of a demon on Eudae (the dimension where the demons live). When Witch Heart opens Claire has been pushed to Earthóa place she barely remembersóand is being chased by a couple of really bad dudes from Eudae. Adam is going to help her escape them. I donít want to say much more than that!

I have a book video for Witch Heart here, if anyone is interested:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntoByiP9aFQ

 

How many books have you written?

My husband keeps a better count than I do, but last time I checked it was over 28 works of fiction (short stories and novellas included).

 

What influenced your decision to write erotic romance/paranormal/dark fantasy fiction?

Iíve always written a little bit on the paranormal/dark side. Thatís my natural voice.

The erotic writing came about because I noticed a fair amount of bias against erotic romance authors (back in the dayÖbefore erotic romance was popular) and it made me so upset that I decided to write an erotic romance just to sort of ďthumb my noseĒ at those who seemed to have it in for the subgenre. I dared myself to write the hottest scene I could. The scene grew a novella that eventually sold to Elloraís Cave.

I decided I really liked writing hot so I wrote another one and another oneÖand there you have it. I kind of fell into it.

 

Have you ever written any Halloween/Samhain stories?

I havenít! Iím doing a yuletide/winter solstice story right now and I think thatís the first holiday story Iíve ever written.

*thinking* Yep! I do believe so.

 

You do a wonderful job developing your characters. Your heroines are strong, sensuous, accomplished, and assertive. Your heroes tend to be libidinous, sexy, and dangerous, with an edgy dark side. And your villains are menacing and make strong adversaries.

Thank you!

 

Do you visualize your characters? Do they "come alive" for you?

It takes me a while to get to know them, but once I do they come alive in my mindís eye. I can do all the character interviews in the world, but thereís nothing like actually writing the characteróputting them life or death situations and seeing how they think, what decisions they make.

I do character interviews and write a synopses for the novel before I start, but itís not really until a quarter of the way through the first draft before I really know the heroine and the heroÖwhich makes for a fair bit of rewriting, but thatís just the way it goes. Thatís my process.

 

Are you working on any other projects at this time?

Iím working on a novella for a holiday themed anthology Iím doing with Angela Knight, Lora Leigh and Allyson James. Iím also working on the first novel of a new series Iím doing for Berkley Sensation. Iím in the research stages for the novel right now and hope to really get started on it around November 1st.

 

How much time do you spend writing?

It varies. I set a word count goal for the day it takes as long as it needs to take for me to reach it. Some days itís easy, some days more difficult.

 

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I love to take my daughter to the zoo or to the park when itís nice. I enjoy throwing a ball for our family dog and watching movies in the evening with my husband.

 

What dreams have you realized as a result of your work?

Iíve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, soÖall of them. : ) I feel blessed to be able to make a living from the one thing in my life I love to do the most. There arenít many people who can say that. If something happens and tomorrow I canít write another word for some reason, Iíll still die happy.

 

What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?

I know it sounds trite, but itís true Ė perseverance. Keep writing. And once you finish your first book, find a critique partner or a critique group and start revising it. Just never give up. This is very hard gig and very few people just fall right in. It takes an incredible amount of determination to break in and the work definitely doesnít end there.

Also, you have to love it. Donít think youíre going to make a lot of money at it. The overwhelming majority of writers earn a pittance. Do it because you love to tell stories and create worlds and characters.

 

How and where can readers reach you and find your books?

Readers can visit my web site, www.anyabast.com , or they can email me at anyabast@gmail.com

 

Joyfully Interviewed would like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

Thank you so much, Patrice! This was a blast.

 

 

     

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