Book Blurb: Blindsided by an attack that destroys her home and blamed for murder, Karolina Dalca, a half-vampire, escapes, only to plunge into the magical societies from which she was sheltered. Betrayed by those around her, she abandons her dreams of becoming an investigator and flees,trusting only herself. Her police internship would never prove more useful.
Enter a full vampire: one wielding dark magic and a ride out of Canada. A fugitive from the law, Karo complies with his demands to escape, unsure whether his requests are bewitched. She vows to clear her name and avenge her mother’s death, but Karo’s family secrets aren’t so easily left behind.
M.R. Noble was kind enough to allow me a Q and A session with her for this blog tour, since I had already read and reviewed her first novel – Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes (review can be found here). I pose some tough questions, and she was a real trooper answering them. For that I applaud her. I hope you enjoy a look behind the scenes!
Tessa: What were your biggest influences when creating the world in this story, whether they be myths/legends, folklore, anime, manga or other novels?
|Noble: I’m fascinated by ancient cultures. As I designed my magical world system, tidbits of lore from various classical cultures were spliced into the subgroups of species, which I hope, gave the societies a grounding that resonates with folk traditions.|
Tessa: Would you ever consider using this world and/or some of the characters in future stories that you write outside of this series?
|Noble : I already have. The Dark Eyes Series is an introduction to the overarching world I’ve created. Karolina is the first of the best-of-the-good-bad-girls. Gita is the second, and her series is on target to launch in 2022. Lulu is the third. All three women will meet, and their series crossover into one another. Through their journeys, these women have become my heroes. They are what I can offer the world.|
Tessa: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?
|Noble : For me, action scenes are the easiest, genuine moments of emotion take more precision—and much more heart.|
Tessa: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)
|Noble : Definitely. The Vodka pickle shot is a once-a-year tradition with a few of my Russian friends. When they read my book, they called me and said they died laughing at the boat scene. Which was a great little private moment for me as an author.|
Tessa: What do you hope people remember about Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes?
|Noble : Her ability to persevere.|
Tessa: Which character is your favorite and why?
|Noble : Andre. He is a pragmatic romantic, and has no trouble waiting for what he wants. In that unyielding nature, in his idealism, he is similar to Karolina. A lot of his backstory didn’t make into book one, but it will be sprinkled into Karo’s story throughout the next three books.|
Tessa: What part of Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes that was the most fun to write?
|Noble : Karo’s choice to shrug off societal pressures and expectations. When life gets one down, forge one’s own path.|
Tessa: Was there a scene or backstory about a favorite character that didn’t make it into the final version of Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes that you can share with us?
|Noble: When we walked through the Frontenac doors I wasn’t compelled by Andre anymore, but continued the ruse to avoiding talking. I secretly called out for more earth magic. If it would ever come. I needed time to work the earth ward properly, if it was going to last for any substantial period.|
Andre unlocked the door of the dorm, and I sat down on the bed, looking at the wall.
“I’m going to get a few coffees. How do you take it?” He asked.
I tore my gaze away from the wall.
Andre reached for an old beat-up cellphone in his bag, but he hovered, as if he was caught looking my way. I met his gaze and he stared like he didn’t care if he was caught—like he would toss the chair before him and cross the distance between us.
My stomach hitched.
“Three milk one sugar.” I said.
“When was the last time you ate?” He shifted some documents inside his bag but pulled out a rose gold chain. A hot pink oval dangled from the centre, sparking like the electricity he wielded. He stroked it, then tucked in back inside is bag.
“I didn’t peg you for the sentimental type. Is it your girlfriends? Your phone is too crappy to store photos?”
He laughed, and it was brittle sound. “My late mothers. You and I have more in common than you think.”
That cord struck me silent.
He knew it was conversation I would evade. He resented the topic too. His clenched jaw, his squared shoulders. He looked at me like he wanted to fight, but yet not…he wanted me. because I felt what he felt. Who better to numb the pain than those who understood it?
I looked to the floor, trying to think of the last time I ate, then stopped. I didn’t want to think back past twenty-five hours ago.
“I don’t know, excluding an energy bar, a day and a half maybe?”
He tucked the phone in his pocket.
“Ouch. That long? Even full vamps have to snack once a day. I’ll grab some sort of food, be back in ten. Okay?” He tucked the documents inside his inner coat pocket.
“Yeah, sure,” I said.
Tessa: How does a typical writing day look like for you?
|Noble : 5:30am wake up call. Coffee, an orange, and my laptop. Music energizes me, and right now I’m a total EDM head. When I am in the writing zone, coffee and music are like ceremonial objects to my writing ritual.|
Tessa: How much research goes into your books and at what point do you stop using research and build off it?
|Noble : I completed about a years’ worth of research for my magical world system, but I also research my characters’ countries of origin for a substantial amount of time. All three of my leading ladies are from countries whose ancient history fascinated me.|
Tessa: Planner or Pantser?
|Noble : Both of course! I tend to write my first three chapters, plot the rest, then murder my plot. Usually, four to five chapters in, my characters take the wheel. I follow the scene to where it needs to go in that moment, and when I’m done writing for the day, I’m completely surprised at where the scene ended.|
Tessa: What is your current read?
|Noble: KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey, and it’s fantastic.|
M. R. Noble has played a tug of war between science and art her whole life, but the rope broke when she wrote the first line of The Dark Eyes Series. Immersed up to her keyboard in
paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she enjoys blending the real with the surreal. The only drawback is she misplaces her mug while dreaming up her next scene, and soon finds herself six cups overpoured.
Keeping to her Lake Simcoe roots, she is a member of the Writers Community of York Region (WCYR), where her muse is made not found . . . over a hefty cup of coffee.