I am a huge fan of paranormal fiction. This genre usually creates a magical world where anything is possible. When I am reading a novel within this genre, I never know what to expect and it allows my imagination to soar. I was very excited when I had the opportunity to interview Felicite Lilly, Author of Demons: A Hunter’s Novel. Her book series sounds a book I will really enjoy.
Michael: Felicite, can you tell us a little about your background?
Felicite: I was born out west in Aurora, Colorado. Due to that, I began skiing when I was 3. Now, if you put skiis on my feet I would face-plant/butt-plant. I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah when I was almost 4 – I don’t care what anyone tells me, nothing is more beautiful in nature than Spring in the mountains. I have lived in Dayton, Ohio for about 26 years now. I am married and we have a little boy that steals my heart daily. I am Greek, German, Irish and Scotch.
Michael: Where and when did your writing journey begin?
Felicite: The minute I could hold a crayon, I started “writing”. I would make picture books and tell stories about them. My sister is 8 years older than me and said I used to drive her nuts with it. When I was in college I would be writing a short story while doing the rest of my course work. I got a lot of dumbfounded looks and a lot of “why?” My answer to them? “I need an escape.” That’s where my true beginning as a writer started. I knew one day I wanted to be an author. Professor Robert Olmstead and Robert Flanagan (who both have published works as well), taught me many valuable lessons.
Michael: Wow, you started at a really young age. Regardless if you used words or not, it seems that you were a natural storyteller. I’ve got to assume then that you also loved reading growing up. Who are your favorite writers and how have they influenced your writing?
Felicite: My favorite writers have changed over time. Toni Morrison, Alexandre Dumas (yes, I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo), Julie Garwood, J.K. Rowling, H.P. Mallory, Darynda Jones, Chloe Neill, Jamie Magee…I will never be able to match the wit that is Darynda Jones, but I strive for a bit of humor in my books because of her. I think everything that you read influences your writing somehow. I constantly read and write. I once read that an author didn’t read while they were writing and was appalled. I think by not reading it hurts your writing, but that’s just me. J
Michael: So, you mentioned that you were married and have a son. As a parent myself, I know how much work it takes to raise a child while having a full time job. What does a typical day in your life look like? And what is your writing routine within your day like?
Felicite: I wake up before my son, so I have a moment before my day is thrown into “let’s go” mode. Then it’s getting my son out the door with constant questions streaming from his mouth (there are a lot of “but why”s). I work for a Judge. So I come into work and check all of my social media (before I’m on the clock). I work my day out (from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) in a courtroom or my office that’s hidden behind the courtroom. During my lunch break, I write/read/exercise – sometimes all three, sometimes just one. I get off work and make sure I check all my social media again. I answer any emails and make sure that I am up to date with everything. When I’m done with that, I make sure I set aside time for my family – we eat dinner, I give my son a bath and play until his bedtime and then I usually write, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. That’s not to say I don’t have many pieces of paper, sometimes tiny scraps, that have ideas or lines of writing. I try to write when it hits me, but with having a family and a full time job, that’s not always feasible.
Michael: That seems like a very jam-packed day. Sometimes I’m so drained by the time I get my kids to bed that my brain is mush. How did you come up with the ideas for your novel, Demons: A Hunter’s Novel?
Felicite: Delaney developed one day while I was watching a lady, well known in my city, arguing with an invisible person. I thought: what if she isn’t just having a conversation with herself? What if I just can’t see them and she can?
Delaney was then developed. I created Delaney before the world I surrounded her with. She was a Hunter, so my book automatically led me to her world. Maybe only another writer would understand this, but I live inside my characters when I am writing from their perspectives. I even make that disclosure at the end of my book. This is the world that Delaney lives in and any of her ideas or anything that comes out of her mouth, are hers and hers alone. J
Michael: So, your novel is about Delaney who is a Hunter that is in love with a Demon. That seems very dark. Is there anything that had happened in your life that influenced you to write a novel with such dark themes?
Felicite: From the time I was young, I liked a little scare; things that had a little edge and mystery. Unexplained. Nothing dark or overly traumatizing has happened in my life to lead me there, I’ve just always been a little obsessed with the unexplainable unknowns in life.
Michael: Demons is book one of a book series, right? Do you prefer writing book series over writing stand-alone novels?
Felicite: That is a tricky question. I think in writing a series of books there is a greater ability to develop your characters. However, I know many readers hate series books now because everyone does them. With a stand-alone, I think there is the advantage of being able to keep and carry more readers because it is more cohesive – you aren’t trying to carry a reader from one book to another and have them follow release dates. So preference? As a writer, series. As a reader, standalone.
Michael: So there would seem to be quite a number of these paranormal romance novels out there, what sets your novel apart from the rest?
Felicite: I truly write in the voice of the characters. My groups of beta readers have told me from Book 1 to Book 2 it’s amazing the difference in Delaney’s voice and flow. Well, that’s because in book 1, Delaney is an emotional wreck. She gets it together in book 2. And in book 3, well it’s beautiful. It warms me, as her creator, to see the leader she’s become. (I swear I don’t have a God complex…or maybe every author does?)
Michael: I already like the progression of this book series. What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your novel?
Felicite: There is hope and love even when you think there is none. There is strength even when it seems like there shouldn’t be. The people you surround yourself with can make all the difference in the world.
Michael: That is great! Hope and love are great themes that I think many readers are very attracted to. Another thing I makes a book memorable to me are the characters. Who is your favorite character in your novel and how much of yourself is reflected in this character?
Felicite: I love Laney and Az, but my favorite character is Anie. Anie is actually modeled to be a lot like someone in my life, but only to a point. Anie tells it like it is, whether someone is going to like it or not. But Anie is also soft underneath her hard shell, but it takes a while to get under to the softness. I am actually considering a spin off series that would either tell Anie’s story or have her be a main character.
Michael: I love it when I see authors who have such a passion for their characters. As someone who has so much passion for writing, you must have a lot of fun writing your book. Which scene in your book series did you have the most fun writing?
Felicite: I had the most fun writing the scene when Delaney wakes up and Cade is in her house to pick her up for the Hunter meeting. She had been naked laying on the bed, and when she gets up she finds Cade washing out his eyes. She asks him what’s wrong and he tells her that he is trying to wash out the image of her spread out naked on her bed. Delaney then does the best friend thing and reminds him of the time he saw his parents in bed together. It cracked me up and brought me to tears laughing.
Michael: That sounds like quite a humorous scene. I think I would really enjoy your novel. It seems to have that balance between the heavy darkness of the subject and good lighthearted humor. What do you have in store next for your readers?
Felicite: The Hunter’s Novel series is going to be a three book series, Demons is out now (Kindle and paperback on Amazon), Darkness (book 2) should be out by July, and Destiny (book 3) will be out either late 2015 or early 2016. I am also writing a standalone romance with the working title An Unknown Place. I don’t know when that one will be out, 2015 or 2016, I haven’t decided yet.
Michael: Sounds like it’s going to be a very exciting book series. Thank you so much for sharing with us your story!
For those of you interested in the novel, please click on the book cover below…