Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Lou Harper for taking the time to talk with us today. . There is also a Giveaway, so don’t miss that.
Title: Dead Man and the Army of Frogs
Author: Lou Harper
Publisher: Self Published
I’d like to thank Lou Harper for visiting with us today at Prism Book Alliance. I have to admit I’m a vampire fan but have been so disappointed with the sub genre in recent years, which is why I love your ‘Sanguine’ series. You renewed my faith in vampire fiction…
Firstly, I would like to go back a bit to your characters Jay and Sam, not vampires but I loved them as did many readers. Are we going to hear from them again and see how their life away from the mob is going?
Erhm… The short answer is that I don’t know. They are close to my heart too, and I could get them into more adventures easily enough, but the real challenge is the romance. Sam and Jay took an emotional journey in Last Stop, and I suspect this was the most satisfying element of the story. I haven’t yet figured out how to send them on an equally journey as suspenseful and enjoyable without chucking the Big Misunderstanding™ trope at poor Sam and Jay. 😛
However, there’s a freebie short story, Seduction, set some time after the events of Last Stop, and it shows Sam and Jay up to some shenanigans.
Do you ever find that certain characters from your back catalogue start ‘speaking’ to you again?
It’s more like a constant low whisper. It’s usually the supporting characters who get second chances. For example, Sandy Baker, aspiring actress, made her debut in my first published book, Hanging Loose, was mentioned in Spirit Sanguine, and will have bigger role in an upcoming book, Secrets and Charms. There are others too who keep walking in an out of stories.
Do you have a favourite character who you were sad to say goodbye to when their story was finished?
Usually, by the time I’m done with the edits I’m so exhausted, I just want the book out the door. It’s like sending the kids off to college. I don’t miss the characters till they’ve been gone for a while, but by then I’m too occupied by new ones.
I must ask how did you come up with the idea for ‘Sanguine’ the alcoholic-synthetic blood?
It grew out of who Harvey is and what he’d do in his situation. As a former vegetarian and a nurse he would try to find an alternative to blood. Naturally, I was extremely self-conscious about not copying True Blood. That’s the hard thing with the vampire genre—they have so much mythology already, old and new. As an author you have to pick your steps carefully.
I am very fond of the characters Gabe and Harvey and as long as there are good stories to be told about them I will read them. However, can you tell me if Dill is going to have his own story?
I have no immediate plans for his story, but if I ever wrote it, it would have to be about how he got together with Stan and Ray, his vampires daddies. So, chronologically it would take place before Spirit Sanguine. Would you read the story knowing how it ends?
Are any of your characters based on people you know in Real Life?
They are composites of people real and fictional and almost all have bits and pieces of me in them. I only wrote a few supporting characters who closely resemble real life people—usually people I didn’t like. Call it writer’s revenge.
I’m really interested to know when you wrote Sanguine did you already have a spin off series planned for ‘Denton Mills’ or did his character just grow on you whilst writing the vampire books?
Originally, Spirits Sanguine was supposed to be a funny short story about a vegetarian vampire, so I definitely had no plans for a spin-off. Sanguine grew bigger than planned, and Denton became too interesting not to have his own story.
A lot of my supporting characters have a backstory that never makes it to the book, but every once in a while they break out and get their own story.
OK. Book covers…I was very surprised actually when I found out that you had done the covers for KJ Charles’ Magpie books and then you showed me your work on Deviant. Imagine my surprise when I found you’d done the wonderful cover for Tailor Made by Jo Myles and Billy’s Bones Jamie Fassenden! So do you only do your own when self published and why is that? If you are asked to design a book cover do you necessarily read the book beforehand or is the blurb maybe enough?
Publishers have their have their own policies regarding whom they let design covers. They have their reasons. Anyway, it’s interesting to see how somebody else approaches your work.
I rarely get to read the book before designing the cover. However, I usually have some sort of art request form in which the author relates his or her expectations, what styles they like, how they see the story and the protagonist(s). If everything goes well, I can it’s enough spark the inspiration. Sometimes there are a couple of false starts.
What do you think makes a ‘good’ book cover? Do you think your writing talent makes you a better person to have design a book cover?
Even though most of my purchases these days are ebooks if I get an Advance Review Copy and there is as yet no cover I’m really disappointed.
I don’t think writing talent makes one a better designer. However, it’s nice to be able to switch between the two. When I feel burned out or stuck with one, I move to the other.
A good book cover is like a good blurb—it gives a taste of the story without misleading or giving away too much. This is my process as a reader: if a cover catches my eye and I’m not familiar with the author, I read the blurb. If the blurb sounds good, I download the free sample, and if the sample is interesting, buy the book.
I’m glad you brought up Ebooks, because they have changed the requirements of cover design. Unlike the times when books were always physical, now you have to consider how the cover will look like in thumbnail on a virtual bookshelf. You have to be aware that some of the fine details will be lost.
So new releases and WIPs what can we expect from Lou Harper in the near and not so near future….This is a request to shamelessly self promote 🙂
Dead Man and the Army of Frogs is coming out in early August. Denton, Chicago’s foremost necromancer, and his boyfriend, Bran, the witch, will be facing spirits, demons, a strange woman with extreme fondness for cheese, and of course, frogs. Oh and there will be kilts.
Secrets and Charms is another LA story, a mix of romance and mystery. It shares a few characters with Secrets and Ink, but isn’t anyway a sequel. Secret and Ink’s protagonist was Jem, the cursed grocery store clerk. Secrets and Charms tells the story of Jem’s friend and co-worker, Olly. If all goes well, the book will be out in December.
And if I may bring it up, Temper Sanguine, the second book in the Sanguine series came out just recently. In it Harvey and Gabe take a trip to the Old world to face a dangerous foe.
All Denton wanted was a few minions. He got frogs instead.
Web developer by day and necromancer by night, Denton Mills is used to seeing things nobody else can. When he starts hallucinating frogs, he simply assumes they have something to do with his boyfriend Bran’s obsession.
Bran Maurell is a witch, who in a youthful outburst, accidentally turned his then-lover, Peter, into a croaker. Bran has been trying ever since to reverse the spell. A fresh amphibian encounter only spurs him to double his efforts.
As if Peter’s ghost coming between them weren’t enough, Denton and Bran are forced to deal with several errant spirits stalking the citizens of Chicago. Between a French chef who refuses to admit he’s dead, and malevolent creatures bent on causing mayhem, jealousy may be the least of Denton’s problems.
About the Author:
Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren’t romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.
Lou’s favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings.
Lou has misspent most of her life in parts of Europe and the US, but is now firmly settled in Los Angeles and worships the sun. However, she thinks the ocean smells funny. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk.
Web site: http://louharper.com
Lou Harper has kindly offered an eCopy of Dead Man and the Restless Spirits to one lucky commenter.
Contest will end 7 days from original posting date (or as stated on the Rafflecopter) at 8pm CDT. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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