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About the Book:
Damned If He Does
Genre: Light Paranormal
Date of Publication: 7/19/2016
Number of pages: 333
Word Count: 98k
Cover Artist: Danielle Fine
Rejected by heaven, twisted by hell, what’s a damned dead man to do when he stumbles upon a life and love worth fighting for?
Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan’s consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. Sure, Ole Scratch holds Dar’s soul in thrall, and Dar has to spend a few hours recharging in Hell every day, but it could be much worse. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer’s wrath.
Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. Fiona’s dated. Had boyfriends. And hated every minute of it. She’s reconciled to being lonely. So when a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she’s going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name—the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?
Interview with the Author:
What initially got you interested in writing?
Boredom and pre-adolescent rage. 😀 I’d written stories for English classes, like every kid does. Sure, I enjoyed those assignments, but the bug didn’t really bite until my father was stationed at a tiny Air Force Base in the middle of no where. The library was itty-bitty. I read through all the books I cared about in the kid’s room. The librarians wouldn’t let me into the adult stacks. At that time, the library had strict age limits. My mother eventually explained the error of their ways and I got into the adult books a whole two years early – but during the time I was without a pile of books to read, I was bored. It finally occurred to me that if I couldn’t find books I wanted to read, I could start making up stories I wanted to read. At about the same time, a movie came out that I fell in love with – except that they got the ending all wrong. So wrong that I was enraged as only a twelve year old can be enraged. I vowed to fix that affront. I spent the entire summer with my mom’s electric typewriter on a TV tray in my bedroom. Hunting and pecking my way through an attempt at an ending that made me happy…its just that somewhere along the way I ended up hooked. I couldn’t stop writing. And I haven’t. Though I am generally a little calmer about it now.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
Like most things in my life, it started with a dare. By the time I got married, I’d been writing for a really long time, but I was stuck with the feeling that I just didn’t know enough. What I was writing wasn’t quite good enough. My (then) new husband suggested I was judging the work too harshly and I ought to let someone else tell me my writing was no good. He pointed out an anthology Marion Zimmer Bradley was producing and editing on a yearly basis and dared me to write and submit something for it. I did. So my very first rejection letter came from Marion Zimmer Bradley telling me my short story was a perfectly good story, but she’d already bought one on the same theme. That was far better than I’d hoped for, so I kept going. A friend dragged me to a local Romance Writers meeting where I discovered a room full of people willing to teach me everything I didn’t know about writing, submitting, and publishing. It is RWA and the culture of writers helping other writers that finally got me to the point of being published. Mary Buckham teaches a Break Into Fiction workshop. I took that workshop one weekend long ago. The book I plotted in that workshop was Enemy Within – my first book published. It went on to win the RT Critics Choice award for best futuristic and finaled in two separate RITA categories. (So, yes, this is 1000% a plug for Mary’s classes if you’re a writer.)
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Simple answer? A sense of fun. Longer answer: Dad was in the military. Air Force brats go one of two ways – they become super social or they become lonely. I was one of the lonely ones. Books were my friends and my company and my companions. When I became pretty seriously ill as a little kid, books made me forget how I felt and with a good story, I could do ANYTHING. Even if I was stuck in bed. If my books and stories can do that for someone else, then I’m happy.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
When the characters blink to life and wrest control of the story from me. Seems to happen every time. When I first start a book, I’ve got a tight grip on the reins – I know where the plot goes, I know who the characters are and how they develop or fail to develop. I begin drafting. Then, a quarter to a third of the way in, one of the characters will suddenly slip my control, turn around to face me in my head and shout, “I am NOT doing THAT! We’re doing THIS instead. C’mon!” At that point, I just throw out whatever outline or synopsis I’d written. It sounds frustrating, and it is, but it is also the point at which the story pops to life in 3D in a way. It becomes less a matter of me dictating a story and more a case of me taking down a story as it unfolds. And that’s fun.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
The business side – the part, when a book is under contract to a traditional publisher, that is entirely out of my control. Series get axed by a publishing house half way through the story line. Cherished editors leave. For someone who loves to get lost inside the detail of a story, the hard knocks of reality can be a little harsh. It’s one of the reasons that when my editor declined Damned If He Does that I brought it out as a self-published title. I wanted a chance to see what that was like – if having complete control of that process was either soul-crushing or empowering. I’d heard tales of both. It turned out to be neither for me – publishing the book myself had high and low points. High point: Getting the book out MUCH faster than a traditional house would have. Low point: Back cover copy. Let’s just say that marketing is still a development opportunity for me. . . and I suffered a lot of anxiety over whether or not my description of the story would actually sell that book. A tradition publisher makes you write your description, yes, but then they hand it to a marketing person who always seems to bring a high polish shine to it. Something my back cover blurb might be lacking on this book.
What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?
Write. Read. Have fun. Join a writing group, whether it’s RWA (you don’t have to write romance to join or to get great value for your time and effort) or a Meet Up group in your city. Take classes. They’ll demoralize you at first because you’ll run into all these things you aren’t doing. But keep going. Keep writing. Keep playing. You’ll be upgrading your skills and your knowledge and the tools in your writer’s box in leaps and bounds. Some days that’s hard. Other days, it’s exilerating. When the hard days out number the exilerating days, take a break on classes. Read something fun. Write something fun for you and forget every class, ever. Grammar and punctuation optional. Just something you enjoy. That’s how you grow. I’ll also throw out the usual advice: Don’t give up. Sure you can quit. Then when you get the itch to write again, you can unquit. Keeping the joy in writing is, for me, a matter of jettisoning ‘should’. No ‘I should write x’ or ‘I should write y’. Focus instead on the things that intrigue and maybe scare you as a writer. That’s where the fun lies hidden.
What ways can readers connect with you?
My author page on FB is: https://www.facebook.com/Marcella-Burnard-312302197270/?ref=bookmarks – since FB mucked with how author pages show up (they want to be paid first) this page doesn’t get a lot of love because it doesn’t reliably show up for anyone anymore. Posts there are limited to once or twice a week unless there’s a book launch.
If you’re into silly, geeky posts and tons of cat pictures, feel free to friend me at https://www.facebook.com/marcellaburnard Just be warned that I will occasionally use NSFW language on that page. Not often. But it does happen. I am FB friends with several readers – so I do sometimes post asking for beta reader volunteers if that’s of interest.
Instagram: @marcellaburnard – to be fair, I’m not sure why I call this account ‘mine’. It has been utterly taken over by the cats.
While I have a Goodreads page, I keep silent there. Goodreads is for readers without an author intruding, in my opinion. So I post books and I keep my yap shut. 🙂
About the Author:
Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation. Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011. An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013. Nightmare Ink, an Urban Fantasy novel from Intermix came out in April of 2014 and the second in that Living Ink series, Bound by Ink, came out in November 2014. Damned If He Does, a light paranormal romance came out in July 2016.
She lives aboard a sailboat in Seattle where she and her husband are outnumbered by cats.
3 copies of Damned If He Does
Thank you so much for hosting me and Damned If He Does! I had a great time with the interview.