Monday, January 31, 2011

Roxanne Smolen's Satan

My guest today is Roxanne Smolen, author of Satan's Mirror. Yes, indeed, a scary cover! Welcome, Roxanne.
Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! It’s lovely to be here. Thanks for having me. I’m Roxanne Smolen, and I have seven published books. I’ve been writing novels for the past dozen years. Before that, I wrote short stories and poetry.

Were any of your books more challenging to write than the others?

Satan’s Mirror, was a challenge for me because, frankly, it scared me. To have your child stolen from you like that. I had nightmares the entire time I wrote it. I wanted to get my terror down on paper, but to do that I had to relive it, which wasn’t an easy thing to do.

That is immensely scary!
Tell us more about the book. Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?

Yes to all three. I’m fortunate to be part of the Dream Team at L&L Dreamspell, which means my book gets the attention it deserves. Satan’s Mirror is about Emily, the host of a television paranormal reality show called "Do You Believe It". Her job is to debunk urban legends. She goes to a haunted house on assignment and comes face-to-face with the devil—but cynic that she is, she calls him a fraud. The devil responds by kidnapping Emily’s daughter and dragging the little girl to Hell. Half the book has Emily dodging the devil’s henchman and following clues as she figures out how to break into the underworld. The other half has her actually in Hell, searching for her daughter.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

Research, research, research. Part of Satan’s Mirror takes place in St. Augustine, FL. I’ve never been there but I wanted my description to be accurate, so I spent a lot of time searching the Internet and perusing pamphlets from the City Council. To create Hell, I read everything from the Bible to Dungeon and Dragon manuals. It took time, but it was a lot of fun. Developing characters is also fun. I usually start with a situation and then think of the type of person who would hate it the most.

Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?

I’m a firm believer of outlining a story before starting to write. I learned to do this the hard way. I was in the middle of writing a sci-fi romance with lots of plot twists when I became ill and couldn’t write for two weeks. I completely lost my train of thought and never got back into the book. It’s a shame because I was so excited about the story before I fell ill. Anyway, now I keep an open document on my computer. I don’t even break it into chapters, just write stream of consciousness. I add bits of dialogue and scenes as they come to me. When it gets to be about fifty pages long, I start to write.

Any current projects?

I’m very excited about a teen romance I’ve just finished about a werewolf who falls in love. It was inspired by the Twilight series. Whether you love or hate Twilight, you have to admit it is immensely popular. I wondered why, so I conducted informal polls outside movie theaters. Some people were drawn to the danger of being with someone who could literally take your head off. Another faction was intrigued by the romance itself, saying they only wished they could find someone who loved them that much. I thought, okay, I can do that, and The Amazing Wolf Boy was born.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

I’m glad you asked. You can go to my website,, for book trailers and sample chapters. I also have a Facebook fan page, that is full of writing and promotion tips as well as updates about me. I’d love it if you all would like my page—and feel free to post your own news and accomplishments. 

Roxanne, I've enjoyed getting to know a fellow Dream Team member a little better. I wish you continued success with your writing.


Betty said...

If Roxanne Smolen was scared writing her book, imagine how scared I was reading and critiquing it. Even the cover frightens me. I'm a woos. But for horror fans it's a great, great read. It will have you wanting to finish it just to see how it ends, but also wanting to savor the excellent writing that went into this book. The premise is amazing and frightening. My children are grown but I was afraid the devil was going to come and take me to this horrid place. Yikes! Buy the book. It's certainly worth the price to be
terrified out of your wits.

Elizabeth Housey, Author of the Kelsey Garrison Series

Bob Royer said...

Very interesting interview. I was particulary impressed by Roxanne's amount of research for her novels.


Kendra said...

I'm really looking forward to The Amazing Wolf Boy. It's going to be a fun read. Maybe they'll make a movie about it starring some kid with great abs and a wardrobe seemingly devoid of shirts.

Anonymous said...

Very scary subject matter, what could be worse for a mother??? The wolf boy sounds like a very interesting character, I personally liked Jacob better in the "Twilight Series".

Laurianne Macdonald said...

Roxanne is one of the most imaginative story tellers I've ever worked with. But it's her precise language that keeps the punches coming and makes every book a real page-turner. Satans Mirror promises and follows through with edge of your seat-don't turn the lights out scary.

Lia Keyes said...

I'm going to have to read this book. If a book scares a writer during the process of creating it, nine times out of ten it's because it's touching a truthful nerve. Those are the stories most worth telling, and reading.

Susan Whitfield said...

You're so right, Lisa. I carried my villain in Just North of Luck around in my head for months, having several nightmares. I was so glad to finish that book. I still cringe when I think about it. Thanks to all of you who visited the blog.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're still at it! I've enjoyed your other books as well.
You have a very unique way of portraying your characters.

Rox said...

My thanks to everyone who left a comment, and a special thanks to Susan for the interview.