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?
http://www.roxannesmolen.com/, for book trailers and sample chapters. I also have a Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/roxannesmolenauthor 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.