To celebrate the release of Stalking The Demon – the second book of the Seven Circles of Hell series, we’ve invited author Ciara Ballintyne here to our blog for a fun interview about writing, singing and other geeky stuff.
Thanks for stopping by, Ciara! So great to have you here. Let’s start with 5 fun facts people likely don’t know about you. For example, a little bird told us that you also… sing?
Well, let’s see…
1) I consider myself to be Chaotic Good by the Dungeons and Dragons alignment system, which puts me in company with Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, Han Solo from Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.
2) I have a sword collection. So far it contains a cutlass, a curved knife, a cool dragon dagger, Michone’s katana, and a pair of duelling daggers.
3) I’m Australian but have been asked by a number of Brits where in Britain I’m from. I can only put this down to my Dad’s family, who emigrated here in the 1950s from Scotland. My theory is that childhood exposure to their accent has resulted in my pronouncing a few words in the British way, making me sound like I have a very faint British accent to UK citizens.
4) I am about to take up Japanese jujitsu. This is the martial art I modelled one of my character’s martial skills on. It suits small, short people as it utilises critical strikes and teaches you to use your opponent’s size and momentum against them. She’s short, I’m short… it makes sense!
5) And… you got me on the singing. I’ve never been trained, but I’m told I have a good voice. I was once asked to join a jazz band, and a musician friend said I’m the most professional untrained singer he’s ever heard (although that could be flattery 😉 Mostly I do karaoke.
|We’re so stoked you agreed to record a snippet of your singing. Thank you. You sound amazing!
Peeps, click the PLAY button to hear Ciara sing 🙂
|Worlds Beyond produced the trailer for your debut novella and book one of the Seven Circles of Hell series Confronting the Demon. Will you share a bit about the book? What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Alloran is on the run in the stinking back alleys of the city, hiding from everyone he knows and loves, and someone is leaving the bodies of his former lovers, with rather nasty little notes. To find out why, you’ll have to read it 🙂
It originally started as a short story inspired by a writing prompt for my writer’s group, Infinitas Writers. The prompt was a sentence from Terry Pratchett’s The Last Hero about how the tentacles hardly spoiled it all (the chicken the barbarian horse was eating).
|Haha the famous tentacles! Now, the exciting sequel Stalking The Demon has just been released. Worlds Beyond Art did a bookcover for it too, yay! Can you tell us a bit about this book? What can we expect from the characters we have come to love?
The release date was 31 October for the ebook. Those wanting the print book will have to wait for November.
Stalking the Demon carries on six months after Confronting the Demon. I don’t want to give away too much for those who haven’t read the first, but suffice to say that our hero thought he did the right thing and no it looks like maybe he’s only made things worse… Gisayne is critically ill, the world is unravelling, and in trying to fix it, Alloran is dabbling in magic he should just leave alone.
You exhibited your work at two events this year: the Supanova and the Book Expo. Can you tell us your experience with these? What tips can you share with other budding authors looking to market their work through these venues?
Supanova was fun, but the layout did not advantage independent authors. The big publishers and book stores had huge stands up near the front entrance, and all the readers bottlenecked up there. By the time they made their way down to us (if they did at all) they were out of money or so loaded down with books they didn’t want more. Also, most of the crowd weren’t readers I don’t think.
Book Expo was better, but it was an inaugural event and not as well marketed as it could have been. None of the major publishers came, which was perhaps better for indie sales, but bad for publicity and credibility. All the attendees were readers, which was a great start, but the turnout was poor. Despite that, I had four times as many sales in 2 days as I had in 3 days at
Supanova. I would do it again, but the future of the event isn’t certain at this point in time.
The key to shows is that people expect discounts and freebies. I sell the paperback version of Confronting the Demon for $5 and I usually give vouchers for free ebooks to purchasers (in case they want the ebook for convenience). I give away free stories, and I collect newsletter sign-ups where possible (especially from purchasers).
What projects are you working on right now? What can we expect from the great Ciara? Are you planning to write more for this series?
The great Ciara, ha! Now that I have finally finished Stalking The Demon, I’ll be going back to finish my novel-length book, In the Company of the Dead. It’s half-done, and I hope to release it next year. It features a new world and new characters, but I hope that readers will enjoy it. The main character, Lyram, has been exiled to a remote border castle by his king, and he’s drowning his grief for his wife in a whiskey bottle when an army turns up to besiege the castle. At the same time, the Battle Priestess of the Death Goddess arrives in pursuit of a necromancer, and is trapped inside by the siege. There’ll be sequels to this first book, somewhere between two and five.
I am also planning at least two more books in the Seven Circles of Hell series. They aren’t named yet, and the ideas need outlining, but they are there. After that who knows? It will depend on what inspiration strikes me as to whether I continue the series or leave the poor abused characters in peace.
I also have plans for the short story A Magical Melody that appears as a bonus with Confronting the Demon. There’ll be two or maybe three short stories in the series with different characters and then I plan to write a novel that ties them all together.
Thank you so much for being here today and sharing your creativity with all of us.
Purchase Stalking The Demon here:
For more about Ciara Ballintyne, visit her website at ciaraballintyne.com