Jul 25, 2017

Interview and Excerpt with Amanda Nennig

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? 
When I began writing a scene that caused me to smile all the way through. It felt amazing to be the cause of that happiness like so many other authors have been for me with their stories.   

What was the very first thing you ever wrote? 
If I don't include the awful song lyrics I tried writing as a kid, it is Never Again. The first in the Book of Origins series, it's my first true attempt at writing and my first published novel. I had fun writing it and just want to know if others enjoy my twist on an over-crowded genre.

What was the inspiration for your book? 
After reading so many stories that portray vampires as a whole as monsters I began wondering what it would be like if they really weren't. Then one night a co-worker mentioned rewriting a story if you don't like it and I just couldn't help myself. Don't get me wrong, I love all the books I've read, but I needed to know if making vampires victims would work. And it did. With help from my medical background vampirism became a disease you can cure, so hunters no longer have to kill the vampires infected. Instead they can save them.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally? 
Most of them. To seem more realistic I put in lots of my own likes and dislikes for the main character Hannah. The other characters that share the names of people I know personally have a little bit of them as well. The rest I just tried to make different to add dimension to the story. And as for names, all derive from either people I know or people from my family tree with the exception of Hannah. I just really love the name and my husband didn’t for our daughters, so I found a different way to use it.

Describe your main character in six words. 
Wow. Well, first, Hannah is loyal, guarded but passionate, and a gifted fighter and leader. Second, John is chivalrous, fiercely protective, gorgeous, and dangerous yet safe.

Describe the world you’ve created in six words. 
It parallels ours but has a hidden and misunderstood past resulting in victimized vampires.

What are you working on now? 
Family Again, volume two in the Book of Origins series. A continuation of volume one, the characters discover secrets that lead them to Central Europe and an encounter with the first vampire. After given an ultimatum one character leaves with the first vampire to save the others but whether it's as a guest or prisoner, no one knows.

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements? 
Get volume two out before the end of 2018! At the rate it's going it feels like it will take forever. Too much life drama and writer's block has slowed my inspiration so if I can keep that deadline I'll be ecstatic.

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
Well, as I like a variety of genres, for authors my first thoughts are Steve Martini's The List, Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game, Elizabeth Hunter's Elemental Mysteries and World series, and Roxie Rivera's Russian Protector books. I have re-read many of these books and still can't get them out of my head.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Reading for sure, but if I'm too frustrated at life then it's easier to binge watch TV shows on Netflix than to pick my next book to read.



 NEVER AGAIN, BOOK OF ORIGINS VOLUME ONE EXCERPT

          Ringing….ringing….ringing…."Hi John. Checking in are we?" asked Price.
          "Good morning to you too, Price." I answered halfheartedly.
          "Uh oh, you don't sound too enthused. Have you talked to Hannah yet like I advised?"
          "Yes, I did. We met for coffee yesterday, but didn't have the opportunity to buy any."
          "What happened?" Price asked with concern in his voice.
          "Well…we, ah, linked hands and then something strange happened to both of us. I'd rather not get into detail right now, but, needless to say, we spent the entire day and night together. She only left a little while ago to get ready for work."
          "And now you have to suffer with a painful heart until you see her again, am I right?"
          "Completely, and I can't take anything to numb the pain because you know what happens."
          "Yes. I remember you tried that in the sixties and seventies. Not one medication or narcotic worked. Your blood just diluted everything; same for the alcohol. You tried so hard to get drunk during Woodstock but it barely affected you." Price said, reminiscing to when he was a child and my secret was under the care of his father before being passed to him.
          "And some would say that is an advantage, but not if you are drinking to numb the pain." Sighing heavily, we both let brief silence linger before I continued. "Have you found anything in the books yet?"
          "I haven't translated much else but found a lead on another book. There's just one problem. I called the college library in Virginia I traced it to and they haven't been able to locate that book for over a decade. It was last checked out and returned by an Andrew Jacobs but, since it was technically returned, they couldn't say he still had it. It was deemed lost in the system."
          "Price, did I really hear you say the words Virginia and Jacobs?" I asked skeptically.
          "Why? Is there something I should know?" Price asked, sounding more hopeful than he did before.
          "Hannah is from Virginia and when I researched her parents deaths the names that came up were…." I paused for a second, almost not believing what I was about to say. "They were Penelope and Andrew Jacobs." And then dead silence ensued.
          "Do you think she knows - ?" Price began.
          Quickly interrupting his train of thought, I retorted "no….well, I don't know. Maybe. She hasn't given me any reason to believe she would."
          "Okay, let's forget I asked. But if these two Andrews are one and the same then let's say for arguments sake that somehow he still had the book. With him dead his belongings would resort to Hannah. Is there any chance she would still have it in her possession?"
          Letting this hypothetical talk sink in I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. Knowing that this missing book could hold the key to a future with Hannah I told Price where to
find her.
          "Price, you will find Hannah at the Jefferson Memorial Library this morning. I think she is done at noon but you best leave now in case you do find it. Chances are she has the book or at the least knows its whereabouts. She may have had a hard life with her father but based on how she talked about him this morning she loved him and wouldn't just let everything go. I am positive she has kept some things to remember her parents by."
          Stunned Price said, "Now I think I am hearing things, though it could be my getting older. Did you say Jefferson Memorial Library?"
          "Yes. Why?"
          "I know you don't believe in coincidences but how about fate or destiny because I am already there," he answered.
          "You must be joking. Tell me you are joking, Price." I snapped at him.
          "Before you called I was already coming up to the library entrance. There is a reference for a student's paper I need to crosscheck before entering a final grade. Like I said, maybe it's fate or destiny. Maybe we are meant to look inside that book. Otherwise why would Hannah and I be in the same place at the same time?"
          "You are probably right, as usual. Well, when you get inside look for a woman with deep chestnut hair, big sea blue eyes, and a heart shaped face. She will be the most beautiful one there," I advised Price, smiling as I did so. Just the thought of her was making my heart go wild but at least it didn’t hurt.
          "Alright, I will try to be tactful but depending on how much she knows I can't promise anything. You know, if we are lucky she would have tucked the book away on a shelf that rarely sees visitors. A library this size would be the perfect hiding place for a book you don't want found."
          "Yes, I suppose it would. Well you best get in there and be careful on approaching her. Her past is something she doesn't openly share with others."
          "I see. But, ah, she did with you?" Price softly asked, not sure if he should have in the first place.
          "Yes, she did. But I will give you details after you get that book. I need to know what our options are," I replied.
          "Okay, I won't press you further but don't sit by the phone waiting. I will call you after I'm done here. Bye John."
          "Good bye." Ending the phone call several emotions ran through me at once. I was elated at being so close to this book Price says could be the key to everything, but was also
apprehensive about what it will tell us. Most of all I feared that Hannah may know about the world I was born into, making me wonder if she would accept me for who I am no matter our
feelings for each other. I suppose we shall find out soon enough.