Coffee. Lot's and lot's of coffee is what inspires me to get out of bed - pure and simple. I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person and don't imagine that's ever going to change. Even with having to get three young elementary age children off to school on the bus.
I can stay up all hours of the night without much difficulty. In fact, sometimes I actually do stay awake all night, just for the fact that I have so much in my head I want to write. But waking up, I do that out of sheer necessity.
We understand your most recent novel was selected and approved for a Kindle Scout campaign. What's the story behind this and what makes it so "Twisted?"?
Twisted, #3 of the RavenCroft series is a messed up version of a love triangle between Kalturek RavenCroft and an unknown author with the power of precognition by the name of Angel Stryfe. All of the the RavenCroft family members are gifted with paranormal powers of one form or another as well. In Kalturek's case, he has the power to see black and white auras around people which signifies when a person is having good versus bad intentions in a given moment. He also happens to be one of a set of triplets and an identical twin to Kahner RavenCroft, from the first in the RavenCroft series entitled, 'Telepathy.'
You ask, why is it so twisted? Because, Kalturek, who happens to be the Sheriff of Loveland County, Colorado where the story takes place, is the hero of the story, right?. But he's married to Stephanie RavenCroft. The premise of the story is that Angel Stryfe is meant to have Sheriff Kalturek's children for him. If that's so, then what does that mean for Stephanie? And that's not all that's so messed about it. Sheriff Kalturek may not be the only RavenCroft brother vying for Angel's attention, for there is a deadline to be met. One that may well assist in ending Kalabernus RavenCroft's torture by the shadows which plague him. But if you want to know more, then you can read the excerpt and book description I submitted to Kindle Scout, nominate it, and get a FREE advance e-book, if it is selected for the highly sought after five year Kindle Press publishing contract. The kindle Scout campaign is in full swing right now as it started on March 9th 12AM and will end on April 8th 12AM EDT.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the fact that I can finally get the stories out of my head! There are so many ideas rolling around up there that it's almost cathartic when I finally get one finished. But only for a brief moment. Inevitably, I'm already working on the next one before I'm even finished with the one I just completed.
It has been rumored that the name Vortigern Black is actually a pseudonym. Is that true, and if so, why did you decide to write under a pseudonym?
Yes, Vortigern Black is a pseudonym for Delaine Christine (Johnson).
And I utilize a pen name because I write in two very different genres. As Vortigern Black I write the RavenCroft Series which is paranormal romantic fantasy. It tends to have a little bit of salacious content and, at times, inappropriate or morally questionable behavior by some of the characters. As Delaine Christine I write The Blackthorne Saga, which is also romance, but it would be considered inspirational Christian fiction. Any intimate scenes within that series would be eluded to and not described in deference to the genre. The characters within The Blackthorne Saga, as with those in the RavenCroft series, are also imperfect and, at times, make morally questionable decisions, but it has a much different tone to the series.
It was important to me that readers picking up one series or the other had a full understanding of what they were getting. I do not wish to offend, for example, a reader desiring an inspirational faith based story were they to pick up a book from the RavenCroft series. It would be one excellent way to lose a reader. With the two pen names there is a clear distinction now. Some readers may wonder why I have chosen to write in two such very different genre's. But once I have completed the last book in the RavenCroft series (#8) all will become clear.
Vortigern is a pretty unusual name and it sounds rather masculine. How did you come about that name and why did you choose to use it?
Sometime after I started writing my first novel, The Beginning: The Blackthorne Saga, I recall an evening my husband was playing one of his games on the computer. It wasn't World of Warcraft, but it was one of those types of games where there were other players involved from all over the world. One of the character names in the game was Vortigern and my husband pointed it out to me. He knows I have a tendency to like unusual names. He was right, I did like it. So I placed it on my list for possible future character names. When I began writing my RavenCroft series I realized I wanted to use a pen name, and that's when Vortigern Black was born. I chose to use it, out of the many other options, because, well frankly, I just thought it would sound like a really cool author name.
What is your writing process?
Writing process? I have no real writing process.
I say I'm in the middle of working on three different novels or novella's right now, but if truth be told, I actually have about a half dozen others started and in varying states of completion. When something comes to me I write it down. I don't always know exactly in which book it is meant to go into. I do, at least, usually know which series it will fall under, but where within that series? Now that is a whole other issue. What I do know is that between at least The Blackthorne Saga and the RavenCroft series, there is a vast universal story, and I am only in the beginning stages of telling it. I can only hope my fans will be patient for the Fourth in The Blackthorne Saga may not be available till closer to Christmas of 2016. Which is another reason why I decided the prequel 'Fate Can Change,' A Blackthorne Romance might be necessary to write. Hialey's and Breydon Blackthorne's love story is a rather complex one that involves a very painful past for them both, but especially for Hialey. It will help readers understand better where she is coming from and why she is the way she is.
You've mentioned you're in the middle of writing three books at once. Which one do you intend to complete first?
There's a loaded question.
My hope is to complete 'Fate Can Change,' A Blackthorne Romance first, simply because my fans of The Blackthorne Saga have been waiting the longest. The third in The Blackthorne Saga, entitled 'Choices,' was published at the end of September of 2015 so it has been a while since they've had anything new to read. My apologies for the delay to all my fans of The Blackthorne Saga, especially since it ended with such a cliffhanger. But I've had some in depth research to do where that one is concerned, and it involved a ride-a-long with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department out of Indiana where I live. The officer in question was highly informative but it's taking me some time to get through my notes. Additionally, the main character in the next story is a Prosecuting Attorney. I wanted to be sure I knew what I was talking about there as well.
There are some, both Christian and non-Christian alike, who might question why you've chosen to write secular paranormal romantic fiction in addition to Inspirational Christian fiction romance. Particularly since the stories have parallels to them..?
Yes, I see where you're going with this. There will likely be many within the Christian community who feel I am being hypocritical by giving in and writing stories that play to the secular community. Just as there will be some who pick-up the RavenCroft series, become engrossed in the story and the people, learn there is more to the tale, but that it is within The Blackthorne Saga, a Christian fiction series. I've already had one instance where I've been told by a Beta reader that it's going to make them mad because they've no desire to read books with faith. Here's my response, as harsh as it may sound..., deal with it. I'm asked, without even really being asked, every day of my life to live literally torn between two worlds. The reader will eventually have to make a choice. Just as I have. We've all been given free will after all. At least in my case, I'm being honest with everyone up front and giving them a choice. Some of us don't get, or haven't been given, that courtesy.
Am I being hypocritical? There may be some truth in this, I won't argue that. But here's the thing. We as Christian's are told by our pastors, our parents, our community of believers that we must tell our stories. They say, 'tell your story about how you've come by your faith...about your walk with God.' In my case, mine is a complicated story to tell. So I disperse those truths of which I am able to share within the fiction that I write in both genres. Besides, how does one tell their story when non-believers, or believers who have fallen for a time, make decisions which force a Christian, who is trying desperately to be faithful and abide by God's laws, into a position where they find themselves sinning without intent. I'll tell you how. They don't. They just don't tell their story either because they're too ashamed, too afraid, or being forced to keep their story secret. And how do those individuals overcome the torturous pain of being burdened with an unintentional sin when I they are unable to share their experience?
I cannot tell the story I need to, without sharing the stories that I am, both Blackthorne and RavenCroft. This may not make any sense at all right now, but I hope in time, and with the patience of my fans in both genres, that it will eventually become clear. What I can tell you of a certainty, is that there will only be eight of the RavenCroft novella's/novels. Once I'm done with them I will be through writing in that genre. After that everything else will be inspirational fiction.
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