Today I’m excited to share an excerpt from Second Death by Emily Reese, a new vampire thriller that is published today, in addition to a fun little Q & A!
Second Death by Emily Reese
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
When Meghan Monroe went missing, her twin brother Mike swore to find her. The harder he looked, the less he seemed to find until he came across a book called The Collector. If his hunch is correct, his professor, Claire Wallace, holds the key to finding his sister. But no one knows better than Claire that finding Meghan might be the least of Mike’s worries. After he ignores her warnings to go home and forget about the book, Claire must make a choice: let Mike’s discoveries lead him to certain death, or face down her own demons to help him. Knowing The Collector is much more fact than fiction, Claire must decide whether to protect the secret she has kept for eighty years, or reveal her true nature to save another girl from sharing the same dark fate.
A Fun Little Q & A with Emily
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Thank you so much for having me! This is such an amazing experience for me, and I beyond thankful I get to share it with so many wonderful people.
About me: I’m in my early thirties, married, with a six year old (Monkey) and eight month old (Penguin). I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, but oddly enough, I don’t have an accent or twang. I do not have cows, nor do I live on a ranch… but my uncle does. ; >
2. Can you tell us a bit about your latest book and the inspiration behind it?
I was never a “girly girl,” which being from the south makes you kind of an anomaly. No, when we went to a carnival or the like, I wanted no sparkly butterflies on my cheek. I wanted a widow’s peak and blood down my chin. my poor, long suffering mother went along with it, no matter how much she inwardly cringed.
So I’ve been in love with vampires for forever. Yet from the hundreds I’d read, nothing was exactly the way I’d do it. So, after having Monkey, I would write once she was in bed. I began with the question, “How cool would it be if Lestat was real and just friends with Anne Rice?” Things kind of took off from there. It started out as just something fun, and then turned into something I became passionate about.
My heroine, Claire has a lot of my qualities. She has a part of her that wants to stand back and be taken care of. Which is in direct contrast to the way she feels when someone she considers “hers” is threatened. She also tends to run from her problems, something I’ve been guilty of on more than one occasion. She is also her own woman. My mother wishes I were as polished as Claire. She’s also more cautious and dedicated than I would consider myself… not that I’m reckless and a total flake or anything. And I’ve rambled… to the questions!!
3. Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I wanted to make movies. I was even a film major for a few years in college. Turns out I’m too nice and not competitive enough. I’m okay with this.
4. Who are your favorite authors and what books do you enjoy reading?
I would always read fiction instead of nonfiction, however I love a good history or biography. I enjoy YA, high and urban fantasy, and of course, paranormal romance. I get in trouble all the time for buying too many books for my kindle. My absolute favorite author is Dannika Dark, especially her Seven Years series. I don’t know how, but she justgets me, or rather gets exactly what I want to read. I’m lucky that she hasn’t written any vampire main characters. Otherwise I might never have thought I needed to write Second Death.
5. What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you?
Like I mentioned earlier,I wanted to write a vampire book the way I wanted to read it. I found Stephanie Meyer talking about how she wrote the Twilight series while being a mom to three boys and I thought, “I only have one and she’s a baby. Why can’t I?” Now, I’m inspired by other authors. Every book or series I read has me taking something important away. J.R. Ward taught me to have a bunch of secondary characters that are interesting enough to have their own stories — that way you won’t have to go looking for what to write about next. Gena Showalter taught me that when you run out of those, add some more. Karen Marie Moning taught me the beauty of a twist you never saw coming, and that no one is ever really dead unless you want them to be. The list goes on, but I’ll stop for now.
6. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working like mad on the sequel to Second Death. If/when I get to work on something else, (i.e. a new set of voices in my head start talking,) I have an urban fantasy in the works. Not ready to discuss too much, but yeah, assassins. That’s all I’ve got for now.
7. Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals?
I must have music, and I do my best writing at night with a box of Junior Mints. The Junior Mints are not negotiable.
8. What are 5 things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
My stand mixer, ceramic cookware, these thick spoon/spatula thingies from Pampered Chef, my peeler for waxy fruits, (also PC,) and a bottle of olive oil.
9. What are 5 things you can’t live without in your wardrobe?
Pajama pants, graphic tees, (I live in both these and the PJ pants,) Torrid jeans, a shirt with 3/4 sleeves and a boat neck, (I have several,) and flip flops. My feet are very claustrophobic.
10. Where is your favorite place in the world?
In college, I visited the U.K.. You could’ve left me in London, and I wouldn’t have cared. Ten minutes and I felt like I was home. There’s this restaurant called The Texas Embassy. Walking in was like being back in Texas, (obviously,) although their Mexican food was nowhere close. Still, I could make it work. For London, I could make it work.
11. Do you have any pet peeves?
I don’t have much tolerance for other drivers, despite my own shortcomings. A pretty violent scene in my book is actually a reflection of a road rage incident, which I did NOT instigate. But I did go home, put the offender into my book and kill him. Three times.
12. Either or…
Dogs or cats? Cats, but I have both, and am a huge animal person. Would choose a pigmy goat over both.
Red wine or white? White. If I drink wine, I only like moscato.
Coffee or tea? Tea, with creamer. Discovered this on my previously mentioned trip across the pond. In Texas, it’s mandatory to drink it sweet over ice. Turns out the Brits know what they’re doing with that one.
Summer or Winter? Winter. I’m as pale as a ginger, without the freckles or (natural) hair color. Also, it gets up to at least 100F for about 3-5 months straight in Texas. I can cope, but I stay inside or in the shade a lot.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in. Always. I can stay up forever, just don’t wake me up once I crash. Honestly, between this and the pale skin, I could probably be a vampire. Except the taste of blood makes me sick. There is that.
Apple or PC? I’ve had quite a few PCs, but never the best luck with them. I’m thinking of switching the next time mine craps out. So, PC, but maybe Apple someday?
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, I’m delighted to have you on my blog and truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!
About the Author – Emily Reese
Emily Reese graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Communication Studies. She has been writing all her life, and SECOND DEATH is her first novel. She lives out in the middle of Nowhere, Texas with her husband, a.k.a. King of All Things English, her daughter a.k.a. The Total Package and/or Monkey, a pug, and two cats.
Additionally, she loves smushed faced animals, the creative power of Junior Mints, the glory of naps, baking, knitting, and the sound her Monkey makes while she sucks her thumb.
Book Excerpt – Second Death
He had been in my class from the start. According to the attendance logs, he was one of the few who had never missed a lecture, but since he sat toward the back and never raised his hand, I had no reason to pay much attention to him. Looking back, the only thing I remembered about him was the other kids didn’t pay much attention to him either. Thus, my surprise when he interrupted me mid-sentence.
“Why these girls, Professor Wallace? What makes them so tempting for vampires?”
I glanced up from my notes, searching the crowded lecture hall for the speaker. I could tell the general direction, and to make things easier he was the only one looking at me; all the other students stared at him. He appeared older than the kids surrounding him. The tightness around his eyes and the set of his jaw set him apart from my other students.