I am very excited to welcome you to my very 1st “New Indie Author Spotlight”. For those of you that have been with me from the beginning of this blog, you know that my most important goal was to help new indie authors. You have probably heard me say “there is so much talent out there that just needs some help with exposure to “make it” in the literary world”. So I have made it my mission to expose them lol.
I am also very excited about this 1st spotlight because the new author in the spotlight is Regine Abel. Regine is incredibly talented and I am so lucky that fate brought us together. She has been a huge help to me with the author side of things and now I get to help her. You guys are in for an awesome ride when you read Regine’s 1st novel, Bluebeard’s Curse. It’s based on the fairy tale but it’s so much better. And yes, I have read it and I will have a new blog post up in a little while. Bluebeard’s Curse gets a strong 5 star from me. Keep your eyes on this author. She’s going to have an amazing writing career. Ok, enough from me, let’s get started with the important stuff.
Who are you and where did you come from?
I was born in Haiti but my parents moved to Canada one year after my birth. So Montreal is the city I truly call home. Although French is my first language, I also speak Creole and English fluently. Mind you, every time I’ve travelled to Haiti, my “grown up abroad” accent gave me away. As my career causes me to relocate from time to time, I’ve lived in the US, Andorra, France and Germany.
I’m the only girl, smack in the middle of four brothers. Needless to say I’m a spoiled brat. I couldn’t have hoped for a more loving and supporting family. To this day, I’m still daddy’s little girl and he despairs that I’m still not married and have no kids. He worries who will look after me when he’s gone (even though I’ve been looking after myself for two decades now, lol).
My professional and semi-professional career has taken me pretty much all over the place before landing in video games and eventually writing. Over the years, I’ve been a driving teacher, a legal secretary, a sound engineer on live shows then in movie dubbing, a stage manager and teacher in games design. I’ve had my own band for a while, where I was singer-songwriter and did quite a few concerts. My favorite sport is volleyball, though as a good Canadian, I can’t get enough of watching a good hockey game. I used to be a very decent piano player, but haven’t touched a keyboard in years so God only knows what I’ll remember.
Do you write part-time or full-time, and if part-time are you trying to build up your writing career to be full-time?
I write part-time, but would like to do so full-time in the future if my work raises enough interest.
What kind of work do you do, if you have another job?
I work as Creative Director/Design Director in videogames. I was always a videogames junky, especially story-driven point and click adventures. Over the years, my tastes have diversified from casual to super hardcore. I started out as a game designer and worked my way up to ladder to my current role.
What kind of car do you drive?
A borrowed one? As I currently live in Hamburg where the public transport system is pretty awesome, there is no need for cars. Though a friend occasionally lends me hers. But if the question is what kind of car would I want? The answer is a Jaguar F-Type for Regine time and a Jaguar XF for hanging out with buddies
What genres do you like to read? Do you have any favorite authors that you want to name?
Anything besides poetry and non-fiction. I used to be a fan of horror, but not so much anymore. I’ve grown squeamish in my old age. My favorite genre is romance, especially of the fantasy/paranormal type. And I don’t necessarily mean shifters or vampires, though I like those too. Anything a little out there, with a bit of magic, makes me happy. Nalini Singh’s Psi-Changelings series and Amelia Hutchins Fae Chronicles are a good example of books that give me warm fuzzies. I’m a sucker for HEA, though I can live with HFN.
Sci-fi romance also does it for me, as long as the sci-fi aspect isn’t too hardcore/technical. Melting the mechanical heart of a cyborg? Yup, right there with you! You can also sign me up for any kind of Mars needs women type of story. M.K Eidem’s Tornians, Evangeline Anderson’s Brides of the Kindred and Tracy St. John’s Clans of Kalquor epitomize the genre.
YA Fantasy and Paranormal is a no-brainer. I read every single Harry Potter, and enjoyed the hell out of Abbi Glines Existence trilogy. I’m counting the days until the next installment of the Divinicus Nex Chronicles come out.
I’m not much into Contemporary Romance. Dark Romance is a different story. Aleatha Romig, Kitty Thomas, C.J. Roberts and Anita Gray are among authors of the genre I enjoy.
I was introduced to MM romance through the Clans of Kalquor (Clans Beginnings series) and found out I actually enjoy it. I’ve read quite a few authors in the genre since.
Aside from that, any non-romantic book I read is usually fantasy/paranormal/horror in one form or another: George R.R. Martin, Stephen King, Raymond Feist, E.E. Knight, Robin Hobb, etc. One of my favorite authors though is probably R. Lee Smith, because she just doesn’t give a shit. She writes it as she feels it and breaks every established conventions. As her blog says, she’s “crossing the line, one book at the time.”
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
I have beta read and critiqued other people’s books for years. The whole time, I told myself I should get down to writing my own book. At the end of last summer, I finally gave in to the urge.
Where do you write? (Paint us a picture…laptop or pc…inside or out…house or condo/apt…do you have music on…do you dance around (naked or clothed? lol)…do you talk out loud to your characters…do you use props…are the neighbors convinced your crazy?
Most of my writing is done on my PC, wearing my PJs or some other comfy clothes. Yes, I’m your typical introvert. I have two monitors. The second one usually displays thesaurus.com, though tabs to my email, FB and sometimes youtube are also opened.
My computer desk is in my bedroom, facing a wall. There isn’t much to get me distracted (did I say one of the browser tabs was set to FB?) so I can focus on my work.
For me, the biggest challenge is writing about my characters’ interaction with the environment. White room syndrome anyone? So I will occasionally act out a conversation as if I were the character to get an idea of what they would do in the physical sense. It’s especially awkward trying to mimic sex scenes to make sure enacting it would feel natural – or worse, that I’m not forgetting any body parts in strange places. That prompted me to get occluding curtains for my bedroom. I didn’t want the neighbors thinking I’m crazy seeing my silhouette hugging thin air. I actually considered getting an inflatable doll rather than groping air. I wimped out.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of research?
Sadly, my research method is quite boring. Google is a writer’s best friend. Then there is pestering friends and acquaintances that have the knowledge I seek.
What genres do you or will you be writing for?
I only write romance, mainly Fantasy, Paranormal and Sci-fi. Some will be quite dark but always with a fantasy element to them and with a HEA. The main series I have planned, The Veredian Chronicles, will be mostly MF with the occasional MFM. However, I intend to have two spin off series, one MM and the other MMF/MFM. I hate cliffhangers. I feel cheated every time. So while my series will have an overarching story with a larger conflict resolved over the course of the various book, each story will be self-contained with its own satisfying ending.
So I know some authors work on a book for years and it might change considerably from where it started, but the bones of it are still the same. And some authors never share their 1st book with anyone. What was the 1st book you wrote and is that the 1st one published or are you still hiding it somewhere?
I wrote my first book when I was thirteen. Many of my high school friends at the time read it. I even had my French teacher proofread it for me before I sent it to a publisher. In retrospect, I’m shocked an editor took the time to read and comment it before returning the MS to me – with a very nice rejection letter. My young age might have played a part it in, but I’ll never know. I reread that book ten years later and while I was impressed with the quality of my vocabulary at the time, it was obvious why the book had been declined. Everything you could do wrong was there: no world building, unidimensional characters, white room galore, adverb tsunami, the works! But the story was cool! Yet, I wouldn’t rewrite it.
What is your favorite cocktail? (Please share the recipe)
I’m really boring when it comes to alcohol. Being a bit of a control freak, I rarely drink. The tipsy feeling doesn’t do it for me at all. That said, fruity drinks are great. I’ll usually have Cranberry Vodka, Long Island Iced Tea or Sex on the Beach.
Which character is the most like you and how?
Amalia from the Veredian Chronicles (my second book which will be released in the next couple of months). She’s mischievous, and easy to laugh. She can be childish in her pranks and humor, but extremely tough and mature when needed. She’s very physical in her displays of affection. Hugs and cuddles are a big thing. She hates rules but doesn’t go out of her way to break them. She doesn’t care about not fitting the image society thinks she should project. She embraces her difference and accepts it in others too.
If I helped you hide the body, who would you kill and why? (Of course I meant one of your characters lol)
Amalia, because I want Lhor for myself
What do you have coming up the rest of this year (book signings, groups, releases, conventions, etc.)?
Hopefully, there will be two more book releases this year. At least one coming up in a couple of months. Everything else depends on the response I get from the readers, which I obviously hope will be positive
Any other books planned? When are the next ones due for release?
The first book of the Veredian Chronicles series, Escaping Fate, will be coming out sometime in April. Expect the cover reveal and ARCs to go out in a few weeks. My other projects this year include the second book of the Dark Tales series, very loosely inspired by the fable the Ant and the Grasshopper, and the third book which is a dark spin on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Then I’ll continue writing Blind Fate, the second book of the Veredian Chronicles.
Anything else you would like for us to know about you or your work?
I write characters that make me happy, that I can relate to in one form or another or that I would love to be surrounded by. At the same time, I have a pretty wild imagination and put no barriers on where it takes me. I can’t stand characters too stupid to live. Nothing turns me off more than a hysterical heroine, creating huge conflicts over nothing just because there needs to be a conflict. My girls are strong and badass, each in their own way, which doesn’t need to be weapon wielding either. Story is important for me. So while there is no question I write romance, expect complex stories, often with a hefty dose of action.
Please like, follow and support them by trying the links below.
I think you will agree with me that Regine is one of a kind and with a life like that, how can she not have great stories just knocking to get out. Thanks you guys for reading and thank you Regine, for letting us peek into your world. Good luck on your 1st book and on what is sure to be an amazing career. And thank you for being my friend.