But before we get to the questions, here's a little about Quinn.
Quinn Langston writes novels and short stories of horror and supernatural suspense. A Clockwork Army is the first in her Steampunk series: Vampire Extraordinaire
Quinn has loved vampires, Steampunk and Victorian England since before it was cool. Previously living in Chesterfield in the isolation of the North of England and traveling the UK contributed to unbridled imagination of the most gothic of horrors and monsters. Quinn currently lives in Austin, Texas with the bats and five cats. She also writes paranormal romance under the name Lark Eden. Her first book, Flames of Rapture was endorsed by Nora Roberts.
For more on her, check out Quinn's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook or @Quinn_Langston.
Now onto the interview!
My favorite book of all time is A Tale of Two Cities. I fell in love with symbolism. As an angst filled preteen, of course, everything I wrote had to be symbolic. I continue to use symbolism in my books and hope that it is just as exciting to readers who find those hidden gems as it was when I discovered Charles Dickens. From the character's names, their actions and even the scenes, Dickens was a master of telling a multi-layered story. He also pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction. God bless him. As a love story goes, who doesn't ache for Sydney Carton as he nobly takes Charles Darnay's place on the execution block for the sake of his love Lucy Manette.
On a more contemporary note: Nicholas Sparks. If The Notebook didn't rip your heart out, make you weep and believe in soul mates, there is no hope for you. Tortured love. Real love. That's how I aspire to write.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Plotter. Absolutely. Much to my critique partner's chagrin. To have that road map planned out before I jump into the fray, gives me confidence the story will be smooth and come together at a specific deadline. It also helps to write the dreaded synopsis. Plotting doesn't lock me down from still discovering those moments that just fit in perfectly as I go, or even a plot twist It just keeps me on track and from getting lost in the trees.
What’s it like writing in both romance and horror?
This one is a little tricky, although I do think it's more a frame of mind. You don't have to worry about so many feelings when you write horror or sexual tension necessarily. A vampire is a very basic archetype that most people instinctively understand. They are repelled or drawn to in a hypnotic romantic fashion. I have loved vampires since before they were cool. The summer I turned 14 years old, I read a first edition of Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire before the sun came up while waiting to take my driver's ed classes. I thought I was very cool, naturally. I'm not a slasher blood and guts kinda girl, but what's not sexy about a vampire? The blood you say? Well, back to our symbolism. I understanding, Anne Rice wrote Interview With A Vampire in an attempt to heal from her daughter's death from leukemia. The blood is life. Everlasting life.
As for romance, I was ghost writing my friend's love letters to their boyfriends in college and staging romantic situations for them with their boyfriends. I am happy to say that many of them are now married. Romance to me is again a state of mind. It's so easy for me to slip into that mode and shape a letter into a manuscript. Falling in love is a story that never gets old, never told the same twice.
Have you always written in both, or did something inspire the shift?
I started out writing short stories about anything and everything as far back as I can recall. The inspiration for the Steampunk Vampire Extraordinaire series came when Samhain put out an open call for a new Gothic line. Right up my Scorpio alley!
What 5 characters would you want to be trapped on a deserted island with?
First thing, I want someone who can GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS FREAKIN ISLAND! Snape from Harry Potter leaps to mind. He is totally devoted and can do bad things for good reasons. My kinda hero. Now if he actually comes in the package of Alan Rickman, I'm totally good to go!
So after Snape zaps me to my castle in Scotland for a while, he can then zap me back to my home in the Garden District of New Orleans where Aloysius Xingu L. Pendergast is waiting on me. Thank the Heavens for the imaginations of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Aloysius is my perfect match. We can philosophize, solve crimes or just spend the those long sultry afternoons...er...giving in to the heat.
Ok, I can't think anymore. I'm swooning. The heat I tell you! But Snape can grant my every wish when I come up for air.
What's the best writing advice you've ever received?
It's a trifecta. First off: Butt to seat. - Nora Roberts. Second: Buy and learn The Elements of Style by: William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. I had a brilliant English professor at Texas Christian University who taught me, you must first know the rules of grammar before you can break them. After that, I would have to say something my critique partner encourages (read: enforces). Vomit it up. Just get it out, you can fix it later. I have a healthy balance of love, respect and fear for her, so words happen. I'm going to buy her a whip to hang over her desk.
What can you tell us about your current work in progress?
I am currently working on a Male/Male Victorian Romance. I'm very excited about this as love is love no matter what package it comes in or what era. Currently untitled, I would welcome reader suggestions for titles. I think we will have a competition for this one. Tweet me with any suggestions. I'll tweet you back! @Quinn_Langston
A Victorian widower and political candidate must marry again for appearances, yet he can no longer hide his attraction to his children's male tutor, forcing him to choose between love and ambition.
For all of his adult life, the new tutor has been running from what he is and who he loves. Just when he feels he's found a place to belong, he must choose between being his lover's guilty secret, or to move on again.
An army of automatons—controlled by a vampire!
In 1850s London, most mortals are not aware that vampires walk amongst them. Lord Sebastian Hawthorne, himself a vampire, intends to keep it that way. Unfortunately, someone begins killing off well known residents—in gruesome ways. All signs point to a newborn vampire, unable to control the bloodlust.
Marcus Dwyer, fellow vampire, admits to turning a woman for companionship, and now she’s out of control. He needs Sebastian’s help. Together, Marcus, Sebastian and Theo, Sebastian’s human friend and a skilled clockwork engineer, set out to catch a killer before she exposes their secret.
Will they find her in time? Or will police capture her first and discover lay waste to their immortal world?
Looking for your next read for this weekend? You can grab a copy of the first novel in her Steampunk series: Vampire Extraordinaire now! Until next week, happy reading!