I know I missed the author spotlight the last couple months, but I am back with another one this month and I am getting some lined up for the next couple months so be sure to check back and see who I have featured each month.
This month I am featuring A.M. Hargrove, the author of The Guardians of Vesturon Series. I haven't read the whole series yet, but I did read and review one of the books for a blog tour a little while back. I will definitely be reading the whole series when I have the chance to fit it into my reading schedule. I have actually gotten to know Anne over the past month or so since I have been beta editing her newest book Dark Waltz. It's an adult genre spin off of the Guardians Series that focuses on my favorite character Jurek from Determinant which was book 3. If you are a fan of the series you are going to love getting to know Jurek better!
Make sure you read the whole post, there is a giveaway included!!
Make sure you read the whole post, there is a giveaway included!!
One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
“Boss, is that you?”
“Why yes A.M., who else would be answering my phone?”
“Er… right. Well, I’m calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate because I quit.”
A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
“Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?”
“Sure hon… having some car trouble?”
“Not at all. I need a ride because I just quit my job.”
“It’s time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.”
So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.
Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that. The real story is that after years as a successful sales manager in the world of pharmaceuticals, her company was gobbled up by a larger one and her career came to a screeching halt. Always one to look at the glass as being half full, she took the job loss as an opportunity to forge down the path of her life-long dream– that of becoming a writer. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. The books in the series are listed in order: Beginnings (a prequel novella), Survival, Resurrection and Determinant. Beginnings can be read at any time and Determinant, even though it is the third book in the series, can be read as a stand alone novel.
You can find A.M. Hargrove on the web here:
I was lucky enough to get Ms. Hargrove to answer a few questions for me via email. It's always nice to be able to get to know an author a little better through an interview.
#Q: Who is your favorite author?
Not fair! There are so many that I love. When I look at all my ebooks, there is such a mix. I could never point to one author and say, “Oh, she’s my favorite!” I will commit to a genre though...it is definitely paranormal romance with elements of the unusual thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good vampire story, but when you mix in something different, I’m a goner.
Q: If you could only recommend one book by that author which one would it be?
Oops! Hard to answer when I couldn’t name one author.
Q: Was there something specific that made you want to become a writer?
I always loved to read. When I was a kid, which was way before Kindles or iPads, I was the one with the flashlight under the covers. I grew up reading and always dreamed of writing novels. Somehow, my career veered off in a different direction though. So a couple of years ago when my job was eliminated through a corporate buy out, I looked at it as an opportunity for a career change and here I am.
Q: Do you have a writing schedule or do you write as inspiration strikes?
When I start a project, I write every day, when I can. Some days there are things that come up, but for the most part, I stick to my schedule. I try to work Monday thru Friday so I have family time on the weekend.
Q: How important is social media to you in promotion of your work?
Very. Right now I have become a recluse because I am nearing the end of my current project, Dark Waltz. Because of that, I have totally neglected Twitter and Facebook and I feel really bad about it. I’ve made so many friends that I feel like the girl who has a new boyfriend and dumps everyone. I need to get online and spend the necessary time, but time becomes a rare commodity at this stage of the game. If I veer off my path of writing, I lose my focus and I don’t want to do that at this stage.
Q: What was your inspiration for the Guardians series?
There were many. I love the outdoors and many of the hiking scenes in Survival came from my own experiences on the trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the Appalachian Trail (except for the part with the serial killer, lol). My daughter also hates vampires and werewolves (can you imagine?), so I wanted to write something that might interest her. I’ve always loved tech things, so I thought it might be interesting to merge these ideas and I came up with the Guardians. I like sci-fi but not over the top kind so I thought I would use it to give me the cool techie gadgets and things I’d love to have here. I added the supernatural powers and stirred in some awesome hot guys and there you have it.
Q: How do you come up with the names for your alien characters and places?
That’s a great question. Sometimes I get my family together and we come up with a host of names. Other times, I just make them up. Sometimes I’ll run across someone and think, “Wow, that’s an awesome name.” And then I’ll write it down so I won’t forget it. My other source is to use Roman or Greek names or derivatives of them. I think they have incredible names with great meaning behind them.
Q: Which of your characters is your favorite to write?
I have to say that the book I’m writing now, Dark Waltz, has my current favorite characters...Jurek for his irreverence and Liasare for her boldness. It’s my first adult novel and it’s been so much fun for me to experiment and test the waters with these two.
Q: How many books do you have planned for the Guardians series?
The Guardians will have six, unless something happens between number four and five! You never know because while you’re writing, your characters speak to you and strange things start to happen. Before you know it, another book is born!
Q: Do you listen to music while you write?
Sometimes...it depends what scene I’m writing. I listen to music more for my inspiration to write.
Q: As you know Jurek is my favorite of your characters! What would you say his theme song is?
Jurek is hard not to love, isn’t he? He is so complex, I see him as a blend of Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Linkin Park and Mozart. But if I had to name a song that would describe him (before Liasare) it would be Wherever I May Roam by Metallica. After Liasare, it would be Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. I also think a great song for Liasare is You Gotta Let Me In by The Trews. But, the truth is, Dark Waltz is based on the classical music Dark Waltz, originally performed by Hayley Westenra and later by Jackie Evancho.
Q: What is next after Jurek’s book?
After I finish Dark Waltz, I will write reEmergent, which is Book 4 of The Guardians of Vesturon. It’s Xarrid and Saylan’s story. Then I will go back and write Death Waltz, Book 2 of The Praestani Series.
Thanks for inviting me Shelly...this has been great visiting with you today.
Ms. Hargrove has been kind enough to offer some prizes so we can do a giveaway! Right now you can get Survival free so she is offering up the other 2 books in the series (eBooks, your choice of format) and a $15 Amazon Giftcard. I am going to draw 2 winners, one for the books and one for the Amazon card!
Here are the rules for the giveaway
I hope you enjoyed getting to know A.M. Hargrove a little better, I know that I did! If you haven't picked up your copy of these books yet, I hope this will help you make up your mind to do so soon. Be sure to stay tuned next month to see who I will be featuring in the Author Spotlight.