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Monday, December 28, 2015

Interview and Excerpt: Bite the Bullet by Angela Louise McGurk




Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I’m Angela Louise McGurk, I’m focusing on writing urban fantasy at the moment but I have plans for historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction too. I’m also trained in architectural technology and have some art education. I designed my own cover art for Bite the Bullet, my current release.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My latest release was Bite the Bullet: Vampire Cohorts Book One. This urban fantasy follows a reluctant vampire convert as she enters the vampire world and discovers nothing about her life is quite what it seemed. She has to contend with murderers and jealousies, as well as a vampire maker who is no happier about getting close to her as she is about being connected to him.

Here's an excerpt, you can also find further details on my website and facebook page.

Prologue 
The Choice I Never Had
“Shall we begin like David Copperfield? ‘I am born... I grew up.’ Or shall we begin when I was born to darkness, as I call it? That's really where we should start, don't you think?”
-Louis de Pointe du Lac,
Interview with the Vampire
1994, (film adaptation)

Perhaps Louis de Pointe du Lac was correct, perhaps that’s where my story should begin too. The words, taken from a film which I’d seen many times, imply that my life before was irrelevant. They infer that it was a fleeting dream before my re-birth as something ‘other’. That’s what they told me too, the people who stripped away my humanity. The past was irrelevant and my future, my immediate future, would be lived at another’s pleasure.
I’m bound now, to my Sire.
But that wasn’t the beginning either. Let me tell you what it was to be made vampire. It wasn’t birth. Birth implies pushing, tearing forth into the light, screaming. Becoming immortal was to be pulled, to be tugged irrevocably into darkness, and it was silent.
That’s what it is to be vampire; dark and silent. We are the shadows, the ones you catch out of the corner of your eye only to have them vanish when you turn to look. We are that darker shade in the blackness of the night.
The cool breeze that touches your throat on a frosty evening? That airy caress which causes you to shiver and wrap your scarf more securely around your neck? That’s us too, when we’ve come close enough to bite but decided you aren’t the flavour of the night. Not the present night, at least.
You should fear each inexplicable shiver. Don’t laugh and say, “Someone’s just walked over my grave”. Turn immediately and lash out. Fight, even if you think you’re alone. God knows I wish I’d done so. It wouldn’t have stopped him. Nothing would have stopped him, but I could’ve been proud of myself. Instead, I’m ashamed.
I’m ashamed because I felt him there. I felt his towering body press against my back as I stood at the bus stop, waiting for the last ride home. His lips brushed my neck, his touch several degrees cooler than human, and inexplicably, I’d frozen. I was immobilised, without even the urge to fight.
It was an illogical, dangerous, reaction.
I should have fought, any person should fight, but my mind had been filled with a hazy calm which forbade any battle. Struggling had been the last thing on my mind, even when my bus arrived and my assailant waved it on, dismissing my last hope of escape.
Yet my lack of rebellion was far from the most unsettling part of the stranger’s control over me. The truth was that the man could’ve asked anything of me and I would’ve complied, but he didn’t need to vocalise his request. I knew instinctively what he wanted. I sighed and surrendered myself as he held me against his front in a lover’s embrace, tipping my head and willingly giving him access to my throat.
“One day you’ll understand,” he whispered, his tone subdued, before he licked my skin and tasted me for the first time.
The strange mix of local Geordie and lilting Irish in his accent was seductive, but his tone was tinged with uncertainty. I’ve often wondered since if he was really talking to me. Perhaps he’d been talking to himself, persuading himself that one day I’d know and accept his reasons for what he’d planned for me. At the time, my mind wasn’t clear enough to dwell on the strangeness of his claim.
His fangs broke the flesh of my throat with a soft pop. There was a second of fiery pain before the cold, the numbness, seeped through me. The chill began where his mouth worked, sucking hungrily at the wound he’d created. My arms became heavy and my legs grew weaker until he, the faceless, nameless creature behind me, had to support my weight. Even then he didn’t stop, and as he pulled my lifeblood from my body a strange tugging sensation bloomed inside me, becoming stronger with each swallow.
It started at my core, in some deep, primal part of me which had nothing to do with rational thought or fickle emotion. I felt it in my belly, in my gut, a thread forming which bound me to the man at my back. Through him, because of him, new parts of me awoke. There was a hunger like nothing I’d ever felt, a burning need which increased as the pull became ever more uncompromising. It didn’t hurt, not exactly, but I knew it would do if I didn’t slake my thirst. I needed to be satisfied and he knew what to give me.
When he raised his wrist to my lips, I forced my still human teeth into his flesh. He growled as I bit him roughly, the arm he was using to support me tightening around my waist. There was nothing special about his blood. Nothing obvious, at least. It was warm and coppery and what remained of my rational thought demanded that I spit it out, that I rebel against what the stranger was demanding of me.
I couldn’t.
As hot liquid spilled down my throat the pulling sensation urged me to give in, to relinquish my humanity and set some wild thing free. With each draw, his blood grew sweeter on my tongue. With each needy suck my vision grew dimmer, darker, until there was nothing but unbroken blackness and my willingness to let him tear everything I was from my body.
I knew that when I woke, I’d be different. Altered. I’d be something which I’d never wanted to become. In that moment, I didn’t care. It felt like a dream; a strange, ghastly, and yet exquisite fantasy. The dream drew me down into the most primitive, inherent part of who I was, to a place where I would both find and lose myself. I loved and loathed that place, and I knew that when I left it, the ‘me’ I’d been would no longer exist.
Eventually, even that understanding abandoned me, and when my comprehension failed, I floated into a nothingness that seemed as though it would be eternal.

Are you a mom?

I am, to a three year old boy and a four year old girl.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

It is hard. It’s hard to juggle work and children, but I’m quite used to it. There have been some scenes, some dark scenes, that I’ve hated writing with a child on my knee. Now that my daughter’s learning to read, I’m going to have to be careful what I write in front of her.  It’s certainly interesting trying to write around kids, it keeps me busy.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Some of the interactions between characters were loosely influenced by friendships and rivalries I’ve experienced.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

That’s a hard question. I’ve already written most of the series and throughout all the books there are themes about being brave, fighting on, holding onto hope, loving, trusting friends, learning to trust yourself while also learning to accept your flaws and mistakes. In a way, Bite the Bullet is setting the scene for the much larger story, but it remains an exploration of trust and deceit.


When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

I love camping, kayaking and drawing. My beta readers are trying to persuade me to do an illustrated version of the book with my own drawings.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

I really wish I’d written either the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill or Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I don’t write much straight up romance, I tend to mix romance with a lot of fantasy. My preferred genres are fantasy and urban fantasy.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

I love both Conn and Darcy. Darcy is the heroine of Bite the Bullet, and Conn the reluctant hero. I’m actually writing book six currently while editing two, and I just love the way their relationship has developed and how they’ve grown as characters over the course of the series.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The next book in the series is Another Bite and I’m hoping it’ll be out in 2016. It follows on from where book one ends, so I can’t give much away at the moment. ;)

What book are you reading now?

I’ve just downloaded The Iron Sword by Jocelyn A Fox and Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward so I’ll be starting those soon. Once my book launch is behind me, I’m going to take some reading days.



Bite the Bullet
Vampire Cohorts
Book One
Angela Louise McGurk

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Angela Louise McGurk

Date of Publication: 12 December 2015

ISBN: 9781310584299
ASIN: B018EK7082

Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 116,000

Cover Artist: Angela Louise McGurk

Book Description:

Let me tell you what it was to be made vampire. It wasn’t birth. Birth implies pushing, tearing forth into the light, screaming. Becoming immortal was to be pulled, to be tugged irrevocably into darkness, and it was silent.

I should have fought, any person should fight, but my mind had been filled with a hazy calm which forbade any battle. Struggling had been the last thing on my mind, even when my bus arrived and my assailant waved it on, dismissing my last hope of escape.

Yet my lack of rebellion was far from the most unsettling part of the stranger’s control over me. The truth was that the man could’ve asked anything of me and I would’ve complied, but he didn’t need to vocalise his request. I knew instinctively what he wanted. I sighed and surrendered myself as he held me against his front in a lover’s embrace, tipping my head and willingly giving him access to my throat.

“One day you’ll understand,” he whispered, his tone subdued. I’ve often wondered since if he was really talking to me. Perhaps he’d been talking to himself, persuading himself that one day I’d know and accept his reasons for what he’d planned for me.

I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Because when my fangs came in, my world altered irrevocably. It became somewhere dark, somewhere filled with murder and blood, where magic was sinister and where even my closest ally seemed more like an enemy... Even if he did make my heart skip a beat.

Amazon     Amazon UK    Smashwords


About the Author:

Angela grew up in a small pit village in the county of Northumberland in England. Currently she lives in an entirely different pit village in the same county, along with her husband and their two children. She qualified in Architectural Technology and has worked in construction, as well as running her own wedding stationery and graphic design business. Currently Angela's time is taken up with chasing a three year old, a four year old and a kid in his thirties who really should know better. Between that she works, writes and draws.

She is currently writing the final book in the Vampire Cohort series while editing the first book in the series for publication, as well as trying to store up the hundred other stories which are always racing around in her mind! While a love of writing has always been part of Angela's life, in recent years it has become a daily requirement. The vampires, werewolves, gods and fae just won't leave her alone!

Among Angela's other loves are camping, kayaking, the Lake District and history. She is a bit of a sci-fi geek, a bit of a Joss Whedon fan, and has such an eclectic taste in music it would take pages to write down what she likes.





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