Hello Maidens! We are thrilled to have Sara Curran-Ross stop by and chat with us today!
Sara Curran-Ross is the author of the Swords series, a dark Victorian vampire saga that was inspired by the Tarot. You can view Suzanne’s review of the first book in the series, Knight of Swords here. Knight of Swords is available now from Hellfire Publishing.
Ms. Curran-Ross has also written a couple of thrillers, including a sexy title called The Devil you Know. Furthermore, The Organ Grinder is another fast-paced thriller that explores the relationship between the media and the military in Afghanistan. Both books sound fantastic!
Sara lives in the UK with her husband, daughter and dog. You can find more information on her at her website.
UTC: First off, we would like to thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, we appreciate it! So let’s start with getting to know you a little better! What made you wish to become a writer? Have you always had this desire to write novels?
SCR: I have wanted to become a writer since I was a teenager. I wanted to be a thriller writer like the famous English author and tv script writer, Lynda La Plante. Writing has always been a compulsion for me. Even if no one wants to read my work I still have to write. I see the story visually. It’s just like a movie playing in my mind. I get one scene after another. It’s my job to link them all together and produce an imaginative coherent piece of writing.
UTC: Do you have an essential item that you MUST have in order to write (music, pen, etc)?
SCR: Oh yes! I can’t write without music. Even writing my answers to this interview I have music playing. It is essential but it has to be the right kind of music. Certain songs will reflect the feelings, emotions and personality of the people I write about. Listening to them over and over again helps me to develop my characters. Music also assists in setting the mood and tone of the novel. When I was working on Knight of Swords I kept listening to 30 Seconds To Mars’s album, ‘This Is War’. Their songs, ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ helped to create Nathan’s character in particular.
UTC: Since much of your academic background involves history, if you had a chance to live in another time or place, where would it be and why?
SCR: I mostly took courses in eighteenth century history at university. The eighteenth century was an exciting time, especially in London. The consumer society was just beginning to take off in a big way and they loved shopping, just like me. Then there were all those dashing highwaymen making women’s hearts all of a flutter when they were held up on the road. So I guess it would have to be London in the eighteenth century. But, I wouldn’t mind a look at London in Nathan & Juliet’s time, in the late nineteenth century. I always think of London as darkly atmospheric and haunting during this period with its heavy dense fogs, the Ripper murders, the rise of a belief in ghosts and the creation of the novel Dracula in 1897. A very scary but interesting era.
UTC: Has there been a favourite book or series that has influenced your work? What kind of books do you read?
SCR: There have been a few influences to my work. I can pin point both movies and books that have played on my imagination and inspired Knight of Swords. I adore the Sherlock Holmes stories and Oscar Wilde’s plays for the way they describe late Victorian life, personalities, humour and crime. Georgette Heyer’s historical romances with her wonderful dashing heroes. Oh and Christine Feehan’s gorgeous brooding vampires in her Dark series have all been personal faves that have inspired me to write.
As a child I loved watching all those old swashbuckling movies with sword fights like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. They have definitely had an influence. You can see that very clearly when your read Knight of Swords. Lol.
UTC: What is it about paranormal creatures that lure you? In particular, what made you want to write a book about vampires?
SCR: I have been fascinated with beliefs in supernatural creatures since I studied the witch trials in Europe at university and wrote my history dissertation on the myths surrounding vampires. I had wanted to write a book about vampires for a long time and had several false starts. I never really felt confident doing one and couldn’t seem to form a coherent plot for such a story. That changed when I did all of the research for my dissertation and decided to try again. That’s when I came up with Knight of Swords.
UTC: Knight of Swords features Druids. Did you have to do a lot of research to prepare for this book?
SCR: I used a lot of information from my dissertation for the vampires and did some detailed internet and book research for the rest. Knight of Swords is also about the tarot so I studied them closely and learnt to interpret them.
UTC: I thought Nathan was a great character! Oftentimes, paranormal books are written in a female’s POV or in third person. Did you find it difficult writing from a male’s perspective?
SCR: Actually this might surprise you but I feel more at home writing from a male’s perspective. When I write from a female’s point of view I bring my own emotional baggage in to the story and it starts interfering with the plot. I always feel more free and without inhibition writing as a male character. I can make them do what I want instead of worrying about whether or not a woman should be acting that way. It’s a sad fact that men still have more freedom to be who they really are and act the way they want in society unlike women. My frustration at this is reflected in my work. However, I am gaining more confidence and in the second novel in The Sword Series, Ace of Swords, for half of the book I write in Juliet’s pov.
UTC: I really felt bad for the other male vampires in this series after what happened to their women. Will those characters be finding their own happily-ever-afters as well?
SCR: I definitely intend writing about the other characters in their own books. I have also started working on a modern spin off to The Swords Series called Knight of Coins. I have also started experimenting with a more humourous modern version called The Vampire Lover’s Diary in which I feature relationships between the adult children of vampire hybrids and Lycans. You can check them out on my blog under work in progress and let me know what you think. But Nathan and Juliet will definitely feature in all of the stories in some lesser capacity.
We at Under the Covers loved having you with us today. Thank you so much for the interview! Sara has graciously offered us an ebook of Knight of Swords to giveaway to one lucky reader. Open to everyone through May 16. All you have to do is be a follower of our blog, and leave a comment on this post! Winner will be announced May 17.