What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My pen name is Skylar McKinzie. I write in the paranormal romance and horror genres.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Cursed is a paranormal romance about three triplet sisters, Stormy, Skye and Savannah Davidson. They’ve always felt that some of the residents of Discovery treated them differently, especially around their birthday, which is on Halloween. As their 25th birthday approaches they find out they are reincarnated witches from Salem, Massachusetts and have a huge evil to face to save the town they grew up in and love.
I’ve been fascinated with witchcraft, the Salem witch trials and anything paranormal since I was a little girl, so it seemed only fitting that the first book I wrote would be about witches.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve read paranormal romance since I was old enough to do so. I always had an interest in ghosts, witches, and things that go bump in the night. I love mystery and intrigue, but like happy endings, so paranormal romance seemed to be the right fit for me.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I’ve studied the Salem witch trials since middle school, so I didn’t have that much research to do. I delved deeper into Salem, but wanted my executions to be a little more dramatic. I was having a hard time with the traditional hangings of accused witches, so I went with a rogue magistrate that burned witches at the stake instead. I also did a little research into police procedure, because that I know very little about.
Can you tell me about your Series?
My series is called Born of the Blood and Cursed is the first book. In this book, the sisters discover their powers and all the major characters are introduced. Each book in the series will be about one sister and the man who loves her. The books will tie together with the founding families fighting the evil that threatens to destroy everything they hold dear, from their families to the town itself.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Not yet…lol…I just finished the first one!
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I was in an RPG writing group with friends. Skye was one of my first characters. She jumped into my head and soon her triplet sisters were born, Discovery was made, and the Born of the Blood series began.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No, the book was at first supposed to be a standalone. It wasn’t until I started writing that I realized each of the founding families, from the Davidsons to the Montgomery’s had a story to tell.
What’s a typical working day like for you?
I really don’t have a routine for my writing. I try to write in the mornings and in the evenings, but with a son that is homeschooled and being a freelance writer, sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I write when I can instead. Since starting with Bella Tulip Publishing I’ve tried to get back into my reading, so that I can support the wonderful authors we have.
When and where do you write?
I do my best writing in the mornings before the day gets hectic. I have an office where the majority of my writing is done.
Do you set a daily writing goal?
I try to set a daily writing goal but it never seems to work out. I try for 2k a day anyway.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I’m working on a fractured fairytale for an anthology at the moment. It’s titled Pipers Revenge. I’m also working on a young adult novel, which may be part of an upcoming series.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I think they are very important, which is why it takes me so long to come up with the perfect names for my characters. I may get halfway through the book and suddenly a different name for a character pops into my mind and I have to regroup and change it all.
Where do your ideas come from?
Many different places actually. A song I hear on the radio that has special meaning, a movie I watch, or even a conversation I overhear in a café.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I would have to say marketing and promotion. Finding the time to promote between writing and editing can be rough. I have an awesome PA in Ebony McMillian however. She’s keeping me on track and helping get things done.
What do you think of book trailers?
I love book trailers. I think they speak to what the book is about and elicit an emotional response in the readers who view them.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’m having a trailer created for Cursed and will use trailers for the majority of my future releases.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In the book world that would be writing The End on my first book and getting it ready for release.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Getting the words out of my mind and onto the page. I love inventing characters and bringing them to life.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing, but writing best sellers!
Have you always liked to write?
I started writing in middle school and have loved it ever since.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up! Keep putting one word at a time on paper until your story is told.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would go back to being a professional photographer. It’s something I still love.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Promoting and editing. Both are rough!
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Excerpt One from Cursed:
“Give her a break, Stormy, not everyone is as OCD as you are.” Savi said, sauntering past her sisters to the kitchen and lifting the lid on the steaming pot on the stove. “What are we having for dinner?”
Stormy swatted her hand, “Nothing you helped with, that’s for sure.” Savannah was the immature sister of the triplets and Stormy constantly tried to get her to own up to her responsibilities and help around the house—or hell, even help with the bills.
Stormy turned back, “So? What took you so long to get home from the shop?” She rushed over to her when she noticed Skye was pale as a sheet and helped her sit at the kitchen table as Savi placed a mug of steaming coffee in front of her. “What happened, sweetie?” She pressed, sitting down in front of her sister, watching as she wrapped her hands around the mug to warm them up.
Excerpt Two from Cursed:
Jordan turned, snickering rudely at the gorgeous woman standing in front of him, “The wolf getting the better of you again, Vicky? It seems that after all these centuries you would either be able to bed him or forget him.”
Victoria went to stand by the railing looking down on the cliffs below, “Like you haven’t had the same problem for centuries,” she almost whispered. “If you didn’t have to have Faith, then we wouldn’t be in this predicament to begin with. She didn’t love you, she loved him, and you couldn’t stand it. You had to seek your revenge and it’s doomed us to a feud that we can’t ever hope to win, dear brother. This wasn’t my fight but you pulled me into it. I never wanted to be what we are. I never wanted it and I hate it.”
“Don’t say that,” he growled, causing Victoria to flinch, knowing perfectly well how powerful her brother was and what he could do when angered. “I will have her and we will get back the land that is rightfully ours. The Davidson witches don’t belong here. We do and I’ll have this place, and her, before I’m done. If not, they will all die and they won’t be coming back this time!”
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve loved to read since I was old enough to read the words. My love of reading came from my mom. We read everywhere we went! I remember having a book in my hands every time we went somewhere.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I have so many favorite authors, it’s hard to name them all. Nora Roberts and Stephen King head the top of the list. I’m discovering new authors every day as well.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Stormy is my favorite so far of all the characters I’ve created. She’s strong willed, stubborn and very passionate about protecting her sisters and friends.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me. When I’m really into creating the story, it energizes me and I never want to stop writing.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I guess a little of both. I want to give the reader what they want but I want to get my story told at the same time.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve become friends with many authors since signing with Bella Tulip Publishing. They are great inspiration and giving you that needed push to keep writing and get your story out there for the world to read.
Cursed (Born of Blood Book 1)
Amazon Preorder Link:
Skye, Stormy, and Savannah Davidson are no different from the other residents of Discovery, Massachusetts, or so they think. As their 25th birthday approaches, the town begins to treat them with wariness and suspicion. Skye begins to believe the triplets are special. Can they solve the puzzle of their past to save the town from the evil forces that affect their future?