MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR HARGROVE PERTH
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Hargrove Perth. I write across multiple genres including fantasy, paranormal, horror, dysptopian, steampunk, and gothic in YA, New Adult, and traditional. Most of my novels have a bit of romance in them, not enough to be classified as romances, but just enough to touch on the relationships of the characters.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The Moonlight Cove Series touches on the hardships of a particular family, the Morte family, who live in one of 13 immortal friendly cities scattered around the world. This series features a school that is for immortals, witches, vampires, descendants of ancient Gods/Goddesses etc that are all identified by the medallion they are forced to wear. Each sect is required to marry within their same clan archetype, and there are common misconceptions about all of the residents. Some of my inspiration comes from modern events, where it seems as a whole we aren’t always able to see the value someone has just as being a human being but yet instead label them. History and arranged marriages also played a part in it.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love the monsters. I always have loved horror/paranormal since I was a little girl. Late nights, staying up to watch horror movies with my dad, I was the kid who wanted the monster to get his girl, for Mina and Dracula to live happily ever after, for the Creature from the Black Lagoon to find true love, I even cried during Frankenstein. I guess I love them because no one else does.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
There was a lot of research about the structure of the Egyptian Gods/Goddesses pantheon since they are featured prominently in book two. Each book had a great deal of research that went into it. Book one features a few of the Egyptian Gods but is centered around a dangerous vampire, so I needed to know what things repelled them other than the common items. The third book is also heavily inspired by the Egyptian Gods. Book four has a Fae hierarchy so learning additional information about the Seelie and Unseelie Court was important. My family heritage is Irish, so I did know a good bit from stories but there was so much more that I discovered. That’s the fascinating part when writing a book, I always learn something that I didn’t know. It’s easy to get engrossed in just the research portion.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Moonlight Cove is a parallel existence to the human world. The immortals of the world sought refuge in 13 friendly cities scattered across the world to escape persecution and old prejudices, only to create their own. Book One, 3 Minutes Till Midnight features the beginning tale of the Morte family, and their heroine Peculiar Morte. She is faced with a decision that will change not only the dynamics of her own family forever but also the entire town of Moonlight Cove to save those she loves. Book two, 3 Kisses at Midnight tells the tale about Peculiar’s nieces, Julia and Lorelei, following a particularly harrowing year in the life of Julia, where she is forced to realize the paranormal is real after being taken to live with her Aunt Peculiar. Once in Moonlight Cove, Julia understands her destiny. The loss she’s harbored was meant to strengthen her so change can happen. Book Three, 3 Spells at Midnight begins with the arrival of an immortal in Moonlight Cove, one that is somehow tied to Lorelei whose intentions are not what they seem. Julia is always the skeptic. Lorelei is always the ever optimistic sister that believes it’s all a grand adventure with a tale begging to be told. As the story slowly unravels, Lorelei is placed in grave danger where only the Egyptian Gods can change the hands of fate. Book Four, 3 Pixies at Midnight begins with a storm, a storm that foretells the arrival of another immortal in Moonlight Cove. 3 Pixie Enforcers are on the hunt, searching for the Fae King that’s fled his responsibilities. When Lorelei learns the reason behind the flight of the King, she becomes determined to step in and change their laws. Book Five is currently in the works. It will be called 3 Moonshadows.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I love Peculiar, so book one and two are my favorites. Peculiar’s sacrifice is heart-wrenching, yet she so strong and unwilling to yield to what she believes is wrong, not only for her but also for the entire immortal community.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I see so many stories online where teens are bullied that I wanted to write a series about how it is okay to just be you, to embrace who you are and to put the bullies in their place by living your life your way. All of my books feature very strong female leads. It’s my hope that anyone that reads any of my books can find the messages inside that it’s okay to be you, you are perfect just the way you are.
Was it always meant to become a series?
The story of the Morte family must be a series, since it involves multiple generations, and Lorelei is a bit of a busy-body, always thinking she has to help fix everyone’s problems so she inserts herself into other immortals lives whether they think they need help or not.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I work a regular 40 hour a week job just like so many other authors. I never set a writing goal, which is odd to other authors. I sometimes might now write for weeks and sit down, write 70 pages on a Saturday then not write again for two days. All my stories begin with a title that just pops into my head, then the characters reveal themselves, then the storyline erupts onto the page. I am really blessed how writing works for me.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I do! Thank you so much for asking. When the Rooster Crows at Midnight is a paranormal detective story. Witches are dying, found with their hearts removed and their signet rings missing. Not just any witches, but Bequeaths, the highest ranking witches in the world, which results in Mallory Shane being assigned as lead detective. It quickly becomes clear the murderer is after only the royal bloodline Bequeaths, when not a single Hedge witch is among the dead. As the body toll begins to rise, Mallory must solve the case before the Rooster Crows at Midnight for her.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Strangely enough, my characters sort of name themselves. I do strive for character names that are original, something that sticks with the reader. If a name pops into my head and I don’t like it, I scrap it and wait to see what else will reveal itself. Often, I write their names like it’s their signature to see what it looks like before settling on it.
Where do your ideas come from?
I really can’t explain how that process works. Titles just pop into my head then I roll with it. I write multiple books at the same time. There’s at least 30 unfinished manuscripts on my drive. I write in whatever one is calling to me the most.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
In the Blood Tithe Series, I touched on a blend of noir merged with a gothic tone. I really liked the idea of writing a detective series, which was how Mallory Shane was born. I would like to try expanding writing a noir detective series, a paranormal one. When the Rooster Crows doesn’t have that noir feel to it. I felt it was important to try my hand at writing a paranormal detective novel first before stepping into the noir realm.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time to write is hard for me some days. Since I work 40 hours a week, being on the computer for a solid 3 to 5 hours a night is not the greatest for a marriage, so there has to be a balance. Sometimes, that is hard to achieve.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I do like book trailers. I’ve done several for my books. I’m not certain how much they lend credence to book sales, but I think they can be a beautiful addition to a novel’s portfolio. (I have a graphic design company, so it’s a little easier for me.)
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
I have won several awards, yet honestly for me, it’s the number of books that I’ve published. I’ve written 49 books since 2010 when my first novel was published. Not all of them are currently available since I wanted to revise them a little. Your craft changes, writing styles evolve, I always want my books to be the best they can be for the reader. Those books were all written in my spare time, and only 3 of them are novellas. I am really proud of that.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
For me, the best thing about being an author is the fans. Hearing from someone, them telling you how much they loved a book or how it impacted them, there simply isn’t anything better.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope I’ll still be writing, and being able to do shows where I can meet more readers and other authors.
Have you always liked to write?
Writing has always been an intricate part of my makeup as a person. Composition class in middle school was the most amazing hour to me. I’ve never lost that sense of wonder. I hope I never do.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t get discouraged. Success doesn’t come overnight. It’s hard work. The rewards are small. Don’t give up, and don’t write because you think you will be famous. Chances are you won’t be, you’ll have a small following of dedicated fans. Write because it means something to you, and always put forth the best product you can.
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 love to be an interior designer. I have a talent for putting odd things together that look great. My house is a great example of how mixing styles can be fabulous. I decorate with what appeals to me, not with what should go together.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do and I don’t, that’s a loaded reply, I know. I stopped going to places like Goodreads because people there are posting reviews on a pretty famous author’s book… that hasn’t even released yet and isn’t due to release for another five months. When there’s not a procedure in place to prevent people from driving a book into a far off, obscure cave someplace, I stay away. I do read the reviews other places. I use them to improve my craft. I also do not take them to heart. You can’t. Being an author is hard. You have to have thick skin. If I didn’t, I’d probably cry…. A lot! I never reply.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
I think mine is the same as any other author, the editing and read through process before sending it to an editor or beta readers. That’s were self doubt can easily come into play.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress? From When the Rooster Crows at Midnight
Darkness envelopes me, a thick darkness that clings to my skin, bordering on stealing my breath as I’m drawn, nearly forced against my will, to stare at the weather vane.
They’ve frightened me since I was a child, seeing that one atop the orphanage staring down at me. Mistress Connelly telling me their origins, how the Ancient Romans also used weather vanes, how they were a very mystical creation. In the ninth century A.D., the Pope decreed that the cock, or rooster, be used as a weather vane on church domes or steeples, perhaps as a symbol of Christianity, referring to Jesus’ prophecy that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crows the morning after the Last Supper. She told us how the Witch Finder General used a witch to enchant all the weather vanes in England so they would point toward the home of a witch.
She thumbed her nose at all of it, sticking that rooster weather vane atop the orphanage like a giant screw you to the whole history of it.
Those stories made me shudder, filling me with inexplicable dread. Now here I stand, staring at it as though some compulsion spell has been cast against me, unable to look away, unwilling to look away. A weather vane, atop an old building in downtown Pittsburgh that has no reason to be there but one irrefutable reason, a witch will die.
I can hear the downbeat of the bird’s wings, pushing the air with a distinctive sound, while flying through the darkness. It circles me, taunting me as it glides through the thick mist, nearly leaving a visible path.
The rooster lands on the weather vane, stretching its wings while mocking me. His chest expands, readying to launch the sound all witches fear.
It’s the crow that calls a witch’s death at midnight.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I just love the monsters… and you can put a monster in any book. They don’t have to be immortal.
Where did your love of books come from?
My parents were, and are, avid readers. They both have huge libraries in their houses.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I am a huge fan of Algernon Blackwood, Bram Stoker, Fred Saberhagen, and the earlier works of Anne Rice (Mayfair Witches to be precise). I also love the Lord of the Rings and other classics. For Modern writers, Neil Gaiman is one of my favorites.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
That is really hard to answer because each of them is so unique and independent of each other. I honestly can say I have a favorite for each book or series. Right now I am enamored with Gunnar Kyle from the Blood Tithe Series. She’s rough around the edges, brutally honest, but real. She has to be… working as a hunter/detective in dystopian London after the outbreak.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Honestly, it can do both. I can write for hours then not be able to sleep because I am so excited, so wrapped up in the storyline. But if a favorite character is being killed, written out the series, that can be exhausting.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Doubt. I think doubt is present for all authors. The second is social media. It has the ability to really make you feel like a failure as an author, when the successes of others are plastered all over your feed. That really forces doubt to creep in, making you wonder what you are doing wrong, are your books not good enough, should I give up?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
To be brutally honest, I write the story that unravels in my head as the characters scream it out. Originality is always important. I’ve never, never been one to follow trends, and sometimes I honestly believe that is what hurts me as an author. I write the stories that are mine, no one else’s, and I don’t follow trends. If I did, I might sell a lot more books. That’s just not me. I’ve never been a trend follower, even in my personal life. The story is important to me. Bottom line.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Rowan O’Neill, Cj Bahr, Tamela Miles, and JA Stone. They give me honest feedback, which is important to me, let me know what needs work, where a storyline might not be as strong as it needs. I appreciate that. Nothing is perfect on a first write. Nothing.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
ME: The Musings of a 50 Something, Slightly Sarcastic, Brutally Honest Author.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
For me it would be what makes you happy?
I know, super cliché. Here’s the thing about that question. Everyone has something, one little thing, that provides them with pure bliss. Mine is writing. That’s not a joke or being cliché just for the sake of the interview. Being able to become lost in a world that’s not my own, where all cares fall away, where all problems disappear, where all that’s there is where you are, what you are writing – that’s happiness for me.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/hargroveperth/
Book Sprout : https://booksprout.co/author/3491/hargrove-perth
Official website: www.theparanormalquill.net
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview and allowing me to speak openly about myself and my books.