Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mayan Craving: Guest Interview with A.S. Fenichel

Hi Pam. Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m so excited about being here and about the release of my latest book, Mayan Craving. I’ve been running around telling everyone about the book.

1. How did you become interested in Mayan history?

I was a Humanities and Social Science major in college. I had to take all those courses that end in OLOGY. My favorite was archeology. It was also one of the hardest classes. My professor spent a lot of time on the Pre-Columbian cultures, Maya, Aztec, Toltec and Olmec. I tucked all that information away for a few decades (ahem). When an End of Days story popped into my head, I dusted off all that old information. I still had to do a lot of new research. My memory is not that good. ;)

2. Share a little bit of your perspective regarding the Mayan End of Days:

I know it would probably sell more books if I was a believer. It would be good publicity to say that on December 21, 2012 the Earth will lose polarity and we’ll all go flying off into space. However, all the research I’ve done has taught me that the Maya, still living in Mexico, refute any claims to the predictions of the end of the world. They say that it is purely a Western fabrication. A calendar is ending, but many Mayan calendars have ended in the past and they have more for the future. I remain neutral and patiently await the dawn of December 22, 2012. :-)

3. If you weren't a writer, what other career would you have chosen?

Being a writer is my dream job. For a while I wanted to be a Broadway actress, but it was impractical at the time. I wanted to eat. :-) I have been a Customer Service Representative and then the manager. I have also been a Logistics Expert and the Director of Supply Chain. Before being lucky enough to be able to write full time, I worked in NYC as an IT Specialist for a fashion company.

 I really can’t think of anything better than being an author.

4. What was one of the most interesting jobs you had?

In 2003 I was offered an opportunity to work overseas. I jumped at the chance. I moved to the Netherlands and lived there for seven months. What a fantastic experience! I worked in IT but the interesting part was being able to hop on a train and spend the weekend in Paris or Belgium. I often took the short flight over to London. It was a great way to see Europe. I had a blast and made a lot of very precious friends.

5. What inspired you to write paranormal romance?

I am an avid reader like most writers. I love a good romance novel. I like all the speculation around paranormal. So many people, myself included, believe in the possibility of something more.

The idea for my first book, Mayan Afterglow, came from a call for entries that I saw online. I had just had a dream about a thief in a castle. I put the two together and wrote Mayan Afterglow. A book which has nothing to do with castles, but I was so happy to have a place to put that dream, I made some adjustments to the time period and circumstances. I hope that answers the question. :-)

6. Tell the readers about your writing journey. When did you start writing and what were some lessons you learned on your path to publication?

I have told this story before, so forgive me if you’ve already heard it.

I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl but I never wrote a single story down until I was a freshman in college. I had an English professor who made us write a short story. That was the first time it occurred to me that the people living in my head, might want to come out and play. Once the door was open, there was no stopping the regular flow of characters that tumble in and out of my head.

Writing is easy, getting published was almost impossible! I had a full time job and little time for promoting myself or editing. There always seems time to write, but the really hard part, is the editing. At least for me, some writers love it. With the help of some wonderful writing organizations, I learned that I needed critique partners. Basically, I had to become a better writer and very few people can do that on their own. We all need brutally honest friends to tell us what works and what doesn’t.

After finishing Mayan Afterglow, I submitted the story and it was rejected. I thought this was my own personal End-of Days. I was ready to give up submitting, not writing, mind you. I could never give up writing, but the idea of more rejection was debilitating. I have a very good friend, Shelley Freydont, who is a wonderful multi-published author. When I told her I’d had enough, she pulled a face and told me not to be silly (she may have used a stronger word) :-) and just submit the story somewhere else. I took her advice and a month later I got “THE CALL!” Ellora’s Cave was interested in publishing my book! I danced the for days. 

It took me over fifteen years to get published. I’d like to give a little advice to aspiring writers. First, never give up, no matter how many rejections you receive. Then, get involved with local writing groups like Romance Writers of America http://www.rwa.org/. They have a chapter in almost every city and region in the country and several on-line chapters as well. If you don’t write romance check around locally and see what other groups are available. You’ll be surprised how many other writers are out there struggling with the same issues, and how willing published authors are to give advice and help you. Most importantly, keep writing and keep submitting. Keep getting better at your craft until one day, voila, someone wants to publish your book.

7. Who are some of your favorite authors? Books? 

I love Eloisa James and Karen Marie Moning. I’m reading some of their books right now. I could read Pride and Prejudice every day for the rest of my life and be happy. Jeanette Walls, Glass Castle is brilliant. I adored the Harry Potter books. I could probably go on for days. Let’s just say, “I love books.” 

I’d love to tell you a little bit about my latest book, Mayan Craving. I’m really stoked about this book. My wonderful Publisher, Ellora’s Cave, has done an amazing job helping me get this book ready for print. The cover is sizzling and perfectly fits the kind of Dark, post-apocalyptic theme, while still letting the reader know that this is definitely a sexy erotic romance. I think the hottie on the front goes a long way too. 

Pam, I’ve had such a great time with you today. Thanks again for having me. 

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt from chapter one of Mayan Craving. Enjoy! 

Surviving the End of Days was only the beginning of the journey for Nancy. After years of searching, she’s finally found her missing sister, but when she attempts to rescue Robyn, she enters her worst nightmare. Captured by demons and about to be sacrificed, Asher is her unexpected hero. Asher’s kindness and bravery arouse her lust, and leave her wanting much more than just his friendship. 

Asher has been in love with Nancy since he first laid eyes on her, but her infatuation with another man always left him standing in the background. Her sudden craving for him couldn’t turn him on more. He can’t help finding rapture with Nancy, but the attraction could only be fleeting. 

While danger and passion pull them together, doubt may rip them apart. They’ll need more than a carnal connection if they’re to survive. 

You can buy Mayan Craving from Ellora’s Cave. http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10057-mayan-craving.aspx 
Also available on Amazon, BN and where Ebooks are sold. 


Other Links 

Web site http://www.asfenichel.com 
Blog http://www.asfenichel.com/Blog--Mayan-Mentions.html 
Like A.S. on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel 
Follow A.S. on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/asfenichel 

An Excerpt From: MAYAN CRAVING 

Copyright © A.S. FENICHEL, 2012 

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc. 

Chapter One 

“Damn her,” Asher Dove muttered over the droning Cessna’s engines. 

“What was she thinking, going out here all alone?” He’d asked himself the same question over and over since setting out to find Nancy. 

The closer to the Yucatan peninsula Asher flew, the more the sky blossomed with familiar dark-red clouds, just as it had five years earlier after the End of Days. The sky had clouded over, leaving most of the Earth in shadow. Some said that the heavens had burned. Once the Lord of the Dead, Mictlantecuhtli, or Mictlan, as they called him, was defeated, those red, ominous clouds had parted and slowly disappeared, allowing the land to live again. 

Mictlan had nearly conquered the Earth. If he had succeeded, everyone who Asher loved would be a servant to Mictlan. However, humans had banded together to defeat the Lord of the Dead all those years ago. Unfortunately, it looked as if they had not done enough. 

He prayed that Nancy hadn’t been picked up by any demon patrols. Asher focused his attention on the single-lane highway below, searching for any sign of her. The roads she’d have to have taken stretched over eight hundred miles, a lot of ground to cover. A glint of metal caught his attention and he circled back for another look. He spotted a Jeep parked on the road about twenty miles west of Acayucan. His heart leaped. Nancy. 

From the air it looked intact, but he could see no sign of the young woman driver. Before he could land and investigate further, something else caught his eye. Coming toward him from the south, a massive beast loomed dark against the red clouds. 

“Shit,” Asher swore. “Dragon.” 

An attempt to veer off to the right failed as the dragon moved too fast and slammed into the front of the plane. The impact rammed Asher back against his seat, but by some miracle, he managed to keep his hands on the yoke. The Cessna bucked against the added weight and plummeted toward the Earth. 

“Not good.” Pulling back to keep the plane’s front end up, his heart leaped into his throat as the desert grew larger in the window. 

The dragon’s blood-red eyes stared back at him while the black, snake-like body clung to the nose of the plane. Twenty feet of leathery wings beat against the wind-shear, creating a tug of war between Asher and the yoke. Even over the wind and engine noise, those tremendous wings battered the air like thunder. Asher ignored the cacophony of noise pummeling his eardrums and the strain on his muscles. 

As the land grew closer, Asher pulled back, hoping to glide in rather than collide with the ground. His shoulders and arms screamed with pain as the dragon’s weight made controlling the descent nearly impossible. 

“You are going to die now, little pilot. Join me and I will spare your life.”  

About the Author: A.S. Fenichel adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She now lives in the southwest with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history and puttering in her garden.


PamelaTurner said...

Thank you to A.S. Fenichel for being my guest today. Enjoyed having you here. :-)

Shannon Donnelly said...

So is the new Mayan calendar found going to require updating of your stories?


(By the way, I read Mayan Craving -- the story's great, very fast paced.)