I am delighted to welcome today’s guest-blogger, author Cynthia Vespia. Cynthia was drawn to writing at a young age. After high school she established a successful career as a freelance journalist writing everything from features and fillers, to reviews and human interest stories.
Her first novel, a medieval fiction entitled The Crescent (iUniverse), was published in August 2005. The novel was unanimously praised as “an engaging, descriptive read” which prompted a sell-out at Borders Bookstore in less than one hour during the first official signing.
A short story, a satirical look at the afterlife titled Death’s Grand Design (Utterpants), was published online shortly thereafter and once again met with reviews that honored her attention to detail and the flow of her prose.
In May of 2006, Theater of Pain (Lulu.com) was released. This suspense thriller unfolds within the eccentric world of professional wrestling where competitors would do anything to reach the top…even murder.
Most recently, Cynthia has written her darkest novel to date with the release of Demon Hunter (AspenMountainPress.com) the story about a nobody who becomes a somebody in the bloodiest of ways. Following the tradition of dark fantasy and combining the concept of high-adventure, Demon Hunter examines both the light and dark side of human nature when a man learns he is fated to hunt demons before they corrupt mankind.
You sure have been busy writing! Has it always been in your blood?
CV: Well I’ve been writing since I was a kid. It’s always been a favorite pastime of mine. I love the creative process and everything that goes with it…dreaming up worlds, characters, and adventures. I like to think of my projects as character driven novels full of suspense as well as dark fantasy. Think of them as, “Real life situations that you could find yourself in but hope to God you never do.” In my spare time I enjoy reading, movies that involve strong plot/characters, and keeping active through various forms of martial arts and as an active fitness competitor.
I read alot. One of my favorite authors of all times is Dean Koontz. When I was in high school I picked up a copy of his novel Intensity and I became so enraptured by the story that I decided that was what I wanted to do. My inspiration was to have my novels touch and entertain my readers the same way Koontz had done for me.
MA: Your professional life, even before writing novels, involved writing. Tell us about that, and any cross-influences you experienced with the different writing styles.
CV: I’ve used my writing capabilities to enhance my career (freelance journalist; editorial director; head copywriter) but not the other way around. My characters invariably always have a touch of myself in them but they also are a mash-up of people I’ve met throughout this journey called life. I don’t necessarily do it by choice. Little idioms in my subconscious that stand out in one way or another from a particular person will weave their way into a character’s attributes. I just go with it.
MA: What about your current project? Tell us about Demon Hunter.
CV: There have been many solitary novels about werewolves, vampires, demons, and dragons in the past. My novel Demon Hunter: The Chosen One presents all of them in a dark and bone chilling adventure. It is the first in a trilogy.
Costa Calabrese has just uncovered the truth about his past. Some truths should never be revealed. When you learn you’re the son of the world’s foremost and feared hunter of demons, life’s rules inevitably change. As his lineage is uncovered he must stay one step ahead of the demons who are intent on the destruction of his famed family. With the aide of companions he meets along the way, Costa will travel the great expanse of the land walking in his famed father’s footsteps and taking up the role his blood line now demands of him…whether he wants to or not. He is a killer of killers, laying waste to the scourge of evil that threatens the existence of mankind. He is the chosen one. He is the Demon Hunter.
MA: You mentioned a trilogy…what will the next two books be about?
CV: Demon Hunter was always meant to be a trilogy of terror. The second installment Demon Hunter: Seek & Destroy came out around last Thanksgiving, and it reunites our heroes on another epic journey that starts on the high seas and ends in the pit of Hell! There is also a romance brewing in DH2. At the moment I’m currently writing the third and final installment of the DH series and I’ll let you in on a little secret, it is going to be something completely unexpected.
MA: That’s cool. Now, Costa sounds like an interesting character. Is he one of these extraordinary protagonists, almost superhuman? Or is he more down-to-earth?
CV: Costa is something of an “everyman” that is faced with difficult choices and responsibilities. His life is essentially turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In the beginning he’s very unsure of himself, he feels as though he has no real purpose to life and longs for something better. I believe each and every one of us has felt that way at one time or another. You may wish for something to change and then when you wind up getting your wish you find out things are just as hard, if not harder than they were before. For Costa finding out he has special attributes that stem from a lineage of hunters takes him by surprise. He finds he has to face down changes in himself that he may or may not be ready for.
MA: He sounds like an amazing hero. In addition to his demon-hunting lineage, does he have any special gifts or powers?
CV: Though at first he’s unaware of his particular strengths, Costa has the gift of foresight…a pretelling of certain events, almost premonitions in nature. Throughout the novel he will learn to draw upon many different strengths such as courage, perseverance, and intuition to help him through difficult challenges. It’s also nice to have your protag invested with some physical skills that make him a lethal weapon as well! As far as weaknesses it goes back to his early days where he felt unworthy and unsure of himself. That lack of self confidence is addressed throughout the story until Costa is able to overcome it.
MA: Now I suppose with your story’s premise, there’s all kinds of bad guys – er, bad entities, right?
CV: Demons run rampant throughout Demon Hunter…hey it’s in the very title after all! But it’s not just the grotesque spawn of the underworld that threaten our heroes, it’s also the demons in their own minds they have to contend with. There are past mistakes to be reconciled and future worries that plague them in their journey. But along the way they must face foes of admirable power such as Lord LeCarde…a twisted, soulless vampire leader determined to wipe out Costa’s entire family line and anyone else who crosses his path.
MA: I guess you probably don’t have any real-life experiences you draw from to form the characters and plotlines in Demon Hunter, or do you (please say no, please say no)?
CV: I do tend to draw from real-life when I’m writing. For Demon Hunter: The Chosen One I used the challenges and changes I faced during my five years as a fitness competitor. Competing helped me to understand facets of myself that I may not have uncovered otherwise. I used these learning experiences for Costa’s own journey from a simple farm hand into the new hunter of demons.
MA: (lets out a sigh of relief) Okay, I guess those are not so bad to draw from…was worried you may have had an actual demon encounter. So what’s in your writing future?
CV: I plan to continue to write until I can do it no longer! I’ve got quite a collection of ideas swarming around in my head. I’m also focusing on rewriting the screenplay for my novel The Crescent. I’m looking to get the film in production within the next year. Interested parties should visit project page at: http://cynthiavespia.com/Book_Titles/Crescent/Crescent_Movie/crescent_movie.html
MA: Well, you earned that plug! I want to thank you for stopping by to visit with me today. If anyone out there can help Cynthia with her screenplay project, please be sure to check out her link, above. In the meantime, I invite all my readers to check out Cynthia at her website, as well as her publisher’s site: