Meet Author Keta Diablo & A Contest
CONTEST: TWO People who comment will win a copy of The Sin Eater's Prince, the latest release from Keta Diablo.
Tell us about your latest release. What inspired it?
First of all, thank you so much for having me, Dawn. I appreciate the opportunity to chat with your fans and readers.
The Sin Eater’s Prince was born out of a short story I wrote for an anthology called Boys of the Bite. Edited by Cecelia Tan, the anthology was released by Ravenous Romance in the fall of 2009. Soon after, Lori Perkins, agent and one of the owners of Ravenous, asked me to develop the short story into a full-length novel. It didn’t take much convincing on her part.
Like so many readers/writers today, I’m fascinated with the concept of vampires and all other undead creatures. This includes, werewolves and zombies, put in particular, I love to research historical witches, druids, magic and sorcery.
What originally drew me to the concept of The Sin Eater’s Prince or the basis for the plot was a true story I read about sin eaters. Long ago in England, Ireland and Wales most of the villages had a sin eater in their midst. This person was shunned by the inhabitants and only called upon when someone was near death or had died. He would arrive (they were 99 percent males), eat what they called the dead cakes—a small loaf of bread—and take on the sins of the deceased. This was a wide-sweeping practice in these countries and practiced faithfully. Most believed if the sin eater didn’t take away the dying person’s sins, the person would wander the halls of oblivion forever.
Who are your literary heros and why?
I’ll take a hero any day that has the ability to laugh at himself. Like for instance, he’s chasing the villain and he falls off his horse. Even though it would be very poor timing, I’d find that funny and hope he would do. Being breath-stopping gorgeous wouldn’t be too bad either, but if he doesn’t have a sense of humor it wouldn’t matter if he looked like the archangel, Michael.
Too, he can be utterly deadly and dangerous if need be, but never with the woman he loves.
What do you enjoy reading?
I’m very picky about what I read because I have so very little time to devote to this wonderful pastime. When I do read, it’s almost always a book that’s come highly recommended by another author or several readers. I’m one of those peeps who pay close attention to reviews and, yes, I do follow them closely.
Of course I love To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and wish she would have written more books. At least once a year I re-read a book titled Windflower from the 1980’s (I believe) by Laura London. This is a historical/pirate themed book and for some reason the novel resonates with me. I love the character descriptions and laugh through many scenes while reading about Merry, the heroine, trying to get herself out of one jam or another. I think it’s one of those books you either love to death or dislike.
I do read Helen Kirkman and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase any of her books. Her writing is phenomenal, her prose emotional and rich. One day I have to e-mail Ms. Kirkman and tell her how much I enjoy her books. The last one I just finished that she wrote is called Forbidden.
Tell us five random things about yourself.
1) I grew up in a house full of boys and have the scars to prove it. (lol). None will claim any of my battle injuries, but I assure you they all had a hand in them at one time or another. I still wonder how I ever survived childhood and ask my mother where in the heck she was when I almost drowned, got hit by a utility truck, got stabbed in the hand with a knife and hit in the head with a baseball bat.
2) I’m a loner most of the time, except for my beloved pets.
3) In that same vein, I spend far too much time at my local animal shelter wondering how I can save the cats and dogs that been abandoned, neglected and abused.
4) Unlike most women (I think) I detest shopping in malls and always shop on-line. (See number 2 – a loner).
5) I love animals, soy candles, scented bath salts, books, stationary, reading, gardening and most of all, what else . . .writing.
When it comes to writing, are you an early bird, or a night owl?
If I had my druthers, I’d be a night owl and am most of the time. When I’m on a deadline crunch, which is happening more often lately, I’m up at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes I don’t know whether I’ve woken up at 7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. I know, sad.
How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
I have wonderful publishers and I’m very thankful for that. I write most of the time for Phaze Publishing and Ravenous Romance and couldn’t ask for better fits. Occasionally I write for Noble Romance and the Dark Roast Press, but my time to spread myself out is getting thinner and thinner these days.
As for advice to novice authors, I don’t feel I’m terribly qualified to offer much advice. Two things come to mind: Do your homework about publishers before you sign that contract, and always remember that writing the book is only one-third of the battle. Next you have to promote and sell your baby if you want the good publishers to stick with you.
What book are you reading now?
This is laughable. My children usually purchase gift certificates from Barnes and Noble for my birthday and X-Mas. I still have 12 books sitting on the ledge above my bureau from last year I haven’t read yet. Don’t tell them; they might stop buying me gift certificates.
If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?
1) Did you know that one of out eight children in the US goes to bed hungry every night? This bothers me terribly that we live in the greatest Nation in the world and our children are starving. It goes without saying that the first law I would enact is FREE food for children, 24/7.
2) Along with that I’d enact a law guaranteeing that all women and children had health insurance and I hope I’d be able to do that without overhauling our entire health system at the cost of billions of dollars.
3) The third law I’d enact would involve the care of neglected/abandoned pets. I’d make sure funds were available to provide care for all animal shelters in the country, and along with that educate the public about what happens to pets when they’re abandoned. So many people buy animals before they think about the responsibility. After the holidays, literally thousands of dogs and cats are brought to the shelters because they “cute” little Christmas present for Susie didn’t work out so well.
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
Oh, boy. I’m obsessive in almost everything I engage in—this would include writing. I’m a very loyal friend, and I treasure family above all else in the world.
The world has ended and the apocalypse has happened. What one thing would you miss the most (i. e.: cell phones, soap, chocolate, etc)?
First my coffee and second, the Internet (lol) and being cut off from everything I love about it.
You are told you have to meet one paranormal creature, no safeguards, what do you choose? What do you bring with you?
I’d choose to meet a time-traveler and ask him if I could travel with him for a while. Then I’d bring as much medicine as I could pack, i.e., antibiotics, aspirin, and my purse, because whatever I forgot I guarantee you’ll find it in my purse.
You have to ask a fictional character out on a date—who would you ask and what would you do together?
A highland warrior and I’d ask for a hands-on (and I do mean hands-on) tour of Scotland and Wales.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Thank you so much for asking. I love to hear from friends and readers, so please check out my blogs. Send me an e-mail or at the very least follow my blogs.
And thanks again, Dawn, for the nice chat. It was fun!
You can find Keta here on the Internet:
Author Home: http://ketadiablo.blogspot.com/
Keta’s Haunt: http://www.ketadiablo.com/
Keta’s Keep: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com/
Gay Fiction Blog: http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com/
Keta on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo
THE SIN EATER’S PRINCE (Gay fiction/vampire)
Ravenous Romance, http://www.ravenousromance.com/
Setup: Owen has just discovered the man he loves, Andras, is a vampire. He thumbs through the pages of his father’s history books to learn more about the undead.
Excerpt of The Sin Eater's Prince:
An innate sense of curiosity drew Owen to the hearth, specifically to the nearby wooden crate. Shortly after his father passed, he’d relegated the man’s meager possessions and his collection of cherished books to the trunk and hadn’t looked at the contents since. If memory served him, he’d find not only several volumes on Welsh history, but another on legend and lore of Wales.
Removing the lid from the crate, he sorted through the books until he found what he searched for, Demons and Other Mystical Creatures of Wales. Thumbing through the pages quickly, he found the chapter entitled Lords of the Underworld: Vampyres.
He swallowed the lump in his throat and scanned the page, his eyes settling on a passage in the middle: The vampyre is the most dreaded and feared creature of the supernatural world. He’s not only obtained immortality, but has the ability to alter his appearance, fly through the night sky, and traverse the ground under the guise of the wolf or a wisp of smoke. After seducing his victims through hypnotic measures or mind control, the vampyre will drain them of their blood thereby bolstering his strength and power. A vampyre might possess beauty beyond one’s imagination or be hideously marked.
Owen’s heart launched into a triple beat and a fine bead of sweat broke out on his forehead. The mouth is thought to be the way the soul leaves the body, and also the way evil spirits are allowed to enter. If one has slain a vampyre in Wales, it is advised the mouth be stuffed with a consecrated object or stitched shut and sprinkled with holy water.
Owen turned the page with an acute sense of trepidation and read his third and final passage: Spiritual vampyres draw the life energy from their victims and at times, their very souls. This species of vampyre does not merely feed on blood but the victim’s essence in order to survive.
He slammed the book shut, tossed it back into the crate and replaced the lid. Then he rose and paced the cottage, the words from the tome tumbling through his head. He didn’t need to read the passages to know Maddock was a vampire; the man had admitted it. What he wouldn’t give to have known Andras before he arrived in Pembrokeshire. Had he always possessed such unearthly beauty or had he accrued it since Traherne turned him?
And what species of long tooth was Traherne? Had he not only fed on Andras’s blood, but sucked the very soul from the man? Andras, soulless? Nay, it could not be. He’d witnessed innumerable acts of compassion from the man while ministering to the sick, watched his eyes flood with empathy when they passed into the other world.
His intestines wound their way into a reef knot. Had Maddock played him false with his words of coveting him from afar and holding a place for him in his heart? Were those the words of a demon possessed of hypnotic capabilities or the words of a man who cared deeply?
The questions festered and churned until Owen knew only one thing: Maddock was a very dark and very beautiful vampire.