Thursday, April 16, 2015

Author Interview: Zoe Ambler + Excerpt from The Road of Darkness!

The awesome Zoe Ambler is the first author I'v had the privilege to interview. She hails from Small Town, Alabama just like your truly. I enjoy following her on her blog and I've added her book to my never-ending To-Be-Read list. Please be sure to show her lots of love and be sure to check out her book, The Road of Darkness!! 

·         When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
·         About 15 years ago. I was dabbling in Fan-fiction writing, and then I got into Online Role Play Games where the actions were written out between you and your adversaries/friends/lovers etc.. I've always been an artistic type.
·         How many books have you written?
·         In all I have about twenty books on my hard drive and saved drive. I've only published one so far. Many more to come. :)
·         What are you currently working on?
·         Book Two to follow up my published The Road of Darkness. It's entitled The Path of Redemption.
·         Which of your books was the hardest to write?
·         The Path of Redemption. Mostly because I have three different endings, and all are great, so it's hard to put my money on which one I want to use for certain.
·         What do you do when you’re not writing?
·         Role Play Game Writing with other folks, working on novels already written, editing and revising, and I also get sucked into the Netflix Vortex of Doom. And then there is my Zombie Apocalypse Obsession that we won't even get into... >_>
·         What is the strangest writing habit that you have?
·         I talk to my cat. Ask her input, if she has any ideas. I also create custom playlists on Media Player. I have to have a 'Character Score'.
·         What inspires your stories?
·         Oh, wow. That could be anything. I could hear a moving piece of music, or see something while I'm at the coffee shop and wonder 'what if...', and then there is all the stuff with the RPG writing.
·         What advice would you give aspiring writers?
·         Don't quit. We all hit snags and forks in the road. And never let anyone discourage you by telling you your writing isn't 'work'.
·         What book could you read over and over again?
·         I can't pick just one. That's impossible. Area 187: Almost Hell by Eric Lowther, It and The Stand by Stephen King, The Feed Trilogy by Mira Grant...
·         What famous person would you love to have as a fan of your work?
·         Anne Rice... Stephen King... Eric R Lowther... Mira Grant...
·         If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have ONE character from a book on the island with you, who would it be and why?
·         Wow... another toughie. Probably John Heath from Eric R Lowthers Area 187: Almost Hell. He's a survivor and could live and thrive anywhere.

Book Summary:

The Road of Darkness is the story of Addison. She’s a young Southern Belle in early 1700 Louisiana with a love for Voodoo. She’s a child of privilege, but never really let it go to her head. She was always a little odd.
On an innocent outing, Addison falls prey to a supernatural predator. A vampire. He attacks and turns her, then leaves her to lost and alone with this new hunger for blood. However, unlike most, she embraces this new ‘life’. She finds delight in it. A darkness grows within her.
Like any young vampire left to fend for themselves, she stumbles in her new existence. She meets others here and there, and the world of the paranormal opens up to her.
Due in part to her thrill of bloodlust, she becomes fascinated with war. Soon she is moving from country to country, war to war. Mans evolution and technology in the art of warfare intrigues her.
Through her time and adventures, she has fleeting bits of both happiness and sorrow. The darkness within her will only allow her so much happiness.
Her link with all things Voodoo brings her into the servitude of the Baron Semedi, demi-god of the Underworld. A deal gone bad. It only serves to deepen that darkness.
Can anyone help her before she does irrevocable damage to both an entire city of innocent people…and herself?

Book Excerpt

Chapter 11

Once in the quiet streets leading out of Kyoto, she moved in closer to her prey. In the shadows between dim street lamps and into the dark the surrounding mountains provided, she made her attack. She brought her broadsword high, though her attack was only half-hearted. The man turned, his eyes flickering red as he withdrew a Katana, countering her attack with ease. Though her sword was bigger, thicker, she wielded the weapon so clumsily. For each strike at him she attempted, he countered, slicing her flesh here and there, and she had yet to make a single mark on the Asian man.
The man sneered at her. "Foolish woman...I'll see you dead..." He hissed out. Addison just smiled ever so sweet, lunging at him once again. Her brute force met with graceful fluid movement, ending with the man disarming her. She leapt back, slinging a dagger at him, catching him in the shoulder. With a growl, he freed it, the wound healing within moments as he advanced on her once again.
She stood her ground and bared her fangs at him. He paused in his steps. "What do you want?" He sneered. "Teach me." She replied.

He straightened himself, clicking his tongue at her. "Teach you what? I'm sure you already know how to be a vampire quite well." He said his Japanese accent thick.

She approached him, her dark locks falling over one shoulder as she picked up her broadsword. She stood near him, reaching out to touch the Katana in his hands. "Teach me to use this."

He rolled his red eyes, running a hand through his hair. "Me? Teach you, a woman? Don't be absurd. Go back to where you came and do not forget that beast of a sword you swing so stupid with you." He turned to leave her, but she wouldn't let go without more of a fight.

She grabbed him by the elbow. "You will release me, woman." He snarled. Addison let go, but blocked his path. "Oh, stop it with your high and mighty attitude. I may be a woman, but I am no weaker than you. Teach me to use a blade of your kind. It's beautiful, graceful and dignified."
He looked down his nose at her. "It will take many years, and I do not think I could tolerate you for such a time. It is more than just knowing how to swing the blade. Look at you; you do not even dress proper!"

"I'm not Japanese. And I don't care about all the trivial details such as Bushido and the likes. I just want to move the way you do, the elegance, the deadly grace." She offered, trying to compliment him, despite his snobbery.

"You cannot have one without the other, stupid woman." He growled out.
"Then teach me." She pressed. "What else do you have to do? Sit in dark bars drinking sake all night, trying to drown out the past with alcohol? Keeping yourself holed up in that little shack of yours?" She smiled. Yes, she'd been studying him for quite some time. She did indeed know a thing or two about stealth.

Her words took him back in surprise. She'd been spying on him! He looked her up and down. She stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle of Japan, as she was as obvious American, and had an odd accent on top of that. He contemplated for a few moments.

"Fine, I will teach you. But I expect compensation. You will provide my meals...tend to my house. You will do everything I instruct. And you will dress proper for training." He huffed out, turning from her to head off into the dark trails that led to his home in the mountains just northwest of Kyoto. Addison gave a gleeful smile and followed.

He was reluctant to teach her after she near begged. He was a cold one, like her, though she tried to present herself as upbeat. Addison fought to contain her thrill when Jakusu relented to her. His compliance to teach her how to use a Katana, as well as other fighting styles was something of her dreams. But, he had demands of his own that seemed silly.

Addison agreed to most of his terms. She did his hunting for him. She brought victims back to his secluded little dojo hidden within the forests of the mountains out skirting Kyoto. She cleaned the place from top to bottom nightly before any training or teaching would begin.

When not training, she would badger him with questions. His annoyance with her constant questioning led to bickering, yet they grew to be very close friends. After some time, he told her his story; of his turning in the midst of battle when he was just out of his teens so many centuries ago.
Addison, more often than not, hung on every word Jakusu had to say. He became more comfortable with her, letting his guard down. They fell into a beneficial student/teacher relationship. Her body was easy to mimic the movements and flow of all he taught her; an apt pupil.

Both were stubborn individuals however, and at times, their sparring got a little carried away. They argued as they sparred. Addison refused to call him 'Master,' as he tried to explain it was simple a term associated with 'teacher' in his culture. And he would get frustrated that she would not dress in appropriate attire. She liked wearing men's trousers and the like, rather than a proper kimono. She hated kimonos.

This bickering led to amusing times. Though, at the moment, they weren't funny. Such as the time he cut off her pinky fingers to teach her the value of the little digits when wielding the Katana. He explained the how and why it was an apt punishment for a wayward Samurai. It disabled them, taking away the guiding force behind the rest of the hand on the hilt.

Addison, thanks to her gifts, regenerated any punishments he laid upon her. She seemed to instigate most of the bickering and fussing most of the time, finding humor in frustrating the man.
Every so often, and after the consumption of large amounts of sake, the Asian would even commend her. He commended her abilities and growth under his tutelage. Of course, he was also bragging on his abilities to take a low woman and train her up right. The compliments were nice to Addison, though, those moments were few and far.

In 1961, after three years of teaching, Jakusu announced it was time for her to have her crafted blade. Addison felt honored, and ecstatic. They traveled to the finest sword smith in Japan, the old man crafting a sword perfect for Addison in every way. When it came time to add any personal touches, the old man asked her what she wished to have inscribed on the smooth polished blade.

Author Bio

Zoe Ambler hails from Enterprise, Alabama. She's 44 years old and broke through into writing by way of role-play gaming, which she still loves to this day.
She has traveled the world, being a 'military brat', but always finds her way back home. Her hobbies include sketching, playing violin (badly), collecting oddities and office supplies. Zoe is often found spoiling her fat cat, obsessing over coffee and the coming zombie apocalypse.

Author Links:
o    LinkedIn
o    Smashwords

Book Links:
o    Amazon
o   Kobo
o    Google Play
o    Scribd
o     Goodreads
o    Also available in the iTunes store.

Stop on by my Official - I blog daily about mundane things, silly things, books, writing... whatever pops into my purple haired head. :)

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