Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fate and Fangs, Kristin Battestella

Today, my author is Kristin Battestella.  Her series of books, Fate and Fangs: Tales from the Vampire Family, are available through MuseItUp Publishing

AUTHOR:  Kristin Battestella
BOOK TITLE: Debauchery: Victoria’s Burning Book 4 in the Fate and Fangs: Tales from the Vampire Family series
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

Please tell us about yourself?  
 Wow I doubt there’s much to tell!  Really I’m just a New Jersey housewife – most definitely not like any of the crazy tv shows!- with lots of wild stories to share.  I like to sew, but I have to be in the mood for and get really streaky about it, going for years of nothing and then months of whirlwind costume makings!  I collect records and weird pens, too.  I was on a baking streak awhile back but that passed.  Nothing magical. 

Tell us your latest news?
November  marks the release Debauchery: Victoria’s Burning,  my fourth book in the Fate and Fangs series with MuseItUp.  That’s pretty awesome!   We began in August with Love: Ann and the Viking and are going straight through to February with Resurrection.  7 books, busy busy!

When and why did you begin writing?
I started young, writing hokey kids stuff, mainly because I couldn’t remember all the crazy adventures going on in my head.  My mother saved a lot of it, and of course, it is completely ridiculous stuff, but it’s amazing to see my own progression from kid to mature author.  Naturally things like proper sentences and complex plots develop, but you can clearly see the grains of storytelling being planted.  I think one of the keys now as an adult crafting serious books is to remember that innocence of a tale well told , to never loose that zest and youthful enthusiasm for the craft of it all. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Naturally with an ongoing 7 books series, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews.  This question has been asked several times before and was asked to me by a fan at a panel once as well.  And truly, every time my answer is the same.  I’m not really sure!  I would say I am a writer and have always felt that I’ve been a writer- again perhaps before I even knew what the craft truly meant.  I do have trouble with the word author though, I don’t feel like I am a fancy pancy best seller list famed author.  I suppose the words have individual connotations.  I feel awkward at being called an author, as if there is some level of fame and wealth I must achieve.  But when someone says writer, I don’t mind.  It’s like it’s saying, the weird, wayward one over there who’s on the offbeat doing her own thing.  As I said, I’ve kind of always been out there!

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first major category novel was probably The Vampire Family, the precursor to Fate and Fangs and which is still in paperback with Eternal Press.  I began writing several of the short tales and earlier chapters of The Vampire Family in high school many years ago, simply because I wanted to write a vampire tale that I would like to read.  I’d read Rice, Hamilton, really at the time, there was no such thing as paranormal and  horror was very niche.  Now of course today it has exploded, and it’s tough to tell what’s good from all the knock off trend riders, but I came to it as a reader looking for something good first.  After friends and teachers were reading it sort of serialized chapter by chapter and wanted more, I began shaping The Vampire Family into something bigger.  So mainly, I suppose I was inspired by writing what I wanted to read and by realizing the fact that others would then also want to read what I wrote.  

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t seek to make hefty statements- I think it detracts greatly from a read when you feel the author giving you something over the head- but I do like deeper examinations and food for thought.  Even with vampires!  In some of this recent glitter vampire flair, I think some of the original angles of the vampire myths and legends have been lost.  What is the connection between good and evil? Can one born of darkness be good?  Why are these dark, deadly, terrifying creatures also so alluring, sexy, even gratifying to us?  Fate and Fangs takes time in each of its seven tales to focus on one iconic theme.  Can vampires love? Should we enjoy their punishment?  They struggle in life just as much as we do!  And unfortunately, a vampire’s debauchery can get the better of her.  I like a little reflection after the back cover is closed.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
I suppose there’s always a piece of yourself on the page or that write what you know mentality or ideas that come from folks you know, but that is not an active part of my creative process.  I enjoy abstracts, noticing the intangibles of daily life and getting the scraps of it down in my idea notebook. Recalling the sights and sounds of an event and then describing that scene as fiction.  Smells and tastes and thinking about which flavors a character would like or dislike.  I like how these little things help endear me to the material.  I was drinking raspberry and hibiscus tea once while writing and decided my character should have some too.  Now I have a running notion of how he always has the herbs in his knapsack when he wants them.  Real sensations and eccentrics make for great fiction I suppose!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I read and admire a lot of the classics or old school authors like Dickens and Asimov, Tolkien, Rice.  However, I don’t think I would call any of them a mentor.  Not in a boastful way, but I feel one’s self should be one’s mentor.  Yes, it’s great to pick up pieces and ideas and inspiration here and there, but I think that the heart and soul of one’s work should come from within.  If you mentor and idolize too much, then emulation can creep in and then you end up reaching for something else hollow or not being true to yourself.  And being true is critical to writing happiness. 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I like my fellow EPer Leigh Wood.  I never would have taken to reading erotica if it weren’t for working with her.  I really enjoyed her sf sex romp On the Way to New Isosceles.  It was serious and had social science dilemmas whilst also being sexy and kinky.  There was an element of heart and relationships in the colds of space that wasn’t just romance and happy ever after.  I got to edit her second work, a fantasy called Horns of Myleness.  I didn’t think it was possible to have unicorns- usually so juvenile and fanciful- in a serious erotic medieval love triangle, but it was totally mature, heroic, and unexpected.  I really hope it finds a publisher when completed.  

What are your current projects?
Currently, I’m promoting Fate and Fangs and finishing up the next full length novels in The Vampire Family canon.  I didn’t always expect to be writing vampires, and I do write other things, but you come to know characters and like to return to them after you’ve been away.  You want to tell their tale till the very end!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I am horrible at titles!  I always end up with a ‘The’ in there somewhere.  I start with a working title and it’s nice and simple and is what it is about.  Then there’s supposed to be something catchy instead and I have no knack for it! 

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Actually, this sort of answers both the above questions! If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it!  I often get distracted, more so today now that I’m in my own house with gadgets and things to do.  So if I know I have to be away, I think it’s critical to be in a writing state of mind.  If you are stuck or had to leave mid sentence, you are still carrying on the work and ideas in the mind.  It’s quite a religious thing to me.  In the same way that if you go through life with a Christian mindset ala WWJD, you see things differently, if you look at things from a writerly perspective, it’s an entirely different set of infrareds.  If you open your mind and soul, it’s quite amazing.  Seek and find, Ask and receive, knock and open.  We’re supposed to not write or not think about writing? Really? Whatever for? That sounds so dull!  

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The toughest part of writing Fate and Fangs was putting it out there for publication.  In the meat of composition, you get into a rhythm; you know the characters and what the story needs.  But then when submitting time comes along, all of the sudden it’s second guessing and suspense and anticipation! You have to have faith and put it out there and keep writing.  

Do you have any advice for other writers?
I most definitely would say to keep writing and reading and learning anything and everything possible all in pursuit of creating the manuscript that you want to write and the story that you want to tell.  Everyone says don’t write to trend- yet the publishers are always seeking the trend they can sell.  Write because you have something to say, believe in yourself, and write and refine until you are satisfied with your project.  Really I think of the story at hand and what is best for the material first and foremost.  Only afterward do I begin to think about revision and publication.  Just get it out there on the page and don’t stop, make it great!

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I’ve been doing several seminars and panels with my fellow authors from the New Jersey Authors Network.  Not only is it loads of fun to be with like minded folks, but it’s great to have a group of creative minds just to get together and toss out information and ideas for ourselves and for aspiring authors or writing newcomers.  We had Getting Published seminars at several Libraries in August, September, October, and November 1 in Cherry Hill, but I don’t think I have any for the rest of the year.  Have to let the holidays take over I suppose!  Visit njauthorsnetwork.com for the scoop! 

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
As Fate and Fangs is a shorter series of novellas, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to place the set.  Eternal Press, the publisher of my first book in The Vampire Family universe, graciously let me shop the material, and several of the gals with EP/Damnation were also involved with MuseItUp.  I got in touch with Muse owner Lea, and she absolutely loved the atmosphere and style of the series and personally edited us for publication.  Not a lot of publishers- especially one who also puts on the Muse Online Writers Conference and wears so many other business hats- would stop to edit a book.  I really like the personal attention and time and effort Muse has given me and Fate and Fangs.  

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
 I don’t twitter, and I’m starting to get a group of folks that seem to know all my virtual spots better than I do!  They regularly show up and say I’m everywhere but I think it’s the other way around!  I don’t really like marketing for the sake of the blitz, but I do so love chatting about books with readers and authors.  It’s also totally magical when I get to meet writers and fans at live appearances, panels, and signings.  Awesome!


Thank you for having us, my dear Penny!!!

FATE AND FANGS: TALES FROM THE VAMPIRE FAMILY tips the scales of righteousness this August with Book 1 in the 7 book series from Muse It Up Publishing, LOVE: ANN AND THE VIKING!

Join Welshire Occult expert PROFESSOR A. JAMES, read his Tales from the Vampire Family and delight in your favorite toothy vampire! Some bloodsuckers just get all the luck, but which one deserves your red hot attention? Meet your Fangful Fate Tonight at Midnight under the Moonlight!

Shall you pleasure ANN, the scorned mistress aided by her lover ERIC or the beautiful,evil,and deadly Welshire enemy LILITH? 

But what of ELIZABETH, the unloved wife supported by RAIN, a fearless Kiowa warrior or her debutant daughter VICTORIA, the favorite of father ANTONIO?

Ladies, moody and melodramatic rival brothers JAMES and GASTON are vying for your attention! Can sister SAMANTHA keep them from each other’s throats?

Of course, we can’t forget STEPHANIE- the alluring doctor straddles the line between Welshire and Lilithan covens. And what of the mysterious  MESTIPHLES who seemingly supports veins on both sides?

Where can you dish on the fierce and bloody redemption? Stop by Muse It Up Publishing and sink your teeth into the seven testaments as told by Professor A. James: Love, Punishment, Struggle, Debauchery, Lust, Humanity, Resurrection. Stay up all night with these night owls as they pine away at their virtual vampy headquarters,


In this haunting world, two things will always bind a vampire:

The Vampire Family has a long and torrid past, present, and future. In FATE and FANGS, the family's Occult scholar Professor A. James shares vampire vignettes of love, punishment, struggle, debauchery, lust, humanity, and resurrection. In this medieval tale, scorned vampire mistress Ann leaves vampire family patriarch Antonio behind, travels across Britain, and encounters a wayward Viking named Eric.  Will Ann accept her true vampiric nature and turn her Nordic lover into a vampire?

Join the virtual vampire celebration with us August 19 for an interview at Chastity Bush's blog or visit us live Wednesday August 24 with the New Jersey Authors Network panel in Cinnaminson, NJ!

You can also catch up with our July interviews from our FATE and FANGS guest days with Cate Masters and Kay Dee Royal!




This man was handsome.  He was worn in the face from battle, yes, but fair, with no blood upon his cropped beard.  Ruthless and careful in his skill he was, surely, but nonetheless sexual and charming.  Why had he killed his own warrior?  This was no small question, but it was somehow trivial to me.  For the first time in a great while, I was thinking as a woman, not a vampire, and I wanted this strong man to know me as such.  As my blood desires faded, I felt my eyes calm and my fangs dull.  The warrior noticed these changes with a smile, for he was no more afraid of me than I was of him.

“You are not like the women of this realm, are you?” His speech was softer than his brutish companion, more distinct and learned, but firm.

“No.”  I held my tone in his air.  Antonio had no room for me.  I was not his wife.  This strange man, however, in his foreign armor from his embellished ship—I knew he was my equal.

“Are you of the old ways? A witch as some say inhabits this land?” His eyes were upon me, as if he knew the answers to what he asked.
“Not truly.”


Big Muse It Up Link!


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