Monday, April 2, 2012

Author Spotlight: Interview with Marie Symeou

1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:
FROZEN IN TIME, historical fantasy/vampire romance
"An engaging vampire story of love, loss, immortality and what constitutes humanity"
2. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Well, vampires are frozen in time as they do not age. Also, it relates to something else in the novel I can't reveal because it would be a spoiler.
3. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Philip, the main character. He is a complex character and was fun to write. I liked him the more I wrote his story and as I got further into his head.
4. How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
I don't think I have a least favorite character. They were all fun to write and I believe they are all interesting in their own unique way. Even the villain Scylla. I enjoyed exploring her character and how she came to do the things she does.
5. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?
I don't think there's anything I really want to change. I've worked so hard at getting it the best it can be. I'm happy with it.
6. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
Philip's wife in the novel, Amaranthea, was originally called Amalthea. But then my favorite band Nightwish released a song called Amaranth and everytime I came across Amalthea in my novel as I wrote it, Amaranth kept popping into my head. Then it became Amaranthea. Now, Amaranth comes from the Greek word amarantos, meaning "unwithering" and so it is a flower that never fades, never dies,and symbolizes immortality. Great for a vampire novel, right? In my novel it stands for the soul's immortality as well as eternal love. It's not a new idea, of course. Amaranth has always been used as a symbol of immortality since ancient times.
7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Well, I sing and write songs. I also have a natural affinity with animals and am studying to be an animal healer/communicator.
8. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My novel links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
Two more novels in The Chosen Ones Series, a cat memoir, perhaps screenplays of my novels, and of course, more songs.
10. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
For readers, don't stick to just one author, there are so many to choose from. And please give indie authors a chance, don't just read what publishers want you to read.
For writers, the main thing is believe in yourself and make your book the best it can be. Never give up.
11. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I'd like to mention my other novel which is not a historical fantasy or anything to do with vampires and the paranormal. AGE OF DREAMS is the first book I wrote and so it's quite semi-autobiographical. 
Here's the blurb and link.
"A gripping coming of age drama of fame, addiction and love, which takes the reader on an unexpected and deeply absorbing journey.
It's the 1980s and Nicola James' dream of becoming a famous singer has come true. But the pressures of the music industry combined with the emotional baggage from her childhood turn her dream-come-true into a nightmare.
On a soul-searching journey, which takes her to hell and back, Nicola must find a way to conquer her troubled past and decide who she really is, and what to love and being loved truly means."
Amazon UK
Amazon US
12. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
Philip could not believe his eyes. His Amaranthea. Sweet Amaranthea - a temptress in the silver moonlight.
He felt as if he were in a trance. Perhaps all the wine he had consumed had gone to his head. Trying to blink the vision away, he realized this was no alcohol-induced apparition. No, this beauty was alive. Solid. As clearly defined as the craggy rock at his side, a glorious sight clad in a scarlet cloak.
Strange mysterious music rang out as she called his name. Bewitching. Caressing.
'Come my love, be mine.'
Without a second thought, he took her jewelled hand and let her lead the way along the rocky mountainside.
The air was thick with dust. Down below in Darius' camp the flames from the torches outside the tents glowed brightly, flickering in the light breeze. Alexander had instructed his men to monitor Darius' every move and nothing should have deterred Philip. But Amaranthea was his life.
Had been his life.
He wouldn't even be in this war if it had not been for her. In all honesty, it meant nothing to him. He cared not whether he lived nor died.
Amaranthea led him to an opening buried deep within the jagged rock. Philip hesitated, turning to glance back at the campsite he had just left behind. Through the hazy air he could see in the distance the masses of tents where the army rested for the night. They had all feasted well, as if tonight was their last, in preparation for tomorrow's battle. By walking away, he had betrayed them all. Betrayed Alexander.
But the life of a soldier didn't suit him. The thought of the terror and bloodshed he witnessed made him want to vomit. He had no real desire to kill anymore. And yet he had. So many times. It was what he was paid to do. But there were also times when he simply wished that an enemy spear would soon put an end to his misery.
Amaranthea's voice drew him out of his dark thoughts, 'Come, my love,' she said, the breeze catching her long red hair.
He turned towards her, meeting her dark gaze. How could I have wished to die? he thought. We are together again.
They stepped into the vast cave. It was pitch black, but as Philip followed her she seemed to glow, lighting his way up ahead. Philip blinked in astonishment at the network of passages that clearly came into focus.
As they walked the light illuminated something. Philip jumped back as the figure of a winged serpent with a woman’s head leapt out at him. The cave was painted. Walls covered in images, both beautiful and terrible. Recoiling, Philip caught the image of a serpent woman devouring the head of a child.
'Why have you brought me here?'he asked.
No reply. He paused, staring at the figure of Amaranthea walking steadily ahead of him. More paintings of monstrous creatures and women with half-serpent bodies, of winged maidens and warriors with snakes and torches in their hair came to view.
'Why have you brought me here?'he asked again.
Still no answer, but he could not help but follow Amaranthea towards a welcoming gleam of light. The sound of gently plucked harp strings floated in the air towards them, a melody so calming to a man whose ears had grown accustomed to the cries of war.
On entering the chamber, the intense heat hit Philip’s face. Fires and torches blazed brightly. Shadows from the flames danced on the ochre-painted walls, and fragrant oils burned - awakening his senses to memories of times long passed. On the ground, he noticed a scattering of rose petals. Whatever this dwelling-place was, he soon began to feel at ease.
Amaranthea guided him towards a large bed draped in shiny silk of crimson and gold. Philip sat his aching body on it. He so longed for a good night's sleep. To lie back on those sumptuous cushions.
Amaranthea stood before him, holding his gaze. Her dark eyes flashed. Removing her scarlet cloak, she let it drop to the ground. Naked, her pale skin glistened in the glowing torch light, her red hair cascading over her shoulders. Philip had never seen anything so beautiful. So perfect, like a goddess. Overwhelmed with desire, he pulled her to him...
They made love. He had waited a long time for this.
'Amaranthea,' he cried.
Then everything changed. She hissed like a snake. Alarmed, Philip opened his eyes and to his disgust, he found himself staring into a pair of red demonic eyes. This was no longer Amaranthea but a strange woman that hissed like a serpent. In place of Amaranthea's slender hands, sharp claws reached for him.
He tried to move away but it was too late. Something sharp pierced him in the neck and he felt his blood oozing out from the wound. He roared with pain. The creature pinned him down and began to suck his blood, licking and devouring it. He grew weaker. Then once again, he heard Amaranthea's sweet voice.
'My love, you are dying. I will give you back your life if you promise to be with me always. Until the end of time. I will not let the gods take you from me. You are far too beautiful for that. But you must be mine. Always. You will never love another. Do I have your word?’
He could barely speak. 'Yes.'
Blood gushed into his mouth. He tasted it and hungered for more.
As more hot blood flowed into his veins, his heart throbbed strongly, its pulse heavy in his ears. He shuddered, felt cold, shivered. His eyesight began to flicker. Images of his life flashed before him. His childhood. His mother. His brothers. His wedding to Amaranthea …
* * *
Thank you Marie for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at

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