Yolanda Sfetsos is the author of A Patch of Darkness, the first book in her Sierra Fox series. Yolanda visited the virtual offices to chat up her new book, so check out what she has to say.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Yolanda Sfetsos] Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan.
(This is exactly 140 characters. I checked on Twitter, lol.)
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about A Patch of Darkness?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] A Patch of Darkness is the first book in my urban fantasy series about a spook catcher. It’s set in Sydney, but it’s an alternate version of our world, where ghosts are an accepted part of society and have certain rights. There are other supernatural creatures as well, but they’re still a secret—well, except for the people who know about them.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] I’ve always loved ghost stories. They’re spooky, intriguing, and always make me wonder about what’s really out there. When I set out to write this story, I wanted to explore a world where everyone knew that ghosts exist, but only a select few can actually interact with them.
I also wanted a large cast of characters with different backgrounds and problems, all forced to work together. Oh, and a complicated love life for the heroine.
After I had all of those ingredients, the concept was born and the world was full of characters.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] The most challenging aspect was—and still is—keeping all the details consistent. There’s so much, and it’s easy for me to forget a small detail that can make a huge impact. So I keep a Sierra Fox Bible, where I write down as much info, research, and details as I can.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Sierra would never have in in her bedroom?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] A jinxed amulet, demons and shadows. You’ll know exactly what I mean if you read the book.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] The world around me is often my biggest creative influence. It doesn’t take much to get my mind wandering and eventually coming up with either a character and/or story. Then, when I’ve got something that fits into everyday life, I like to throw in the supernatural.
I’m pretty obsessed with supernatural creatures and phenomena, and if I think about them often enough my muse starts buzzing.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] I need my computer/laptop, story notes, as well as pen and paper. Oh, wait, isn’t that really four things?
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] I would have to say Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton. After I read that in school, I couldn’t get other books fast enough.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] When I’m not writing I love spending time with my family. I also enjoy going for walks, and working out with my hubby. Oh, and watching my fave TV shows—especially Castle, The Walking Dead, and Jon Stewart.
I also love to read.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you enjoy most about urban fantasy?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] Definitely the freedom to include so much of what I love in storytelling—blending the supernatural into a contemporary existence, a touch of horror, complicated relationships, love triangles, mystery, suspense, monsters… that type of thing.
[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?
[Yolanda Sfetsos] Here are my links:
It was a lot of fun! Thanks so much for having me over at your blog.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!
A Patch of Darkness hits stores May 15. You can purchase A Patch of Darkness from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:
All it takes is one weak seam for everything to fall apart.
Sierra Fox, Book 1
In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.
Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.
As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.
Warning: Spook catching: may contain traces of ectoplasm and otherworldly nasties. Not recommended for those with allergies to ghosts, demons, and with boyfriends who think your power is theirs. While reading, avoid dark patches and stay to the light.