Please welcome Paula Altenburg to the virtual offices today. Paula dropped by to chat about her new release The Demon’s Daughter, and she brought along a digital copy for one of you to win!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Paula Altenburg] Easy! I’m an obsessive/compulsive couch potato with (remote) control issues.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Demon’s Daughter?
[Paula Altenburg] The Demon’s Daughter is a dystopian demon western, set on Earth in the not-too-distant future. The story theme involves prejudice, and it’s about a young woman’s search for a place to belong in a harsh world that doesn’t welcome her.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Paula Altenburg] I always come up with the characters first. Hunter and Airie’s first meeting was the first scene I had in my head. I wanted Hunter to be a bounty hunter at first, which is how he got his name, and I really saw him in a western/desert setting. He morphed into a demon slayer. Airie started out as a half demon bandit. I’d meant for her to be more of an outlaw, but as she grew, it was obvious her personality was much more innocent and gentle. She has quite the temper though, and Hunter finds that out the hard way. The story world grew up around the two of them with a little prompting from my editors. I’m all about the characters and have a little trouble remembering that the reader doesn’t “see” my setting if I don’t put it into words.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Airie?
[Paula Altenburg] Innocent, kind, and passionate.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Hunter had a theme song, what would it be?
[Paula Altenburg] We Will Rock You by Queen.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Airie is never without.
[Paula Altenburg] Fire. It’s a significant part of who she is, kind of like breathing.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Hunter’s pockets?
[Paula Altenburg] That’s a great question! Hmm. 1) Pretty stones, or anything someone else might pick up out of curiosity and want to save. He’s not a collector. 2) Bullets. He’s not much into guns either. 3) Hair ribbons. That seems like it should go without saying, but the guy has seven sisters so it’s not too much of a stretch. He hasn’t seen them in years, but he still really loves them and thinks of them often.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Airie’s greatest regret?
[Paula Altenburg] Airie never got to say goodbye to the priestess mother who raised her. That bothers her because rituals that should have been carried out had to be abandoned, and her mother was left without a proper burial.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Paula Altenburg] It doesn’t take much to get me going. My imagination’s pretty active. I’m big into “What if” scenarios, but I’m an abstract thinker and not visual at all. At some point I’d like to write a story that’s kicked off by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” though. A song, an image, or a movie can all inspire me, but it’s usually an emotional reaction to one specific thing about them. In Hallelujah, it’s the line “He saw her bathing on a roof.” From there, an entire storyline jumps into my head.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Paula Altenburg] Quiet, coffee, and an idea. If I don’t have my scene in my head, my day is ruined.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Paula Altenburg] I only read books that knock my socks off. Life is too short to read anything else. I will totally toss one aside if I’m not wowed by it because there are plenty more out there waiting to amaze me. Having said that, I have a bit of a love affair going with George RR Martin and his Game of Thrones series. He’s an author who does everything well.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Paula Altenburg] I was reading before I started school, so I’m not really sure what got me started. Johanna Spyri’s Heidi sticks in my mind. So does Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. My mother tells me I read the original versions. She’s a former English teacher and alternates between horror and fascination at my reading choices. As long as the writing’s good, I’m okay with it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Paula Altenburg] I’m a reader. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do. Next up comes watching movies. I also like to run. I enjoy traveling too, but overall, I’m quite boring. (Notice that travel placed last on that list?) My husband’s European and we go often, but I’ll take my Kindle and sit on someone’s couch while he visits with family. His sister and I went to Paris and Brussels together a few years ago and visited every museum and art gallery we could find because we both love history. I talked her into taking a tour of the sewers in Paris and she hasn’t forgiven me yet.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Paula Altenburg] Through my website at www.paulaaltenburg.com, on Facebook, and Twitter @Paula Altenburg. I swear I will friend and follow, and respond to all e-mails!
Thanks for having me!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can win a digital copy of The Demon Hunter’s Daughter by filling out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following. Open Internationally.
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You can order The Demon’s Daughter from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.
About the book:
Hunter is the only man capable of killing the demons that left the world in ruins. But when he’s hired by a notorious priestess to bring a thief to justice, the Demon Slayer gets more than he bargains for.
Airie was raised in an abandoned temple as a priestess’s daughter, having no idea of her true origins. In a time when any half-breed spawn of a demon is despised by mortal and immortal alike, not knowing the truth is the only thing keeping her safe.
Forced to flee her home in the wake of disaster and discovery of who she is, Airie must place her trust in a man who believes she should never have been born. And when a demon uprising threatens lives he has sworn to protect, Hunter has to make a choice: abandon Airie to an uncertain fate, or overcome his own personal demons and love her for who she truly is.