Dear Readers . . . I had so much fun interviewing author, Robyn Bachar, creator of the intriguing BAD WITCH series and I can’t wait to share it with you! But first . . . as a special treat, I’ve included an excerpt from her recent release, POISON in the BLOOD following our Q&A. Also, keep scrolling to the end for details on the fabulous tour wide contest with some prizes you won’t want to miss!
Now . . . on to the interview!
What made you decide to combine witches and vampires with a Chicago setting? How do you maintain realism in a fantasy/paranormal tale?
I live in the area, and I have a vivid imagination. It’s easy to look at an old house and wonder if a vampire lives there, or if the strange next-door neighbors are witches. I imagine my characters as normal people with extraordinary abilities. Magic is a danger to them as much as it is a benefit.
I’ve read you are a gamer and love role playing games. What is your favorite role/game? Does this activity help when you are developing characters? If so, how?
My favorite rpg is Dragon Age: Origins. It’s a fabulous, complex game with adventure and romance. I think being a gamer has helped me in my writing. It’s definitely helped me to map out battle scenes.
Rock, paper, scissors . . . which one will you most likely play first? (I’m scissors!)
Rock, unless I have the bomb and win on ties.
Tell us about your books. Correct me if I’m wrong . . . you have two “Bad Witch” series, one defined as The Emily Chronicles, the other Bad Witch Books. Are their characters or plots connected?
Poison in the Blood is part of the Emily Chronicles, which are prequels to my modern Bad Witch books. The plots and characters are connected. One of the nice things about writing vampires is being able to show them throughout history. Emily causes trouble in the past and in the present. She would make a good Doctor Who companion.
Could you provide some details about your trilogy, Cy’ren Rising? What inspired the story line?
Cy’ren Rising is my spicy space opera romance series, and it has action, adventure, laser gunfights and epic space battles. I have a lifelong love of sci-fi, ever since my dad introduced me to classic Star Trek. Cy’ren Rising has its roots in everything from Star Wars to Firefly to Mass Effect.
Of your three novel sets, which did you have the most fun writing and why?
They’re all fun in their own way. 🙂 The Cy’ren books are really fun because they’re so over the top, but Emily has a special place in my heart. She always has new entertaining ways of politely yelling at people.
I’m an amateur Paranormal Investigator so I was intrigued by your comment that you believe the English building at UIUC is haunted. Tell us why you feel this way and describe any “ghostly” experiences you may have had.
I do have a homage to the TAPS team from Ghost Hunters in my book Fire in the Blood… The legend is that a girl drowned in the English building’s swimming pool when it was a dorm, and her spirit haunts the building today. There are stories of hearing footsteps and seeing shadows, but I never had personal experience. The building just felt wrong to me. It was the only building on campus that I would instantly lose my sense of direction in.
If you found a stone that could magically transport you to any location at any point in time, where would you visit and why?
This is one of those scenarios that can bite a character if they don’t choose carefully. Would I like to see original Shakespeare at the Globe? Yes. But unless said magic stone also transforms my clothes and translates Elizabethan English, I’d be in trouble. (Well, the language wouldn’t be too bad, but you get the idea.) Maybe I’d go back to 1908 to see the Cubs win the World Series, because though I am a Cubs fan, I don’t see them winning again anytime soon.
Poison in the Blood
Bad Witch: The Emily Chronicles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
E-book: June 18, 2013
Print: June 3, 2014
ISBN: E-book 978-1-61921-587-0
ISBN: Print 978-1-61921-916-8
Number of pages: 272, Word Count: 55,711
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
She is honey to his throat…but one sweet taste could part them forever…
Banished from home while her husband adjusts to life as an immortal, blood-drinking chronicler, Emily Black is homesick, heartsick and struggling under the constant sensory barrage of a city drenched in ancient magic. When an old friend asks for her aid in solving a string of murders, she welcomes the distraction, despite the danger.
Justine Dubois is grateful for a seer’s help, and more understanding than anyone of Emily’s plight. As a guardian, Justine commands respect; as a woman, her magic is considered inferior. Together, they are determined to prove their worth to London’s magicians, starting with solving these murders—with maybe a bit of matchmaking on the side.
Long before he met his soul mate, Michael Black made a commitment to join the Order of St. Jerome. He will live forever, forced to watch the woman he loves age and die. As Emily hunts the murderer, Michael struggles to protect her. But if he loses control of his hunger, the greatest threat to her safety could be Michael himself.
Warning: Contains tortured soul mates, scheming faeries, vampire debauchery, deadly parasols, illicit blood-drinker relations, and adorable plot moppets.
Readers can receive 30% off the ebook of Poison in the Blood from the Samhain Store by using the coupon code POISON14 at checkout.
Normally stepping into a garden would soothe me, but we were still within London, where there was no comfort whatsoever. I looked up at the night sky and wished I were with Michael.
“You have the soul of an artist, Miss Rose. It is a rare gift.” Mr. Paris stroked my hand, and I tugged it free of his arm. I folded both hands before me primly and smiled.
“Again, that is very kind of you.”
“I consider myself a patron of the arts.”
“So you attend gatherings such as this often?” I asked.
“Of course. I am always on the lookout for new talent.”
“I see. Did you know Mrs. Harding?” I tried to examine his aura to determine his reaction, but his magic continued to be so overwhelming that my eyes watered. Mr. Paris must be unspeakably powerful, and I found myself both worried and intrigued. Perhaps he was a sorcerer? One who specialized in darkness?
“I did. Poor girl. What a terrible thing to have happened to her and her family… Tell me, are you working on a second collection of your work?” he asked, quickly changing the subject.
“I am, though I am afraid the subject matter is quite a bit darker.”
Mr. Paris smiled a predatory grin, and my pulse leapt with a thrill of fear. “I am not afraid of the dark, Miss Rose. Are you?”
He stepped closer, but I held my ground, studying him with a curious tilt to my head. “What are you?” I asked.
He blinked, startled. “I beg your pardon?”
“What sort of magic do you practice?” I clarified.
“Oh. I am a librarian, of course,” he replied, and I laughed, unable to help myself. “What’s so funny?”
“You are most certainly not a librarian. Do people truly believe that lie?”
The smile slid from Mr. Paris’s face as his expression hardened. He stepped forward and tried to grab my arm, but Miss Dubois was suddenly between us, a shining silver blur. With a snarl he turned and ran, and the guardian chased him out of the garden and into the street.
Uncertain of what to do, I followed. I stood hesitant at the garden gate, wondering which way they went. My vision shifted, and I followed Miss Dubois’s blazing footsteps. I paused next to a blur traced over the high brick wall of another garden. It was another magical doorway, rather like the one I had discovered near Mrs. Harding’s body outside the Undiscovered Country. Foolishly I raised my hand to touch it, despite knowing full well that doing so could trigger another vision, but a hand emerged from the brick wall and grabbed my wrist.
Overwhelmed with shock, I barely managed a strangled gasp as Mr. Paris stepped through the wall and glared down at me. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“You first.” My voice trembled, and Mr. Paris grinned. He tightened his grip and snapped several small bones in my wrist, and I screamed.
“Who are you?” he repeated.
Something bubbled up within me, a bright plume of prophetic magic that became my answer. “I am your end.” That time my voice did not tremble at all, but was filled with terrible certainty. I would cause Mr. Paris’s death, and I knew it with as much confidence as I knew the sun would rise in the morning.
Something in my gaze must have worried him, because he snarled. Scowling, he grabbed my forearm with both hands and twisted. The bone snapped like dry kindling, and I screamed again. Before he could torment me further Miss Dubois arrived and bashed him with a round silver shield. Mr. Paris vanished into thin air, and the guardian stood near me. One arm bore the shield, while in her other hand she held a sword. How cunning of her. I wanted a sword as well.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
My knees wobbled and began to buckle, but then two dark blurs streaked up to us, and I was suddenly swept from my feet and cradled close in Michael’s arms.
“Darling! What happened?” he asked.
“You caught me.” I blinked—however had he moved that fast? Simon sighed and shook his head at his student, and I sensed that Michael and I were both in for a scolding.
“Of course I did. I will always catch you. Are you all right?”
About the Author:
Robyn Bachar was born and raised in Berwyn, Illinois, and loves all things related to Chicago, from the Cubs to the pizza. It seemed only natural to combine it with her love of fantasy, and tell stories of witches and vampires in the Chicagoland area. As a gamer, Robyn has spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors and slaying creatures in MMPORGs.