The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Rita Vetere

Good morning everyone and welcome back. Today I have Rita Vetere who's 's talkin' about genre and how she doesn't fit in the typical horror box. Also, how important setting is to her and her stories.

Many thanks, Rebecca, for inviting me to guest blog today and to share a few details about my works.
I’ll start by saying I classify myself as a dark fiction/horror writer, even though what I write doesn’t always conform to the standard definition of what most people would call horror. The truth is, I’m often unsure as to what I’m really writing in terms of genre. For instance, my upcoming release, RETURN OF THE FALLEN, combines elements of dark fantasy, urban fantasy, action and a touch of horror.  So, I do tend to paint my writing with a broad brush in terms of genre and categorize it under the umbrella of dark fiction, which leaves me free to explore new avenues and ideas.   

Whispering BonesSetting always plays an important role in my novels. Personally, I love to read books with vivid descriptions of unfamiliar places that make me feel I’ve been there myself.  In my horror/thriller novel, WHISPERING BONES, the setting (1576 Venice during the Black Death) turned out to be more than just a description of the time and place. The initial setting is truly the back-bone of the story, the driving force that moves the plot forward. I like to think it also provided the perfect atmosphere for my creepy little tale.

Born of Darkness 

In BORN OF DARKNESS, my dark fantasy novel, Lilli’s discovery of a silver pendant to which an evil spirit has attached itself felt somehow more believable in the context of the mystical and mysterious setting of Marrakesh, Morocco. 

Ancient Inheritance 

And in ANCIENT INHERITANCE, my supernatural thriller, what better place to introduce the demon Sammael than Rome, a place marked with a violent history, a city where dark secrets lurk beneath the veneer of refinement, mirroring Sammael himself. 

As mentioned, my latest novel, RETURN OF THE FALLEN, is slated for release in October 2011 with Lyrical Press. Thought I’d post a blurb and excerpt (unedited), which touches on the backstory of my protagonist, Israfel, the only member of the fallen race in existence.  Hope you enjoy it!

When a fiery Nephilim goes rogue, there's only one thing to do:  Take cover.
Israfel, the only member of the fallen race in existence, is on a mission:  kill Jared Crow, head of a secret organization known as The Order, and the man who murdered her friends. Highly trained in the martial arts and skilled in weaponry, she will allow nothing to stand in her way, not even her mortal lover, Edmond.
Unable to dissuade Israfel from hunting down Crow, Edmond joins her.  He’s only along for the ride, but it’s a ride he’ll wish he’d never taken.
Raziel, the last Watcher on earth, has taken refuge in the desert, far from the mortals he is duty-bound to protect. After thousands of years of lonely servitude, he has tired of his task. But when he detects a threat to the Symphony, the universal flow of all living things, he has no choice but to act.  He tracks the dissonance to Israfel and joins in the chase, knowing that, sooner or later, Israfel must die.
Jared Crow has an agenda none of them could have foreseen—and he’s got some powerful help in the form of the Dark One.
Nephilim... Mortal... Watcher.
It will take all three to reverse what Crow has set in motion

Unedited Excerpt
...six years old. A skinny little girl, all arms and legs, playing in the dirt behind the old lean-to shed near the farmhouse. Every now and then a stray chicken wandered by, scratching at the ground in search of something to eat. The farm where she and mamma lived was isolated, miles away from the nearest town. Such a funny name for a town, she always thought... Oskaloosa.
Lunchtime had come and gone and it was nearly time for supper, but Israfel had not yet had breakfast. Nor had she asked mamma for any today--not after she’d woken this morning to find mamma sitting on the porch, bible in hand, her pretty dark hair all askew and looking at Israfel out of the corner of her eye.
Israfel knew what that look meant. She’d do well to steer clear of mamma today. Whenever mamma started out looking at her all sideways like that, before the day was over, Israfel usually ended up on the wrong end of the leather strap that hung on a nail just inside the cellar door. Being hungry was nothing compared to what might happen if the wrong thing came out of Israfel’s mouth when mamma was having one of her spells.
Israfel did what she usually did when mamma went strange. She tried her best not to exist. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes she’d get off without a strapping. Other times, she’d go to bed not only hungry, but covered in welts from the leather strap, as well.
As she played in the dirt with her little shovel, Israfel wished fervently that it was Sunday instead of Saturday. On Sunday mornings mamma left her alone, departing early to walk the five miles to town to attend church. Usually she didn’t return home until late afternoon, and Israfel could breathe easily for a few hours. Mamma never took Israfel to church with her. She told Israfel once that she’d probably be struck by lightning and burned to a crisp if she ever tried to enter a church, on account of she was a “’bomination”...whatever that was.
At the sound of mamma’s voice, Israfel’s head snapped up, her pulse pounding at her slim neck.
“Israfel... You’d best mind me, girl.” Mamma lowered her voice. “Come out from wherever you’re hiding, you little heathen.”
Real fear sloshed over Israfel at the words. Things always got really bad when mamma started calling her a “little heathen.” It meant she’d been reading the bible again. Something in it always seemed to make mamma mad at her.
“Don’t make me look for you,” she heard mamma say in a voice that meant business.
Israfel peeked around the corner of the shed and spotted mamma standing close by on the other side, her face turned up to the summer sky. Her intense fear did not prevent Israfel from thinking how pretty mamma looked in that moment with the brilliant sun shining down on her. Mamma was beautiful. On the outside, anyway. Then her mother lowered her head and, turning, spotted her.
Suddenly, mamma didn’t look so pretty anymore. Her eyes narrowed to slits and Israfel could feel the bad intent in them from where she stood. Mamma muttered something else then, but all Israfel caught was “...should’a killed you long ago.”
With a start, Israfel saw it was not the leather strap mamma clutched in her hand, but something much worse. At the sight of the large butcher knife her mother carried, Israfel took off like a pistol shot, her heart pounding like hooves. She did not run back to the farmhouse. Instead, she headed for the gravel road which she knew led to town, hoping to outrun her mother and find help. Israfel’s considerable instinct for survival told her if mamma got hold of her today, she would not live to see the sun come up.
Almost two miles down the road, straining for breath, Israfel looked over her shoulder. She kept telling herself not to look back, but couldn’t seem to stop herself. Mamma, running on bare feet, her thin cotton dress flying out behind her, was much closer than the last time she’d checked. Still brandishing the knife and yelling at Israfel at the top of her lungs, she showed no signs of slowing. Israfel didn’t understand most of the stuff mamma shouted, but she understood one thing perfectly. If mamma caught her, she was going to use that butcher knife on her, probably much the same way she used it on the chickens on those rare occasions she got it in her head to cook a proper meal.
Panting with exertion, Israfel conserved her breath for running and didn’t scream. Not, that was, until she felt mamma’s hand grasp the back of her dress, tripping her and causing her to fall flat on her face in the gravel. Then she screamed loud enough to wake the dead and didn’t stop. Mamma flipped her over in the middle of the road and straddled her, pinning her to the ground. Israfel screamed and screamed, even though she knew no one was around to hear or come to her aid.
Mamma raised the knife high. “Shut up, you little mongrel. You think I like doing this? Not me wants you dead... It’s him.” The hand not holding the knife pointed to the sky.
The crazed look in mamma’s eyes only caused Israfel’s terror to increase. She yelled at the top of her voice, her heart bursting with fear as the knife hovered dangerously over her.
At that moment, a spray of gravel struck the back of her head, accompanied by a crunching sound and the loud blaring of a car horn, drowning out her screams. Mamma looked up, momentarily distracted from her task. Israfel squirmed out from under her, wriggling like a worm. As she crawled away on hands and knees, she ran smack into the chrome grill of a car, which had stopped just behind them on the road.
The man who jumped out moved toward mamma, thunderclouds in his grey eyes. Mamma got to her feet and faced him without flinching, clutching the knife so tightly the knuckles of her hand turned white.
“Put it down,” the man said, without raising his voice.
Thank you Rita Vetere for being here. She has a very cool website you all should check out

Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose 
Next week I have my husband, Mark. I'll be interviewing him on being married to a romance author. Hope you can join me for the fun! 

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