Thursday, 21 February 2013

Whisper on a Scream - Cree Walker

Welcome back Cree Walker. Her Hot Shot, Taming the Cougar, has gotten a silver star on ARe, but that's not why she's here. Her novel, Whisper on a Scream, has released in paperback! What does having a physical copy of your book mean to you?

Oh, good question. When I was first accepted for publication, I was more than happy to be an eBook writer. I am well aware of the fact that eBooks are quickly becoming the norm in the industry, but when other people would request a signed copy of my book and I told them I was eBook published, I would get snide looks or comments as though I wasn’t really published after all. Soon I asked my publisher if they were ever thinking of paper publishing. I was told to be patient…so I was, and then suddenly one day, my publisher contacted me and asked me if I’d like to sign a contract for paper publishing my series. I’ve been unskillfully working it into every conversation since. So I guess having a physical copy of my book is proof to me that I have really done it.

Part of me is sad that you needed that to make it real, but then I'm just happy you have it! Is this the first book you've had published on old-fashioned paper? (well, the paper isn't old-fashioned, it's brand new, but you know what I mean.)

Yes, it is and I have a few more to follow!

Excellent! Is marketing and selling a hard copy easier or more difficult for you?

Well, selling an eBook is a lot of online work, which I’ve gotten very comfortable with, but marketing paperbacks means that I have to actually work on doing physical appearances, phone calls and emails to local bookstores in an effort to have them place my books on their shelves. I would also like to do a signing or two but I’ve quickly discovered that few people know the difference between small published and self-published and some of their comments have been less than cordial. So far I would say marketing paperbacks is a little harder but then I’m not really used to it yet.

Sounds like a whole new challenge. Remind us how Whisper to Scream came to be written. Were there any hurdles to publication?

Whisper on a Scream was a combination of ideas. I was flipping through some old National Geographics when I came across an article about a real life wolf pack in which the Alpha female was injured during a hunt. Within weeks, the Alpha male died of mysterious causes. Scientists did tests on the body and came to the conclusion that the male died of a broken heart. Wolves mate for life and that bond and loyalty is something that human beings strive for, but we seem to have a hard time achieving. I thought about it again later in my vehicle and a song came on the radio that I hadn’t heard in a long time. By the time it was through, I had the entire premise for a paranormal werewolf romance, Whisper on a Scream, the story of two werewolves that are forced into separation, a separation that can literally kill them.

Great premise! Do you expect other books to come out in print?

Well, the second book Willing Sacrifice should be out very shortly. I’d hate to put a date on it just yet, but I do know that it is already in the works.

And just to get you drooling for that paper copy, Cree gave us a excerpt! Read to the end to get to the rafflecopter draw for a painting inspired by Whisper on a Scream (contest only for US addresses).

Jack rolled over to face me and smiled wickedly. “If I killed you now, you couldn’t get away now could you?” The humor on his face kept me from screaming bloody murder, but a sad look came over his eyes.

I faced away from him and steadied my breathing to match his until his snoring started. I edged over until the majority of my weight was on my free arm off the side of the bed and swung my leg down. I inched my way higher until I could get a good grip on the metal nail file and nearly bent it in half trying to pry it from between the carpeted floor and the metal foot of the bed frame. He coughed and I swallowed a scream. I jumped anyway and ground my teeth, waiting to see if he had woken up. The snoring continued. I rolled back onto the bed and pulled myself into a sitting position so I could reach my cuffed hand with the other. I knew better than to try and pick the lock - I had no skill in that - but if I used the curved end of the cheap metal nail file and scraped away at the neck of the post where the cuff was until I could crack the end of the knob off…I would be free. Of course, I had to accomplish all of this without waking Sleeping Beauty.

I went to work, only scraping tiny amounts of wood off when he snored. Hours passed and the gray light of early dawn seeped in through the tiny cracks in the curtains. I was more than halfway through the bedpost and, bleeding blisters or not, I would not quit…that was not in my repertoire. He shifted in the hours of late sleep - his body was waking up. I sucked in a breath and coughed, yanking my cuff and ripping the heavy knob free along with my right arm. I fumbled for the flying knob, but it went sailing out of reach and bounced hard on the shag carpet. I didn’t move except for my eyes and I watched his open, blinking sleepily and looking at me with only minor interest and then his eyes closed again. He rolled away from me, facing the door to the room and started to snore again.

I stood slowly, my cramped muscles screaming in protest. I couldn't remember ever being this scared, and I had had plenty of opportunities, but I was out of practice it seemed. My heart roared blood through my veins until it was the only thing I could hear. I walked around the front of the bed and he still slept soundly until, of course, I stepped on the broken bed knob, rolled backwards flat onto my back, kicked over the chair, and tore the comforter on the way down, in order to catch my fall. I waited for the pain - broken bones or cracked skull. I was lucky I was holding my breath when I fell, because all the wind would have been knocked out of me. It took less than a second for him to sit up and find me laying there on my back with the t-shirt God knows how high on my legs … at least I hoped it was still that far down.

“What the fuck?” he asked.

To my expressed joy he didn’t sound mad … yet. “I fell on my way to the bathroom.”

“The bathroom is behind you.” Jack narrowed his eyes; sleep all but a distant memory now. “Didn’t I cuff you …?” He looked over his shoulder at the broken headboard. “I’m going to have to pay for that!”

Okay, now he sounded a little mad.

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