I really like author Christine Pope’s work, and her Sedona Trilogy is one of my favorite alien invasion reads. Now, she has just released the first book in a new trilogy called Darkangel. The interview with Ms. Pope reveals more about the series, and she shares the dream cast she imagines for her characters!
Darkangel (Witches of Cleopatra Hill #1) by Christine Pope
Publication Date: March 30, 21014
Publisher: Dark Valentine Press/ 233 pgs.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare….
As the future prima, or head witch of her clan, Angela McAllister is expected to bond with her consort during her twenty-first year, thus ensuring that she will come into her full powers at the appointed time. The clock is ticking down, and her consort has yet to make an appearance. Instead, her dreams are haunted by a man she’s never seen, the one she believes must be her intended match.
But with time running out, and dark forces attempting to seize her powers for their own, Angela is faced with a terrible choice: give up her dreams of the man she may never meet and take the safer path, or risk leaving her clan and everyone in it at the mercy of those who seek their ruin.
Darkangel is the first book in The Witches of Cleopatra Hill, a paranormal romance trilogy set in the haunted town of Jerome, Arizona.
Purchase Darkangel from Amazon: Darkangel (The Witches of Cleopatra Hill)
A native of Southern California, Christine Pope has been writing stories ever since she commandeered her family’s Smith-Corona typewriter back in the sixth grade. Her short fiction has appeared in Astonishing Adventures, Luna Station Quarterly, and the journal of dark fiction, Dark Valentine. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Christine writes as the mood takes her, and her work includes paranormal romance, and fantasy and science fiction/space opera romance. She blames this on being easily distracted by bright, shiny objects, which could also account for the size of her shoe collection. After spending many years in the magazine publishing industry, she now works as a freelance editor and graphic designer in addition to writing fiction. She fell in love with Sedona, Arizona, while researching the Sedona Trilogy and now makes her home there, surrounded by the red rocks. No alien sightings, though…not yet, anyway!
What inspired you to write this new series?
The inspiration for Darkangel actually came from a dream I had almost a year ago. Since it turned out to be the climactic scene of the novel, I won’t go into too much detail, but that was the where the first idea came from. Also, I wanted to write another paranormal trilogy set in northern Arizona, my adopted home, but I wanted it to be very different from the Sedona Trilogy, my first series set here.
What three adjectives best describe your main character?
Smart. Loyal. Responsible. (That sort of makes Angela sound like a German shepherd. Oops.)
What have been the most enjoyable and challenging experiences for you in writing this novel and planning the series?
The enjoyable part was getting to do in-depth research in Jerome, which luckily is close enough by that I could do a number of day trips to get to know the town better (including going on a ghost-hunting tour, which was a ton of fun). In a way, though, the research was also challenging, since I had to delve into Wiccan practices, local history, and Navajo culture, which meant a lot of reading that I had to cram in around my writing schedule.
What scene was the most difficult to write?
It sort of sneaked up on me, but the scene where Angela is with her great-aunt when she passes away was really tough. By the end I was crying buckets. I think part of it was having to deal with my own mother’s passing and the emotions that stirred up. In retrospect, it felt hard to me because at least Angela got to say goodbye to her great-aunt, and I didn’t have that chance because my mother was suffering from dementia when she passed away and didn’t really recognize her children.
Which authors have had a significant influence on your writing?
Growing up, I read a ton of Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels, and an equal ton of Victoria Holt’s and Phyllis Whitney’s gothic novels. I know I got my love of first-person narrative from them (and probably a love of brooding heroes with secrets as well). Stephen King, too, for his amazing characters and his way of making me have to know what happens next.
Dark angel is the first book in this trilogy. Can you tell us more about what we can expect in future installments?
You’ll learn a lot more about the bad guys, the Wilcoxes, who maybe aren’t quite as bad as Angela’s been taught to believe. Of course you’ll see further development of the central love story, which has its arc over all three of the books. That’s something of a departure for me, because even in my series I tend to write standalone novels. In this case, though, it just felt natural to let the romance develop throughout the course of the three books. You’ll also find out who Angela’s father actually was.
If Darkangel were to be made into a movie, whom would you imagine playing the lead characters?
Well, Damon Wilcox is easy – he’d be played by James Purefoy. I think Jenna Dewan Tatum (from The Witches of East End) has the right look for Angela, although Jenna is about ten years older than Angela. I really haven’t found the right Connor yet, although Chase Williamson (from John Dies at the End) would make a great Adam. Melissa McBride (from The Walking Dead), would make a good Aunt Rachel, although she’d need to wear a wig, since Rachel has long hair.
A special thank you to Ms. Pope for participating in the interview for Sun Mountain Reviews
GRAND PRIZE: $50 Amazon gift card + paperback copy of the book
RUNNERS UP: 3 runners-up, $10 Amazon gift card each + ebook