Friday, June 4, 2010

Everyone, say "Hello" to Yolanda Sfetsos~

CJ: Hello, Yolanda. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today. We’re excited to have you here today!

I’m excited to be here too. Thanks for having me.

Q: So, first of all, we want to know about your latest novel. What can you tell us about Boundless?

Well, Boundless is the third novella in my Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy. It wraps up several story arcs which started with Faithless and continued into Careless. It’s also the story that pushes all the characters to their limits, with some strange and surprising results.

Q: I think everyone would love to know what inspired this particular novel. Can you tell us about that?

Sure, I’d love to. I’ve always been intrigued by faith healers. You see them on TV and think they’re nuts, totally making it up. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder… how cool would it be if there really was someone who could do that? But they weren’t born with the ability, and instead conjured a demon who would give them the power to heal.

That’s how Alyce Kerr was born. She bound a demon to herself and became an instant success. Yet, she’s not happy. How can she be when this demon is slowly eating away her soul?

I had a great time exploring just how close Alyce gets to the edge of darkness, rekindles a past relationship, and then finds herself in a situation that could tear everything apart all over again.

Q: I’m dying to know more about the Main Characters of your novel. Can you give us a brief description of each?

I think this might be the best way to do it:

Alyce Kerr: Is a blue-eyed blonde with curly long locks. She’s a Faith Healer who starts out touring the country and selling out nightly shows. She loves healing people, but despises her existence because of the demon piggybacking her soul. She starts out pretty negative and weak, maybe even a little pathetic, but as the trilogy moves along and she gets back together with Ross, she starts to find an inner strength that is helped along by some very peculiar events.

Ross Garcia: Is brown-eyed and has longish dark hair. He’s a Demon Hunter who fell for Alyce the first time they met. And even after they broke up, he kept an eye on her. Until he figured out she’d gotten herself into some pretty deep demonic trouble and became determined to help her out of it. No matter what the sacrifice.

Buer: Is the horrid demon Alyce conjured and bound to herself. He’s got two shapes—one is that of a centaur—but spends most of his time in his original form. That shape is a demented head with arms and legs haphazardly situated. He turns like a wheel, more than walks.

Kelly Dawe: Is an older woman who looks after herself pretty well and makes it hard to determine her age. She hides away in the Blue Mountains and happens to be a demonologist who leads Alyce and Ross to believe that she can help them sever Buer from Alyce. However, she’s got her own plans and adds a lot of trouble to their lives.

Sebastian Morrow: Is the tall, blue-eyed, and very mysterious best friend and colleague of Ross. He hunts demons, but is actually something supernatural too. And he’s very mysterious. He does everything he can to help them out of their latest jam, with some surprising results.

Q: Okay, I’m a huge fan of quotes taken from novels. Would you tell us one of your favorites quotes from Boundless?

This is something that Sebastian says: “In spite of what people believe, most demons can’t survive in our world without being attached to a human host to offer them energy.”

After I read this bit of dialogue a few times, I realized how important it was for Alyce to hear this from someone. All of the other quotes I could think of were too naughty to share. ;)

Q: A little about you. When did you decide to write your first novel?

Oh, I’ve been writing for a long time now. It all started when I was in my teens. I always had a very overactive imagination, and soon found myself writing down ideas and characters, until they eventually turned into stories.

I wrote my first ‘real’ novel when I was about sixteen.

Q: Do you have a system or particular ritual you do before/ during writing to keep the words flowing?

I don’t really have a ritual, but I do like to make sure that I have everything related to my current WIP nearby. Otherwise I feel like something’s missing and can’t concentrate properly. Also, if I’m alone and in the right state of mind, I can be sure that the words will flow when I need them to.

Of course, things don’t always go according to plan.

Q: What do you find the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

The easiest part about writing has to be coming up with the ideas, writing everything down until it starts making sense. This is also when I have fun researching online, or casting my characters with pictures of celebrities. It’s great!

The hardest thing has got to be the waiting. We’re always waiting aren’t we? Waiting for responses, waiting to develop each idea, waiting in between drafts… you get the picture.

Q: We all know writers spend a great deal of time researching. Can you tell us one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research for your writing?

Sometimes, when the story is just an idea scratching away at my brain and I get started on the research I’ve found that the actual act of casting characters and then looking up the things that I need to know more about, makes the overall story become a little clearer. The more I research, the more concrete the story becomes.

I’ve actually stumbled on creatures and other facets that I hadn’t expected to include in the story by doing just that.

Besides, I’m a huge fan of research. It’s exciting, and always gets the creative juices flowing.

Q: If you could physically visit the world in any book, which book would it be and why?

What an awesome question! I’m going to go with my own stories…

As dark as Alyce’s world is with all the demonic threats, I would absolutely love to visit her world. I would also enjoy a brief stay in Trina’s world. She’s the main character in my upcoming urban fantasy series, The Hidden.

Q: What one work of fiction do you think has made the biggest impact on your life? How?

Definitely Cabal by Clive Barker. I actually watched the movie first, when I was in high school, and absolutely loved it. Nightbreed was one of those weird and macabre movies that hooked me in and took me on an insane ride. When I got my hands on the book, wow! I read it very quickly and found a depth that only added to the enjoyment of the movie.

Up until I read this book, I’d been toying with several horror ideas but when I read this book, I started my adventure into storytelling in the darkness of worlds hidden, or a little different from ours—a place where the monsters aren’t always the bad guys and good people don’t always do the right thing.

Q: Last question before we wrap this interview up. Please finish this sentence in a way that best describes you, for us. “People would be surprised to know that...”
“ I’m a compulsive double checker.”

Actually, I’m double checking this interview right now. :) Oh, okay, maybe they wouldn’t be that surprised. I double check everything—ranging from my stories, all the way to checking all the doors are locked at the end of the night.

CJ: Thank you, again for visiting with us, Yolanda. I would invite all our guests to check out Boundless: Book 3 of the Alyce Kerr Faith Healer Trilogy by Yolanda Sfetsos on sale now at Damnation Books. Below is an excerpt from Yolanda’s novella, Boundless. Please read on!

Excerpt from Boundless: Book 3 of the Alyce Kerr Faith Healer Trilogy

“I just want to know how far you’re willing to go for him.”

“Have you found something that might help?” Hope surfaced and made her heart beat faster than it had for days. “I miss Ross so much. I would do anything to get him back.”
Sebastian turned to look at the curtain-covered window. “Good, because I just might have an answer, then.”

“What is it?”
He shook his head and stood up, putting the cigarette out in the ashtray on the bedside table.
Alyce grabbed his free hand, feeling a rush of goosebumps race up her arm. “Sebastian, whatever it takes.”
“If I’m right, that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do, so I hope you mean it.” He turned away, and she let go of his hand, watching him approach his bed again as he dumped the book he’d been scrutinizing for another, smaller one. When he opened the black, leather-bound book, she spied the title scrawled in gold: Sex Magic & Ritualistic Practices.

The title didn’t fill her with confidence or provide a glimpse into his solution, but she decided not to think about it until Sebastian was ready to let her in on the plan.
Instead, she lay back on the bed and closed her eyes. Maybe with the sun still streaming through the window, she might be able to catch a few hours’ worth of sleep without the nightmares darkness brought on. She just wished she could enjoy the happy dreams she’d started having after Ross reentered her life rather than the frightening, soulless Buer-induced ones hounding her lately.
Ross, I’m coming for you…


  1. Wow! I'm speechless. This is the first time we've not had a comment since I started this blog.

    I think your story sounds great, Yolanda! The idea of a real healer is really cool and I love your premise. I wish you many, many sales.



  2. Your characters in the trilogy sound deep and intriguing. I like the faith healing/demon angle. Sounds like a dark, exciting read. Going onto my TBR pile. All three of them.

  3. Hi CJ! Thanks for having me over here today. I appreciate it!

    Lorrie, wow, thanks! Faith healing is something that I thought would be great with a demonic angle. :)

  4. Your book sounds intriguing, Yolanda. I enjoyed your intrview, too.