Friday, March 2, 2018

Interview with paranormal novelist J.B. Coates

Novelist J.B. Coates is here today and she’s chatting with me about her new paranormal mystery, Integrity: An Obsidian Guardian Novel Vol. 1.

JB Coates was born on an Army base in Germany during her father's deployment. She was raised in El Paso, Texas on a healthy diet of desert heat and Chico's tacos.

She published her first book in the Obsidian Guardian series in 2015 with the second slated for release soon. In her books, she takes the reader on thrilling adventures with fearless heroines who take control of their fears, their magic and their own destinies. They are aided by the ever-sexy Obsidian Guardians. Smooth black stone by day, hot smoldering heroes by night.

JB is as fearless with her writing as she is in her real life as a professional paranormal investigator and mother. She lives her chaotic life in Springfield, Tn. with her talented photographer husband, four exceptional children, 3 dogs and a ginger kitty named Thor.

JB spends her free time at book signings meeting fans, comic cons promoting her upcoming paranormal series, random dark basements of a haunted houses or her local Starbucks.

Please tell us about your current release.
Gargoyles- Stone statues depicting hideous monsters that are said to chase away evil. What if the legends are closer to the truth than anyone knew?

The Obsidian Guardians lived in daylight as statues of their spirit animals and stalked the night in human form. Created by witches as protectors to those families who were entrusted with magic. Families born only to keep balance in nature and save humanity.

Audra Ketchum moved to Integrity three months ago to escape her past and find anonymity. Her hopes and dreams for finding a fresh start were not in the cards of fate. After starting college and finding employment at an antique shop she finds herself thrust into a world of magic, conspiracy, passion and murder.

Castile, an Obsidian Guardian appointed with protecting Audra, feels that he is always on the verge of failure after the deaths of his last charges. Loyal to a fault, and naïve, Castile hopes that his Troop will find their way back to the true purpose of their nature. To protect the Chosen. 

Ultimately, Audra and Castile must face their respective pasts to secure their future. Working together, can they find love and move closer to freeing the world from the Dark Ones, demons and horrors hell bent on destroying humankind and stealing magic for their own nefarious purposes?

What inspired you to write this book?
Seven years ago, I gave birth to my best friend’s son. The pregnancy was high risk and I ended up having to have an emergency C-section. In the process, I died for two and a half minutes. When I woke up all I could think about was my Obsidian Guardians. I spent hours in the NICU, telling stories to the baby, about these creatures that were made of stone during the day and flesh at night. I told him of their strength and loyalty, and prayed that he would get through and exhibit the same qualities. He pulled through and I decided that since I couldn’t think of anything else, I needed to write down the story of the Obsidian Guardians and the Chosen Families.

Excerpt from Integrity: An Obsidian Guardian Novel Vol. 1:
It was quiet as she started to walk up the street. It seemed that not even the crickets made a sound.  The many shops on the street were closed, and she could make out her own reflection in panes of the windows as she walked by. The dark shadows around the corners of the buildings looked ominous, so she picked up her pace just a little more as she passed them.
The clouds were low and angry looking, but they seemed to give off their own light, like the moon behind them was full and refused to let its light be dampened. The muted light left everything looking eerie and gray.
She didn’t live far, only about seven blocks or so. In the city, that might be close by, but in small towns once you got off the main street that served as a town center, everything was spread out. After the roomy residential area came the farm lands that spread for acres. Audra lived in a small one-bedroom apartment that had all the necessities. The problem was that it was right on the outer edge of where the residential area ended and farmland began. 
Audra was half-way there when the uneasiness she felt increased. She felt like she wasn’t alone. The hair on the back of her neck raised and a tingle started up one arm and down the other. Her pulse picked up for no apparent reason. It seemed like with every step the feeling got stronger, like danger was within reach of her.
She stopped walking and glanced around her. The streets were just as empty as they had been. Somewhere in the distance she could hear a dog barking, but that was the only sound. Not even the wind blew to rustle the leaves on the trees. There was no one. “Okay, Audra you’re losing it.” she mumbled as she began walking again, faster this time. No reason not to be safe.
There was somebody there, a voice in the back of her mind told her. She started running scenarios in her mind of the different things that could happen, from being mugged to raped and murdered. Before she made the conscious decision, she was running. 
She ran like the devil was chasing her, and for all she knew he was. The only salvation was her tiny apartment. That was it, she thought, her apartment. She would be safe if she got there in time. In time for what, she wasn’t sure, but she had to get there.
Meanwhile, the feeling of malice raced from head to toe and became more urgent. There was a need hidden within it. There was a want attached to it that made it worse in her mind.
Audra’s mind created a living thing that pulsed and lashed at her with claws. Imagination was an evil thing, but by that point it had taken on a life of its own. Her imagination was carrying her through the streets as fast as her legs would go.
The apartment was about a block away. She could see the complex, with its well-manicured lawns and well-lit drive. She was almost there, but the burning in her lungs protested more movement. Her muscles threatened to seize with the rate of her escape from the unknown. At any given point, her body could just go on strike from the abuse and give her over to the enemy of her imagination.
She refused to stop. Her muscles yelled to slow, but by shear will, her imagination kept the pace she was going. Her heart was racing, pounding right out of her chest.
Finally, in the apartment complex, she unhooked her keys from her purse, still refusing to slow down, and held them at the ready. Her high school track coach would have been proud at the way she was tearing ass through the complex to the stairs of the apartment building.
“Why, oh why, didn’t I insist on a lower level apartment? Oh yeah, because second level apartments are safer for a single woman.” She berated herself as she climbed the stairs. Her legs threatened to hit the picket line, but she got to her door and the feeling of impending doom receded. Not that she was slowing down. That was the problem with those girls in horror movies, just a hint of security and “BAM” their dead. Not Audra.
Audra threw the door closed behind her and backed up against it listening to the night on the other side. The sound of her heart and her pants were the loudest things she could hear. On the other side of the door there was nothing. The night was as quiet as it had been when she left the store. Sweat slid down both sides of her cheeks, but she didn’t wipe it away. Audra just listened. There was nothing.
She blew out a breath that she hadn’t realized was locked in her chest, and slid down the door in relief, still listening to the world outside. The book and her purse dropped to the floor. A flash of lightning lit up the small apartment, as the clouds released their burden of rain outside.
As she sat on the floor in the darkness of her apartment, a feeling started deep within her chest and bubbled out of her mouth. The sounds of her own hysterical laughter bounced off the walls around her.
She wondered what the good residents of Integrity thought about the newest member of their community, running like a mad woman through the streets. “Why didn’t you let Mark walk you home, again?” She asked herself aloud. “Because… I’m stupid.” She answered.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Oh man, where to start? While working on the first season for my TV show, that will air in the first quarter of next year with Amazon Prime, I’m also writing three books. Two of these are Obsidian Guardian novels and one stand-alone novel.  The Obsidian Guardian novels have a few of the same fun characters from Integrity and they really being the books together.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day that I decided to sit and write, I was a writer. Things start going together, and meshing, but the question of when did I consider myself an author is a better question. I think that it changes from day to day. My husband loves to correct me when I’m speaking with people about what I do. 

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do write full time. Fortunately, I have a job that allows me the time that I need. My family is very supportive when I have a deadline, and if I don’t want to, I don’t.  I don’t want to fall into the trap that some writers get into. The one where they pressure themselves into banging out something and they ultimately are unhappy with what they have done.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
While writing I have to put my phone at the other side of the house. My attention span will not let me just concentrate on my writing if I have access to Facebook on my phone. Then my husband will come home, after not calling me all day because I’m writing, and ask how much I got done. My only answer is, “Did you know that so and so broke up?” The look he gives me never fails to make me laugh.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Grow up? I don’t think I have. I have a very whimsical mind. There are still times that I find myself thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. From a nurse, to an astronaut, to a pretty pretty princess. I have my days. However, because I write, I can be all those things all in one, in any given book.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Live life loud. Dance like there is no one watching, and love with a passion that will set your soul on fire as often as you can.


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