Thank you for having me Carly! I'm really excited to be your guest :)
Tell us a little about yourself?
Oh, shall I make up something interesting or just go with the boring truth? Lol. I was born in Italy but moved to the UK 14 years ago. I live in Manchester with my family which includes two crazy cats, a very patient husband and a hyperactive 4 year old :p
I love my family, and I love Manchester. It's home.
Last year in May I published my first book, “Bites” through Bitten Fruit Books, followed by a short story called “Nannies, Inc” last Xmas. I love writing, reading, music and movies. I'm a huge Geek and proud, and my hobbies include Live Action Role Playing (LARP), eating out and cooking and ignoring the scales...
Could you tell us a bit about Bites?
“Bites” is an anthology of two novelettes: “Last of the Blood” and “Demonica”. It's my own view of Vampires, and aimed at a Young Adult/Adult audience. They are very different, “Last of the Blood” is the story of Damon, a young man who is turned into a Vampire during World War I and learns to live with his new nature. “Demonica” is an origin story, the creation of a Demonic mythology that revolves around Irina, a young girl who lives in Eden and dreams of joining the dark Daemonic Court.
Both stories have Vampires in them, but though they are the protagonists in “Last of the Blood”, they take more of a back seat in “Demonica”. Either way, I wanted to explore this creature that so many others have portrayed and see it through my own eyes.
“Nannies, Inc” is a short story born from a very silly conversation with my good friend, R.A. Smith, author of
“Oblivion Storm” (if you haven't read it you totally should, it's amazing!), during a chilled afternoon drinking tea and eating biscuits :) It's the story of Elizabeth, a woman who dreams of the perfect job working with children. My publisher describes it as “Mary Poppins” meets “Back to the Future”. I like to think of it as a sweet fantastic story with a twist ;)
Describe your typical writing day.
I usually only get to write in the evenings after I have fed the family and my daughter is tucked into her bed :) Then I retreat into the kitchen, my writing cave, with a very large pot of steaming tea and my headphones on and just shut the world out. Music is indispensable for me, it creates a bit of a bubble around me and inspires me. I have a few different playlists and choose them depending on the mood of the scene I'm writing. I used to be a Smoking Writer, my Muse had this really bizarre craving for cigarettes but it just didn't go well with my asthma, so now I drink copious amounts of tea instead, and try not to nibble on too many snacks :p Word count can be anything between 500 and 3000 words, but I don't tend to give myself too much of a target, some days I just feel lucky that I can sit down and write at all!
What is the toughest part of the writing process for you?
Finding the time to sit down and write! Lol :)
Jokes apart, sometimes it's just hard to put words down to paper. I know it wounds weird, but most stories and characters are perfectly formed in my head by the time I sit down and start writing, which means it becomes difficult because whenever I'm writing the words down I'm constantly debating whether it does the scene or character justice. I suppose most authors get like that. You're always thinking the words just aren't good enough. There's always that shadow of self doubt, the fear that you won't be able to tell the story properly, that your imagination won't translate and people will not “get it”. But you just push past it and take that leap of faith, and hope someone else will take that leap with you :)
What is your favourite quote(s) from Bites?
I'm not very good at choosing my own quotes, but I've tried to pick one for each of the stories that kinda sums up what they are about. So here we go, one from Damon, protagonist of “Last of the Blood”, and one from Irina from “Demonica”:
“How unfair that I should find her here, at the end of everything. And yet what is the end, if not a new beginning?”
~ Damon ~ Last of the Blood.
“Good girls go to the Celestial Court, my mother used to tell me … but honestly, who wants to be a good girl when you can have fun?”
~ Irina~ Demonica.
I love both characters for different reasons. Damon's sweet and melancholic voice, and Irina's irreverence ;)
What are your 3 most favourite reads? (I know it's a tough one)
Oh dear... this one's a “toughy” for sure... Ehm, I'm going to have to cheat! Sorry! Can it be three series? I'll go with that as otherwise I wouldn’t be able to choose at all Xp
In no particular order: “The Georgina Kincaid” series by Richelle Mead, “The Witching Pen” Novellas by Dianna Hardy, and the “Women of the Otherworld” series by Kelley Armstrong.
All three series revolve around the Paranormal genre and have strong female characters and fantastic plot lines :) Incidentally these are also my three favourite authors :)
There are many, many, many other books and authors that I adore but you have been cruel and only allowed me three choices...sigh! :p
Favourite fictional character? Why?
Another hard one! Who should I pick?! Well, since I was little I've always loved Jo March from “Little Women” by Louisa M. Alcott. She's strong, she loves writing and gets lost in books, she doesn't conform to what people expect of her but finds her own path in life, one small step after the other. She remains true to herself and in the end finds happiness. She's a loyal and caring friend, but not at the expense of her individuality. I like that through her life, she has many hard moments, but she never changes who she is, she just grows into the best person she can be without giving up on her dreams, hopes and without changing, only maturing :)
Are you working on anything at the moment that you can share with us? Maybe even a sneaky little peek? ;)
I'm always working on something, there's like a dozen different projects on my computer in different stages of writing, lol. It's the problem with most writers, we have too many stories and characters bouncing around in our heads ;)
I do have an almost completed project, “Divine” which I’m co-writing with the lovely Misty Price (from the Bookaholics Book Club). We are currently going through edits to polish it up and send it into the world. It's a Young Adult Mythological Fantasy story that revolves around two sixteen year old girls, Callie and Tia. I don't want to give too much away, but there are little snippets on my Facebook page, and here is the first chapter just for you ;)
I hope you enjoy it, but please remember this is still the rough version and that things might still change by the time “Divine” reaches publication!
Thank you so much for having me here at Fiction Fascination! xxx
The dream starts as it always does.
In front of me it's a mirror, and in the mirror a girl about my age staring back at me.
Where my hair is black as night, hers is as blonde as spun gold, but our olive skin complexion and our strange grey eyes are the same. If it wasn't for the blonde hair I would think it my own reflection such is the staggering resemblance between us.
'Who are you?' I want to ask, but before I can utter the words the mirror shatters and I'm covered in blood, mine or hers I can't tell but it's everywhere, and so are the ghosts and the corpses in different stages of decomposition. The girl is gone.
I want to run, but there are just too many of them, reaching out to me, pulling, pushing, grabbing. I fight them with all I have, but to no avail.
The smell of rotten flesh makes me gag and my stomach heaves,
'It must be a dream,' I keep chanting in my head, 'wake up Callie, wake up!'
Only when I open my eyes the ghosts are still there, crowding around my bed, spilling out of my bedroom door like a macabre parade.
I scream, wishing them away with all I have inside me.
Hands grab me and I try to fight them away, desperate.
I scream until my throat is raw and my voice cracks.
“Callie! Sweetheart is me!”
Through the fog of fear I recognize my mum's voice and I surrender to her arms sobbing.
“Baby what is it? Talk to me” she tells me in soothing tones.
I inhale deeply, letting her vanilla and cinnamon scent wash over my nerves and calm
“Just a dream” I whisper hoarsely.
She nods, brushing strands of black hair away from my face “I see...” she says, a tired smile on her lips “...well, just try and relax sweetheart, it's a special day tomorrow and you need your beauty sleep” she winks at me.
I nod and pull my fluffy purple duvet back onto the bed from the floor, where I've probably kicked it during the nightmare.
“Do you need anything?” mum asks, stopping by the door and looking at me with far more concern than I would expect.
I shake my head “No...no I'm good, just another stupid nightmare. I don't even remember it anymore...”
She just stares at me intensely for a moment, her pyjama clad figure framed in the light spilling from the corridor. She looks like she wants to say more, as if she knows I'm lying, but in the end decides against it and just leaves, after giving me another smile “All right then, I'll wake you up for breakfast baby.”
With that she's gone, and I'm left in my room alone and still a little terrified.
The alarm clock on my bedside table reads 00.01 am.
It's October 31st, Halloween.
Happy Birthday to me.
Today I turn sixteen.
© “Divine” by Ninfa Hayes and Misty Price. All rights reserved. This excerpt is still in editing stages and is subject to changes.
Links for Ninfa Hayes:
“Bites” and “Nannies, Inc” are available now from all major book online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and Smashwords.
Anyone that comments on this post, or drops by Ninfa's Facebook page and tells her about this interview, will be entered in a swag pack giveaway where you could win a "Bites ~ Nothing has ever tasted so sweet ~ " T-Shirt and "Bites" Pen, as well as choose a personalised signed card, Cupcakes or Geishas....