If life is a funny thing, death has a wicked sense of humor.
President Miranda Hutchinson orchestrated the dissolution of the magical colony of Rezarta following its attempted secession, and three years after her death, no one has any idea that a ghost remains.
Journalist Scanlon Ness exposed the relationship between vampires and organized crime, but he can’t protect himself from joining the ranks of the thirsty dead.
The most perceptive eyes and ears of her generation belong to artist Meliana Lucas, but it is to her surprise when she sees the spirit of a woman who died but did not depart.
Humanity’s answer to the incompletely dead has long been to shun vampires and ignore ghosts. Miranda needs to be heard, and Meliana won’t let the barrier between living and haunting stand in her way. There are some who don’t want Miranda to regain her voice, and for someone like Meliana, the friendship of a ghost is no protection. The paths of artist, ghost and newborn vampire will come crashing together, and they are not prepared for how the dust will clear.
Welcome, Alyson Miers! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
I’m one of those people who get way too excited over weird things. Exercising and developing creativity is an end unto itself, but if it also leads me to write more interesting books, so much the better.
I like to make things with my hands. Sometimes I pick up yarn and needles and make a pretty scarf or shawl; sometimes I pick up a trackpad and make pretty graphics or fonts, and much of the time I pick up a notebook and pen and make worlds with characters.
I live in Maryland near Washington, DC, and sometimes people ask where I’m from, because so many people around here came from somewhere else. I grew up here and stayed.
Is Suicide is for Mortals a single title, or part of a series?
Suicide is for Mortals will be the first in a series! I intend to make each book a story unto itself. Most of its characters will also be present in most future volumes, but each book will have an independent plot so that readers can hop into the After Rezarta world at any stage.
What were your inspirations for the story?
I read and enjoyed Sunshine, by Robin McKinley, which shows an interesting interpretation of vampirism. I enjoy ghost stories, and may have delved into those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books as a kid. I love the Harry Potter series and became entirely too enmeshed in its fandom for much of my young adult life. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and a good deal of literary fiction, so it’s difficult to follow the threads back to their sources.
Please share your setting for Suicide is for Mortals. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Suicide is for Mortals takes place mostly in a fictional city (Athanoria) in southwestern New Mexico. Some parts of the story take place in Seattle and rural Wyoming. I will confess that I have not visited that part of the country, but for the After Rezarta world’s history to make sense, I had to get away from the mid-Atlantic. I like the idea of my mortals strolling around the high desert with their ghost. I like to think of my fairies dancing around high mountains. My characters need lots of open space that isn’t available where I live.
When did the writing bug first bite?
It was a very, very long time ago. I was a nerdy little kid who loved reading and didn’t like school but still enjoyed those creative writing assignments. One time in middle school, the bus driver demanded my attention because she couldn’t see my face in the mirror. I had my nose stuck in a book. I started writing stories in my spiral notebook when I young enough to have a babysitter after school.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
I mentioned Harry Potter before, and I’ve read and become engrossed in several of Alice Hoffman’s books. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer. I read Praise of Motherhood by Phil Jourdan for a blog tour, and it was amazing. I got a real kick out of Rabbits in the Garden, by Jessica McHugh.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Well, I did a Peace Corps assignment in Albania, so it’s difficult to choose from strange experiences. There was the time when I was buying something in a store, heard a terrifying screaming sound, and wondered who was torturing that poor child. It turned out to be a goat that someone was carrying to a scale in the store. I’m sure the animal was slaughtered later that afternoon. The most horrible thing I’ve ever heard was someone choking on a piece of sweet potato at my workplace. Don’t worry, someone came to her aid and she made a full recovery, but I hope I never hear anyone choking ever again. If someone were to put pure terror and pain into soundwave form, it would be that choking sound.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I have far more hobbies than I have spare time. I often knit or crochet while watching TV, and I own a spinning wheel and know how to use it. I have been known to design fonts, I have a huge Dropbox folder full of fractal flames, I make soap, lotion, and other bath products from scratch, and I own a Holga camera that takes medium-format film. Also, I make my own wine. Party at my house!
Good lord almighty. When I was approached to review this book, I just got to the part of that there would be vampires, ghosts and suspense. Yep, stopped reading the blurb and immediately said yes. Of course, once I started reading it, I was shocked, pleasantly I might add. Its Urban Fantasy. Now most know, I won’t touch Urban Fantasy with a ten foot pole. Okay, I like my O’Kanes from Kit Rocha but that’s it. 🙂
So I’m reading and reading and getting more engrossed in the book. Sure, the world building is a lot to take in at first. Most first books in a series do but again, sucked in. And then throw in the back stories of Miranda, Meliana and Scanlon. I will admit that I was a bit bored about 1/3 of the way in because of all of this but once you get past all of that, the story takes off. Literally…
This isn’t your normal take on Vamps either. Sure, they are some that are malicious but for the most part, most still have that “human side” to them. Plus, Miranda and Meliana are extremely strong-willed and independent characters that I didn’t expect at all. In my reading lately of non-contemporary books, most of the women have been pawns or TSTL characters. Ms. Miers has created two female characters that I came to connect with easily and rooted for in the end.
Let’s not forget that Miranda is a ghost and trying to cross over. Meliana wants to help but that’s when the story just ramps up. There is a lot going on with them but its completely believable. And that dear readers is why I like the book. Its believable Urban Fantasy with the paranormal elements that I like. Vamps that don’t glow, Fae and ghosts. I’m a simple person. LOL! Oh and let’s not forgot my favorite part…the suspense.
This book is fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat once the first third of the book was done. I would definitely pick up another book from Ms. Miers. She made Urban Fantasy believable for me and a genre that I would try again. One warning…I felt like the epilogue didn’t tie up things that I would have liked but I found it in the interview above, its not finished. Woot!
Alyson Miers was born into a family of compulsive readers and thought it would be fun to get on the other side of the words. She attended Salisbury University, where she majored in English Creative Writing for some reason, and minored in Gender Studies. In 2006, she did the only thing a 25-year-old with a B.A. in English can do to pay the rent: joined the Peace Corps. At her assignment of teaching English in Albania, she learned the joys of culture shock, language barriers and being the only foreigner on the street, and got Charlinder off the ground. She brought home a completed first draft in 2008 and, between doing a lot of other stuff such as writing two other books, she managed to ready it for publication in 2011. She regularly shoots her mouth off at her blog, The Monster’s Ink, when she isn’t writing fiction or holding down her day job. She lives in Maryland with her computer and a lot of yarn.