Athena Harrow is about to turn twenty-one, but there will be no celebration. What is there to celebrate when the world is ruled by demons?
She hates the darkness the demons brought with them and longs for the light to return to the world—a world she only vaguely remembers. The people in her forest village blindly accept the life the demons forced upon them, even tolerating the yearly ascension ceremony where all the girls who have turned twenty-one are either sent away to serve the Master Demon or left in the village and forced to procreate.
But Paymon, the assigned village demon, selects a different role for Athena, a role that pits her against the village. While she adapts to her new life, Erebus, a younger, more powerful demon, arrives, and Athena must play a dangerous game with his emotions in return for information about the demon’s reign of darkness.
As Athena’s dreams of restoring the light begin to fade, her life with Erebus takes an unexpected turn, and this time it’s her life being put to the test.
Set in the forest around Buttercrambe in North Yorkshire, England, INIQUITY explores the frightening, darker side of romance and the uncontrolled emotions it can unleash.
~ Xpresso BT
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
The natural disasters that had happened around the world: The ash spewing volcano in Iceland, and the tsunami’s hitting the Philippines and Japan. I just thought, what if this is a warning of some sort? Why is this happening? Why is there a sudden increase? My mind kept coming back to the warning though, and that’s where the idea of demons trying to escape from under the earth’s crust came from. All these ‘natural’ disasters were the demons’ testing their power, waiting for the right moment to ascend. Iniquity deals with what happened when they did ascend from under the world’s surface.
3. Your all time favorite book? ?
Twilight by Stephanie Myers
4. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
It was the book that inadvertently started my writing. I was so annoyed when I finished reading Breaking Dawn (The last book in the series) that I threw it (hardback) across the room. The dint in the wall is still there. I started looking on the internet to see if any other people had felt the same as me. That’s when I came across the Twilight community on Fanfiction, and that’s what made me want to write my own books
5. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
It’s hard to say, as I switch between projects, but the longest will probably be the one I’m still working on, the Mine Series. This series is a 4 book series. The third book is with my publisher at the moment and the fourth is half written. I would think that the fourth and last book in the series will probably be released in 2018 sometime, so considering I started planning and researching the whole series back in 2011. It’ll have been 7 years from start to finish!
6. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?
It’s made me a lot more aware of my surroundings. I sometimes feel like a sponge, absorbing sights, sounds, and smells. But visuals always gain my attention—the way someone walks, talks, and reacts, and what they wear. I’ve also developed something of a thick skin, like most authors.
7. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
I work Monday to Wednesday as a finance officer. It’s a very structured job and very different to the fantasy I write. I write on a Thursday and Friday when my husband’s at work and my two teenage sons are at school. At the weekend I try to not write during the day unless I have a deadline or am at a particularly important scene in my writing. I love listening to music, and can often be found with my earpods in whilst ironing or cooking.
8. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
Iniquity is the first book in The Ascent Series. It was always going to be a two book series, but whilst planning out the second book in more detail I realized that it will probably become a three book series! In the second book you’ll get introduced to ‘city-living’ with the renegades and infernals and another, as yet, unknown creature that will have a massive effect on Athena. And of course—we’ll get to meet the Master.
9. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
The third book in The Mine Series, Sachael Delusions, will be released in the new year. (Sachael Dreams, Sachael Desires are books one and two). I’m also writing a three book series ‘Love is’. It’s a little bit different for me as it’s contemporary romance, no fantasy in sight! I’m also working on a romantic fantasy stand-alone novel, a fairytale mix up called GLOW.
10. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ?
A combination of things really. I met a lot of self-published authors earlier this year at my first book signing event. Talking to them and seeing the freedom and control they had with their books really inspired me. I’d had the first two books in The Mine Series released through a publisher and whereas I’m fully committed to working with them on the rest of the series and potential other works in the future, I wanted to try dipping my toes in the water by myself.
The timing was right for Iniquity as well. At the end of March I was unfortunately made redundant from my job of 14 years, and I had some spare money to spend on people who could help me on my journey. I had the means to invest in a stunning cover, and a professional development edit and line edits. These are both things that I’ll never scrimp on. A good cover is vital these days and the knowledge and advice re plot development and editing that I can get from an editor are necessities for me. Iniquity wouldn’t be as strong as it is now without the expertise of my editor who worked on it with me.
11. What would you say was the toughest part? ?
The toughest part was probably the edits. Katelyn, my editor, suggested some significant changes, and I think it’s always a knee-jerk reaction to say ‘No’. But, I didn’t. I listened to why she thought each change was necessary. I took on every change bar one!
12. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ?
Yes, I was lucky enough to have the money available to pay for professionals in all these areas.
Amalia Chituelscu as my cover designer, Katelyn Stark (Starkcontrastediting) as my editor, and Stacey (Champagne formats) as my formatter
13. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ?
I’d seen so many gorgeous covers by Amalia, and I knew she’d capture Iniquity perfectly. I’ve known Katelyn for many years, back to when we both started on our writing journeys. She’s gained enormous experience in the writing world and set up her own editing business. She was the first person I turned to with Iniquity, and we were both massively excited about working together again. I picked Stacey after seeing examples of her work. She was professional and quick. I’d work with all three again, and hope to with the rest of the series.
14. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’? ?
I started researching Iniquity at the beginning of last year. I started writing it last summer, finishing the first draft that Xmas. This year has been spent editing, editing and more editing, up until I hit publish. So in total it’s taken me about 22 months.
15. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ?
Just Amazon and through me (paperbacks). After a lot of thought I decided to run with just Amazon for three months. It may turn out to be the best, or worse, decision I’ve made.
16. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change? ?
Due to several timeline scares I wish I’d given myself an extra month before release day. But, despite some panics this summer about getting things ready, it all worked out in the end.
17. What’s one characteristic of an author who self-publishes, one word that would describe them? ?
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ?
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? ?
Born Survivor by Bear Grylls. This would be a time when I’d need to be practical.
3. Name your favorite fruit. ?
4. Coffee or tea? ?
Tea, coffee makes me sick.
5. Favorite season? ?
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? ?
Between 8 and 12 on an evening. It’s quiet and peaceful, especially with a few nibbles and a glass or two of wine.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ?
I was a girlguide (Showing my age now) and got all the badges to become one of the last Queen’s Guides in England.
8. Favorite food for breakfast? ?
Hot toast and lots of melted butter.
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
Coming Down by Carrie Elks.
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? ?
Not really, although I do have a rather large collection of fridge magnets on my fridge freezer. Everyone seems to bring them back from their holidays for me.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
12. Drama or comedy? ?
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ?
Keep dreaming . . .
14. Cats or dogs? ?
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ?
Candle lit dinner.
16. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
Quicksand by Tom Chaplin
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 ?
I didn’t. It’s way up there above any personal wishes. Like everyone else, I’m so saddened by what’s happening in the world today.
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ?
Galaxy chocolate. I always have a large bar of it stashed away. The boys and hubby know not to touch it!
2. Your oldest memory is… ?
Shouting for my mum and feeling very proud of myself for saying her name. I was only about 8 months old at the time.
3. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?
Talking. I never stop.
4. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
Exams and meetings. Silence in a large hall with other people – torture.
5. Your favorite part of a date is… ?
Getting close enough to smell his aftershave. Even after 17 years of marriage I love snuggling into my hubbies neck if we’re out, and getting that lovely scent.
6. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ?
It would be Kaimi from The Mine Series, particularly in the book Sachael Desires.
7. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?
8. You’d immediately fall for someone who… ?
9. The one thing you could/can never get over is… ?
10. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ?
Teleportation. It would be wonderful to get rid of all that travelling time if I wanted to.
11. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ?
12. The most awkward moment in your life happened when… ?
Too many to mention. But I am slightly deaf (too many gigs when I was younger) and so I constantly mishear what people say.
13. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?
About the Author & Links:
Growing up, Melody showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced the methodical times she spends working with numbers fuel her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.
Melody Winter lives in York, North Yorkshire, England with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the nearby beaches at Scarborough and Whitby. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures.