Thursday, October 27, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Death's Hand by S.M. Reine

UFI welcomes Author S.M. Reine. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

Most people don’t realize that SM Reine is like Batman for me. It’s my alter ego, in which I’m free to rock the leather and chains and write crazy dark fiction. In reality, I’m Bruce Wayne—not so much a millionaire playboy, but a fairly normal suburban wife and mother. I pay the bills working in higher education. I have the house with the white picket fence and everything. I don’t think anybody is surprised to find out I write dark fantasy and horror, though, since I do have pink hair and three black cats! (Bruce Wayne is much better at faking it than I am.)

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

I’m a big TV and movie buff. I used to see almost every new movie that came out in the theater until I had the Helpful Baby, who’s not so much a fan of sitting in a loud, dark room for two hours at a time. Nowadays, when I’m not working (which is uncommon), I laze around the house watching Netflix and polishing my sword collection. When days are nice, I love to go hiking and take the family to the park. And I’m insane for frozen yogurt.

What is your Favorite part of writing?

I get pretty nasty writer’s block, which is miserable, but finding ways to break the writer’s block is so much fun! Often, I require a change of scenery. One of my books was entirely written on my laptop in the car while my husband drove laps around the city. With another book, I had to physically act out the battles in order to figure out how they worked, which meant me swinging a sword while my husband pretended to be a giant spider. (My husband is a very patient man.) Death’s Hand was mostly revised in a local Starbucks while the baristas kept bringing me venti skinny vanilla lattes. It’s a good thing caffeine shakes don’t translate to the page.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

Like many writers, I need great music to write really well. I have to find just the write soundtrack for the book. Sometimes there’s only one song that captures the feeling of a project, and I’ll listen to the exact same song on repeat for days, weeks, or even months—and believe me, that drives my poor husband insane! Death’s Hand is a hard rock book, so I listened to a lot of Disturbed, Korn, and Tool while writing it. Considering I normally like to listen to opera and 80s New Wave, this is really weird for me.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?

This could be a huge list! I’m crazy for urban fantasy. The Dresden Files are an obvious favorite of mine. I also love the Anita Blake series (actually, to be precise, I love Edward from the Anita Blake series—my copy of Obsidian Butterfly disintegrated years ago) and everything Mercy Thompson. I couldn’t possibly address my favorite urban fantasy authors without mentioning Seanan McGuire and Kit Whitfield, too. But if you’ve got a book with a weapon-wielding woman in leather on the cover, I’m pretty much going to love it.

How would you pitch Death’s Hand to someone who has not heard of it before?

An exorcist tries to retire and discovers it’s not so easy to escape her past. That’s the short of it—the long of it involves gods and demons, the friends we make and the family we choose, hot shirtless guys, and phenomenal cosmic power.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Death’s Hand is set in?

The world that Elise Kavanagh lives in is very much like ours, except that angels and demons are living alongside humans. They have their own government structure, run businesses, and wage hidden wars in our cities. Elise is one of a few hundred humans granted divine authority to regulate the behaviors of these infernal and ethereal entities. When things get ugly, she’s right in the middle of it—in fact, she usually starts it. Demons and angels are much more powerful than humans, though, so she’s become incredibly tough to handle them. She’s brutal and ruthless. A real human weapon. Even though she hasn’t done it for a few years, she’s still nothing but hard edges, and it’s wonderfully fun to write.

Do you have a favorite scene in Death‘s Hand?

Honestly, the whole book is my favorite. I love action and adventure. Sometimes I say that Death’s Hand is a bunch of kickass fighting scenes with a little bit of plot to tie them together, and I’m only half-joking about it! Anytime I get to unleash Elise against a horde of zombies or fiends from Hell, it’s going to end up one of my favorite scenes. So that’s at least half of the book.

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?

Despite all my gushing about Elise, my favorite character is probably her best friend Betty. Where Elise is tough and merciless, Betty is enthusiastic and a little silly. She’s smart, sexy, and doesn’t have the common sense to realize that the danger of fighting demons is very real. Elise is probably the hardest to write. I’m silly, like Betty, so trying to keep myself focused and serious is difficult. I naturally write with a lot of snark, and Elise isn’t very snarky. I really have to keep an eye on her in the editing process.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

My next year is very busy! I’ve already written two more books in the same universe as Death’s Hand, and I will be releasing those early in 2012. They’re called “The Darkest Gate” and “Damnation Marked,” and carry us deeper into Elise’s struggles in a dark world. I also have to finish the Seasons of the Moon series (which include my young adult werewolf books, “Six Moon Summer” and “All Hallows’ Moon”). So you should expect to see three or four books from me in the next six months alone!


SM Reine is an author of dark fantasy for teen and adult audiences. Her most widely known work is "Six Moon Summer," which has been hailed as "fresh and fast-paced" and "captivating." She lives in Nevada with her husband, the Helpful Baby, and too many black animals to count.

Find Sara and her books

Death's Hand
Descent #1
October 21, 2011
Policing relations between Heaven, Hell, and Earth is messy and violent, but Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner excelled at it-- until coming across a job so brutal that even they couldn't stand to see one more dead body.

Now they've been pretending to be normal for five years, leaving their horrific history a dark secret. Elise works in an office. James owns a business. None of their friends realize they used to be one of the world's best killing teams.

After years of hiding, something stirs. Bodies are vanishing. Demons scurry in the shadows of the night. A child has been possessed.

Some enemies aren't willing to let the secrets of the past stay dead..
Death's Hand is on sale for $0.99 for the whole month of November


Winner: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Thank you to everyone that entered!!

PRIZE: One Signed copy of Tyger Tyger

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