Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q&A Interview and Contest with Paige Cuccaro

Paige Cuccaro Interview Intro:

Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are happy to welcome Paige Cuccaro to our sites today!

Paige CuccaroPaige didn’t always know she wanted to be or would become a writer.  She thought maybe she’d become a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, or maybe even an EMT.  When she met her husband her world came into focus and she quickly found that being a wife and mother were her greatest joys.  She also found that escaping into the fanciful sexy worlds within her imagination was completely necessary.  Putting those resulting characters and worlds onto paper was a natural evolution. 

Paige currently lives in Ohio with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, three cats, a parakeet and a bearded dragon named Rexy.  When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and writing instruments in the other. 

Paige is the proud creator of the HELLSBANE series as well as several wonderful single titles. 

The HELLSBANE series currently consists of one book, “Hellsbane” that will be rereleased in mass trade paperback and widely distributed in November 2012.  Book #2, “Heaven and Hellsbane”, is due out 3/7/13. 
Some of Paige’s single titles include:  “Obey Me: A Gifted Story”, “The Wolf Watchers Diet: The Gift of Love story”, and “Queen of Hearts”. 
For those of you not yet familiar with Paige and her work we thought we’d give you the synopses for “Hellsbane” and a few of her other titles to peak your interests. 

“Hellsbane”, HELLSBANE Book #1:

Hellsbane (Hellsbane #1)Emma Jane Hellsbane always knew she was different, but she had no idea she wasn’t even human. Well, at least she’s half-human. She’s half-fallen angel, too, and now dear ol’ dad wants her dead. All the Fallen angels want all their troublesome offspring removed from the mortal coil so she’s trying not to take it personally. Besides, she wants him dead just as much. Her father’s death is the only way she’ll be forgiven for his sin, stop those pesky demons from trying to hack off her head, and have any hope at all of getting back to a normal life as a wicked slick Intuitive Consciousness Explorer.

Of course, first she’ll have to figure out which fallen angel is her father, avoid accidentally seducing her angelic mentor, help an old friend conquer his own fallen sperm donor, and basically save the world from a cataclysmic divine smack down.

No problem. With a last name like Hellsbane, Emma Jane was definitely born for the job

“The Wolf Watchers Diet:
The Gift of Love story”

The Gift of Lovemedlr02Like most women, Ella Blackwood has always struggled with her weight, but she never realized the health issues her yo-yo dieting was having on her body...until she was bitten by a werewolf. Now the wolf in her won’t allow her to turn back to her human form until she’s completely healthy. But being a wolf comes with its own set of struggles—wearing fur might be sexy, but being furry...not so much.

Luke Danhurst has felt the pull of his true mate, Ella Blackwood for years, but he swears biting her was a total accident. Really! Now that he has her as a fellow werewolf, he’s determined to help Ella learn to love herself, the way he does, in any form.

Families come in many configurations, and everyone is unique, made up of the personalities of each member. But the love that connects families is universal. The family ties that bind us are the strongest and deepest emotional connections we experience. In The Gift of Love, eight exceptional writers offer a variety of unique perspectives on what family love means and how it impacts our lives in ways profound and often surprising.

“Obey Me:  A Gifted Story”

Obey Me: A Gifted StoryHes rich, single, sexy and oh, yeah. Undead. A Gifted story Sophie Merlo dreams of becoming an international journalism star. Until her uncanny nose for news leads her into the path of a brutal serial killer. Now shed be happy just to survive the week. Alex wants only one answer from Sophiehow she wormed her way into his exclusive vampires-only club, something no human should be able to do. He thinks hes being set up in a string of murders, and hes got a good idea who it isOctavius, his long-time, bitter rival. Only Octavius could figure out how to leave Alexs distinctive mark behind on the victims throats. One drop of Alexs saliva on Sophies skin has her babbling a river, swimming in desire for himand agreeing to use her persuasive powers to help find the real murderer. Caught in the middle of a century-old feud between two rival vampires, there are only three things Sophie knows for sure: One of them is a killer. The other wants to take her to bed. And theyre both lying. If she cant figure out whos lying about what soon, her career hopes could vanish. Right along with her last drop of blood.

O.K, now that you’re scrambling to your favorite online bookseller to find them, we’re going to interrupt you because we have an Interview with Paige to get to. 


LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Hi Paige! We’re very happy to have you here today.  We’re hoping we can turn some new readers on to your work.

PAIGE: Thanks so much for having me! I would love to turn on some new readers…wait. I mean, I would love to have some new readers turned on to my books. 0.o (I’ve written books that have been known to turn on readers…but that’s my alter ego. Alison Paige.)

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start out learning more about our guest authors.

Q1): What are 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out easily on the Internet?

PAIGE: I love to mow grass. You can see right away what a good job you’ve done. Instant gratification.  I need that. Also, I used to ride and show Quarter horses growing up. I rode English (a.k.a. Hunt Seat,) but hated jumping even though I had an awesome seat. (Which basically means I held on so tight horses couldn’t shake me.) And 3rd, my humor and rapid fire speech pattern is often just a shield to hide how socially awkward and self conscious I am.

queenofhearts_medQ2): If you were told the world was going to end in 24 hours, what would you use your last 24 hours for?

PAIGE:  Wow, that’s depressing. First I’d hug my family. Then I’d cash the Publisher’s Clearing House check. Because the way my luck works the day I won that stupid contest would ALSO be the last day on earth.

Q3): Are there any authors or titles that you feel may have inspired you to become the writer you are today?

PAIGE:  Anne Rice. I know I say it all the time, but that just proves how much I mean it. Interview with a Vampire is what made me want to be a writer. The way that book pulled me in and painted this 3 dimensional world in my mind was simply magical. I wanted to do that too.

Q4): What’s a typical writing day like for you?  Do you have anything that you absolutely have to have with you to get the creative juices flowing or any interesting writing quirks? 

PAIGE:  When I have an active project my writing day begins right away. Before I get into the shower every morning I think about the project—where I am, what’s coming next, what problems I might be struggling with. For some reason running water opens the creative flow and solutions fall into place. I can’t remember a time when that didn’t work.
After that I have breakfast, check emails quickly to see if there’s anything pressing that needs my attention and then I CLOSE MY EMAIL, and begin writing. I’ll get back to social emails at the end of the day.
I write while my children (high schoolers now) are at school, which gives me about 4 hours of solid writing time. (Unless my husband—who also works from home—interrupts, or the dogs have to go out, or someone comes to the door… Okay, it’s more like 3 hours of sporadic writing time.)
I don’t really “need” anything special. I have a dedicated mini laptop I write on which does NOT have my email program set up on it. I like having access to the internet while I’m writing, because you never know when you’ll need to look something up. And I also have a new set of noise canceling headphones that work great when the kids get home and I need just a few more minutes of quiet to finish.

GiftedlrgQ5): If you could describe yourself using only 5 words, what would they be?

PAIGE:  Moody, funny, emotional, creative, intuitive.

Q6): What was the last great book you read?

PAIGE: Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story. Actually I’m about four chapters from the end.

Q7): With Fantasy being such a popular genre these days, what about it fascinates you personally and made you choose it?

PAIGE: Actually, Hellsbane is Urban fantasy, which is a little different from straight Fantasy. I LOVE urban fantasy because its premise is that all these wonderful magical things are happening all around us. Our normal mundane human world co-exists with the magical/ fantasy world. It makes you feel like if you could just focus, or pay attention at the right moment you’d see the fairy hiding in your garden, or notice the old guy with the walking stick is really a wizard with a powerful staff and the beautiful man sitting at the table across the restaurant is really an angel come to earth. What’s not to love about that?

Q8): Was there any specific inspiration behind the creation of the HELLSBANE series?

Shaman_medPAIGE: I’ve always been fascinated by fallen angels, and the Book of Enoch and the biblical mentions of nephilim. Interpretation is everything. So I started wondering what if there was another side to it. I mean, the fallen angels who took human wives must have loved them and loved the children (nephilim) they created. Yet they were punished for it. So basically they were punished for loving humans too much.
I wanted to create a world where you can see both sides, a character who has a foot in both camps. Emma Jane finds out she’s half angel when she picks up a sword to help out a friend. Right away she’s pulled into the ranks of “the good” to help fight the Fallen. But at the same time her and her angelic mentor, Eli, begin to feel the same kind of attraction and emotional connection every one of the Fallen must have felt before they made their choice to fall.
So we get an idea of what it must be like for them, we can understand why, and see how, in their minds, they aren’t the bad guys.
Crazy people never think they’re crazy and bad guys always believe they had a good reason for their actions. It’s all a matter of perspective and I love to try to blur that line.

Q9): How many books do you have planned for the series?

PAIGE:  There are three books in the HELLSBANE series. Thanks to the awesome Liz Pelletier, Entangled Publishing has signed with a great distributor and the first book, Hellsbane, is set to rerelease in mass trade paperback in November 2012. The second book, HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE, (which is already finished) will release in March 2013 and the third book, HELLSBANE HEREAFTER, is set for release in August 2013.

Q9): What can readers expect as the series progresses?   

Dreams of Oasis_medPAIGE: At its heart HELLSBANE is about Emma Jane figuring out who her father is and then making a choice between good and evil. The problem with that is, like I said earlier, being good doesn’t mean you’re not a twisted jerk, and evil is in the eye of the beholder. In the first book, Emma Jane is learning what it means to be a half angel warrior of God…while trying to keep her day job. In order to get her life back to normal, she has to figure out who her father is and kill him, before he kills her. She gets a great start on that journey in HELLSBANE. In HEAVEN AND HELLSBANE, she finds him. But what she should do about him isn’t as clear cut as she thought. Things have changed and for every action there’s a consequence. HELLSBANE HEREAFTER is all about decisions and living with the fallout.

Q10): What were some of the challenges that you encountered while bringing “Hellsbane” to life?

PAIGE: Religion. It’s a pretty personal thing and finding a way to keep the story as true/real as I could while still working in generalities was hard. I didn’t want the book to preach. (Ick!) Instead I wanted it to evoke questions, spur the reader to wonder about different possibilities. Ultimately it’s a work of fiction and I took liberties where it aided the story. But at the same time I tried to incorporate known texts (like the Dead Sea scrolls & and the Book of Enoch) as well as accepted dogma.  It was a fine line to walk but it was also a lot of fun. I just love this stuff!

Q11):  Do you have any follow ups planned for any of your other backlist books?

PAIGE: Nothing from my back list. Once I’ve moved onto a new project I have trouble going back. I’m not opposed to the idea though. If a publisher asked or enough readers requested that I revisit a character from an old book, I’d be open to it.

Q12):  What about “Hellsbane” are you the most proud of?

PAIGE: I love Emma Jane. I think she’s such a fun character. A kick-ass heroine with a sharp self-deprecating sense of humor, what’s not to love? But the one thing that always makes me smile is when I see someone say that I’ve written a new angle on angels. I love that! It’s funny because it’s actually an old angle—a very old angle. My angels are closer to the biblical angels of Noah’s time, and the Garden of Eden, instead of the more modern highbred mix of vampire-angel. (Or an alien race visiting earth.) My angels have nothing to do with vampires. (There were no vampires in the Dead Sea scrolls) But I love getting credit for discovering the 2000+ year old concept.

Q13):  What else do you have in the works or in mind outside of the HELLSBANE that your fans can look forward to?

PAIGE: I have a FANTASTIC idea for young adult story. Nothing to do with angels. It’s an alternate future sort of thing, 500 years after more than 98% of the world’s population had been wiped out. I haven’t pitched it to my editor yet so…shhh.

Q14):  What question have you always thought it would be great to be asked in an interview but have never been asked, and how would you answer that question?

PAIGE: No one has ever asked why my angels are all male and the only humans who can cause their fall are women. The answer is because that’s how it’s always been. It was heterosexual male artists who started painting female angels. You can’t really blame them. But biblically speaking angels have always been male, and their greatest temptation has always been the daughters of men. I just love that concept—that women have the ability, just by being women, to undo such powerful creatures.  We RoCk!
Either that question or…How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The Owl lied. It’s way more than 3. (If you don’t get that reference, keep it to yourself. You’ll make me feel old. LOL)

Q15):  Is there anything special you’d like to say to your readers while we have you here today?

PAIGE: Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read through (or skim) the interview. If you’ve already read HELLSBANE, I love you. Seriously. If you haven’t, I hope you’ll give it try! This is a high-action, face paced series with a romantic sub-plot that gets hotter in each book. Sounds good, right?

LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Paige, thank you so much again for being with us today.  We’d love to have you back for the release of book #2 if you’re interested. 

PAIGE: That would be awesome!! I enjoyed answering the questions and I’d love to come back when the second book is out. It’s already finished and I can’t wait to talk about it. LOL

If you want to keep up with Paige, you can find him online at his Website, on Facebook, Twitter and/or GoodReads.



Paige is offering up an e-copy of HELLSBANE to a winner from Book Monster Reviews.

1)  Please become a member of the Book Monster Blog by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page.
2) Post a comment on the interview with your email address. 
*Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing.

Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website ( and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!


Victoria said...

Great interview. The Wolf Watcher's Diet sounds fun. So many books to dig into. I'm going to enjoy Hellsbane - thanks.


Barb P said...

Hi Paige! I have been salivating to get my hands on a copy of Hellsbane! It sounds fantastic!Thanks for the wonderful interview.

slappylilly said...

Awesome nterview.

Pamk said...

awesome interview and i've not had the pleasure of reading your books but hellsbane sounds great.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

SdyLion said...

What an intresting collection of books to choose from in your repetoire- I would love to win a copy of Hellsbane. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com