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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Interview & Giveaway - The Witch Hunter by Nicole R. Taylor

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The Witch Hunter 
Book One in the Witch Hunter Saga
Nicole R. Taylor
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal

ISBN: 978-1482061697
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 72,000

Book Description: 
I was born into the world covered in blood, and that's exactly the way I left it.

Ever since, I have been damned to walk the boundary between life and death alone. Unwillingly turned and left to my nightmare, I have seen men commit countless horrors and committed many of my own.

My origins shall remain unknown, my true self hidden. I have been called by many names, but in this life I am known as the Witch Hunter. I have been asleep these past 150 years, until I was awoken by a haunting call.

Zachary Degaud was twenty three when he died. The problem was, he didn't stay that way.

Present day, he's just another vampire with another unremarkable story. That is, until he manages to provoke a two thousand year old witch named Katrin, who wants to make him pay in the most horrible way imagined.

Along with his brother Sam, newly made vampire Liz and their only witch ally, Gabby, his only chance for survival is to summon the ancient and unpredictable vampire known as the Witch Hunter.

Zac is just looking for a way out of his psychopathic witch problems, but instead will find himself falling head first into a blood feud that has stretched thousands of years.

Aya has been asleep for the past 150 years, until she was awoken by a haunting call. The witch she has been hunting for thousands of years, Katrin, has resurfaced and marked a young, annoyingly arrogant vampire by the name of Zachary Degaud. Unless she does something, he will die a slow and painful death. He has given her an opportunity to end the witch, but does she want to help him or leave him to his fate?

Zac will get under her skin like no one else has and she just might find herself making the ultimate sacrifice before he is gone forever.

They will both have to choose sides and look deep within themselves before the end. But, what Zac learns about himself, will surprise him most of all.
Check out my review HERE

Welcome to Phantasmic Reads, Nicole!  Thanks for stopping by to answer some questions today!

Tell us a bit about yourself (something that's not in your bio):

I used to review live music for street press online and off. Free gig tickets! I’m really into indie, alternative, punk and rock.
I lived in London for a year and worked in a rock’n’roll memorabilia store in Marylebone and lived in a falling down house in Harringay. I’d go in day trips to France and Belgium when I could get cheap tickets on the Eurostar. My favorite store while living there was Top Shop and H&M. When I go back to visit, I just buy clothes. And books from the museums.
I ‘lived’ in New York for a while. Really, I went there on a tourist visa and just walked around a lot and sat in Central Park.
I love playing Xbox. My favorite games are the open world ones. Skyrim and Fallout.

Name somewhere you've traveled that was nothing like you thought it would be?  How was it different?
I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve been the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA.
Everywhere was just as I expected, but I guess the amount of pick pockets that hung around European tourist spots surprised me the most. That, and Washington DC was heaps smaller than I thought it would be.

Do you have an interesting writing quirk? What is it?
I used to write on my iPad a lot. Most of The Witch Hunter was written that way, until I finally got a desk! Now I write on my laptop and sit in my rolly chair and fill up my drawers with stuff and things.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Now, I prefer to do my writing at my shiny new desk. I tend to like darkness. Then it’s just me and the computer. Daytime can see too many distractions, but when inspiration strikes, time of day doesn’t matter.

Do you have any pet peeves?  If so, what are they?
For some reason, I don’t like the word ‘passion’. Don’t ask me why. Oh, and also the word ‘padded’ in relation to walking barefoot. It’s used a lot in those ‘erotica’ books that are about at the moment and it makes me shudder. Weird, I know!
I really dislike it when people don’t wait to let others off before getting on public transport. That really irks me!

What's your guilty pleasure?
Some people would say it’s getting tattoos. I have a lot of those and get one almost every six months. From that you would think my entire body is covered, but I only started seven years ago. I have one entire sleeve, almost the other one as well, my back, chest and leg. I have three more lined up this year!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love roadtripping! I live in rural Victoria in Australia, so it’s great to go out bush and to the beach. Australia has some great coastline!

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
No, not really. I’m a qualified hairdresser? I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs? I worked on a boat, I was a hairdresser, I worked in music memorabilia, I ran my own business, I worked in a bakery baking bread, I worked in a supermarket, I worked in a stationary store, I worked in merchandising, I worked in a call centre (not recommended). What can I say? I like to sample life.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? Why?
I like second hand books. The really old ones that smell funny and all the edges are yellowed. The ones that are dog-eared and tired. If I love a book to bits, then I like to have the paper copy on the shelf.
Mostly, I read ebooks because the huge bricks I like to read never fit in my bag.

What are you currently reading, or what did you recently finish?
I recently finished Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines. Just because everyone in my news feed, twitter and such were going on and on and on and on about it. I had to see what the fuss was about. It was okay, but it wasn’t a book for me.
I’m not sure what to pick up next. I’ve brought a few ebooks from Amazon and I’ve yet to decide. They’re all firsts in a series!

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
If you call throwing the doona haphazardly over the top of everything, ‘making your bed’, then yes. Yes, I make my bed.

What are three things you never leave the house without?
Phone, car keys and sunglasses.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Imagination. No one in this series is based on anyone I know or anything that’s happened to me. It’s the culmination of lots of reading, planning, research and thought. I asked myself WHY a lot. Why would they do this? Why did they do that? Why do they feel this way?

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Damn it, if I love Zac. What an ass. Sometimes I laugh at the things he does.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
I love all my characters equally. Well, some more than others.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
Zac, just because he has a pretty sad story. Aya, because she has a hell of a lot of secrets that need to come out.

What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I used to read a book a week (depending on length), now I tend to focus more on writing, so I read maybe two books a month. I like to read things that I’m writing about to see how others approach things. I read like a writer.
Books I’ve read again lately are Graceling by Kristan Cashore and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I also read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which I really liked. But, I’m yet to experience in my own life kids of their age who talk like that.  Even when I was their age. They’re very adult and off the wall (even if they were adults themselves).
I’ve also been reading Stephen King’s On Writing again. If you’re interested in writing or are a writer, then I recommend this book. It’s part memoir, part advice book. It’s great.

If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
When I was younger I wanted to know what it would be like to live in a fantasy world with magic, dragons and epic quests. I wanted to live in a fantasy world.
Not so much now. Now, I’m older and jaded.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Isobelle Carmody – I’d ask her about her inspiration on the Obernewytn Chronicles. Those books changed my life in year seven. I was twelve and a year younger than everyone in my class. And the last book is almost here after years and year and years!
Garth Nix – I’d ask him the same thing. The world he created for his books Sabriel and Liarel is amazing. The whole thing about the Abhorsen and death. And the whole magic system with symbols and the cat… Oh, I could go on.
Anne MacCaffrey – (though she’s passed on and her books are a little 1970s in regards to women) She wrote a lot of books. A lot. I’d be interested to know how she worked. What her thought process was.

How do you get past writer’s block or distractions like the internet?
I’m hopeless with the internet! Writer’s block? There’s only one cure. Just write. No super secret tinctures or potions. Just write. Can’t write that story right now? Write something else. I have an unrelated novel I’m working on when I hit those walls with the Witch Hunter Saga.

Favorite book from childhood?
I read a lot of fantasy novels like Anne McCaffrey, Tamora Peirce, Isobelle Carmody, Garth Nix. I was really into this Australian writer, Elyne Mitchell who wrote a book called The Silver Brumby. It was about a wild horse in the Australian high country. They call wild horses brumby’s here. It was set in the Blue Mountains to be specific as was all about the Silver Brumby and a bloke called the ‘Man’. He was always trying to capture the silver brumby because he was a special colouring. I had a thing for horses.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Underwear, yes. *wolf whistles*

Do you have any pets?  Got pictures you'd like to share?
I have a two year old rescue cat named Burger. His birthday is now in May, because that’s when he came to live with me. Ironically, I adopted him on my own birthday. He loves his toy mouse and sleeping upside down on my head at night. He’s very spoilt.

Name a place you'd love to visit someday?
I’m saving for a trip to Italy, Austria, Germany and Greece next year. I studied a lot of classical cultures while at school. Greece, Rome, etc, but have yet to go there. I want to see the Acropolis, Delphi, Pompeii, Piza and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I love art galleries and looking at antiquities. The British Museum, The MET in New York and the Louvre are my favorites I’ve been to.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Writing advice is just that. It’s advice, not gospel. Read, absorb and do what you will. Not all of it is right for everyone.
Oh, and just write. It’s your answer to everything. I can’t go on… just write. I’ve got writer’s block… just write.
People will love your book. People will hate your book. And a lot more people will sit in the middle. Don’t take it personally. There are books you don’t like but others do, right?
Indie-publishing is not for everyone. Suddenly, you become the agent, the copy editor, the publisher, the typesetter, the publicist, etc, etc. It’s a full on business. You become the machine and your book’s success is entirely up to you. If you decide on going down this route you have to believe in your book. It becomes the thing you love, but also a product. If you go, ‘oh, whatever’ and flick it out into the world, then that’s not a good outlook. It’s tough and it’s not for everyone, but there are plenty of people out there willing to offer advice. And plenty of people who are just as successful as traditionally published authors.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I love getting emails and messages, so if anyone as questions about the book or writing or anything, shoot me an email!

Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
I often walk around with my fly open and don’t realize it until the end of the day. I just shrug and say whatever, hope I gave someone a thrill.

Speed Round:

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less:
A witch from beyond the grave, an impulsive vampire and one witch hunter = chaos. And a little bit of hanky-panky.
Pen or pencil?
Milk, white, or dark chocolate? Milk.
Dogs or cats? I have a cat named Burger, but I could also have a dog as well. I would name him Ham or Cheese.
Pie or cake? CAKE!!!! Ice cream cake is a close second.
Plotter or pantser? In the beginning a pantser. But a plotter all the way after I’ve got the idea going.
Coffee or tea? Tea, all the way. We have these stores here in Australia called T2, they’re just an entire store dedicated to TEA. Every kind you could ever think off. I have their Melbourne Breakfast tea, it’s vanilla with a hint of traditional English breakfast. Raspberry tea, cherry tea, super strong Irish tea. LOVE IT.
Favorite Muppet? Gonzo!
If you could have any superpower what would you choose? I’d have a photographic memory. Not superhero material, but boy, I’d be smart.

Nicole, thanks again for spending some time letting us get to know you a little better.  It was a pleasure to have you here.  :)  Lots of luck with whatever's next for you!

Nicole R. Taylor is an Australian born paranormal, fantasy and contemporary fiction author. She is a graduate of the University of Ballarat Professional Writing and Editing programme and is a former music memorabilia sales person and grocery merchandiser.

She currently lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with a two year old rescue cat named, Burger. She enjoys reading, writing (of course!), traveling and a little too much chocolate. One day she hopes to sky dive, but has to work up the courage first.

The first in her new paranormal fantasy series, The Witch Hunter Saga is currently available in e-edition and print.

Learn more about her writing at: www.nicolertaylorwrites.com

Where to find Nicole:

There is a tour-wide giveaway for 10 ebook copies of The Witch Hunter - winner’s choice of Smashwords coupons or Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh, how I laugh at some of the things I said in that interview!
    Thanks for giving me such fun questions!

    1. LOL! I loved your answers. You should totally get a dog and name it Ham or Cheese. Burger is so cute!

      Thanks again for taking the time - I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    2. I would call out to them across the yard, "Here HAMBURGER!" It seems it would cut down the calling time by half : P

      And, anytime!

    3. Anytime? I may have to take you up on that when you're ready to release book two :)

  2. What a fun interview! Congrats to Nicole on her new release! It sounds fabulous :)

  3. I would have answered most of those personal questions the same way except for the coffee or tea one lol I am coffee all the way and I sure would love the photographic memory one too . I love all things that go bump in the night so this book sounds great

  4. Great interview. Thanks for doing the giveaway!!!!

  5. Witch, hunter, and vampire - sounds like a combustable combination! I love your country and have visited the east and south sides. Need to make another trip to the north and west in the near future. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Bonnie Hilligoss/bonhill@speakeasy.net