[See contest info at end of post]
Lore, many thanks for taking time from your very busy schedule for this interview!
Hello, Patricia, and thank you for inviting me to PVN.
Do you like being temporary sheriff of the supernatural community while Alessandro is out of town?
Yes and no. I get to beat up a lot of vampires. That’s entertaining. Despite working for Alessandro from time to time, hellhounds and vampires don’t get along all that well. We put in a hard day’s work, maybe grab a beer. They’re all about the politics and fashion.
But I’m getting off topic. This is a busy time in Fairview. There’s an election on—the first time a non-human has stood for office—and a lot of people from out of town are showing up and causing trouble. And then there’s this freak snowstorm. And the free-floating evil, arson, and you know how it goes. Suddenly the calendar is fully booked.
What exactly does it mean being the Alpha Hellhound?
The Alpha is the pack leader and can be male or female. It is a position of great responsibility, because ensuring the pack’s welfare and happiness is your primary purpose. That could be anything from defeating an infestation of ghouls to setting up a baseball team. You are the go-to person for all decisions, great and small. There’s little time for a personal life, but it’s a great gig if you have control issues.
The biggest challenge I have is teaching the pack to fit into modern human society. We are newcomers here, and there are different customs to learn. For instance, I understand that taking females captive is not typical behavior in your society. There’s a new discovery every day.
Many PVN readers know little about Hellhounds. Would you tell us a bit about your group - anything you feel comfortable sharing.
Hellhounds were bred in ancient days from the guardians of the dead. We are half-demons and have power over all passages between one state and another, especially the ways between birth and death. We hunt down evil to keep those sacred roads safe. We can take the form of a hound or a human at will.
For the record, and because so many have asked, fleas are not a problem and no hellhound has ever drunk out of a toilet.
Why is it essential that as Alpha you choose a lifetime mate?
There are plenty of grandmothers in the pack who have nothing better to do than to play matchmaker. I swear they’ve got a betting pool going. No place is safe from ambush.
I understand that it is impossible for Hellhounds to lie. Doesn't this sometimes cause uncomfortable moments?
Um, yes. More than I can say.
You also have a gift for prophecy. How does that manifest itself?
Usually in dreams, or sometimes with what humans call a migraine headache. I don’t find it a particularly helpful talent. For instance, last night I dreamed that I was cleaning the fridge and found a baby dragon in the vegetable crisper. Outside of the fact that maybe it’s past time to clean the fridge, what do I make of this? That dragons will eat all my carrots? I haven’t a clue.
There was a time when you ran a smuggling operation within the Castle. Why was that?
When the pack first escaped from the Castle, many were left behind. I was one of the few with the means to slip through the Castle entrance, and many goods are rare inside the Castle walls. Putting those two facts together, I saw an opportunity.
I bartered for the freedom of the lost hounds. A pair of shoes and a bottle of wine for a life. It was crazy. There was a danger that I would be recaptured, but I could not leave even the least of my pack behind. What kind of a leader would I be?
If it's not too painful would you mind describing life in the Castle?
The Castle is an ancient, interdimensional prison for supernatural creatures. The hounds were shut inside it thousands of years ago. It is a place of stone and torchlight, a lawless hell where demon warlords roam free and fight for territory. Many of them made us their slaves and soldiers. I did not see the sun or breathe free air until I was a grown man.
How is your friend Sylvius, a former incubus, adjusting to life outside the Castle?
My young friend has been recruited by a modelling agency. As a former love god who is not yet twenty years of age, I think he has a bright future in front of the camera.
Do you have a preference for which form you take - human or hound?
Both are entirely natural to me. I spend more time in human form, because so many tasks are easier that way. Opposable thumbs and all that. However, I do like to go out with friends and chase Frisbees if the weather is good.
What are your plans for the future?
The future is uncertain. I have met a beautiful vampire named Talia Rostova. At first, I thought she was a killer and took her prisoner. I’m still not sure if she’s innocent, and I can’t let her go until I know the truth. Honestly, I suspect she’s in more trouble than she’s admitting. I know it’s against every hellhound law, but what would be the harm in getting to know her a little better? If I could convince her to trust me, I might be able to help her.
Tell us about your Boswell - Sharon Ashwood.
She’s patient and works hard, but she’s only a human. It would help if she had superpowers. Then she could write our stories down much faster. She’s also slow in other ways. I had to keep at her and at her to write my story. I had to be, pardon the reference, like a dog with a bone! But once readers started asking for my story, she finally got with the program.
Anything else you would like to add?
If anyone is interested in Frostbound, but has not read the rest of the series, please know that this book can be read as a stand-alone novel. If you like it, you can catch up with the others afterward.
Excerpt of Frostbound
*Leave a comment on the blog to win one of the Sharon Ashwood's Dark Forgotten books—reader’s choice.
Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten
Scorched: The Dark Forgotten
Unchained: The Dark Forgotten
Frostbound: The Dark Forgotten
*Be sure to leave contact information.
*This contest is open internationally.
*Contest ends June 22, 2011
Visit Sharon's website to read excerpts and see the trailers!
Trailer for Frostbound