by Julie Flanders
The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.
Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.
To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?
Danny flipped through the channels, stopping when he came to a Seattle Mariners game that had gone in to extra innings. They were playing the White Sox in Chicago and Danny felt a slight tug at his heartstrings as the familiar sight of Cellular Field filled the flat screen television. The time difference made it difficult for him to catch Sox games live. It was a welcome surprise to find one that was lasting so long into the Chicago night that he could watch it live as it happened.
It was dark in Chicago, but of course the sun was still high in the sky here in this strange frontier he had chosen as his new home. He squinted from the sun beaming through the window and cursed himself for not shutting the blinds before he sat back down. Next time he got up for a beer he would need to do that.
Danny rested his hand on his dog's head as he finished one beer and started another, the bottles now lining up on the end table beside him. His eyes grew bleary as Sox's gentle snoring mingled with the sounds of the faraway baseball game. When yet another inning ended and the game went to a commercial, Danny closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the couch.
The noise of the television grew fainter as he slipped into sleep and his mind flashed images of fangs and bloodless bodies in an endless landscape of snow. As Danny drifted farther into unconsciousness, the snow was overtaken by fire.
Before I get to the questions I just want to say thank you, Sue for being part of my tour and hosting me today! I really appreciate the opportunity to be here at your blog.
What is your writing environment?
I write stretched out on my couch with my laptop on my legs. My cat and my dog stretch out with me and they are my writing buddies. I know lots of people love to listen to music when they write but I really need the room to be quiet or I can’t concentrate. No tv or music for me while I am writing.
Who is your perfect hero/heroine and why?
This is a hard question to answer and my first thought was I have no clue! But after thinking about it I came up with Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was a huge fan of that show and Buffy represents a perfect heroine to me because she did so many heroic things and, as her tombstone said, “She Saved The World A Lot,” but she was also undeniably human. She made big mistakes and sometimes acted like a typical self-absorbed and selfish teenager. She often whined about being the chosen slayer while also relishing the power it gave her. To me Buffy was a normal girl who was thrown into an extraordinary situation and rose to the occasion. Those are always the best kinds of heroes and heroines to me.
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
Recently I started reading Michael Connelly’s books and am really enjoying them. I got started on them because I happened to watch The Lincoln Lawyer movie and I didn’t even realize that movie came from a book. I liked the movie so I looked up the books and since Connelly has been writing since the 1990s I have plenty to read!
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
For a long time I wanted to write a book with a vampire. I fell in love with the mythology of vampires when I watched Buffy way back when. I am not a big fan of the lovestruck vampire stories though so I’ve wanted to write a story with a monstrous vampire. It was a thrill to have my first book Polar Night be just that!
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Take a long driving vacation all over the American West.
2. Learn to swim – it’s one of the biggest regrets of my life that I was afraid and quit lessons twice when I was young
3. Have a home and yard big enough to accommodate several dogs and cats and maybe even some other furry friends. My condo is only big enough for two. J
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
Polar Day is a sequel to Polar Night so the idea came from there. I didn’t intend to write a sequel initially, but I found I wanted to go back to the characters. Polar Night centered around the winter solstice so I thought it would be fun to write this story around the summer solstice when Alaska has nearly 24 hour daylight. From there it was easy to make the leap to fire.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
One of the first scenes in the book takes place at the Midnight Sun baseball game, which has been a Fairbanks tradition since 1906. The game is played every year on the summer solstice and doesn’t begin until around 10:30 at night. Artificial light is not needed since the sun is out for nearly 24 hours. I love baseball and it was fun to learn about this tradition so I enjoyed writing the scene and trying to place myself there with my characters.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I am working on a short story for an anthology my writing group is putting together. I am fortunate to belong to a speculative fiction group called Untethered Realms and we plan to release the anthology in the fall. The title of the anthology is Mayhem in the Air so all of the stories touch on that theme.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to read and watch television. I am addicted to way too many series! I also love walking my dog in the various parks in my area. I am a sports fan and love watching football, basketball and baseball.
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
When I was in my twenties I worked as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. I worked on call and handled psychiatric emergencies, primarily suicide risks. One night I was called to the county jail and asked to perform an assessment on a mentally ill man who had allegedly murdered his girlfriend. I made a critical mistake and allowed him to get in between me and the door of the cell and before I knew it he had cornered me and nearly strangled me. Fortunately one of the police officers was able to intervene. That was the most frightening night of my life.
Thank you again for interviewing me and for hosting me here, Sue!
You are so welcome Julie! ~Booklover Sue
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/julie-flanders
Julie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the tour HERE