Monday, June 18, 2012

W.I. Investigations by Samaya Young: Interview

W.I. Investigations are four novellas about four different private investigator duos working for a revolutionary agency; it deals primarily in the extraordinary and oftentimes paranormal cases where law enforcement has long since given up.  This PI agency dedicates itself to the dangerous dimensions of the supernatural, the unexplainable and the outright extraordinary lurking within the shadows of every-day life; its brave detectives delve into a world where no one else dares to tread, and are the last line of nse against everything that goes bump in the dark.

Case file # 1: Shape-Shifter

Vin Rubio and Willow Mooserunner, partners of a day, are assigned to check up on an old acquaintance of their boss. The prospective client, Judge Oscar Greenwood, has barricaded himself in his home and claims that someone is out to get him.

Relatively unsuspecting, they talk their way into the big old mansion, once inside they quickly realize that getting out again will be their biggest issue: something won’t let them.

It is up to the two detectives to figure out who—or what—the threat is, and keep the judge alive until they do. It doesn’t take long before their own lives are added to the stakes: a creature of incomparable strength and cunning now hunts them all. It wants the judge dead and won’t leave behind any witnesses to betray its existence.

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Excerpt W.I. Investigations: Shape Shifter
By Samaya Young 

Somewhere in the house above them, the sound of glass crashing to the ground shattered the oppressive silence between them. Oscar jumped to his feet instantly; his entire body alert and on edge, ready for anything.

A deep frown appeared on Vin's face when he noted the man's hand went for his second firearm.

"Why don't you stay here for a moment, Mr. Greenwood," he suggested. "Then I'll go up and check if my partner is alright."

Shaking his head, and edging his way to Vin's side, the man said, "No way. I'm coming with you."

Vin wanted to disagree, but then saw the anguish and determination in the old man's eyes and allowed him to tag along.

With a quick stride, he headed for the stairs and looked up. He called to his partner, "Willow! Everything alright up there?"

There was a long silence before she suddenly appeared at the top of the steps and gave them a wry grimace.

"Everything's just fine. I knocked over a vase when a cat rushed past me. Nothing to worry about."

Vin gave her a smile and started to turn back to Oscar with the full intention of telling him that there was nothing to worry about when the man whispered, "It was him!"

"Come on now, Mr. Greenwood. A cat—"

"I do not have a cat, you idiot! I tell you, it was him. Get me the hell out of here…before he kills all of us."

The screeching sound of Oscar’s voice had Vin glance up at Willow. He saw her shrug before she started down the stairs.

From the look she gave him he figured that she thought that they might as well give the man what he wanted.

He was their client after all.

"Alright then, Mr. Greenwood. We'll get you out of here. Do you want to pack some things before we do?"

The man shook his head spasmodically, looked around in fear and hurried towards the door. "No! I want to get out of here as quick as possible."

“As you wish. Maybe one of us should—“

They jumped at the sound of the shrilling doorbell and Vin released his breath a bit tensely while he glanced at his partner, who obviously shared his feeling of discomfort.

Vin didn’t like to admit it, but the judge's jumpy behavior did have some effect on their state of minds, too. How could it not; the man was so frightened that his body trembled constantly. Whatever it was that provoked such an emotion in him had to be something bad.

“I’ll check who it is. Why don't you take Mr. Greenwood to the study,” he suggested. Willow nodded and took the old man's arm so she could guide him into the room.

Taking his .38 from its holster on his waist belt, Vin carefully moved towards the door and peered through the tiny window beside it. Releasing his breath he shook his head and smiled slightly.

He didn’t know what he'd expected to see out there but it hadn't been the sixteen-year-old kid waiting for someone to open the door.

He sheathed his pistol and opened the door—unsnapping all the locks that had been meticulously closed before—so he could address the kid, blankly staring at the door.

"How can I help you, kid?"

The kid didn’t get the chance to reply when a shout was uttered by his partner, from the direction of the study, exclaiming the words, "What the—" before breaking off in what appeared to be shock. The alarm in her tone was palpable.

Vin didn't hesitate for even a second. Grabbing his gun he ran back to his partner and client.

From behind, he could hear the kid who'd rung the doorbell mutter a smooth, "Never mind, I'll come back another time." He was gone even before he finished. Whatever the kid’s reason had been to come by, it was not important enough to face someone with a weapon, apparently.

At any other time, the kid's cool response would have made Vin laugh but at that moment, the urgency in his partner's voice and Oscar Greenwood’s screaming were too strong.

Shots sounded even before he entered. He was just in time to see a layer of the wall peel off, gather together, and slip through a tiny hole in the corner.

"What was that?" He raised his voice to bridge Oscar's screeching and the blasting of the shotgun. Vin had to take a couple of steps more to grab the weapon from the man's spasmodic grasp, and jerked it free just when Willow moved into the line of fire.

Willow looked confused and slowly lowered her Smith & Wesson pistol so she could reload it. Apparently she'd pumped it empty on whatever it was that had just moved.

"How the hell should I know," she snapped, impatiently, not taking her eyes off the wall. Sound was muted in the aftermath of the blasts fired at the disconcerting phenomenon. "One second I was trying to calm him down and the next that wall was coming at us."

She didn’t look too shocked. As a matter of fact she just looked intrigued as she intently studied the wall, one brow raised ever so slightly. Carefully she moved towards the hole through which the fake wall had disappeared, and held her gun firmly poised in front of her as she squinted at its blackness.

Vin watched her for only a moment before he turned towards Oscar Greenwood and shook him to get him back to his senses and make him stop screaming.

"Mr. Greenwood! Oscar, what the hell was that?" he asked, none too gently. It wasn’t any use; the guy was too messed up right now to take offence of a sharp tone of voice.

After a few seconds of being tossed back and forth, Oscar stopped his whimpering and stared blankly at Vin.

He was numb now, like something had snapped inside of him, sapping him from his terror.

"Oscar. Tell me what that was?" he repeated. "What attacked you just now?"

"It was him!" Oscar mumbled the words and Vin released him quickly when the old man grabbed the shotgun from his hand and started to fill it with ammunition.

"It was him, Goddammit. The Shape-changer. Somehow he got back into the house."

Case file # 2: The Martyr

A brutal serial killer is on the loose in the city of Boston, and the cops are blissfully unaware that the victims are intricately connected inside the killer’s twisted mind. Charged with the task of finding a link, a lead, anything that will allow them to get their man, Ru Pascal and Wally Saunders delve into the mystery. Though they are barely able to endure each other’s company since they’ve been partnered up at Walsh International, the two savvy detectives are quick to pick up the trail of their killer: The Martyr⎯a ruthless monster, possessed with strong psychic abilities that make him a terrifying foe.

The chase is on.

Case file # 3: The White Doves

This PI agency dedicates itself to the dangerous dimensions of the supernatural, the unexplainable and the extraordinary lurking within the shadows of every-day life. Follow its brave detectives into a world where no one dares to tread, and where they are the last line of defense against that which goes bump in the dark.

Two sisters; both struggling to survive in their own way…will they manage? Can they?

When Ashley and Elyse Cooper are assigned to locate the two missing Banning sisters, they have no idea of the trouble they’re getting themselves into. A dangerous sect, its leaders apt at mind control solely used for their own sinister pleasures and Elyse’s susceptibility to their manipulation are a recipe for disaster.

Once undercover, it is up to Ashley to find a way to rescue her sister and, at the same time, blow the lid off the mysterious disappearances⎯because not only the Banning siblings have disappeared. She must succeed before it is too late and she is forced to do something she had never imagined possible⎯not even in her worst nightmares.

Case file # 4: Hero

This agency’s detectives dedicate themselves to uncovering the dangerous dimensions of the supernatural, the unexplainable and the extraordinary lurking within the shadows of every-day life. Follow these brave men and women into a world where no one dares to tread, and where they are the last line of defense against that which goes bump in the dark.

Ayre Grusin-Walsh has big shoes to fill when she is assigned her very own case at her dad’s detective agency. Her client is looking for the Hero who saved her from a deadly car accident; when Ayre dives into the investigation, she stumbles upon an enemy far greater than she had ever imagined could exist…and their Hero is the only one standing in its way.

In the face of death, Ayre discovers that some things are worth fighting for.

How did you start your writing career?

 Oh my, that was a long time ago. Well, it all started with a dream for me, actually. That was in ’91 and I had more or less dreamt the sequel to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I started writing in my diary (filled up to twenty pages) and then got busy for real on this ancient computer where you stored everything on an audio tape. After laboriously typing out (couldn’t type all that well, back then) about twelve pages, I realized that I was doing the “recording” all wrong.

All my work was lost. I was disheartened for the longest time, but then the characters kept haunting me, and so I started anew but in a different setting. It was a sci-fi  western. That was my first writing experience, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

The United States someday for sure. It’s been a dream like, forever, along with Ireland and Scotland, and maybe Japan. As to the why…to see if these places are like I imagined them while writing about them.

Who is your favorite author?

I’ve got several favs. Linda Howard, Dean Koontz, Julie Garwood, Amanda Quick, Jennifer Crusie, etc. The list goes on endlessly.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I used to write at any given time of the day or night, whenever inspiration struck. These days I’m a bit more disciplined about it.  Every day, come rain or shine I work on my writing at least 3 hours, and if I can 5. It requires planning, discipline and sure, there are days when I’m lucky if I can get a paragraph down, but so far it’s working out well for me.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The editing. After the third or fourth edit I’ve got all versions in my head and it takes a lot of concentration to catch errors in the changes because my mind fills in blanks or ignores mistakes.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

 Yes, always. Preferably with head phones on. It closes me off from the world at large and allows me to focus on the story, get into a rhythm, so to speak. As to the what: It depends on the story, but usually ‘90s pop.
What was the scariest moment of your life? 

Selling our home, packing up everything we owned into a big bus and moving to Spain to start our new life on this deserted and bare piece of land on a mountain.

What books have most influenced your life?

Definitely Dean Koontz in the nineties. He made me dream of writing my own stories.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I played with the thought of becoming a veterinary doctor for a while, and maybe a singer, but I’ve wanted to write since I was seven or eight.

What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

Enjoy what you do, take your craft seriously but yourself not too much and you’ll do fine.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Be sure you really want to do this. Ask yourself the question: can I write a story and then spend up to six months reading, cutting, re-reading, and then doing it all again until only the broad strokes are like I first wrote it down and I want to rip it to shreds if I have to read it one more time? If you can see yourself doing that and still love it, writing is for you.

Samaya Young started writing at the age of 12, dreaming of writing the sequel to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. That dream never came true, but her drive to write only grew as the years went by and she wrote one story after the other until finally chancing the leap by publishing her first novel in 2005 under the pen name “Sam Young”.
Then in 2008 she went for it again and published the first four “installments” of the W.I. Investigations (Shape Shifter, The Martyr, The White Doves and Hero) which have been received well by her readers.
She spent the majority of her youth traveling through Europe—and India—meeting people from various cultures from all over the world…i.e. vast resources of extraordinary characters to draw from.  Though adventurous by heart, she now resides mostly in southern Spain with her family and a pack of 65 dogs liberated from local shelters.
During the days Samaya grows her own food and continues to build her home on a deserted mountain top, while at night she dives into whatever world her mind is creating.

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