Friday, October 12, 2012

Redlisted by Sara Beaman: Interview & Excerpt



 Kate wakes from a gunshot wound to find herself dependent on the blood of the man who shot her. She can't remember who she is and her own face in the mirror is unfamiliar. As she tries to unravel the mystery of her own identity, she's swept along on a covert mission she barely understands.

Revenants, a vampiric race of post-mortals, maneuver for power in the world of plastic surgery, internet conspiracy theories, and information-stifling media conglomerates. Those who can control dream and memory muddy the waters as the mission converges on a underground bunker and the key to a source of eldritch power. Kate must uncover her past and tease apart clues to her companions' urgent mission so she can take a stand before it's too late to act.

This Book is FREE on Amazon (October 12th)!
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            I’m seated on a examination table. In front of me is a cart on casters, on top of which rests a tray full of surgical implements and a manila folder. The air is cold and nearly silent; I can hear, very faintly, footsteps approaching the door to the room.
            The door opens. In walks an uncannily beautiful woman. Her skin is flawless, with no visible pores or blemishes, no errant hairs; her features are symmetrical and perfectly in proportion; she is tall and slender, with an hourglass figure that flirts with the edge of human biological potential. She has blonde hair, blue eyes behind long dark lashes, and sun-kissed skin. Her smile reveals immaculate teeth.
            "So you're the new girl.”
            I smile at her, but I have no idea what she's talking about.  "I, uh... sure.”
            "My name is Claire,” she says, extending a hand. “I'm here for your aesthetic consultation."
            "My what? I'm sorry..." I can't remember signing up for whatever she's talking about, which makes me feel foolish and more than a little nervous.
            "Don’t worry. I'll explain what we're doing step by step. First, would you mind hopping onto the scale for me?" She gestures to a metal contraption by the door.
            I slide off the table, holding the hem of my gown, walk barefoot across the room and step on the scale.
            "You're lucky. You're already just the right height. That must be why she selected you." She slides the indicators into position, tilts her head to the side. "Hmm. That’s a little high." She takes a notebook from the pocket of her lab coat and jots down a thought. "All right, you can get off now."
            I step back onto the cold tile floor.
            She produces a measuring tape from her pocket. "Could you reach your arms out to the side, please?"
            She wraps the tape around my wrist, then my bicep, my neck, my breasts, waist, and hips. I recoil a little as she reaches between my legs to gauge the circumference of my upper thigh.
            "Sorry. Should have warned you about that one."
            She moves on to my calf, then my ankle.
            "So... what do you need all these measurements for?" I ask.
            "For your alterations."
            I blink. "You mean, like, tailoring?"
            She smiles without showing her teeth.
            "Next we'll need to look at your face. You can get back onto the table now."
            My stomach twists.
            "I think I'd like to go..." I tell her, edging away.
            She advances towards me, her smile fading. I bolt for the door--
            I am sitting on examination table, wearing only a hospital gown. A woman in a lab coat is standing before me. She is uncannily beautiful; so close to perfect it’s unsettling. Her smile reveals immaculate teeth.
            "Feeling better?"
            "What?" I ask, disoriented. "Uh... sure."
            "So let's take a look at your face," she says.
            She pulls a cart on casters over to her side, opens a manila folder and takes out an eight-by-ten photo of an attractive woman with auburn hair and hazel eyes. She posts it on the wall to the side of my head, then pulls a felt-tip pen out of a tray on the cart and takes off the cap.
            She begins drawing lines on my face. Every so often she pauses and takes a step back to evaluate her handiwork, her eyes flickering between my face and the photo.
            "What are you doing this for?"
            She smiles without showing her teeth. "Don't worry about that."
            "I'm serious, what the hell is going on?"
            "Keep your face still, please," she implores me, annoyed.
            I go silent, watching her closely as she begins finishing up, looking for an opening. As she turns away for a moment, I wheel my feet around, throwing them up and over the cart. I jump off of the table and kick the cart at her, spraying surgical implements everywhere, then run for the door and throw it open--
            I am lying on a cold table in an examination room, wearing only a hospital gown. As I try to sit up, I realize that my hands are handcuffed to either side of the table. For some reason, to my left, a headshot of a pretty brunette woman is posted on the wall.
            I hear a door open. A woman in a white lab coat appears, looms over me; she is uncannily beautiful, almost frightening to look at. Her smile reveals immaculate teeth.
            "Perhaps it's best if we don't talk much this time.”
            She has a length of duct tape; she’s bringing it towards my face.
            "Wait! What are you--"
            She slaps the tape over my mouth. "That's better," she says, smoothing it down with her slender fingers.
            She reaches into a manila folder and pulls out a document, assesses it silently, then pins it on the wall next to the headshot. She takes a pen from the pocket of her lab coat and places it between her teeth. Without warning, she reaches towards me and pulls my gown open. I curl my legs up towards my chest, turning my body away from her, and yell wordlessly through the duct tape.
            She holds the pen between her fingers like a cigarette. "Please lie flat on your back," she implores me, annoyed.
            I twist my hands in a desperate attempt to free myself from the metal cuffs. Behind me, I see her reach for a tray full of implements; a moment later, she comes at me with a syringe and plunges it into my right bicep.
            I feel a pinch as the needle penetrates my flesh. My muscles slacken. She pushes me onto my back; my legs flop away from my stomach of their own accord.
            Right before I pass out, I can see, very faintly, the woman begin drawing lines on my naked body with her felt-tip pen.

Hi Sara!  I am so happy to welcome you as my guest author today. Thanks for stopping in.  Tell us about your current release.

Redlisted weaves together the stories of Kate Avery, a mortal woman, and the man whose blood she depends on to survive, Adam Fletcher. Kate and Adam fight to bring down Spira Communications, Kate's ex-employer, a media conglomerate used by vampires to edit human memories on a mass scale.

My goal for Redlisted was to create a vampire novel with complex, believable characters working through morally ambiguous situations in something very close to the real world. I like to think I succeeded.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Yes! I'm lucky to have a wide network of friends, many of whom read drafts of Redlisted and provided lots of helpful feedback.

I'm also a member of a writer's group, the Raleigh Writer's Cramp. I've been working with them for over a year now, and it's been the best thing I've ever done for my writing. The final version of Redlisted never would have come together without them.

Tell us about your family.

In my "other life" I'm a professional bellydancer. It's the family business. My mother and sister also dance and teach classes, and my father plays Middle Eastern music. We own a dance studio.

My parents are incredible. They're geeks. They started playing Dungeons and Dragons way back in its first edition. They started me out reading fantasy novels at a very young age.

I couldn't ask for cooler people to be related to.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I make everything up as I go along. I have to get deep into the perspective of each character to figure out what's happening, and I've found I can't do that in an outline.

It's an exciting way to write, but you have to have a lot of faith. You need to believe that somewhere ahead of you is a satisfying conclusion to your book even when you don't know what that conclusion is.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was very young, all the other girls in my school wanted to be actresses or mommies. I wanted to be "an author". I wrote all the time as a child.

I lost track of this as a teenager, but I got back to it as an adult after stumbling upon the character I think of as my muse, Adam Fletcher.

I was playing a tabletop roleplaying game (a habit I inherited from my parents), and I decided to create an introverted, morally grey male character, something I'd never done before.

Over time he took on a life of his own in my mind. I wrote journals in his voice. Alone, in my car, I'd practice talking like him. When the game I was playing in ended, I felt like one of my limbs had been cut off. I had no idea what to do with myself.

I took to writing so that I could keep my muse alive. The result is Redlisted.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I think most people would freak out if they had to meet their favorite movie star. I don't really care much about actors or most pop culture icons. But I would go catatonic if I met William Gibson. It's not something that should happen.

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

The way you get to be a decent writer is by being a bad writer for a long time, keeping at it, accepting constructive criticism and never giving up.

Be humble, but protect your vision fiercely.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

It's deliciously disturbing, like a layer cake of the macabre. And I think the ending might surprise you.


Sara Beaman lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she spends her time teaching and performing bellydance, making jewelry out of old junk, reading, playing tabletop roleplaying games, and writing. Sara enjoys speculative fiction of all stripes, but especially appreciates that which makes her question the world she lives in.

She is the author of Redlisted, a novel about vampires, the media, and hidden memories. She is also a contributor to the upcoming post-apocalyptic anthology Doom Days.

She is currently at work on two projects: the sequel to Redlisted, and an as-yet-unnamed dystopian dieselpunk fantasy.

In case you missed the Free Promotion on Amazon, Here's another chance to win a copy.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the author on Twitter  for another bonus entry.
Giveaway ends November 3rd 11:59PM Central Time.


Laurie said...

Sara, Love the excerpt!! Gave me chills - CREEPY! Thanks so much! I am going to have to read Redlisted now, for sure. :)

Anonymous said...

I picked it up from Amazon. It looks pretty awesome and I can't wait to read.

Sonia G Medeiros said...

Oooh! Sounds so interesting. So creepy how she keeps ending up back on the table. I'm hoooked.

cheekychann said...

would love to have this.

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