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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Interview with author Caris Roane

Ben and I recently got the opportunity to sit down with author Caris Roane. If you have yet to check out her great new series The Guardians of Ascension NOW is the perfect time to start! Book one is in stores now and book 2 is soon to follow in May. This was Ben's first interview so let's all make sure to rake him over the coals. ;) We hope you enjoy!

Second Earth. Phoenix. 2 Sheep and 1 Guardian meet.

Caris: Wait, is that “Two sheep walk into a bar…” Ben, how does this joke end??? You’re up, buddy!

Ben: Um, so two sheep walk into a bar and the bartender says “What can I get you?”And the sheep say, “We'll have straight scotch please.”And the bartender says “You sure you don't want that on the rocks or with a little umbrella or something?”And the sheep reply, “Oh no, how do you think we keep our wool so clean? We've got to build up our scotch guard!”

Or was it something rude about a Scotsman? Sorry, I'm not very good at this.

Katie: *laughing so hard she can't breath*

Caris: Oh, that’s awesome. I couldn’t make up a joke if my life depended on it…wait…maybe if my life depended on it…

Katie: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Caris. We have many questions so let's jump right in! First why don't you tell us a little bit about Ascension for those who may not know.

Ascension basically sets up a vampire brotherhood series that I have called the Guardians of Ascension. Put together super hunky winged vampire warriors with preternaturally gifted women, throw in some villainous death vampires, and the pot gets stirred. The setting: a series of six ascending dimensional worlds, all earth-based. Add one uber-horrible vampire, intent on subjugating both Second Earth and Mortal Earth, and you can see the basis for all the books. The warriors must fight the death vampires and their leader, while the women arrive with emerging powers and the ability to change the war in completely unexpected ways.

As for Ascension, we track gorgeous Warrior Kerrick as he serves as Alison Well’s guardian during her dangerous rite of ascension to Second Earth. In the process, love happens, despite their tremendous resistance to the passion they feel for each other.

Katie: Alison is really just thrust into this world, she knew things were off with her but she really never thought other worlds existed. I really felt for her in the beginning, and to me that's the sign of a great writer. You feel for the characters. Nicely done.

Caris: Alison will always hold a special place in my heart and what’s been really fun as I’ve written the series forward is that she becomes a golden thread from book to book, so we get to see her in every story from Ascension on. My heart is mushy that way as well. I love bringing the characters forward and seeing where they are a few months down the road. In Burning Skies, for instance, we get to see Alison and Kerrick in a normal relationship; he calls her Babe. I just loooove it!

Katie: How did you come up with the story, especially the combination of Vamps with wings? It's amazing to read but boggles the mind.

I know when it happened and it still boggles my mind!!! I knew I wanted to write a vampire series, warriors to be specific. I was working on one of the first scenes of the books in which I introduced the basic enemy for my warriors, the heinous death vampires. But as I was writing this early scene, for some mysterious, mystical, truly magical reason, the death vampire appeared as though hanging in the air and bearing enormous black glossy wings! From that moment on, I knew this would be a series in which all vampires, at some point in their lives, would ‘mount’ a pair of wings.

Katie: The range of colors is interesting too, plus they also happen to be very..uh..sensitive to the touch. Kinda like Ferengi Ears right?

Caris: Once I wrapped my head around all the possibilities, I kinda went nuts with all different aspects of this world. But…oh, yeah…the wing-lock sensitivity is amazing and it’s even more amazing to write!

Ben: There are a lot of vampire romances on the shelves right now, what makes your book unique from the herd?

Since my vampires have wings, wouldn’t flock be more appropriate, instead of herd! Aieee…flock sounds all wrong for my hunky warriors. Squadrons…they fly in squadrons! Whew, much better.

Well, there you have it. Giving my vampires wings—a big stretch from vampires who can morph into bats—is probably the most distinguishing feature of my vampire mythos. That, and you can never be ‘turned’ into a vampire through a bite. Instead, the process of becoming vampire involves ascending to the next dimension, by demonstrating preternatural power, and going through an ascension ceremony. At which time, the mortal is imbued with relative immortality and fangs—bingo, newly created vampire.

Ben: Well, we are apparently sheep here, so you'll excuse the herd statement. And the wings definitely help them stand out.

Katie: I love how he just said *does air quotes* "apparently" we are sheep here, like it's not insanely obvious! lol The whole process of becoming a vampire is different, how did you come up with the all-out war that takes place during one's ascension Caris?

Caris: I believe in villains, the nastier the better. Remember that cartoon in which the one ridiculously ambitious character keeps saying, “I want to take over the world”? Historically, there’s always some supreme idiot who thinks it would be the finest thing for all of humankind if he (usually it’s a he) took control of, dare I say it, the sheep! So, of course, I already have his demise planned out and I believe it’s something that’s never been done before…unfortunately, that’s book #10 and no, I’m not sharing that one! You’ll just have to stay with me…come on…you know you want to…

Ben: I would like to take this moment to say I was shanghaied against my will by these sheep. Shanghaied. Yes.

Katie: {rolls her eyes at Ben}

Katie: The Guardians are the fiercest warriors amongst all the Vamps, and the hottest I might add, what can we look forward to with these fine men?

Oh, well, they get knocked flat by love, of course, and in the process transformed. But each warrior also becomes more capable, in surprising ways, of battling their enemies and of making a greater difference in the ongoing war.

Katie: That's it? That's all you're gonna give me?! Come on, Caris, more hints! lol

Caris: Okay…I’m going to tell you a secret. Every couple is different…and when I say different, I mean different, as in how they relate to each other. In writing how each warrior sees his woman, and treats her, how he responds to her, how she responds to him, I’ve been amazed by how the couples are soooo unique. In fact, from a writer’s perspective, the warrior and his woman dictate exactly how their love unfolds…and I mean love. (Please read between the lines…or are you falling through them by now…hah!)

Ben: Who is your favorite character from your book and how did you think of them?

I could never name one character as my favorite…that would just be wrong. However, now that I’ve been PC about this, the character I have the most fun writing is Endelle, the ruler of Second Earth, probably because she’s profane, snarky, irreverent, sucks at her job, has a big heart and generally is the kind of woman I’d be if only I could get away with it! Plus, she’s horribly fashion-challenged and that’s just a blast to write!

As for how I came up with her, I honestly don’t know. Sometimes a kind of magic occurs when I write and a character just shows up. I think Endelle just showed up, dropping the f-bomb and wearing something outrageous and I knew she’d play a huge role in the story. Plus, I gave her command over all these hunky men! What’s more fun than that?!?

Ben: Um...pie? Pie is good. Oh! Command of an army of warriors AND pie! That'd be even better!

Caris: You are sooooo right! Why didn’t I think of that? Aaarguuulll…pie. (Homer Simpson.)

Katie: Did you grow up knowing you wanted to become an author?

I wish I did. How’s that for an answer?!? I’m so jealous of other authors who knew this was what they wanted to do from the time they were children. No, I came to writing in my mid-twenties and even then it took me years to really figure things out and to make a commitment. Oh, if I could do my life over again, the changes I would make. At the very least I’d start writing stories at the age of four!!!

Ben: Was there any specific source of inspiration for your novel?

I was totally inspired by several authors who have established paranormal-warrior series: Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, to name a few.

Katie: If you had the chance to travel to the moon or the core of the earth which one would you pick and why?

The moon, hands down. I’d love to see what the earth looks like from space, for one thing. I’d also like to experience weightlessness and I’d really love to be able to spring high in the air just by leaping a little. That would be awesome!

Katie: I have those dreams of being almost weightless, have you had those too?

Caris: A woman can only dream…although, better than weightlessness are the flying dreams. I’ve only had a couple. I wish I had more. Maybe that’s why I’m writing these books, so that I can fly vicariously with all these characters…hmmm…

Katie: Endelle, The Queen of the Vamps, is one hard-mouthed, funky-dressed chick! hahaha She really is a walking PETA nightmare with all the animal skins she sports, but I love it. What will the woman think up next? Woodchuck boots?!

Woodchuck boots! Yee-haw! Isn’t she a blast??? Since I’m writing book #4, I’ve started adding more feathers to her get-ups. Also, embroidered leather. It will really be fun to see where she goes in book #5. I may just have to change things up! Got any ideas!?!

Katie: I stand behind the Woodchuck boots, those are winners for sure! But I think we can find you more ideas…..*evil laugh*

Ben: Sorry, I have no idea what's going on with the Woodchucks.

Caris: Poor Ben. Well, I say woodchucks or no woodchucks, I’m thinkin’ boots. I haven’t really done boots with Endelle…now there’s a thread to follow…oh, yeah. Her boots would be insane…maybe for book #5.

Ben: How do us, the ordinary human, know the Guardians are on our side?

All ascenders fear the depredations of death vampires, those horrible, villainous creatures addicted to dying blood, a substance that can only be reached by drinking a mortal or an ascender to death. Because the Guardians, also known as Warriors of the Blood, battle death vampires every night, all night, ordinary humans know they’re on the side of right.

Beyond their job description, however, the Guardians are just all around great guys; they love women, they treat women with respect, they’re kind to children, they get really upset when they see the depredations of the death vampires, and they have great hearts which comes through in everything they do, for each other and for both Second Earth and Mortal Earth.

Ben: Truly a role model to all the children. I'm still going to like my Guardsmen better.

Caris: Do your Guardsmen walk into a bar?

Ben: Even servants of the Emperor require a drink every now and then. Especially after liberating a planet.

Katie: In your books when you meet "The One" you can sense it AND smell it, what smell would you like to give off and receive from your mate?

I love the smell of fresh grasses on a hillside, way out in nature, a place that’s raw and real. Giving or receiving that would be awesome!

Katie: The next edition in your series, Burning Skies, comes out in May, what can we look forward to?

Burning Skies was such a blast to write. What you’ll find between the covers is one of the hunkiest warrior vampires on two planets, Marcus Amargi, who in addition to being a Warrior of the Blood also has an extensive financial empire on Mortal Earth. Marcus and his woman, Havily, have lots of issues to resolve not least of which is that she discovers pretty soon that she has one heck of an emerging power; to wit, she ends up in his dreams in really—ahem—improper ways!

Because I introduced this pair in the first book, Ascension, the story picks up where it left off. But I worked really hard to make the story a stand-alone read so that if you happen to find Burning Skies first, you will not be lost…AT ALL!

Katie: And I am so going to brag about this! I did get an ARC and totally agree. Plus if you liked the first book you're gonna love the second! Are you getting a better feel now for all these characters, or will they keep changing as the series goes on?

I am definitely getting a better feel for all these characters, but what’s really fun, as I look down the line at the later warriors and their stories, I have this beautiful suspended excitement just knowing that though I don’t have all the details yet, when the time comes, they will emerge in fantastic unexpected ways. I can’t wait! Can you tell how much fun this is for me to live this series on the inside? It’s just…amazing. And, don’t tell anyone, but if we get enough sheep in one pasture together, I’ll take everyone to Third Earth! What do you say, Katie? Are you with me?

Katie: *grabs space boots, pink bunny and her flock of Sheep* Let's roll!

Ben: If you had one week until the earth exploded, what would you do?

I kinda love this question. If the earth were actually going to explode, I’d probably spend the whole week visiting as many splendiferous earthly sights as I could: the Grand Canyon, Mount Kilamanjaro, glaciers in Alaska, the Aurora Borealis, the Dead Sea, you name it!

Ben: Always a good choice.

Katie: Where can fans find you in the coming months?

My current goal is to do lots and lots of blogs, like this fabulous one. So, if fans want to chat with me, then go to my home page which is where the most recent blogs are listed:

Katie: In the nursery rhyme Mary had a little lamb, what was the lambs name?

Oliver Sneed, of course.

Katie: lol Okay, no idea. Why Oliver Sneed?

Caris: The first name that came to mind, which is really bizarre…who the frel is Oliver Sneed in the depths of my subconscious mind? Although, I predict this lamb is showing up in one of my novels soon…and no, I didn’t say O.S. because I had a character by that name already…come on!!!

Katie: And now Caris it's time for the ever loved across the globe RAPID FIRE ROUND!!! Okay I need to relax on all the Cokes. hehehe Sit back and clear your mind, answer with the first thing that pops in your mind. Ready?.......Set.......Go!

Katie: Hot Pastrami or Cold


Ben: Original Recipe Or Extra Crispy


Katie: One piece or Two


Ben: Surf or Turf


Katie: Battle Axe or Morning Star

Sorry, both!!! Don’t know why?!? Must explore this…

Katie: Always a good idea to be armed with a variety of weapons.

Ben: Honey or Jam


Katie: Coke or Pepsi


Katie: Blast it NOOOOO! *shakes fist in the air* Why are you breaking my heart Caris!!! Why?!

Ben: Because Coca-Cola tastes like battery acid. Exactly like battery acid. Don't ask me how I know this.

Caris: Amen, Ben. (See…I even gave you a bit of rhyme…this blog has it all!!! Woot!)

Ben: Biscuits or Dinner Rolls


Katie: Q or Spock


Ben: Robots or Monkeys

Robots; they don’t cling.

Ben: Also more hygenic!

Katie: Sweet Potato Fries or Curly Fries

Curly Fries. They’re just so cute.

Ben: Moby Dick or Loch Ness

Nessie, please…

Ben: She doesn't come with a boring book, I'll give you that.

Caris: The story is painful. But that’s why I write romance…I love a happy ending! And Nessie’s an adorable name!

Katie: Cosmos or Martinis

Cosmos, blood orange, the way they’re served at the Macaroni grill. Yuuuuum!

Katie: Agreed!

Ben: Diamonds or Pearls

Both: together, preferably. Again, I don’t know why and don’t make me choose or I’ll find you…

Ben: Please don't kill me!

Caris: To quote Katie: *evil laugh*…hehehe…

Katie: Caris fits right in around here.

Katie: Frack or Frel

Does this mean what I think it means? If it does my answer is the following: Frack, frack, frack, frack.

Katie: It does. And yeah we fracken get it. lol

Ben: Yay Battlestar Galactica!

Katie: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us Caris, would you like to add anything before we reluctantly wrap?

Caris: Yes, but this is for Ben…tell us one last joke. Start with, ‘Two woodchucks go into a bar…”

Ben: Two Woodchucks walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if woodchucks could OH GOD HELP ME! I'M BEING HELD AGAINST MY WILL AS AN EDITOR! SEND HELP! THERE'S AT LEAST TEN OF THEM WITH MELEE WEAPONS!

*cough* Hennyway, so after hearing this clich√© for the hundredth time the woodchucks punch the bartender. He then starts again by saying, “Hey, did you know there's a drink named after you guys?”And the woodchucks say “Really? There's a drink called the McCoy Brothers?”

Katie: See now why we keep him locked up? lol

Thanks so much to Caris for taking the time to chat with us, we love you and hope you will return many times. We know you all are eager to start the prizes so here we go! One lucky winner will walk away with the Caris Prize Pack containing signed books from the author, Vampire Pez, wing earrings and some rad Sheep pencils! To be entered to win make sure to list BOTH things in the comments below.

1. Your Email Address

2. What wild and crazy animal outfit would you like to see Endelle wear next? *Remember it's just a book, no harm will be caused to any animals. :)*

Contest ends May 14th at Midnight!

Good Luck!


  1. I'm here. I'm here. *waves hand and jumps up and down like an idiot* So, I have to say Caris that I love the wings on vamps. Super cool. I thinks Endelle should wear an alligator vest and skirt combo with wild boar boots(tusks included)..I have no fashion sense as you can see...LOL
    Michelle Bledsoe

  2. Michelle,
    Endelle would totally disagree with you about your fashion sense!!! Alligator vest and skirt combo, loooove it! In one of the books, she does wear a boar's hide skirt...must add the boots...oh, yes! I'm seeing stiletto boots in her future as well.
    As for the wings on vamps *sigh*, they have been so much fun to write and *clears throat* super sexy!

  3. You had me at "super hunky winged vampire warriors". I can't wait to try this series!

    Ben, I don't understand the woodchuck thing either, but they scare me now!

    Caris, you are one funny lady, and you have great taste in soda. Team Pepsi (BOO-YAH!)

  4. Sharon,
    Go Pepsi *with pom-poms* Go Pepsi!
    (Sorry Katie...)
    As for super hunky winged vampire warriors--they slay me as in take me to my knees! Is anyone as nuts for the paranormal warrior as I am?

  5. paranormal warriors taste gooooood ;)

  6. You Pepsi lovers are crazy! It's all about Coke. Lots and lots of Coke! lol

    So aside from something Woodchuck I would like to see maybe like Blue Jay feathers? Not sure how that would work but I saw them on my fence this morning so I felt inspired! lol

    Can never go wrong with space boots...just saying...

  7. Team Pepsi checking in here, too!
    Endelle should sport some bat fur gloves and shoes lol. The whole play on vampires, bats :) Your books sound very intriguing, I will be adding them to my TBR list. :)

  8. Great interview! This website has all the goodies, I love it. Keep it up!

    As for "wild and crazy animal outfit" I am going to suggest a Buffalo outfit. Either skirt or top or perhaps a full dress. Sounds funny and fury at the same time.

  9. Katie,

    Blue Jay feathers...well, I start book #2, BURNING SKIES with Endelle wearing red cardinal feathers on black leather! Like minds, Katie!


    (Reminder: no animals were harmed in the writing of this book!)

  10. Christine,

    Oh,man...bat gloves and shoes...TOTALLY inspired! Loooooove it!


  11. Jane,
    I know for a fact that Endelle keeps a buffalo halter in her wardrobe! See, you fit right into this crazy group!
    Seriously, though, Endelle is the most fun character to write because though she's profane, and irreverent and has the fashion sense of a chimpanzee, she's also very committed to her world. At just the right moments she really shows the love! I adore her. She's the woman I'd be if only I could get away with it!


  12. Caris,

    PEPSI!! but it has to be the 'old' PEPSI (which of course you can't get now...)

    When is the MOVIE coming out??? I want to 'see' this on the big screen!

  13. Nancy,
    You and me both! I want to sit and eat popcorn and watch hunky vampires flying across the screen! Woot!


  14. Popcorn and Junior Mints!! Yes!!! And those hunky warriors with wings! Perfect!!

  15. I feel like we need some Batman theme music playing for those fancy gloves. lol :)

    Now Popcorn and Junior Mints is a sure win. Just change that Pepsi out for a Coke and we got one fine date starting right here. Mmhmm

    Keep the ideas coming people! Doing great so far

  16. Loved this interview! Katie and Ben you guys did awesome! And Caris! Wish I could have met you... next time I'm definitely joining in the interview... even if I have to crash it (I think that might even be more preferable. Talk about drama! hahaha).

    Thank you for all the PEpsi lovin! We are SSOOOO winning this war *Fist pump and a happy dance*

    So happy to hear that no animals have been harmed during the writing of these books. I am a crazy animal lover... just ask Katie about my kitty cat <3

    As far as outfits go... I'm thinking a cape made out of peacock feathers. I've always had this weakness for them. They're just so dang shiny! lol.

    Thanks for all the comments peeps! We are lovin all the love!

  17. Voodoo Bride just promised painful torture if I keep this series on our wishlist for too long, so seems like I'll have to order book one soon or try to win it ;-)
    As for animal costume: No pigs!!!
    I'd like to see...... snails! Yes, a costume made out of snail shells.


  18. Amber,
    Please crash the interview next time and together we can make Ben tell more jokes!
    Believe it or not, I've used peacock'll just have to read the series to find out in what scene? Or is this just plain cruel?!?
    Lovin' it,

  19. Sullivan,
    No pigs, just boars! Will that do?
    As for the snail shells, this might just work. Endelle had a rattler-tail necklace in book #4...why not a carefully constructed bustier made of split snail know this could be beautiful in a really weird, sick way!
    Ah, great minds!

  20. How about.... A frog-skinned dress, chameleon thigh-high boots, and a bracelet made out of lil' tadpoles. Haha ;-) That would look wickedly weird!


  21. Chelsea,
    There's just so much creativity on this blog my head's spinning!
    The whole ensemble rocks! But I'm really impressed with the chameleon thigh-high boots! Whatever she stood next to, they could change color...very wickedly weird!

  22. Hello, Everyone!
    I'm still here to answer questions about my Guardians of Ascension series--you know, my gorgeous winged warrior vampires. If there's anything you'd like to know, just ask! I'll be checking in a couple more times before saying goodnight, so don't be shy!

  23. Well I have another question lol

    How far do you see yourself working on this series before maybe you burn out on the vamps?

  24. Katie,
    You've asked the wrong question! The real question is: can you burn out on vamps!!! Uh, noooo! Of course, with this series the vamps have many, many powers and I guess that's where all the variety comes from. Also, if we do get to go to Third Earth, I'm thinking there might be some 'shifter' action going on there...but that's in the early stages of development, nothing concrete...but sooo much fun!


  25. Katie, Ben and Amber,
    Thank you so much for a wonderful blogging experience! I thoroughly enjoyed the interview process and Ben's jokes were AWESOME!
    Hope we get to do this again!

    Many, many blessings!

  26. I love it, and I can't wait to read all the upcoming books. :)

    Thank YOU for taking the time to chat with us. And we will do this again. If not...Ben will bring out the ROPE!!!! *evil laugh*

  27. My jokes aren't that good. Also, what's this about rope?

    I guess I should have read the briefing manual.

  28. Helloooooooooooooo everyone, it's me Nathan again, sorry I have been away for so long, when your importing nearly extinct animal parts it requires a bit of attention to the finest of details, especially when you've had a few scotches. Anyway I am a big fan of this particular series already and can't wait for the next book in May. Now Katie forgot to ask Caris to sing a song about vampires. I happen to know Caris has quite a voice. As for Endelle, an octopus skull hat with a sting ray vest, and whale tail boots with turtle shell bikini bottoms are very fashionable this season. the theme here is predators of the ocean and we all know the ocean is out to kill everyone. You could write songs as well as books Caris you're very multitalented, you're first album could be all about how seamonsters are trying to kill all mankind and encourage people to dump oil on a jellyfish, or a penguin. We could always get together and work on some beats and lyrics together, one of my many talents is lyric writing as well as making music so get back to me. OH!!! and of course my email as always is Have a good week everybody! :-D

  29. @Nathan you are a gift to world my friend. ;) I think you and Caris both should do a vampire album. Sing about third world and all the wonders that await you. Would be awesome. lol You crack me up, like always.

  30. Nathan,
    I've fallen behind, I really have! Why didn't I think of the ocean??? Such possibilities! What about something with walrus whiskers? They've always intrigued me. But I have to say my favorite would be a carefully sculpted octopus skull hat--maybe the tentacles could be French many intriguing ideas, so little time!

    Lovin' it!

    PS I'm working on my vamp album right now. Got any ideas for the title track???

  31. Great Interview, it cracked me up!

    I want to see a Jackalope costume!

  32. @William VERY creative! :) Nicely done

  33. By random drawing Christine has won the Caris Roane prize pack! Congrats to you, I have emailed you and await your response.

    Thank you to Caris for taking the time to chat with us, we hope to have you back many more times. xoxoxo

    And a big thanks to everyone who came and left comments, some really great ideas from you all. Stay tuned for more......

  34. Soo awesome - I can't wait to get this!!! :o) Thanks a TON to both Caris and Katie!!! ♥ Looking forward to some good reads!