The Devil's Disease
Genre: urban fantasy
Date of Publication: March 31, 2016
Word Count: 93,338
Cover Artist: Amy Mateyka
In the city by the Bay, things are about to get bloody...
Psychic medium Lena Alan always sticks to what she knows, and what she knows are dead people. When her brother Cyrus agrees to look into a troubling incident for local vampire Seneca Lynch, Lena finds herself in unfamiliar territory.
One thing is clear: she needs a detective, and there's only one she trusts.
Private investigator Jesper MacMillian is ready to get back to business. Between his duties as leader of the city's Romani community and the stack of unfinished paperwork on his desk, he doesn't have time to think about ghosts, witches, or Lena Alan. After nearly a month of no contact, he's starting to think she's forgotten about him...until she waltzes through his office door and hands him a new case.
Still reeling from his last encounter with the subversive world, MacMillian is tempted to turn it down. But this is Lena, and he can't bring himself to tell her no. He soon finds himself drawn even deeper into the shadows, into a part of the demimonde where folklore is real and nightmares are born.
This time, there are more than just ghosts walking the streets of San Francisco.
There are monsters, too.
About the Author:
L.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody. L.J.K. likes monsters... and knows the darkest ones don't live in closets.
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Where are you from?
The San Francisco Bay Area, in (mostly) sunny California!
Tell us your latest news?
I just published a book, haha! Seriously, though...
When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing ever since I realized people enjoyed hearing about the stories in my head. A little encouragement at a young age is a dangerous thing...
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When it finally sinks in, I'll let you know!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I had an idea that intrigued me, and some characters who wouldn't leave me alone. The rest, as they say, is history...
Do you have a specific writing style?
I'm sure I do, but I'll be damned if I know what it is.
How did you come up with the title?
I usually cobble together titles based on word lists I have saved on my computer (it ain't always sexy, folks). The Devil's Disease was a play both on certain plot elements in the book, and how I've always personally pictured vampires.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don't usually do messages, per se, but with this book, the theme of monsters kept coming up: what is a monster? Are all monsters evil? Can someone do monstrous things for good reasons? I guess it's not so much a message, more something I hope will get people thinking.
How much of the book is realistic?
A significant portion of it. actually. It's been my goal since Book 1 to build the Shades Below universe around as much real-world lore and tradition as I can. Obviously, I've taken creative liberties, but much of what you'll find in this book has its basis in actual beliefs and practices.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There's one part of the book where I've been able to draw on my own experience. Lena's struggle with the shadow is largely based on my own off-and-on struggle with depression. That feeling that there's something dark inside you, something outside your control, something that steals your joy and your confidence and tries to sabotage everything you do...yeah, I know that feeling very well.
What books have most influenced your life?
Probably the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques. It's the earliest fantasy series I can remember reading, and it taught me the world can be magic.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Definitely Karen Marie Moning, although I'm sure she has no idea I exist. Her Fever series makes me want to be a better writer.
Also, Jessica Fletcher. She may not technically exist, but I still find myself asking "what would Jessica do" at least three times a week.
What book are you reading now?
I'm getting ready to dive into Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older. So excited!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently discovered Cassandra Clare, and am now thoroughly obsessed.
What are your current projects?
I'm currently getting ready to tackle my next Shades Below Short (the Shorts are a companion m/m novella series to Shades Below). Emil and Puzzle are headed to New Orleans (along with Lena's older brother Cyrus) to deal with a vampire problem.
After that, I'll be writing If You Were My Vampire (Shades Below, #2.5), the story of Lena's younger sister, Grace, and nihilistic vampire Asher Evans. Stay tuned!
What would you like my readers to know?
I appreciate you! Seriously. Even if you haven't read any of my books, you've read enough of my interview here to get to this point. Thanks for lending me your ears! I hope you'll lend me your eyeballs, too, and give my books a try :-)