Guest Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega
Today’s guest author featured here is Vashti Quiroz-Vega.
Vashti has recentlly published her latest book, The Fall of Lilith, and it’s already receiving rave reviews.
Vashti blogs at The Writer Next Door where you will find her posting beautiful Haiku and other colorful posts as well as guest authors, artists, and poets she features on her blog. She writes in fantasy genre, as well as short story horror fiction. Vashti is a prolific writer and her bubbly and warm personality has many bloggers visiting her blog. Vashti explains why she named her blog The Writer Next Door:
“Why is my blog called ‘The Writer Next Door‘? I consider myself a people person and someone who’s very approachable. I try to see the good in people. I’m not easily influenced and I hate malicious gossip. I believe in ‘girl power’ and sisterhood between women, but I also respect and admire men. I’m not scary, although I can be a little weird at times. I’m a kid at heart and love to have fun, but I also take my responsibilities very seriously and work hard to achieve my goals.”
Since I was a kid I’ve always had a passion for writing. I’ve always been a writer I just didn’t know it until later. It has always been easier for me to express my thoughts on paper.
I love to read almost as much as I love to write. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown.
I enjoy making people feel an array of emotions with my writing. I like my audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.
The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are: obedience and celibacy. Breaking either of these oaths can bring about dire consequences.
The angels are happy in their celestial home. Each day is filled with new things to learn and new places to explore. They interact together, help each other, and follow the rules. As time goes on, though, those rules start to seem arbitrary and stifling. Chafing at what she sees as unfair restrictions, Lilith starts to question the status quo, causing disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing grows, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?
Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith tells a tale both epic and dark of seduction, betrayal, and revenge. A story that doesn’t shy away from difficult questions and hard choices, and the sometimes painful consequences of making those choices.
Free will means deciding who you are and how you will live your life. If power is what you desire it requires strength and sacrifice. It can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.
It can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.
“The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive.
A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”–– Kirkus Reviews
Now, let’s get to know more about Vashti and her new book, The Fall of Lilith.
I find it fascinating that at your day job you are a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Do you enjoy doing that and are you hoping to become a full-time writer eventually?
I did enjoy working in the medical field although it was very stressful and demanding at times. I recently left the medical field and I am now working from home as a full-time writer among other things.
Besides your writing talents, I hear you’re a wonderful cook and baker. Do you have any secret recipes you want to share with us?
Ha, ha! I do enjoy cooking and baking. I’ll share some recipes at another time.
You say you can predict a movie’s ending by the end of the first quarter. I remember when we first met, I told you I had that same ability. What is it that prompts this ability with you?
I can see the story unfold in my mind. I’m good at reading between the lines and guessing people’s reactions. I’m also good at reading facial expressions and body language, which movies make abundantly clear. I guess these things help me figure out what’s going to happen next.
You have a beautiful writing style, and I especially love your Haiku posts. How do you jump from writing beautiful, heartfelt prose and come up with ideas to write in horror?
There are different types of Horror. Not all horror is gory and gritty although gore and grit have their place and there’s a huge fan base for it. There’s psychological horror, which can be the most terrifying. I see beauty in almost all things and a well-written horror is a beautiful thing.
Now, please do tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for your new book, The Fall of Lilith.
I’ve always been fascinated by angels and other supernatural beings. I’ve read many books about angels as well as mythology and fairytales. There’s very little written about the origin of angels and other mystical creatures. I began The Fall of Lilith at the very beginning when the angels were first created and as the story unfolds readers will see how the angels came to be what they became.
How exciting for your book to receive a Kirkus review. Can you share with us how that came about?
What’s really exciting is that the Kirkus review for The Fall of Lilith was great! I’ve been told a great review from Kirkus is hard to come by.
Can you please share an excerpt with us and set the scene for the excerpt?
The Fall of Lilith Structurally, The Fall of Lilith is divided internally into two books, BOOK I – Heaven and BOOK II – Earth in one volume, just like The Lord of the Rings. This excerpt is taken from BOOK I – Heaven. The angels reside in Heaven’s lowest level called Floraison. There are three forests forbidden to them. Lilith broke the rules by influencing several angels to enter the forbidden East Forest. She too entered but when she sensed danger she fled leaving her friends behind and in trouble. As punishment for her disobedience God ordered Lilith to spend several days in the same forest she had abandoned her friends. In this scene the angels Michael and Cam were chosen to make sure God’s punishment was carried out. This was a huge burden for Michael since he harbored secret feelings for Lilith.
“Release me.” Her tone was brusque. “I shall walk in of my own accord.” She wrested her arm from Michael and glared at him. Cam stepped aside. They would not perceive her as weak. She would do this and prove that she was strong and brave. She did not believe God would destroy her. He simply required punishment for those who break his laws.
She glanced over her shoulder at the others and then looked to the forest again. Trembling she took another deep breath and inched her way inside the trees until she was enshrouded in darkness, and the others could no longer see her.
When she was out of sight Michael fell to one knee and pressed his face to his hands. He appeared inconsolable and the other angels surrounded him and tried to comfort him.
Once inside the forest, Lilith began to pant in fear. Her eyes flickered in every direction, searching for a safe place. She must remain calm.
A beam of light entered through a small opening in the canopy. She made her way there. The incandescent light illuminated a large rock and made it sparkle. That was it! That was where she would remain until she was summoned out of the forest. She plodded to the rock, stood before it, and allowed the radiance to wash over her.
She lifted her eyes to the source of the light. The hole looked large enough for her to fit through. She could fly beyond the forest through the opening above. She could remain above the canopy where she would be safe and nobody would see her.
Lilith climbed to the top of the boulder and tried to expand her wings, but they hung limp and heavy and did not budge. She made several attempts, but they would not move. She could not fly within the forest.
A gust of wind pushed her off the rock. She landed hard on the ground and winced. The vines that covered the forest floor began to slither toward her. She jumped to her feet.
Creeping plants twisted and looped around her ankles, anchoring her to the ground. She gasped at the flutter of wings as vines zipped through the air around her. Unable to move, she panted while creepers whipped around her wrists, twisting tightly. The plants held her arms and legs apart.
Lilith screamed, and a vine shoved leaves in her mouth to muffle her cries. Once the spiny vines bound her, the other plants settled down. Although her wrists and ankles burned and stung, she thought the worst was over. Her breathing slowed and then she saw something that stunned her: a plethora of insects. All manner of bugs flew, crawled, and scuttled toward her.
Lilith’s eyes opened wide. She had never seen these ugly little life forms. The insects advanced, swarming. They climbed her legs. Some crawled under her garment, while others scurried over, gnawing at the thin cloth. They continued scuttling and landing over her. Never in her fifteen ages of existence had she experienced such fear.
Soon the pests covered every inch of her, until only a quivering mass of insects in her form remained. The leaves stuffed in her mouth muffled her wails as they crawled over her body, into her hair, and in and out of her nose and ears.
She shut her eyes. The sensation was maddening and the pain excruciating.
She suffered this agony for two days. Thoughts of Michael and Lucifer––her conviction that the others looked upon her with disdain tormented her. Michael had betrayed her and it was his fault she was there. Lucifer was willing to suffer the same fate to be with her. Feeling lonesome and abandoned she wept for the first time. The physical and mental pain from the punishment outweighed the pleasure she derived from her acts. This surprised her. She suffered great anguish wondering if she could endure long enough to make amends. Would this experience change who she was?
At the start of the third day, the flying insects took flight, leaving her body. The creepy-crawlies remained, but at least Lilith’s eyes were uncovered. The vines came alive again, thrashing through the air, threatening to whip her, coming close, but never touching her.
Her heart thumped in her chest. She did not know how much more she could take. Her head spun with exhaustion. The vegetation in her mouth forced her jaws agape. Her saliva moistened the leaves, breaking them down. By the fourth day the bitter, rancid, and repugnant juices of the plants in her mouth oozed down her throat.
She gagged and retched until the bolus of leaves finally plopped out of her mouth. She gasped. She tried to scream but could not render a sound. Bugs invaded her mouth, as she swallowed some became lodged in her throat. She had a coughing fit and her eyes bulged in desperation. She wheezed and coughed until the bugs passed and she drew air in. She screamed with her lips wedged shut and wailed until every muscle in her face and neck ached and she was exhausted.
Suddenly, the vines twisting around her ankles unwound, releasing her legs. The vines around her wrists fell to the ground. Lilith did not move, afraid of the crawling life forms covering her face and body. After the vines released her, the insects abandoned her as well.
When all the insects had disappeared, she scanned her surroundings. The forest was silent, and the vines were still. She heard a familiar voice.
Lucifer called her out of the forest.
Thank you for visiting with us here today Vashti, and for sharing some of yourself with us. As I too am very intrigued by angels and angel stories, I look forward to reading your book.
Connect with Vashti:
Preview & Purchase link: http://wp.me/P3eYyj-1yd
Facebook Author Page: http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d