Out today is author Randi Perrin’s debut, Virtue of Death. Sera is an angel of death and owner/operator of a pastry shop. Destin is a bad boy food critic who just happens to trash Sera’s shop in his review … and then, make her fall desperately in love with him. Virtue of Death is filled with tension, laughter, and sex. Sera’s struggle to live her life as an angel while trying to accept her humanity and affection for Destin is a difficult battle, considering Destin is a freaking dreamboat.
I was impressed not only with Perrin’s plot but with her sense of humor and descriptions, whether they be beautiful or horrible (especially where demons were involved). This is such a brilliant take on angels among us that proves love is the ultimate equalizer, divine being or not. I decided to pick Randi’s brain about her new book, because I’m always fascinated by what makes other authors tick. Here’s what she had to say …
Sara: Of all the paranormal creatures out there, why’d you go with angels?
Randi: Angels were a complete accident. In fact, writing paranormal was a complete accident.
Virtue of Death was a NaNoWriMo project, and it was originally plotted to be a contemporary. About three days into NaNo, I was lying in bed awake, thinking about unique character attributes to give Sera and decided she would totally have a full-back angel wing tattoo. My husband climbed into bed and I sat straight up and went, “Hey, what if she actually was an angel?”
My husband, who has the amazing ability to fall asleep the second his head hits the pillow was only half-coherent, and, compounded by the fact he had no idea what I was talking about, said, “Okay, sure, whatever you want to do.” I’ve been eating, breathing, sleeping, and writing angels ever since.
But as far as the others creatures, I am friends with so many authors who have the other paranormals covered. I don’t dare want to step on their toes. Besides, let’s be honest, there’s no way I could do vampires as well as you do.
S: Yes, you could. You can do anything, my dear. But back to the interview … Destin is a dreamboat. What is it that makes him so dang sexy? Who would play him in the film?
R: Oh, Destin. One of my biggest turn-ons in life is a man who can, and will, use correct grammar. Destin sort of builds on that, and he has an amazing way with words. He is a walking thesaurus, and I love it. An early scene that I adore is when Sera calls him persistent and he corrects her.
I’ve had a hard time fan-casting him, actually. No one I ever found really spoke to me. There’s a guy on my Virtue of Death Pinterest board that is swoon-worthy and very Destin. BUT… I don’t know if that pretty boy could act his way out of a paper bag. So, I’ll give you two (and no, it’s not lost on me how much they look alike).
Real actor: Derek Theler
S: Would you rather be an angel of death or angel of mercy? Why?
R: Death. (Does this really surprise you?) I don’t forget things. There are many people in my life that I would absolutely love to be the last thing they see, to get the last word in a way in which they have no recourse.
Plus, I’ve always had a morbid curiosity. When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher would start a story and then she’d go around the room and each of us would add one sentence to the story. She skipped me. She actually skipped me, and I was appalled. Surprise, surprise, I called her on it. She said, “No, because you’re just going to kill the main character.” I thought about the perfect sentence I had prepared and dropped my shoulders in defeat. She was right. I was. To be fair, though, in the same sentence I was going to bring him back as a ghost so the story could continue.
So, in true nah-nah, boo-boo fashion, twenty years later, I wrote a book about an angel of death. Mwahahaha. Old habits die hard, I guess.
S: That is so awesomely evil. I think I love you. No, I KNOW I love you. Virtue of Death is a trilogy, right? Can you give us any teasers about upcoming books?
R: Yep, that’s the plan, anyway. The second book is about Cheryl and picks up the day after Virtue of Death leaves off.
I’m not really too far into the third one right now, so I can’t really give you too much about it. I try to be a plotter, but, the fact is, I’ve haven’t had a character yet who looked at my plot and said, “Yeah, I’m good with that, make it so.” So I can’t tell you anything because I guarantee the final won’t be like anything I’ve got in my head right now. The character whose story gets told has changed three different times … but I think I’m finally set on that. And no, I’m not telling who it is.
S: If you had to choose ONE SONG to represent VOD, what song would it be?
R: This is going to make me sound like such a sap and a total girl, but “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. Virtue of Death is, after all, a romance, so of course it’s a sappy song. Truthfully, if you look at the lyrics, there are just a few lines in that song that are so Sera and Destin.
S: What’s the best thing about being a writer? What’s the worst thing about being a writer?
R: When I’ve had a bad day at work, I can go home and write. It’s what I use to unwind. In that world, I get to create things. If there’s a person in my life who is ticking me off, you guessed it, they make it into my story and I find a way to torture them. Because. I. Can. It’s a total power trip and it’s awesome. (And now the whole angel of death answer above makes more sense, right?)
The worst? The debilitating self-doubt. Honestly, everyone is their own worst critic, but I take the whole thing to a whole new level. I have turned self-deprecating humor into an art form in and of itself. Just ask my friends who have dubbed themselves the Optimist Calvary, because I absolutely cannot think positively about anything I write. I’m convinced everything is horrible and threaten to toss it out the window. In fact, if it weren’t for one beta in particular, Virtue of Death never would have seen the light of day.
S: Who’s your biggest literary influence?
R: You are, duh.
R: I’ve always been a huge fan of Poe. I love the darkness with which he writes, it’s just so damn intriguing. I also love the fact that he can write the most amazing poetry, but then turn around and blow your mind with a short story. He was just so multi-faceted. I started out writing poetry, and then branched to fiction, so I kind of like to think that, in my own twisted way, I’m emulating that path. I’m nowhere near as good as he was, but, I’m also not an alcoholic and crazy either.
S: Who’s your biggest celebrity crush?
R: Oh, well, that’s really not hard. I’m such a huge Keith Urban fan, it’s not even funny. I think that man is sex on a stick and I even have a piece with a Keith-inspired character (that’s getting a massive overhaul, so you’ll just have to wait).
I’m also totally in love with Colin O’Donoghue, the guy who plays Hook on Once Upon a Time. I like them with accents, what can I say? (For more, with pictures:, click HERE.)
S: Hardest thing to write: comedy, tragedy, or sex? Why?
R: Hands down, it’s the sex. I still fear I didn’t do it right. There’s just such a stigma there. You want to avoid purple prose. You have to make sure you do things that are physically possible. Do you remove socks or not? I’m huge on not using bad euphemisms, so language is an issue. (You will never see me use the word “member.” If you read something of mine that uses that word, I’ve been kidnapped and am signaling for help). You have to make the sex is true to the character and advances the plot. It’s a lot to keep in mind. Plus, there’s a line to tread—too vanilla and you look like a complete wuss and it might as well have happened off-screen; too kinky and you wander into erotica territory (and there’s nothing wrong with writing erotica) but that may turn people off … so yeah, there’s so much more, I think, at play when you’re writing a sex scene.
I toyed with making Virtue of Death sweet and having the sex happen off-screen, but in the end, I decided it needed to be there. The symbolism of these characters opening up to each other despite what’s going on around them or in their heads is extremely important to their relationship. They faced their fears head on, so dammit, I did too. All in the name of literature.
R: You didn’t ask, but I’m going to throw this information out there anyway …
In September, I’ve actually got two more releases. The Unintentional—North American Edition friends-to-lovers anthology from Hot Tree Publishing will be out on September 10 and will include my short story “Just What I Need.” Then on September 27, also from Hot Tree Publishing, I’ll be releasing a M/M contemporary romance novella, Wreck You.
What are you waiting for? BUY THE BOOK HERE.
Publisher’s author page: http://www.hottreepublishing.com/#!randi-perrin/c1q6d
About Randi Perrin:
Randi has spent her entire life writing in one form or another. In fact, if she wasn’t writing, she’d likely go completely and utterly insane. Her husband has learned to recognize when the voices are talking in her head and she needs some quality time with an empty Word file (the key to a successful marriage with a writer). She lives with her husband, daughter, and four-legged children—all of which think they are people too. A pop-culture junkie, she has been known to have entire conversations in movie quotes and/or song lyrics.