Iiiiiiiiit’s FRIDAY! What a splendid day to meet yet another spectacular and fascinating author. Today we welcome Miriam Cooke, the mastermind behind Drusilla Blood.
Glad to have you here, Miriam. You write paranormal thrillers, so I’m thinking some things must have gone bump in your night at some point in the past. What scared you most as a child? Has it changed as an adult?
I remember watching Jaws when I was about eight, I guess. I couldn’t sit on the loo for weeks after, terrified that a large shark would jump up and bite me on the bum. I still get that uneasy feeling when swimming in deep water. It creeps up on me until I am suddenly overwhelmed by fear and flail back to the rocks/ boat desperate to haul myself in from the terrors of the deep. This is odd because I actually enjoy diving and have done a fair bit in relation to my work, I guess when I can see what’s beneath and around me I don’t mind so much.
OMG, you actually made me snort with the shark in the loo bit and my family thinks I’m nuts. Too funny. I’ve always been terrified of swimming where big things can eat me, so I can relate a bit.
Drusilla Blood sounds like a great read. Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?
I am writing the next book in the Blood trilogy at the moment, ‘The Morrigan’. I don’t want to give away much but it’s shaping up really well. When I am a little closer to finishing – should be out by the end of the fall- I will post a few chapters up and give some sneak previews. As well as The Blood Trilogy, I have my agent breathing down my neck for the first in my archaeological thriller series featuring Archaeologist Mag’s Suchet, so when I get time I am scribbling down notes, outlines and the like for that. I also am pulling together a very exciting paranormal series which will be YA, that will be early next year. So I have a plethora of ideas churning about in my brain, desperate for escape, and having to wait their turn.
Ah yes, brain overflow. It’s a wonderful author affliction, isn’t it? How much of you is in your heroine?
I think there is a little bit of me in Drusilla Blood! So I think we’d be pals. I imagine I’d be advising her on certain aspects of her life over a few glasses of wine and no doubt she’d ignore every word of it, as she’d probably be right to – I can’t say I’m the world’s best love or career guru…
Edith, I think she holds many of the things sacred that I do, she has a strong sense of justice, and a passion for what she believes in. She’s a bit naive but has a good heart.
The characters that come from parts of people we know are often the most believable. Do you have any quirks? Odd little tidbits about you that few people know?
I am a bit of a techie, sadly never happier than when discovering a new keyboard shortcut. My husband is rather a luddite, and so I step in with a weary (but condescending sigh) each time to sort out his computer woes and often fix the telly settings with a peculiar thrill of satisfaction.
Ha! Yes, another computer geek to join the ranks! I worked in IT for many years, so I can relate. Speaking of techie, what does your dream house look like? Some fully wired technological wonder?
Ah… I have far too many dream houses, a bit of a dream property developer. I haven’t been affected by the recession. I jut keep adding to my already huge dream portfolio. Recently the dream has been hovering around Andalucia in Spain. My relatives live out there and we go out to visit fairly frequently. The dream is that we move out there and I spend each day writing on an old oak table under the shade of a bougainvillea pergola, looking out the sea surrounded by the beautiful Andalucian mountains. And of course it would have to be an old Spanish finca, farmhouse complex, with swimming pool and all the trimmings.
Sounds divine. I’ve never been to Spain, but I hope to visit one day. Have you ever done something so crazy and reckless you think back on it and wonder how you lived to tell us about it?
The old misspent youth eh? Well I can’t say I’ve ever had a moment where I thought, I could have kicked the bucket there, but I did spend my late teens and early twenties traveling around the world as an international fashion model, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Milan … and there are plenty of eye watering experiences related to those jaunts. Eye stinging watering… But you’ll have to wait with bated breath – I’ve written a novel based on them and hopefully that will be out sometime soon. Look out for ‘This Year’s Model’.
A model? Wow, that’s neat! You are a well-traveled, diverse person, Miriam. A techie, author, and a model. What an interesting combination of talents. What author do you most admire?
I love so many authors, this is a difficult question. I do really admire Umberto Eco though. I met him once years ago and the meeting just confirmed everything I’d thought about the man, intelligent, witty and cool. He used to lecture I believe, in the University at Bologna, in Italy, and I always envied his pupils, imagining how inspiring his lectures would be – and laid on for you as part of your degree!
I read ‘The name of the Rose’ first and was caught up in the intricate plot and each twist and turn, the detailed and dark characters, admired the research behind it all and the just, plain, first-class storytelling. My favorite Umberto Eco novel is Foucault’s pendulum. I won’t give anything away. Just go and read it. Dan Brown has nothing on this man! I was quite young when I read it; early twenties and it had a big impression on me at the time. Someone once told me that Eco likes to weed his readers out, which is why it can be a struggle to get through the first two chapters or so. I’m not sure I agree with this, but do persevere; you will be rewarded with an intelligent and fascinating tale of intrigue and suspense packed with action. I like a novel that weaves fact with fiction, where you feel the author has really researched his topic. Eco never lets you down.
I’ve never heard of him, but I’ll be looking him up now. I’m fascinated by authors who can create rich characters so I can read and hopefully learn from them, too.
One last question before I let you off the hot seat. Boy shorts, granny panties, thong, g-string or commando?
Why choose just one? Granny pants for over indulgence days, commando for ‘I can’t be arsed to go down to the clean laundry pile’ days, Boy shorts ditto, and thong or g-string for those rare occasions where I venture into the ‘ I feel like I have a fantastic body’ delusion.
So you run the gamut of panties! Nice! *snort* *rubs hands together in anticipation* Now for the pretty. Check out Miriam’s book!
Back of the Book
‘God, have pity. Help us.’
Edith screamed as her head was forced back by the maelstrom that roared around them. She fought to close her eyes, to shut out the snarling face feasting upon Jago’s swollen tongue.
The ceremony was not going well…
1911: Edith Sanguine holds a playful séance that goes terribly wrong.
Present day: Drusilla Blood, a disgraced archaeologist with a disastrous love life, plunges into a raging fire at a pagan festival and escapes the searing flames miraculously unharmed.
Two young women, separated by generations, now share a sinister fate; possession by an ancient being, a sadistic and powerful entity bent on destruction. They must fight a primeval battle against the beast within them, and their deteriorating sanity. Can Drusilla end the malignant legacy that Edith set in motion, hindered by those that wish to control its power for their own ends?
A gripping occult thriller where the past and present weave together in a tale of passion, intrigue, murder and the supernatural.
Drusilla Blood: Part One of the Blood Trilogy.
Praise for Drusilla Blood:
‘A terrific read, a fresh take on the paranormal genre’ Orion.
Loved the detail and energy of Drusilla Blood’ Sphere
Loved the atmosphere and the way Miriam Cooke mixes the contemporary and the historical.’ Macmillan
It is available here:
Connect with Miriam here:
About Miriam Cooke:
Well, I am an archaeologist and a broadcaster in the UK for BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and Channel four and five, and so Drusilla Blood is layered with influences from my archaeology background and my interest in ritual and folklore and society’s fascination with the supernatural. I am feverishly working away on the second book in the Trilogy, and it should be out by the end of the fall.