What’s one quirky thing about you?
I have a macabre sensibility. I have Victorian skeleton and skull dishes, I love crows and photographing old cemetaries. Give me action and tribulation and darkness and I’m a happy woman, especially in books and movies. Yes, Halloween is my holiday!
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Not until later in life. I had always imagined stories and scenarios, but I never put them to paper. I got to a chapter in my life where I had the time to do whatever I wanted, and writing was it. As the years have gone by, despite the difficulties found with writing and publishing, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I only wish I had known this about myself much earlier.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
The best is when a reader tells me they loved my book/s. There’s really nothing quite like that feeling.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Finding the light at the end of the tunnel, as far as craft goes, was so daunting in the beginning. I didn’t even have a clue what I needed to learn. It was a long slog to get to that first published book, and I’m still learning today. Be patient with yourself, read, research, join writer’s groups, become part of the community. Writers are incredibly generous.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
I never thought I’d learn so much about mythology and religion, or how much more there’s still left to know. For Abella All In, the 6th book that takes place in Las Vegas, despite being about a private, very high stakes poker game, I added in deities I’d never heard of, the Orishas of West Africa. The book only has three of the many Orisha gods and goddesses, but discovering them was so interesting.
Probably the weirdest searches I’ve had to do were, and still are, the various ways a Zodiac sign might kill, outside of the standard ways. I often wonder if I’m on a watch list somewhere. lol
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
One, the learning never stops. Even bestselling authors are always trying to perfect their writing. Two, you’re going to get knocked down/back. Don’t give up. Whether you’re seeking traditional publishing or indie, it takes time to grow your audience. Keep at it.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
I love coffee, but I find that drinking tea gives me less jitters. I typically write in the living room on the recliner loveseat with our biped Doberman next to me. My writing buddy.
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
Oh, gosh, that’s a difficult one. I love them all. Scorpio is such a bad guy—the kind of bad that can be so attractive. Virgo, though, really draws me in. He’s got such a deadly power that he’s turned in on himself to protect everyone around him. Very reflective and reclusive. I’m really looking forward to writing his book and helping him find love.
What project are you currently working on?
I’m writing the 8th book in the Zodiac Assassins series titled Bryn’s Flight. It’s about a Valkyrie who is desperate to save the horde from dying out, so she seeks out help from a Valkyrie who walked away from the horde years earlier when they turned their back on the Allfather, Odin, and their oath to him. Bryn has attitude, she’s tough and snarky, but she has a lot to learn.
What’s next for you?
Well, the series is planned out to 26 books, so I’ll be busy writing it for the next few years. I also have ideas about graphic novels, and other books in the Zodiac world. I suspect I’ll be writing the last The End just before when my end comes…
For Artemis Crow, it all started with the title, “The Zodiac Assassins”. From there, the subterranean world of the InBetween formed and grew. Many unique species appeared, their origins woven out of mythology and religion, brought to life by the belief that anything is possible.
Artemis spends her waking hours traveling through the world of the Zodiac Assassins, and writing about the rich tapestry living in the undiscovered darkness beneath our feet. In her dreams she walks beside the males as they fight against the shadow side of their stars to overcome the adversities that formed who they are, to become, maybe not whole men, but at least less damaged.
Artemis lives in the northeast with a tolerant husband, a senior Doberman, a biped Doberman, and a Frisbee-obsessed German Shepherd. When Artemis isn’t gazing at the stars, and thinking about infinite possibilities, she’s busy writing the next book in the Zodiac Assassins series.
For more information about the Zodiac Assassins and their world, visit Artemis at www.artemiscrow.com. For cool imagery that inspired the Zodiacs, the InBetween and the paranormal creatures, be sure to check out the Pinterest page, www.pinterest.com/artemiscrowwrit/
Tell us a little about your new release: Cancer’s Moon!
Thirteen Zodiac Assassins
Forged in the Darkness of the InBetween,
Ruled by the Shadow Side of their Stars,
The Only Hope for the Light of Humanity.
What Would You Sacrifice To Find Your Place In The World?
A Zodiac With No Power
Cancer needs to prove that he can be an asset despite not having an offensive power like the other Zodiacs. When Lyon’s children are taken by humans, he volunteers to go with the Zodiac leader, his mate, and the Kellas Cat Outbreeder to find them. But just as the mission starts, Cancer and the Outbreeder find themselves alone with a kitten as their only guide to find the children, mercenaries tracking their every move, a black jaguar sizing up Cancer for his next meal, and the power of the looming supermoon threatening to upend it all.
A Woman Between Two Worlds
Half paranorm and half Native American, Nokomis has struggled to be accepted as an Outbreeder, taking in every unwanted cat, creating a haven for the old and injured and traumatized, yet never measuring up in the eyes of the arrogant Kellai. Ordered to provide a familiar for one of the Zodiacs’ adopted children, a Kellas Cat deemed “tainted” by her association with the other paranorm species, she ends up with a Zodiac who needs to believe in himself if they stand a chance of surviving.
A Home Threatened From Above And Below
With the Master of the Dark and his coven rising out of Hell, and humans experimenting on the paranorms they capture, can the Zodiacs defend the only home they’ve known, or will they finally have to abandon the dark of the InBetween and seek refuge in the light that’s proven just as dangerous?
Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
The Zodiac Assassins series order was determined at the start of my planning, but each Zodiac has come to me slowly over time. Part of the mission for Cancer’s Moon was setup in the previous two books, but who Cancer is and what he has to learn came from his zodiac sign and planet. Figuring out who and what the love interest also came from previous books, but I had a great time expanding on Nokomis and her ties to the paranormal world and Native Americans. That connection becomes a huge turning point in the series.
Did you outline the story or dive right in?
I’m a planser; I have to have an basic outline of the plot to keep myself on track. But, between the plot points I allow myself to just write. Sometimes I discover the best parts of the story there.
How did your characters come to life?
First, I had just the name Zodiac Assassins. It took me years to figure out what I wanted to do with that idea and build, not just the world, but create the various species I wanted to populate it. For the Zodiacs, I discovered the book, Born On A Rotten Day by Hazel Dixon-Copper. It explores the not-so-nice side of the zodiac signs in a funny way. From that came the idea of these men who were ruled by the dark side of their stars. I also loved the line in the television show, Leverage, “Sometimes the bad guys are the only good guys you get.” After that it was a lot of research and trial and error until I had built the world.
For Cancer, I studied the Cancer zodiac sign and used the book Personality Types by Riso and Hudson to figure out the character arc. Then I let who he was to take over and guide me through his journey.
Did you do any cool or interesting research for this story? What did you learn?
Cancer is half Japanese and half Brazilian so I got to do research on Japanese mythology, specifically the water deity, Suijin. Then I got to do research on the Six Nations.
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
My favorite was the relationship that developed between Cancer and the black jaguar. It’s a love story within a love story within an action plot. The most challenging was writing a male character, a Zodiac, who isn’t a super alpha male like the others. Cancer comes from a place of love, he can be incredibly gentle and is fiercely loyal. But he is lost at the beginning of the story, tired of being the only Zodiac without an offensive power, being the Zodiac who is always left behind.
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series? When does it come out?
Cancer’s Moon is the 7th book in the series and it comes out May 28th!
Share an Excerpt:
“And what if you chose to live in another world?” Cancer asked, his words laden with meaning.
Meaning she was terrified to contemplate. Before she could respond, he held out his hands and waited for her to take them.
“I can see you’re unsure about this. I get it. So let’s start with something simple.”
She took a deep breath, releasing the tension that had threatened to choke her. “Like what?”
He released her hands and eased off the settee, going to the stereo built into the cabinets. He turned it on and ran through some stations until he found a slow song.
He held out a hand. “Dance with me?”
She ran a hand down her hair, startled by the idea. “I’ve never danced before.”
He moved his hips back and forth, not once catching the rhythm of the song.
She bit back a giggle.
“See? Nothing to it,” he said, dancing around, his hands flying all over the place. “Join me.”
She got to her feet and stood still, not sure she could do a better job, but his enthusiasm proved to be infectious. She found herself bending her knees and bobbing, while her hands moved back and forth, trying to match the movements of her lower body.
They danced around the small space until the song stopped and was replaced by a faster one.
Cancer kicked his feet out and flung his arms over his head, his mouth wide, his eyes wider. “Let go, Nokomis! Feel the music!”
She tried to copy his herky-jerky movements but she burst into laughter, barely able to breathe, much less keep up.
The third song came on, another slow one, and they stopped dancing. Cancer’s face was flushed, his excitement cooling to serious. He stopped moving and held his arms out to the side, beckoning her.
“Come closer,” he said.
She closed the scant distance between them and looked into his brown eyes, her heart pounding from the interest she saw in them. This was new, this was real, this was now.
He wrapped one arm around her waist and pulled her up against his body, his heat washing over her. Delicious, raw, sweet heat that seeped into her, melded with her until he felt as much a part of her as anyone ever had.
He placed her left hand on his waist, then took her right hand in his and held it. “The trick here is to not use fancy footwork. Just…sway.”
Cancer dropped his head and pressed his ear against hers, his breath tickling the tender skin on her neck as he swayed to the music. She followed his movements, her body relaxing, getting used to the closeness, the intimacy she’d never experienced before.
He turned his head.
“This is how it starts,” he whispered in her ear.
Goosebumps rose on her skin. She leaned her head farther to the side to expose the column of her neck, an invitation for his lips to touch, his teeth to nibble, his tongue to taste.
His silence made her rise on her toes, made her back arch, made her lean in closer, weightless, breathless in anticipation of the answer.
“The knowing,” he said, his voice so deep it vibrated through her.
Cancer’s Moon: https://amzn.to/3ymKaF9
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