Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.
She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.
She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she's terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.
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When I decided to write an end-of-the-world book, I immediately thought of New York City.
I mean, if you were a bunch of crazed demons who wanted to bring on the end of the world, where else would you hold your Apocalypse? It has to be Manhattan. It's epic. Everyone knows it. And so many juicy famous landmarks to destroy!
But when I started REVELATION, I'd never been to NYC. I live in Australia most of the time. It's a long way! Sure, there's Sex in the City and Woody Allen movies and Google street view to look at. But that's all just visuals. To properly put a place in a book, there's no substitute for actually going there.
So when I visited New York for the first time last year, I had a blast. It looked just like the films! Yellow cabs, traffic, crowds on the sidewalk. But I was mostly interested in the atmosphere. I listened to how people talk – as fast as Aussies! I smelled the food and fruity scents of the Sixth Avenue markets, and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. I rode the subway and got lost in the West Village – all those streets look the same! – and paddled in the fountain on a hot day in Washington Square Park.
I climbed the red stairs in Times Square. I ate a hot dog and a pretzel, and lined up for a cheeseburger at the Shake Shack. I saw that yes, you can actually see the Narrows Bridge from Liberty Island, and that no one smokes in Central Park, and that the view from the Top of the Rock is best just a moment before sunset. (Oh, and that Godiva store at the Rockefeller Center? Best. Milkshake. Ever. That's going in a book one day!)
I was only in New York for a week. But I like to think it adds authenticity to my stories – and even in paranormal romance, it's important to find that element of realism. My fallen angel hero, Luniel, lives on a street in Harlem that I've walked down. He will live there, that is, as the book's set in a violent near-future where gangs of crazy people make the streets a scary place. Why does an angel live in Harlem? Because, he says, it's inconspicuous. No one cares about one more weird neighbor. They're just happy he doesn't set the place on fire too often! The part of Harlem I saw was lovely, but like any cityscape, I could totally imagine it going to hell, and so Lune's little loft apartment near Morningside Park was born.
When Lune stands on Liberty Island at the beginning of REVELATION, poking his toe into a sea full of blood, it's at a spot I've been to. I've photographed the view, smelled the ocean, listened to the birds. (There was no blood the day I went there. But I can imagine that part!) When my demon villain sits at sunset at the Top of The Rock, swinging his evil little demon legs over the edge and plotting his nasty schemes, I can show you what he sees, help you feel the wind in his hair.
Even walking down the street in New York is an experience, and you can't get it from movies. I hope I've replicated that for you. With angels, and the Apocalypse. Hey, it could happen…
A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who's lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan...
Blind faith is for fools. That's what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she's going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city's slums. She's certain it's not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.
Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He's a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He's after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth.
To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan's help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell...
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