Please welcome my friend Celeste Easton, author of Deal with a Demon. Celeste and I had a little chat about the fascinating marriage of romance and horror in a good tale and about her own novel.
So, Deal with a Demon sounds pretty intense. I mean, your main character Nic travels to Hell. Is this a keep the lights on while reading sort of novel?
Celeste: I wouldn’t say it’s a lights-on read, but there are plenty of things lurking in the darkest corners of the Hell I created. And the further down you go, the bigger (and badder) the monsters.
Are there any graphic scenes in your novel? And if so, did you ever question how far you should go with those scenes?
Celeste: Yes, definitely graphic and visually intense in spots. Some of the scenes later in the book were pretty gory. My fear was that the blood and guts would be too much—too clear a picture painted for readers. But I didn’t want to water it down. We’re all grownups, right? And if you’re like me, you like a little grit to temper the kissy-kissy lovey-lovey stuff. So I just dialed it back from threw-up-in-my-mouth-a-little-bit to gore with a purpose.
Let's talk horror. You and I discussed a few of our favorite horror authors. We're both Stephen King fans. Do you feel there's a certain author or book that portrays the perfect blend of horror and romance?
Celeste: Clive Barker is another author (I’m a HUGE fan) who infuses his horror with romance and when he does, it’s breathtaking. Along with stunning prose, he delivers a powerful punch of heart in the face of horror. And every gothic horror has a romance. Even Frankenstein’s monster gets a wife. It’s a dichotomy—for every evil, there is an equal and opposite non-evil. To get the reader on board, to make them believe the impossible is possible, you have to give them something to relate to. What better than love?
What is it about mixing horror and romance that works?
Celeste: I think it has something to do with the compliment of opposites. We want the romance, we want the HEA, but there has to be something to ground it. The combination forms a classic shape—good vs. evil, yin and yang. It’s a balance.
How about movies? Some of the best horror movies have romance as a sub-plot. Did you see Cabin in the Woods? Loved it. I can't watch the movies like Paranormal Activity so I don't know if those have romance or not. I digress. Please recommend your favorite horror with romantic elements movie?
Celeste: I am a life-long horror movie fan. Seriously. My movie choices were completely uncensored as a child. But I think one of the things that keeps me wanting more is that balance I talked about—tempering the axe murderer with something innately and comfortingly human. A great example is The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. In the midst of truly terrifying events, their love may not save them, but it holds them together until the very end. And that makes the fear more real to us as viewers. We may not be able to relate to the scary scenario, but we can definitely relate to the bond between husband and wife.
If Deal with a Demon gets picked up for film rights, who would you cast as Nic, Drew, and Arden.
Celeste: I’ve given this a lot of thought. Easy answer: Keira Knightley as Nic, Nick Stahl as Drew, and Nikki Sixx as Arden. But ONLY if I have control over wardrobe, lol.
If you could do a book signing tour for Deal with a Demon with the author of a current horror release out there, choose one.
Celeste: Stephen King. No question. Of course, I would lose the ability to properly form sentences and make an absolute, utter fool of myself, but it would still be fun.
Check out Celeste's book at the retellers listed and make sure to enter my September giveaway!
After her parents’ brutal murder, Nic Wright shut herself off from the world, barricading her heart against everyone but her brother, Drew. So when he goes missing, dragged into Hell by soul-thirsty demons, Nic doesn’t think twice about going in after him. Because Drew may be a junkie, but he’s all she’s got. And she’ll be damned if she’s letting him go without a fight.
Which is exactly what Arden of the Asmodai, sexy, arrogant prince of the Nine Hells, and Nic’s guide, is counting on. Half mortal, Arden’s only shot at becoming a full demon is to deliver a willing human to the Fourth Level of Hell. And Nic, desperate to find her brother, will do nicely. But Arden didn’t count on Nic’s powerful will...or the ferocity of his desire for her. Now, as they descend into a Hell beyond Nic’s wildest dreams—and her worst nightmares—Arden will take any risk and tell any lie necessary to keep her safe. To possess her. Forever..
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Novelist Celeste Easton was born in Ohio, where her first words were "Read me." (<--true story!) When she isn't penning dark, demonic, and delicious paranormal romances, she's busy collecting shoes and Victorian funerary photographs. She has an amazing, funny, and supportive husband, along with a herd of furry children. She's obsessed with cake and Sugar-Free Redbull. She's also a tattoo artist.