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Sunday, April 4, 2010


Please welcome author, Charisma Knight. Charisma's newewst release is Just an Average Vampire, which was recently released by Amira Press. Other books written by Charisma are Soul Seduction and Her Dark Desires.

In honor of April 15th being tax day, we’re asking 15 questions this, let's get started:

GRACEN: Speaking of taxes, are you’re taxes finished, or do you procrastinate with them? Do you do them yourself or do you have a taxman do them for you?

CHARISMA: My taxes are completed. My uncle does them for me, I don’t play around with Uncle Sam. I’m eager to receive money. ; )

GRACEN: As it says, “April showers bring May flowers”. What flowers do you hope to see the first thing in spring?

CHARISMA: Oh, it doesn’t matter. Anything in bloom makes me happy.

GRACEN: Do you plant your own garden? Why or why not and where is it (are they) located? What type(s) will it (they) be and where is it (are they) located on your property?

CHARISMA: No, I don’t have a green thumb.

GRACEN: If you could have a garden, what kind of garden would it be, how big would it be and what would you plant in it?

CHARISMA: I would have a beautiful large rose garden. I’m partial to roses of all colors.

GRACEN: Have you ever considered getting involved with a local community garden? Why or why not?

CHARISMA: No, I haven’t. I’m not a natural at gardening. I don’t have a green thumb.

GRACEN: For your produce, is the local grocery store just fine, or do you like to hit your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that you like to get?

CHARISMA: There is a local stand around the Hanover area where my grandmother lives. It is next to the Peach Orchard. They grow beautiful plants, vegetables, and fruit. My favorite fruit is watermelon, and I love fresh green beans and corn.

GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Charisma…What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?

CHARISMA: Main genre is erotic romance. There are no drawbacks.

GRACEN: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?

CHARISMA: I enjoy writing interracial erotica; erotic romance. I enjoy writing about vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. As you can see, vampires are my first love. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired with writing them.

I write about interracial romances because I’m an African American woman who has always been involved in an interracial relationship, so that is what appeals to me. I use these elements from my point of view.

GRACEN: Do you prefer red roses or black roses? If so, does that show in your writing? If so, how? If roses aren’t your style, what flowers are? Do they influence your writing? If so, how?

CHARISMA: I love them both. Actually, I don’t include flowers in my writing, but I should start. Actually, in one of my stories, the hero gives my heroine a bouquet of blood red roses. Does that count? Honestly, flowers don’t influence my writing.

GRACEN: The jury’s still out on this question, so we’re still asking it! - Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one planting the seeds? How do you cultivate those seeds regardless of who plants them?

CHARISMA: I must say, it is 50/50 sometimes. Other times, I follow my muse wherever she leads me. There are times when my muse plants the seeds and leaves. I cultivate the seeds by sitting down and creating a rough outline of this story. I do this with the characters, because it sometimes helps me set the stage for everything. It is rare when I do this. Other stories have just flowed to me thanks to my muse, and I didn’t have to do anything, just write.

GRACEN: In your opinion, what author had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing did you find so influential and why?

CHARISMA: I have to say, Celeste Anwar, and Dahlia Rose inspired me to launch my writing career in March, 2009. Other authors such as J. Hali Steele and Eve Vaughn are my most recent influences.

Their writings are so influential because they stay with you long after you’ve completed the book. These ladies have written memorable stories that tingles the senses and warms the heart. There is a melancholy feeling when the story has ended. I strive to invoke those feelings within readers.

GRACEN: While authors can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Just An Average Vampire, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?

CHARISMA: A very good friend who suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her ex inspired me to write this story. I dedicated this story to her because she was strong enough to gain her freedom. When a woman is trapped within an abusive relationship, her mind and body are sadly no longer her own. Horribly enough, she feels there is no way out of the relationship.

GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is a second book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)

CHARISMA: There is no dialogue of how Trina and Cecil met, just Cecil’s thoughts while watching her sleep.

Cecil remembered the first day they met. It had been October 2008 when their paths crossed at Burt’s CafĂ©, a coffee lounge. He’d stood in line behind her, waiting for her to place her order. When it came time to pay, Trina searched for the money she thought she’d had in a small pocketbook. Cecil stepped in, paying for her purchase.

In awe of his kindness, Trina had given him a huge hug, and the two bonded. A lone, silver tear slid down Cecil’s cheek while recalling the moment she’d told him how Rick treated her. She’d had money in her wallet, but Rick used to steal from her. With these thoughts, Cecil lay down beside Trina, remaining awake until dawn approached.

Vampire, Cecil McKagan is English, tall handsome, and good looking. He is six feet tall, has shoulder length black hair, charming, and quite the gentleman. He lives in Edison, New Jersey, lives in an average apartment, and holds an average job in a pub. He’s friends with my heroine, Trina Jones. Well, Cecil wishes to be more than just friends, however, he fears he may be a little overbearing for Trina, especially since she is the victim of an abusive relationship. Cecil fears as a vampire he may harm her emotionally, perhaps even physically.

Trina Jones is a beautiful African American woman who discovered the courage to escape an abusive husband. Unfortunately, after her divorce she suffers a few financial struggles. Once learning she is being evicted from her apartment, she relies upon Cecil for a place to stay. Trina has shoulder length black hair, smooth dark brown skin, a voluptuous build. She is funny, witty, and a handful. She’s very independent and stubborn.

GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)

CHARISMA: My other characters, Izzy and Ivanna may steal the scenes a little. Izzy is my Spanish vampire, a long time friend of Cecil’s. Izzy is a show off, down to earth, wise cracking and very charming. His mate, Ivanna is a petite blond who chastises Izzy every so often because of his child-like nature. They are close friends to Cecil and Trina. In one of the scenes, Izzy shows off his vampire speed while they help Trina move her belongings out of her apartment.


After discovering the courage to divorce her abusive husband, Trina Jones rises from her ashes like the legendary Phoenix. Strong-willed and determined, she rebuilds her independence. After her divorce, a string of bad luck sets her back tremendously. Faced with eviction and repossession, Trina becomes frustrated. To make matters worse, she is laid off from her job.

Vampire Cecil McKagan graciously accepts Trina into his home once he discovers her hardship. The bond between them ultimately strengthens, and the pair become lovers. However, past negativities threaten to tear the couple apart...


Across the alley, on top of the abandoned building, an ancient being peered through Cecil's bedroom window. Witnessing the affection between Trina and Cecil, venomous curses escaped its lips. Consumed by hatred, and unaffected by the bitter wind whipping it's long raven locks against flawless ebony skin, the creature dug it's talons into the brick ledge on which it perched. Another opportunity would arise to drive a wedge between them, it decided as it expanded black wings and leapt off the top of the building. Enraged, it released a blood-curdling scream and soared high into the starlit sky.

* * * *

The screech jarred Cecil and Trina from their embrace. Cecil sat up and dashed to the window. His keen senses had alerted him to something seconds before hearing the blood-curdling scream. Now, he sensed nothing.

"Was that a cat, or something?"

"It was a vampire."

"Maybe it was Izzy or Ivanna."

"No, the presence I felt was over there. And the scream, well, we vampires make those noises when enraged. This presence seemed familiar, but I can't bloody place it." Cecil was puzzled, and then an eerie thought crept into his head.
What if…?

"Cecil, you're scaring me. Stop looking like that. Are you sure everything is all right?"

"Yes." He returned to the bed and slipped beneath the bedcovers.


"Oh, Trina." Cecil shook his head. He looked at her, sighed, and fell against the large, goose down pillow. Trina turned on her side to face him, running her fingers through the silky soft hair dusking his broad chest.

"Do we have more secrets, Cecil? That sound, whatever it was, caused my damn skin to crawl. I would bet my life you know what, or who, it was, and this time I would appreciate an honest answer."

"Along with living many lifetimes comes the threat of many enemies. I was a knight in England. This scar came from a werewolf attack, as I was returning from the Crusades. I fought with honor for King Richard, no questions asked."

"When were you made a vampire?"

"Almost a week after my attack. Once I returned, I learned my wife and child had been murdered by the hands of someone I thought to be a comrade. After a day of mourning, my sire introduced herself to me, taking my life as though I'd accept the monster I'd become afterward. I wished for death, but not like this. Nydia was my sire. She was a cold, ruthless vampire who hunted for the thrill of the chase. She is an enemy."

"Why would she be an enemy?"

"Oh, I'm getting to that. Trust me."

"I'm sorry for the loss of your family. Do you regret becoming a vampire?"

"For centuries, yes. Then I met you. Fate has a way of making things happen. If I weren't a vampire, I would never have met you," he said and kissed Trina on the head as she snuggled close, allowing him to continue his story.

4 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

I love that. Was it a cat? No a vampire...

Nice to know other people lack those wondrous green thumbs.

J Hali Steele said...

Congrats, Charisma, on your release. Like you, I love flowers in bloom, and though I'm partial to Spring flowers (my bulbs are bursting with color)"anything" in bloom makes me happy!

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Charisma! Thanks so much for joining us Sunday!

Like you, I don't have a green thumb. Instead, I refer to it as my "black thumb" because every plant I touch dies! =( I'm more the houseplant guru so long as they don't need a lot of attention, if they do, then they're toast! lol

Again, thanks for joining us! Best of success with your books!

Unknown said...

Oh yes, I'd kill a poor plant in a heartbeat, not on purpose. I just don't have what it takes. LOL Someone gave me an African Violet a long time ago, saying it was the hardest plant to destroy.....Well, needless to say, the poor thing didn't last very long.

Thanks Joann, I'm really happy with this release.

Gracen, thank you very much for having me. It was awesome.

Hi Sheila, thanks for stopping by.