Monday, October 20, 2014

#GGMMMU ~ Representing beings with unique abilities with an interview is Susan Illene, author of the Sensor series

Instead of making the traditional post high school move and attending college, Susan joined the U.S. Army. She spent her eighteenth birthday in the gas experience she is sure is best left for criminals. For eleven years she served first as a human resources specialist and later as an Arabic linguist (mostly in Airborne units). Though all her duty assignments were stateside, she did make two deployments to Iraq where her language skills were put to regular use.

After leaving the service in 2009, Susan returned to school at the University of Oklahoma to study history with a focus on the Middle East. She no longer finds many opportunities to test her fighting abilities in real life, unless her husband is demanding she cook him a real meal, but she's found a new outlet in writing urban fantasy heroines who can.

Thanks for having me here.  I’m excited to participate!
What do you envision their greatest characteristic, ability or power to be? Their worst? For my main character, Melena, she is a sensor which basically means she has heightened senses but not the kind you’d think.  She can detect supernaturals around her up to half a mile, sort lies from truth, pick up emotions of those around her, and identify the characteristics of magic spells nearby.  Her greatest trait is her immunity to magic.  It’s rather handy considering how many vampires and other creatures are around who would try to compel her or do worse to her with their abilities.
On the other hand, it could be considered her worst characteristic.  The use of magic would be handy when covering up unusual events that happen in front of humans or when she needs to save friends from enemies.  Her abilities are mostly passive so anything offensive she does tends to be things more like a human would do such as using guns or blades.
What two creatures would you love to see go toe to toe in a battle? You will be judged for creativity. ;-) Feel free to describe the battle. It’s funny you asked that.  There’s a battle scene I’ve thought of but wouldn’t write where a female troll from my books, Bambi, would fight Department of Homeland Security Agent O’Connell.  He’s human but thinks of himself as tough and able to hold his own.  Not to mention he’s made it his mission to hunt down supernaturals.  Bambi is this short, foul-smelling woman with bright orange hair who has no 
compunction about using her razor-sharp teeth (trolls love meat of all kinds).  O’Connell is totally repulsed by her.
He’d probably use a gun in the beginning, but I have a feeling he’d only get one shot off before Bambi would be all over him.  Melena (my main character) would eventually have to step in to save the guy.  The fight would just help him discover he’s not necessarily at the top of the food chain…if you get my drift :D
Choose three of the following and tell us what your creature would do with them, make out of them, use them for or what reaction they would have to them: an apple, an gemstone, a silver chain, a fish, a rat, a deer, a toad, a piece of pizza heavily dosed with garlic, a flower, treasure belonging to someone else, fire, a spider, a worm, a ball of string, a microphone and speakers, a wooden club, a mirror, a book, a cemetery, a boat, a moonlight bonfire, a sunny afternoon, a walk through the forest on an overcast day, a wooden stick, a Popsicle, a broom, a tree, a lost person, a baby, a body of water, a cross, a cage, wolfs bane, a rock, a rubber band, a chicken, a rabbit, a cave, rope, or a piece of candy. Okay, for this one I’ll use my guardian from Purgatory, Kerbasi.  He’s still having a tough time adjusting to life on earth and understanding humanity.  After 4500 years of living in a barren, mostly lifeless place the man is rather set in his ways.  For those following the series, they know sentimentality eludes him and he tends to be sarcastic and rude.
  1. If someone gave Kerbasi a flower he’d probably crush it.  While he loves plants, he doesn’t understand the idea of gifting them to others and thinks cutting them is a waste.
  2. Give Kerbasi a piece of pizza and he’d eat it right away—heavy garlic or not—and ask for more.  The man might be strange in many ways, but he’s come to love human food since leaving Purgatory.  Especially pizza.
  3. A chicken.  What can I say about chickens and Kerbasi?  He’s fascinated by birds of all types and loves to rile them up.  He’d probably strut around the chicken, spreading his wings to get it squawking and showing off its own plumage.  The more stirred up he can get the bird the better.  Probably because it would annoy Melena.  He lives to do anything that would tick her off.
Which type of monster do you think would make the best love interest for your monster and why? For Kerbasi, I’d love to see him and Kariann (a 600 yr old vampire) hook up at least once.  No idea if it will ever happen, but I ponder what it would be like.  He’s trying really hard to hold on to his purity (yeah, he’s a virgin) and she’s always trying to tempt him into giving it up.  Kariann is the one character who can send the guardian running and all she has to do is flirt with him.
What scares you? Not much, really.  I’m one of those people who prefers to face my fears head-on.  For years, though, I used to be afraid of the garbage disposal.  I’m proud to say I can now turn it on without dashing out of the kitchen.  There’s a long story behind that, but let’s just say my fear of it wasn’t unfounded.  I still get a shiver down my spine when one turns on.
What is your monster most afraid of? What makes it happy? For Melena, she’s a sensor and her kind have been hunted by supernaturals for a long time because of their abilities.  She’s learning to live among them, but there’s still a part of her that wants to run and hide whenever she’s near one.  All of her instincts are telling her that they are a major threat and it’s pretty much written into her DNA.  Not to mention most of her kind have been killed off over the centuries, so it’s natural she wants to protect herself.
What makes her happy?  When she’s getting along with Lucas she is the most content.  For those who don’t know, he’s a nephilim and her mate/lover, but they’re still finding their footing in their relationship.  He’s controlling and over-bearing.  She’s independent and defiant.  They fight more often than they get along, but that’s what makes their relationship so much fun.
What type of candy would you be apt to grab? Give out for Halloween? Snickers bars.  I always liked getting chocolate the most when I went trick-or-treating as a kid.
What is your monster’s favorite meal? For Melena?  She loves pastries.
What do you think is the most mis-construed idea about beings with special abilities? That having a special ability automatically makes them dangerous.
What is a least known trait about them? Deep down they all want to be accepted, though most of them would just never admit it.  Many of the creatures in my books have grown too cynical about the world to let people get too close to them.
What is your favorite type of monster to write about? Read about? Do I really have to pick a favorite?  It changes all the time based on my mood.   Sometimes it’s vampires, sometimes it’s angels/nephilim, and sometimes it’s aliens!

I had fun with the questions and thanks for inviting me.  Wishing you the best of luck with your event! Thanks for taking part Susan! :-)

I LOVE this series! I am behind though. :-( Hopefully I can catch up soon! You can click on the covers to go to the Goodreads page for each book. I really like her covers too!

What do you think? Have you read any of them yet?????

Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. It is a great chance to win a book you'd like to have! The link can be found at the top of the page.


  1. i'm behind too but at least i own part of them now ^^*happy dance* i should read some this month
    It's often the case with any paranormal creature i think they all want to be accepted for themself and it's quite human feeling at the same time^^

    femalle troll with orange hair?! that's a new one for me but i wouldn't want to stand in her way^^

    thank you a lot for coming and participating in this event Illene

    1. Hey, Miki. Glad to see you here! You'll meet the female troll at the beginning of book 2, Darkness Taunts. She can be a bit vicious, but she's fun.

  2. I have the first one in the series to read. I know that I'll love it. I already cant wait to read the series. I cant wait to read more about Kerbasi. He sounds like a riot.
    Thanks for the interview! :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by! Kerbasi doesn't show up until book 2.5. Most readers hate him at first, but over the course of the series many readers have said he's grown on them. In my latest books I've gotten a lot of laughs while writing his lines, which is sort of scary once you see the things he does/says :)

  3. What an interesting series! I have not read any of these books yet, but Melena sounds like an intriguing character. I will be adding this series to my TBR list.