Greetings, my lovelies!
I am happy as a pig in shit to be participating in this kickass Halloween Blog-A-Thon! To celebrate the magic and the mayhem of my favorite holiday, I am thrilled to introduce to all you fabulous readers out there to a man who has helped to put me on the map as a writer, all by simply being “himself” and not letting me push him in any other direction. He’s not your typical bad boy…I mean, he does own a Harley or two and drives a classic Camaro. He does have a slew of hot old school tattoos and the body of a Greek god. And he’s hung like a damned donkey. But what makes him unique is what created him…the love between a human woman and a Servant of Hell, what most of us would call a demon. Please help me welcome Skriker, half-demon hunter and one of the most rollicking, good-time heroes you would hope to meet on the paranormal street!
DANI: Welcome, Skriker! It’s so great to see you again. You’re looking hot as always, my Halfling friend!
SKRIKER (sweeping his big fingers through his spiky platinum blond hair): Aw, you know the pleasure’s always mine, Dani, my love.
DANI: As with any informative interview, history is very important. Your parents were a unique pairing, to say the least. Tell us about them.
SKRIKER: Boy, were they! My pops, Faustus, was a collector demon…one of the best the Pit had ever spat out. I think he was around five thousand years old when he met my mama, Annie. A babe in arms compared to, say, angels, but still great at his job. My mother was working at this place called The Neon, where she stripped both on stage and in a buddy booth. He snuck in to meet her one night and they hit it off right away. They nurtured a tentative friendship for a while until she was attacked after work one night…and my dad swooped out to save her, wings and fangs and tail and all. Scared her to death. But she had come to love him, and got over that pretty damned quick. Anyway, whatever was “tentative” developed into a full blown romance, and the rest is history. I was conceived in the back of my mother’s ’68 Camaro, and from what I understand, that was my dad’s first time with a woman. He abandoned his infernal birthright and decided to settle on terra firma to be with my mom. Hell didn’t like that too much…and they let him know about it. He sired two sons, me and my kid brother, Rory, who sadly was killed the same night as my mom and dad. Hell doesn’t like it when her best servants bail on the Boss, and they hold grudges for a long, long time.
DANI: Tell us about your childhood. At least what you can remember.
SKRIKER: Believe it or not, I can remember all of my childhood…except the name my mother gave me. Go fig, right? Some kind of “trauma”, something like that, I guess. Anyway, when I was born, my mom and pops moved me just outside of town, into one of the more family-friendly neighborhoods. Yeah…old Skrike spent his kid-hood in the burbs. I went to public school and loved it. Played Little League…and no, nobody suspected I was half-demon. Dad taught me and my kid brother how to keep that well hidden. I got really good grades, excelled at math and science and English and the like, though to look at me everyone probably thought I was just a big blond kid who’d turn out to be some meathead, working at a junkyard or running in some biker gang. At home, it was great. My mother left her stripping job to take care of us, and being a crazy smart chica, she had saved up a ton of that cash and we didn’t have to worry about much. The only rough thing was that my dad was gone more than we’d have liked…and I think I know why, even though he didn’t talk about it. He was hunting, possibly for hire. He taught me and my brother how to fight from our first steps, and how to command out demonic abilities. And his relationship with my mom was sweet as honey…I remember that well. It was a good, good life, until Hell found us. I ended up on the streets alone from age eleven to age thirteen, and then a werewolf (one of the rare good ones) named Harry found me, took me in, and made me like his son. I had a new childhood after that, one where I became what you see now.
DANI: How did you get into the profession of hunting the “evils that dwell in darkness”, as you like to put it? You are both a hunter and a supernatural mercenary for hire.
SKRIKER: The hunts are definitely more personal…like a vendetta that I truly enjoy. A big part of that has to do with revenge, with the fact that I’m trying to do away with the evils that threaten good families, good people. Things that threaten those who would turn away from evil and choose a redemptive path. Plus they’re fun as all hell. The mercenary work is work for hire…and I get paid loads for it. My pockets are always lined. Maybe not always as fun, but well worth it for the dough I earn. All the more cash to spend on my girlfriend. (He chuckles, blushing prettily.)
DANI: I also understand that you are a professional “underground” cage fighter. How did you get into that?
SKRIKER: Yep, I do indeed cage fight. And I make a shit ton of cash doing it, just like the mercenary work. I got into fighting underground through my patron and rescuer, Harry. He runs this underground fight club and bar for displaced and rebellious paranormal beings…dark things turned good or neutral. A lot of hunters hang out there, too. I started out just fighting humans, and then we went nuts. As I got older, I started taking on other crazy shit…and I got really good at it. Folks started coming just to see me put the smack down on some gnarly thing. I got famous in those circles. I rarely lose, as you can see…I’m still alive.
DANI: Do you ever implement your demonic abilities into your cage fighting regimen?
SKRIKER: Always. Being underground, there are no rules. This ain’t the UFC…this is fucking Thunderdome. The cage is reinforced stainless steel and chain link with barbed wire all around the top. I’m known for taking on whatever they can find for me…I have fought monsters, weres, shifters, vamps, ghouls…I even did a water fight in a tank once against this gnarly ass thing called a Kelpie. Sticky, crazy motherfucker. There were a few times I thought he had me, lemme tell ya! (Laughs uproariously.)
DANI: Tell us about your love life. You yourself are involved in a most unusual romance. How did you meet your girlfriend, Rose?
SKRIKER (his voice growing wistful, his gaze distant): Oh, yeah. You bet it’s unusual…and that’s just fine with me. A few years back, I struck out on a hunt. A nest of these vampyres called Bloods supposedly rooting around in this dead, ugly-as-shit ghost town called Paradise Hill about fifty or so miles outside of my home city. Nothing unusual for a guy like me. I was expecting to have everything to myself, selfishly. Selfish was my thing back then, I guess. Anyway, I ran into this woman, another hunter. I…still find it hard to describe her properly. To say that Rose is beautiful only scratches the surface. We literally ran into each other, and for me it was like slamming into a shaft of moonlight. She was impossible; I actually thought at first that I had only imagined her. And boy did she spit at me! (Laughs heartily.) She didn’t want me near her…she had already claimed the hunt for herself and she wanted me gone. Anyway, I sweet-talked her into running with me on the hunt. I didn’t want to let her out of my sight. At first she was standoffish, but that changed pretty quickly. Halfway through our second night camping out we battled Bloods and ghouls in the old elementary school, and I was forced to reveal my true Halfling form during the fight. Not surprisingly, she tried to kill me. I fought her off, barely, and ended up with a shoulder wound. Anyway, she felt bad and offered to clean me up. After that, well, one thing led to another. Best sex of my life, bar none, and I’ve had enough pussy to make a pro basketball player jealous! Anyway, we became inseparable. Have been ever since. The clincher? Rose is a Nephil. For those who want to know what that funny word means: she’s half-angel. And her daddy is one of the biggest, baddest motherfuckers Heaven’s soldier ranks ever saw. He found us together and tried to kill me…Rose was the only thing that stopped him. Yeah, ‘unusual’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.
DANI: Spill the beans a bit more. Give us the gory details on how your romance with Rose works.
SKRIKER: Rose is my soul mate, even though we shouldn’t even breathe the same air. The way we connect…it’s like magic. The sex is always sweet, hot, and generally pretty dirty. I think that Rosie is torn about her relationship with me at times…her instinct should be to hate me, and she was raised by an angelic father who drove that home hardcore. We don’t live together yet, and I can’t count how many times I have asked her to marry me and been refused. She turns me down every time. I think that has to do with her being what she is. But we hunt together, shack up together, as often as we can. She comes to watch me fight, and she knows my adopted family as well as she’d know her own. She will spend days, even weeks at a time at my place. We are tied at the hip. All I can hope is that one day she says “yes”.
DANI: I have an odd question: what do you value the most? Family & friends, or power?
SKRIKER: This may sound crass, but for me, it’s a mix of the two. Naturally, my family and friends are my world, my life... I’d take a bullet for any of ‘em on any day of the week. But you need power to protect them…you need to be powerful, and send the bad guys that distinct message. I was born to a creature who chose family and goodness over his Evil lineage, and I am proud as shit of that. But he became a victim because being earthbound took away some of the power that Hell gave him at birth. Our entire family was torn to shreds by Hell’s minions…literally. And I will not ever let that happen to my loved ones…bet on that solidly, Dani baby.
DANI: Okay, now for the fun questions…
How would you finish this line? Bliss is…
SKRIKER: Ohhh, mama. Bliss is being in the bath with my Rosie and an uncorked bottle of sweet wine. Simple as that.
DANI: Do you speak any other languages?
SKRIKER: I speak Swedish like I was born there. My mom spoke to my little brother and me in Swedish quite a bit, since she wanted us to know all about our heritage and respect the shit out of it. I didn’t get screamed at in English, lemme tell ya…not that my mama screamed that often. But when she did, lagom went out the friggin’ window! (Laughs heartily.) I also speak a decent amount of Finnish and Norwegian, and a nice bit of conversational French that my Rosie taught me. When I was hunting vampyres in Paris before I met Rose, I got where I needed to go on charm only! HA!
DANI: What’s your favorite color?
SKRIKER: Dark red. Like wine. Like the vamp blood I splat all over the walls. Everyone needs a hobby. (winks)
DANI: You are usually seen zipping around town and elsewhere in a black 1968 Chevy Camaro and either a Harley Heritage Softail or a Harley Dark Custom Crossbones. A man who rides like that has to have a few fave band selections. Share those with us.
SKRIKER: Speakin’ my language! The short list would include the classics: Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Nazareth. But that isn’t all there is to me, baby, and I want all the fine ladies out there to know that. I also fancy a bit of good opera or classical music now and then…especially when I need to think.
DANI: I hear you also have a very special pet…
SKRIKER (laughing and clapping his hands roughly): You bet I do! The best freakin’ pet in the world. But you have to hear how we found each other…at least the short version. It all started when I was but a lad, hunting Black Dogs in Lancashire, England. I tracked this pair into their den—a nasty old bitch and her mate—and did them both in. Well, just me bein’ me…I had to trip a bit deeper into the cave, get a look to see if there were any more nasty bad Blackies to do away with. Well, all I found was the cutest little ball of black fluff you’d ever see, sittin’ there, yelping away in this big straw nest. This little pup had to have been no more than two weeks old, not even weaned. Boy, did he do a number on ol’ Skrike! I smuggled him out of the country when it was time to head home, and he’s been like my kid ever since. Named him Trash. He’s quite a bit bigger now, and fearsome looking, as all the Hellhound breeds are. But he’s soft as butter and sweet as cherry pie, and I can’t imagine my life without him. After Rosie, I adore him above all else. He’s like my child, and I spoil the poop out of him. He’s content to lie on his side on my couch and have me scratch his belly while I watch TV. Oh, and yeah…he’s the reason why they call me the Black Dog. Everyone thinks I’m insane to have adopted a Demon Hound as a pet…but they don’t understand diddly-squat.
DANI: I hear that demons love to eat. Any favorite foods?
SKRIKER: Anything sweet! Especially with jam. Jelly doughnuts are almost as good as sex to me, let me tell you. In the really old days, if a minor demon was disturbing the household, the Jews knew to leave him—or her—a plate of jam. That was the polite way to get one of us to leave. And a gold coin would usually be left on the plate, our own little thank you very much. Give me the sweet shit any day. Snackies make me a happy, happy boy. Rosie knows this well…she rarely shows up to see me without a dozen doughnuts or a pie or the like. A good, good woman, that one.
DANI (giggling): Do you give her a gold coin?
SKRIKER (grinning hugely): Oh, I thank her with something worth more than gold. Ten inches of rock-hard gristle…the gift that keeps on giving.
DANI: Halloween is quickly approaching, and being a demon, do you enjoy this holiday? Or do you find it to be annoying in some way?
SKRIKER: Hell, no, mama! I’m a Halloween fanatic! When the Veil grows thin, all my fun can really begin…the pickings are richer on hunts. Some of the most fun hunts I have undertaken have been on good old Samhain. And if I’m not hunting, the Beelzebub Club typically throws a crazy rockin’ party that goes til the wee hours…always lots of booze flowing, ladies dressed as sexy as can be, and some good loving from my angel girl who likes to come along for the ride. Halloween is a damned sensual holiday if you ask me…couldn’t be better.
DANI: As your popularity grows, there are rock stars and other well-known book characters that you are frequently compared to by readers. Who are some of those figures?
SKRIKER: This question always cracks me up. As far as “real” people go (makes ‘quote-on-quote’ gesture with his fingers), Billy Idol is the big one. For TV, there’s that Spike guy, from that dumb ‘Angel’ show. Don’t get that one…that dude was shorter than a member of the Lollipop Guild and skinny as a whip. As far as books go, I’m usually compared to some dude from a series called ‘Night Huntress’, or something…some guy called Bones. Another vampire, I guess. Always with the fucking vamps. That just cracks me up. Where I come from, vamps ain’t sexy. They’re ugly, dumb, and low on the food chain. So the comparison is hilarious to me. Whatever works, I guess. (He snickers and winks.)
DANI: What’s next for you, Skrike?
SKRIKER: Hopefully getting Rosie to marry me…finally. Not gonna stop asking! She tells me she wants to find the guys who killed her mom first, so I’ll help her do that. I just got word of an old friend of mine in Stockholm needing some help with a hunt over there, so we’re gonna make a trip over around Christmas and hunt whatever he needs help with while I show Rosie how pretty Sweden can be in the winter.
DANI: I have to ask…would you ever want to have children with Rose someday?
SKRIKER (wistfully): Oh, Dani, you have no idea how much I want that. You wouldn’t think a guy like me would want a family…but I do. Ever since I met Rose I wanted her to have my little seedlings. A big strong boy, or a pretty little girl…doesn’t matter either way to me. Rose thinks it’s crazy and impossible, but I have hope. And I think, deep down, she’s intrigued by the idea. She may be a wild raven-haired bitch on wheels, but she has a soft side that I have been lucky enough to see. I know she’d make a great mama. As of right now, only time will tell.
DANI: Thanks so much for joining me again, Skrike. You know how much I love to chat with you, you crazy sexy mother!
SKRIKER: And you know I feel the same, honey. (He blows a juicy kiss.) That’s to all the new lovely ladies reading about me for the first time. Pick up a few books by Ms. Dani here and get to know me a bit better…it’d be a pleasure to show all you sexy mamas a good time, Skriker style!
Okay, ladies and gents, to celebrate my favorite holiday, I am giving away the first two books in the Black Dog and Rebel Rose series—winner’s choice of Kindle or Ebook Editions! Simply leave a comment with your email to win. J
DANIELLE D. SMITH INFO:
Danielle D. Smith was born in San Diego, California. She was first published at age 29. In addition to being a writer of gritty angel-and-demon themed fantasy stories that are quickly gaining a cult following, she is an accomplished fine artist and illustrator whose visual work has appeared in various public, private, and gallery exhibitions and in national publications, and has studied everything from costuming to tattooing. Dani, as she is known by many who are close to her, lives in San Diego with a large number of books, indie flicks, and documentaries. Her novels appeal to dreamers, troublemakers, dark romantics, horn dogs, and general escapists who like their reads outside the mainstream. She is the proud owner of a beefcake husband who looks like the dudes on those romance covers, as well as several beautiful tattoos. She is currently pregnant with her first child, a spunky baby boy named Ryker, and is wiling away the months working on her first graphic novel, a comic book version of her popular novella, Black Dog and Rebel Rose. She will be launching her co-owned publishing house, Rebel Rose Publishing, LLC. in Fall 2011 with the release of DEMON’S SLAVE, a BDSM erotica tale with a unique paranormal flair, followed by releases from select contracted authors moving into 2012.
WHERE TO FIND DANI:
FACEBOOK PROFILE: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522911002
FACEBOOK FANPAGE: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Danielle-D-Smith/156986440989397?ref=ts
SKRIKER’S FACEBOOK FANPAGE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/181560128573594/
My micro-press, REBEL ROSE PUBLISHING, LLC. (coming in Fall 2011): http://www.rebelrosepublishing.com
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/DaniDSmith?feature=mhee