Monday, July 21, 2014

A Darker Rain by Claudine Kapel - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claudine will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Enjoy our interview with her.

Claudine, welcome to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

A Darker Rain is a science fiction action/adventure novel. It is the first book in the Ryan Cole series, which chronicles the adventures of Cole and his team of investigators as they tackle unconventional security threats posed by beings and technology from other worlds.

I enjoy writing in this genre because in science fiction, anything is possible. One can envision whole new worlds – or new ways of being in this one. There are boundless opportunities for imagining new things – which is especially great when you’re writing a series!

What world building is required?

Although A Darker Rain is a science fiction novel, it is set on modern-day Earth. To that end, it did not require as much world building as might be needed for a novel set in an imagined galaxy.

Nevertheless, some world building is required to establish the context and environment in which the book unfolds. For example, although the book takes place on Earth, this version of Earth includes beings from other worlds that have decided to play a more active role in the day-to-day affairs of the planet. Some of these beings advance their sinister agendas by sharing their advanced weapons and technology with power-seeking human allies.

So the world building in this case is about articulating the presence of aliens on the planet, including where they come from and how they engage with humans, as well as the details of their weapons and technology and how these operate.

For example, one of the important story lines is that Cole and his team must find a set of powerful alien artifacts called guardian stones before the artifacts fall into the wrong hands. In this context, the world building includes defining how the alien artifacts operate and the back story of how and why they ended up on Earth.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

The female lead character has a unique perspective about life on Earth. Giving her a voice enabled me to enrich my own thinking on a variety of subjects, including the possibility of life on other planets and the nature of paranormal phenomena.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I find inspiration for my writing by listening to music. Sometimes I hear a song and a plot development or new scene will suddenly click in my mind.

Sometimes I look for music with a particular theme to help me clarify the mood or details for a given scene. The book is set in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where it rains quite a bit. I compiled a playlist that included a number of songs referencing rain to help inspire my writing.

Plotter or pantser?

I’m definitely a pantser. For those unfamiliar with the terms, “plotters” map out their storyline in detail before writing, while “pantsers” build their plot as they go – essentially “by the seat of their pants.”

For me, writing a novel is both a journey and an exploration. I generally start with a foundational story arc and a few pivotal scenes – although the points are mostly in my head. I don’t generally work with a physical outline.

From there, I follow where the story goes and where the characters lead me, and I’m open to new ideas and directions. I don’t necessarily write the entire book in sequence either. Sometimes a scene or section that takes place later in the book will demand attention – so I’ll capture it when it arises and then define a cohesive path to flow the story to that future point.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

I write in my home office. So to my right, there’s a speaker, a phone, and a backup drive for my computer. There’s also a printer and a bookcase to the right of my desk.

I love to listen to music – mostly instrumental – when I’m writing so I have a good pair of speakers connected to my computer, and I also have a fairly large music collection.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m currently working on the next book in the Ryan Cole adventure series, which is slated for release in late 2014.

In the second book, Cole and his team are on the hunt for a spaceship that has crashed in the Mojave Desert, while someone from Cole’s past engages him in a dangerous investigation that puts him in the crosshairs of his greatest adversary. The team learns more about the power of the guardian stones while Cole makes one of the most astonishing discoveries of his career.

Do you have a question for our readers?

What do they enjoy about science fiction?

“It’s definitely not a good time to be going into the woods of Hawkley Ridge.”

When a red-eyed wildcat starts threatening ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan Cole recognizes the danger is far more menacing than the ranchers realize. Cole specializes in tackling unconventional security threats, particularly those with alien origins.

His investigation puts him in the crosshairs of Antoine Drake, an international arms dealer with a penchant for weapons from other worlds. Both men are hot on the trail of powerful alien artifacts known as guardian stones.

Cole and his team of investigators embark on a dangerous quest to recover the guardian stones before they can be assembled into the ultimate alien weapon. To succeed, Cole must also decipher the wildcat’s deadly secrets.

But in the woods of Hawkley Ridge, it’s easy for the hunter to become the prey.

A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Suddenly Cole stopped, raising his hand to halt Dalton’s progress. He heard something. It sounded like a growl, off to the left of the path. The forest became deathly quiet. The night creatures were also aware of the danger in their midst.

Cole reached for his gun. He sensed Dalton doing the same. The cool metal in his hand was reassuring, although he couldn’t forget what the leopard had done to Scofield.

Then he saw the shadowy figure, maybe twenty yards away. Red eyes watching him in the darkness, but well shielded by the forest.

Cole remained still, pondering his options. Memories of countless military operations that had unfolded in forests and jungles flickered through his mind. He had faced many opposing forces in his life, but never anything quite like this.

Cole knew they weren’t in a position to get a good shot, not with trees and brush in the way. He hoped the leopard’s options were equally limited. The animal was large as far as wildcats went, so it was unlikely it could advance through the brush with ease.

Suddenly the red eyes were gone. Within moments, sounds of life returned to the forest.

Cole heard Dalton exhale.

“What the hell was that?” asked Dalton in a whisper.

“A genetic nightmare on four legs,” replied Cole.

About the Author:A Darker Rain is Claudine Kapel’s first novel. She lives in Toronto and enjoys books, music, and travel. When not working as a consultant, she can be found writing, reading, or contemplating what else may be out there.

The second book in the Ryan Cole series is planned for release in 2014.

Claudine loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at

Buy the book at Amazon US, Amazon-CA, Apple iBookstore/iTunes-US , Apple iBookstore/iTunes-CA, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. a Rafflecopter giveaway


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?