Interview with Cheryse Durrant, author of The Blood She Betrayed

Publisher: Clan Destine Press

Publication Date: September 4, 2013

Order Links:  Clan Destine Press

Synopsis: Thrust into the technology-driven Earthlands, Shahkara must find the ancient Elnara death lantern - the only thing that can save her homeworld from the heart-devouring Taloners.

She enlists the help of geeky billionaire Max McCalden, but soon finds that, as a half-Taloner herself, her blood demands what she knows she can't have - a human heart.

Shahkara longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both?

Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?

Interview: Q. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.

My talon-flexing Shahkara (heroine in ‘The Blood She Betrayed’) evolved from the single, spooky image of a child’s fingers curled around the outside rim of a partially-open coffin. Those tiny, lifeless fingers didn’t belong to my Shahkara, but they helped her discover a horrifying cover-up. As I jiggled away at the half-baked images of my beautiful princess and the castle’s dead bodies, I realised the bodies were being killed by a Taloner demon that fed off human hearts – the same demons that plagued Shahkara’s homelands. I still didn’t know how they killed their prey until I stopped to wonder why I’d called them Taloners. Of course! They had to have talons –super-sharp claws, concealed between their knuckles, able to rip out a heart with a single snatch. My “Heart Hunters” were born – and so was Shahkara’s journey.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

Writing anything is a special journey, but this was my first stand-alone book, tight and compelling enough to be published. I’d already written eight manuscripts, some while I was still a child, but Shahkara was my break-out novel, my time when I discovered how to be an author and write a real, jaw-socking yarn. Shahkara’s journey is one of self-discovery. While she’s saving the world and falling in love, she’s also getting to know and understand herself better – to forgive her past and accept who and what she is: that what she thinks is her greatest weakness is, in fact, her greatest strength. It’s also a story about bringing happiness to a woman who has survived so much. By the end of the book, her greatest wish comes true.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The Editing. I’m a pantser so I have a lot of fun creating awesome characters and settings and plot twists, but once I get partway through (or worse, the end), the nitty gritty sets in and I have to go back and manually make sense of it. Once I have the plot sequenced correctly, I go back and polish scene by scene. I come to the start of each new chapter with huge doubts, wondering how I can grab the reader by the throat with my first sentence and make this scene as good as the last. I literally spend an hour writing rubbish and thinking I can’t do it – and then the magic happens and the words flow and nailing that passage is my triumph of the day. Working with words is magic but it doesn’t come easily for me.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like writing in purple ink. I don’t get to do it all the time (purple pens are expensive), but it makes me feel magic and gets the creative juices flowing far more swiftly than ordinary black and blue.

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

I have a three-book contract with Clan Destine Press so I will be penning at least two more books in the “Heart Hunters” series, hopefully more! My second HH book, ‘The Ghost She Killed’, is a wild ride and I’m loving every minute of it. I get to see my characters tested and further developed, and Carly plays an integral role in this story. Wait until you find out what she gets up to! Like ‘The Blood She Betrayed’, The Ghost She Killed features some fabulous settings, including a huge casino/hotel complex in the heart of Brisbane, inspired by a stay at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, a few years ago. I had to bring a little bit of Vegas-style Roman empire Down Under. This is also where my "Heart Hunters" series evolves from Young Adult to New Adult, and there are lots of twists and turns. Every. Single. Page.

Q. What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Lisa Swallow’s Soul Ties (a fab read) and I’m about to read Dean J Anderson’s UnNaturals. Yes, not THE Dean Anderson, but still a wicked bloke :-) and I think he’s written a wicked story – too wicked for Young Adults.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

Other than the launch of ‘The Blood She Betrayed’ (my most exciting moment ever, even though I did some awesome things as a journalist), my biggest news is my Hearts and Talons Tour, which The Bibliophilic Book Blog is part of  :-). I’m a nobody author with an unknown book published by a small but fabulous Australian press so I knew the only way to spread the Good News was to take it to the readers. Lots of them. My Hearts & Talons Tour brings ‘The Blood She Betrayed’ to readers but also gives them the chance to win some fabulous prizes, if they take a chance on me and my novel :-)  For more details, click here

Q. Please tell us a fun fact about yourself!

My mum calls me Pint-Pot. In Australia, especially in the “old days”, the stockmen used to carry a quart pot when they were droving or doing long musters. A quart pot is like a small billy that you can boil over an open fire for cooking or to make yourself a cuppa (Aussie for a cup of tea). Because I was a small child, Mum called me Pint-Pot because a pint is smaller than a quart. The nickname is an exaggeration. I now measure 153cm tall so I’m definitely bigger than quart pots or billies :-). Quart pots are still made today. Check them out here.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I write because of the characters rumbling around inside my head, begging to be unleashed, but I’m also a fangirl. I LOVE a good book or film for its entertainment value. Today’s world is both wondrous and overwhelming. We face daily challenges and setbacks, some of them heartbreaking. I want to fill my readers with the same delight that I feel when I read an amazing book or watch an awesome TV series and a plot twist has me clutching for the armrest of the couch!

Teaser: Cher’s Hearts & Talons Tour: $350 in prizes up for grabs

To celebrate the launch of ‘The Blood She Betrayed’ eBook (September 4) and paperback (October), Cheryse Durrant is embarking on a virtual Hearts & Talons book tour.

The tour features $AU350-plus in prizes, including a $AU50 Amazon gift voucher, a $AU50 Clan Destine Press book pack, a $AU130 heart-shaped crystal pendant and signed paperbacks and swag.

For more information, visit

‘The Blood She Betrayed’ eBooks will be available from Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and the Clan Destine Press from September 4.


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