1) Tell us about your book, Straight to Hell.
The story revolves around a suburban soccer mom named Lilith Straight who dies and is sent to hell. There, she discovers that she is bound to serve the Devil due to a contract made by a long-ago relative. Although working for the Devil has its positives (free shoes and designer clothes), the negatives (being forbidden to love her daughter) outweigh it.
2) A succubus single mom is an unusual concept. I can't say that I've personally run across it before. How did you come up with the idea?
I wanted to write about a different kind of supernatural being outside of the vampire/werewolf/zombie arena, so I came up with a succubus. And one of the things I love to write about are characters who are stuck in situations they hate but yet cannot escape. To me, the ideal candidate for a reluctant succubus was an uptight, stressed-out, single mom.
3) While the book certainly isn't G-rated, it also is, I'd argue, a decent distance from erotica land. Honestly, given that it involves a succubus, a type of demon synonymous with erotic temptation, that's a bit surprising. Were you ever tempted to make it more explicit than it is?
Actually, no. I had thought about making the succubus in the book more traditional (by having her sleep with a series of men), but that seemed rather repetitive. So I envisioned her as that little devil that sits on people’s shoulders and tempts them into doing something they know they shouldn’t. Also, I wanted the romantic scenes between Lilith and Mr. Darcy (her incubus counterpart) to stand out.
4) A character working for the Devil, even for reasons beyond her control, can potentially make it difficult to sympathize with her. How did you go about working around this?
I know, right? Ever since watching the TV show The Sopranos, I’ve wanted this kind of challenge – to create a character like Tony Soprano who does terrible things while at the same time remaining sympathetic. In Lilith’s case, I hoped that her altruism towards her anti-social eleven-year-old niece would win her points. Also, I had Lilith address the readers directly throughout the book, as if to say, “Look, if you were in my situation, you’d do the same thing.”
5) Besides the male and female leads, do you have any particularly beloved characters in the book?
I love Tommy LeFevre, the spiritual guru who is dating Lilith’s stepsister. He melts my heart because he’s such a genuinely good person. And, weirdly, I care a lot about Mr. Clerk, the beleaguered assistant to Lilith’s devilish boss. Mr. Clerk is a fussy old maid, but he is Lilith’s only champion in hell.
6) Do you have any plans for a sequel?
Yes. I’m hoping to release the next book in the series, Straight Shot, next spring.
7) You've written a number of books. Although magic and paranormal elements are common to all of them, they tend to be in slightly different genres. What about this book will appeal to fans of your other books?
I always try to add a humorous element to my books, and I think that comes out clearly in Straight to Hell since the book has a chick lit feel. I also like a twisty plot with a lot of characters. Finally, I hope readers will get the feeling that Lilith is like other characters from my books: uncertain but ultimately courageous.
You can pick up her book at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.
You can visit her at her webpage at http://www.mscottfiction.com/