Inside an Asylum with Denise Agnew

Please join me in welcoming the multi-talented, award winning author, Denise Agnewas she talks about her trilogy which take place in an asylum.

Denise is also giving away a paperback of one of her books. (Contest details below.)

Selena: Thank you for joining me, Denise. Let’s get right to the heart of this interview and your biggest quirk (okay, maybe not a quirk for you, but anyone who loves spooky movies is quirky to me).

I know you love scary movies. Is there a movie that makes your goosebumps sprout goosebumps?

Denise: Glad to be here, Selena, and isn’t your comment about quirks is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle? 🙂

Movies don’t generally scare me, but I will admit that the trailers for The Exorcist still make hairs on my body stand up. The two spooky movies I found the scariest weren’t horror movies. Seven and Silence of The Lambs were extremely disturbing in that scary way. Two of my favorite classic horror movies are The Exorcist and The Shining. Slasher flicks mostly bore me. Okay, exception to that would be the Scream franchise. I love the way those movies don’t take themselves too seriously.

Selena: You’re an eclectic writer; historical, suspense, paranormal, sexy stories with hot heroes and strong heroines, holiday themed stories and even sexily sweet stories. What makes the Asylum trilogy unique, compared to your other books?

1Denise: These books are definitely romances, just as all my stories, but I threw in the kitchen sink with this trilogy. I was trying to do a lot of things in three books.

Paranormal elements are foremost. What if evil grew in a place and over the decades it became larger and no one understood it or where it originated? After that you have social the elements with regard to each era and the horrifying challenges each heroine encounters that have as much to do with the times they live in, and are as much a part of the stories as the paranormal elements.

The heroine in the first novel is overcoming odds that don’t seem possible to overcome, and in the second novel I wanted to build the sense of dread that must have existed at the time when World War I was raging and the Spanish flu was decimating the world.

In the third book I drew in some of the craziness I see infecting the world in the present day and the fear I see overwhelming people. I don’t mind bringing up ignorance, bullying, prejudice and the many ways people display it.  In each book I’m illustrating that every era has its challenges, and that no one era has the be all or end all on difficulties. I loved putting the characters through these challenges while I watched them fall in love.

Selena: What is your go-to snack while in deep writing mode?

Denise: Yogurt. Easy to snarf down!

Selena: Another quirk that I know about you, is that you love Halloween. I know, I know, pot calling kettle…but seriously, why do people love Halloween? I’ll have to delve into that for another blog. So tell us, what is it about this holiday that intrigues you?

Denise: It’s steeped in the pagan and the mysterious and paranormal. It has always called to me on a deep level.  I’m a paranormal investigator and that time of the year seems to be an excellent time to explore the unknown. It has always been my favorite holiday, and I have so many fond memories of it. Every October I spend a ton of time watching all my favorite spooky movies and sometimes even writing a spooky story. Fall is my favorite time of the year.

Selena: What I love most about your writing is that you are always creating outside the box, especially with this trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though you know I’m not a fan of spooky things, but this wasn’t spooky or eerie at all…okay, some parts were edge of the seat worthy, but they were so well done and I was totally immersed in the romances in each book.

During your research for the Asylum trilogy, was there anything interesting that happened during the research, or something you discovered that left you speechless.

Thank you, I know it’s not your type of reading, which makes the fact that you enjoyed them that much sweeter.

Researching the past always means I’ll learn something intriguing. I love history. When I researched World War I and the Spanish flu for the second book, it surprised me how deeply affected I was by the suffering people endured in that era. It makes a lot of what most people complain about today pale in comparison. It makes me tremendously grateful for all I have and how wonderful my life really is.

Selena: If you could go back in time and have lunch with Edgar Allan Poe, what one question are you burning to ask him?

Denise: I’d ask him if he every wanted to stop writing and just chuck it all into the garbage. I love his work, and I figure he was delightfully twisted, as so many writers are. 🙂

Selena: We are twisted, but in a good crazy way that makes sense to us and to our readers.

Tell us something nobody knows about you?

Denise: This is something that a few people know about me. I’m an empath but didn’t really figure that out and accept it until about ten years ago. It’s very helpful in some ways and a pain in the ass on other days. I learn more about being an empath every day.

Selena: If you had your own talk show, which three guests would you like to have on, and why?

Denise: Oooohhhh…very good question. I’d probably interview Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Linda Howard. Dean Koontz because he’s one of my favorite writers, he’s funny, and I like how he took control of his publishing career and didn’t allow the publishing world to take control of him. Stephen King because I loved his book On Writing. Linda Howard because I’ve enjoyed many of her books, and she’s also a very funny lady.

Selena: If you could assign a soundtrack to the Asylum trilogy what would it be?

3Denise: I actually have a soundtrack made up which consists of a lot of different music that fits sections of the book. All of it is scary/gloomy/creepy or romantic, depending on the individual book. I assign certain songs as “love themes” or “love scene” type music as well. I used some music from Woman In Black for example, as well as Fernando Velazquez’s Shiver soundtrack. But I also used some James Newton Howard music, When A Stranger Calls soundtrack and a whole host of other stuff.

Selena: If you could assign a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?

Denise: That’s a super hard question. It would probably be a huge soundtrack made out of 70’s, 80’s  music and a ton of classical music from different eras in time. I love music from a lot of different time periods, so it would be a mixed bag. Top Gun soundtrack, Elton John music, and even disco. Hey, I’m dating myself.

About Denise Agnew:

Denise A. Agnew is the author of over 57 novels. Romantic Times Book Reviews calls her romantic suspense novels “top-notch,” and she’s received their coveted TOP PICK rating. Denise has written paranormal, romantic comedy, contemporary, historical, erotic romance, and romantic suspense. Archaeology and archery have crept into her work, and travels through England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have added to a lifetime of story ideas. A paranormal investigator, Denise looks forward to exploring the unknown.

Amazon links for the Asylum Trilogy:

Shadows Wait

Shadows Rise

Shadows Fall 

Trilogy Bundle


Answer the following question in the comment section of this blog and your name will be entered into a draw to win a Paperback copy of one of Denise’s books.

“If you could assign a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?”





24 responses to “Inside an Asylum with Denise Agnew”

  1. Barbara Strisand A Star is born sound track. So many great songs with great meaning.


    1. Hi, Kelly, thanks for stopping by. I love Barbara Streisand’s voice, and some of her sounds have a lot of meaning. Great choice!


  2. I love Barbara Streisand! She has such an amazing voice!


  3. Such a great interview, ladies. Wow, I’d love to hear more about you being an empath. That sounds really interesting.

    Sound track of my life? I guess it would have a bit of 80’s music, tons of sappy love songs, a country song or two, and a few upbeat dance tunes to shake my groove thing to. Genre-mixing. It’s the way I roll.


    1. Hi, Kimberley, thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the interview.

      Interesting mix of songs for your life. 🙂


  4. Selena/Denise…“If you could assign a soundtrack to your life, what would it be?” My personal playlist of about 15 or so of Tab Benoit songs (a wicked good blues song writer, singer and guitar player); some songs from the Stones, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Slim Harpo…*grin*…I could go on;)

    I’ve been reading Denise Agnew’s books on and off since 2005. Most of my favorites is in the Special Investigations Agency series and books in the Hot Zone. However, I started with some of the paranormals, which I also liked. I just checked and I see I have some back list books I need to get…. There’s no mercy for we addicted readers;)


    1. Hi, Nancy, thanks for stopping by. Love the mix of music for the soundtrack of your life. I haven’t figured out what mine is, but I know the Beatles would have to factor in there somewhere.

      Hot Zone books are one of my favorites as well, but I also love Denise’s historical books and voice in those.

      I am really lucky, as I get to read her books before they come out, and also grateful and feel fortunate that Denise is a good friend.


      1. Thanks Selena! You’re an awesome buddy, and I’m lucky to have you for a critique partner!


  5. Hi Kimberley! 🙂 I’ll have to chat with you about being an empath.:) Your soundtrack sounds similar to mine actually.


    1. Denise, I think you could write a real interesting blog about being an empath. I Googled some stuff on it, and seems I have a lot of an empath’s traits. The subject intrigues me now and I’m sure it will benefit and be of interest to so many people, so….hint hint…blog topic for your blog? 🙂


      1. I may just do that at some point Miss Selena.:)


  6. Nancy, first thanks so much for reading my books, and thanks so much for checking out the other books you haven’t gotten to yet. As for your music choices, it sounds very New Orleans. Cool! Have you been there before?


  7. I’ve read the excerpts from this series and they sound like something I’d really like. As to a soundtrack, that’s a hard question since I think it would be different at different times of my life but right now I am going to pick The Neverending Story 🙂


    1. Hi, Catslady, thanks for stopping by and I hope you pick up the Asylum books, I know you’ll enjoy them.

      I have a hard time picking a sound track as well, but I like the sound of a Neverending story, as I don’t want my story to ever end….well, someday it will, but God willing not for an extremely long time.


  8. Great interview! I’m lining up your books to read Denise! 😀
    As for the sound track it would have to be Michael Jackson You are not alone & Celine Dion….because You loved me…:D


    1. Hi, Donna, thanks for dropping by the blog and I know you’ll enjoy Denise’s new trilogy.

      I’m not a fan of Celine Dion, but I do admit she has a great voice and that song is a good choice.


  9. Catslady, thanks so much for looking into The Asylum Trilogy. 🙂 The Neverending Story is pretty music.


  10. Donna, thanks so much! I adore that Celine Dion song. 🙂 Really nice song.


  11. Hey Denise, your trilogy sounds great! I don’t know if it would describe my life, but I’ve always loved the soundtrack from Forrest Gump. And also the soundtrack from The Young Victoria. I know I’d enjoy hearing it in the background as I went about my day!


  12. Nancy, thanks much! I can’t recall what the soundtrack to Forrest Gump sounds like. Will have to look it up. As for The Young Victoria, that’s a neat movie, too. 🙂


  13. Hey guys! Sorry for the lateness on this. The winner of the paperback from my backlist is Donna Louise Hackett. Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you shortly. And by the way, thanks to everyone for stopping by to say hello! I very much appreciate it. 🙂


    1. Congratulations, Donna, enjoy the book.

      Thanks again, Denise and everyone who came out to comment and for those who are reading the blog. You all rock!


  14. THANKS! \Selena & Denise! I’m looking forward to getting the book! ::D


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