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- ▼ June (19)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I’d like to welcome Nancy Gideon to the ROOB blog who has three back-to-back releases coming; Masked by Moonlight (May 25, 2010) – Chased By Moonlight (Jun 29 2010) and Captured By Moonlight (July 27 2010).
Hello Nancy, welcome to Realms On Our Bookshelves, we’re so excited to have you here. Make yourself comfortable, grab something to drink and nibble on so we can get the 411 on these exciting upcoming releases.
Q ROOB: Can you give us a glimpse about yourself? When is your favorite time to write, what do you have at arm’s length from your computer? Do you have a favorite food (group) while writing? Are you a structured writer who needs to outline the whole story or one that just starts from an idea and goes from there? Do you do character profiling…in short, give it all to us!
A: I’ve been in the biz for a long, long time, back before writers had computers and when research was done in the library because there was no Internet. I’ve written around diapers, divorce, and full time employment, survived the collapse of the mid-list in the ‘90s and still LOVE what I do. With my six book contract for Pocket, I’m over the 50 romance novels sold mark and the only constant I’ve discovered is you have to be flexible to survive as a writer (able to adjust, not be a contortionist, thank goodness!). I’ve always picked my writing time around the path of least resistance: in the old days when my boys were napping, on the bleachers at Little League, after meals were made and dishes put away, or at 4:30 in the morning while everyone was sleeping. I’m a morning person, so the second the computer goes on, I’m working (as long as there’s coffee!). I’ve got a nice loft office in my apartment now where my laptop, works-in-progress, stacks of notes, poster of foreign book covers, and piles of ‘To Be Read’s keep me company.
I work a 40-hour week at a law office, but my home hours are my own so I can get up early or burn the midnight oil. I like it quiet when I work, no music for ambiance. I’m ADD and OCD so I have the ability to really focus on what I’m doing and the rest of the world falls away. When in need of a muse, I do sporadic housecleaning or jigsaw puzzles to channel my creativity.
I’ve always been a very regimented writer (that OCD thing), producing a set number of pages a day, giving myself strict deadlines, doing a 20-page outline that I’d stick to like MapQuest. But a funny thing happen with the first book of my BY MOONLIGHT series. I just started writing. No synopsis, no character sketches, no outline. Just typed while the story unfolded as if I was watching a mini-series on cable. I used to scoff at the idea of ‘Book of the Heart’ but now I’m a believer. These books just poured out in Technicolor with me along for the ride. They weren’t under contract, so I wrote them just for myself. I didn’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else or following any house rules. And I enjoyed every paragraph.
Q ROOB: First of all what I noticed while reading the blurbs is that all three books revolve around two main characters: detective Charlotte Caissie and Max Savoie. Can you give us a character description and a bit of their back-story?
A: Charlotte Caissie is a kick-butt New Orleans detective hiding a painful past. She’s on a mission to convict mobster Jimmy Legere who she believes responsible for her cop father’s murder. She’s all about the job, even when it requires her to use Jimmy’s right hand man to get close to him. But using Max Savoie isn’t without its own unique dangers, because there’s always been something different about Max, something that makes her trust him when she shies away from any other man. Maybe it’s because he isn’t one.
Max Savoie is a mystery, with no past, no ties to anyone except the crime boss who rescued him in the swamps as a child and now owns him heart and soul. But when Max risks his life to save Charlotte, he finds those fierce loyalties challenged, first by his feelings for the woman determined to destroy his world and then by an inheritance that comes with a price, as heir to a criminal empire and guardian over a group of shadowy shape-shifters.
Q ROOB: Which characters, main or secondary, took your heart instantly and can you tell us why?
A: Max. No question. I have a thing for dark, dangerous, tormented heroes. With his tragic past, haunting secrets, and the fact that he’s not human, the possibilities were endless and unpredictable. The fact that he loves Charlotte unconditionally is sigh-inducing. The fact that he’s willing to sacrifice everything for her, well, that’s the stuff of romance. I’ve enjoyed watching him evolve from obedient attack dog to clever and ferocious leader of his clan.
Q ROOB: Another thing what I wondered about is if this is going to be a trilogy with a conclusive romance for Charlotte and Max or is this just the beginning of a new series?
A: There are six contracted books so far in my By Moonlight series. The first four contain Max and Charlotte’s romance arc (those are finished) and the next two will feature different heroes and heroines, though the same cast of characters will continue as secondaries.
Q ROOB: The thing we never get enough of is the romance and passion in a novel. Can you give us a brief taste (quote) of the sizzling tension between Charlotte and Max?
Excerpt from CHASED BY MOONLIGHT:
“Don’t go. Please.”
Charlotte brushed her fingertips over the sharp angles of his face, adoring the strong, compelling lines. How easily she’d become addicted to him, to this. Once she’d surrendered to the drugging pleasures of his touch, she found it difficult to remember why she’d resisted him for so long.
She did a mental balancing now. Sex or murder? How was a girl to choose? He wasn’t making it any easier with that slow drag of his fingertips over the curve of her torso. “Don’t make this harder than it has to be,” was her shaky warning.
His eyes crinkled with wicked amusement. “It couldn’t be much harder than it already is. Are you sure you can’t show pity for my unfortunate state and spare a few more minutes?”
“I’m surprised you can still muster up a . . . complaint, let alone move.” She grinned. “You are an insatiable beast.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
She pressed a quick kiss on the tip of his nose and rolled out of bed while she still had the will power. She heard his heavy moan of resignation as she said, “I’ve got to swing by my apartment to feed the pigs, shower and grab some clean clothes.”
“You can shower here.”
The temptation of that was almost irresistible, just as he had intended. Picturing suds and steam and more hot sex, she smiled wryly. “I’m afraid that would be counterproductive.”
“It would save time if you’d leave some clothes here.” At her sudden look of panic, he added silkily, “I promise not to wear them.”
They hadn’t discussed that step. Actually, they hadn’t had time to discuss much of anything. They’d only ventured from their den of lustful pleasures to forage for food. Caught up in the right now instead of the week later where the rest of the world waited, a lot of words hadn’t been important. Not when he possessed so many other delectable non-verbal communication skills.
Bringing clothes over sounded suspiciously like setting up housekeeping. Alarms and whistles protecting her personal
space rang. She said carefully, “We’ll talk about that later.”
“Whenever you have the time, Detective. What happened to your week’s vacation? I had plans for every minute of it.”
A warm tingle spread through some very well satisfied places as she imagined what else he might have had in mind. A long, X-rated, clothing unnecessary week of sensation and relaxation with the only one she’d ever wanted to share such things with. Didn’t he realize she was as angry about losing any of that precious time together as he was? But one of them had to be reasonable.
“Apparently the department cannot continue without me for more than one day.” She started pulling on her crumpled clothes with a rapid efficiency under his brooding regard.
“Neither can I.”
Q ROOB: A mystery or plot infuses the story with a different kind of tension so how do you work out a plot/mystery, what are they key essentials you need to get started?
A: My sister has a big loom and I think of my series like a large tapestry, woven together strand by strand with different elements. The full pattern won’t be apparent until the work is complete. I had to have story elements large enough to stretch over the entire frame of the series. I put Max and Cee Cee at opposites: he’s supernatural/she’s human, he’s involved in organized crime/she’s a cop, he’s searching for family and acceptance /she’s terrified of commitment. Big problems, seemingly impossible to span. Then there’s the paranormal mystery concerning Max’s past and his relationship to the clan of New Orleans shape-shifters but it’s also tied to how Max came to live with crime boss Jimmy Legere. Everything is related, woven together in sometimes surprising ways. Each book also has its own central crime mystery to solve that puts Max, Cee Cee and their very different worlds at odds while the ongoing main storylines continue to develop. That’s the fun in plotting!
Q ROOB: The stories take place in New Orleans. I personally love New Orleans with its old magic, chicory coffee and easygoing mentality but what did it contain for you as an author to chose this particular part of the world as the backdrop?
A: New Orleans is my favorite city. I fell in love with my first step into the Quarter. It’s like entering another world. Ambiance oozes all around in the sights and smells and tastes. It’s exotic and dark and still a very modern city. I spent a week there in April in a historic condo in the Quarter and got to soak up the atmosphere: the fog rolling off the river, the bayou from an airboat, the voodoo shops and ghost tours, snacking on Cajun food on a Bourbon Street balcony while jazz and zydeco music wafted out of doorways, strolling along the majestic Garden District streets and through the eerie cemeteries. I can’t wait to go back. It’s a place that’s hard to describe without being there. It’s kind of like a grand dame fallen on questionable times, elegant and slightly tawdry at the same time.
Q ROOB: Was there ever a moment when you hit a rough patch while writing these novels and what do you do to get out of it? A long walk at the beach, a powwow with friends or perhaps some comfort food?
A: My critique group pulled me up by the bootstraps more than once. I’d gotten an offer on the first book from another publisher but they insisted on changes I wouldn’t make, so I had to say no to a contract at a time when I was really struggling financially. That was scary. I had an agent get all excited about the project and then pass on it at the last minute. I had to convince TPTB that a series featuring the same hero and heroine in three, now four books was salable in paranormal. Stress, stress and more stress. What great friends to listen to me whine and grumble and vent, then deliver the necessary kick in the rump to keep me going. And an absolutely fabulous team at Pocket is the icing on the cake!
Q ROOB: Authors are also readers. Do you have time to read and if so, what are you reading at the moment?
A: I just got an IPad and couldn’t wait to download a few books I’d been dying to get into: Shanna Abe’s The Smoke Thief, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Passage, Lisa Gardner’s The Killing Hour, and an older Dean Koontz I was missing. J.D. Robb’s latest is on my dresser in paperback. I make it a point to read a chapter or two every night before bed and always take a Dean Koontz on the plane with me when I travel. My dream vacation is a lounge chair, the sound of the surf, and a stack of TBRs.
Now we here at ROOB always like to hear a little bit from the characters themselves and I was wondering if Charlotte and Max could answer just this one question.
ROOB character question: Charlotte, your perfect night off would look like…?
A: Night off? You mean like not working? Huh. I guess it would be going through case files over cold take out food with a certain sexy shape-shifter helping me look for clues. Or dancing. Yes, dancing.
ROOB character question: Max, you would romance a woman with…?
A: Breakfast in bed. Hot coffee, hot beignets, then under the covers for some hot, hot . . . well, you get the idea.
Ms Nancy Gideon, thank you so much for your time doing this interview. I had a blast coming up with the questions and look forward to cracking the spine of Masked By Moonlight.
Nancy Gideon is the author of over fifty romance novels spanning genres from historical and series suspense to paranormal, as well as several horror movie screen plays. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom and Rosalyn West and is a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” winner. She works full time as a legal assistant and has a secret addiction to Net Flix and sushi.
To learn more about Nancy and her BY MOONLIGHT series visit: http://nancygideon.com/
For a taste of romance by moonlight, check out her book trailer.
A winner will be chosen at random from those who comment below to receive a signed copy of CHASED BY MOONLIGHT.
You can enter by leaving a [meanigful] comment or question for Nancy Gideon. A winner will be e-mailed on July 6th, so leave a way for us to contact you! Either via your profile, you can e-mail us your addy or leave a way for us to contact in your comment.
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