I was up way too late last night and woke up way too early this morning, so bear with me if I ramble, lol. In Mark’s V-Log, he asked commentors to ask him questions, so here, my pretties, are your answers! 🙂
Amy asks: What types of books/authors inspire you and your work?
I love memoirists like Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris and Jen Lancaster (who both appears in a scene in Happy Hour and just so happens to also blurb the book). Any humorist that manages to keep me enthralled through a full-length book is a hero.
Robin K asks: Are your main characters female or male? Do you find it awkward to write in the female perspective? Does it require research [insert giggle]?
I write both male and female protagonists, depending on the series. And no, I’m perfectly comfortable writing in either genre. I was a psychotherapist for 12 years and pretty familiar with how women think and talk.
Sue asks: what do you think you bring to the table as a male author, that’s different from woman authors writing in the same genre?
I think I bring a very dark sense of humor, which is definitely an original voice in this genre. Also, I’m not in the least bit loyal to the framework of urban fantasy, my job is to write a comedy. All the zombies, vamps and such, are incidental.
Jess asks: Chocolate or coffee, there can be only one?
Coffee. No question.
Stephanie M. asks: how many more books will be in your series?
At the moment, it looks like we’re ending at Battle of the Network Zombies. There were initially 5 planned, but sales were less than spectacular. My publisher is monitoring the sales of the reissue of Happy Hour of the Damned, and if they do well enough, has expressed interest in another book. But I’m not holding my breath.
Barbara E. asks: what else would you like to write about besides zombies? I’m sure you’ve got some ideas in your head just dying to come out, can you give us a hint?
I’ve completed a YA manuscript under a pseudonym (Daniel Marks) and sold a short story set in the same world that will debut in the anthology, Kiss Me Deadly, coming in July. I’m also working on a VERY dark erotica with another writer and have two other adult urban fantasy-comedy series planned and in various states of done-ness.
Taylor T. asks: As a fellow author trying to make it, and find inspiration to write through a major block, how the hell do you do it, Mark? How do you keep going even in the face of negativity? Do you ever have writer’s block? What’s your best advice, besides maybe telling me to run?
You bust through the block by being flexible. When I can’t think of what’s next, I often write a super dirty sex scene. Gets the juices flowing, so to speak. It also stretches you to get visceral and emotional. When I return to the spot where I blocked I bring that attitude with me. As far as negativity, I’m not sure what you mean. There are definitely people who hate me books, but they don’t bother me in the slightest. After all, I don’t know them (nor would I want to, considering I’m so much like Amanda, if they hate her, they’re really going to hate me—lol). So my best advice is to read widely and well, you’ll never write any better than what you admire.
Beverly G. asks: If you were a self help guru and the life coach for the perv-challenged how would you motivate them into becoming less prudish and more perverted?
I’d institute a rapid desensitization program. Keep them near me for several weeks at a time until they got used to the near-constant stream of filth!
Ruthie asks: what really made you decide to write your books on zombies?
The fact that underneath this pasty white chubbiness, I’m actually DEAD!!!
LOL, Mark always cracks me up, even when he’s being tame serious. 😀 Now on to the winner of the copy of Happy Hour Of The Damned! Random.org gave me #8, so Amy, you’re the winner. Congrats! Could you please send me your mailing info so I can forward it on to Mark? My email is sidhevicious(at)shaw(dot)ca.
Yes, I found a zombie Hello Kitty just to send my congrats in the Mark Henry contest. 😀 As always, the winner has 7 days to contact me or a new name will be drawn from the eligable entrants.
A huge thanks to Mark Henry for the hilarious guest V-Log and for supplying a copy of HHOTD to our winner. My gratitude also for all the great comments by the entrants!
I’ll start with some updates. 🙂
Jackie over at Literary Escapism has an excellent newsletter of New Covers, Interviews and general updates about the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal community. There are also a few contests and links to contests.
Anna over at Anna’s Book Blog has a great list of current contests that are going on around the blog-o-sphere!
Elie at Ellz Reads is hosting a 5 prize pack giveaway for the 12 Blogs of Christmas. She also has a wicked list of contest listings on her sidebar.
Nat over at Wicked Lil Pixie is hosting her 13 Wicked Days Of Christmas interviews and contests blowout, so be sure to head over there and read some awesome and hilarious interviews with authors such as Dakota Cassidy, Mark Henry, Nicole Peeler, Michelle Rowan, Jennifer Rardin and a bunch of amazing authors! (I totally love her graphic!) -“Because Evil Doesn’t Rest For The Holidays” may just be the best slogan I’ve read this year! LOL Only my “twin” could come up with this. 😀
Preternatural Reviews has posted his list of the Best of Paranormal & Urban Fantasy of 2009. Your suggestions for the list in the comments section are added.
My personal faves of 2009 include but are most definitely not limited to, and in no particular order are:
- Nicole Peeler – Tempest Rising
- Amanda Ashley – Immortal Sins
- Annette McCleave – Drawn Into Darkness
- Kimberly Frost – Barely Bewitched
- Chloe Neill – Friday Night Bites
- Jennifer Rardin – Bite Marks
- Jeaniene Frost – Destined For An Early Grave
- Rachel Vincent – Prey
- Gena Showalter – Lords Of The Underworld Trilogy
- Pamela Palmer – Feral Warriors Trilogy
- Diana Pharaoh Frances – Bitter Night
- Laurell K. Hamilton – Skin Trade
- Charlaine Harris – Dead And Gone
- Sherrilyn Kenyon – Bad To The Bone
- Alyssa Day – Atlantis Unleashed & Atlantis Unmasked
- Lilith Saintcrow – Flesh Circus & her Y.A. under Lili St. Crow – Betrayals
- Kelley Meding – Three Days Till Dead
- Jaye Wells – Red Headed Stepchild
- Adrian Phoenix – In The Blood
- Jeri Smith-Ready – Bad To The Bone
- Nalini Singh – Angel’s Blood
- Sandra Hill – Viking Heat
- Judi Fennell – In Over Her Head
- J.R. Ward – Lover Avenged
- Richelle Mead – Blood Promise & Thorn Queen
- Cheyenne McCray – Demons Not Included
- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Beautiful Creatures
- Beth Fantaskey – Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side
And I could be here ALL day listing more, but these books all stood out as exceptional to me this year. There are so many more that I’ve read, that are in my TBR pile waiting to be read, and that are being released soon that I can’t wait for!! I love me some books, and lots of ’em. If you don’t believe me, here’s a pic of my TBR piles, and piles… and piles. It’s ridiculous, I know, but I keep buying MORE! 😀 (The pile is actually even bigger now as this pic is a couple moths old, lol).
So what were some of your favorite books of 2009? Leave a comment!
Today readers, we have the pleasure of New York Times’ Bestselling author, Yasmine Galenorn, stopping by for an interview! Her up-coming release, Bone Magic, will be out on shelves January 5th, so we’re launching her book promotions from here. Yasmine will be responding to comments today and possibly tomorrow, time permitting, so let’s be sure to give her a warm welcome. The details of the giveaway will be at the end of the interview, and it’s a big one, so be sure to read all the way to the end. 🙂
Welcome back to SVR Yasmine!
Sidhe – Bone Magic, book 7 in your Otherworld Series is out on January 5th. Congrats on writing such a successful and exciting series! Can you start things off by telling us a bit about the book?
Yasmine – Bone Magic marks a major turning point for several of the characters. Camille undergoes a drastic ritual at the hands of the Moon Mother and the Black Unicorn that will forever change her life; Chase faces an incredible shift in his life in a life-or-death situation, a significant portion of Iris’s past is revealed, paving the way for me to write a novella about her, and we say goodbye to a minor but recurring character when the demons do some permanent damage.
Sidhe – I recall from past interviews that you identify most with the character Camille. Do you find yourself sometimes putting characteristics of people that you know into your characters? Or are you just more of a people watcher and you utilize some characteristics from all over?
Yasmine – Most of the characters have some aspect of me-Camille especially, but as far as putting aspects of friends and family in characters-well, that’s bound to happen, but in bits and pieces. And I do people watch-I shamelessly watch people when I’m out and so the characters evolve from every which way.
Sidhe – Do you listen to music while you write to inspire you? If so, are there any bands/singers who resonate especially while writing the D’Artigo sisters and the world you’ve created in your Otherworld Series?
Yasmine – Yes, about 70% of the time. And each book has a playlist which you’ll find on my website under the descriptions of the individual books. I’m also starting to add them into the books themselves so people can find them in the back. I do have some songs that appear over and over, and others that I connect with certain characters. The song Believe by the Bravery-that fits the overall series almost like a theme song. Other recurring songs on the playlists: When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin), Half-Light (Low), a LOT of songs from Gary Numan, especially his darker, newer material. I listen to bands like Seether, Saliva, Orgy, Oingo Boingo, Thompson Twins, Gabrielle Roth, and many, many more.
Sidhe – You’ve crafted an amazing world, how do you keep track of all the details when writing a multi-book series?
Yasmine – I have what I call my Research Notebooks from Hell for every series. After each manuscript is accepted by my editor, I go through and update the entire notebook. I’ve done workshops on this subject for writers, before-organizing when you’re writing a series. The notebooks contain everything from character development through the books to subplot arcs/major arcs, bestiaries, military entanglements, places/groups/shops etc. for each world I’m writing.
Sidhe – I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but Camille goes through some major experiences in this book, both personally and with her loved ones in their world. Do you have a hard time unwinding after writing, what must be very emotional for you, scenes involving your much-loved characters?
Yasmine – Yes, actually, I do. I’m usually so brain-fried that all I want to do is immerse myself in TV. I’m almost always too tired to read-I read on breaks between books. Exercise helps, sex helps me get out of my head, taking a drive and just sitting at Starbucks helps…but until I finish the book, I’m always immersed in it whether I’m writing or not.
Sidhe – How many more books do you have coming up in this series? (Enquiring fans want to know) 🙂
Yasmine – However many that my publisher and I can negotiate for me to write. There are so many ways I can take this world that I am by no means done. Once the spirit seals story arc is tied up (and it won’t be by book 9 but it’s getting there), I have other plans for the sisters.
Sidhe – Do you have any new books or series in the works that we can look forward to?
Yasmine – Yes, Night Myst, the first book in the Indigo Court Series, will be out late next June. Here’s the blurb for it:
Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their power. Instead, they created a demonic enemy more powerful than they dared to dream. Bent on enslaving the world, the Vampiric Fae have been quietly massing their strength for centuries. Now, Myst, queen of the Indigo Court, is rising again…and a long-prophesied war is brewing…
Born a witch, Cicely Waters can control the wind. When her Elemental warns her that her aunt and cousin are in danger, she packs her Pontiac GTO and returns home for the first time in twenty years. But the magical town of New Forest, Washington has changed. The Indigo Court holds the city in fear; people are vanishing, and strange deaths plague the town. Swept into an unexpected and passionate reunion with her trusted childhood friend Grieve, the Fae prince who taught her how to harness the wind, Cicely finds herself with a fierce and territorial lover. But Grieve has become enslaved by Myst’s court, and now both lovers must walk a fine line to survive the machinations of the Vampiric Fae Queen. Caught between two evils, both vying for supremacy, Cicely must fight for her family and her future. As she discovers the hidden secrets to her own heritage, will she lose her soul in the process?
Sidhe – How do you get yourself to write on days where you’re not feeling it? Or how do you keep at it when the going’s rough?
Yasmine – I remind myself of how bad the panic is when I’m on a hard deadline and behind. I also remind myself that this is my career-not a hobby-and whether I feel like it or not, the work I produce turns out tight and well-written. If this were a hobby I could just walk away, but my readers depend on me, I have legal contracts with my publisher that must be fulfilled, and this is how I make my living. You can’t just knock off work every time you feel like it if you have a ‘day job’ , and likewise, I can’t just fuck around when I feel like it.
Sidhe – Besides the awesome artwork that Tony Mauro does for your covers, do you have any pictures of people/celebrities who remind you of your characters to motivate or inspire you?
Yasmine – I adore Tony-he’s the most incredible artist and he’ll be doing the art for my new series too. I’m so thankful for that and can hardly wait to see the art for Night Myst. As far as your question, some of the anime inspires me-both story and artwork. InuYasha and Bleach have really impacted me. Most celebrities don’t, but characters, series, movies do. Hellboy I & II, the Xmen movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first couple seasons of Supernatural, Fringe, all of these spark off new ideas.
Sidhe – Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Yasmine – I’d like to invite people over to my blog this month -I’ve got a lot of contests and fun posts going up. And I’m Twitter-you can find me there. Please, sign up for my newsletter on my website because that is the easiest way, other than visiting my website, to keep up with updates and new releases. I hope you love Bone Magic and Inked-both of which are out on January 5, 2010. Bone Magic is the 7th book in the Otherworld Series, and Etched in Silver, my novella in Inked, is the story of how Camille and Trillian first met.
I’d like to thank Yasmine for taking the time to come by Sidhe Vicious Reviews. We wish you much continued success and can’t wait to read more of your captivating novels!
Thank you for having me-and for sponsoring this contest. I enjoyed it!
Live Chat Info:
Before we get to the giveaway details, I have an announcement to make! If you’ve ever wanted to chat in real-time with Yasmine, then tomorrow, on December 6, you’ll want to join us for the online chat with Yasmine in the Moon Stalkers Forum. Yasmine will be sharing an excerpt from Bone Magic during the chat, that will only be available to forum members during the chat that evening. Here’s the info, “Chat: December 6th, 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, my forums: http://www.galenorn.com/Bulletin (case-sensitive). You MUST register for my forums to join. The special excerpt will be posted right before and I’ll give the link to people in the chat. The excerpt will only remain up for 24 hours.” So head on over to register and get in on the chat!
Yasmine is generously providing not one, but 6 books to 6 winners!! 🙂 There are 2 copies of Demon Mistress, 2 copies of Night Huntress and 2 copies of Dragon Wytch.
For one entry: Please leave a comment telling us whether Witches, Vampires, Shifters or Fae are your favorite Paranormal characters and why. OR (for today only, the 5th, you can ask Yasmine a question in lieu of answering the original comment question).
For extra entries:
– Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
– If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive an additional entry, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)
– Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to.
Contest is open to Canada and USA and will run through December 16th. The winners will be posted here on the 17th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner/s in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! 🙂
Jennifer Rardin’s fourth book in the Jaz Parks series, BITTEN TO DEATH was released yesterday ( August 12th ). If you’ve had your head in the sand and somehow haven’t managed to come across this series, I highly recommend them. Here’s a blurb from this book… ( From The Publisher)
“Jaz Parks here. My latest mission has taken me to the ancient Greek city of Patras; but instead of soaking up its splendor, I’m here to infiltrate a Vampere Trust. Only two vamps have ever escaped the tightly bound communities and lived to tell the tale: Edward “The Raptor” Samos, the most reviled criminal mastermind in recent memory, and Vayl, the CIA’s number one assassin who also happens to be my boss.
The Raptor is trying to take over Vayl’s former Trust. Unfortunately the Trust’s new leader has her own plans.
This job is going to be the death of me.”
These books can be read as stand alone and you will have no problems following the story, but It’s also much more gratifying if you read from the first book because you’re that much more invested in the characters. That’s just my opinion though.
Here’s the awesome cover of Adrian Phoenix’s second book IN THE BLOOD, which is being released December 30th, 2008 according to Amazon and Chapters. Put it in your wishlist’s or pre-order it, I have!
I’m really looking forward to this book as it continues the story of Heather and Dante as well as all the great characters from the first book A RUSH OF WINGS. I’m not sure if the series has a name yet, but it is a series. I just heard recently that Adrian has been contracted to write books 3 and 4. A Huge big congrats to you Adrian!! I can’t wait to read them. 🙂
In other news, I’ve just heard that Kim Harrison, author of The Hollows/Rachel Morgan books, has a new Young Adult book coming out in May 2009 called ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY. You can get a taste of it in the Prom Nights from Hell anthology. I can’t find a cover for it, but will keep you all updated as I find out more.
AMBERKATZE is having a contest to win a copy of Jocelyn Drake’s Nightwalker.
VAMPIRE WIRE is having a contest to win a copy of Carolyn Jewel’s My Wicked Enemy.
And last but not least, you have until Friday, Aug. 15th to ENTER my contest to win a signed copy of Rachel Caine’s Gale Force!
Sidhe Vicious would like to welcome Dante, from Adrian Phoenix’s A Rush Of Wings! He’s been kind enough to join us as a guest blogger, so without further adieu, I’ll leave you in his, oh so capable *cough-sexy-cough*, hands…
For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s Dante. I’m frontman for Inferno, I live just outside New Orleans, and I accepted Judi’s offer to guest blog on her cool RAVES & RANTS site before me and the band hit the road on tour. She asked me if I’d do a bit on pet peeves, and I’m more than happy to oblige. Judi’s not only tres jolie and tres cool, she’s beaucoup honest.
(aww, I’m blushing now)
Ain’t nothing more solid than the truth.
Pet peeve numero un is this question: What’s it like being vampire?
(Oh, btw, I’m nightkind.)
Merde. Beaucoup merde. Dunno. What’s it like being human? Being mortal? Care to wrap that up in a sweet one paragraph answer? After all, what do you have to compare it with?
My response is usually along the lines of: “Dunno. Tell me, what’s it like being an asshole?” C’mon, why not ask, “What’s it like being black? Asian? White? Male? Female?”
It’s all I know, so it feels pretty fucking normal. It’s who I am.
Another question that rates high on the pet peeve o’meter is: “Will you turn me?” Yeah. D’accord. So then the world will have not only another asshole, but an immortal asshole? Umm, no.
( I wonder if asking him to “bite me/nibble on my neck awhile” counts? Oh Shush… You know you were all thinking it too!) *grins*
In truth, that question’s no different than asking, “Wanna have a baby? One that you’ll have to raise alone?” Yeah…sign me up for that one.
But my pet peeves ain’t aimed at just mortals. Hell, no. Nightkind are often the biggest, loudest assholes of all. My personal fav? This one: “Lady Nose-in-the-Air/Lord Kiss-My-Boots requests a personal audience with you before/after the show.”
Just because they’re nightkind, they believe they should get special treatment – especially from other nightkind. Like me. (*snorts*) Yeeeaaaahhhhh…like that’s gonna happen. They can get in line for the meet and greet after the show like everyone else.
Do they? Nope. They usually stalk away, faces looking like they just sucked down a mouthful of cold blood, muttering promises regarding my future comeuppance(s). Hah. See my eyes rolling? Get a life.
But the grand poo-bah of all pet peeves are the assholes who prey on others by using their hopes and dreams, their aching hearts. Assholes who eat up their trust. Twist them. Scar them. Strip them of everything. For money. Out of envy. Or just because they can.
Hell, I guess that ain’t a pet peeve. It’s soulless something that edges right up against evil. Fuckers who shapeshift a person’s dreams into delusions and suck them dry of all hope.
And it usually starts with a lie.
Mortals and nightkind alike are guilty. Mortals and nightkind alike are also victims.
“A little white lie doesn’t hurt anyone. Sometimes it’s better than a painful truth.” Or how about this popular tune: “People lie. It’s just human (insert species here) nature.”
I’ve heard those words or variations of them over and over. And it’s pure top of the charts bullshit.
A lie is a lie is a lie. Hiding the truth is a kind of lie – a lie of omission, and just as harmful.
Sure, I expect someone who doesn’t like me or is fucking with me or whatever to lie to me. That’s all part of the you-suck routine.
But a friend? No. With people you like and trust, everything they say becomes a part of your foundation, a part of your reality. Because you believe them. And you build on it – your friendship, your love, your every-night life.
A lie is a termite in that foundation, devouring its integrity. It doesn’t matter why that termite’s in there chomping happily away – Oh, I didn’t want to hurt you or I was worried you’d get jealous or I thought you wouldn’t understand or even the classic, I had your best interests at heart – the fact remains that the termite is in there. And it ain’t coming out on its own and it ain’t coming out without doing damage.
I have a lot of trouble remembering things that happened the first fourteen years or so of my life, even things that I’ve done. But I’m gonna find out and learn my own truth. (Yeah, I could be wrong about the ‘fourteen years or so’, I suck at dates and time.)
So night by night, friend by friend, I’m building a foundation, a solid one I hope. A foundation to live my life by. And I’ll never lie – not to spare a friend’s feelings, not to ease a lover’s jealousy, and I’ll never believe a lie is in anyone’s best interest. Not even the teller’s.
I expect the same – no lies. No matter how painful it is, no matter how ugly, if I ask, give me the truth. The truth will never come between us, but a lie will.
I believe deep down, we all crave the truth – mortals and nightkind, yeah even assholes. I think sometimes we’re scared to ask for it. But we gotta, if we’re ever going to move ahead.
Wow. Pet peeves spiraled into a rant enorme. Hey, Judi, I just honored the theme of your site!
So tell me, ma chere, what’s it like being Canadian?
LOL, don’t even get me started!! ( Still wildly fanning myself from the hotness that is Dante)
Let’s see… there are the un-educated who actually believe that people who live in Canada all live in Igloos and that there’s snow 24/7! NOT! I live in a very metropolitan city ,thank you, and have never even seen an Igloo except in pictures.
Then there are the people who actually think that everyone in Canada talks like that Bob and Doug McKenzie from some old comedy show (SCTV) that aired a zillion years ago, or that we say “Eh” all the time. That’s a negative! But I digress, see? I told you not to get me started, lol.
I would like to thank Dante for spending some time with us here at Raves and Rants and I’m sure my readers will agree with the sentiment that you are welcome to come back and visit anytime! *grins*
Adrian Phoenix has graciously agreed to sign and send a copy of Dante’s story in A Rush Of Wings to one lucky commenter, so get commenting people!
I will pick the winner on July 15th, and if you’d like an extra entry, then blog about this post & contest on your blog, MySpace, FaceBook, LiveJournal, BlogSpot, WordPress or spread the word in some form and send me the link.
( Moved Over From My Original Blog )
24 Comments. ( Click here to view comments made at the old blog – This contest is still ongoing and you may leave a comment here as well to be entered. )
Sidhe Vicious welcomes Paranormal Romance Author Yasmine Galenorn! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and all about your novel Dragon Wytch.
Y.G. Thank you. I appreciate the welcome.
S.V. Your paranormal romance novel, Dragon Wytch will be released on July 1st, 2008 by Berkley Books. Can you tell us about it and a bit about the main characters Camille & Smoky?
Y.G. Dragon Wytch is the fourth book in my Otherworld Series (aka: the Sisters of the Moon Series). The Equinox is coming, and mayhem rules. A crown-prince unicorn offers the girls a legendary gift, but it disappears, as does his servant, a pixie named Mistletoe, who was carrying it, and they have to get it back before havoc rules. Rogue portals are opening and goblins and trolls swarm the streets of Seattle. And now Smoky, the hottest dragon around, decides to stake his claim—on Camille. It’s time for her to pay her debt to him.
Overshadowing it all, the third spirit seal surfaces and, of course, Shadow Wing’s after it. He sends a dangerous demon general—a Rāksasa—after it, and the girls realize they may be outmatched. And then, they discover a secret: a new power is rising—a dangerous force from the past—and that power intends to restore balance to the worlds…whether the girls like it or not.
Dragon Wytch is from Camille’s point of view, and you’ll get to see the background of her initiation into the Coterie of the Moon Mother, and a better glimpse of what the magic she uses is like, and how her passion can include more than one man without diminishing the others. You’ll also have a chance to find out more about Smoky’s lineage and his life. I had a lot of fun writing the book—Smoky’s dragon nature really came through and showed me how he really is a dragon, not human, that he just can take human form. He plays by his own rules.
S.V. What about vamps, witches, weres, etc. inspired you to write about them?
Y.G. I grew up cutting my teeth on fantasy, SF, and horror—from the beginning I gravitated toward Bradbury, Clarke, Asimov, Lovecraft, McCaffrey, MZB…all the greats. I watched Dark Shadows when I was five, Star Trek when I was…I dunno…I think I first saw re-runs but I was very young. Every Saturday afternoon I’d watch the SF double feature monster matinee on TV. My life has always been steeped in the paranormal—both real and the fantasy versions. For me, writing non-fantasy oriented fiction is very hard—it just does not compute. ~laughing~ And vamps, witches, Weres, etc., are all part of the milieu.
S.V. Will we be seeing more of Camille, Smoky, Delilah and Menolly in the future?
Y.G. Oh yes, there will be at least nine books and one novella in the series. I’m just about ready to start Bone Magic—book 7—which is back to Camille. If the series continues to do well, I’d be happy writing it for quite a long time. There are a lot of places (as well as secondary characters) I’d like to explore with this series.
S.V. How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?
Y.G. The spark came when I was three (~smiles~ I’ve told this story a hundred times, I think). I was learning to read and one day—and I remember this particular incident—I was holding one of the books I loved and something clicked. Maybe someone said something or maybe I just put two and two together but I suddenly “got” that people make books, they don’t just appear out of thin air. People actually made books…and right then, I knew I was going to grow up and make books. And I never lost sight of that goal.
S.V. What was the path to publication on this novel like? Highlights? Pitfalls? Or because you’ve had so many novels published, does any one stand out for you?
Y.G. The road to publication is a long and winding one and would take a long time to cover. Leave that to say, it wasn’t easy, it took a lot of sweat and practice (I have seven novels in the closet from before I ever got my very first contract. I call them the ‘in the closet gang’ and they will never see the light of print because they simply weren’t good enough. I plunder from them, though), and that I paid my dues.
The highlights: of course, holding my first contract in my hands (it was for a nonfiction book) and crying because somebody was willing to pay ME to write books. Another highlight—holding my first contract for a novel in my hand and realizing I’d actually broken though. A third—hitting the USA Today list with Witchling—and then the NYT extended with Darkling—those were HUGE jumps for me.
And Dragon Wytch will be my 20th book on the shelves. I think that’s a highlight in itself. J
Pitfalls: signing my first eight contracts without having a literary lawyer look them over, since I didn’t have an agent for my nonfiction. Not realizing early enough that nowadays it’s really up to the author to do a lot of self-promotion. Not being prepared for the sting when people trash your books and you in the same breath (I can handle rejection just fine, but people can be vicious!).
S.V. Who or what was your inspiration for the characters of Camille, Delilah, Menolly and Smoky, if any?
Y.G. Out of all the characters, Camille’s most like me, though I have touches of Delilah and Menolly in me too. But they’re really not ‘based’ on anybody I know. My subconscious works on a level all its own and I just let it chug along. One night, the three girls just showed up and introduced themselves to me (in my mind, of course), and bingo, they were there. I guess I’d been mulling over ideas for awhile and suddenly they emerged, like Venus rising from the seafoam. Of course, they’re not quite so gracious as Venus. ~grins~ Smoky just showed up in the book; I had no idea there would be a dragon in the story but there he was and he wouldn’t go away and so, yes, there was a dragon in the story. They evolve through the books—I don’t force them into molds or actions, everything evolves organically in my writing of this series. It wasn’t quite the same with the mysteries, but this series definitely has a life of its own.
S.V. Did you find it harder or easier to write subsequent novels in this series because of already having created this world?
Y.G. Easier on many levels…the world is intact and vibrant and thriving, so I already know what’s there so far. And I love the world that I’ve created—it’s so much fun to write in. But I don’t want to get complacent. I want each book to be different, though a link in the chain, with its own flavor and story. The hard part is dealing with how much backstory to put in—I have to introduce them in each story but it’s getting trickier to find ways to do it that isn’t boring. ~grins~ I rely on my editor to tell me if I haven’t included enough.
S.V. Do you have any funny writing quirks or habits that you do when you’re in the “zone” writing?
Y.G. Oh gods, yes. Actually, it’s more incidents. Like for one of the mysteries that I was writing during March a couple years ago—the mystery was set in November and I was writing about Thanksgiving, and the dinner scene sounded so damned good that I ended up cooking a mini-Thanksgiving dinner because I was so hungry for turkey by the time I finished that scene! Or writing a scene set in a thick snowstorm and looking out the window and being very confused for a moment because it was around 75 degrees and—for once—sunny.
If I’m not writing enough, I can’t sleep, the characters and stories churn in my thoughts and keep me awake. And I always clip my fingernails before I start a new book—an odd habit (and one I’ll have to break if I get the nail gels I want).
S.V. Have you ever met a vampire, werewolf, demon, fae?
Y.G. LOL…well, you know that I’ve written metaphysical nonfiction and that I’m a shamanic witch. I do believe in the Fae, but not as I’m writing them and not as the Victorians portrayed them. To me they’re less human, very feral and not very friendly toward mortals. I’ve seen some interesting things in my lifetime, I believe and have encountered ghosts and spirits…we have a guardian elk spirit who watches over the household and I’m a pledged priestess to Mielikki and Tapio. My life is very magical, and I mix tidbits of the ‘real’ magic that I encounter into the fantasy magic of the series—it’s one big blend on the pages, though quite separate in my personal life.
S.V. What supernatural power or creature would you most like to have or be?
Y.G. You know, this is hard. I’d love to have some of the powers of Neo in the Matrix. I’d like to have the power to heal up from anything at extremely fast rates—not to heal others, but to heal up…super health and agility, I guess.
S.V. Who is your favorite paranormal or urban fantasy fictional character and why? (Not counting your own of course)
Y.G. Aww gee, you mean I can’t pick my own? ~grins~ Okay, let me think here. This is a hard question. I think I’ll have to give you a list because I can’t pick just one:
There are others. I could give you a huge list. But I can’t give you just one name in particular. ~smiles~
S.V. Who’s your favorite author? TV show? Movie?
Y.G. This is easier, but again, it’s hard to give just one name because my moods change so rapidly.
Favorite author, overall: Ray Bradbury. He makes prose sing like the sweetest music. Favorite top three books: Watership Down (Richard Adams); Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier); and Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien).
Favorite TV shows: InuYasha, Supernatural, Medium, Reaper, Bleach, The Deadliest Catch, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Desperate Housewives, Bones (except for the season 3 finale—I’m so ticked at them for making Zack into the bad guy), Spongebob Squarepants, Buffy, Forensic Files, Cold Case Files (nonfiction), City Confidential, Food Network Challenge, Iron Chef Japan, The Next Food Network Star, Project Runway
Movie: Favorite movie of all time: Rebecca. Favorite movies: SF/Fan, mystery, suspense, some comedy, classic, Hitchcock, cult favorites. Favorites: Tremors, Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick, Queen of the Damned, Terminator, Terminator 2, Alien, Aliens, Andromeda Strain, All About Eve, Mommie Dearest, Matrix, Harry Potter movies, musicals like Chicago, All That Jazz, Moulin Rouge, Into The Woods, Earth Girls Are Easy, Eight Legged Freaks, The Mighty Quinn, Andromeda Strain, Fargo, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, LOTR movies, Labyrinth
S.V. How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?
Y.G. Primarily by teaching me what I don’t like and what I do like in a book—as a reader. I learn from my reaction to the books—what bores me, what engages me, what I find implausible (and I can buy the most implausible storylines if its done right). It’s all subjective of course. I’m writing the books I’d like to read—I think most writers are doing so. We love other books but we want the storylines tweaked, the characters a bit different, so we create our own worlds to meet those needs and desires.
S.V. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever gotten inspiration from?
Y.G. When I was sitting on my exercise ball watching TV with friends and it exploded beneath me, dropping me to the hardwood floor below. Jarred me up and hurt my lower back. The ball was defective—it should never have ripped in that manner. I sat there, stunned, thinking, “I shouldn’t be looking at the room from this angle.” I went on to include the event in one of my mysteries. Hey, you have to get mileage out of freak events like that—I ended up in pain, I might as well get an amusing incident out of it!
S.V. What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?
Y.G. I don’t get writer’s block. ~smiles~ I do have days where it’s harder than others and if I find I just can’t plow through the rest of the day, sometimes I’ll just go watch TV or cook or something and the next day I’m fine.
S.V. What can a new reader expect from your book/series?
Y.G. Dark mayhem and warped humor. If you dumped Buffy, Charlie’s Angels, I Love Lucy, and a good AD&D game into a blender, add a book on mythologies of the world, a book of fairy tales, and a soupcon of explicit erotica, well…there you go—my series.
S.V. You write about various types of supernatural creatures. Do you do a lot of research or do you prefer to take what you already know and use your imagination for the rest?
Y.G. I’ve studied mythology over the years to the point that I’m familiar with most of what I’m writing about, but I’ll stop and do the research if I realize I’m lacking in information. And I also create my own creatures/mythos and blend them all together. Apparently, I do a good job—people find it hard to pick out what are my creatures and what exist in folklore.
S.V. Are any of your characters particularly fun or easy for you to write? Any that are more difficult?
Y.G. Of the three sisters, Delilah’s the most elusive—just like a cat. Camille’s easiest to write, Menolly’s in-between but getting easier. I love writing about Camille’s three men—Smoky, Morio, and Trillian. And I adore Maggie the gargoyle. Iris is taking more of an active role as the books go along. I find Chase and Zachary the hardest to write—they’re men I wouldn’t normally be pulled to, and they don’t fit my view of the ‘ideal male’ so it’s a bit of a challenge letting them be the way they are.
S.V. Do you have any tips for aspiring speculative fiction writers?
Y.G. Be prepared to work your butt off. I work 50-70 hours a week and the more successful I get, the harder I work. Just because you can find your way around the keyboard doesn’t mean you can write a book. If you want to be a writer—especially a career writer—you have to put in the hours pounding the keys, doing the research, studying the markets.
Don’t go into the work expecting to become rich and famous—if that happens, great, and there are things you can do to promote your work—but go into it wanting to write the best stories that are suited for you to write. Go into it for the love of writing, for the passion of creating worlds on paper.
Be prepared to pay your dues—in patience, in accepting criticism, and accepting the inevitable rejection that’s fraught in the business. Don’t expect instant acceptance at the publishers—this is not a business for someone who requires instant gratification.
Learn how to approach agents and editors—do the leg work yourself, it’s part of the job. Don’t expect people to hand you answers on a silver platter. Get used to research.
And lastly I leave you with this: nobody can guarantee you success as a writer. But I guarantee that if you quit, you will fail.
S.V. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us at Raves & Rants and with your readers?
Y.G. My favorite quote is from Ursula Le Guin: Those who refuse to listen to dragons are probably doomed to spend their lives acting out the nightmares of politicians. We like to think we live in daylight, but half the world is always dark; and fantasy, like poetry, speaks the language of the night. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin “The Language of the Night”
You can find out more about my work and me on my website: www.galenorn.com and I’m on MySpace: www.myspace.com/yasminegalenorn and to some degree, Live Journal (though my blog at this point is mainly on MySpace).
S.V. Thank you Yasmine! It’s been a pleasure spending some time with you and getting to know more about Dragon Wytch and the rest of your books. We wish you every success with your Sisters Of The Moon Series, and look forward to many more of them.
Tomorrow I’ll have my Spotlight & Review of Dragon Wytch up, so be sure to come back!
Yasmine has graciously offered a signed copy of Darkling to one lucky commenter, so get your fingers busy and start commenting. Only one entry per person, or if you want to get an extra entry in, you can blog about this contest and send me the link. I’ll draw a winner on June 30th. Good Luck everyone!
( Moved over from my origional blog )