Welcome to the September Author Showcase at Cross My Heart Writings and Reviews. I feel very fortunate today to be chatting with author Nancy Gideon as well as Max Savoie and Charlotte Caissie of By Moonlight fame. Nancy's By Moonlight and Midnight series are both a personal favorite of mine, and I highly recommend them to fans of paranormal romance. Be sure to see the posts below for my reviews of Chased by Moonlight & Midnight Kiss. Enter our giveaway for a Signed & Personalized copy of Chased By Moonlight at the end of this interview! Let's jump right in and get the answers to some questions that we've all been dying to ask.
What inspired you to write books? What led you to write PNR?
I’ve always been a storyteller. I knew I wanted to be a writer the first time I saw my name in print in our elementary school
newspaper under a fractured fairytale I wrote in 5th grade. I loved second-guessing books and TV shows by asking “What if?” and that curiosity got me re-writing plots in my own way because I always liked the bad boy instead of the nice guy hero because I thought he was more interesting. Rushing home from school to watch “Dark Shadows” got me hooked on PNR. Nothing says “What if?” like making the unbelievable seem possible.
There was no choice involved. In the ‘80s when I started out, publishers wanted to contractually own your writing name so you couldn’t take it elsewhere. Since they couldn’t ‘own’ the right to your legal name, they required pen names. You had to take a new one if you moved to a different publisher or wrote for a different genre. So I ended up with three writing names in addition to my own.
It depends on what sparks the idea. Sometimes the book grows organically from a particular setting. Sometimes it’s a character conflict. Then it’s a matter of tumbling all the elements around until they gel together. I have more book ideas than I’ll ever have hours to write them.
I can’t start a book without the right character names. It’s an agonizing process, because a name reflects on who that character is and ultimately becomes. I’ll look at ethnic background, meaning, and how it sounds – hard, soft, whimpy, cruel. I don’t care for names that are trendy or unpronounceable. That name is the first step to creating a ‘real’ fictional character. Giving them goals, flaws, dreams, baggage and quirks are what gives them dimension. I try never to write the same character twice.
Working around babies, deadlines and later, a full time job, makes this ADD/OCD girl very routine oriented. I work around the path of least resistance to find the best slots of time to get in the work I need to do. Early morning, right after coffee, is when I’m at my prime, so I’ll get up at 5:00 am and put in several hours before I have to leave for the day job. My goal is a full chapter during the weekdays and two chapters on the weekend. That’s been a pretty comfortable pace. But I have been known to write with video games blasting in the other room and on receipts at while waiting in line.
I love to read and will read anything but my go to authors are Dean Koontz, J.D. Robb, Justin Cronin, Suzanne Brown, Lisa Gardner and Kresley Cole. I’m really digging Cassandra Clare books, too.
Umbrella, Motrin, tape measure. When I travel, add in my laptop.
My sons. And my ankles. I have great ankles.
Let's talk about the By Moonlight series...
Though the hero and heroine from the first four Moonlight books in my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series appear prominently in the four Shadows books featuring new H/Hs that follow, readers have repeatedly begged for more Max and Cee Cee. Okay, I cave under pressure! I’m currently writing Remembered by Moonlight which is a return to Max and Cee Cee in the spotlight. At the present, this book isn’t contracted so I’ll have to keep you posted on when and where it’ll be available. The future for them, of course, is a Happily-Ever-After. But the road to every HEA is paved with adventure!
I LOVE kick @ss characters that you care about who continue on from story to story. While this is typical in Urban Fantasy and Suspense, not so much in romance which prefers a new couple for each story. That was my intention when I started Masked by Moonlight at the request of a series contemporary editor. But you know what they say about the best intentions . . . There was no deciding on my part. The minute Cee Cee and Max met on the porch of a mobster’s New Orleans plantation fortress, it was all over. They wouldn’t stop pushing until I was hip deep in book four! And then there was STILL more to story to tell. My original inspiration for them was Dwight and Gayle from the movie Sin City.
Where else? It’s one of my favorite cities to visit. The atmosphere becomes its own character!
I’d love to do more, and have a host of plots spinning. Picking which characters get the next story is the hard part. Let me see . . . Philo, Alain, Mary Kate, any one of those hot Terriot princes . . .
Questions for Max & Cee Cee:
Why did you fall in love with a New Orleans police detective who could put you away for life? Why Cee Cee? What is it about her that you can't live without? What would make you give her up?
Oh sha, you can’t control such things. The first time I saw Charlotte with her eyes flashing fire and teeth gritted against odds she couldn’t best I knew in the soul of me that she was the one. She had the courage to accept what I was and strength to defy those who would keep us apart. Alone, we’re lost and broken. Together we make a powerful whole. I’d a soon lose a piece of me than let her go.
My author watches too many movies. (see answer to #2 above). The red shoes are symbolic of something from my past, something I didn’t remember until she made me remember. Having to hide so much of what I am, it’s one way to remind myself of what makes me different . . . and stronger. A survivor.
“Feels Like Rain” by John Hiatt. Take a listen and you’ll know why.
Why did you - a police detective - fall in love with the most feared man/mobster/shifter in New Orleans? Why Max? What is it about him that you can't live without? What could make you give him up?
Not by choice! And if I was looking for a relationship, it wouldn’t have been with someone on the wrong side of everything I believe in. There’s just something about Max . . . I didn’t know what it was at first, just that I couldn’t seem to resist him and it pissed me off royal! I guess you could say I fell in love with him because he’s NOT a man. I’d never leave him. Not even death could keep me away.
It wasn’t her idea. No one tells me how to dress. I don’t do it to suggest anything, and anyone who gets that idea is discouraged right quick, and often with a right hook. The leather, the heels, the makeup – it’s not about sex, it’s about strength and aggressive power. In the parts of N’Awlins I work, you can’t look soft or feminine and get the job done. Think of it as my super hero costume - with a badge.
Norah Jones’s “Turn Me On” and not just because I enjoy dancing to it in his arms. It had me at “My poor heart, it’s been so dark . . .”
(This youtube video has since been blocked...you can hear a preview of this song at the link below.)
Visit Nancy at any of the following places!
Thank you, Nancy, Max, & Charlotte, for visiting with us today and answering questions. We are anxiously awaiting Remembered by Moonlight! Please make it soon!!
Enter below for a chance to win a signed, personalized copy of Chased by Moonlight!