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Monday, December 5, 2011

A Chat with Nancy Gideon

Instead of my usual musing on Monday morning, I'd like you to meet a fabulous author who has been my friend and mentor since I started writing, Nancy Gideon. She's a prolific writer who turned me onto vampire romances years ago and with her new series she’s making me a fan of shape-shifters.

Nancy’s writing encompasses romance genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal. Under her own name, she’s a bestseller for Silhouette Romantic Suspense, has written an award-winning vampire romance series, and has a six book shape-shifter series with Pocket Books. Also listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), she collaborated on Indie horror films In the Woods and Savage with screenwriting and ADR script credits, and even played a small role. She attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before work.

Diane: Nancy, your energy puts me to shame! I am so pleased you’ve taken time out of your busy schedule to chat about your latest release, Hunter of Shadows. Let’s get right to it. I just downloaded Hunter onto my Kindle and am halfway through already. Without giving away any spoilers (which I know you won’t) tell me about this book.

Nancy:  Hunter of Shadows is the fifth book of my dark paranormal By Moonlight shape-shifter series. The first four By Moonlight books followed the same couple; shape-shifting mob enforcer Max Savoie and NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie. Subsequent books, beginning with Hunter of Shadows, will expand that preternatural world with new main couples. Hunter of Shadows features Silas MacCreedy, an undercover NOPD detective with his own agenda to restore his family’s place in the Shifter hierarchy, and assassin Nica Fraser who is determined to get in his way both professionally and intimately. “Sparks fly immediately. Vivid writing, intriguing plot twists, and a satisfying ending will have readers coming back to Gideon’s magical NOLA,” says Publishers Weekly in their review. Hunter of Shadows will continue the underlying storylines and contain the regular characters that inhabit the By Moonlight world.

Diane:  Great review! I’m curious. What is the appeal of shape-shifters?

Nancy:  They are the ultimate Alpha Male:  Powerful, aggressive, protective, dangerous, yet loyal and, well, sexy! Not to be confused with werewolves, in my By Moonlight world, Shifters control the degree of their transformation and are completely aware of their actions.

Diane:  You’ve written over 50 books. How did you get started writing?

Nancy:  Back when dinosaurs roamed . . . well, back before computers, anyway, I always had a story begging me to find pencil and notepaper. I’ve always written, because I couldn’t NOT write. I was a stay-at-home mom who’d finished four romance novels and finally got up the courage to submit one to publishers I’d found in an old copy of Fiction Writers Market. I was so ignorant of the entire process (remember, this was before online writers groups!) and so isolated from everything but the local bookstore and library, it’s amazing I sold. But I did, on the second submission, and have continued to, in areas from historicals and contemporary suspense to paranormal and horror screenplays, right up to my latest negotiation which is currently in the works.

Diane:  How do you keep coming up with new ideas?

Nancy:  Ideas aren’t the problem—time is. I’ve always got several book plots, or even entire series, cooking on the back burner (I’m a compulsive plotter!), but working full time for going on 12 years limits the number of hours I can devote to developing them. Ideas are everywhere—in music, in TV shows, walking down the street, on Twitter and Facebook—you just have to know where to look and how to see them.

Diane:  I totally understand that. Too many stories, too little time. With that in mind, what inspired you to write Hunter of Shadows?

Nancy:  When I was contracting for books 4-6, Pocket wanted to expand beyond the initial concept with Max and Cee Cee, so I reworked the already written book four, Bound By Moonlight, to wrap a lot of their story arc. Then I needed a strong hero and heroine to move the plot lines forward. I needed characters that were involved in the NOLA world, and could interact easily with the characters already established there, but none of my existing secondaries were quite right. So, I brought in outsiders, two new characters briefly introduced in Book 4, and then built upon their mysterious ties to the Shifter clan in New Orleans. And I really enjoyed them!

Diane:  Speaking of characters, which of your characters is most like you?

Nancy:  I think we always tend to write characters than embody traits we admire or would like to have (if we don’t already). I could never have a TSTL (To Stupid To Life) main character, though they do serve a purpose in minor roles. All my characters are strong willed, smart, self-sufficient, but not without quirks and insecurities. Sound like anyone you know?

Diane:  Yes, indeedy. On that note, which of your characters do you wish you were more like?

Nancy:  The ones who are secure in their happily-ever-after. And the rich ones . . . with long legs who can wear stilettos!

Diane: LOL. Don’t we all wish. Why have you set so many novels in New Orleans?

Nancy:  It’s my favorite city, and the perfect setting for everything paranormal. So many facets of the culture, the mythos, the architecture, and even the atmosphere lend themselves to an eerie and sultry backdrop. Doing research there was not what I’d call a chore.

Diane:  Of all the cities in which your books take place where would you like to live?

Nancy:  I’d like a house at Lake Tahoe and a condo in the French Quarter, then I’d never have to leave home to research either my westerns or my paranormals. And I’d never be lacking for company. Both are breathtakingly unique.

Diane:  You’re right about company. I’ll be first in line for an invite. You have a non-fiction series out, also. I’ve read the first two installments of Getting It Out There: PR and Social Media for Writers and found them very helpful. How did the concept come about?

Nancy:  Getting It Out There started as a serialized e-book series with a different social media focus coming out each month. It sounded soooo fun and timely. But I quickly realized how much time it consumed. What I’d planned to do in a couple of weekends sucked up the entire month for research and outlining and extra content. Then buyers balked at the short page length even when we lowered the price. The first two installments on Branding and Budgeting Time and Money are available on Amazon and all other e-outlets and, I think, are well worth the investment. Currently Wise Words and I are reconceptualizing the project for a new type of release.

Diane:  What’s up next for Nancy Gideon?

Nancy:  I’m in the middle of contract negotiations with Pocket for two more books. I’m also aggressively pursuing the rights to my backlist. So hopefully, 2012 will be a busy, busy year. Seeker of Shadows, By Moonlight Book 6, is slated for release on June 26, 2012.

Diane:  I’ll be sure to look for it. How can readers learn more about you and your books?

Nancy:  For information, check out my website at: http://nancygideon.com. For fun, go to my blog at: http://nancygideon.blogspot.com/

Diane:  Thanks so much for stopping by. I’d best let you get back to your writing. And I’ll get back to Hunter of Shadows. Trust me, folks, like all of Nancy’s stories, this one is hot.

3 comments:

  1. Great interview, involving two of my favorite people! Rock on, Diane and Nancy!

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  2. Very quick and fun read, ladies. And, both of you, keep up the good work!

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  3. Thanks, Pat & Margo. Your comments are appreciated.

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