We welcome author Nancy Gideon to the blog!
Michigan author Nancy Gideon’s writing career is as versatile as the romance market, itself. Her books encompass genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal. Also listed on the International Movie Database (IMDB), she collaborated on the indie horror films In the Woods and Savage with screenwriting and ADR script credits, and even played the character “Bar Extra.”
The mother of two grown sons, one married and proud producer of her grandson and the other shanghaied into being her assistant, she also works full time for the law firm, Redmond, Redmond & Yokom.
A prolific writer, Gideon 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 scheduling writing time around diaper changes, Scout meetings, band lessons and outings to the Zoo Boo . . . and, of course, 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.
R: Welcome to my hotseat, Nancy! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Thanks Rocco! I’m the author of over 54 novels ranging from historicals and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormals, with a couple of horror screenplays thrown into the mix. Before I became a writer, I was an avid tale spinner who looked forward to those story problems on tests. The publishing bug hit me in fifth grade when I saw my name in print for the first time on a fractured fairytale in the school newspaper. I’d always written bits and pieces of books but never got serious about the page one to page end until I was a stay-at-home mom who wrote in long hand in notebooks while my boys were in the sandbox. I write because I can’t NOT write, and now share my keyboard time with my 9-to-5 as a legal assistant.
R: Tell us about your Moonlight shape shifter series. How did that come about?
The “By Moonlight” world is set in the shadows of New Orleans where a secretive clan of Shape-shifters struggles to survive under the nose of a city that doesn’t know they exist. The first four “Moonlight” books follow tough and determined NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie and her preternatural lover Max Savoie, who has inherited a criminal empire and is thought to be the prophesied savior of their species, as they try to align their very different lives. The next four “Shadows” books spin off with new couples within that same web of intrigues and unknowns. The series started out as one book written for a short paranormal line, and before I knew it had become three long novels that were purchased by a totally different publisher.
R: Was anyone in particular your inspiration for Cale Terriot?
I’m thinking Jeremy Renner. He’s got that strutty firecracker intensity all wrapped up in a hot package. I like ‘em thuggish.
R: Out of all your characters, do you have a favorite?
I’m always involved with the characters of the book I’m currently writing, but two of my heroes stand out for me. One is Harmon Bass, the half-Apache tracker from my Dana Ransom historical series I wrote for Zebra and the other is Max Savoie, the shape-shifter enigma from my “By Moonlight” series. They were so much fun to work with because, although very different, they were dark, tortured, complex and unpredictable. And I like that about a hero. Cale Terriot from my new release is right up there with them. His character wouldn’t leave me alone until I started writing what I thought was a short scene that ended up being 150 pages—in the middle of the book! I had an awful time letting him go when the manuscript was turned in.
R: Tell us a bit about your latest release
Foremost, PRINCE OF SHADOWS is a bit of a game changer. It moves the series’ action from New Orleans to Lake Tahoe to focus on the brutally dangerous Terriots who are struggling to strengthen their clan in preparation for war. Their threatening presence debuted in HUNTER OF SHADOWS and was upped in BETRAYED BY SHADOWS as they made an aggressive move against the New Orleans clan and especially the MacCreedy family. Kendra Terriot has negotiated a truce for the lives of her MacCreedy cousins but those stakes have just been raised, forcing her to make a terrifying choice to secure their safety and her own. My hero and heroine are star-crossed lovers separated by a dark history and are now caught in a dangerous arrangement to unite their clan while healing their own hearts. Here’s the blurb:
PRINCE OF SHADOWS / Pocket Star E-Exclusive / 5-27-13
Others Controlled Her Fate
A gentle female held hostage in a deadly play for power, Kendra Terriot’s only means of survival for herself and her family is to play to a careful courtship game. The one she chooses from her clan’s dangerous heirs will inherit the coveted crown, keeping her their prisoner forever . . . unless she can retain her virtue until rescue arrives.
The Past Destroyed His Dreams
Favored son of their brutal Shifter leader, the only calm in Cale Terriot’s violent world is a childhood love for his delicate distant cousin whom he’s pledged to make his queen. With Kendra at his side, he knows he can become the kind of ruler his clan needs, but first he must learn how to become the kind of mate she desires.
A Choice Would Determine Their Future
In a treacherous race for control, where weakness means death, Cale must prove he’s not the beast his beauty fears and still protect her, especially once her unrequited love returns to free her. The only way to win her respect could mean surrendering his throne. The only way to win her heart could mean letting her go . . . even if she no longer wants to be saved.
R: You’ve collaborated on indie horror films. Tell us a bit about that experience and how it differs from your novel writing.
A local book store recommended me, because of my vampire romance series, to an Indie film maker looking for someone to write a novelization for his horror film “In the Woods.” I’m a movie junkie and was THRILLED to get up close and personal to that industry! Writing the novelization was unique because I was building off someone else’s ideas and words but I did get to add some of my own touches. After that project, I collaborated with the same group on several screenplays, with one, again building off what they had, and on another, taking just bare bones ideas and running with it. Since I write the first draft of my books as if I’m watching a film in tight action/dialogue style, the jump to screenplays was surprisingly fun and easy. The hard part was leaving the motivations and introspections to the director and actor! Everything about the experience was great – being on the movie set as “Bar Extra,” getting movie credits as actor, ADR script and screenwriter – as especially hearing words I’d written spoken on film! It certainly upped my cred with my sons’ friends.
R: Do you have a “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
I sold my first book on my own and looking back now, it was nothing short of a miracle. I was SO ignorant about the business of writing and had no contact with other authors or industry professionals. That Call was initially answered by my two-year-old son who was sure it was my mom and he wouldn’t give me the phone. When I wrestled it from him, he started screaming like he was being murdered. And on the other end I hear this calm voice saying, “This is Carin Ritter at Zebra Books and I’m calling to make an offer on Sweet Tempest.” I asked her to call back because I had to go shut my son in his room. After I hung up, I was certain I’d never hear from her again. We actually worked on projects together for years.
Agents are a bit of a Catch-22 – It’s hard getting an editor without an agent but an agent isn’t always interested unless you have an editor. I sold my first six books on my own then worked with agents on and off for the next two decades (yes, I’ve been around THAT long!). Even when I had publishers interested in the “By Moonlight” series, I was having a terrible time finding an agent. Finally I sold the first three books on my own. When contract time came up again, I met with my editor at a party in New York and asked what agents she liked working with. Before I had a chance to track any of them down, my current agent, who was on her list, found ME. I guess my editor dropped the hint that I was looking . . . that was easy!
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
Coffee from my Keurig! Two cups to get me from 5:00 a.m. to when I have to leave for work at 8:00. Music fuels my creativity – but not while I’m writing! I always have a particular type of music that becomes the soundtrack for my work-in-progress to keep the juices flowing while I’m driving or taking Vitamin-D therapy on my balcony. It can be anything from Classic rock, opera, techno, Cajun accordion, or swing, to the heavy metal and AC/DC for my new release.
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
To when that man hung the first paper towel dispenser in the ladies room so that when you reach way up for them, the water runs down your arms. I’d slap him and say, “What are you thinking?”
R: If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?
I’ve had readers say they’d love to see the Moonlight series on screens big or small. When I wrote the first four “By Moonlight” books, I always pictured Clive Owen and Rosario Dawson from their roles in “Sin City” but everyone has their own ideas when reading, which is what makes it personal and engrossing.
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I used to be such an introvert that when I was in school just the thought of going up to the front of the class to turn in a paper would have me hyperventilating. I got over it . . . mostly.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Thinking I could walk from the Pocket author party back to the hotel in heels in the wee hours of the night while in NYC. It was only eight blocks . . .
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
Enjoyment! I love to get lost in a book to the point that I’m thinking about what the characters might be doing when I can’t get between the pages. I want my world to suck them in, play with their emotions, and not let go until that last page. And then I want them to want more.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day?
I’m an early bird! I’m at the keyboard at 5:00 a.m. to get in some writing time before going into my 9-to-5 as a legal assistant.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)
I love ALL things fur, fin and feather but I can’t have a dog at my apartment, so for now, cat it is.
Beach or Pool?
Poolside. Oh, cabana boy! My refill, please.
Steak or salad?
I’m a carnivore. Make it medium rare.
Bud Lite Lime on those occasions that call for it.
Stephen King’s The Stand. Taught me loads about characterization and tension. And anything by Dean Koontz.
Favorite TV Series?
Justified and Walking Dead
L.A. Confidential. How could you not love Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey and a very young Simon Baker all wrapped up in one twisty turny thriller.
Depends on what book I’m writing.
Toss-up between Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada?
If you like Pina Coladas . . . It’s all about the beach.
Hawaii or Alaska?
I’ve always wanted to do a Hawaiian cruise!
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present—it would be Pavlov. Just feed the dog, already!
If I had just one wish, it would be—a quick and permanent cure for cancer. It’s messed with enough of my friends and family.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be . . . No, thank you. I’m not into that swapping thing. Other people’s moccasins are too narrow for my wide feet.
R: Where can readers find out more about you?
Thanks Rocco and Toni for such a fun and informative Q&A!!
R: Thank you, Nancy!
the winner of our Gena Showalter/Kait Ballenger giveaway is: Beautiful Disaster! Congrats!
the winner of our Gena Showalter/Kait Ballenger giveaway is: Beautiful Disaster! Congrats!
June 28: : Juliet Blackwell returns!
Coming in July: Victoria Laurie, Ellen Byrumm, Kate Collins and...our KNTR fundraiser!