Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Interview with Cynthia Eden, author of HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT

Welcome back to our Author Interview series! Wow, it's been a few weeks--are you thirsty for the dish on new authors, or craving the thrill of maybe winning a free book? (Hint: the correct answer starts with a "y.")

Today we have Cynthia Eden, whose paranormal romance suspense novel, Hotter After Midnight (Kensington), comes out today. Simply Romance Reviews gave it an A+ (an A+!!) and called it, "witty, suspenseful and steamy enough to fog up your windows." It features an empathic psychologist whose patient roster is made up of Others (vampires, demons, etc.); and a detective who's a Shifter, a being who can transform from a human into an animal.

Because she's twice as sweet as any other author, Cynthia will be giving away two prizes today, to two different commenters. A signed copy of Hotter Than Midnight, of course, and a signed copy of When He Was Bad, an anthology she shares with Shelley Laurenston. When He Was Bad doesn't even come out until May 27, so you can get a braggably early copy.

Q. At last count, you write for three different publishers: Kensington, Avon, and Red Sage. What's your secret to juggling all your deadlines and other obligations? Did you secretly clone yourself?

Cynthia: Oh, a clone would be awesome! I could get her to do all the housework. J Right now, things are pretty easy for me. The primary writing obligations that I have are for Kensington Brava. I was recently offered another three-book contract from them, so they’re keeping me busy for the time being. (And I love to be kept busy.) I will have another release from Red Sage later this year—and I’m really looking forward to that Secrets anthology.

For my writing schedule, I stick to my ten pages a day rule. Writing ten pages generally allows me to finish up a novel rough draft in about 40 days—then I can take a few weeks for re-reading and editing.

You recently gave a workshop at a writer's conference on "Keeping the 'Normal' in Your Paranormal Story." Care to share with us a tip or two on giving human flaws to non-human characters?

This was my first workshop, and I had a blast! Here’s a bit about redeeming the anti-hero in paranormal romances:

Redeeming the anti-hero. When the villain becomes the hero, you have to explain his past actions. Why did the vampire go on a brutal feeding spree? Was the transformation into a vampire so painful that he had no choice? You should help the reader understand his actions. Forgive them, to a certain extent. Readers won’t love a hero who is evil—show the goodness and the struggle, or the reasons for the dark behavior—and the readers will feel that sympathy and understanding for the anti-hero.

(If anyone is interested, I posted my workshop handouts on my website. Feel free to visit for all the tips you want!)

On your bio, you list Dracula, Lois Lane, Buffy and Wolverine as four of your favorite fictional characters. Which two would you like to see fight in a cage match? Who would win?

Dracula and Wolverine. I’d pay big money to see that one. And, as much as I love Dracula, in the end, I’m pretty sure Wolverine would take him down.

If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?

Dr. Emily Drake from Hotter After Midnight. She’d be an easy choice for me. J I feel like Emily has an advantage in the paranormal world—since her empathic powers let her pick up on the feelings of the Other, she’s generally a step ahead of most paranormal beings. I’d sure like to be a step ahead.

Conversely, which of your characters would you most like to bring to life in our world (maybe as a best friend or much, much more ;-) ?

Another fast answer for me: Cain Lawson from “Wicked Ways” (in When He Was Bad). Sexy, protective, and loyal to the core—to me, he’s perfect hero material and I’d love to see him in the real world.

Same two questions, but use examples from another author's work (including television/movies/theatre)?

I’d love to be Buffy. Come on—she was strong, tough, and she had some fantastic friends. (Well, she did when Willow wasn’t going all evil on her.) And she also had the perk that was Spike. How could I not want to deal with the world as Buffy?

Now, if I had the chance to bring one character to life…I’d choose Brendan Fraser’s character (Rick O’Connell) from the Mummy movies. The guy was a fabulous hero—and he was always up for a little adventure.

Which author, living or dead, would you most love to collaborate with?

Edgar Allan Poe. I loved that man’s writing. I became hooked after "The Tell-Tale Heart. " Oh, but that beating of the old man’s heart. Late at night, I could almost hear that thumping. Because Poe was that good—his stories snuck under my skin and stayed with me for days after I’d read them.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the publishing industry, what would it be?

I’d create much, much faster response times. I hate waiting to hear back on a submission! Sure, generally, I’m a patient gal, but when it comes to my story—the patience disappears, fast.

What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?

Oh, yes, I remember this one…during mating, jaguars in the wild “can copulate up to 100 times a day.” Did you know that? I didn’t, until I started researching jaguars for my novella in When He Was Bad. Busy animals, those jaguars.

What's your earliest memory?

I remember my father carrying me outside of my house in the middle of Hurricane Fredrick. I was bundled in a blanket so the pelting rain wouldn’t hurt me. (Okay, in the interest of total honesty—not really the middle of the hurricane, but right before the storm came ashore.) My parents had decided we’d better had to my grandmother’s for better protection. My first storm, but certainly not the last. The howl of the wind has become a familiar sound for me.

Do you have any phobias?

I’m terrified of snakes. Terrified! Yet I’m also curiously drawn to them. If I have the opportunity to watch them on TV—yes, I’ll sit for hours watching. I’ll pet them at zoos. But, let me see one in the wild (AKA my backyard) and you’ll see a woman scream with a fury to rival Jamie Lee Curtis.

My husband hates when people use the word 'barometer' to mean 'measure.' Which word usage faux pas drives you berserkest?

Oh, I don’t usually go too berserk. I love it when folks misuse words—I write down those “mistakes” and use them later in books to make my characters seem a little more authentic.

Let's say there's a TV show, movie, or recording artist that has a cult of you. Which is it? (i.e., what do you like that no one else you know likes)?

Okay, this is sad but…I loved the movie The Scorpion King. I know, I know—it was cheesy as all hell—but I am a fan of the cheese. And of the Rock.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Take my son to the beach and build sandcastles. Around lunch time, we’d break for a chocolate ice cream treat (hmm—probably not sounding like the healthiest mother, huh?), and then we’d head back for kite-flying and wave-watching.

If you could ask your favorite author one question and they had to answer honestly, what would it be?

I’d ask Jayne Ann Krentz a question. Ms. Krentz, I’m dying to know…where did you get the inspiration for Shield’s Lady? (I love that book. She wrote it as Amanda Glass and I almost missed that story because of the name change.)

If you could write in a totally different genre than your current one, which would you choose?

Romantic suspense. Okay, that might not be “totally different” since my Kensington stories are pretty much paranormal suspense, but I do think I’d like to eventually try my hand at straight romantic suspense. And maybe even historicals. Back in the day…I taught history and I’ve always been tempted by that romance sub-genre.

What are you working on now, and what new releases can we expect to see from you down the road?

Right now, I’m working on another novel for Kensington—this one is about a demon, Niol. (Readers will be introduced to him in Hotter After Midnight). This is the last story in my “Midnight” series and then I’ll start on a new paranormal series—one about paranormal bounty hunters.

If you could tell a stranger just one thing about HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT (other than what it's about--no cheating by quoting synopses or back cover blurbs), what would it be?

Have you gotten your quota of psychics, wolf shifters, demons and vampires for the month? If you haven’t, then you should check out the world of the Monster Doctor (Dr. Emily Drake) in HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT.

(I realize the stranger in question would probably look at me like I was a crazy woman, but that’s okay.)

* * * *

Give Cynthia a comment or a question, or tell us which animal you wish you could "shift" into, down there in the comments before 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 5. I'll draw a name and announce the winner next Tuesday morning.

If you don't have a Blogger account, just sign in as anonymous and leave your name at the bottom of your comment so I can call your name.

***I recommend against putting your e-mail in the comments, since that brings on spam. HOWEVER, if you don't leave a way for me to find you, you must stay subscribed to the comments or come back next Tuesday to see if you won.***

Good luck!

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28 Comments:

I would love to win a copy of Hotter After Midnight. I've been looking forward to it being released. I love Cynthia's books. When I first read one of her books, I wasn't sure if I would like the genre..but I Love it! Thanks for the giveaway. I'm glad I found your blog :)

Posted by: Blogger nicki72182 at 4/29/2008 12:05 PM

What a fabulous interview, Cynthia and Jeri. I am a huge fan of paranormal/suspense romances, and can never get enough of psychics, wolf shifters, demons and vampires, lol. As for shifters, I'm always torn between the power and grace of a leopard and the freedom of an eagle.

Thanks for the great contest, I have both of these titles on my wish list and would love to win either one of them.

Posted by: Blogger Cathy at 4/29/2008 12:24 PM

Great interview, I'd love to get either one, both on my wishlist. I already like Cynthia's writing, then anything paranormal with pyschics always has me looking. Think I'd want to shift to a bird, soaring free high above, seeing everything for miles around, swoop on down quick wherever I want.

Cynthia, Shield's Lady is one of my favorite books - good thing I found out she wrote it as Amanda Glass as that's how I was able to find and get it several years ago.

Posted by: Blogger Pam P at 4/29/2008 12:51 PM

Hi Cynthia and Jeri,

Great interview! I have this book on TBR list, and I am looking forward to trying your books. Count me in for the giveaway. Congrats again on your new release, Cynthia. :)

Posted by: Blogger acdaisy95 at 4/29/2008 1:15 PM

Cynthia,

Working with Poe would be so interesting. I love that after all these years his works are still scary. In a world of Saw and The Hills Have Eyes, the old stuff still has it and without the sheer gore quotient.

Great interview!
Katie

Posted by: Blogger Katie at 4/29/2008 1:17 PM

Great interview, Jeri, if you're looking for a interviewee in November...

And BTW Cynthia, Wolverine and Dracula DID have a showdown in the comics. Why do I know this? Slinks off to her fangirl corner...

Posted by: OpenID ajmenden at 4/29/2008 1:22 PM

Hi, Jeri! Thank you so much for interviewing me! :-)

Nicki, I am so glad you enjoy my stories--and I sure hope you like Hotter After Midnight, too!

Hi, Cathy! Wow--now you've just listed one shifter that I haven't considered before--the eagle. Very interesting.

Pam--it sounds like you and Cathy are thinking alike with the shifters. :-) Flying high above the busy streets sure does sound appealing. And I'm glad you like Shield's Lady, too--that is such a classic in my mind. (Pam--thank you also for the kind compliment on my writing!)

Thank you for the congrats, ACDaisy! Whenever I hear that I'm on someone's TBR, I can't help it--that just makes me excited!!

Oh, Katie, that's why I love Poe so much! I have a collection of all his works and I pull it out when the mood strikes. The man can chill me.

Hi, ajmenden! What? They had a face-off?! I've got to find that comic!

Thank you for the comments!

Posted by: Blogger Cynthia Eden at 4/29/2008 1:47 PM

I love Edgar Allen Poe too! I'll have to check out her books now that I know she has great taste in authors. :)

Posted by: Blogger Jackie at 4/29/2008 2:03 PM

Hey Jeri & Cynthia! I loved the interview, Jeri you rock at this! I haven't read any of Cynthia's book yet but they are definetly on my list of must haves! They have everything and it sounds like they keep you on the edge of your seat, turning pages as fast as you can read! Awesome! Paranormal is my fave thing to read and as too what I would want to be; well a Dragon or a Panther would be me!
I would love to be chosen as a lucky winner! Have a Blessed day!

Chris
(from myspace)

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 4/29/2008 2:06 PM

I love when the villain becomes the hero! I've always cheered for the bad guy - it's not that they're bad, they're just misunderstood. ;)

Congrats on your new release!

Posted by: Blogger Wendy at 4/29/2008 2:24 PM

What a wonderful interview! I do so enjoy these interviews. One day I hope when (and if ) I get my book published, you would be so kind to interview me.....

About shifting. I'm native american and I am from the Bear clan, so I would just love to shift into a bear and just sit care free under a tree or perhaps scratch my back......or maybe go hunting for some fish or scare some campers. That would definately be me.

Cynthia, I would love to read your book! So sign me up for the contest!

Posted by: OpenID sweetbutnotsour9 at 4/29/2008 2:29 PM

you have a splendid humor, I especially love your Scorpion King answer :D I, too, am I fan of the Rock, and cheese. ;D

Question, if you could bring upon any type of mystical creature to come into existence, which would it be?

My answer to your animal question, I'd be a phoenix, [yeah, mythical, but hey, I can wish!] because they are constantly growing, and even though they burn at the end and get reborn, I'm sure they live each 'life' as if it was there last, learning something new each time, and living each day as if it was their last and its full of utter beauty <3

thanks for reading :)

-April, my myspace is
www. myspace. com/labelmemiku
[minus all the spaces]
enjoy picking winners! :)

Posted by: Anonymous Anonymous at 4/29/2008 2:44 PM

I received a Arc of When He Was Bad from you and totally loved it. Everybody needs to go out and get this one when it comes out. Looking forward to Hotter After Midnight. If I could shift into something it would be a panther, I think they are beautiful creatures. Enjoyed seeing you here today and congrats on the release!

Posted by: Blogger tetewa at 4/29/2008 4:04 PM

Great interview. It isn't too hard to pick an animal. I would be a panther.
Love cats. Love the Star Trek episode starring Terri Garr and a feline rival.

Both books sound great. I love stories about empaths.

Posted by: Blogger flip at 4/29/2008 5:53 PM

What a nice review to read now that I finally have full access to the 'net again . . .

Er, if I could shift, I'd like to turn into a tree frog. It doesn't seem very interesting at first, but there's the allure of being both cute and poisonous.

Posted by: Blogger Liviania at 4/29/2008 8:45 PM

Such a great interview! I'm new to Cynthia's books but I'm excited to get started.

As for shifting...I'd pick either a panther or, more likely, an owl - I love the idea of being out and about at night, seeing and flying above it all...

Posted by: Blogger Carolynn at 4/29/2008 8:56 PM

Cindy, great interview! I'm not surprised you're a Buffy fangirl. And I'm jealous of you for sticking to your 10 page a day schedule. I must get on a schedule too.

I'm really looking forward to your book. As soon as I go to the bookstore, I'm snapping it up.

Posted by: Blogger Edie at 4/29/2008 9:36 PM

Great interview! I'm very intrigued by this book, and especially by the idea of a "monster doctor," probably because I once wrote about a "vampire doctor" in a story that will never see the light of day. . .
As far as shifting, I'd like to be able to shift into a sea otter, because I love the ocean, and they seem to have the most fun.

Posted by: Blogger Kimberly B. at 4/29/2008 10:25 PM

I would love to win me a signed copy of this. Even though my shipped from amazon today lol. Loved shield's lady and didn't she have another book Crystal Fire. If I am thinking right that one was good too.

Posted by: Blogger Pamk at 4/29/2008 11:11 PM

Great interview! Hope I win the book cos it sounds hot! ;) Apparently, I'm like Cathy :P (Great minds, Cathy!)
I'd love to shift into either an eagle (cos I'd love to fly and they're sharp) or a kitten (cos they're adorable and well-pampered). Could I just be a kitten with wings?! :P

Posted by: Blogger Bunny B at 4/30/2008 3:15 AM

Congratulations on your new releases. Both of these books are on my wish list. And I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your future series with paranormal bounty hunters.
What animal would I like to be able to shift into? I think I'd like to be able to turn into a wolf. A bird would be tempting too though.

Posted by: Blogger LadyVampire2u at 4/30/2008 5:51 AM

Hi, Jackie! Isn't Poe fabulous? I could read his tales for hours!

And hi, Chris! You've just mentioned one of my favorite shifters--the dragon. I do so love dragons.

Wendy, I'm so glad you like the villain/heroes, too! I'm working on one of those stories right now.

Sweetbutnotsour9--Jeri is fantastic at interviewing, isn't she? I loved her questions. I think a bear would be a great shifter--so much power.

April, your phoenix answer is the same one that my husband said! He loves the phoenix and I'll agree--sure is a magical creature.

Posted by: Blogger Cynthia Eden at 4/30/2008 9:54 AM

Thank you, tetewa! So glad you enjoyed When He Was Bad! :-)

Hi, flip! Ah, an empath lover! I think empaths can add so much depth (and new conflict) to a story.

Liviania--I love your answer.

Hi, Carolynn! I saw an owl in my backyard yesterday--absolutely beautiful.

Thank you, Edie! But, I must confess--I didn't make ten pages yesterday. Too distracted by the idea of my book being on the shelves. Today, though, I'm planning to get back in that groove!

Hi, Kimberly! Oh, bring that story to life! I'd love to read about a vampire doctor!

PamK--you're right! She did write Crystal Fire (or maybe it was Crystal Flame--sorry, I can't remember the exact title), and I loved that one, too. That lady is so creative. I love her worlds.

Bunny, a kitten with wings sounds like a good choice to me. :-)

Thank you, ladyvampire! I'm plotting out the paranormal bounty hunter series now. They'll be in the "same" world that my other Kensington books use, so my set-up is already in place.

Thank you all for the comments!

And, Jeri--thanks again for interviewing me!

Posted by: Blogger Cynthia Eden at 4/30/2008 10:03 AM

Great interview. Hotter After Midnight sounds great. If I were a shapeshifter I would want to be one of the big cats: tiger, jaguar, cougar.

Posted by: Blogger CrystalGB at 4/30/2008 3:36 PM

Hi Cynthia and Jeri~

Great interview. Hotter After Midnight looks wonderful and I love this cover.

Very interesting jaguar fact and let me say...I am very thankful that my daughter did not run across this fact when she was doing research for her jaguar project that we just finished. I do not think that I would like to have to explain first to a room full of fifth graders what this means...and then to have to try and explain this to the kindergarten class that they presented their reports to. Thank Heaven for small favors.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
Lori

Posted by: Blogger Lori T at 5/01/2008 12:34 AM

Brilliant interview! I have to say that I am interested in your book. Sounds lika alot of fun and my jaw dropped at teh mention of jaguars and hundred times. wow!

If I were a shapeshifter I would go either as an anaconda or as an owl.

Posted by: Blogger daydream at 5/01/2008 4:12 AM

Thanks for the great interview, Cathy! Here are the winners, which I'll also announce in tomorrow's blog post.

HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT: Cathy!

WHEN HE WAS BAD: Jackie!

Congrats to both of you. Please send your mailing address to jeri AT jerismithready DOT com, and I'll pass it on to Cynthia so you can receive your signed books. Thanks so much for commenting, everyone!

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 5/05/2008 8:57 PM

I mean, thanks for the great interview, *Cynthia*, not Cathy. Geez, you think I need more sleep?

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 5/05/2008 8:58 PM

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