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.***
Labels: Contests, guests, reading