Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview with Nancy Gideon

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Nancy Gideon. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called MASKED BY MOONLIGHT. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

A: MASKED BY MOONLIGHT is the first book in a six book (so far!) dark paranormal shape-shifter series for Pocket Books. It’s unique in that the first four books follow the romance and adventures of Max Savoie, the deliciously dangerous shape-shifting right hand man of the crime boss our heroine Detective Charlotte Caissie is determined to convict for the murder of her father. Things get complicated when Cee Cee’s plan to use Max to get close to her enemy are tangled up by their inexplicable attraction to one another, and by a shadowy clan of shape-shifters who believe Max is their prophesied leader.
Publishers Weekly gave MASKED BY MOONLIGHT a starred review, saying, “Intriguing characters and zippy action. Gideon deftly avoids writing herself into corners and masters the tension required to keep her complex and engaging story moving."
To summarize the series: Romeo & Juliet meets Beauty and the Beast in the Big Easy. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

MASKED BY MOONLIGHT is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

A: Pocket wanted linked titles for the series and I thought BY MOONLIGHT would allude nicely to shape-shifter mythos. MASKED for the first book refers to the guise of humanity the Max wears. CHASED and CAPTURED follow on books two and three. I haven’t decided on four through six yet.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

A: I love the paranormal genre! I enjoy making the impossible believable and writing without boundaries to the limit of the imagination. The heroes are larger-than-life, the heroines tough yet vulnerable, with romance, action, adventure, fantasy and even hints of horror and suspense thrown in. I was hooked with the first book of my MIDNIGHT vampire romance series back in the 90s. What’s not to like?

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

A: I’d wanted to write a werewolf book even before I started with my vampire series. In fact, the prologue for MASKED BY MOONLIGHT dates back to that first attempt that shall remain unpublished. When Silhouette created their Nocturne line, my editor for their romantic suspense line encouraged me to try my hand at a paranormal, so I dug up that old werewolf tale and updated it into the new millennium. My editor LOVED every word of the prologue but wanted an entirely new story: new plot, new characters, everything! So I started Chapter One with my kick butt police detective Charlotte Caissie at the crime scene and started writing and writing and writing. In five days, I had over seven chapters and had to rein myself back to get the synopsis written to submit with the first three chapters. By the time Silhouette called to offer to buy it, I’d written THREE whole books! Once the story started rolling, it unfolded like a movie and before long, I realized I had much much more going on than could be told in just one book. Unlike anything else I’ve ever written, I never worked off an outline, never had a plan. It was all imagination to keyboard. I wish they all wrote themselves so easily. Long story short, the final product was waaaay too mainstream for Silhouette and I couldn’t compromise to make the changes they wanted, but it was juuuuust right for Pocket.

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

A: For this series, I was hands on. I’d been to New Orleans several times but always for conferences, so research time was limited. This year, two writer pals and I got a condo in the Quarter for a week and explored everything from Tarot readings on the Square to airboat swamp rides and haunted cemetery tours. We walked, talked, ate, drink and breathed the Big Easy for details you just can’t find research books. Like the smells (both good and bad) and the feel of the air on your skin or the sounds along Decatur Street. It was a fabulous experience in my favorite city.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

A: Max Savoie! I can’t resist a dark, dangerous, sexy, tormented hero with baggage, and he’s all of those things in spades. He was fun to write because his character would do such unexpected things: be suddenly vulnerable, ferociously loyal or be heartbreakingly humbled by his love for the heroine. I could write dozens of books about Max, but will settle for four…for the time being.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

A: The characters have to be products of their real and fantasy worlds. I’m a stickler for making things believable and consistent. I wanted them hugely heroic but also fragile and flawed, brave yet with weaknesses that can cripple them, and they have to have secrets, the darker the better. Usually I develop character sheets to show Goal, Motivation and Conflict, but Max and Charlotte burst onto the scene already so complex and rich with backgrounds and emotions, I just let them run with it. Kinda nice to let them do all the work for a change. Visiting New Orleans enabled me to steep them in the culture and setting and give them depth.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

A: The Shifter world was unique in that it developed as Max discovers who and what he is. Found in the swamps as a child by his mob boss mentor, he’s unaware that there are more of his kind, and doesn’t realize the extent of his own abilities. Of course, now that I’m in Book Four, I have a hierarchy, a mythology and all sorts of rules and regs to go by. I’m looking forward to getting those extras posted on my website. Believable and consistent—then you can do anything!
Do you have any authors that inspired you?

A: So many! I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from Heinlein’s Sci-fi, John Jakes’s sagas, Woodiweis’s ground breaking historicals, to even my dad’s manly man westerns. J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Dean Koontz, Kresley Cole and Lisa Gardner are my “always waiting for their next release” authors.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

A: I conquered my fear of technology (well, I’m inching toward it!) by designing an ubber website with critiquer/cover artist/friend Patricia Lazarus ( and waded into social media waters with Facebook and blogging. The website took a bite out of my credit card but the online promo is as limitless as your time allows. I’ve had an unexpectedly fun time exploring all the new avenues.

What do we have to look forward next?

A: My publisher blessed me with back-to-back-to-back releases (and fabulous covers!). MASKED BY MOONLIGHT came out May 25, 2010. CHASED BY MOONLIGHT follows on June 29, 2010 and CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT on July 27, 2010. It’ll be a bit longer wait for the next three books. They’ll be out in 2011/2012. Book Four concludes Max and Charlotte’s romance story arc but they’ll continue as strong secondary characters in the next books which will feature new heroes and heroines: some introduced in earlier books and some surprises!

Thanks, Nancy!

To celebrate her book release, Nancy is offering a free book of CHASED BY MOONLIGHT, the second book in her MOONLIGHT series to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

A writer whose over 50 sales since 1987 cover the romance spectrum, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms including Dana Ransom and Rosalyn West, she’s written award-winning category romances, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” and a HOLT Medallion, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant. Her edgy shapeshifter series for Pocket debuts back-to-back-to-back beginning with MASKED BY MOONLIGHT on May 25, 2010.

Check out author’s website at


Anonymous said...

Good morning Nancy. Thanks for joining us today. Your chocolate is ready and on the table for you. Your book sounds delish. Next time you go to New Orleans for research, count me in. I love that town. Have a great day. :)

joder said...

Thanks for being here. I loved your early vamp books and am wondering if you'll write more vampy goodness. I love the sound of the new series and would love to win this.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

liana laverentz said...

Romeo and Juliet meet Beauty and the Beast in the Big Easy...sounds like that covers it all and will be a great book! All the best,

Liana Laverentz

Carolyn Hughey said...

Fifty releases! That's awesome, Nancy, and your latest sounds just as good as the others.

Enjoy that chocolate!

Thanks for sharing.

Shelley Mosley said...

A six book series! Wow, that's wonderful! Congratulations!

Estella said...

Love the sound of this series!

nancygideon said...

Joder, not planning any more in the vamp series but....never say never.

Kim, thanks for hosting me! It was great fun.