Friday, 19 August 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with NANCY HADDOCK

LIGHT PARANORMAL MYSTERY- ROMANCE AUTHOR


Author name: Nancy Haddock

About your family/background, your location:
I’m married, and have four children in a blended family. My older two sons are married, and have two sons each. My youngest son and daughter are single. I was raised in Oklahoma and attended the University of Tulsa for both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist in both private institutions and public school settings in Tulsa and the Dallas area, and also taught general and special subjects in a small private high school in Dallas. Now I reside in gorgeous, historic St. Augustine, Florida – the oldest continuously inhabited city in the US. I adore living here!

How and why did you decide to get published?

I began writing for publication forever ago, but took extended time off here and there to deal with family issues. Moving to St. Augustine re-energized my writing, and I sold my first two books in 2007. La Vida Vampire was published in 2008, Last Vampire Standing in 2009, and the latest, Always The Vampire, was published in May 2011.

What genre do you write? And why?
I write what I call light paranormal mystery-romance. I was working on a cozy mystery when a peanut butter commercial sparked the idea of a “Princess Vampire.” The idea wouldn’t leave me alone, so I ran with it. I’ve had a blast with the characters, and with doing even more research on St. Augustine history and the city’s ghosts. Of course, any excuse to hang out in town works for me!

What other genre interest you?
I adore cozy mysteries, so I continue to work on projects in that genre. Some have a paranormal aspect, some don’t. I’d also love to write Regency. It’s a period and a genre I’ve immersed myself in over and over.

What is the story behind your book?

I misheard a line in a Jif peanut butter commercial and that led to the “Princess Vampire” idea. A lot of “what if…,” thought, and research later and my heroine Cesca had taken shape and taken off on her first adventure. The story behind the new book, specifically, is that Cesca must confront her feelings for her first love but also come to terms with her own powers to defeat the Big Bad. She must accomplish this while keeping up with her maid of honour duties to her best friend.

How do you decide your book cover?
I don’t have much to do with developing my book covers. I supply my editor with a short synopsis, with a list of what the character wears in the books, and any “props” that are important in the books. The fabulous art department gets all the credit for my awesome covers!

Do you think readers decide based on book cover or book title?
This is an excellent question. I’ve had many compliments of the covers, and some readers have said the covers attracted them to the books. However, a cover doesn’t make or break a book for me. I usually read the blurb and the first several pages of a book when I shop. If I’m pulled in – whether by the voice, the humour, or the situation, or whatever grabs me – I buy!

If you write fiction; What’s the source of your inspiration? How much of YOU show up in your writing?
You know, I didn’t know how much of me showed up in my writing until a childhood friend said the voice in my books was totally me. Funny how we sometimes don’t “hear” ourselves. So the voice is me, the sarcastic humour is me, and the even the few pratfalls have me in them. As for inspiration, living in and exploring St. Augustine truly is a huge factor. History and characters who’ve lived and died here combine to make a strong inspiration factor, but the city also seems permeated with creativity.

Use one word/phrase to describe your book:
Fun!

How have you found the writing process?
Sometimes the writing is laborious, sometimes it flows. I do love seeing what my characters are up to each day, and they do surprise me. In the second book, Jo-Jo the Jester proved to be a delightful mix of a comic yet an earnest character.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block?
How did you tackle it? Many years ago, I had such severe writer’s block that I had to stop writing for a while. The culprit was my internal editor who wouldn’t let me write a sentence without changing it. I learned to lock her up for good, and to let first drafts be bad. In the last few years, I also decided to teach myself to paint. I stink at it, but it’s freeing to put swaths of colour on a canvas and not worry what the final result will be. I’ve applied that “swaths of colour” method to writing, and feel freer for it!

Do you have a blog? What do you write about?
I don’t have a blog, and don’t intend to do one at this point. Let’s face it: I’m rather boring. It’s better that I spend time writing fiction than stretching to come up with blog topics.

What books are on your shelf at home?
Oh, goodness, I have SO many! Books by Lorraine Heath, Jo Beverly, Mary Jo Putney, Laura Levine, Mary Stewart, Nancy Atherton. I must have 50 authors on my shelves and more in storage. And those are only a fraction of the authors I regularly read.

Any awards/achievement you want to share?
La Vida Vampire won the PRISM for Best First Book in 2009, and was a finalist and well placed in several other contests.

Who’s your favourite author?
Lorraine Heath is an all-time favourite, and Georgette Heyer’s Regencies sing to me. But I can’t tell you I have one absolute favourite author. I love too many to pick just one.

What are you good at as an individual?
Organizing. Give me your files, your bookshelf, your closet, your kitchen, and I’ll organize like a mad woman. The attraction of organizing for me is that it’s a hands-on task and I get immediate feedback and satisfaction of a job done.

What form of entertainment do you enjoy most and why?
Reading! That’s my favourite form of entertainment! I do watch certain TV shows and enjoy movies – especially classic films – but I don’t have a specific hobby right now.

What are your other interests?
I like to garden when the spirit moves me (and the weather is cool enough), and I still occasionally crochet and needlepoint. Exploring St. Augustine sites and history is always interesting, and I enjoy history period. The Napoleonic and Regency periods of British history are a huge draw for me.

Your favourite pet?
I don’t currently have a pet, but am waiting for the next one to come to me. Cat or dog. Or both. Meantime I enjoy my neighbour’s pets. One of them, a cat named Crystal, inspired a pet character in my second book.

What’s your choice meal/favourite restaurant?
I don’t have a very favourite restaurant, and my tastes change. I do love a good lasagne, and a southern meal of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, a biscuit, and cream gravy is a slice of heaven when it’s done right. I also have a thing for tomato bisque soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. And, oh, my! Don’t get me started on desserts!

What’s your music choice?
I love nearly all music, but I listen to Big Bands, 50s, and 60s music most often. I also listen to jazz and classical, though I don’t have an extensive collection of either. I don’t write to music, though. If it has a beat, I’m chair dancing. If I know the words, I’m singing along. Neither is conducive to my writing process.

Name your favourite city in the world.
Right now it has to be St. Augustine, FL. I’d love to visit England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Greece … among other places. Oh, and Tahiti. I’ve always been drawn to the Polynesian culture.

Name your favourite world leader and why.
I don’t have a current favourite.

If you had one wish, what would it be?
World peace and prosperity. Corny, maybe. True, absolutely.

If you can change one thing, what would it be?
I have to go back to the above question. I’d change the world so that everyone lived in true peace and prosperity.

What would you say you’re bad at?
Ack, Algebra. It baffles me.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done?
It’s a story better told in person, but I drank myself under the table on four sips of homemade wine in Romania. Really. Extremely embarrassing! Fortunately, the incident took place in a private home, and the hostess was extremely gracious when she learned I am allergic to alcohol. (Yes, the hives and other side-effects came later).

Anything else your readers don’t know about you?
I love antiques and memorabilia. I especially love items from the Art Deco period.

What’s your favourite quote?
“This or something better.” I don’t know who to attribute that to, but they are words I live by.

Why should a reader buy your book?
For fun and for different take on vampires.

What is your last word?
Delight.

Where can your book be found/bought/website:
My books are in trade paperback and e-formats from all major outlets – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. Links are on my website – http://wwwlnancyhaddock.com. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Haddock/86984510891, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/nancyhaddock

Thank you so much Nancy for taking time out to answer these questions.

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