Dark Faerie Tales is delighted to bring you today’s interview with Cynthia Garner. Her new book Secret of the Wolf is the second in her paranormal romance Warriors of the Rift series, and was just released last week. This series combines aliens and the supernatural. Want to know what I thought of the first book in the series? Read my review for Kiss of the Vampire.
Cynthia Garner’s interest in writing got an early start when her sixth grade teacher told the class to complete the following sentence: “It was a dark and stormy night…” With that Cynthia’s love of all things paranormal was born.
She didn’t start writing with an eye toward publication until 1999. She had a few short stories win some contests and get published in now defunct publications. A move to Arizona in 2000 and a new job entailing 60+ hours per week put her writing on hold. In early 2005 she couldn’t keep the stories inside any longer, and made the decision to focus on a writing career, beginning with electronic publishers. Under the pen name Sherrill Quinn, she signed her first contract in September 2005, and her first novella was published in March 2006. In 2009 and 2010 her Kensington Brava werewolf series (Daring the Moon, Seducing the Moon, and Taming the Moon) was released.
She’s thrilled to have her Warriors of the Rift series at Grand Central. You’ll get to meet vampire Tobias Caine, half-demon Nix de la Fuente, werewolf Victoria Joseph, human cop Dante MacMillan, demon Finn Evnissyen and fey princess Keira O’Brien. And perhaps many, many more!
By day she’s a mostly mild-mannered Human Resources Manager for a non-profit organization in Tucson, Arizona. She’s originally from northeast Ohio and fled the snow almost twelve years ago to live in the heat of southeastern Arizona. Of course, at this time of the year and approaching the 40th day of temps above 100, snow doesn’t look so bad…
Want to read more from Cynthia Garner?
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about Secret of the Wolf?
Cynthia: Secret of the Wolf is the second book in my Warriors of the Rift series, which puts a twist on the paranormal world by having our creatures of myths and legends actually be alien entities (preternaturals) that take over human bodies after they travel from another dimension through a rift in space-time. In Secret of the Wolf, Tori Joseph and Dante MacMillan work to solve a problem that could have huge ramifications for both the human and preternatural worlds while dealing with family issues and their jobs. In that aspect, they’re no different than any of us.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in Secret of the Wolf?
Cynthia: The heroine, Tori Joseph, is a werewolf and a liaison to the Council of Preternaturals, the regional ruling body for the preternatural clans, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She and her brother were sent through the rift in the late 1800s as punishment for a crime a cousin of hers committed. At the start of the book, she has just been reunited with her brother. Very soon afterward her cousin comes on the scene, and she’s thrilled to finally have her family back together. She’s tough and no-nonsense, but with vulnerabilities she rarely lets others see.
The hero, Dante MacMillan, is human, a homicide detective on the Special Case squad that handles crimes involving humans and preternaturals (or prets for short). He has a younger sister who’s just come off cancer treatments on the heels of a divorce, and he’s very protective of her. He understands the importance of family, but he also believes in his duty to the job. He’s smart and a pretty laid back guy, using humor to deflect stress.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line in Secret of the Wolf?
Cynthia: Hmm. Isn’t this where I’m supposed to say it’s all fabulous and how could I possibly choose? LOL I think my favorite scene is in the beginning when Tori has to go investigate a dust-up between a werewolf and a vampire, and her werewolf suspect is telling her how the altercation was started. I admit to channeling a bit of Star Trek for that scene.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in the Warriors of the Rift series and why?
Cynthia: Oh, Dante, hands-down. I always fall in love with my heroes. It’s an occupational hazard, I suppose. He’s handsome, dedicated, caring, wants to do the right thing, and he’s funny. That’s a winning combination.
DFT: What influenced you to write your supernatural creatures as alien beings?
Cynthia: I had read an article or watched a documentary (I can’t remember which now) about an asteroid, and it got me thinking “What if?” I knew if I wanted to sell a paranormal series there needed to be something different than what is usually done, and I settled on my creatures being the result of an other-dimension alien entity taking over a human host.
DFT: What is your favorite part about writing this series?
Cynthia: The world building has been so much fun. For example, in trying to stay true to legend, I decided that the entities who become vampires can only take over dying or newly dead people, so that the “reanimated corpse” tradition could still apply. Deciding who could do what, how strong they are, whether they have outward manifestations of their abilities, etc. has been lovely.
DFT: Do you have a long term plan or goal for this story universe?
Cynthia: When my agent submitted to Grand Central, I had only the first book in my head, as an urban fantasy. They offered me a three-book deal if I would write it as a paranormal romance, which I’ve been doing since 2006 under the pen name Sherrill Quinn. So of course I said yes. I was able to come up with the over-arching problem which carries through all three books and is dealt with in the third book. I’m working on a fourth book to pick up in time after the next rift occurs and brand new preternaturals are walking around wondering what the heck just happened. This could be a long-lived series, or it could stop after the fourth. Or the third. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Cynthia: Unless compulsively checking email can be considered a ritual, I really don’t. I work a day job as a Human Resources Manager for a non-profit agency in the child welfare system, and because my writing (which I also treat as a full-time job) has to fit in around my day job, I have to write when I can. Which means some evenings but usually always on the weekend. As long as I have at least a gallon of iced tea and a few cans of Diet Coke on hand, I’m good to go.
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) do you draw from while writing?
Cynthia: I love reading books about legends, myths, monsters, gods, etc. from all cultures, because not only is it educational and interesting, it gives me ideas. I watch lots of TV (probably much more than I should), and pay particular attention to the dialogue, what works (and works well), and what doesn’t. Most of the time while I’m writing I have either light classical music on because it’s not distracting or I have instrumental music from movies playing, but for fight scenes especially I tend to head toward either my Rob Zombie Pandora station and get some good head banging music going. Sometimes I do have the TV on, but it has to be on a show or movie I’m not going to pay a lot of attention to, or I won’t get much writing done!
DFT: Which genre do you prefer to read? Do you have any favorite authors or series?
Cynthia: I love to read paranormal romances and urban fantasies. I also quite like sci fi romance, though we don’t see a whole lot of that. Hmm. Might have to ponder that a while… Some of my favorite authors (in no particular order) in para rom include Angela Knight, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan and Nina Bangs; in urban fantasy it would be Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, and Stacia Kane. Stacia is a friend but I can say without bias and in all honesty that her Chess Putnam (Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic, City of Ghosts, Sacrificial Magic, and Chasing Magic) and Megan Chase (Personal Demons, Demon Inside, and Demon Possessed) books rock the house! I’m also enjoying Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles (Hounded, Hexed, Hammered and Tricked), though I haven’t read the last one yet.
DFT: What can you tell us about any other projects you are working on?
Cynthia: In addition to a proposal for the fourth book in the Warriors series, I’m also going to be looking for a home for a paranormal steampunk set in the Old West. I have other ideas that are churning for attention, so I’m never not working.
DFT: What creature are you afraid of the most? Why?
Cynthia: Zombies. Can’t stand ’em. They are the slowest things on Earth, yet people still end up getting caught because of the sheer numbers. I watched an episode of Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior where they put a zombie up against a vampire and, while the vampire did technically win in the end (was the last one standing), because the zombie thing is the result of a virus and the vampire was bitten, in the end he’s going to turn into a zombie so, really, the zombies still ended up winning. How can you run from something like that?
DFT: What is your favorite faery tale? Why?
Cynthia: Wow, such great questions! I actually like “Snow-White and Rose-Red” because it’s not about people being nasty to each other or getting eaten by witches or wolves, but it shows how good things can happen just by reaching out and being kind. Snow-White and Rose-Red were sisters who loved each other and their widowed mother dearly. They didn’t have much material wealth, but they were happy. One winter night a knock came at the door, and when Snow-White answered it, a bear stood there. He wants to warm himself by their fire. They let him, and over the winter months he comes every night. When spring arrives he tells them he must leave to guard his treasure from a wicked dwarf. The two girls have run-ins with the dwarf all spring long, each time saving him from some terrible trouble and getting yelled at for their efforts. Finally they come upon him as he’s being chased by a bear. The dwarf tells the bear to kill the girls. Instead the bear kills the dwarf with one swipe of his paw, and then transforms to a handsome prince. It seems the dwarf had put a spell on the prince, and only the dwarf’s death released the prince from the spell. The prince married Snow-White and his brother married Rose-Red. So, see? Being kind can make a difference!
DFT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Cynthia: Thank you so much for having me here!
Available June 26, 2012 from Forever/Hachette Book Group
About the Book:
Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world-or send it spiraling into chaos.
As a werewolf liaison to the Council of Preternaturals, Tori Joseph is used to straddling the world between humans and immortals. She plays by the rules and always delivers justice, no matter the cost. But after a string of increasingly brutal attacks results in humans turning into werewolves, Tori doesn’t reveal her horrifying suspicion: Someone very close to her might be responsible.
Investigating the paranormal violence, no-nonsense detective Dante MacMillan believes Tori is hiding something. His search for the truth draws him into greater danger as he gets closer to the dark realm of the immortals-and to the sexy werewolf who stirs his primal lust. Now with evil closing in around them, Dante must convince Tori to trust him . . . before her deadly secret destroys them both.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.