I am very pleased to welcome author Nicole Peeler here to DarkFaerieTales.com to talk about her debut urban fantasy novel Tempest Rising, which was released on November 1, 2009.
I’m giving one lucky commenter a chance to win a copy of Tempest Rising. Details are listed at the end of the post.
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about the book?
Tempest Rising is about a young woman who discover she’s half-selkie. So, in some ways, it’s your typical fantasy novel about someone discovering they’re special. Only Jane is not your typical heroine, by any means. She’s a lot of fun, with a great sense of humor and a lot of intelligence. That said, I wouldn’t trust her with a sword; she’d probably fall on it.
DFT: What motivated you to write Tempest Rising?
I was inspired to write Tempest Rising after some bad moonshine that resulted in a hallucination about seals. Okay, I’m lying. I was motivated by greed and a lust for power.
DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?
Sassy, self-deprecating, hedonistic
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
I am a professor of English Literature by trade, so I am all about the research. I started TR with the kernel of who was Jane, then I built her up using research about selkie legends. Then I moved onto Maine, where the novel’s set, and built up Maine using research. For example, the whirlpool that Jane swims in is called the Old Sow, and it’s real. When I discovered that whirlpool in my research, pretty much all of Rockabill came together for me. In other words, doing my research gave me so many ideas I could never have dreamed up, myself. Who would think to name a whirlpool after a pig?
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) did you draw from while writing Tempest Rising?
Early literary influences on me were Charles de Lint and Mercedes Lackey, whom I read as a child. More recent influences are Charlaine Harris, Tom Holt, Christopher Moore, Katie MacAlister, and Jasper Fforde. I love a voice that is a bizarre combination of cynical, satirical and childishly idealistic, all at the same time. It’s sort of how I operate as a person, as well as a writer.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
It’s gotta be Grizzie. She is, for lack of a better phrase, such a character. She’s totally outrageous but she has this huge heart. I love her!
DFT: Do you have a long-term plan or goal for this story universe? What happens after Tracking the Tempest?
Next up is Tempest’s Legacy, in which the proverbial shit is really flung at the prerequisite fan. I’m really giving Jane a hard time in this book, and I’m really enjoying doing so. We writers are such sadists!
DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
I’m developing another series set in the same universe as Jane’s story. It’s a very fun story arc, and the protagonist of this series is very different from Jane. Can’t say more, right now, but I’m really, really excited to begin working on these books.
DFT: If you could choose only one, which would you choose: for Tempest Rising to be award-winning, or for Tempest Rising to be bestselling? Why?
Bestselling, for sure. I made a conscious decision not to write literary fiction, and I want to reach as many people as I can with this series. Of course, I also want to keep the quality of my writing as high as possible, and I’m learning a lot from my critics. But I want my series to have a mass market appeal as well as some scope to the writing.
DFT: What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?
Hmmm . . . I think I always liked the real Little Mermaid tale the best. It’s so very dark, and the little mermaid does not get any breaks in that story. So I think it has a lot to tell us about real life.
DFT: What is your definition of a “bad writing day”? How do you deal with bad writing days?
I learned doing my Ph.D. that there’s no such thing as a bad writing day. There are days when you’re more or less productive than other days, but you still have to write, every day, no matter what. Even if it’s just a paragraph to keep the juices flowing.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?
Nope. Writing to me is a job. I can do it anywhere. If you start to indulge yourself in superstitions, that’s the thin of the wedge to forgetting your manuscript is a product of hard work and starting to believe it’s the product of some mystical inspiration. Writing is work, and to be successful you have to treat it as such.
DFT: What creature are you afraid of most?
I’m afraid of other people. I still don’t understand how some folks operate, and how there are people around who can so casually hurt those for whom they profess to care.
DFT: If you could be any paranormal creature. Which one would you be and why?
I’d want to be a shapeshifter, for sure. I’ve always wanted to be able to run, or fly, or fight. I think shapeshifters must have the most fun.
DFT: Nicole – thanks for taking the time to stop by.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Tempest Rising.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
If you were a shape-shifting Selkie, what abilities would you like to have?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to everyone.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Monday, December 7th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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