To close out this great week of Supernatural Smack Down’s, I have an interview today with Nancy Haddock. Nancy’s latest release is ALWAYS THE VAMPIRE, which is the third book in her paranormal series called Oldest City Vampire. Nancy is also a contributor in the just released paranormal ENTANGLED ANTHOLOGY. The proceeds from the sale of the paranormal anthology will be donated to support breast cancer research. Thanks to Nancy, you will have the opportunity to win a copy of both books! See details below
The series stars Francesca Marinelli (Cesca), who was born and raised in the nation’s OldestCity, St. Augustine, FL. She was turned in 1800, subsequently buried in a silver-chained coffin as a punishment, and was forgotten when the townspeople slaughtered the vampire nest and the humans they enslaved. Over two hundred years later, Cesca is discovered under a Victorian house that’s being renovated. The owner, Maggie, frees and befriends Cesca, and becomes her mentor and roommate. A part day-walker, Cesca works to catch up to the 21st century, gets a job as a ghost tour guide, and learns to surf.
DFT: Always the Vampire is the third book in your Oldest City Vampire series. For readers new to the series, can you give us a quick overview of the previous books in the series?
In La Vida Vampire, Cesca is suspected of killing a tourist. To clear her name, she must team up with Deke Saber, a Vampire Protection Agency supernatural crimes investigator who challenges her to embrace her vamp powers. In Last Vampire Standing, a former court jester who wants to be a standup comic asks Cesca for refuge and help. When the head of theDaytona Beach vampire nest is murdered, Cesca and Saber discover that Jo-Jo may have key information to the crime.
DFT: Can the books function as a stand alone or do we need to read the series from the beginning?
Although I catch the reader up on past action, the series is best read from the beginning. That’s been a comment by reviewers who didn’t read the first two books. I have to agree. I always want to start a series with the first book!
DFT: Does plotting become easier or more challenging the further along into a series you get?
Wow, excellent question! In some ways it’s easier because I know what challenges (more or less) my characters need to next face in their growth – individually and as a couple. In some ways, the plotting is more difficult because the new and recurring secondary characters need their own goals, motivations, and conflicts to coordinate with those of my characters.
DFT: How do you maintain a story arc through the course of a series while still delivering a conflict and resolution in each book?
With a lot of luck? Seriously, I start with what life lesson a character needs to learn. That becomes the overall series arc. In Cesca’s case, she would always downplay her vamp powers if she could, so the series arc and her overall character arc both involve embracing her powers. The conflicts in each book must give her an opportunity to grow, so I dole out her challenges. For instance, in Last Vampire Standing, Cesca learns to fly … sort of. She has to accept this new-to-her aspect of power.
DFT: Can you tell us a little about the main characters in Always the Vampire?
Cesca and Saber are still the main characters, but Cesca’s first love, Triton is a strong secondary character this time instead of being behind the scenes. Triton is a human-to-dolphin shifter who has moved back toSt. Augustinein search of a mate. Cosmil and Pandora, a wizard and shape shifting panther respectively, were in the first two books, and Cosmil is a strong secondary character this time.
DFT: In your series, Cesca prefers to use a synthetic substance called Starbloods. What can you tell us about this flavorful beverage?
Starbloods comes in various flavors paralleling popular coffee and energy drinks. Cesca’s favorite is caramel macchiato because it has the best aftertaste.
DFT: If you could describe your main characters with only 3 words, what would they be?
Cesca – determined, loyal, sassy
Saber – protective, decisive, honorable
DFT: Can you tell us a little about the Old Coast Ghost Tours?
OldCoast GhostTours is a fictional company that offers walking tours ofSt. Augustine’s ghost sites. It’s modeled – more or less – after one of the ghost tour companies in town. (We have several such companies!) In reality, tour guides must be licensed by the city and conform to regulations. In fiction, Cesca must do the same.
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
If I know I need particular information in my planning stages, I read, make calls, and revisit sites as needed. I always post a map or two of St. Augustineon a story board along with pamphlets from any sites that figure in the story. Many times, however, something will pop up that I didn’t expect. At one point in the last book I needed particular details about “the fort” – aka the Castillo de San Marcos. This is a national monument run by the National Park Service, and I ended up talking to several rangers over about 5 days to get all the information I wanted. In my short story for the just-released paranormal anthology, Entangled, I talked with several gentlemen at the historical society library. Since I adore the energy and ambiance of historic Old Town St. Augustine, doing research isn’t a hardship!
DFT: Do you have a long-term plan or goal for this story universe? What happens after book 3, Always the Vampire?
I’d originally envisioned 5-7 books in the series, so I know what happens after Always The Vampire. However, I’m not sure the series will continue. Publishers are struggling in this economy as much as the rest of us are, and author contracts are driven by author sales.
DFT: How important is it to ‘play by the rules’ you’ve established for your series when the world is paranormal?
Sticking to the rules of my story universe is paramount. I can switch things up to a point if I can give a darned good reason and can make it believable. My critique partners let me know when then buy it, and when they don’t.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
I have to say Cesca. She can be so sarcastic yet she’s very caring. Now if you’d asked me about Last Vampire Standing, I’d say Jo-Jo was my favorite. He cracked me up!
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Always the Vampire?
I have a few favs, but one involves Cesca helping get Triton into the ocean on her surfboard after he’s been severely beaten.
DFT: What is your favorite part of writing this series?
I simply have enormous fun with the characters. I know them, and yet things will pop out of their mouths that surprise me. I also love the setting and St. Augustinehas become a secondary character itself.
DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
The big project is a done deal, and I’m so excited about it! I wrote a short story for the paranormal e-book anthology, Entangled – and 100% of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The eleven authors who make up Authors4TheCure include award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors. Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, Michelle Miles, Edie Ramer, and I contributed short stories to the effort, and Allison Brennan contributed a novella. Stacia Kane provided the foreword and the book’s formatting and cover art were also donated to the project. For the bargain price of only $2.99, Entangled is available in e-formats at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks.
My story in Entangled, “Medium Rare,” features a psychotherapist to the haunted and a paranormal investigator who stop butting heads long enough to save the ghosts of St. Augustine from destruction. I’m working on this concept as a series, and am also working on a spinoff of the Cesca books.
DFT: If you could be any supernatural creature, which one would you be and why?
I’m laughing now because I change my mind about this. Being a faerie appeals, but so does being a dragon. I’d even be a ghost if I could be temporarily solid. Then again, I need to be something that can still eat dark chocolate. Ideas, anyone?
Seriously, tell me what kind of supe you’d see being addicted to dark chocolate. Or ask a question! Leave a comment to be eligible for a copy of the charity anthology Entangled. Remember this is an e-book only, but it is available in all formats!
Angela, thank you so much for hosting me! You’re great fun and I wish you all continued success!
DFT: Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Nancy.
Nancy Haddock is the award-winning and national bestselling author of La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always The Vampire. She also contributed a short story, “Medium Rare” to the paranormal romance anthology Entangled – an e-publication with 100% of the proceeds going to breast cancer research (Sept. 2011). In writing her paranormal romantic mysteries,Nancy draws on her long experience with things-that-go-bump, and on the historic wealth ofSt. Augustine,Florida. A former speech pathologist and high school teacher inOklahoma andTexas,Nancy now writes full-time. She describes herself as a dedicated resident-tourist who never tires of researching the past and exploring the sites in her “new” hometown.
Want to read more from Nancy Haddock?
This giveaway is provided by Nancy Haddock
Two winners will each receive a copy of Always the Vampire by Nancy Haddock
One winner will receive an e-book copy of the Entangled Anthology
Available on May 3, 2011 from Penguin/Berkley
About the Book:
It’s not easy being a dutiful maid of honor when you’re a vampire in the Sunshine State…
Cesca Marinelli has been slacking on her duties as a vampire princess, but she will be the best maid of honor ever for Maggie’s Victorian wedding. However, when her mostly-human honey, Saber, falls ill due to a magical construct called the Void, she knows she’ll have to go beyond the call of bridesmaid duty…
The Void is affecting every supernatural being in Cesca’s afterlife, including her shapeshifter ex, Triton. To counter the Void’s reign of terror, Cesca must fully summon her vampire powers-which may lead to her own doom.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Authors4TheCure Donating Book Proceeds To Breast Cancer Research
City, State – Eleven authors have banded together to support breast cancer research with their writing. Authors4theCure, which includes award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, as well as two breast cancer survivors, is donating proceeds from the sale of their paranormal anthology, Entangled, to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
BCRF-funded research has helped save lives and improved the quality of care and rate of survival for tens of thousands of breast cancer patients in the past decade. Their research has revealed that the “cure” is a mosaic made up of as many approaches to diagnosing, treating, preventing and surviving as there are different types of breast cancer. The anthology is also a mosaic made up of many stories donated for this worthwhile cause.
Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal stories from authors Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, Michelle Miles, and Edie Ramer, plus a novella by Allison Brennan. Stacia Kane contributed the foreword and the book’s formatting and cover art were also donated to the project.
Entangled released September 12, 2011, and is available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other online retailers.
Available on September 12, 2011 from Authors4theCure
About the Book:
Ghosts, vampires, demons, and more! Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal short stories from authors Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Michelle Miles, plus a Seven Deadly Sins novella by Allison Brennan.
Stacia Kane contributed the foreword. Formatting and cover art were also donated to the project by Lori Devoti and Laura Morrigan.
All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
HALLOWEEN FROST by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep (author of theMythosAcademy, Elemental Assassin, and Bigtime series) — It’s Halloween atMythosAcademy, but Gwen Frost and her friends are in for more tricks than treats when they run into a mythological monster intent on killing them.
THE FAT CAT by Edie Ramer (author of Cattitude, Galaxy Girls) — In a battle for the souls of seven women, a wizard has the god of war on his side; all the witch has is a fat, black cat.
MEDIUM RARE by Nancy Haddock (author of the Oldest City Vampire trilogy) —What’s spooking the spirits ofSt. Augustine? As the witching hour of Halloween approaches, ghost seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to locate the one ghost who can save the city’s specters. If she fails, her own great grandfather’s spirit may be lost forever.
SWEET DEMON by Misty Evans (author of the Witches Anonymous series) —When Chicago’s vampire king insists Kali Sweet join his empire, the vengeance demon must rely on her ex – the half-human, half-chaos demon who left her at the altar three hundred years ago – in order to escape the vamp’s clutches.
SIAN’S SOLUTION by Dale Meyer (author of the Psychic Visions series) — When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.
A BIT OF BITE by Cynthia Eden (author of NEVER CRY WOLF and ANGEL OF DARKNESS) — A killer is stalking the streets of Crossroads, Mississippi, and it’s up to Sheriff Ava Dushaine to stop him. But when suspicion falls on werewolf alpha Julian Kasey—Ava’s ex-lover and the man who still haunts her dreams—Ava knows that she’ll either have to prove his innocence…or watch the whole town go up in flames.
SINFULLY SWEET by Michelle Miles (author of the Coffee House series) — When Chloe bakes a little magic into her pastries, she attracts the attention of Edward, the sexy half-demon, half-witch, who’s come to warn her those who murdered her sister are now after her.
A NIGHT OF FOREVER by Lori Brighton (author of A Night of Secrets and To Seduce an Earl) — Who is Aidan Callaghan? Mary Ellen James is intent on uncovering the truth about the mysterious man, but as she soon finds out, some things are best left buried in the past.
FEEL THE MAGIC by Liz Kreger (author of the Part of Tomorrow series) — Jenna Carmichael’s magical attempt to rectify Jessica Manfield’s birth identity takes an unexpected turn when the past comes back to haunt her.
BREAKING OUT by Michelle Diener (author of the Tudor-set historical suspense novel In A Treacherous Court) — Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.
GHOSTLY JUSTICE, an all-new Seven Deadly Sins novella by New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan (author of the Seven Deadly Sins series) — Demon hunters Moira O’Donnell and Rafe Cooper are dragged into the dangerous world of nocturnal predators to find “Ghostly Justice” for a virgin sacrificed to an ancient blood demon.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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