Thursday, April 15, 2010

Author Interview: CANDICE GILMER

Today we are joined by paranormal romance author Candice Gilmer, who's here to draw us into the world of her Moonlight & Shadows series with the skinny on the latest installment: Broken Shine (now available in ebook & print!). Welcome, Candice! (Applause!)

I’d like to thank Vivi for letting me brag about my latest release, Broken Shine, the third book in the Moonlight and Shadows series, available from Lyrical Press.

Delighted to have you here, Candice! What inspired you to write your current release?

My editor Emma, at Lyrical Press. I had written Unholy Night and was working on A Darker Trinity, the second book in the Moonlight and Shadows series, when Emma emailed me, telling me she wanted MORE with Sir Liam, the lead in Broken Shine. He was already starting to be a major player in A Darker Trinity, but I hadn’t considered making a third story starring him until she told me how much in love with him she was, just from his short appearances in Unholy Night.
So after A Darker Trinity was finished, and it ends on a cliff-hanger, I plunged into Broken Shine, creating a story for Sir Liam.

How important is the setting/world in your books?

Very important. This series is designed around the idea that all mythical creatures really do exist; vampires, werewolves, dragons, yeti, the ancient gods and goddesses, you name it, they’re in there. And that the Knights Templar really didn’t go into hiding, but instead, became governed by a new set of laws and rules—the Balance Mandate, which charged these now immortal knights as the ‘police force’ of the mythical world.

Creating the laws and rules of this world has been very tricky, but also a great deal of fun. Also, it was pretty interesting, researching the Knights Templar and all the details around that brotherhood of warrior/monks.

What drives your books? Is it the hero, the heroine, the conflict?

In Broken Shine, it really isn’t the story of Leeza and Liam that pushes it forward, but how Melios, the vengeful, sadistic vampire from A Darker Trinity, and his plan for vampire domination that pushes all the elements in Broken Shine into motion.

Without Melios’s plans, the central conflict of Leeza’s peril would have never occurred. So in a way, Melios is the driving force. Leeza and Liam are just reacting to the bizarre situation they’ve found themselves in.

Oh, and that incredible attraction they have together.

What is the best advice you ever got as a writer? The worst? If you could go back in time and give your beginner-writer-self some advice, what would you say?

The best advice I ever got as a writer was this… I was in an online writer’s group, and I had submitted my first piece for critique. After my piece got ripped to shreds by everyone in the group, I got to talking to one of the women in a private chat.

She asked me a simple question. “Is your story (it was a scifi story) about the space battle conflict, or is it about the relationship between your two leads?”

I answered immediately. “It’s about the love story.”

“Then you’re writing romance. Not space opera.”

And I’ve lived with that piece of logic ever since. What is the story ABOUT? And 99% of the time, at least with me, it’s about the relationship, not about the plot. This is why I’ll probably always write romance novels. :)

What three things do you absolutely need in order to write?

No children trying to “help”.
My mp3 player with music on to help me block out the world around me. “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree” on repeat is usually a good song to shut out the world around me.

What do you think is the most romantic moment ever from a book or movie?

It wasn’t in a book or a movie, but a television show. Quantum Leap, season Six, the episode was Trilogy Part Two. Sam (Scott Bakula) leaps back in time to a small southern town as the fiancĂ© to a woman he’d helped before when she was a child, Abigail.

In the episode, there’s a huge conflict, a child was missing, and the bride was one of the last people to see him alive. The townsfolk were being riled up by a very vindictive woman who truly believed the bride was responsible for the missing boy’s death. (Though no evidence proved the boy was dead—he had merely run away).

Anyway, Sam runs into the house, looking for Abigail. She runs down the stairs to the landing halfway up, almost slamming into the wall, and she cries out his name. Sam runs to her, takes her in his arms, and starts kissing her, just before he carries her upstairs.

After the chaos of the lynch mob dragging Abigail off from Sam’s bed, and Sam saving the day, he’s on his knees with her, they’re crying, and he holds her face in his hands, and he’s about to leap.

“In this moment in time, I love you,” he says.
“I love you too. But we have forever…”
He shakes his head. “No matter what happens in the future, just know, in this precious moment in time, I love you.”

And Sam leaps away.

:::sniff::: still takes my breath away, just thinking about it.

What’s next for you/what are you working on now?

I have a release coming out this summer from Samhain, called The Reluctant Prince, a contemporary romance about a woman who meets a Prince in Vegas. Sex and chaos ensues.

As far as what I’m working on?

Time travel. I’m working on a time travel romance, my first one, and since, well, I’m me, it’s a complicated, powerful plot that is absolutely kicking my butt. But I will beat this story into submission and go from there.

I’d like to thank Vivi for letting me hijack her blog for the day! Thanks to everyone who stopped by. :)

Hijackers always welcome! Thank you for joining the book blogging madness, Candice! (And can I see a show of hands for those of us who miss Quantum Leap? Give me Sam, Al & Ziggy and I'm a happy girl.)

Today, one lucky commenter will win a book from Candice's backlist! Good luck!


Kali said...

Here's my raised hand for Quantum Leap.

I'm not usually one to get too riled up about a cover, but oh my gawd that man has a sexy back! If your intriguing world hadn't already lured me in that cover totally would have.

Sherry said...

I think your cover is hot when I saw it I think I started to drool. This sounds like a very good series. I have to admit I had not heard of you until I read this blog.

Nancy G said...

I loved Quantum Leap- it doesn't hurt that Scott Bakula is a "home town boy" for me, and that my ex went to high school with him (I went to a reunion with the ex and guess who was there) This cover has roped me in-I always love new to me authors, as my favorites just don't write fast enough to keep me busy, so I will be looking for these.


Yes, it's all about the loooooove.

Andrea Becraft said...

I love the sound of the series it right up my alley of what I normally read!

I do so love the cover too!

Candice Gilmer said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. Kali, you bet he's got an awesome back... I about lost it when I saw that, it was awesome.

Sherry, I hope I've intrigued you enough to check out a book. :)

Nancy G, Wow, did you actually get to meet him, or do what I would have done, and stared from a distance?

Kelly, You bet it is. :)

Andrea, thanks! That cover is just total yumminess! :)

Maria said...

Love the cover! As a person who majored in history in college it's really nice to see the Templar Knights getting a spot in current books. Sounds like a great series that I need to check out. Also nice interview!

Vivant said...

Your paranormal world sounds really interesting. Knights Templar as an immortal police force - who could resist, particularly with that cover to whet our appetites?

Vivi Andrews said...

Yeah, I have to agree, that is one helluva back on that cover.

Natasha A. said...

I feel very young.... Quantum Leap was on when I was young, but I only ever saw it while dad was flipping through the channels. He was more of a Star Trek TNG fan :) Hi Candice!!

booklover0226 said...

Hello, All.

I enjoyed the post. I, too, liked Quantam Leap. I think repeats are shown on the Syfy channel.

I look forward in starting the Moonlight and Shadows series.

Tracey D

Cheri said...

I'm facinated by the world you've created in your series. Oh, and add my hand to those raised for Quantum Leap.

Candice Gilmer said...

Hi Maria, thanks for stopping by. I have always been fascinated by Knights... though my love of the Knights started with Jedi, lol. Then I learned more about the whole concept of warrior/monks, and I found a whole idea that I loved.

Vivant, My hubby helped me with the idea of them being an immortal police force, and I thought it was awesome, something different, you know?

Vivi, it certainly is one of those images I could dream about, you know?

Hey Natasha, don't feel old, you're probably about my age, because the only reason I saw Quantum Leap was when Mom watched it... At least until it was in reruns on Scifi.

Hiya Tracy D, I try to catch reruns when I see them. Great show, we even have a couple of seasons on DVD. :)

Including the episode I mentioned in the post... :)

Cheri, Thanks. I love to do the world building, it's probably one of my favorite parts of the writing.

Karin said...

Your books sound really interesting. I'm all about the relationships in books myself, which is why 95% of what I read is romance.

Quantum Leap was a very interesting TV show. I enjoyed watching it with my mom.