Interview with Nancy Gideon

Jen: This weekend we are happy to have Nancy Gideon as our guest at Romancing the Book. Nancy, will you please share a short bio with us?
Nancy: I’m the author of over fifty romance novels ranging from historicals and contemporary series suspense to paranormal written under my own name and under pseudonyms Dana Ransom and Rosalyn West. I’ve had books published in over a dozen languages including Chinese, Romanian, Icelandic, German, Russian, Portuguese, French, Italian and Danish. I’m a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” and HOLT Medallion winner, and am listed on IMDB (International Movie Data Base) for collaborating on the screenplay for two indie horror films and playing a tiny part in one of them. I’m currently contracted with Pocket for six books in a dark paranormal series and also work full time as a legal assistant. I’m secretly addicted to NetFlix and sushi.

Jen: Tell us about Captured by Moonlight and where it’s available.
Nancy: Captured by Moonlight is the third book in my BY MOONLIGHT series following the complex relationship and paranormal adventures of shape-shifter Max Savoie and New Orleans detective Charlotte Caissie. A mysterious death begins a dangerous chain of events as a family thought lost to him, threatens the existence of Max’s preternatural world. Separating business from pleasure just got more difficult for Cee Cee. To have Max she must face her greatest fears by accepting who and what he is…someone deadly, unnatural and outside the laws she serves. Loving Max Savoie isn’t easy, but holding onto him could prove fatal. Release date is July 27 and it will be available in mass market and digital format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders as well as in your local bookstores.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your story.
Nancy: The second I saw my name in printed on a fractured fairytale in my elementary school newspaper when I was in sixth grade, I knew all I wanted to be was a writer. I was constantly scribbling on bits and pieces of angsty teenage fiction but didn’t get serious about finishing a book until after I read “The Flame and the Flower.” It tied in my love of history with larger-than-life adventure and, at that time, eye-popping romance. I was hooked. I wrote a huge historical tome that is now, deservedly in a box under my box and shall remain there, and sent it out to several random publishers. I even got a request for a full! But it was not meant to be. I finished three more historicals before I was ready to submit again. That book, a historical regency called Sweet Tempest written as Lauren Giddings, sold in 1985 and came out on the same day as my second book, PIRATE’S CAPTIVE under the name Dana Ransom. All this before computers or the Internet and before I’d ever spoken to or met another author. Times have changed.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Nancy: Edgy, dark, compelling.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
Nancy: Coffee. Black.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Nancy: The first line. I’ll mental tumble that around for sometimes up to a week before starting a book. It’s got to hook the reader right of the bat. The easiest for me is dialogue. I write novels the way I would a screen play, with action and words, at least in the first draft.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Nancy: Writing the last line and thinking, “Yeah!” That’s right up there with the editor’s offer to buy.

Jen: How do you pick the character names?
Nancy: I can’t start a book unless I have a fix on the main characters and their names are essential, both first and last. They have to ‘fit’ the image I hold of the hero and heroine. Tough, playful, direct, introspective, intelligent, impulsive There’s a world of difference between a Rory and a Jack, between a Naomi and a Mel. I start tossing them around for the right sound and syllables until they click for both primary and secondary characters. Villain’s names are just as important. I use name books, the phone books, author names on my shelves or the attorney directory on my desk. Sometimes it’s the guy listed as Best Boy or Grip in whatever I’m watching at the movies.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Nancy: I love suspense and include a little taste of it in everything I write. I’d love to do a YA paranormal series. I’ve been kicking one around for a while. I’d never write erotic romance. I’m too conservative. I’d get embarrassed typing the words.

Jen: What five authors or people, from past or present, have been important to you as an author? What questions or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Nancy: My mom: Thanks for believing in me when I said I wanted to be a write…then insisted I get a college education! Rod Serling: Thanks for scaring the snot out of me when I was a kid and my imagination ran wild. Stu Dybeck, my journalism professor: Thanks for teaching my how to organize my thoughts and for being so cool! Dean Koontz: How can you keep surprising me every time? And mostly my critique group (a collective unit): Your support has meant everything!

Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Nancy: Usually I get “The Call” at work. After hyperventilating for a few minutes, I call or e-mail my critique group to share a good squeal. Then I’m usually useless for the rest of the day. And I’ve gotten into a bad habit of buying bling (I’m an accessory slut! It’s an OCD thing.) With the new series I’m flashing some pretty awesome green amethysts I got in New Orleans.

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Nancy: Being a self-supporting one! If you’re talking BIG dreams, having a movie made from my books. I’d be happy to do the screen play!

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Nancy: “So this is what you’re doing with your college education?”

Jen: What’s next for you?
Nancy: I’m waiting to find out the release date for the fourth book in the series. This book will conclude Max and Charlotte’s romance arc. I just started the fifth book of my BY MOONLIGHT series. This book, and the next, feature new heroes and heroines, so I’m going into them at a different angl,e which is fun. I like to mix things up. I’ve also got a suspense proposal out there in several editors’s hands that I’d love to get a green light on.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Nancy: http://nancygideon.com. That will link you to my Facebook, Twitter and newsletter.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Nancy: Hard cover, paperback, audio or digital? I just got an IPad so I’m new to electronic books and my newer titles are doing well in that format. How many of you have gone electronic and why?

Jen: Readers, Nancy is giving away a copy of Captured by Moonlight to one lucky commenter. Due to shipping costs, Nancy has asked that the winner live in the US. To enter the drawing, first you need to leave a question or comment for Nancy. Then to finish your entry, you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, July 29.