Thursday, March 27, 2008

NANCY HADDOCK AND LA VIDA VAMPIRE

by Suzanne Welsh
My friend and brand new paranormal author, Nancy Haddock, and I are sitting at the Crescent Beach Café in St.
Augustine, Florida. It’s early evening and we’re watching the waves from the Atlantic slap against the beach while we sip our coladas. Mine is the standard piña colada with all the pineapple and coconut, Nancy prefers a Kahlua colada. I’m here to chat with Nancy about her first book, LA VIDA VAMPIRE.

Nancy, it’s a thrill for me to be here with you to talk about LA VIDA VAMPIRE. And mega-congrats on the "4&1/2 star" review from Romantic Times magazine!! I know you've been writing a long time before you got "the call". How long was it? And how did you keep your motivation going?

How long was it? If that's not a straight line, I don't know what is!
Okay, seriously, I was a member of RWA for 23 years and some odd days before I got The Call. However, I'd been working on novels for several years when I learned about RWA and joined. Now, before I switched to novels, I wrote two children's picture books with a wonderful partner, and wrote teleplays. Nothing sold, but the hope was alive. I think that sums it up for motivation, too. No matter what the set backs, the hope remained alive.

I remember how excited all of your friends were to hear you’d gotten “the call”. (Lots of screaming occurred in various states!) The Bandits love "Call" stories. Can you tell us yours?

Sure! It shows what a dork I can be!

I had pitched LA VIDA VAMPIRE to Cindy Hwang at the Dreamin' in Dallas conference in 2006, and decided to follow up on the submission in late January 2007. I phoned (because what's the worse that can happen, right?), and spoke with Cindy's assistant, Leis Pederson. Leis confirmed the submission was there, but also invited me to resubmit. I did, and after the fact, a friend told me Leis was beginning to take a few authors of her own and that she was from Texas.

So, I put the submission issue aside, and was working along on another project when the phone rang on February 21st at about 11:30 a.m. I answered without checking the caller ID and heard, "Hi, Nancy. This is Leis Pederson of Berkley."

DORK ALERT 1: I replied with something like,"Well, hi, Leis. I hear you're a Texas girl. Where abouts are you from?" We did about five minutes on Texas, and maybe the worse dork part is that I didn't yet suspect why she was calling.

The lovely Leis then switched the subject to ask if I had an agent. I told her I didn't yet, why?

DORK ALERT 2: WHY? Did I think she was taking a poll?

Leis then said, "We want to make you an offer."

Houston, we have brain ignition. Amazement, excitement, the joy of "at last," and even a touch of disbelief zipped through me in a matter of triple-time heartbeats. But, baby, I hadn't been a member of RWA forever 20 years for nothin'. My business voice kicked right in, told me to sit down and take the information, and celebrate later. When Leis came to the end of the offer, I thanked her, and told her I'd like to contact an agent before I gave her a final answer. I then asked, "Since you've made The Call, does that mean you'll be my editor?" The answer: Yes.

Well, then I screamed a little -- though I tried to hold the cordless unit far enough away from my mouth so as not to deafen ... my new editor. There were so very many times I thought I'd never hear that phrase come out of my mouth, and now, it had happened.

After I disconnected with Leis, I stood trembling in my office, wanting to share the news with my newly retired hubby, yet almost fearful of finding I'd just had an extremely vivid vision. I finally ran up the stairs to his office and broke the news. His expression was priceless, and the man who had encouraged me all this time hugged me until I thought my ribs would crack. He began calling family while I wavered between shock and getting down to the business of finding an agent. Oh, yeah, and I pinched myself for days.

(Grinning at Nancy), One of the perks we get doing these interviews is we get to read the books before everyone else. LA VIDA VAMPIRE was a great story. It's set in St. Augustine, Florida. What made you want to use this setting?

Everything! St. Augustine was simply the natural and logical place to set LA VIDA, because I knew right away that the main the character was a native of the city. Plus, the city in all its facets inspires me, and has since I first visited here in 1989. That's not to say I won't write stories in another setting, but here I'm surrounded by over 400 years of history, a wide variety of architecture, the arts, and the beaches – not to mention surfers! St. Augustine is my corner of paradise.

LA VIDA is a witty, sassy story in first person, (not my usual cup of tea, however you so sold me on it, but I already told you that). Tell us about it!

First, thank you for the high compliment! I'm tickled you enjoyed the first person point of view!

LA VIDA VAMPIRE is the story of Francesca Marinelli (Cesca), a vampire who was born and raised in St. Augustine, then buried for more than 200 years. By the time she's unearthed, everything has changed -- and vampires are a protected species. Cesca she vows to make her new afterlife as normal as possible and is succeeding, until a vampire-hating stalker, a shape-shifter, and a killer bring chaos and death. Suddenly Cesca is a murder suspect, and is forced to team up with vampire slayer Deke Saber to solve the case. Along the way, Cesca must embrace her vamp powers. If she doesn't, she could be the next victim.

(Taking another long drink of my colada), Cesca isn't your typical vampire. What quirks did you give her, and why?

You know, Cesca pretty much gave herself the quirks, then I figured out how to use them. For instance, she'd always been a part day-walker and loved the beach and ocean. It was a natural that she'd learn to surf. Her reluctance to use her vamp powers stems from her not wanting to be woo-woo vampiric, so she learns to drive rather than using vamp speed. Now her quirk about blood? That came out of the blue, but was a perfect thread in the story.

OMG then there's the hero, Deke. (fanning myself here). What makes him tick, and any particular movie star you had in mind when you wrote about him?

Deke Saber slays the monsters who prey on the innocent. It's that simple, and it's not. He's ready to believe the worst of any vampire, and yet Cesca scrambles his radar. She so unvampish, so innocent and trusting, it makes Saber nuts. There are things I haven't revealed about Saber yet, but he is delicious! (grins) As for having a star in mind when I wrote him, I didn't. I had a catalog picture, and Saber grew while I stared at the cutout and played "What if."

Besides being a vampire book, there's another paranormal element in this book? (We exchange a conspiratorial wink.) Care to fill us in?

Grins, Suz! Yes, there is an element of magick with an old wizard, and with two magical shape-shifters (as opposed to lycanthropes). Both were born when a spell the wizard cast long-ago went haywire. One of the shifters is Cesca's long-lost friend, Triton, and the other becomes her protector.

Not to give anything away, do you think there will be more books with Cesca and Saber or just more books with the vampire/magick theme in it?

The second book in the series follows Cesca and Saber as they unravel a new mystery and battle a new -- or not so new -- evil. It will probably be released in Spring 2009, and I hope there will be more to follow, of course. The magick element also continues, and I see it building in successive books in the series. I hope there are more books, anyway. I have a blast with these characters!

(Nancy and I finish off our drinks and as we signal the waiter to bring us another she leans back and eyes me with a sly smile.)

Let me ask your readers something. What attracts you to books with continuing characters, and what turns you off about them?

Nancy has a fun website at http://nancyhaddock.com/, where you can play, “Where’s Cesca” for a prize package. She also has a signed copy of LA VIDA VAMPIRE for one lucky commentor on today’s blog.

88 comments:

flchen1 said...

Nancy, I loved your call story!! Thank you for sharing that and for the terrific interview!

I'm usually a big fan of continuing characters and books with related characters. I love revisiting places and people I've enjoyed reading about and learning more about them and their adventures. It's kind of like hanging out with friends.

The big caveat is that they need to be likeable characters :) If the character irks me in some way, then the rest of the story needs to be really good and there needs to be a way to turn that dislike around or I won't hang around for more ;)

Cesca does sound pretty fascinating! And congrats again on La Vida Vampire! (Neat cover!!)

Tawny said...

Okay, I have to ask... Do you have a room in your house JUST for the GR??? I mean, its practically living with you!

Ahem, okay, that said :-)
HEY NANCY!!!! I love love love your call story and cannot wait to get my hand on your book!

Helen said...

Congrats flchen he really does enjoy your place I want to visit as well LOL

Great interview Ladies
I love books with continuing characters because I connect with them in the original book so I like to keep up with them like family. I loved your call story another book to add to my list.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, I wondered about the gossip I heard about Fedora and the Rooster. And now I think everything is TRUE! I hope you intend to invite the Banditas to the wedding!

Nancy, I adored your call story! How fantastic is that - and it's sweet, not dorky! The book sounds fantastic. How did you feel when you first saw it on the shelves?

I'm in two minds about series. I love revisiting worlds and finding out what happens to characters I love, but I don't like the story I'm currently reading to be taken over with details about people from other books either past or to come. It's a really hard balance to achieve.

Diana Cosby said...

Nancy,
What a fun interview. Love your 'The Call' story! I chuckled the entire way through it. Very cool. Always great seeing you, and I wish you a fabulous career! *Hugs*

Diana Cosby
www.dianacosby.com

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hi Nancy, what a great call story! I like series, it is just as flchen1 says, it is like visiting friends. There are just some characters you are not ready to say goodbye to yet. I have yet to read a series that turned me off so I can't really answer the last part of the question.

Gillian Layne said...

Wow, Suzanne, what a great interview!

Nancy, I love vampire stories, and can't wait to read yours. And I really love these "stuck with it and it paid off!" stories as well--so I promise to talk up your book to all my vampire loving friends as well. Persistence should be rewarded! :)

flchen, congrats on the GR! Has he recovered from the finalists party yet? :)

Wendy said...

Hi, Nancy, love the call story! :)

Christine Wells said...

Hi Nancy, what a cute call story! Leis is my editor, too. I'd say she would have been thrilled that you were so excited. Not dorky at all!

I like the way the vampire legend is being stretched and played with now. La Vida Vampire sounds like a lot of fun. Series are great, but there has to be character development along the way or I move on after a few books. I don't like reading the same book over and over.

Best of luck with LVV, Nancy, and congrats on your debut!

And Fedora, congrats, once again!

PJ said...

Hi Nancy! What a perfect spot for you and Suzanne to conduct your fabulous interview. I lived in that area for many years and spent many an evening dining (or drinking) at beautiful Crescent Beach. St. Augustine is the perfect location for La Vida Vampire. Can't wait to read it!

Love your call story and I'm very impressed by your quick transition to "business voice". I doubt I'd even be able to find my voice! lol
I enjoyed your husband's reaction even more. He sounds like a very special guy.

I'm a big fan of series. I love to revisit characters from previous books in a series. I like knowing that they're still happy and their relationships continue to evolve. As for following the same characters through multiple books, it works for me as long as those characters and their relationship continue to grow.

Congratulations, Nancy!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Nancy (waving madly) -

Wonderful to have you in the lair. I've read so much about your book, I'm totally bummed that Banditas can't win it. *g*

Looking forward to seeing you again in San Francisco.

Fichenl - I'm thinking you must be part vampire yourself! Do you never sleep? OR is the GR so content at her house that he wakes you up the moment the blog is posted? Cheers!

Jessica said...

Nancy,
I love learning more about the path your career took to publication. What a great Call story -- well-deserved, to say the least! Congrats on all the good news . . . I'm so looking forward to seeing LA VIDA on the shelves!
-Jessica

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hey, Nancy! Thanks for swinging by the lair! I have to admit, the vampire thing usually doesn't do it for me, but your books sound like so much fun. I'm going to check them out for sure.

And your call story was priceless. I love that selling wasn't even on your radar. That happened to me when my husband proposed marriage. I was all, "Wait, what now?" He had to show me the actual ring before I believed he was serious. :-)

And I do love continuing characters. When a book I love ends, it's so comforting to know I'll get to revisit that world in a later book.

doglady said...

If this keeps up the paparazzi are going to be peeking in Fichen's windows for photos of the happy couple! I want to know what she is feeding the GR to keep him coming back for more!!

Great setting for a great interview. I love vampire stories. And what I love even more is to hear that someone who has stuck with it has finally been rewarded. That call story was priceless!!

I, too, love a series. I love visiting old friends and seeing what they are up to. Some stories are just too big to be told in one book. That said, I don't like it when some series repeat themselves storywise. I like for the story to be a continuing one, not a repetitive one.

Deb Marlowe said...

Congrats Nancy! That was a lovely call story! LVV sounds like such a fun book--surfing vampires, I'm there!

I love a continuing series when I love the characters. As a girl I devoured Little Men and all the sequels to Little Women, because those characters were so real to me. Now I love Amelia Peabody, among others.

That's one of the reasons all of my books are loosely related. Not a series, but I love to involve characters from past books and give a glimpse of their ongoing lives or HEAs. It makes me happy, too. :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

I'm just hoping they didn't have chicken for Easter dinner at fedora's house! Maybe this is all just a cover up of an ugly secret?

Alisha Paige said...

What a fabulous interview! I got excited just reading the call story! I could never hear enough call stories! Love em! And your sweet honey...sigh!

Well, I have to say, Nancy....I'm ready to devour your book! I love vamps and I really like how Cesca is a vamp and not just the hero of the story.

You're an inspiration. I'm so happy that you kept writing and never gave up! I'm sure it made the call, the glow of the moment all the more sweeter.

Hugs,
Alisha

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Nancy! I love your call story and I can't wait to read La Vida Vampire!!

I love series and enjoy revisiting some of my favorite characters and settings *g*

Minna said...

I love reading series. I like to know what happens next.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning and congrats flchen on the GR nab! Glad you liked the interview. La Vida Vampire is a great read, and I have to tell you you'll love Cesca! Nancy did a great job bringing her to life, so to speak. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Mornin' helen!

I'm not a usual continuing story kind of reader, although I do like books where secondary characters are from previous books. But Cesaca and Deke are such a great pair in La Vida Vampire, that I can't wait to read more about them. (Mind you, I've never read either a J D Robb or Janet Evanovich book....ducks the hurling "what!"'s coming my way)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning, Anna! Thanks for posting for me bright and early this morning. Dang firewalls at work...GRRRRRRR.

I have to agree, an author has to carefully work in the secondary characters from other books or books to come, but then you get delicious men like James and Tony Mallory who you just want to see over and over again! yummo!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hi, Diana!! (Waiving madly) Glad to see another DARA author on here. Welcome to the Lair.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Morning Dianna...nice to see you back in the Lair. Hopefully, you'll love Cesca and Deke and.......oh wait...can't tell you about him...uh yeah...You'll like this book.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Thanks Gillian. I've known Nancy since I moved to Dallas and joined our local chapter. We all went nuts when we got the news she'd sold this book and gotten "the call". :)

Nancy said...

Hi All!

What fun it is to be with the Banditas! You're so warm and welcoming - thank you!

Mega thanks, too, to each of who've stopped by so far, and for you kind words about my Call story. Christine, how fun to learn that Leis is your editor, too. I love her!

PJ, you lived in St. Augustine? How cool is that! Where?

Anna, you asked how I felt when I saw the book on the shelves. The answer is, I'm still waiting to see it. The book will be released on Tuesday, April 1st - no kidding!

Leis did send me an advanced copy, and holding the real book was a trip! The cover is even more stunning in person - it's iridescent, and I'm still awed when I look at it!

More in a minute, but thank you again for stopping by. You've made my day brighter!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Again!

I know what you ladies mean about balancing characters in a series. They must grow, and they must be interesting in the first place. Let's talk about that.

Do you write a series - romance or mystery or another genre? Do you plan out character growth or does it happen naturally? Do you rely on your instincts only? Do you take clues on character growth as depicted in a TV or movie series? Inquiring minds want to know!

Light,
Nancy

PJ said...

Nancy, I lived at the south end of Duval County (Jacksonville), about 20 minutes north of St. Augustine.
It's such a great city. I'm looking forward to revisiting through the pages of your book!

Joan said...

I'm just hoping they didn't have chicken for Easter dinner at fedora's house! Maybe this is all just a cover up of an ugly secret?

Good point Deb. flchen we need proof the GR is unharmed. Put him on the phone...

Nancy, I LOVED your call story! Your perseverance paid off and now you are on the fast track to author stardom!

Joan who still has the shell shaped green crystal you sent years ago amongst the desk full of "lucky charms"

Joan said...

Oh, and I love connected series/characters.

When I started The Patrician's Desire I had NO idea there would be two other books. But Damon strolled right in at the beginning of TPD and despite my resistance began his plot to have The Patrician's Fortune written.

I have a ad pic of a guy for Nautica cologne as the "image" of Bran in The Barbarian's Soul. When I'm stuck I just stare at it....entertains me anyway :-)

Nancy said...

Flchen1, congrats on grabbing the GR ... again!

Tawny, your question about a whole room for the GR cracked me up!

Susan, I laughed that you didn't believe the proposal was real until you saw the ring. That's priceless!

I want to tell you all that, aside from being honored just to be here with the Banditas, it's a thrill to be here with such awesome authors! I'm priviledged to know some of you personally and/or on line, and I love reading your work!

It's also a thrill to see DARA and Scriptscene members visiting to say hello. I think I see a few Elements members, too. Thank you --each of you -- for your support!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Joan! Can I tell you how touched I am that you still have the shell shaped crystal? I can hardly wait to see you again!

To Helen and others who may add LVV to your reading list - and spread the word -- thank you! I hope you'll enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Donna, I WILL see you in SF! I'll hope to see/ meet all of you there or somewhere soon!

Oh, and PJ, if you ever want to visit here, let me know! That holds true for all of you. I love to play tour guide!

Light,
Nancy

Kay Thomas said...

Nancy,

Great interview. I loved your "call" story. And I am so looking forward to La Vida Vampire.

What I like to see in "continuing" characters is a continuing growth arc. That they're still learning about themselves and their significant other. That the relationship hasn't all been so wrapped up in the first story that there's no where for them to go "growth wise" in the next story.

That can be tricky for the writer but so satisfying for the reader when it's done well.

rebekah said...

A book set in St. Augustine, wow, I always wanted to read a book set in St. Augustine. I use to live there. It is such an amazing historical place. With the old fort, bridge of lions, the old cobble stone part of town, and so many other place there are so many interesting areas to use for a book. Just think of the cemetary and how everyone says how haunted it is. I use to live on the island about six blocks from the beach. I miss it so much and often wish my parents would have never decided to move. It sounds like a very good book. I love books with continueing charaters, it tends to bring you more into the story with each new book. I really like family and friend related books. It is about a different character but the old ones still show up let let you know what has happen with them. Sometimes you just don't want a good story to end and in continuing or series books they don't have to.

Maureen McGowan said...

Your call story is one of the most fun I've ever read. Why in the world would an editor be calling? LOL.

Congratulations on your release. The book sounds like a lot of fun.

jo robertson said...

Thanks for a clever interview, Suz and Nancy. Your call story gives us all encouragement -- 23 years, wow!!

I don't usually read first person POV either, but I must say, your LA VIDA VAMPIRE sounds great, so I'm going to pick it up.

As a reader, I must say I'm one of the few people who don't like continuing characters. When I'm finished a book, I'm done with it! But as a writer, whole new ballgame. My characters just won't LET me finish with them, so they keep returning . . . and returning . . . and

jo robertson said...

And Fedora, what a run you're having with the GR. Congrats. Again!

jo robertson said...

Anna, you said that so much better than I. Elizabeth Hoyt does what I like. She'll introduce characters in a first book who become primaries in a secon or third book. But in the first book they're not so dominant that you know too much about them, and so you feel like you're getting a whole new set of characters.

Hmmm, clear as mud?

Franny said...

Nancy:

I LOVE your call story! And I can't wait to read LVV!!

Franny

Laura J. said...

NANCY!!!!! How are you? Your call story is so neat.

I am so excited about this book coming out. And now it's just a few days away!!! yippee!!

I like continuing stories too. When I find characters and stories I really like I hate for them to end in one book.

Nancy said...

Nancy, what a terrific call story! Congratulations on your sale and on your perseverance.

When I was growing up, we stopped in St. Augustine a couple of times on our way home from visiting relatives in Florida. I loved the old parts of the city. Your book sounds really cool! I enjoy series, and yours is off to a great start.

Terry Odell said...

I remember reading the first few chapters in an on-line crit group. Love your voice. Congrats!

limecello said...

Hi Nancy,
Congratulations! Wow - what a terrific story. Loved your reaction to "the call."
As to continuing characters... hm. I don't really know, because I don't read many books/series with continuing characters. [Though that might speak for itself.] This might be because too often I feel like the first book [or any book but the last] doesn't have a definite ending. And for a while, I was almost obsessive about closure. Also, because I like a happily ever after, and with continuing characters you often don't get that. However, if done well, and if the book has a definite ending - yet leaving it open for more, I'm fine. [Yeah, I'm demanding - sorry.] What I like about them is, I get to see more of the characters. All too often I'll read a book, turn the last page, look at it in surprise and think "That's it?!?!" I'll want more. A lot more. Continuing characters gives me that. It allows for more depth and all the fun stuff.
Congratulations again and thanks for visiting!

Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Nancy!
Great interview (as always) Suz and I LOVED St. Augustine the one time I visited there.

What an appropriate discussion topic! I'm attempting to write the second book in a series that I never intended to be a series. AHEM, clear as mud? Yeah, me too! Obviously I didn't plan out anything in the first book, since I didn't think it was the beginning of a series, so I'll let you know how it goes. (You'll probably hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the deadline caves, if you haven't already.)

So ANY tips and pearls of wisdom you'd care to cast my way, Nancy would be GREATLY appreciated!

AC

flchen1 said...

Nancy, are you also still writing children's books (very cool!) or teleplays or other genres? Or are you staying focused on novels at the moment?

Tawny, to answer, no, not yet--I'm still working on clearing out the "baby stuff" room so that I have a space for MY stuff (I'm thinking many bookshelves...) so maybe the GR can help plan that.

Nope, no chicken dinners here recently, no paparazzi peeking in the windows, and no GRs were harmed in the writing of this comment... He'd come write himself, but he's taking a little nap after all the recent celebrating :) As for any wedding plans, OF COURSE you're all invited--as soon as my DH decides it'd be a good idea to have one of those open marriage-type things ;p

And Suz, I'll duck with you--I haven't started the Plum series or any of the JDRobb books either...

Nancy said...

Hi Kay! Another DARA member, AND a writer with a new first sale!

Kay said: What I like to see in "continuing" characters is a continuing growth arc. That they're still learning about themselves and their significant other.

I agree! I knew Cesca couldn't grow so much in the first book that she had no where to go. Besides, she's rather like any of us. She has issues. :) I've had every bit as much fun with the second of Cesca's books, and saw her grow more, yet not outgrow the series. She doesn't have the Hallmark moment where she's now all she can be.

Then again, who among us has tapped all our potential yet?

Aunt Cindy, my best "advice" is to see what else your characters have to reveal about themselves - and learn about themselves. What, then, is a good vehicle for taking them on that journey? (Bear in mind this is from a writer who reads a LOT of cozy mystery and other series books, but hasn't plotted out all of my own entire series arch yet.)

More to come!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hey, Flchen1!

I'm not writing children's books at the moment, but am working on a cozy mystery series set in St. Aug, and on several screenplays.

I LOVE diagolue, so screenplays are great fun. They can sometimes faster to write, though the layering and editing process is just as exacting. I've written a film adaptation of La Vida that still needs work.

If I get stuck on one project, working on another can help break through an impasse. But, for hammering a deadline, I focus on the project at hand.

Light,
Nancy

Edie said...

Nancy, great interview! I'm so eager to read your book, and it's out now. Yay! Love your call story. :)

Nancy said...

Rebekah! How cool that you used to live in St. Augustine! I live on the island, too.

And Nancy and Aunt Cindy have been here, too! This rocks!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Laura J! I'm good, how are YOU? It's great to see you, and when will we get to meet again?

Franny, thanks for taking time out of your wildly busy schedule to stop by! Can hardly wait to see you at Dreamin'!

Terry! How wonderful to see you, too! The online crit group was awesome - I learned so much! Will you be in SF?

Darlin' Edie! How kind of you to stop by! I know I'll see you soon!

More to come!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Again!

Thank you all for your comments about my Call story. I told Suz that it made me look like a goof, but if she thought it was okay, then I'd be honest. I'm glad ya'll don't think I merely lost one too many brain cells during menopause!

I'm loving this discussion about series characters - those who continue from book to book, and those who show up for a future book, or visit from a past one.

Does anyone read Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series? I love how one character or set of characters dominate a given story, but others are seen/ involved/ referred to. Though I must admit to getting attached to characters and wanting to see more of them in a future book.

Light,
Nancy

Cassondra said...

Hi Nancy and welcome to the lair!

La Vida Vampire sounds great and the cover faeries smiled on you I'll say. That's GORGEOUS.

Wonderful call story and love the Dork moments.

I've never been to St. Augustine but everybody who has been loves it, and I'm envious. We've had a long winter so I'm wishing for a beach about now.

I admit that I'm not a continuing characters reader, though I love seeing them as secondary characters in the next book, and I love for secondaries to get their own book. That said, the issues you've given Cesca are really intriguing, and your "world" is unusual, which I like a lot. It's hard to come up with something different in a market where vamps and weres are just everywhere.

This is going on top of my TBR pile. And CONGRATULATIONS on the sale, the impending release, and good on you for believing in yourself and your books!

TracyG said...

Nancy,

Your call story made me cry. I love a happy ending!

Tracy G--waving from mid-Missouri

Joan said...

The one time I visited St. Augustine I remember taking a tour of the old fortress?

They told the story of a group of Native Americans (Seminole I think) who had been imprisoned in this dank cell but managed to escape.

I remember thinking then "What a good story that would make."

Nancy said...

Cassondra, hi!

Yes, the cover faeries did smile on me, and I'm most grateful!

You're right on that it's a challenge to come up with something different in the world of vamps and weres. In fact, part of the reason I was so dorky about The Call is that I didn't know if Cesca and her world would be different enough to matter.

Sure, vampires are still hot - or so everyoe tells me. However, when I submitted, I had no idea if that wave was about to be a washout. That's why I had the hope but not the expectation that the book and whole concept would sell.

Thanks for putting LVV on you TBR pile, Cassondra! I hope you'll love Cesca and her world. I also hope you'll have a lovely springtime soon!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Tracy! I'm excited to see you at Dreamin' soon, too!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Joan, hi again!

Yes, Native American of several nations were imprisoned at the Castillo at one time or another. Back then, it was call Fort Marion.

The story of the escape would make a great story. Anyone want to come visit so I can drag you around town?

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Okay, gang, I know this is supposed to be about me and promo for La Vida Vampire. But, hey, I'm in the company of some terrific authors, and I'd like to share the spotlight with you!

Will all of you who are pubbed please give us your pen name, the title of your latest or uncoming release (which ever you prefer), and your publisher? Your web URL would be good, too!

And, those who are GH and RITA finalists, please sing out, too!

Light,
Nancy

Laura J. said...

Hey Nancy,

The last month was kinda rough, but things are improving.

I was hoping to try and come to St. Augustine this summer, but of course, like many we probably won't go that far thanks to rising gas prices (so says hubby, blah, blah, blah). I'll get there soon though, cuz it's an old city and I LOVE old cities.

Any chance I can talk you into coming to Lori Foster's event in June? Hey, it's worth a shot right?!?

Nancy said...

Hi Laura J!

I'd adore coming to Lori Foster's event in June, but I'm having two rounds of family company during that time. Luckily, I'll get to see Lori at the Dreamin' in Dallas conference next weekend. (Yeeks, I need to pack!)

When you do get to come to St. Aug, I'll be sure to take you everywhere you want to go!

You know, if we could all teleport ourselves, gas prices would nose dive! Hmmm, and day goodbye to airport hassels. Heck, to packing! Just pop home to get what you want, and pop back.

I feel a book idea coming on, Sabu!

Light,
Nancy

Suzanne Welsh said...

WOW, I woke up and y'all were having a grand old time on here!

Nancy, I'm going to buck the system and tell why I don't read continuing series. I need the HEA. As much as I loved the Bridget Jones movie, when he held her on that snowy street and kissed her as "Nice boys don't", that was the end for me. Didn't bother to watch the second one, because it screwed with my HEA.

However, I'm going to be reading Cesca's next story when Nancy has it ready....coz I have to find out about...and then there's Deke....and I have to find out about....

hehehe (I love reading a book before everyone else!)

Special hi to Kay Thomas, Franny, Tracy G, Alisha, PJ, Laura J, Minna, Deb Marlowe, Maureen McGowen, rebekkah, edie, limecello....and a super congrats to doglady on the GH place along with Banditas Susan and Kim H, as well as our own Anna Campbell's double RITA finals!!

Kathy Sullivan said...

Nancy,

I am counting the days until I hold LVV in my hot little hands. Like the rest of our DARA family, I was thrilled when we heard you "got the call."

As far as continuing series, for the most part I tend to like them, if the characters continue to grow and the stories are attention-grabbers.

Looking forward to seeing you at Dreamin'.

Aunty Cindy said...

Good MORNING/Evening Ms Vampire Suz!
Thanx again for bringing Nancy to the Lair on the OTHER SIDE of the comments. :-)

Nancy, since you asked, I recently received my "Official" title for my Oct. release (also my debut). Drum roll please... The Wild Sight: An Irish tale of deadly deeds and forbidden love Don't ask me how they plan to fit all that on the cover. Just so my name is also on there! :-P

AC
BTW in case anyone didn't know, just click on any Bandita's picture on the sidebar and if she has a website, you're there!

Terry Odell said...

Hi, Nancy --
Yes, I'll be in SF. I'll also be at the Southern Lights Writer's Conference in Jacksonville this weekend. Suzanne Brockmann is keynoting. I'll be doing a workshop.

Aunty Cindy said...

OOPS! I should have said, click on the Bandita's NAME below her picture to go to her website.
(thumps self on forehead)

Nancy said...

Hey, all!

I have my evening Starbucks in hand (or on desk) now. Ahhhh!

Suz, thanks for touting the GH and RITA finalists! Congratulations, everyone, with double congrats to Anna!! This rocks!

Aunt Cindy, congratulations on your debut THE WILD SIGHT etc. They'll get your name on there, never fear! (I actually know an author whose name was misspelled on a book. Bizzaro! :)))

Terry, have a great time at the Southern Lights Writer's Conference. The Jacksonville group is a good bunch, and you'll have fun. How could you not with Suzanne Brockmann, right? I know your workshop will be terrific!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Kathy!

I look forward to seeing you at Dreamin', too. I have a big hug waiting for you!

Thanks so much for dropping by and letting me know you were here. I appreciate the support!

Light,
Nancy

Carolynn said...

Hi Nancy

What a great Call story! I can't wait to read La Vida Vampire.

I'm new to this site (and new to KOD where I saw your info about blogging here) but inspirational stories like yours help me put my lil 'ol non-GH finaling self's woe is me tale in perspective. This journey is long-and the surest way to knock yourself out of the game is to let your confidence flag. So I'm keeping on keeping on...and your post today gave me a little more fuel for my fire.

p226 said...

I can't explain it. But somehow, chick vampires are hawt. I dunno what it is about the concept.

Take the book cover image in this blog. Odd color filters... reasonably attractive female... but nothing to write home about. Then I go "oh, she's a vampire. HAWT!"

Would someone tell me why?

There has to be some answer found in psych 204, intro to undead psychology.

Who's had the course?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Drat it all, I love it when we have guests (HUGE Bandita Welcome!) but my TBR pile is already falling over. This sounds SO awesome.

Nancy said...

Hi Carolynn!

Welcome from KOD. Romance Bandits is a good place to visit again and again, and I thank you for joining me today!

I have to tell you that, sometimes when I say how long it took to get pubbed, I want to break out a cane and wave it around. But, if my persistence (aka stubborness) helps you keep your resolve, I'm happy to have that to share!

You have it absolutely right - writing is a long haul. Even if you sell your first manuscript, it's a matter of continuing to sell. Every set back you have before you sell can only help you hang in to build your career.

See? You can put a positive spin on anything!

Thanks again for visiting!

Light,
Nancy

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Don't you hate it when you hit send before you're done? Yikes.

Anyway...Welcome Nancy! I loved the call story. Love the idea of a surfing vamp chick. (P226, I think our own Nancy N's had the course, we'll have to ask her) Grins.

I also love continuing stories for the same reasons many mentioned, the continum of personalities you've met and grown to love, hearing the secondary character's stories. All that.

Fedora, darlin', what IS it about you and the GR? Congrats on luring him back to YOUR lair! :>

Hello to all these wonderful visitors. Big wave to Diana Crosby, fellow WRWer and fan of green building. :> How's that house, Diana?

As Aunty Cindy said you can check all our websites out by clicking on our names on the main blog page. But, for fun, I'll say I've got a romantic suspense titled Dark and Dangerous coming out June 1. www.JeanneAdams.com

Nancy said...

Hey, p226!

I'm rolling on the floor over your HAWT chick vampire comments! Glad you think the depiction of Cesca rates a big 'ole "hawt," though. Wait untill you see the real cover!

As many psych classes as I took, I can't answer your question. Anyone want to field that one?

I will say that a nice looking guy on a cover can probably go from okay to HAWT if he's a vamp. I can only guess that "otherness" adds a delicious spark of mystery ... and unattainability.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Jeanne! Thank you for the lovely welcome, and thank you for giving a shout out about your book.

(I know the click and look is available, but why not take some "air time?" :))

Light,
Nancy

Diana Cosby said...

Nancy said: Do you write a series - romance or mystery or another genre? Do you plan out character growth or does it happen naturally? Do you rely on your instincts only? Do you take clues on character growth as depicted in a TV or movie series? Inquiring minds want to know!

~:) Way to go on today's blog, Nancy. You've left me far in your wake.
I tend to write series. As far as my character growth goes, it varies. Often, as I'm a major plotter, I'll find a historical fact and craft a plot and characters around it. My December book, His Woman, was the first book in a long time where my character came first.

Diana
www.dianacosby.com

Nancy said...

Well, gang, it looks like things are winding down for the night. I'll keep checking back to answer further comments, but want to thank Suz and the Banditas for a lovely time today!

Thanks to each of you who visited, whether you left a note or not. I appreciate all the support, and, if La Vida Vampire is your cup of fiction, I hope you'll enjoy it! If not, I'd be beholden if you'd let friends who might like it know about the book.

The only thing we can really control as writers is our work. We write the best books we can, and send them on their way with hopes that they'll do well in the market. Mostly, we hope our books will be enjoyed.

That is, after all, why we write.

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Diana said:
I tend to write series. As far as my character growth goes, it varies. Often, as I'm a major plotter, I'll find a historical fact and craft a plot and characters around it. My December book, His Woman, was the first book in a long time where my character came first.

Diana, it's fascinating to me how we write! To take a historical fact and create characters and a plot around it is not something I think I could do. But what a valuable skill for you to have!

BTW, if ya'll haven't read HIS CAPTIVE by Diana Cosby, I highly recommend it. It has a bit of everything, including a magical element!

Light,
Nancy

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, you've been an absolute hoot to have in the lair. Come back and see us some time. And thanks so much for taking the trouble to answer everybody in such detail and with such warmth! Congratulations on the book. It sounds fantastic and I'm sure will be a huge success. Oh, and thanks for the congrats to me - it's sunk in today and I'm as jumpy as a bug! It's not a pretty sight!

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Nancy! Big Brother keeps me far from the Lair during the day, so pardon the late post. :-(

I can't wait for your book! St. Augustine is incredibly romantic. I can't believe more books aren't set there! Your take on vampire lore is very intriguing. I'm in line with those who can't wait to get LVV in their hot little hands! For anyone wishing to pre-order LVV, you can click on Nancy's GORGEOUS cover and order it from Amazon. Like magick! *g*

Hello, too, to all our first time commenters. We love having all of you here in the Lair. Come back soon! Nancy, I hope we see lots of you here in the Lair. Expect shout outs when April 1st arrives!

Trish Milburn said...

Nancy, I LOVE your call story. That's just too cute.

I really like vampire books, so I'm definitely going to pick up yours. That's an awesome cover.

Caren Crane said...

Fedora, put down the GR and back away slowly...

Tawny said she tried to wrest him away from you this morning and you almost broke off one of her nails! I'm not sure she'll risk her manicure again, but others who are not so scrupulous in their nail care may come after you. Be warned!

I hear Helen and Foanna have each won rooster-wrangling competitions Down Under. But you didn't hear it from me!

Diana Cosby said...

Nancy wrote: Diana, it's fascinating to me how we write! To take a historical fact and create characters and a plot around it is not something I think I could do. But what a valuable skill for you to have!

~I assure you, I'm humbled by your ability to weave powers and other aspects into your story. I have to figure out how to do that. :)

BTW, if ya'll haven't read HIS CAPTIVE by Diana Cosby, I highly recommend it. It has a bit of everything, including a magical element!

~*Blush* Thank you so much, Nancy. It's the first in a series and definitely a book of my heart.

*I want to thank Romance Bandits for having Nancy on. I always enjoy her posts, she's an inspiration and a really nice person.

Diana Cosby
www.dianacosby.com

Margie Lawson said...

Nancy,
THE CALL - was one heck of a stimulus. I want to know all the visceral responses that hit you. :-)))

I already know that La Vida Vampire is a fabulous read. I'll be buying my real copy on April 1st.

ANNA CAMPBELL -- KUDOS TO YOU TOO!
JUMPY AS A BUG? I'd like more visceral specifics. :-)))

Anna -- Can't wait to meet you in Australia in August!

Jeanne -- See you soon at the WRW Retreat!

Nancy - I may have to fly to Florida to see you!

Nancy said...

Hi Anna!

You're most welcome fo the congrats! You're as jumpy as a bug! Big grins!

But, Anna, be at peace! You've crafted a wonderful story, you have a beautiful cover, and you're getting your name out there. That's all you can do except surround the book with light or prayer or whatever you can get next to and think is appropriate.

Keep thinking of the joy readers will get from your book, and the joy you had writing it! Really, what can be better?

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Caren!

No problem with the late post! Thanks for coming on at all after your long day!

Thanks, too, for the plug about clicking on the cover to order the book! You're a sweetheart!

Sounds like you've been to St. Aug, too! Very cool! Heck, we may have to have a writers retreat here! :)

I hope you'll enjoy La Vida, Caren, and I'll be listening for the shoutouts on from the Banditas over my pounding heart on April 1.

(There's a bit of visceral response for my darling friend, Margie!)

More in a moment!

Light,
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hi Trish!

Oooh, how ARE you, Ms. American Title finalist? Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your kind words!

Diana, heart hugs.

Margie! You complete darling! You've been traveling all day, yet you made time to pop in. Thank you!

We'll talk visceral responses of that call someday! Hmmm, when you come down to see me, perhaps?

Oh, darlin's! It's almost TGIF east coast time. Hope you'll have a fab Friday, and a super weekend!

Light,
Nancy

Suzanne Welsh said...

Night Nancy! Thanks for coming and playing in the zaniness of the Lair. You were an awesome guest.

Thanks to all the Banditas and buddies for making my very special friend so welcome today.

I have the blog tomorrow and I'll try not to bore the heck out of y'all!

blackroze37 said...

i joined your newsletter
thank you!