Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Many Worlds of Ann Aguirre

Today we welcome multi-faceted author Ann Aguirre to the Lair for the first time. Ann writes the wonderful Sirantha Jax romantic science fiction series and the urban fantasy Corine Solomon books. This month marks her debut as a romantic suspense author, under the pen name Ava Gray, with Skin Game. Welcome, Ann!

We love Call stories here in the Lair. Would you like to share yours?


My first big break came when I signed with Laura Bradford, who fell in love with Jax. She didn’t rep SF at the time, but she learned the ropes for me. (I thought I’d written a futuristic romance, mind you. Shows what I know.) She signed me on March 29, pitched on April 11 (my husband’s birthday!), and within two weeks, we had a nibble. An editor fell in love with the book and she took it immediately for approval. I was on tenterhooks.

On that fateful day, May 14, my son forgot his lunch and his swimming kit. I hiked over to his school, seven blocks away, so I was sweaty when I got back to my home office. (Walking on a hot day in Mexico City is tough!) There was a cryptic email waiting for me from Laura. “Hiya, pop onto IM when you get a chance, would you?” My first thought was: crap, she wants to let me down easy. I knew, despite the editor’s great love for Jax, our nibble was a long shot. There were other pitches out, but none at the approval stage. So I squared my shoulders, signed on, and typed: “I’m here.”


I waited. It was a sunny day. The sky was heartbreak-blue overhead, sunlight dappling the fine pale whorls in the bark of the Noche Buena tree outside my office window. I know this because I stared at it for ten minutes, waiting. I scuffed my bare feet. Waited. I studied the purple bougainvillea climbing the terracotta garden wall and decided it needed trimming. Fidgeted. I thought stuff like, if this is good news, I’ll light 27 candles for the Virgin Mary, and then become a good Catholic. I’ll give up sex for Lent. Please don’t let this be another rejection. I don’t have any chocolate in the house.

Then Laura’s reply popped up: “We have an offer from Ace.”

Ace. My dream publisher. Their authors include those I’ve venerated over long years of dreaming: Sharon Shinn, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris. The idea that I would join such august company undid me. When I caught my breath, I yelled until the housekeeper came to see if I was hurt. Through tears, I told her, “Marta, vendí mi libro! Vendí mi libro!!” and then she yelled with excitement too.

What a terrific story. I love Jax (and March), so I'm very glad the book sold. We're here today, though, to celebrate the release of Skin Game. Who are the book's hero and heroine, and what's their biggest problem?

Reyes, a hitman, and Kyra, a con-woman. The fact that he was hired to kill her.

What inspired these particular characters, and can we have a peek into the book?

My desire to write a dark, gritty romance.

Here's an excerpt from Skin Game:

She snagged her share of the money, aligned the bills, and then she slid them into her wallet. After shouldering her bag, she glanced at him, oddly uncertain. If there were rules for this kind of thing, she didn’t understand them. She’d never been out on a true date. In some respects she was as inexperienced as an Amish girl.

They locked the door behind them as they left using the analog metal key, and she took a cursory look across the parking lot. No signs of pursuit, but there was always a chance. Kyra found the Marquis right away.

In contrast to the darkening sky, it gleamed pale blue like the sky at the highest altitudes, all delicacy. It cost a mint to fill the thing up these days, but she’d never considered selling it. Everything she loved had somehow become bound up in the metal.

“I grew up here,” he said, gazing out over the shared balcony that ran the length of the motel.

He’d requested a second-floor room because he didn’t trust people. At least here on the corner, they would hear someone coming up the stairs; there would be some warning before disaster struck. Rey had tried to insist that they should share a room—that he didn’t like the feel of this place, but Kyra had stayed in enough fleabags to know this one was much like any other, no better, no worse.

“Here, as in Taos? Or here, as in New Mexico?”

“New Mexico,” he answered. “Not far from here, actually.”

“Did you stay in one place?”

A flicker of something passed across his dark, sharp face. “More or less.”

“That must have been....” She trailed off, not knowing what to call an experience that differed so vastly from her own.

Part of her wanted to say boring; another part thought comforting might apply. As a kid, she’d thought her life was one big adventure. Most days, she still thought so. Dismissing profundity, Kyra stepped away from the flimsy rusted railing and headed for the stairs. His tread followed immediately, giving her the ridiculous impression that he had her back—that she could rely on him.

“It was what it was,” he said, as they reached the car. The look she’d noticed upstairs had winnowed down to something fierce and quiet and sad, like a titanium needle lodged deep.

Before she could rethink the impulse, she went to the passenger side and tossed him the keys. She told herself the offer didn’t serve to cheer him up or ameliorate emotional baggage she wasn’t equipped to deal with. Rey caught the jingle of metal, blessed with her genuine lucky rabbit’s foot, looking astonished.

She muttered, “It just makes sense. You know where we’re going and all.”

“You’re letting me drive?” As if he needed to hear it. “Your Marquis?”

“Yeah,” she said softly. “Be gentle with her.”

“As much as I know how to be.” Rey laid his long fingers atop the roof, and she felt it on her skin. “Let’s go.”

You also write the Sirantha Jax books. Grimspace, the first one (pictured above, with the second book's cover shown here), is the first book I ever read several pages into before realizing it was in present tense. For me, the first person, present tense narration works extremely well. Please tell us what that series is about and, if you will, give us a hint about what's in store for Sirantha and her strong, tormented March.

It's about a selfish, thrill-seeking navigator who lives for her next jump. Her character arc is quite interesting, and she's grown a lot by book three. Jax narrates her story, and as far as she's concerned, it's not finished. So she dictates to me in present-tense. I also think from a technical aspect, it adds to the sense of danger and insecurity. The reader lacks the unconscious security of knowing she must've survived in order to tell her story. In Doubleblind, the third book, she's forced to become a diplomat, against her natural inclinations. I won't say more because it constitutes a spoiler.


I was heavily into Sirantha's world when I saw Blue Diablo, the first Corine Solomon book, in the store. Who is Corine, and what's her life like?

She's a human female, daughter of a witch, with a complicated personal life and the ability to read objects with a touch, a gift called psychometry. Her life is difficult to say the least. I do torture my characters before allowing them to be happy.

You do it so well, too! What's next for you?

Skin Game is my current release. It came out on November 3. My 2010 schedule is cracking:

HELL FIRE / April 6, 2010
SKIN TIGHT / June 1, 2010
KILLBOX / September 2010

And my YA, Razorland, might be out in December 2010. It could also be Jan 2011. The details are not firm yet.

For more about Ann and her books, check out her website.

Ann is giving away a copy of Skin Game or, if the winner wants something not quite so dark, a different book from her backlist.

So tell us - Who's your favorite tormented couple? Do you reach first for science fiction with a romantic twist, romantic urban fantasy, or romantic suspense? Have you ever tried writing in varied styles? Do you have a question for Ann?

106 comments:

limecello said...

EEEEEEeeeeee

limecello said...

HI ANN! Congratulations on the release of Skin Game! Wheee!!! Thanks for visiting us in the lair today!

As for writing different/varied styles? No. I haven't written anything since Power of the Pen in middle school. (Ok, so lie, but who cares?) Anyway - I'm pretty consistent. Random, and convoluted. (Long winded too.)

Favorite tormented couple? Gosh - there are so many. :X I mention a lot that I'm kinda twisty and love to see the hero give a good grovel. And... I mean he has to *mean* it.
A lot of historicals come to mind. Lost in Your Arms - MacLean calls Enid a bastard and a whore - and he means it. :X (She leaves him. Good for her.)
Light hearted, but Cal and Min in Bet Me. She calls him the devil, and he thinks she's a "damn stealth butterfly" - from chaos theory...oh gosh. Devil's Love by Julia London - that couple...
And lastly - Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas, and finally a contemporary - Out of Control by Shannon McKenna.

I guess I love the couple that overcomes ... a lot, and has their happy ending. And the major plus is that in all of those books - whether it's action packed or not, the *main* focus is the relationship between the characters, and especially the hero and heroine.

And... the GR is going to celebrate with me today. Last day at the call center! It's going to be incredible. [I finally can go grocery shopping after work!]

limecello said...

Oh, and DUH! Third time's a charm, right? I am SO SO SO excited for Skin Game!

Yay Ann! Along with stopping to buy food/other necessities, going into a book store is also on my "emancipation from evil job" celebratory list :D

flchen1 said...

Hi, Ann!! Congrats on Skin Game! I'm not sure who my favorite tormented couple is--it's rarely a smooth path to love though, since the twists and turns make for a great read :) As for what I reach for first, I haven't read too much urban fantasy yet, but I've enjoyed what I have read. I used to read way more straight sci-fi, so I love that there's more of it with the romance mixed in! And I enjoy romantic suspense, too, as long as it isn't too scary (yep, chicken right here... although no GR--congrats, Limecello!) And I'm not much of a writer, so aside from assignments, nope, I haven't played much with varied styles!

Great to see you in the Lair, Ann!

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Ann,
Congrats on the release :)
I'd sure love to read this one, but even more Wanderlust since I just got book 3. Just love Jax.

I like Clay And Elena from Kelley Armstrongs books. At least in the first when she is so angry at him. They are not a happy couple.

Jane said...

Hi Ann,
Happy Release Day. I'm a huge romantic suspense fan so that would be my first choice. I've only read one urban fantasy so far and it had a little romance in it. It was the first book in the series and I will definitely be reading more urban fantasy.

Anna Campbell said...

Lime, congratulations on the chook!

WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! The fantastic Ann Aguirre is in the lair! Quick, shut the door so she can't get out. Bwahahahahaha!

Um, I'm starting to scare myself. Somebody, stop me!

Ann, welcome to the lair. I was so excited when Nancy told me she was going to invite you here. By the way, Nancy, lovely interview as ever.

I had to smile - even the way you wrote your call story was a literary masterpiece. The terracotta and the sky and the bougainvillea. I was there! Well, I wasn't...but I FELT like I was! By the way, what a great call story!

Congratulations on the new release. Love the conflict between them. Yeah, might cause the odd small problem for them!

My favorite tormented couple? I think I'd have to plump for a real classic. Jervaulx and Maddy from Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale. I've recently re-read that and oh, man, is it the most beautiful piece of storytelling. It breaks your heart!

Hey, have a great time in the lair. I'll see you tomorrow!

Helen said...

Congrats limecello have fun with him and congrats on the last day at the all centre

Hi Ann great interview Ladies.
I haven't read a lot of urban fantasies but I love romantic suspense so I have added you new release to my must have list. You are so busy Ann I bow down to you.

There have been many tormented couples that I have read and I have loved them all so too hard for me to choose a favourite.

Thank you so much Nancy for inviting Ann to the lair today

Have Fun
Helen

Laurie said...

Tormented couple, Alistair & Helen in To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt.

I reach for historicals, contemps, suspense and then the para's, scifi and urbans.

Your books at least tempt me to try an urban fantasy next!

Wendy said...

Hi, Ann!

Tormented couple, hmm. I'd have to go with Lachlain and Emma in Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like No Other. One reason is because this is almost my favorite book ever and at first, they're certainly tormented!

Another one would be Shannon McKenna's Behind Closed Doors - Seth and Raine are definitely tormented by each other! The story rocks!

Anyway, congrats on your new release! I'm in the middle of it and I've only got one word for you: Reyes. Nom nom nom. ;)

Carol L. said...

Hi Ann,
I loved the story about you getting your offer from Ace. Congrats on your release. I love Romantic suspense but I love all historicals.
My favorite tormented couple is Claire and Jamie Fraser from "The Outlander" series. What this couple endures to be together and the emotional hurts and scars. I definitely have your book Skin Game on my TRL.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Ann and welcome to the Lair! Thanks for hosting her, Nancy. And I love your call story. Enquiring minds want to know - did you really give up sex for Lent?! LOL

Love the sound of Skin Game - I'm a gritty RS fan *g* Will add it to my next Amazon UK order.

Favourite tormented couple? Sam Starrett and Alicia from Suz Brockmann's Troubleshooter series. Although, I also love JD Robb's Eve and Roarke, and Eve's sidekick Peabody and McNabb. Oh, and Tess Gerritsen's Maura Isles and her priest!

Caren Crane said...

Hi, Ann! So great to have you here with us. I love your call story. So full of everyday life, like the hero at the start of the Journey. *g*

I have adored science fiction/fantasy since I was a teenager. My favorites always have a romance (at least one brewing), otherwise it doesn't grab me. As to tormented couples, Jamie and Claire Fraser from the Outlander series have topped all other tormented couples so far in my reading. I can't wait to give yours a whirl, though!

And Lime, be gentle with the GR. He was shedding feathers in that last YouTube video from your house!

Caren Crane said...

Carol L., I just saw your favorite tormented couple is Claire and Jamie as well. I swear, those two never catch a break!

Nancy said...

Limecello, that's quite a list of couples! Congratulations on the job change and on the rooster.

Nancy said...

Blodeuedd, I love Jax, too. And March. I'm looking forward to Skin Game.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Ann! Loved your call story and the excerpt *g* Your books sound fantastic - my Amazon wish list just got a bit longer ;-)

Thanks so much for being with us today!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jane--Blue Diablo has a very strong romantic strain in it. I read a fair amount of urban fantasy and not as much romantic suspense, so you and I are flip sides.

Nancy said...

Hi, Fedora--I also read a lot of science fiction, as you probably remember, and I've come to much prefer the stories that have a romantic arc in them.

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--Glad you liked the interview. Isn't that a fabulous call story? All these books have great settings and wonderful description without being overpowering with it, y'know?

Nancy said...

Helen, tormented couples are sort of a romance staple, aren't they? I'm glad to see them finding their way into other genres more often.

Nancy said...

Laurie, looks as though you and I read a lot of the same genres. To me, urban fantasy and paranormal romance have come to overlap a lot.
And there isn't always HEA at the end of a paranormal. Seems to me there are more continuing couples turning up there than there used to be. But that's just off the top of my head.

Nancy said...

Wendy, you're in the middle of the book? No one local would sell it until today--you lucky!

Is that one of Kresley Cole's demon books, the new ones? I've read a couple of those and liked them, but the names aren't ringing a bell, and there's no telling where, amid the stacks here, those books are.

Nancy said...

Carol, I love historicals, too, but I've never read Outlander. I picked it up once, browsing, and it happened to fall open to a very grim scene, and I put the book down. I had enough grimness in my life at that point. And now there are so many of them--kind of like Robert Jordan's books--that starting feels kind of intimidating. They have lots of fans around here, though.

Nancy said...

Hi, Anna--Peabody and McNabb are fun, aren't they? Ann's books do have varying levels of darkness in them. I'm looking forward to this one.

Nancy said...

Hi, Caren--See, I said there were other Outlander fans here! You know I love science fiction and fantasy. What I don't always love is the use of present tense, but I didn't even notice it in Grimspace until I was several pages into the book. It was that smooth.

Other books I've read in present tense have been 3rd person present, which just struck me as pretentious and self-consciously arty (though some book that use it have been big sellers, so it obviously doesn't bother everyone). Not so here. And Jax is a little bit flippant, which I liked.

Corine's voice is very different. It's also first person but in the more usual past tense.

I have to admire the versatility in that.

Nancy said...

Hi, Beth--Glad you could pop in.

Wendy said...

Yup! :) It is one of Kresley's books but it's like the 2nd one in her Immortal series. Love that book!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Hi Ann! "Skin Games" sounds interesting. I'm a sucker for romantic suspense!

My writing centers around paranormal romantic suspense for now, since I've only just written the one book. And I have to say, my couple is my favorite tormented pair! Maybe one day it'll be in print for other people to enjoy.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Lime, I swear they are gonna tawwwwk about you and that bird!! Grins. Congrats on another nab!

ANN!!! Welcome to the Lair! What a great call story! Wow! I was thrilled for you all over again, reading that. :> I've heard really good things about your agent too. How marvelous that she liked the book enough to "learn the SF ropes" as you put it, in order to best sell it. You two make a good team! :>

Love the sound of your books. Nancy, drat you, you've added another "buy" to my TBR pile! Grins.

Great interview, Nancy and Good luck with this one, Ann! (Not that you're going to need it! ALthough you may need vitamins for that 2010 schedule!)

Kirsten said...

Hi Ann, and welcome to the Lair! Wow, I am so impressed by your genre-hopping! And since I would love to do the same, I'm also taking notes! My first YA, an urban fantasy, comes out in August 2010. I also write contemporary and paranormal adult romance, though I haven't managed to sell one yet!

Any advice for genre hoppers? How do you brand all these different types of stories?

And can you tell us anything about your YA? :-)

Nancy said...

Wendy, would you agree those Kresley Cole books are dark and hot?

Nancy said...

Stacy, congratulations on finishing that book. You've already done more than many people with writing aspirations do.

And it's good you like your couple--it'd be a problem if you didn't.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, you know I like adding to TBR piles. That really is a great call story, isn't it?

I think you'll like these books. They hit, all of them, the areas you and I overlap.

Nancy said...

Kirsten, you know I like genre-hopping, too! And we're all awaiting that YA paranormal, which we know will be fabulous!

jo robertson said...

Great interview, Nancy! Thanks for joining us in the Lair, Ann. Your books sound very intriguing, especiall SKIN GAME. I'll be certain to pick it up. I like dark and twists romantic suspense.

For me the all-time tortured lovers have to be Heathcliff and Catherine.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Ann! I have an incredible amount of admiration for anybody who can write multiple genres, let alone under multiple pen names. I can hand answering to Susan and Mom, and that's about the extent of my ability to multi-task. :-) How do you keep all your identities straight? Or do you combine them when you do promo?

All your work sounds spectactular! Can't wait to get a copy of Skin Game!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: I think you'll like these books. They hit, all of them, the areas you and I overlap.

You know, Nancy, you really look so innocent, but Cassondra's right. You are the Very Bad Bandita. You lead me into book temptation...And I go so willingly.

It's bad.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, do you know just how dangerous you adn I would be in a serious, research based bookstore? Lordy-dee we'd better have a winning lotto ticket before we attempt it though.

Grins.

tetewa said...

Romantic Urban Fantasy is one of my favorites, but anything Paranormal I enjoy!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Jo, Wuthering Heights! You're right. The ultimate tormented couple! Mind you, I hate Cathy! Think she's a really selfish cow so she deserves to be tormented ;-)

Ann, I'd love a glimpse at your writing day and how you put a book together. Yeah, I'm nosey! ;-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna C said: Mind you, I hate Cathy! Think she's a really selfish cow so she deserves to be tormented ;-)


Amen, Anna, amen!

Nancy said...

Hi, Jo--Glad you liked the interview. It's hard to argue with Heathcliff and Cathy as the all-time tormented couple, though she was kind of a brat.

Nancy said...

Jeanne--"innocent," huh? What a nice way to describe geeky. :-)

And yes, when it come to big piles of books waiting to be read, my misery definitely wants others' for company!

As for research books, I love them. I used to hit all the big bookstores in NYC, before we had stores with big research-type areas, like military history, around here.

Coming home from one of our trips to England,I added up what we'd spent, and it was over the duty-free limit, so we went through the "something to declare" line. The Customs officer staffing it looked baffled--I'm sure we didn't present the usual, probably well dressed, sophisticated image of people he generally saw--and asked what we bought. I mentioned a few knick-knackish type things, a couple of sweaters, and books and gave him the total.

"How much of that is books?" he asked.

"All but maybe a couple of hundred dollars," I said.

He blinked. "Are you, like, a dealer?"

"No," I answered. "I'm interested in English history, and I found books I can't get here."

Still looking a bit like a deer in the headlights, he said, "That's the $64,000 question. Books are duty free. Pass through."

And I'm sure the dh was regretting that anyone had ever told me this.

Nancy said...

Hi, Susan--

I know what you mean about juggling. I was so much better at it once upon a time.

Nancy said...

Tetewa, I love a wide spectrum of paranormal,too.

Nancy said...

Anna, I love your reference to Cathy--"a selfish cow who deserves to be tormented." Well, okay then. *g*

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Ann, welcome to the Lair! I have Grimspace and am looking forward to reading it. I'll have to pick up Skin Game the next time I'm at the bookstore.

And I think it's cool that you live in Mexico City. Of all the people I've met from around the world, I don't know anyone who lives in Mexico.

Tawny said...

What a wonderful call story! Congratulations on your sales, Ann, and Welcome to the Lair.

Of the many genres you're writing, what's your favorite?

joder said...

Congrats on the new release Ann! I've heard amazing things about the book and would love to get my hands on it!

At the moment my favorite tormented couple is JM and Xhex from Ward's BDB. They've been hovering around each other for so long and with what's happening to her character now, I can only hope they get together soon.

PJ said...

Hi Ann! Congrats on the new release. It sounds terrific! I love romantic suspense so I will definitely be picking up a copy.

Do you find it difficult to write in so many different worlds or does it keep your creative juices flowing?

Oh, and I loved your call story, especially the housekeeper yelling along with you when you told her you had sold your book!

Cassondra said...

Hello Ann, and welcome to the lair!

It's so nice to have you visit with us, and your books sound WONDERFUL.

I'm getting the impression that you tend to write kick-ass women as a rule. I love that.

Will you tell us a little about your background and how you came to write this kind of heroine?

PJ said...

Oh, and thank you for telling us about your surroundings while you waited for your agent to IM back. I only lived in Mexico City for three months (many years ago) but your vivid description brought it all right back to me. :)

catslady said...

I like a variety in my reading and "dark" is fine with me :) It sounds fascinating!

Cassondra said...

Nancy, great going on getting Ann to join us for this interview!

Oh, and congrats Lime on the bird with the bling!

Ann Aguirre said...

"Any advice for genre hoppers? How do you brand all these different types of stories?

And can you tell us anything about your YA? :-)"

Well, I don't worry too much about the branding. Ann Aguirre = SF, UF & YA. Ava Gray = romance. From there, I let readers pick and choose according to their tastes. I mean, obviously I hope they'll love my writing enough to read outside their usual sphere, but if that genre really doesn't do it for them, I have plenty of other stuff that may.

I just updated my site to include some info about my YA. But here's the blurb from PM:

Ann Aguirre’s RAZORLAND, about a girl from an underground enclave in which no one lives past the age of 25, who is exiled out of darkness to the uninhabitable surface in punishment for a crime she did not commit, to Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends, in a very nice deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in Winter 2011, by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency (NA).

Ann Aguirre said...

"How do you keep all your identities straight? Or do you combine them when you do promo?"

I promo each book as it comes out. The names are too keep my racier stuff separate, particularly important now that I'm doing YA. Not that kids are incapable of finding and buying it -- I just don't think it should be on the same site.

Ann Aguirre said...

"Ann, I'd love a glimpse at your writing day and how you put a book together."

Basically, I get up and have something to eat and then I get right to work. I write until I have 3K for the day. When it goes well, that takes about 3 hours. If it goes badly, it can take much longer. Either way, I don't quit til I'm done. I do this 5 days a week. In 6 weeks, I have a draft, which I let sit for a week, and then I do my first revision. Then it goes to beta readers, who tell me what I need to fix. I revise a second time. Then I send it to my agent and my editor. With my SF and UF, Anne Sowards usually has a 3-5 pages of notes for me, and I revise yet again. With Skin Game, Cindy Hwang liked it pretty much as it was.

I tend to be a linear writer; I write from the first page to last. Sometimes if the ending comes to me, I will write that chapter just to get it down, because I always write faster if I know the end point.

Ann Aguirre said...

"Of the many genres you're writing, what's your favorite?"

I love the one I'm with. *wink*

Ann Aguirre said...

"Do you find it difficult to write in so many different worlds or does it keep your creative juices flowing?"

No, I need the variety. I'd hate it if publishers only wanted one type of story from me.

Ann Aguirre said...

"Will you tell us a little about your background and how you came to write this kind of heroine?"

I've always gravitated toward the bad-ass woman. Not that she always can fight like a ninja, but she has that core of inner strength. She is NOT waiting to be rescued.

In fact, when I was just 15, I wrote my first full novel. (I subbed it, too, and got a form rejection.) But in that book, which was about (imagine that) a 15 y/o girl, who saved the boy of her dreams from the Chicago mafia. *g* So I've been of the opinion that women can do their own saving for a long time now.

Nancy said...

Trish, glad you're reading Grimspace. Can't wait to discuss it--part of my campaign to have more banditas reading what I personally like. *g*

Nancy said...

Hi, Tawny, and congrats on finishing your big project!

Nancy said...

Joder, it's tantalizing when a couple seems "on the verge" for a long time, isn't it? Lots of JR Ward fans here, I know.

Nancy said...

Hi, PJ--I didn't realize you'd lived in Mexico City! You traveled a lot, didn't you?

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady. I've been drifting more toward dark in recent years, and I also like variety.

Nancy said...

Hey, Cassondra--I have yet to see a wimpy female in one of Ann's books.

PJ said...

Hi, PJ--I didn't realize you'd lived in Mexico City! You traveled a lot, didn't you?

I was an exchange student, Nancy. Wonderful experience!

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Congrats on the release of Skin Game! Blue Diablo was awesome.

My brain went utterly blank on favorite tormented coupl...

I'm not really into the science fiction scene, the too techny words seems to loose me, so I would have to go with Romantic Twist (however I do love a GREAT fantasy (high fantasy) with a romantic twist but not too many out there that I found)

Nancy said...

Ann, how cool that you wrote and subbed a novel at 15! That's a lot of initiative and drive for a teenager. I guess you need a lot of drive to juggle all the writing balls you currently have in the air, though. That's an impressive list of current and forthcoming books.

The YA sounds really cool!

Nancy said...

PJ, I think foreign study can be a great experience. The boy has shown an interest in that, too, though college is still a little way off for him.

PJ said...

Nancy, I'm so grateful to my parents for my foreign study/exchange experiences. It couldn't have been easy for them to send me off to Mexico at the age of 14 and Europe at 16. Those experiences played a huge role in making me the person I am today.

Nancy said...

PJ, I'm not sure I could send the boy off for long. I agree, it couldn't have been easy for your parents to let you go.

RKCharron said...

HI ;)
I loved Ann's The Call story.
And the excerpt was excellent.
The interview was one of the best, touching on her different series, characters and writing.
I loved learning more about Ann & her writing.
My favorite tormented couple is Georgina Kincaid & Seth Mortensen from Richelle Mead's Succubus series. (As Richelle put it, Seth or He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can’t).
:)
I reach for a good book. Any genre as long as it is well written.
:)
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Buffie said...

Hey Ann! Love your call story. I can just see you screaming with the housekeeper - LOL!

I am amazed that you can write so many different genres!! I can't keep my life organized, I don't know how I could do several lives - LOL!

Nancy said...

RKCharron, glad you liked the interview. I read a lot of genres, too. I read the first Richelle Mead and liked it.

Nancy said...

Hi, Buffie. Ann doesn't just write different genres. She writes in different styles. The Jax books are 1st person, present tense, the Corine Solomons are 1st person, past tense, and Skin Game is 3rd person, past tense.

Nancy said...

Skin Game is featured on the Ava Gray website, http://www.avagray.com.

Sorry not to have made that distinction earlier. I hadn't grasped it.

SJ said...

Fave tormented couple? I'll go with Nicholas Brisbane and Lady Julia Grey from Deanna Raybourn's books.

I read mostly historical romance but I've been branching out into romantic suspense and contemporaries lately. Skin Game sounds great -
thanks for the great interview and happy release day. :)

Amber Leigh Williams said...

Lately have been reaching for the urban fantasy with romantic elements. Grimspace is on my shelf and I can't wait to find a moment in all this NaNo madness and dive into it! I can't wait to read Skin Game.

Ann, my question is: why did you decide to write a romance?

Okay, two, LOL: How do you balance your different pen names?

Ann Aguirre said...

I always wanted to write romance. I've been reading it since I was 10. I just sold SF&F first.

Virginia said...

Congrats lime!

Congrats Ann on you new release! I am one that would reach for the Romantic first because I love them. There my favorite next to historical. I am not sure about my favorite tormented couple if I think of one I'll let you know.

Barbara E. said...

I have to say Jax and March are my favorite tormented couple - they've gone through a lot. I'm getting ready to start Doubleblind, and I'm really looking forward to diving in. I love that series and then Blue Diablo came out and I loved that it, so I have no doubt, even though Skin Game is a different style, I'll still enjoy it because the wonderful Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray wrote it.

Cathy M said...

I love reading both urban fantasy and romantic suspense stories and can't wait to read Skin Game.

As for tormented couples, Marc and Faythe from Rachel Vincent's series and Mercy and Adam from Patricia Brigg's series have the worst kind of luck.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Limecello! Congrats. You and the rooster must have quite a thing going LOL.

Maybe you two should be our next most tormented couples??!!

Great list of couples

jo robertson said...

Nancy, yeah Catherine was a brat, but she certainly paid for it, didn't she?

jo robertson said...

That's a darling story about the books, Nancy. And what a sweetheart of a husband to support you in lugging all those back into the States!

Pissenlit said...

Gah, coming in a bit late but...

Hiya Ann!
Happy book birthday! I very much enjoyed Blue Diablo!

Gosh, I'm a bit brain dead today so I'll just mention the latest tormented couple I've read and enjoyed...Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane from Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia series. Hmmm, I'm more likely to reach for science fiction with a romantic twist or romantic urban fantasy before romantic suspense.

Lynz Pickles said...

Late late late here; at least I'm finally back! I haven't been feeling well for the past week or so and haven't spent much time doing anything other than resting, so getting back in the computer chair feels wonderful!

Welcome, Ann! And congrats, lime.

My favourite tormented couple? Hmm... so many tortured characters, so little time! My answer would probably be different on any given day, but for today I'll second Pissenlit's vote for Julia and Nicholas and also mention (again) Sebastian and Rachel from Gaffney's To Have and To Hold. Because, y'know, it's impossible for me to go more than a week without mentioning that book.

Have I tried writing in various styles? Yup! When I was fourteen, I wrote a YA novel which I didn't submit - thankfully. Now I'm participating in NaNo and writing along Presents guidelines. Both are fun, but they're also very different.

Nancy said...

SJ, I'd agree about Brisbane and Lady Julia. Much angst there.

Nancy said...

Hi, Raonaid--I frequently go blank when asked for lists, so you're not alone. I read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and I like high fantasy with romance in it, too. I agree, there isn't as much out there as I'd like.

Nancy said...

Amber, welcome to the "behind in the reading" club. You have lots of company here!

Nancy said...

Virginia, I like romance in what I read. It doesn't have to be huge, but I'm more absorbed in the book, of whatever genre, if it's there.

Nancy said...

Jo wrote: That's a darling story about the books, Nancy. And what a sweetheart of a husband to support you in lugging all those back into the States!

Thanks, Jo, and yeah, he is. Gives a whole new meaning to "carry my books?" *g*

And Cathy did pay for her brattiness in the end.

Nancy said...

Barbara E., Jax and March have really had a rough time, haven't they? I admit, I skimmed through Doubleblind to find out what happened to them before I read straight through.

Nancy said...

Hi, Cathy--a friend of mine loves those Patricia Briggs books. I think she'd agree with you.

Nancy said...

Hi, Pissenlit. I'm late, too. Went to a concert that started an _hour_ late! It was great, with the band playing 2.5 hrs. straight, but I hadn't planned to be so late coming home.

I'm trying to think of other SF with a romantic twist. Linnea Sinclair comes to mind, but I'm drawing blanks for others, and I know there are some.

Nancy said...

Hi, Lynz, glad you're feeling better! I'm late, too, so you have company.

You and Pissenlit have buddies in the Brisbane/Lady Julia camp, too.

flchen1 said...

Nancy, I loved Grimspace and Wanderlust--I can't wait to read Doubleblind, and I hate that we have to wait until next year before there's more! ;p

WriterWannaB_NY said...

HI Ann! That was a wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing.. and for sharing in the comments about your writing style etc. I love to hear what works for others. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Skin Game sometime soon. Sounds very intriguing!!

--favorite tormented couple? Not really sure at this moment...??
--Do you reach first for science fiction with a romantic twist, romantic urban fantasy, or romantic suspense? Generally something with romance of any sort tends to capture me. I'm still fairly new to the science fiction & urban fantasy genre I think.
--Have you ever tried writing in varied styles? Tried is the operative word! lol I just need to try harder and focus on something right?? I've unfortunately let the 'writerbug' get away from me for way too long, but Im hoping to rekindle that relationship very soon along with my 'readingbug' relationship as well!!
--question for Ann? hmm not at this time?? But thank you for sharing all that you have already. Great questions from the people above!!

best wishes Ann!!
Debbie in NY

mariska said...

Okay, It's so late for me to cook my dinner here. So I just make it quick (didn't have time to read thru all the comments *g*)
Hi Ann, Huge Congrats for the release! I've seen this book for quite a lot on another blog last month, mentioning about how good it'll be. Since i'm still new with your works. I'm so curious.
I can't think any tormented hero now. But I'm sure gonna pick romantic suspense then Urban Fantasy first. *smells something burnt*
gosh, i really have to go to the kitchen now!
Oh, Congrats Lime on GR!

Ann Aguirre said...

I'm leaving shortly, but just wanted to say thanks for having me.

ddurance said...

I'm going to have to go with Dougless Montgomery and Nicholas Stafford of Jude Deveraux's A Knight in Shining Armor. They were certainly tortured good and well.

Deidre

Wendy said...

Nancy, totally! :)

Mitz said...

Congrats on Release Skin Game sounds great, can't wait to read it, on my WL right now.

I am not a writer just an avid reader.

My preference would be urban fantasy, paranormal romance and a little erotica.

kim h said...

congrts on the book and great reveviews

hot cover