Friday, September 3, 2010

Kendra And The Beasts, Both Winged and Furry

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

AC: Our guest today is the lovely and talented paranormal romance author (and Aunty's good friend) Kendra Leigh Castle. Welcome back to the Lair, Kendra!

We’re thrilled to have you back with us to talk about your newest release. Please tell us all about it.

KLC: Thanks so much for having me back, Aunty Cindy! You know how I feel about Lairs. I plan to build one in my house someday. With several deadbolts and a steel door to keep out intruders (otherwise known as my family). And it’ll be fully stocked with chocolate, wine, and movies where Gerard Butler takes his shirt off. Wait, what were we talking about?

Aunty's eyes glaze over as she pictures Gerry, shirtless... Then she shakes her head and regains focus.

AC: Your book, Renegade Angel?

KLC: Oh…my book. Right. Well, it features hot men taking their shirts off too. So I’m sort of on topic. Here’s the blurb:

It's been thousands of years since Raum's angelic wings turned from white to black, and the Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings never looked back. These days he's also on the outs with Hell and works with a motley crew of ex-demons on a new mission: snuffing out lesser demons and their half-human progeny. Raum's latest assignment brings him to a small Vermont town—and a sweet, funny half-demon, half-human he'll risk everything to save. Ember Riddick stirs him as no woman ever before—and she holds the key to what Lucifer will move Hell and Earth to prevent: his team's redemption. But Ember's secrets are as dark as Raum's midnight wings. And their fate may leave them entwined…but destroyed…

KLC: You can read an excerpt here:

http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?itemid=22195&cid=416

AC: What inspired you to write paranormal romance in general and this story in particular?

I grew up as one of those kids who just liked spooky. I was reading Stephen King by 6th grade, and sneaking my mom’s romances besides…I think the two things just got all tangled together and became my reading preference! Which quickly became my writing preference.

I have fond, and slightly cringe-worthy, memories of my first attempt at a paranormal romance story when I was about, oh, eleven or so. It involved vampires. And a waterslide. That might work for bad porn, but that really wasn’t what I was going for. Count Dracula was one of my earlier crushes…and I had vampire Barbies who slept in shoeboxes…okay, I was just a weird kid. But hey, not everyone gets to be weird in a way that you can build into a career!

AC: Aunty would not presume to speak about weird childhoods, lest her own be mentioned. Besides, can't argue with whatever is responsible for your wonderful paranormal romances!

KLC: I absolutely love paranormal romance. There’s something about a man with that little something extra, the glowing eyes, the fangs, the fur, the wings, that just gets my motor running. There are endless possibilities in these dark faerie tales, and I love it!

Aunty nods in vigorous agreement.

KLC: With this story, I was moving from fur (with my MacInnes Werewolves trilogy) to wings, which provided me with kind of a creative boost. It’s good to shake things up sometimes. The idea of angels is something I’m very familiar with, having spent a lot of years in Catholic school. But as gorgeous as some of the artistic representations of angels are, you KNOW that these built men with wings are too goody-goody to spirit you away and, um…take you to their Lair.:-)

I have sort of a bad boy fixation anyway, so I found the idea of a fallen angel, albeit one who still had a heart that could be redeemed, incredibly fascinating. Then into my fevered little brain sauntered Raum, The Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings, with his curly black hair and sea green eyes and black wings and ATTITUDE, and I was in love. And off we went!

AC: (wiping drool from her chin) Did you face some challenges in moving from writing about shape-shifters to fallen angels?

KLC: It was actually wonderful to be able to switch gears and start fresh, with new characters and a completely new world. I love my werewolves, I always will, and I’m already committed to writing more men with fur (though not related to that trilogy). But between a cross-country move and a bunch of other stuff, I was pretty drained after I finished up with the MacInneses.

I needed something to set fire to my imagination, and the story of Renegade Angel just hit me like a ton of bricks one day. It was one of those moments I love, where everything clicked and I had to write, RIGHT THEN. I whipped off ten pages of prologue like it was nothing, and then I happened across a song that totally matched up with what I was envisioning, and another book started to happen. Which was awesome, because every time I finish a book, I’m afraid there are no more in there. Hasn’t happened yet. Maybe I need that fear. Or maybe I’ll just wind up committed somewhere by the time I’m 40. I don’t think that the psych ward really qualifies as an acceptable Lair for me, though, so I hope not.

AC: Oh, Aunty seriously doubts you'll end up in the psych ward. I mean, look how long some of us Banditas have managed to avoid it... AHEM!

Speaking of furry hunks, Aunty heard you have a new little four-legged guy around your house. Care to tell us about him?

KLC: Chewie!! Yes, thank you for asking about my new baby. He’s Chewie the chocolate Newf, and he’s eleven weeks old today! He’s getting so big. Not nearly as big as he’s gonna get, though. I’ve never had a big dog before, but my husband and I had talked for a while about getting a Newfoundland eventually. “Eventually” meaning when one of our sweet little Pekingese was no longer with us, which unfortunately came to pass in July. My Fizgig was 13, and losing him was just awful. He was so beautiful…one of those dogs that’s just all heart. I still have a hard time looking at his picture, because I miss him.

But getting Chewie has been a wonderful balm to that wound, and the fact that he’s a completely different breed, and a very different dog in every way, has been great because there’s really no way to even make a comparison. Some people mistakenly believe that Newfies are dumb just because they’re sort of the big lugs of the dog world, but they’re very bright, very sensitive, and Chewie is no exception.

AC: O.M. GOSH! Is that not the most adorable fuzzy face EVER?!?!

KLC: He’s also obsessed with water. Sits in the water dish, sleeps in the water dish, has a baby pool he plays in…it’s really cool. Well, and messy. Our 11.5 year old Peke, Daisy, has adjusted well to him overall. Our seven-year-old Siberian cat Bruno is just disdainful. But he’s kind of like that about everything.

AC: What exciting new stories can we look forward to reading from Kendra Leigh Castle?

KLC: This summer has been a BIG one for me on the writing front! I’ve had another Nocturne accepted, this one about a big, sexy werewolf who finds himself responsible for a bitten woman who he’s forbidden to lay claim to (you can imagine how well that goes for him). We’re talking about spinning that into a series, which I think would be great fun!

And I’m just finishing up (translation: in the depths of Deadline Hell) with my first book for Grand Central which is slated to come out next summer. It’s the first in a series about the ancient dynasties of the vampire underworld, and in this particular story, a cat-shifting hero caught in between the dynasty he serves and the woman he loves. I am SO excited to have all of this going on…there are no words, seriously, and that’s saying something because I have a tendency to ramble. You’re, um, supposed to pretend you don’t notice that, though.

AC: Notice what?!?! And I'm seriously EXCITED to have more wonderful stories by Kendra Leigh Castle to look forward to reading.

KLC: Thanks so much to all of the Banditas, and especially the faaaaabulous Aunty Cindy, for letting me come back to celebrate my Nocturne debut! I hope everyone who decided to pick up a copy of Renegade Angel enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Raum and Ember’s story was just a lot of fun.

That said, I have a signed copy of the book to give away to one lucky commenter! I’ll be selecting someone at random, so be sure to check back to find out whether you’ve won…Aunty Cindy will post the winner here, with further instructions so I can get you your signed copy of Renegade Angel, which is also available for purchase in print or digital formats here (http://www.eharlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=22195). And please feel free to visit me at www.kendraleighcastle.com.

All right everyone, it's YOUR TURN! Feel free to ask Kendra questions about any of her books and please tell us: How do you prefer your paranormal heroes? With wings? Fangs? Fur? Something else???

40 comments:

flchen1 said...

Furred, please! I think my favorites are big cats. But winged is good too--I also love dragon shifters :)

flchen1 said...

Wow, Kendra! I'm new to reading your writing, but your latest sounds really intriguing! The whole fallen angel concept is hard to resist! I'm giggling at your paranormal writing roots though--around the same age, I recall seeing a stage version of Dracula, and it completely spooked me ;) Now I can read about them, but no writing for me!

Congrats on your new furry one--he's darling! And boy, he's going to be a big boy when he grows up!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Fedora!
Congrats on the chook! With any luck, Dianna wore him out sorting books yesterday. ;-)

Isn't Chewie the CUTEST?!?! He looks like a big ole fuzzy teddy bear!

AC

Helen said...

Well done Fedora have fun with him

Whoo Hoo Hi Kendra and thanks so much AC for inviting Kendra today I sooo loved the MacInness and I have to say that I love furred animals I actually ordered your new book today you are an auto buy author for me I wouldn't miss any of your books. I am soo looking foreard to it arriving so as I can read it.

I love Chewie so beautiful I have lost 2 dogs this year and I know how you feel we still have one left Brandy and she is getting very spoilt these days.

Have Fun
Helen

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Kendra & Aunty,

Must admit that I'm not so much
into the paranormal world. I'll
have to try Kendra's winged ver-
sions 'cause I do like angels.
I also like the idea of those
vampire Barbies! I am most glad
that DD1 never heard of them when
she was younger, she would have
insisted on converting all her
Barbies into vamps! Oh and I like
your furry boy! He looks so sweet!

Pat Cochran

Minna said...

I prefer my paranormal heroes with fur, because I like shapeshifters and werewolves,but I like scaly ones, too, as I like dragons, as well.

PJ said...

Great interview! AC, thanks for bringing Kendra to the lair!

I'm excited about your fallen angel and looking forward to reading Raum's story. I remember seeing statues of muscular, winged angels in Rome and thinking; "Wow, add some bad to that boy and you'd have one heck of a romance hero." Thanks for fulfilling my wish! :)

(((Hugs))) for the loss of Fizgig. Time has eased the pain of losing my beloved 13-yr-old Chocolate Lab last year. I can now remember her with a smile in my heart instead of tears and wish the same for you.

Chewie looks like one adorable bundle of love. Newfies are absolute sweethearts!

I've been reading a jaguar shape-shifter book so, right now, furred is foremost in my mind. Purrrrrrrr.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I think if I had to choose furred would be my favorite or at least at this moment in time. Ask me tomorrow and I might give a different answer. LOL

The GR should be fairly worn out my friends, I worked him hard and though I am not done I do have a large dent.

I think the fallen angel is neat twist. What happens to the wings when they are in their uh..lairs?

Jessica said...

Sorry guys I'm sorta stuck on the Barbies in a shoebox image...that is too cool!

Any way I have all of Kendra's books and can say for certain this lady has talent and then some. Something tells me she will be around for a long while!

As for fur vs wings, ah, man that is hard to choose from. Raum is totally cool and luscious. But I like shifters too. It's too early in the morning to make such a heavy choice. How about I'll just take a bit of each! Now there is an image to think about...

Marie Force said...

Cindy and Kendra, two of my favorite pals, Lair hopping away! Great interview, ladies. Kendra, your imagination astounds me. How you come up with these ideas is fascinating (and a little scary...LOL) Best of luck with the new release and my money is on you with the deadline!

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Good morning, everyone! Oh my. Many people are awake and bright-eyed this early! I envy you. Morning and I do not agree with one another. I have my caffeine IV drip hooked up right now.

flchen1, hi!! Yeah, I do love the furry men. Give me a hot-blooded man who's half animal anytime, woohoo! That said, it was a lot of fun to do a hot-blooded ex-demon, too. Raum can turn into a crow when he feels like it. All of his counterparts have an animal form. Glad you liked the tale of my roots. I figure, hey, all odd children have to grow up to be SOMETHING!:-)

Morning, AC! Thanks again for having me here! That big ole fuzzy teddy bear is being a pain in the butt he morning. He appears to have eaten half a roll of toilet paper in the five minutes I left him alone. And I swear he grew overnight. Still, he gives good kissies!

Morning, Helen! I'm glad to see you here!! You're so sweet to say all that...I'm incredibly glad to have you as a reader. ((hugs)) on your losses this year. I mourned Fizzy like I'd lost a person. You're so right, just give extra love to the one you still have:-) I hope you enjoy the book!

Hi Pat! LOL, yes, vampire Barbies are awesome. I don't know why they don't actually sell them, but I did okay with my shoeboxes and elegant Barbie evening wear:-) Now, my Derek doll's gold lame suit was maybe not ideal (he was from Barbie and the Rockers, hence the hideous clothing), but you work with what you've got!

Hi Minna! Oh, tell me about it...I LOVE dragons! Nice choice!

Hi PJ! You're right, those gorgeous winged men really just needed some attitude. I gave it my best shot. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for the sympathy. Everyone says it gets easier, so I hope I can smile at his picture at some point the way you can with your Lab baby. Love those cat men, I agree:-)

Hi Dianna! It really is hard to pick. My preferences shift to whatever I happen to be writing...love 'em all! The wings can fold together and vanish, for better blending when they're out and about in humanity. Not that they blend all that well, what with the jaw-dropping hotness. And in their Lair, well...anything goes!!

Hey, Jessica! Thanks for coming over! And thanks for the kind words about my stories. I'm so glad you enjoy them!! Hey, you don't have to pick. In our imaginations, we can have a paranormal smorgasbord of men!

Thanks, everyone, for the compliments on my Chewie. He's a sweet baby bear. Apart from stuff like the eating of the toilet paper.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hey Marie! Oh yes...be afraid, be very afraid:-) Told you my brain is a dark and scary place! Thanks for coming over:-)

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hi Kendra (and AC)!
No need to enter me in the contest, since you know very well that I already have a signed copy. I'm about halfway through it and so far, it's terrific!

Congrats on the upcoming projects and for getting adorable Chewie, too! My Chewbacca died two years ago, so I know what you've had to deal with on the dog front. Our new dog, Peaches, is a sweetie, but she's NOTHING like Chewie!

Thanks for the fun interview!

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hey Cheryl! Your Chewie looked like a big sweetie, I remember. I think it's good that Peaches is nothing like him, just as it's good that my Chewie is nothing like Fizzy was! Makes it easier to appreciate them for who they are. In my case, that would be an enormous ball of brown fur with a water addiction. And he's already counter surfing, God help me. I'm glad you're enjoying Renegade Angel! I finally got to write my bad boy hero:-)

Terra57 said...

Hi Kendra! Thought I would pop over and say Hi and see what you and AC have come up with. You both are a hoot and together I think you could be lethal. (giggles) If you throw Cheryl into the mix we're all in trouble. HEHE!

Anywho, best of luck my sweetie and can't wait for another Kendra fix.
huggs,
Terra

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Kendra!! Waving over the bay to you. I hope you don't much from Earl today. We're not supposed to get anything.

I had no idea you had a Siberian cat! I have one too. She is the funniest cat I've ever owned. And like Bruno, very disdainful.

You book sounds fantastic. I can't wait to read it.

As far as paranormal heroes, I prefer mine without fangs. :)

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hey Terra! Oh, we do get together (virtually), and we ARE trouble! *evil laughter* I'm glad you came over! And I'm always happy to provide another hot paranormal man fix for you:-)

Hey Christie! Waving back at you! Nope, on this side of the bay we got nuttin'. Some sprinkles. That is SO COOL that you have a Siberian, I never meet anyone else who has one! They're characters, right? I love my Bruno. And since I provide him with food and belly rubs, he loves me back:-) Glad to see you! We should do another signing together sometime, that was FUN.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Great interview, and I LOVE the sounds of your book, all the best for its release!

I love paranormal heroes, so tortured, sp hunky, they could have 7 toes and feathers, wouldn't matter to me!

Still love vamps, though shape-shifters have taken a hold of me lately! And thanks to the TV show Supernatural, Angels and Demons!

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome back to the Lair Kendra. Congrats on your debut with Nocturne.

Congrats too on your newest furry baby - he looks gorgeous - just the thing to ease the loss of your Fizgig.

I'm not a huge paranormal reader - I'm more into the soft woo-woo, if you know what I mean *g*. Witches and ghosts and so on. Love angels and fallen angels! So guess I'd have to say wings, not fur or fangs. Black wings sound delish!

That said, I don't mind shape-shifters who turn into big cats or who have feline in their blood.

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Karyn:-) LOL, I totally agree! Supernatural heroes are hot, period.

Thanks, Anna! Yup, I like soft woo-woo (that's such a great term btw) too. Witches are always fun. And wow, everyone seems to like the cat men! This is a good thing, because the hero of my next book is a vampire cat-shifter. Best of both worlds!

diva donna said...

I have to say I like then furred and fanged too. Purring or growling or howling or hissing. But I have to say I must say I'd not mind losing my dignity to Raum. He's one Hawt Angel. And thanks to Kendra for sharing him with me. And Aunty for letting us stop by. And I want to know more about the Lair you're building. And locking Gerry Butler in it with wine and Chocolate. I bet you'll make beautiful Music of the Night! HOWL !!!

Linda Wisdom said...

Fantastic, Kendra!

Gotta add to my Nook.

And Chewie's a total teddy bear.

Lisa said...

Oh, this is a tough question! I don't really think it matters to me about the fur or the fangs as long as they have the "bad boy" attitude going for them. Some swirly tribal tattoos strategically placed on a body made for sin and I'm good to go!

Thanks to Aunty Cindy for having you over Kendra and getting the word out on Renegade Angel. You already know how much I LOVED this book and Raum is delish in this story (as are the other angels)! Congrats on your Nocturne debut!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

(Aunty emerges squinty-eyed from the depths of the Lair)
Morning everyone...

Yes, it is still morning here on the west coast -- UGH! But thanx to everyone for coming out to celebrate Kendra's book.

Dianna, glad you put the GR to work! Fedora, you need to continue that trend. When he has too much excess energy, we all suffer! :-P

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Helen,
So sorry about you losing TWO of your sweet doggies this past year. I have a piccie of your lil Tootsie and she looked a lot like my Pug-WaWa. It is so hard to lose our furry family members, but we were so lucky to have them in our lives.

Hey Pat, you were up LATE last night! I hope you were reading a good book. And I was cracking up over those vampire Barbies too. Shows what kind of imagination Kendra had even back then!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Minna,
YAY! Another vote for Dragon-shifters! Our Ermingarde will be happy to hear about all the dragon-lovers in the Lair!

PJ, doesn't Italy have some of the most drool-worthy statuary? And I much prefer those built angels over the chubby cherubs. What can I say? I LURVE me some eye-candy, ancient or modern!

AC

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hey Donna! The plans for my Lair are top secret, but once it's complete I may throw a party, complete with scantily-clad minions to serve us drinks:-) Thanks for coming over!

Hi Linda! I would be honored to grace your Nook!

Lisa, you have summed up my idea of the perfect hero exactly:-) I'm so glad you loved the book!

Gooood morning AC! Find caffeine, and all will be well!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanks for dropping by Jessica, and I hear ya on too early in the day to think properly! :-P That's okay, you can have a bit of everything, long as you can handle it all without hurting yourself!

And notice, Kendra didn't say those Barbies were in the shoe boxes ALONE... AHEM!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Kendra!
Forget caffeine, brink on the scantily clad minions! CABANA BOYS! Let's get some cool drinks going, and find Sven or Lars, Aunty needs a massage!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Marie AND Cheryl!

Two of my FAVORITE author-buddies! Thanks for popping by. Yes, Marie, how ALL of us come up with story ideas can be a bit scary. That's why it might be best not to examine the process too closely. ;-)

Cheryl, your lil Peaches is another adorable fur-baby! Glad you liked our interview and BEST of luck on YOUR latest release!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Terra, Darlin!
How lovely to see you in the Lair today! Have a drink and a cabana boy, not necessarily in that order.

Kendra, Cheryl and moi cause trouble?!?! Why, whatever could you possible mean? (Aunty bats eyelashes innocently, no easy trick so early)

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Christie,
Glad to hear that Earl has passed you by. You too Kendra! Here's hoping that our friends a bit farther up the East coast get NUTTIN HONEY too.

It's another HOT ONE here on the West coast, so even though it is still morning, I thing some slushy, frozen drinkie-poos are definitely in order!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Karyn! 7 toes and feathers?!?! Would the feathers be ON the toes? Sorry I watched The Lightning Thief the other night. I must be having flashbacks to those tennies with wings. :-P

VA, since I'm a writer of "soft woo woo" (ghosts, mental telepathy) I'm happy to hear you like it!

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Diva Donna,
You little SCAMP! Thanx for stopping by and mentioning HAWT angels and Gerry and beautiful "music of the night!" Have a Cabana boy! What the heck, have TWO!

HUGS, Linda! So great to see you here in the Lair. Of course, you are welcome to all the Cabana boys you want. ;-) Just be sure to return them by midnight.

AC

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Lisa,
Appreciate you dropping by. I must agree with you, when it comes to heroes ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! Of course, not that you mention those strategically placed swirly tats, Aunty is getting some very nice images... AHHH!

AC

Brishen Maree said...

I think it depends what mood I'm in on whether I would prefer wings or fur. Sometimes the hero needs to be cuddly as well, and others, wings are better.

Great interview. I loved the insight to your beginnings/origins. Have to say that I like Koontz better than King, but I agree that those are two of my much preferred genres.

Congratulations and good luck with the book!

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

Hi Brishen! I haven't read as much of Koontz, but I like what I've read. Really enjoyed Odd Thomas...creepy, sad and sweet. Glad you liked the interview!:-)

chey said...

I don't really have a favourite paranormal hero, I like them all! I just can't choose one.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Glad you like the interview, Brishen! Kendra and I had fun doing it.

And don't worry Chey, you don't have to limit yourself to just one paranormal hero. As I told Jessica, take as many as you like as long as you don't hurt yourself. LOL!

AC

Kendra Leigh Castle said...

LOL, what Cindy said, Chey...the sky's the limit until or unless you're in danger of bodily harm!