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Come visit w/Nationally Best Selling Deborah Cooke and join our #giveaway! #Dragonfire #UF #PNR #romance

Good morning Swamp Folks! How are we doing this fine spring morning? Did you all make it past Dreamer’s SnapDragons? *wincing* Yeah, seems the seedlings got mixed with the Venus FlyTraps, hence the sharp teeth on those little puppies.

Well, now that you’re all settled in, get ready, because today we welcome the Nationally Best Selling Mistress of the hunky men of her Dragonfire series–Deborah Cooke . You may also recognize her as Claire Delacroix, the NY Times Best Selling authoress.

And because Deborah is such awesome sauce, she’s going to do a giveaway right here!

So in the comments, share with us a piece of life advice you found helpful or not so helpful and you could be our lucky winner of:

A SIGNED TRADE PAPERBACK OF THE DRAGON LEGION COLLECTION!

Dragonfire is a paranormal romance series featuring dragon shape shifter heroes on quest to save humanity 

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Don’t forget to include your email so we can reach out and gift you! (winner announced on 3/19/14)

Without further ado, I give you Deborah…

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

Well, maybe this is backwards, but I always wanted to be a writer. I was an avid reader as a kid and just loved books. I also loved making up stories. Now we’d call it fan fiction, but I used to continue the stories of characters I’d met in books. The idea that I could be someone who wrote books, who was responsible for putting stories out into the world, was just a thrilling possibility. I was told, though, that being a writer wasn’t a practical way to make a living, that I should write as a hobby and find a “real” job instead. Well, writing books isn’t a practical way to make a living, but if it’s what you want to do, “real” jobs are just too boring to endure. I had real jobs for a while and ended up scribbling books on the side. I had to follow my bliss, and I did. Even before I sold my first book, I quit my real job and I’ve never looked back. It’s been challenging sometimes but so rewarding that you take the challenges in stride.

–I did the same thing for books and movies, generally creating my own character, because, well, because I’m a writer.  I also heard the same thing about writing not being a “real” job. *snort* Shows what they know.  I’ve got a plan where the day job goes bye-bye, but we’re not quite there yet. Soon, though *rubbing hangs together*

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

I expect my characters would be frustrated with me for not writing more quickly. They’d accuse me of being easily distracted by shiny new ideas, which isn’t entirely unfair. Shiny new ideas are exciting! The fact is that I’m pretty prolific, but I still have too many ideas to write them all as quickly as even I’d like. I also have a tendency to create secondary characters who want to steal the book so they can have their own stories told. I make them wait, even though they’re interesting, and they don’t like it. The line of characters wanting their particular book written forms to the right, and my office tends to be pretty crowded. So long as no one fictional does injury to anyone else fictional, I’m okay with the crowd. I doubt they feel the same way – and really, if I was waiting on an HEA, I’d be impatient too. This also explains why I talk when I’m writing, but I’m not really talking to myself (although it looks like it): I’m calming the crowd. =0)

–Yep, have to watch for others listening in, they start to consider us “unbalanced”.  Explaining it, seems to make it worse!

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?  Inquiring minds want to know: what was  your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

I made many first attempts at writing, and took creative writing classes in high school. The first full length book that I completed is the proverbial one under the bed. It’s a paranormal romantic suspense set in Venice. I loved that story to bits and revised it many (many!) times. I really didn’t have the skill to do a good job with such a complicated hybrid genre book then. I submitted it to many publishers and agents, but in 1990, there was no market for that kind of book. There still might not be a market for it, but over the years, it’s haunted me and I now have a better plan of how to write it. I might rewrite it one of these days. We’ll see. For now, those characters have joined the line in my office.

–So I’m going to ask, do you have one of those paper ticket dispensers, like a deli? “Please take a number and we will serve you as soon as we can.” =0)

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

I’m always honoured to hear from readers. There’s something so private about the act of writing that it’s frequently a bit startling to realize that other people are actually reading my books. Of course, that’s the point of publishing them, but still, it’s very exciting to hear from a reader. The sweetest thing someone can say is “I loved your book X.” Wow! That never fails to give me a thrill. Meeting readers in person is also a treat. One of the most exciting changes for writers is the development of the internet and the opportunity it gives of interacting with readers, through blogs, emails or other social media. It’s so much fun to have that immediacy and even to be able to correspond.

–Well, let me be another one, I love, love your Dragon series (and I know Snarky is just almost speechless that you’re visiting).

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

It wasn’t given to me specifically, but is from the writings of Joseph Campbell: Follow your bliss. You have to do what makes you happy, regardless of whether other people (or even you) think it’s a sensible choice. Another saying I just love comes from Julia Cameron and the Artist’s Way: Leap and the net will appear. That’s about trusting your instincts and following your heart (as well as your bliss). We know more than we believe we do, and need to be reminded to trust in ourselves and our own instincts.

–Instincts, we have ’em for a resin =0)

Time for our favorite things, our bullet list…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Whatever suits the character. =0)

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

I love so many, but would choose Beauty and the Beast.

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

My TBR pile is very scary. It fills an entire bookshelf in my office. On my nightstand, though, are Agatha Christie: The Mousetrap and other plays (I admit I’ve been on a bit of an AC binge this fall.)
Margo Lanagan: The Brides of Rollrock Island (This is just lovely. I’m trying to ready slowly and savour.)
Ursula K. Leguin: Voices (Recommended by a friend who reads a ton more fantasy than me. I love UKL’s work, though, and am looking forward to diving in.)

Greatest one liner of all time?

“I know.”  Hans Solo en route to his inevitable demise, right after Princess Leia cries “Hans! I love you!”

–Ah yes, Star Wars, greatest space soap opera EVER!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Oh, I like wry humor. The deadpanned one-liner is my fave.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

Hmm. There’s the usual clutter of books, music dvd’s, computer parts, notebooks, file folders and knitting in various stages of completion.

Favorite supernatural creature?

Dragons, of course. (Shape-shifting dragons that can become hunky heroes are even better.)

–LOL!

Much thanks to Deborah for taking time out of her very busy schedule to be with us! Don’t forget to leave your comment and email below. 

Need more…

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Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ bestselling author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012.

Currently, she’s writing the Dragonfire series of paranormal romances as Deborah Cooke, and the True Love Brides series of medieval romances (with fantasy elements) as Claire Delacroix.

The current Dragonfire release is The Dragon Legion Collection, which includes three paranormal romance novellas. You can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/deborah-cooke-books/dragonfire/the-dragons-legion-novellas/

DeborahCooke_DragonAnthology_200px

The current True Love Brides release is The Highlander’s Curse, which is a paranormal Scottish medieval romance. You can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/claire-delacroix-books/the-true-love-brides/the-highlanders-curse

ClaireDelacroix_TheHighlandersCurse200

Deborah has also republished a trilogy of urban fantasy romances featuring fallen angel heroes and set in a dystopian future called the Prometheus Project. There’s a new fourth book in the series called Abyss and you can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/claire-delacroix-books/the-prometheus-project/abyss/

ClaireDelacroix_Abyss_200

Find Deborah at these locations:

Deborah’s website and blog is http://deborahcooke.com

Deborah is on Facebook as herself:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage
and also as Claire Delacroix:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

Deborah is on Goodreads as Claire:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12694.Claire_Delacroix

Bacon and Beer w/NY Times Best Selling Writer Man @KevinHearne

Snarky  *boots propped on my porch railing, whip curled in her lap*:  So you finally womaned up and got Kevin Hearne to swing by?  ‘Bout damn time!

Wicked *hand on doornob*:  Look, I know you and the other Evil 7 think I’m all Miss Social but it’s only because I know you deviants.  Approaching world famous writers like *hush tone* Kevin Hearne reduces me to a stuttering mess.

Snarky *does that “look” thing she does so well*

Wicked *mutters under breath, opens door and steps inside only to come to a complete stops as a mass of fur barrels by*  Was that JoJo and Jasmine, with Hellhound?  What’s the deal?

Prankster Duo 1: Hey Mom, Hellhound invited some chicks over.  He told them that Irish stud was stopping by.

Snarky *perking up*: Atticus?

Wicked: Snarky! Your drool is showing!

Prankster Duo 1 *rolls his eyes across the floor*:  You guys are so weird! Like no, the other one, Oberon.

Wicked: Weird? Looks who’s talking, child of mine.  Okay, does Smokey and Eerie know where their girls are?

Prankster Duo 1:  Dunno.

Wicked: Go tell them.  First, do me a favor and make sure the fur trio doesn’t track dirt into the house. I just cleaned it.  I don’t need Kevin thinking that just because we live in the Swamp, we have to decorate with mud.  *Stops in shock* What the hell happened to my kitchen!

Prankster Duo 2 *head pops over the counter with towering plate of bacon*: Hey Mom! You’re home! Great! We need more bacon.

Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor *turns with devlish grin*: Check out the beer selection I got!  Eerie got the Werewolf Monks to send over some Howling Moon for our get together.

Before the craziness that is my life overtakes us all–Ladies and Germs may I present today’s guest, the always humorous and witty creator of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Kevin Hearne…

Trapped

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue. Who could reduce you to such a level and how to you imagine your initial meeting?

It’s actually already happened to me. The first time I met Patrick Rothfuss I fanboyed all over him. It’s out of my system now and I can speak to him like a normal dude. I suppose now it would be Neil Gaiman. I don’t think I’d be able to handle meeting him. I’ll just be thankful I get to walk the world at the same time he does.

                            –You’re not the only one! One of the few times I’ve seen Red Dwarve all a flutter was when Neil Gaiman responded to one of Red’s tweets!

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

I do have one stashed away—it’s called THE ROAD TO CIBOLA. By the gods of twenty pantheons, it’s awful, but I’m so glad I wrote it. I learned a lot writing that book—mostly things I should never do again. But those are crucial lessons to learn. And the other thing I got out of it was the confidence that I can finish a novel, period. That’s also crucial. It took me a long time to finish a book—nine years of starting and never finishing several projects, and then six years after that to finish Cibola. I wrote another book that will never be published in the next three years, and then HOUNDED in a year after that. So nineteen years, all told, before I got it right.

What’s some of the sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

The sweetest have been from a couple of people who said they read my books to someone who was recovering from surgery in the hospital and the stories somehow made their convalescence a bit easier and relieved a whole lot of stress. The strangest have been some folks who wanted me to start a religion based on the Druidry I’ve described in my books.

What is the best advice you can share with others?

Focus on character and let your plots flow from them. And if writing is truly your dream, don’t give up! It took me nineteen years, but I got published without any contacts in NY. If you write a good story that hits the market at the right time you’ll be published too.

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

I tend to avoid stabbity, shooty, punchy, smelly things.

Favorite fairy tale?

Anything that hasn’t been touched by Disney. Give me the old Baba Yaga tales.

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read?

LOW TOWN by Daniel Polansky, LOSS by Jackie Kessler, and a book that’s not even out yet by an author no one knows. However, they *will* know him in the summer of 2013 after his first book, THE DARWIN ELEVATOR, comes out. He’s the next big thing—his name is Jason Hough—and I’m about to dive into the second book in his series. I’m getting early peeks from my publisher, muah-ha-ha-haa.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A statue of Ganesha. I’m not a Hindu but he’s a cool dude and I really like him.

Favorite supernatural creature.

Definitely yeti. I don’t know why. Ari Marmell had me read THE GOBLIN CORPS, which is full of all sorts of critters, but I couldn’t stop gushing about his yeti. That just pressed my nerd button I guess.

Kevin HearneMuch love and thanks to Kevin for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with us! If you haven’t already, you must go add the adventures of Atticus and Oberon to your reading pile.  You can find him at his web site:  www.KevinHearne.com

His latest release is TRAPPED, the fifth book in the series.  Now run, fast before the mobs hit the bookstores and grab all the available copies!

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