Today, please join-me in welcoming debut paranormal romance author, Jan DeLima, to the blog! She’s here to answer a few of my questions about her recent werewolf release, Celtic Moon, and giveaway a copy to one of my lucky followers!
1. What fascinates you about Celtic Mythology? Do you have a favorite folklore?
[box]The history fascinated me just as much as the mythology, and the beliefs of an ancient culture. I admire how women were valued in Celtic societies. Women were warriors who led armies. The Celts honored motherhood and marriage. Sexuality wasn’t considered shameful. Most of their beliefs and customs coincided with nature. However, I did draw inspiration from the Mabinogion, also referred to as the Mabinogi, a collection of Welsh tales translated from medieval manuscripts. The Mabinogion includes some of the earlier mentions of the Arthurian legends. It was a time period of bards, where stories were recited about warriors who wielded swords and traveled through gauntlets for the women they loved. I enjoyed bringing those elements into a modern day setting.
I think the Arthurian legends are my favorite but I veered away from them because they’ve been used many times, and by writers far more experienced than myself. Instead, I concentrated more on the tales of Taliesin, who is an actual character in Celtic Moon. Celtic lore is filled with stories about shape-shifters, but it’s also the origin of the fae and fairies, and other woodland creatures. Needless to say, these fairy tales have inspired many authors over the years.
2. Typically in Paranormal Romance, each installment features a different couple; is that your plan for your Celtic Wolves series? And if so, can you give us a hint as you which of your characters will be in the spotlight next?
[box]Yes, each installment features a different couple, much like a paranormal romance will do, while the fantasy and war against the Guardians continues like an urban fantasy. I think my series could fall under either of these genres, but landed on the urban fantasy side of things because of the world building and fantasy elements.
With that said, Luc and Rosa’s story is next. Without giving too much away, I will share that Rosa helps Sophie at the end of Celtic Moon but not without a purpose. Rosa calls in her favor at the beginning of the second book because she wants reinforcements as she takes control of her territory away from the Guardians. Luc agrees to help her, but with a few conditions. All I will say is that Luc and Rosa’s story is more sensual than Celtic Moon because the characters called for it. In book one, Dylan and Sophie had too much betrayal in their past to overcome. The fantasy and war against the Guardians also continues, but Rosa has secrets that the Guardians don’t want revealed—or harmed. There’s also a prophecy at work that complicates Rosa’s plan.
Elen and Cormack’s story will be the third book. In book two Cormack is a prominent secondary character as he learns to be human outside of wolf form, with Rosa and Luc’s help. Elen and Cormack’s journey is so endearing and I can’t wait to get these two characters together.
On my website I have posted journal pages written in the voice of Luc’s deceased wife that may or may not appear in my books. When I started Luc’s story her voice wanted to be heard; my characters have a tendency to do that to me. Koko will remain deceased, but this is a page created about Cormack and Elen, who are the characters in book three of the Celtic Wolves series… http://jandelima.com/kokoscormack.html [/box]
3. What attracted you to write in the Paranormal genre and why did you choose to showcase werewolves over other supernaturals?
[box]That came from my research. At the time, I worked in the cataloging department of my library when a book on Celtic artifacts came across my desk. It reviewed findings and theories of Celtic beliefs from Celtic art, with images of men shifting into animals. I dove into researching Celtic history and mythology and found more material on wolves and shape-shifting than I could possibly imagine. It is one of the original sources of shifter lore. Let’s just say my writer’s radar was dinging loudly. I knew this could be an original take on a much-loved genre. [/box]
4. There’s a bit of a “butterfly effect” to Celtic Moon‘s story; how do you keep track of all your plot threads (i.e. post-its, spreadsheets, etc)?
[box]I am a plotter and I do love my post-its! Often times a really good conversation thread will come to mind and I will build a scene out of that idea. For example, the first time Sophie calls Dylan after fifteen years of hiding, this was the line that I had on my post-it and used to build the scene…
[quote]You’ve held onto your anger well, Sophie, yet I’m the one who’s never seen my son’s face.”[/quote]
I specifically started this story fifteen years after Dylan and Sophie’s initial separation because that’s where the real communication begins, or rather is forced to begin with their son showing signs of becoming a shifter. I think by doing that the butterfly effect you’re referring to happened naturally. I wanted readers to learn the world through Sophie’s perspective, with conversation instead of internal monologue and description. I wanted everyone to experience events and learn Dylan’s motives as she did. The back flashes were needed to show why her leaving was justified, although I tried to keep those to a minimum. I opened the first two chapters in Dylan’s point of view so his emotions and love for his wife were apparent before introducing readers to what happened to Sophie in his care fifteen years earlier. He’s a good man, and honorable, with a weight of a dying race resting on his big, beautiful shoulders. The conflict, resolution, and growth of character drove their love story. [/box]
5. Do you have any plans to branch out of the PNR genre in the future?
[box]One never knows what the future will bring. Sin, Porter, and Isabeau are very real characters for me in the Celtic Wolves series and may have their own stories, but I do have a romantic suspense series that I’m planning as well. It doesn’t have any magical creatures in it, but it does have a heroine who makes my heart hurt and a hero who is quite delicious. My books will always have romance in them. [/box]
6. How do you feel about your family reading the sex scenes in your book?
[box]The men in my life have absolutely no interest in actually reading my books. They do think it’s really cool. The women in my family have all read it but they understand the business. They want me to be successful. However, I have warned them all that the next two books are more sensual. [/box]
7. For you, what’s the most challenging aspect of being an author (i.e. plotting, editing, promotion, etc)?
[box]I love all aspects of writing. Every step is a challenge, but those challenges make the journey meaningful. It is important to me that the words flow and sound unique and uncontrived, so readers can just escape into the story. I will rework a paragraph a hundred times before I’m happy with it. I enjoy plotting the story, and editing with a professional editor is a joy. I agreed with every one of my editor’s suggestions, and she pulled two powerful scenes from me that made my story stronger—and an apology from my hero.[/box]
8. What was your favourite scene in Celtic Moon to write and why?
[box]I loved the scene where Sophie meets Dylan again for the first time in over fifteen years. She’s sick with anxiety while their teenage son is wide-eyed with excitement and enjoying the adventure. In this author’s humble opinion, Dylan’s control of his emotions in that moment was beyond sexy…
[quote]The front door opened and Dylan walked out. She straightened, letting her hand drop away from Joshua’s arm.
Dylan remained silent, an announcement unnecessary. His mere presence demanded attention. He wore jeans and a black flannel shirt that hugged his massive frame. His once shoulder-length golden waves had been cut business short, only to make him look harder, more severe.
Dark eyes landed on her, black as sin, absent of light and utterly compelling, as if all the mysteries of the universe waited in their depths for someone strong enough to handle the darkness. [/quote][/box]
9. Now that your novel has been out for a month; do you have any regrets? You know what they say! Hindsight is 20/20… is there anything that you wish you could have done differently?
[box]No. I had specific reasons for writing every scene and character the way that I did and I stand by my choices. I do think that many urban fantasy readers were expecting a traditional magic-wielding and/or shifter heroine and received Sophie, who is very human. Her strength comes from her instinct to protect her child at all costs. She’s tough when she needs be, soft when she’s loved, and always practical. She’s real. Going by the emails that I’ve received, some romance readers wanted more heat and less fantasy, and some fantasy readers wanted less romance and more scenes with the Guardians, but most enjoyed the balance between the two. The feedback from men has been interesting. In the end, everyone brings their own life experiences into their interpretation of a book and has different tastes. It is what makes book discussions worthwhile. [/box]
10. I love your book cover! Who’s the artist and did you have any say in the final result?
[box]I learned the names of the artists from the copyright page after I received the first copy of my book. Gordon Crabb did the cover illustration, and Diana Kolsky did the cover design. My thanks and gratitude goes out to these talented people, and to everyone at the Penguin/Berkley art department, because I absolutely love my cover. I was asked to share my thoughts during the planning process, but ultimately it was my publishing house who decided what would appeal to readers. I was also asked to send graphics that I liked. I sent pictures of the Maine woods that reminded me of the setting of Celtic Moon. What they came up with is eerily accurate. I may also have said something along the lines of, “If we could avoid the weapon-wielding-crouch cover I would be so utterly grateful.”
I am grateful, for everything, and not just the amazing cover! [/box]
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aX5jnZPLSX8/UlwkrcqL3hI/AAAAAAAAJC4/N3uonKVpHvY/s1600/JanDeLima_AuthorPic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]
Jan lives in Maine with her husband of twenty years and their two teenage sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age but has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine. She brought a mixture of all her experiences to her first published novel, blending castles and Celtic lore with the wild nature of her home.
Like father, like son…
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father—a man who can change into a wolf.
Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.
When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared. For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…