Hi and welcome to my blog, Nancy J Gaffney. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. So tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me! *accepts beverage from the uber-sexy lads, complimenting Raine on her talent for selecting the most ‘talented’ lads for the job* Love the establishment!
Q: What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I am very proud to say that I’m an Eternal Press author. Both my books, Prey for Closure and Another Way were accepted by the amazing Candace Clayton (the Senior Acquisitions Editor) and facilitated into print-hood by the very talented Kim Richards (CEO Eternal Press/Damnation Books).
I’m kind of an ‘inter-category traveler’ as far as genres go. I like to ‘visit’, ‘get to know the locals’, ‘send out a few postcards’ and then ‘tell my tales of adventure’ once I return home. All of which are nothing but euphemisms for me saying that I love to write in every genre; my characters are ‘the locals’, my postcards are my notes (about whatever story I’m working on) and when I tell my tales, that’s the story that I write.
For example, Prey for Closure is an urban-fantasy paranormal noir and Another Way is a grand-scale sci-fi adventure story with romantic elements. I’m also working on Regency historical and a contemporary romance.
Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Another Way hits the shelves this Saturday, May 7th, 2011 – I’m so stoked! It’s a fab, fun, intricate, complete, 608 page-turner that features space battles, inter-personal conflicts, internal justifications and balances the life of one person against the value of the whole.
The inspiration stemmed from a mental image I had in my mind… I pictured a woman mentally – and physically – challenging her opponent as she said, “… over my dead body.”
That got me thinking… We, as a society, have such a propensity for exaggeration. We use phrases like, ‘I could just kill that person for…”, “I drove, like, a million miles today…”, and “There’s nothing I would give to be able to do that…” all the time, but we really don’t mean what we say. I thought: what would it take for someone to really mean exactly what they said? Hence how the plot of Another Way came about. What would have to happen to someone where the ultimate showdown involved the declarative sentence: Over my dead body.
When you read the pages that detail that confrontation, you truly believe that Shannen Everett (the hero of Another Way) means what she says.
Q: Who are some of your favorite characters from your books? The hardest to write? The easiest?
Hmmm… That’s a really great question! I’d have to say that the hardest character for me to write are the ones that possess the most basic of motivations. Someone who just does that they do because that’s what they do – those characters enable my lazy side. The characters that really engage me, the ones that always seem to have just one more layer to them – even when I thought they had told me all about themselves – are the ones that are the easiest for me to write.
For example, in Prey for Closure, Sam (the antagonist) is a deeply disturbed individual; he believes the world owes him because the world was so cruel to him – hence his perceived license to do what he wants when he wants. His voice came to me so clearly that I wrote an entire chapter (devoted entirely to him) in less than two hours. When I did surface (afterwards), I felt an… I guess that the closest thing I could call it, Raine, was an emotional hang-over: my head hurt, my body ached, and as darkly enthralled as I had been with Sam, the last thing I wanted to do was delve back into his view of the world. But, I have to admit, Sam’s identity rings true throughout the book, and not in that one chapter.
In Another Way, the most challenging character to write was the male protagonist. Jason Carrack gives the impression of being an officer and a gentleman, but he’s far from perfect. I found myself time and again discovering that.
Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them/she/it/he back to the drawing board?
Music – definitely music. I’m a hard-core fan of 80’s music, 90’s pop music, and angry-female-empowerment music. Not the male-bashing music, but the kind of music that makes you sing out loud and cheer – internally or externally – to the lyrics. P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Lita Ford, Joan Jett, Melissa Ethridge, Cher, and a multitude of others fill my playlists.
My second method of reaching out to my muse is to challenge her sense of pride! I’ll watch a movie or read a book and slyly smirk at her as I say, “Bet you could write that (scene, moment, plot) better.” That almost ALWAYS works!
Q: Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet but plan to in the future?
I would love to tackle a ménage story – but not because ménages are ‘hot’ right now. No, the reason why I’d like to try my hand at such a story is because there’s so much opportunity to write a deep, character-rich, story that can really reach out to some aspect of everyone’s life. But, you have to be very careful when crafting such a story; if you’re lazy, it comes off cheap and tawdry, if you over-due it, you lose the heart of your characters and your story. To find that delicate balance would truly create something special. I’m not sure if I’ve developed enough skills to do a story like that proper justice.
Q: If the world was to end tomorrow, what three things would be on your bucket list?
- I would make love with someone special
- I would tell myself that mistakes are just mistakes and not to carry them with me when the world ends
- To face Fate with calmness
Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
The ‘bad girl’ in me says: stay put, polish up my seduction skills, learn to like sea urchin and sea weed soup, send out stories to publishers, and make sure that the handsome man had a vasectomy (and screened for STDs) prior to our stranding!
The ‘good girl’ in me says: e-mail for help, bide my time until rescue, and appreciate my impromptu vacation.
Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?
Honestly? It’s an image. A moment. From one of those two things, I create deconstruct the story so that what I see/saw in my head comes to fruition. With Prey for Closure, Ellie (short for Elvira – hey, not every heroine is going to born with a porn-star-esque name!) has a line of dialogue: You’re the bad thing I can’t let happen to innocent people. The result was the story, which culminated into her delivering that line.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main characters?
Talk about tapping into my inner-most dreams!
Benedict Cumberbatch (from Sherlock) is the spitting-image of Sam, from Prey for Closure. Ellie is a little tougher to pin-down. I’d have to say that Shannen Doherty would be a good look-alike…
Another Way? Cobie Smoulders would – loosely – fit as Shannen Everett; she’d have to be really bring her fierceness and protectiveness, though. Jason Carrack… his part could be played by David Boreanaz.
I DO know who I’d want to collaborate on the screen play and direct the movies: Kevin Smith. That man is made out of AWESOME!
Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
I’m really hoping to craft a sequel to Prey for Closure and have that finished by the end of the summer. Also, I really would like to finish my Regency historical. It’s a VERY cool take on what could have happened during Napoleon’s Hundred Days. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Watch Out: She’s Unpredictable. I have this *tiny* flaw in my personality where I don’t *always* say what I’m supposed to say or do what I’m *supposed* to do!
Q: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
My stories are all about fun, fabulous, and flawed females. I’m not talking about someone who can’t hold her liquor or talks too fast or is a bad driver. I’m talking about women who fight because that’s what they do, even when they shouldn’t. I’m talking about women who make the same mistake again because there’s something inside them that feels the need to be punished for some wrong that they themselves can’t recognize.
I love to celebrate women – and men – because women (and men) are worthy of celebrating. We fight, we struggle, we win, we lose, we step in the same sh*t time and again because that’s what we do. I can’t think of a richer pool from which to draw storylines, inspiration and introspection.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
I LOVE to hear from those who like to read, like to write or just like to ‘like’.
I can be found at Eternal Press, Bunch of Grapes bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and my own website, www.valkyrieromance.com
Raine, thank you so much for having me! I truly enjoyed you and myself!
Just my luck. The one time I pick up the phone without checking the caller ID is the one time I can’t say ‘no’ to doing a job. Sam, a man I used to love, is up to his usual tricks. Let’s just say that he’s the kind of guy who takes the phrases, ‘I never want you to leave me’ and ‘I want to stay with you forever’ a little too literally. But Debbie, his girlfriend, needs my help to make their separation permanent and I just so happen to owe her a favor. Oh well. So be it. Sam would’ve showed up on what passes for a work-order from Big Mike and Rafe one of these days.
The question isn’t whether or not I can kill a guy I used to love.
The real question has everything to do with whether or not I can kill Sam before I fall in love with him all over again.
A thousand years ago, in the name of ‘the greater good’, a great betrayal occurred.
In the name of righteous retribution and justifiable genocide, a peaceful planet is attacked. A civilization a thousand years in the re-building is razed. An idyllic society, steeped in music, literature, and civic duty, is forced to flee the only home they’ve ever known.
In middle of the struggle for survival, Shannen ‘Keeper’ Everett, Jason ‘Preacher’ Carrack and Colonel Robert Preyar must find a way to stay alive and thwart enemies no one ever knew existed.
The battle for life as they knew it is on.