Hi and welcome to my blog, Imogene Nix. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake. So tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Raine! Thanks for having me here today. Hey boys…I’ll have a Vodka and Orange thanks!
Q: What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I am currently deep in Sci Fi romance country (although I am working on this hunky little Vamp as well), and currently exclusively with Secret Cravings. I write more of an hot and spicey traditional romance J
Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
You know those girls who were really geeky in high school? Well I wasn’t one of them, but I wasn’t a mainstreamer either. Lol
I was the girl with her nose in the book. And the books ranged from Piers Anthony and Anne McCaffrey through to Barbara Cartland. Then one day the light bulb went off. I mean, I like SciFi right? And I love romance, so let’s combine them.
From then on, I devoured paranormal and scifi romance, but there isn’t a lot so I ran out pretty darn quick.
I watched Stargate, Star Trek Next Gen and Voyager, as well as a heap of other paranormal and science fiction television shows. So when I started writing, well it just had to be Science Fiction based, because it was what did it for me. But I also have a soft spot of Alexander Kent’s Richard Bolitho books, so the whole maritime structure of the admiralty worked for me.
Starline is the first book in a trilogy, called the Warriors of the Elector. We meet most of our members in this book. This one though, well the focus is on Mellissa and Duvall. He is a career captain and thinks that love is not something for him. He wants to be among the stars.
And Mellissa, well she owns a bookstore, is an orphan and just wants a quiet life. That is, until she meets the man who will sweep her off her feet and into adventure among the stars.
Q: How do you build characters, their personalities and looks?
I had so much fun. Once I had them sketched out in my mind, I hunted high and low on the internet. I found a series of images that, for me, represented the characteristics of my heroes and heroines.
Their personalities kind of came to me as I worked. I mean Duvall and Mellissa just kept screaming until I wrote their story, the way they wanted it. But the second book, Starfire….Raven wouldn’t behave. He was going to be this rough tough Engineer. In the end he turned into the man most women want to love. Caring, affectionate and isn’t going to stop until he gets his girl.
For me, the characters tell me about themselves and I put it on the paper for them.
Q: Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines.
The guys are all so different – while they have the Alpha qualities in their own way, each of my heroes has that something special going for him. They know they don’t have to always be the captain, just so long as they are the top of the game as they play it, and of course, each of my guys on the Elector is handpicked. They are, after all, the best of the best.
Duvall? Well I kinda fell a little in love with him, then I met Raven and melted because he is just so in love with his lady and will do anything to help her. By the time Chowd arrived I was in a puddle on the floor, his story is the last to be written. Then there is Grayson. Always there, always in the background, but keeps everything running. (He gets a short coming in April 2012 – The Star of Ishtar)
And it’s not just the guys, the women are very special. Mellissa is strong deep down and had to find the strength within her to cope, Jemma is so broken and has to learn to trust and believe in herself, Meredith is bitingly clever, driven and capable and Elara? Well you get to meet her in April. This is one lady with a mission. And that mission is to get her man!
But at the end of the day, there are the core features of their relationships that keeps them tight. Deep and abiding Friendship & Trust.
Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them back to the drawing board?
Hmm. I actually have book 2 (Starfire) written, but I am taking my time going back to it. It was a harder book to write because of the personalities involved. I have another piece on the boil at the moment, which is great. But that seems to happen partway through a manuscript for me in just about every story I have written. When it is like that I have a couple of little jobs I do.
The first is go back and reread what I have already written. Sometimes I have boxed myself into a corner. In that case, I need to make sure that it works based on the concepts used.
Secondly, I think it is important to not push it. Write even a couple of hundred words in a day. Maybe in a different scene, but get something down. When there is something written everyday, then at least you are still moving forward. Sometimes you just need that momentum rolling to get you back on track.
Walk away and take a break, read a book, talk to a friend. Eat chocolate (sorry just had to throw that in there…lol!) Obsessing isn’t going to help. (Well not for me anyway.) I work on the more you push it, the worse it becomes school of thought. So maybe that manuscript needs a break. Let it settle and come back to it fresh.
Q: Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
Not really. I go into my office and in summer turn on the aircon (and in winter I use the heat settings). Read my emails to clear my mind so that there are no excuses to not get into the writing. If I am really into it, I throw some music on and write to the beat. I go back and check what was in the last scene to pick up the continuity and then when I am ready to start.
The only things I do need is my coffee and water. The odd glass of wine (okay several sometimes) and my dog in the office. I think he’s my good luck charm! If it is early, I will have a bowl of oats as I read through what is done. I just like to be alone when I write so that I can concentrate.
Q: If you could go back to a specific historical event, what one would it be and why?
Wow just one? That is pretty hard really. Maybe the end of World War 2. I remember reading a book many years ago called Sunrise, set in Australia. It was a fabulous book. Didn’t miss the dirty realities of life, but it reminded me that life can go slower, that growing your own and being the best you can was and is achievable.
Q: Does travel play a part in your stories? Have you ever traveled for research purposes for a book?
I would love to say yes, but I don’t think Aenna is on any tourist routes yet J But seriously, no. While I have travelled fairly extensively as a child and seen most of Australia, been to Hong Kong and China and New Zealand with hubby and daughters, most of the locations I write about either haven’t been discovered or are not yet invented.
My husband and I also had the fortunate opportunity to visit California and stay with friends some years back. Perhaps staying with people has made it easier to see different lives from a multitude of perspectives, but living in other countries has given me opportunities to see how other people live. So I would love to use that for scenes one day.
I’m still exploring the world inside my mind at the moment.
If I could go to one place though? I would head beyond our solar system!
Q: Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
Wow! Yes there has. Anne McCaffrey (Pern, Crystal Singers, Tower & Hive series), Linnea Sinclair (what can I say? I love her work and one day, when I grow up, I want to be just like her!) Alexander Kent (the intricacies of maritime history do intrigue me), then the traditional romance writers. Yes, even Barbara Cartland because that is where my initial fascination with romance stems from.
Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters? Or a combination of all three?
The characters need to be in place first. I need to know who I am about to write the story of and get a sense of them. To have an emotional attachment to them as people. Then the setting? Well maybe at the beginning but it kind of evolves as I go. As a seat of the pants girl, I want to know where the characters are willing to take me.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity(s) would you like to star as your main character(s)?
This is actually hubby’s dream come true. Starline comes to mind, because it is a great story.
Duvall? Lets see…Vin Diesel (yummy – maybe he hasn’t got the dark hair but….wow!)
Mellissa – Reese Witherspoon – again darker blonde but she could pull it off.
Duvalls’ Mother – Judi Dench – how can you go past her? Style, grace and can do anything. After watching that woman as ‘M’ I know she could do it!
Admiral Elphin – Omar Sharif (a much older Omar Sharif with bushy eyebrows!)
Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
Well Starline releases in February, The Star of Ishtar in April, Starfire is ready to edit and I am currently working on a Vampire romance (yes I know everyone does them) but this one is pretty cool! You will meet Xavier and Hope together with Jenna and an interesting family J – this is tentatively called “The Blood Bride”. Then Starburst needs to be written – the last in the trilogy. So I have a little on my plate.
I also have a concept for a daytime soap story which I have been playing with for a couple of months. So I think perhaps after Starburst and The Blood Bride that will be the next project.
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Untidiness alert (not quite the radioactive label) but well on the way, quickly followed by a secondary warning that I hate Bookwork!
Q: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
Apart from what I have already shared, I am also a finalist in Show Me The Spark which is the Heartland Readers annual award. So overall I am pretty happy for a first time novelist, and I love my daytime job as a bookstore owner. J It is the perfect fit for me. In my spare time, I grown children (well 2 anyway), cats, dog, guinea pigs and chickens.
I live in sunny Queensland, Australia and make my own wine (why doesn’t everyone??)
I am also a Darksider from Downunder (www.darksidedownunder.blogspot.com) and a member of the Romance Writers of Australia as well as the SFR brigade.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
Starline by Imogene Nix
One man, one woman, one psychotic alien. Now the race is on to save humanity. Past. Present. Future.
Mellissa Davis is your average bookstore owner and aspiring romance author until one day an electronic book pad slides through the mail slot of her little bookstore. Now all she has to worry about is a sexy time travelling stealthship captain, staying out of the way of the bad guy and saving the universe, past and present. Not much to ask…
Duvall McCord, an up and coming stealthship captain travels to the past to stop the Ru’Edan leader, Crick Sur Banden, destroying the Earth Empire of the future. His mission? Retrieve the handbook for the Elector. He doesn’t count on love, or saving the woman of his dreams. But time is running out. This warrior must do everything he can to stop the plot…
Excerpt for Starline:
“We are closed.”
She repeated herself, and then heard a mutter of “You have something…”
She lost the gist of what he said as she got a good look at the muscular man with black hair and piercing green eyes standing on the stoop. God, he looked so sexy!
“Can you let me in?” she finally heard.
“What? Oh sorry,” she said, quickly unlocking the door and opening it a crack. “Now what did you say?”
“You have something that belongs to me,” said the impossibly sexy man, and she wondered if he would think her nuts asking for a photo. He looked just like what she thought George would. She grinned to herself. Sure girl. Jem would ask something like that. She blinked away the thought and focused on the man in front of her.
“Ummm, I don’t think so,” said Mellissa, making to close the door.
“A pad…” And the memory twigged.
“Oh, right,” she said, sliding away from the door, just enough to let him in, and then re-securing the locks. “We are closed on Saturdays, so you are lucky I was here.” Motioning for him to follow her, she made her way to the back of the store. She stopped at the doorway and watched him look around the store.
“Please take a seat,” Mellissa offered, motioning to a seat. Casting around, she looked for the package. “I’m sorry, what did you say your name was? Mr…?”
“McCord, Duvall McCord,” the gorgeous stranger intoned. His eyes roamed over her, and uncomfortably she got the feeling he liked what he saw, but that seemed silly because she looked so very ordinary. Certainly not the sort of girl who would appeal to a buff and sexy male like this. All Alpha, she thought, and she embarrassed herself by blushing at her thoughts. She could feel the heat of the red tide rising on her cheeks.
Spying the package on a small table just behind her desk, she stretched for it, when suddenly a loud crash and whine came from the back of the building, and before she could blink, McCord reached for his pocket and some sort of device.
“Get down!” he shouted, leaning over her, covering her body with his. He grabbed her hand and the package together. “Two for transport NOW!” he shouted, and the world turned black.