Author Spotlight

 

I recently had the chance to chat with a talented author.  So, without further delay let’s hear from the talented

Gena Showalter

Did you always know that you would one day be a writer? Or did you have other aspirations...maybe a dancer or talk show host...while growing up?
Other than time traveler or treasure hunter, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, which was why I changed majors three times in college and ultimately dropped out. Nothing fit. Finally I had a heart to heart with myself. I realized I loved books, enjoyed writing, and had a million daydreams floating around in my head. It just seemed like a natural progression to put those daydreams on paper and create my own stories.

You write both adult and young adult books. Do you find one to be more difficult than the other?
The challenges are the same for both. Am I making it believable? Are the characters consistent? Are there plot holes? Is the story exciting, page-turning? Am I staying true to the world and characters I’ve created? Are there concrete reasons for what’s happening?

Tell us what makes Gena, well, Gena.
You take a handful of OCD, mix it with a sugar/pepper blend, add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of ditzy, then stir in determined, loyal, and quirky.

Your books have a paranormal or otherworldly theme. What draws you to this area?
I love the possibilities. Anything I can think up, I can write.

Tell us some of your favorites...food, movies, music, authors, books, colors, and any others you’d like to share.
Food – seafood. Movie – Troy. Authors – Kresley Cole, PC Cast, Jill Monroe, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Karen Moning, JR Ward (I could go on and on) Books – I am the number one fan for Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. Colors – bold.

Let’s talk about the Lords of the Underworld series. I am really excited about this series and I’m loving the first book, The Darkest Night. How did the idea develop and do you have stories planned for all of your Lords? I certainly hope so!
I’d just finished writing three lighter books – Playing With Fire, The Nymph King and Catch A Mate. I needed to write either the sequel to Playing With Fire or the next Atlantis books, the vampire king’s story. But neither of those stories would come to me. I had an entire list of ideas I’d been playing with -- one involved Pandora’s box, one involved cursed immortals who lived together in an exotic location, and one involved the grim reaper. On their own, none of the ideas seemed quite big enough. It was as I began to combine them that the magic happened for me. Here’s how it went down in my head:

What if it was the immortal warriors who opened Pandora’s box, releasing the demons trapped inside? What if the gods punish them and that’s why they’re cursed? What if they now house those demons inside themselves? It won’t be an easy partnership, of course, so they’ll have to move to...Greece? Rome? Budapest? to protect humans from themselves. (Note to self: research, research, research) And oh my God, one of the immortals could be possessed by the demon of Death – hello grim reaper story!

If you could bring any of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
I should probably mention one of the sexy, tortured Lords of the Underworld, but who I want to meet most of all is Anya, goddess of Anarchy. At times, her (somewhat warped) sense of humor had me rolling on the floor. She steals unabashedly, spent some time in an immortal prison, and isn’t afraid of the Lords. She’s their equal in every way. To me, there’s just something so...magical about her.

How did you and fellow author Jill Monroe get involved in the very amusing Author Talk? I love watching the episodes... they are so much fun!
Thanks so much. Author Talk is actually the creative genius of Jill. I’d just endured a terrible interview where it was clear the interviewer knew nothing about me. I told Jill – who can make any negative into a positive – about it and she said, “We should spoof this.” So we did and Author Talk exploded from there. We’ve even got a new website for future interviews: www.authortalk.tv <http://www.authortalk.tv>

What is the best piece of advice that you received when first starting out? Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never write to trend. Always write from the heart. If you write to trend, the trend will most likely be over once your story is done. But if you write from the heart, there will always be magic in your work.
 

What is your guilty pleasure?
A friend of mine, Melissa Francis, introduced me to chocolate covered blueberries. I eat them by the handful.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
I love to hear from readers. You can reach me at managergenashowalter@ AT yahoo.com (delete the spaces and change the AT to @ -- I’m trying to avoid spammers)
 

What do you consider your greatest strength to be? Greatest weakness?
I think the answer is the same for both: OCD. I am obsessive compulsive. I must finish a book once I start it. It’s always on my mind, and that drives me to write constantly, so I’m able to write quickly and put out a lot of books a year. On the flip side, it’s hard to get myself back out into the real world and have conversations with real people, because I’m totally immersed in my book. And yes, I have called family members by character names.

Do you have a perfect writing environment or can you write anywhere? Do you have a writing schedule that you follow?
I do have a schedule. I write a chapter a day, no matter how long that takes me, five days a week. I try to walk away from the story and my computer during the weekends. That’s not always easy (or possible) but I try.

Writing in the romance genre, do you believe in happily ever after? Have you found yours?
I do believe, and I did find mine. I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together fourteen years now and are happier than ever.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Current or upcoming releases? With the Lords of the Underworld, you’ll find back to back to back releases: The Darkest Night (Violence’s story, May 08), The Darkest Kiss (Death’s story, June 08), The Darkest Pleasure (Pain’s story, July 08). After that, Mysteria Lane (with the fabulous PC Cast, MaryJanice Davidson and Susan Grant) comes out October 08. My story features witch Glory Tawdry and the mysterious Falon. Then, my Atlantis series will be reissued. Heart of the Dragon (Jan 09), and Jewel of Atlantis (Feb 09) followed by a brand new tale, The Vampire’s Bride (March 09), featuring Layel the vampire king and all around bad boy.

Then, in July 09, Seduce the Darkness will hit stands, featuring a vampire heroine and a man, a powerful king, who enjoys collecting women. He’s very naughty. That month will also mark the release of Not That Innocent, an anthology with the incredible Kresley Cole and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Then, August 09 will bring the re-release of Playing With Fire, followed by the sequel, Twice As Hot in September 09.

Hopefully, there will be another Lords of the Underworld book in 09!!! I’m working on it now. It’s called The Darkest Whisper and it’s Sabin’s, keeper of the demon of Doubt, story.

 

     

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