Pam and I both have June releases for Nocturne! This is Pam’s second book for the line. Her first was The Dark Gate, which received all kinds of acclaim. If you’re heading to the stores to get Wild Hunt, you’ll want to pick up Dark Deceiver too.
Author of: The Esri series for Silhouette Nocturne (The Dark Gate, and Dark Deceiver available May 23, right now at eHarlequin)
Favorite Candy: Peppermint Patties
Favorite Cartoon Character: Disney’s Kim Possible. She’s a quick-thinking teenage crime-fighter who always gets her bad guy.
Super Power Most Covets: The ability to fly!
Q.) Dark Deceiver, your June 2008 Nocturne is the second in your Esri series. Can you tell us about the series? How about Dark Deceiver in particular?
P.P.) In the Esri series, I pose the question, “What if an ancient, forgotten evil found its way back into our world?” The key is, this is our world. In The Dark Gate, book 1, the hero and heroine don’t believe in the existence of other-worldly creatures any more than most people we know. At least, not until they’re faced with irrefutable evidence to the contrary.
In book 2, Dark Deceiver, an Esri, Kaderil the Dark, is sent to infiltrate and destroy the small band of humans immune to Esri enchantment. Kaderil has human blood and looks human which has always made him something of an outcast in his own world. He’s determined to prove his worth to his king by succeeding in this mission…until he falls in love with the human, Autumn McGinn.
Q.) Where did you get the idea for the Esri?
P.P.) I was researching Scottish fairy lore for a different project and discovered the Scots didn’t think of fairies and elves as our modern culture portrays them (as tiny winged creatures). They believed them to be human-like, man-sized, and malicious. They were terrified of them and blamed them for all kinds of misfortune. If a child got sick, they believed the fairies had exchanged it for one of their own (a changeling). Knowing how stories take on a life of their own, I began to wonder what if there really were fairies at one time, big malicious ones like the Scots believed in. Creatures that were locked out of our world for centuries. And what if they found their way back?
Q.) What in your own background do you think drew you to writing dark paranormal romance?
P.P.) I’ve always been drawn to sci-fi/fantasy television and movies (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Buffy), but I read romance and, oddly, tend to dream action/adventures when I sleep at night. Dark paranormal romance is a wonderful blend of the three. Tense, romantic, exciting, and otherworldly.
Q.) You also have some single title books under contract. Can you tell us a bit about them? When will we see them?
P.P.) Thank you for asking about them, Lori! Yes, I recently sold a contemporary dark paranormal series to Avon Books and a time travel series to Berkley. I’ll be writing the Avon books as Pamela Palmer and the Berkley books as Pamela Montgomerie. With so many books coming out around the same time from three publishers, my various editors requested I take a second name. So I did.
The series for Avon is the Feral Warriors, a band of nine shape-shifters, each of whom is the last of his ancient line to retain the power of his animal. Each shifts into a different animal and goes by the name of his beast. The first book is Lion’s. In it, the Ferals have lost the one woman, the radiant, through whom they access their power. The old radiant has died and the new one, who should have come forward as soon as she was marked, hasn’t. Lion, the finder, finally locates the woman and discovers she’s half way across the country. He goes to get her to bring her back only to discover she not only doesn’t know she’s been marked as the radiant, she thinks she’s human. Lion’s book is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2009 release, with Tiger and Panther’s books coming later.
The first book in my time travel series for Berkley is SAPPHIRE DREAM, slated for an August 2009 release. A modern woman wakes up aboard a seventeenth century pirate ship only to realize the Scots captain knows exactly who she is.
Q.) Are you a plotter or a pantser? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
P.P.) I used to think I was a total plotter, but I’ve found I’m something of a hybrid. I start out with a loose plot (what the book’s about, the major turning points, and the character arcs), then I start writing. No matter how much plotting I do up front, I learn most of the story by writing, so I’ve stopped wasting so much time on the front end with plots that don’t end up being right. My first drafts tend to be exploratory drafts. I often say (and it’s usually true) that my first draft always winds up being the story I DON’T want to tell. I tend to throw out most of it and start over once I’ve figured out the story I DO want.
As for character vs. plot driven, I’m probably a hybrid here, too. I brainstorm plots and characters simultaneously when I’m coming up with a new story. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for one before the other, but I very much work them through together because plot and character are so intimately woven in the story.
Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?
P.P.) The smartest thing I’ve done is learn everything I can about the craft of writing. I’m still learning and probably always will be, but the more I learn, the better able I am to tell the stories I want to tell, the way I want to tell them. That seems obvious, but when I first started writing, I didn’t have a clue about story structure. All I could do was wing it, and not very successfully. I’ve taken dozens of on-line classes through the various RWA chapters, read dozens of how-to books on writing, script writing, characterization, etc. And I’ve attended numerous conferences over the years, filled with workshops. Each time I learn something new, I consider it another tool for my toolbox. If I’m having trouble figuring out a manuscript (or revising one), I pull out my toolbox and tinker until I figure out what the problem is and come up with a way to fix it.
Q.) What can readers expect to find in all your books no matter the series?
P.P.) High stakes, high action, lots of romance and, I hope, a sense of truth. By that last I mean that no matter how incredible the situation I throw my characters into, they act believably. They react the way you or I would were we to find ourselves in the midst of nine gorgeous shape-shifters and an evil witch, or suddenly facing a shipload of lecherous pirates. Or, at least, the way we’d hope we would.
Q.) Who do you enjoy reading? If someone were to compare your books to anyone else’s what author would you most like to be compared to? Why?
P.P.) In addition to the Nocturne authors, my current favorite dark paranormal romance writers are J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Kresley Cole. My favorite time travel author is the incomparable Diana Gabaldon. As for comparisons, I would love my work to be favorably compared to any of these writers’, because they’re all wonderful and incredibly talented.
Q.) Where can readers find you on the web?
P.P.) I can be found at www.pamelapalmer.net.