Today we have the fun, witty, and completely charming (in a naughty sort of way) Nicole Peeler, author of the new Jane True series. Her first book is Tempest Rising, after the interview you have a chance to win a copy.
Welcome Nicole. Thank you for joining us today.
Thanks for having me! Great to be here!
Q: So Tempest Rising is your first book, how did it come about?
A: It all happened very quickly, for me. I was inspired to write a sort of "real woman" character by reading Charlaine Harris's Dead as a Doornail. Then I figured out the type of woman I wanted Jane to be, then stitched together her world out of my own interests in mythology. I had a rough draft of Tempest Rising after only a few months. It was a very surreal experience, even for me.
Q: So why Selkies? That’s something I find very unique, I have heard of them and read some books where they are mentioned but this is the first book I’ve come across where the main character is a selkie. That’s pretty different in the current vampire obsessed world.
A: I just always loved the mythology. It's so tragic, and you know it can't end well. Plus, there are so many facets to the stories. Everyone focuses on the selkie and his or her human lover, but I always wondered about the children they produce. Jane is a product of such ponderings.
Q: Can you tell us about the mythology of selkies ?
A: Basically, selkies are human/seal shapeshifters. But they don't so much shift shape as they do take on or off their seal skins, like one would a coat. If their seal skin is captured, then they are trapped in human form and beholden to whomever stole their skin. Male selkies are sort of your typical supernatural casanovas, running amok seducing and fertilizing human women. But female selkies often have very tragic myths involving a human male who (either accidentally or on purpose) steals their skin. The human man ends up with a beautiful young wife, who bears him many children. They're happy, until one day the skin is found (often by one of the children) and returned to the mother, who--despite her love for her human family--always loves the sea more and leaves.
Q: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow, squeeze it in when you can?
A: Unfortunately, I have to make time when I can. During the summer and on breaks, I work in the mornings. But during the semester--I'm a college professor--I have to literally snatch whatever time I can.
Q: So which is harder working with teenagers and young adults or trying to get a book published?
A: I think that both of my careers are very similar in that the more you put into them, and the more realistic you are about your expectations for yourself and for the people you work with, the more successful you will be.
Q: What was your road to publication like? Long, hard, fast, surprising?
A: Fast and surprising. I still get the giggles some nights when I think about the fact I now have fans. That just tickles me pink.
Q: If you could offer one tidbit of information for new writers, what would it be?
A: Invite criticism. Get as many reasonable people to tell you what is wrong with your project as you can. No project is perfect, and yours will have flaws. If you can tackle the huge ones, you have a shot.
Q: What is the strangest source of inspiration you’ve had? Maybe something weird that ended up in one of your books or short stories.
A: I think my whole life has been inspiration for this moment. The sort of epiphanic moment of inspiration definitely goes to Charlaine Harris, for showing me that UF heroines don't have to kick-butt. But I have threaded up so many of my interests, inspirations, etc., in these books, that they're like a quilt of moi. ;-)
Q: Name one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you.
A: I don't actually read all that much urban fantasy. I'd like to, but I'm too busy with the day job.
Q: What are some of your hobbies besides writing?
A: I do a lot of weight-lifting and yoga, and I belly dance rather badly. I also love traveling.
Q: Why the paranormal? Have you always been attracted to “the dark side”?
A: I have, in some ways, a very cynical nature so I think I love the pure escapism that paranormal genres offer.
Q: For those not familiar with your Jane True series can you give us a super quick description
A: The Jane True series is a bit like Harry Potter, for adults. But with a lot more sex. And swearing. Both of which I excel at.
Q: Tell us a bit about Tempest Rising?
A: Tempest Rising is Jane's coming out story, as it were. She has no idea of her supernatural heritage until she discovers a body during her nightly swim. But soon enough she's thrown, head first, into a world populated with the origins of human myths and legends. That her guide is both handsome and a bit of a Don Juan makes everything that much more exciting . . . and dangerous.
If you're as yet unconvinced, there's a first chapter posted on my website, and Hachette Book Group has the first three chapters posted on their website.
Q: Could you tell us about your current work in progress? And what’s next for Jane? How many books do you have planned for the series?
A: Right now I'm editing book three, Tempest's Legacy. Jane's come a long way, baby! All together, I have six books planned for the series although we've only sold the first three as of right now.
To find out more about me, Jane, or Tempest Rising, go to http://nicolepeeler.com/ . Thanks!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Nicole it’s been wonderful having you as a guest here at Fang-tastic Books.
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