My dear friend, PJ Schnyder and I decided to do our interviews with each other a little differently than normal. Instead of sending each other questions where we would have all the time in the world to fill out answers (read: answer "correctly"), we decided to do our interviews live in tandem over instant message. We had a great time, and if you follow us on Twitter, you may have noticed we gave each other a little bit of grief. It's all in good fun though. PJ's novel, HEART'S SENTINEL was released from Decadent Publishing on August 6, here's a little about the story.
Born human, Mackenzie never wanted to be a shapeshifter. After a shifter stalks and brutally Changes her, she runs to the jaguars of River Gap pride for protection from the stalker still searching for her, to come to terms with the attack and learn to control her new, powerful cougar body.
Adam, a River Gap Sentinel, is assigned as her guard and mentor. Well aware of his strength and how new she is the shapeshifter world, he holds himself back from the flames of primal desire she ignites. But, to survive the stalker, they both need to first battle their pasts and learn what it truly means to be the sentinels of each other’s hearts.
Sounds good, doesn't it? And now, onto PJ herself!
Hi, PJ, and welcome to Ramblings and Romance. I know, I know, you've been here before, but that was always as a guest. This time, you're the vict... I mean, star of the show. Yeah, that's it. So what can you tell us about your path to publication with HEART'S SENTINEL? Was this written specifically for Decadent?
*blink* Yah. Don't think I didn't catch the "victim" part of it. >_> Heart's Sentinel was written last year and a submitted to one of the Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent Contests. It took first runner up. While the Secret Agent ultimately declined Heart's Sentinel, she provided valuable feedback. I took the manuscript through another revision round, finding great beta readers along the way *wink* (She means me, because we're just tight like that.) When Decadent Publishing opened for submissions, I sent Heart's Sentinel. Lisa Omstead responded with a request for the full almost immediately. I was ecstatic when I was offered a contract.
HEART'S SENTINEL is just the first in your TERRA'S GUARDIANS series. What do you have planned for the human and shifter inhabitants of your world?
The world of Terra's Guardians is post-apocolyptic. Humans and shapeshifters come from a common ancestry prior to the Cataclysmis Wars. They are mutually threatened by mysterious hunters. Each new addition to the Terra's Guardians series will feature a new couple, a new romance. But the threat of the hunters will continue and readers will learn more about the hunters as the stories continue. (Psst... you could add some stuff about Red's Wolf here) The next story in the Terra's Guardians series is Red's Wolf, set to release August 30th with Decadent Publishing. It's a novella with a fairy tale flavor to it and I hope readers will enjoy.
I know you requested Mr. Romance 2009, Charles Paz, to be on the cover of RED'S WOLF since he looked like Jason, the love interest. Can you tell me what went through your head when you saw he was also on the cover for HEART'S SENTINEL? (Side note: I love asking questions to which I already know the answer. Makes hearing what someone says when it's public all the more interesting :P)
It's true. I confess. The hero of Red's Wolf did look like Charles so when Decadent picked up the novella, I added a little note in the book cover questionnaire requesting him. He's an unsigned, free agent but he was coordinating with Decadent during the kick off and I thought it would be great. Heart's Sentinel had been entered as part of Decadent's submission contest and was awaiting the outcome, so I saw the cover art for Red's Wolf first. I had a *squee* moment when I found Charles on the cover of Red's Wolf. Then the cover art for Heart's Sentinel was sent to me and I had an OMG moment. Yup. I'd won the submission contest for the novel category, including the generous prizes associated. There was a tiny panic moment as I realized I'd need to tweak Adam just a bit to stay consistent with the cover. Overall, I'm delighted with both my covers and I'm told by other authors they've done the same in the past.
You and I had the pleasure to meet Charles at the Romantic Times convention this year. Then, through his own involvement with them, he went and introduced the two of us to Decadent Publishing. Basically, he was fairly instrumental in us signing with them and he's been a topic of discussion between us more than once. Right now, I want the first three words that come to mind when you think of your cover model.
OMG. In fact, Charles was sweet enough to call into my online interview with Franny's BlogTalkRadio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/frannyarmstrong/2010/07/28/welcome-to-frannys-write-talk-tuesdays-at-9pm) and if you were in the chat room you could see people in the chat room all typing: It's Charles. Then all you saw me type was : OMG
So those are your three words? Oh my God?
Hey, you asked what 3 words came to mind FIRST
Haha fair enough. We'll go back to something writing-related. What are you working on right now? Is it part of the same series or something different entirely?
It's a good thing I'm a multi-tasker because I'm working on several WIPs. I've got a steampunk novella in the works for the holidays as well as the next full novel in the Terra's Guardians series. I've also got a completely new novella out for beta read *stares*. (hey, I told you I would as soon as I had time to breathe)
We've mentioned, and then laughed about, the idea of co-authoring something. But, if you could work with any author on a project, who would it be and why?
Honestly, I love you lots, but the first person on my list would be my little sister. (Um, duh, hence us laughing about the idea of writing together!) The two of us are very different, and yet, the meeting of our minds is a very quirky interaction. She already helps me round up plot bunnies, but just imagine what an actual manuscript would be like if we co-authored? I write romance, she reads yaoi and a step beyond that, she reads some pretty shocking fan fiction. I'm thinking the heat level of the book would shoot past my current stories and right into steaming hot. There's no telling where things would go: M/F, F/F, M/M...all of the above? On the other hand, if we did write together, neither of us would ever be able to look our parents in the eye again. And yet, our Uncle Gary would probably find it hysterical.
Boxers or briefs?
Boxer briefs (nice copout) they look best under clothes and are ever so gropable
Great abs or great ass?
I can't have both? LOL. Abs.
Dimples or no dimples? (Smiles, people, just because it comes after the ass question doesn't mean you should leave your mind in the gutter.)
*blink* don't think I've minded one way or the other. Not a bonus point, boys, but not a hit either.
Sex or conversation? (Yes, you may return to the gutter now.)
A little encouragement During sex is hot. (Yet another copout. You disappoint me.)
Muscles or Brains?
Damn. Gotta have both. Sorry, I can't settle for too much of one with a lack of the other. (Dude, seriously? That's four out of five. We need to work on your decisiveness.)
Okay my copout answer friend, anything else you'd like to share with my readers?
Not copout, just truth. I'm picky/greedy that way. Heart's Sentinel is currently available with Decadent Publishing and look for Red's Wolf later in the month.
Awesome. Thanks, PJ, just be aware that the next interview will be held at gunpoint and you will have to choose :P
You can also find PJ online at www.pjschnyder.com
As a special surprise, PJ and I have teamed up and are going to give one lucky commenter (from all those who comment on either or both blogs) a copy of BOTH our stories. You'll receive one entry for answering PJ's question here, and one for answering my question at PJ's blog. Entries close on Sunday, August 22, then we'll pool all the responses, choose a winner to announce on Tuesday.
What PJ wants to know to enter you in the contest is this: "Which of my WIPs you'd like to see first: steampunk holiday story, the next story in the Terra's Guardians series or the completely different sci-fi romance?"