Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Burning the Genre Bridge with Guest Blogger: Nicole Hadaway

Chat with paranormal author Nicole Hadaway and WIN a free book & a Vampire Bite necklace!

Today, I'm ready to have a burning discussion with my friend Nicole Hadaway about her vampire book entitled "Release" and learn what she has to say about burning bridges between genres...



Does Crossing Genres Burn Bridges???


Or, maybe not so much burn bridges, but it’s just that the bridges to publication haven’t quite been built when you’re crossing genres. At least that was my experience when I attempted the query process back in March 2009 for my first novel, Release.

And I really need to confess here – I didn’t really wake up one morning and say, “I want to be a writer!" I didn’t spend oodles of time studying the craft, the industry, the market, and figuring things out from there. Oops!!! No, I just wanted to write a book, to finally tell a story about the character who had been in my head for so long, so I wrote one. After all, that’s what Stephenie Meyer and Tasha Alexander said they did – they wrote a book they wanted to read, and sent off query letters, and got big NYC literary agents, etc.

So, you just write a book that you would want to read and it’s all easy peasy from there, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Okay, I know for some people that this has worked (and it has for those lucky people!!!). The problem I had with Release was that, it was historical fiction – it takes place during World War II and uses actual events, people, and places, though most of the characters are fictitious. So I should try literary/historical fiction agents, right?

Well, the main characters in Release are a vampire, a demon, and a werewolf. Yeah, most people reading about Borgia brides and wives of Henry VIII usually don’t get into the supernatural. So what then – urban fantasy? But it’s historical…there is a romance in it, but that’s not the main theme – if there is a theme, it’s contrasting between the “real” monsters (i.e. Nazis) versus the ones we make up in our head (e.g. vampires, etc.).

So, what’s a girl to do? Try smaller publishing houses, like the brand new e-publisher Vamplit Publishing. They LOVED my book, and we’re even collaborating on a new genre – literary paranormal. We think it covers novels that are a bit more, well, literary in nature – deeper themes, symbolism, and a plot that doesn’t follow a set formula – but with werewolves, witches, and demons – oh my!!

I’m very happy I found my publisher, because honestly, I didn’t want to write any other kinds of books. The sequel for Release, entitled Return, deals with themes such as family – the kind we’re born into versus the one we make for ourselves along the way – and it’s so nice to explore those thoughts in what I think of as a fun manner – with vampires and demons. Even they have family, after all!

I’ve seen lots of advice regarding writing around the web, but the best advice out there is the one that says to write from your heart and write what you love – that’s the one I follow most often and crossing that bridge may not be very easy, but I love doing it!

A Note from the Book Boost: I truly believe that being a writer is not something you choose to do but something that chooses YOU. I'm so glad you're one of the chosen, my friend. Please tell us more about yourself and your fangtabulous book!

Author Bio:
Nicole Hadaway is currently loving life in Texas while juggling the demands of wife, mother, writer all while trying to stay in shape! Her first novel, Release, which features vampires in a World War II setting was published in September 2009, and she's currently finishing up the sequel, Return, which finds her vampire protagonist, Miranda, in New York City during the fall of 2001. For a free read, try Nicole's short story, New Orleans, 1842 available on Smashwords.



Blurb:

Forever.

That’s the response Ben Gongliewski receives, when he asks Miranda Dandridge how long she’s been a vampire. He doesn’t expect the word forever in her reply, but then again, Ben never imagined meeting vampires, let alone demons and werewolves, during his time as a Resistance worker in World War II Poland.

Far from being horrified, Ben discovers that Miranda and her friends have very useful … talents … especially when it comes to saving children from concentration camps. After all, in these desperate times, while the line between good and evil is clear, the one between heroes and monsters is very, very blurred.


The last thing Miranda wants at this point in her immortal life is a human lover, but as she and Ben perform rescue after daring rescue, she can’t help but be drawn to his passion to save his fellow Jews.


As the War draws to a close and Miranda must chose her love for Ben or her duty to her race, Ben is blindsided by a betrayal that no one sees coming. This leads to a danger in which all hell is about to break loose … literally…

Excerpt
:

Anne stood atop the step-stool in the small Dijonnaise bookshop, putting the last book back in its place. The owner was very happy to be open again, now that France was liberated. She surveyed the small shop, and then looked at her watch. Still so much to do, she thought, looking at the boxes and packing materials that littered the floor. She looked out the window, dismayed that, although it was the beginning of March and the days were now growing longer, the daylight had gone. Although lately she’d found the darkness of the night enjoyable as well.

We could be done in no time if I had some help, Anne thought, glancing darkly at her co-worker, Brigitte, who was busy looking out the window at the Allied soldiers passing by. As the shop-keeper’s daughter, Brigitte could get away with doing very little work and much flirting with the soldiers. She harbored hopes of landing an American husband, one who would take her back to the States with him when he left. If Papa only knew, he wouldn’t like that one bit…, thought Anne, who knew how the shopkeeper doted on his only child.


Anne looked at her watch again, which showed it was two minutes later than the last time she’d looked. She deliberated for a few minutes, then decided that there could be no harm in indulging herself in Brigitte’s hobby. She’d been a diligent worker, after all, and she’d put in more than a full day at work. Perhaps her recent dreams had given her a little more confidence and daring. So Anne walked over to the window where Brigitte stood.


Brigitte gave a small start when Anne appeared next to her, and Anne surmised that she wasn’t used to having company in her ogling, although from the way Brigitte moved over slightly to give Anne room, and leaned her head towards Anne in a conspiratorial manner, it seemed Brigitte was glad to have a compatriot. Brigitte said, “Look at that group over there.”


There were two soldiers who were interrogating two other men, one of whom had shockingly light blond hair. Anne was surprised at how pale it was, and she decided in her mind that Brigitte could have him. Anne herself preferred dark-haired men, so she moved her eyes from the light-haired one to the other. She couldn’t see him clearly as his back was to her, but it looked like he had thick, curly, brown hair. She was intrigued by him as he seemed so familiar. Feeling guilty and wondering if she should make her way back to the till, Anne started to turn her head but stopped, when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the brown-haired one reach out and pat one of the soldiers on the shoulder. It was him – him – the man from her dreams. Anne would know those blue-gray eyes anywhere, so clearly visible under the street lamp. She should have known that it had been his curly brown hair she was looking at, since she’d run her fingers through it enough times.


The man had first appeared at her window about a week and a half ago. At least, that’s what she thought, but her memories were so foggy sometimes. It had seemed so fantastical at first, a grown man, so very attractive as he, balancing precariously on the ledge of her second-story bedroom window. Anne thought that it had to have been a dream, and so she’d convinced herself that the big black bird, tapping at the glass, that changed into a man when she’d opened the window to shoo it away was all just a dream. Birds turning into men were the kind of thing that happened only in dreams or fairy tales, and Anne knew her life was no fairy tale.


The dreams had surely brought excitement to her otherwise dull existence. The first night had certainly been exciting, with The Stranger crouching out on the window ledge, his hand on the window pane. One look into his intense eyes, and her initial fear of a strange man, a possible assailant, had melted away. She found herself opening the window, staring into his eyes the whole time, strange tingling sensations over her body telling her she was safe. Then he asked, “May I come inside?” in a voice like melted chocolate. Awed by his appearance, she’d only been able to nod in response. The whole thing had seemed so real at the time, but the next morning when she awoke, she knew that it had been just a dream.


Anne had told herself that her imagination must have been working overtime after listening to Brigitte boast of her latest tryst with a soldier. Whereas Brigitte made it a prerogative to have men in her life, Anne had to live vicariously through her. Anne’s parents were very watchful of their daughter’s virtue, saving her for any future husbands that came calling. None had, and Anne had begun to wonder if one didn’t need to entice men a little with something. After all, Brigitte had had several offers of marriage, and her virtue was hardly intact.


Then, it had happened again. After a second night of a wild, erotic, impossible visit by The Stranger, Anne had grown worried. Was there some demon at work? Was she being tempted against her faith? Her parents were concerned as well about her sleep, noting that she was so pale and drawn. They had suggested she sleep in with them, but Anne had quickly reassured them she was fine, she only needed to eat more at dinnertime.


Despite her worries, Anne wished the dreams wouldn’t end, as they filled her with such warmth, such pleasure, and confidence. Certainly, dreams such as those couldn’t be bad. Besides, she wasn’t actually sinning during the dreams, for The Stranger never entered her, for he was content to lie next to her, kissing her lips, her neck, her thighs, all with such tender, warm lips. He never asked anything for himself, not at all like Brigitte’s men demanded of her.


The dream always ended the same way, where The Stranger would kiss her thighs, at first very soft, then more fiercely, concentrating in one spot. Anne thought she could feel some kind of piercing sensation, as though he’d pricked her skin with a needle, but the pain only lasted a second before Anne would then feel a tingling, a burning that spread throughout her entire body, which would grow hotter, and hotter, until she didn’t think she’d be able to stand it, and then – she would wake up, to an empty room, with daylight streaming through, signaling the end of her dream and the start of reality.


Only now, Anne was starting to doubt that they were dreams, for there he was, The Stranger, across the street, standing under the lamplight. She was starting to feel nervous, uncertain of what she should do, when Brigitte exclaimed “He’s looking at you!” in a surprised voice.


Anne forced herself to look across the street again. She tried telling herself that the man across the street was certainly not The Stranger from her dreams, and it was just her mind playing tricks on her. She turned her head and forced her eyes to look at him, gasping slightly as his eyes met hers. It was no trick; he was really there.


“Do you know him?” Brigitte said, her curiosity unable to keep the jealousy out of her voice. “He’s smiling at you.”


Indeed, the man was flashing her the same smile she’d seen those past few nights, the smile that melted away any fear, nervousness, or doubt she might have. For it wasn’t only his mouth that smiled, but his eyes as well. Her mother had always told her that was the mark of a good person – one who smiled with their whole face, not just their mouth.


She found herself smiling back, unable to tear her eyes away from the man as he spoke to his companion, the one with the light-blond hair, and then gestured for the two of them to cross the street. They’re coming here! Anne thought, with a mixture of panic and pleasure. She would show Brigitte how good a man a lady could land, for Anne could tell that Brigitte had wanted the stranger for herself, and who wouldn’t – with those light blue eyes, high, chiseled cheekbones, and a charming smile on full lips – he really resembled a statue of some Greek god she’d seen in the museum. He was all hers, she was becoming more sure of that with each confident step he took towards the bookshop, all the while looking at her like she was the woman of his dreams.


“Oh look, do you think Monsieur Lagraize knows them?” Brigitte asked, breaking Anne’s excitement. She was so busy looking at The Stranger that she’d failed to notice Mr. Lagraize walking pointedly, almost running across the street towards the two men. He spoke a few words to the blond companion, who then pulled at the Stranger’s sleeve. The Stranger unwillingly turned his gaze away from Anne to Mr. Lagraize, listening to what Mr. Lagraize had to say. Anne watched in dismay as her Stranger and his blond companion followed Mr. Lagraize, away from her, without even a backwards glance in her direction.


“That was weird,” Brigitte said, not bothering to hide her glee that Anne had been denied. Anne didn’t bother to answer her – she was already behind the till, bending down to retrieve her purse, trying to keep from sobbing. Her only solace was that if she rushed home, and went to bed early, leaving the window open, she might see The Stranger in her dreams that night.



Want more Nicole?

Pick up a copy of Release today! Click here!
Visit her blog here: http://nicole-hadaway.blogspot.com/
Or her group blog here: http://writeintheshadows.com/


Contest Time:
Nicole is giving away 2 awesome prizes today! A free download of her book Release and a Smitten 2B Bitten vampire bite necklace!

All you have to do to be eligible to win is answer this question....What genre do YOU like to read MOST?

Winner posted here at the blog next week in the Recent Winners box on the right side of the blog. Check back to see who won!

17 comments:

C.J. Ellisson said...

My favorite genre to read is urban fantasy. I like the feel of the first person stories and the sense of immediacy I get when reading one. I enjoy being inside the characters head - even when I don't always agree with what I see there.

I enjoy the strong heroines who don't need a man to feel complete in life, but choose a man (in some of the books) to enjoy life with. Just like in life: Love is a choice, and one must choose to love every day.

Even those days when he drives you batty and you want to smother him. Hey, it's a choice that day that you let him live! ;-)

Great post Nicole!!

Suzanne said...

Great post, Nicole! Like CJ, I'm a diehard urban fantasy fan (what a shocker), but having set my first book at a time in the recent past, I got several "no, it feels dated" rejections--so I understand the frustration. I love that you've blended history with urban fantasy and literary themes!

Margaret West said...

Great reading and it is true that writing choses us. Whatever we do we will always get drawn back to it. Loved getting to know Nicole and her books a bit more.

Carole Gill said...

Wow what a great interview!
Oh, I like that! Literary Paranormal, sounds terrifically interesting because it sounds to me like it will strive for something great and that is a wonderful thing.
I applaud you, Nicole you are doing something so entirely original in your work. Good for you.
Wishing you every success.
I think genre bending, crossing over and adapting and re-adapting into different sorts of things is a positive thing! Best of luck!

Patsy said...

My favorite genre is anything paranormal at any location and at any time period. Vampire, shapeshifters, ghosts, you name it, I love it.
mom1248(at)att(dot)net

Nicole Zoltack said...

My favorite genre... wow, that's a tough question. I read so many. I guess my favorite is fantasy/paranormal. I love to read about mystical creatures and faraway lands. Great post, Nicole! And I love your name, LOL :)

Julie C. said...

My favourite genre is fantasy/science fiction, ala Sheri Tepper. However, I have been reading paranormal fiction since middle school and always have something involving the supernatural on my reading list!!!!

Andrea I said...

I read lots of genres, but urban fantasy is one of my favorites. A paranormal with actual historical details sounds interesting.

Kate Richards said...

I guess paranormal is my current favorite, although I jump around a lot. Once I discover a writer I like I run through her/him fast!

Erin Cole said...

Literary paranormal...now that might catch on, and actually describes my book!

I've read Release and loved the crossing of genres in it. There should be an overall theme to every book, a main genre, in which Nicole has, but to make one's writing stand out, subgenres are a must.

Excellent blurb and post!

Mindy said...

Hi Nicole :)
I LOVE paranormal, ALL kinds.
Time Travel, Shape Shifters of all kinds. Especially Cats, Weres and Vamps.
LOVE the excerpt, Brigitte and Ann man watching ROCKS!
Mindy :)
Birdsooong@aol.com

Nicole_Hadaway said...

I would so like to thank Kerri for having me here today, and thanks everyone who stopped by and left comments -- your support is very much appreciated!!

SiNn said...

honestly i dont like to limmit my self to one genera or one set type as a fav i grew up on king and horror wll alway sbe my first love so horror and romance would be my second so really its all about the story is and how its done

Heather Kuehl said...

I love your post Nicole.

Although I enjoy reading paranormal, I'd have to say that my favorite genre would have to be high fantasy. High fantasy was my first true reading love, and I doubt that will change any time soon. It's just something about grand adventures, ancient worlds, and swords and sorcery that just gets me.

Carol L. said...

Hi Nicole,
Great interview and post. I can't really pick a favorite. It's so hard because of all the many genres I read. But a first choice is definitely and always will be The Scottish Highlands and those beautiful Highlanders. Then I guess it would be Paranormal. :)
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

MkCrittenden said...

Super cool interview! You make some very good points. It is always best to approach writing on your own terms, and you have done just that. Excellent work.

Julie Robinson said...

My favorite genre is romantic suspense, with paranormal and/or historical following closely behind. A book that combines rs with either or both of the two is icing on the cake.
Julie