Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summertime Blues with Guest Blogger: Norah Wilson

Win a copy of The Merzetti Effect and
meet author Norah Wilson
today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say
about the end of summer...

The End of Summer
(or It’s Never as Bad as You Think)

The grass is still green and the leaves have not yet begun to change, but you can just feel it, can’t you? The end of summer is just around the corner. The birds don’t start to squabble … er… I mean sing quite so early in the morning. The sun takes a few minutes longer to rise, and there’s an early morning chill to chase away. Living here in Atlantic Canada where our summers are so short and our winters so long, it sends a shiver up my spine to notice these things. But I have an extra reason for dreading the departure of summer and those long, long days of sunshine. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

Depending on its severity, SAD can really sap your ambition. In my case, it makes me want to eat carbs non-stop, sleep, and steer clear of social interactions beyond the necessary ones. Yep. Full on hibernation mode. Of course, I can’t succumb to it, even when the temperatures plunge and the snow begins to pile up. I get out as much as I can, walking my dog morning and night if the weather permits. I take Vitamin D, eat lots of protein and fruit and vegetables high in Vitamin C, and otherwise try to fuel my energy and mood. I even use a light therapy lamp. And of course, I have close writing friends to drag me out when I would rather crawl into bed and re-watch the last season of Supernatural or Justified.

But forget about the toll Seasonal Affective Disorder takes on me. Think about my characters! When I’m struggling myself, it is unbelievably hard to try to connect with my characters and truly feel their emotions. (Though it comes in handy when you want one of them to be bitchy and monosyllabic!) On those days when my SAD is at its worst, it’s a painful struggle to write. For instance, with The Merzetti Effect, I wrote some of the love scenes during such a period. It would take me days on end to force out a scene that didn’t make me want to turn a blowtorch on my keyboard and walk away. Yes, those scenes came out hard and I didn’t have much hope for them. Frankly, I thought they were wooden and lackluster and awful.

But then a funny thing happened. The days started to get longer again. The snow started to melt and I could just feel spring in the air again. And when I went back and read those scenes, I was amazed to see that they were fine. No, they were better than fine. Some of them were incandescent. I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I’d pulled it off.

So if there’s a lesson to be taken, I guess it’s this: Whatever artistic endeavors you are engaged in – writing novels or poems or songs or composing music or painting or drawing – remember that if you’re seized by Seasonal Affective Disorder or any other form of depression, fall back on and trust the craft that’s gotten you this far.

Yes, fight back. Yes, take the best care of yourself you possibly can. And hell yes, dig as deep as you can when you sit down at that keyboard and reach for those emotions. But in the end, realize that you are not the best judge of your work at this point. Just do the best that you can with all those tools you’ve worked so hard to master, and when you’re done – this is the important part – resist the urge to destroy it. Just park it for a while and come back to it later, preferably when your own frozen emotions have started to thaw. Not only might it not suck, it might be pretty darned good!

A Note from the Book Boost: This was a very interesting post, Norah. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us and please tell us more about your book!


Dr. Delano Bowen has searched over a century for a cure for his vampirism. At last, he's found it in nurse Ainsley Crawford, a descendent of the Merzetti family, carriers of an anti-vampirism agent. She has no idea of the genetic gift Delano is reaping. When danger threatens, he draws her close to protect her. But when attraction flares, hot and urgent, she could literally be the death of him.


Ainsley’s momentum as she entered the study carried her right past Delano. Belatedly, she caught a glimpse of him in her peripheral vision, standing still as a statue just to the left of the door.

“Over here,” he drawled. “You seem to have overshot me.”

She rounded on him, a flush warming her neck. The rat. No doubt he’d positioned himself there strategically so she would blow right past him. Well, she refused to feel like she was overreacting.

“Dammit, Delano, why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because I thought you’d had quite enough rude shocks to cope with.”

She made no attempt to stifle a snort of disbelief. “Really? So it was my welfare you were concerned about?”


“And the fact that I might have declined the job had I known the boss was a blood-sucking vampire didn’t enter into your decision-making process?”

His face hardened. “I shouldn’t have to explain to you, of all people, that there’s no sucking involved. And to answer your question, yes, that did enter into the equation. But frankly, I don’t think it would have been a deal-breaker, had I told you. You still have that crippling need to feed your bank account, and a decidedly lackluster reference from your employer.”

“But I deserved to know!”

“Know?” His face hardened still further, making him look even more remote. “You want to know, Ainsley? Then you shall know.”

Suddenly, he was beside her. Just like that. One second he was standing twelve feet away, his features perfectly distinguishable. Then, the very next instant, he was there, right there, mere inches away, too close for her to adjust the focus. All she’d seen was a blur of motion.

“God!” Her hand leapt automatically to the pulse hammering in her throat.

“Not even close.”

He drew his lips back in a caricature of a smile, and before her eyes, the two upper cuspids telescoped into pointed fangs more fearsome and lethal looking than those of her attacker. Reflexively, she jerked back, but his hand shot out to grasp her wrist.

“Don’t go all weak-kneed on me now, Ainsley. You want to know? Then watch and learn.”

Then he raised what she realized was a unit of blood and sank his teeth into it. Holding her gaze, he squeezed the plastic bag, creating the pressure required to push the blood into his venous system.

She watched, half revolted, half fascinated.

It took thirty seconds. Maybe a little longer. When the bag was all but empty, he wrenched it from his mouth. Her eyes dropped to his teeth, to the elongated canines that gleamed red with blood. Then, drawn by motion, her gaze dropped to his chest. Beneath the black cashmere sweater he wore, his chest heaved as though he’d just run a marathon.

Or as though he were sexually aroused.

Her gaze jerked back to his face, and she sucked in an audible breath.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Pure need had chiseled his features into brutally hard planes and angles. It blazed from his dark eyes and escaped in gusts from his still parted lips.

And deep in her belly, a dark, matching excitement unfurled.

Oh, God.

He’d said it was pleasurable for a woman. Intensely so. She’d doubted it then; nothing about her own experience had been anything but horrifying. Of course, that had been an assault, an act of violence, the equivalent of a rape. This would be different. Her blood thrummed with the certain, inborn knowledge that Delano Bowen could bring her pleasure beyond imagination.

Her skin tingled. His breath on her flesh was a caress. Beneath the man’s shirt that Eli had procured for her, she felt her nipples tighten and her stomach muscles contract. Oh, God, yes.

She let her eyelids drift down, let her head fall back, tilting it to the right to expose her neck. Trembling with the force of a raw and unfamiliar need, she waited for the searing kiss of his teeth.

His grip on her wrist tightened to the point of pain. She gasped. Her eyes flew open, but he’d already released her. Once again, he stood on the other side of his study, this time with his back to her, shoulders tight and tense.


“That was nothing personal.”

She blinked, watched him dispose of the spent blood bag in a bio-hazard waste disposal unit mounted on the wall. Calmly, he took a paper towel from a dispenser, wiped his mouth, then disposed of it, too.

“Excuse me?”

He turned to face her, his face once again composed and controlled, though his voice was slightly thicker than normal. “It’s just the bloodlust. It’s awakened when we feed.”

She blanched. This happened to all vampires when they fed? “You mean all those males who came to the clinic….?”

“I’m afraid so.” An apologetic smile curved his lips. “And perhaps more than a few of the females. Which is why we offer them a private, safe environment for their infusions. It takes a few moments to regain complete control afterward.”

Great. Her face burned. He’d had what amounted to a basic physiological reaction that would have happened with or without her presence, and she’d practically leapt on him. She closed her eyes again, this time in utter humiliation.

“Lighten up on yourself, Nurse Crawford. You may not have known about vampires and the delights of blood-sharing, but your primitive brain does.”

She blinked. “My primitive brain?”

“The primitive arousal center of your brain, yes. It knows, Ainsley.” His voice was like velvet brushing against her skin. “It’s as deeply embedded in your instincts as the fear of serpents or saber-toothed tigers or lightning. Don’t punish yourself for what it remembers.”

No. Un-uh. She wouldn’t have reacted the same way had this happened with any of the clients she’d processed in his clinic. Not even the one who bore a strong resemblance to Alan Rickman, right down to the voice, and she adored the hell out of Alan Rickman. Truly, madly, deeply adored him. But she was happy to take the out he offered.

“Well, that’s a relief. I was beginning to think—” Omigod! Her words trailed off as another thought occurred to her. That’s why he hadn’t wanted to draw her blood that time. But she’d pushed and pushed until he relented. That’s why he’d practically fled afterward. What might have happened if she had but looked into his eyes?


She blinked. “I’m sorry, what?”

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Debby said...

This has always been an intriguing concept. You are really drawn in to this book. Do you have more like this one?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Na said...

It's always wonderful to discover a Canadian author. I can't say my summers are short and my winters are long though, quite the opposite. It's mild all year round and sometimes a winter may not even bother to visit. I can certainly see why you might suffer from SAD. For me, I like the changing of seasons, it's bittersweet saying goodbye to one but refreshing welcoming a new one. Whatever the season, one thing that is sure to perk up your day is a great book.

I really enjoy vampire stories and will keep your book in mind :)