TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Tes: I can’t “create” at a desk. I can edit, I can outline, I can fill out scenes, but I can’t create new material sitting at a computer desk. And when your laptop is on the blitz? Trust me, this can be a real problem.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Tes: Sticking to a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy theme, my top five authors would be Patricia Briggs, Karen Marie Moning, J.R. Ward, Karen Chance, and my new one on the list, Ilona Andrews. As far as who has influenced me? Oh my, this list is in danger of being way too long. Of course all my favorite authors both listed above and not listed have had an impact. One not listed above that I have to mention is Mercedes Lackey since she is the author who turned me from your average bookworm into one of those annoying book-in-a-day readers. More recently I’d have to say those that have influenced me are more of a support team than anything else. People like Sarah Parr for her sound advice when I was just getting started. Erin Kellison and KC Klein as the most awesome crit partners ever. Sophie Jordan for her encouragement when I was “almost” there. Delilah Marvelle for her spirit and uberawesome cheerleading skills. And last but not least my Binghamton writers: Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, fantasy authors and short story editors extraordinaire; and April Steenburg, Lady of Voice and backlist beta-reader (who never once told me those hard drive cloggers totally sucked.)
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Tes: I’m one of those closet pantsers who, though much blood and sweat have taught themselves to plot. Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due: Erin Kellison is the one who convinced me to teach myself to plot. Bet you didn’t know that, did you Erin? But after watching each new, practically flawless chapter come through our crit group I realized this girl knew what she was doing. So--after prying her secrets from her--I started plotting. I still start with my characters, filling in their ARC’s and testing them to get a feel of what their story is, but after that I outline, then outline some more. And trust me, for this pantser, it’s kinda shocking to have my synopsis done before I even finish the first three chapters!
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Tes: Finding the time when the muse is in session. The muse walks to the beat of her own drummer, coming and going from my presence as she pleases. Unfortunately my life isn’t like that. I have set hours available to me for writing and if the muse isn’t with me during that time then I have to struggle through it and write anyway. This is where Ms. Kellison’s lesson on plotting has saved me time and time again. Without that outline, I would most likely waste much of my time staring at a blank screen due to lack of inspiration, but with my outline I can normally squeak out the very basics of a scene and keep going with the story-- then come back and fill in the rest when that whimsical lady decides to return. ;-)
TQ: Describe Deliver Me from Darkness in 140 characters or less.
Tes: Roland, vigilante vamp and fallen angel yearns 4, but doesn’t believe in, redemption 4 his soul—until his soulmate is delivered to his door
TQ: What inspired you to write Deliver Me from Darkness?
Tes: Good question. Have I mentioned that these ideas just come to me? Okay, honestly, Deliver Me from Darkness was an experiment for me. I wrote the book a couple years after my first RWA conference where I learned SO much about craft. It was also soon after the start of my contest journey where I learned even more about what a romance reader wants. Granted, it wasn’t all an experiment, Roland was one of those characters that just kind of bloomed on the page for me, from the first word I had a hold on who he was, and I’d been wanting to write his story for a while. So I decided that he was going to be “the” hero. The one that got me that first place win and hopefully a subsequent contract. Ha! If I’d realized then… Anyway, Deliver Me was the first novel I plotted out. It was the first one that I sat down and forced myself to write, regardless of muse. It was the first one that I rigorously applied all those “lessons” I’d learned in workshop after workshop and contest feedback. And the first one that I mercilessly slashed and hacked entire scenes from when they weren’t working even though it made me cringe to do so. In effect, it was an experiment—on discipline. And one that paid off with a story that I hope Roland feels worthy of him.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Deliver Me from Darkness?
Tes: I did a lot of research on the origins of the Paladin, toying with various sources to create my own take on the ancient order. My novel didn’t start out with a group of warriors, but rather with my hero, heroine, and one loyal best friend. It wasn’t until I’d started sketching out my plot that I realized I needed more complexity in my world. I knew my hero and his best friend had a history and that their relationship, despite their loyalty to one another, was strained, but it wasn’t until I starting surfing through my stack of “research” novels and internet alike that I stumbled upon the idea of the Paladin. Unromantic as it sounds, they turned out to be the glue for my novel, tying all the threads together into one strong rope.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
Tes: Roland was by far the easiest. He was the original seed of the idea for the novel and everything else, plot, other characters, spun out from him as I strove to write his story. The hardest was actually Karissa. Creating the perfect mate for someone as strong of personality as my hero turned out to be a difficult thing. She needed to be in danger in order to bring out those lovely protective instincts of his, but she couldn’t be a pushover either. So was born my heroine. Strong in her principals, but with a heart so loving she could see to the goodness of one vampire's tormented soul.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Deliver Me from Darkness?
Tes: Roland’s vigilante scene as it really gives you a snapshot on who he is and what his life has been like up until Karissa arrives. The first kiss as it’s both a highpoint and a low point for our hero and heroine. The love scene of course ;-). Beyond that, Gabby’s scenes were some of my favorite to write too. Something about that fiery adolescent vampire made my job really easy. And then there was Valin, he has this dark sarcastic humor that just makes me smile.
TQ: What's next?
Tes: I actually just turned in book two of the Paladin Warriors! Deliver Me from Temptation picks up a few months after the conclusion of Roland and Karissa’s story. It is the story of Roland’s best friend, Logan. Logan is one of those men who’ve set aside all else for the sake of others, his sole focus on his duty as future leader to the Paladin and loyalty to his brothers and friend. Until a stubborn cop trips him up (literally) and knocks his world off kilter. And let me tell you, it was awfully fun to watch this hard-shelled warrior get smacked on his butt by love.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Tes: Thanks so much for having me! It’s been fun to share. And for those who joined us, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! I’ll be on and off all day to answer any questions people might have.
About Deliver Me from Darkness
Deliver Me from DarknessPaladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 7, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback & eBook, 352 pages
A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, once of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he live sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.
Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.
The Inner Imp (short story site)
Guest Blog Giveaway Winner
The winner of Deliver Me from Darkness from Tes' Guest Blog, Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior, is traci16!
What: One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1) from Tes! US//CANADA ONLY.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
What is/are your favorite HEA(s) (Happily Ever After) from 2011?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
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3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday February 11, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*