Saturday, February 04, 2012

Interview with Tes Hilaire and Giveaway - February 4, 2012

Please welcome Tes Hilaire to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.  Deliver Me from Darkness, Tes' debut novel, will be published on February 7, 2012.

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 Darkness
Paladin 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.

About Tes

Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily every after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at

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!

The Giveaway


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:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

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.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

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.*


  1. Hello All!

    I just wanted to say a quick hi and let you all know that I'll be stopping in throughout the day to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime be sure to answer the question so that you can be entered in the giveaway!!! Thanks so much for stopping in today :-)

    Tes Hilaire

  2. Hi Tes! This sounds like such a great series! My favorite HEA of 2011 was from Thea Harrison's Dragon Bound. I love Dragos and Pia!

    +1 comment
    +1 Follower
    +1 Tweeted (!/RebeLovesBooks/status/165833112092282880)


  3. Hi, Tes! Congrats on your debut! Can't wait to read your book...sounds like a GREAT series! FAB cover! My favorite HEA's are Jag and Olivia from Pamela Palmer's Rapture Untamed, Strider and Kaia from Gena Showalter's The Darkest Surrender, and Veck and Sophia from J.R. Ward's Envy.

    Following via GFC/email

  4. Congrats on the new release! It looks awesome and I can't wait for it to be released :)

    Thanks also for the fabulous post and giveaway!

    I'd have to say that my fav HEA for this year (so far) would be Ash and Margaret from Courtney Milan's Unveiled. They just had a lot of legitimate and huge issues before getting their HEA and Ms. Milan made me really want them to have it :) I don't know why, but this year I've been reading more historical romance than PNR (well at least in January). Well see what February brings :)

  5. Thanks for the great interview and giveaway, Tes! My favorite HEA so far is Tessa and Hayden from Something Witchy This Way Comes! What a great read!!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet:!/jwitt33/status/165884220227592193

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  6. Congrats on the book release. the blurb totally got me!
    I read so many books in 2011 that it's hard to pick out favorite HEAs. I agree with Barbara's choices -all 3..guess we read the same books, Barbara. I'm embarrased to say that I often will only remember the name of a book and one or the other of the hero and heroine! Bad, bad, wasted brain cells! So, I'll add Lora Leigh's Lawe's Justice. I was rooting for Justice and .... They neded up making a kick ass couple even if I can't remember HER name.

    This memory issue if proof that certain recreational drugs when consumed in large enough quantities while the young mind is still developing (say ages 13-18) can be a bad thing! :) Of coursem there are no kids THAT young on this site..right?

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC as MJB
    +1 Tweet:!/msmjb65/status/165884825281101824

    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  7. My two top favorites are Lothaire and Elizabeth from Lothaire by Kresley Cole and NIcoloe and Keenan from Angel Of Darkness by Cynthia Eden.
    blog post

  8. Hi All! Sorry I haven't been on more. I just got back from my local RWA meeting and though I've been checking in, I guess I don't have my phone set up for commenting remotely! Anyway, So glad you could all stop by! I've seen a lot of great HEA answers that I'm going to have to check out. I must say that I've been wracking my brain for my own top HEA of 2011 and have read so many great ones that it's hard to choose. In the end I'm going to have to go with MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons, even if there were shadows mingled in with it. Anyway, keep more of these great HEA idea's coming! I need to add to that already immense TBR pile ;-)

  9. This looks really good. Thank you for the nice interview. I loved Thea Harrison's Dragon Bound with Dragos and Pia. Great couple.

    GFC as Victoria Sloboda

    Don't have a blog


  10. Strider and Kaia

    I follow your blog.


  11. You know, I read so much that trying to pin point one in particular is very difficult. Frankly, I don't really like to read anything that doesn't have an HEA. I can name a few books that I have read recently that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved Rebecca Zanetti's Fated and I also loved both of Dianne Duvall's books. Deliver Me From Darkness has been on my TBB list for a while now. I would love to read it. Thanks for the fantastic giveaway. +1 Follower, +1 Comment

  12. I loved Devine Intervention by Brockenbrough! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom
    GFC Krystal Larson

  13. I am a follower and email subscriber. My favorite happily ever after is Bella and Edward from Twilight. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  14. Some more great ones to check out, thanks! Barb made an interesting comment on wanting that HEA. I find I've been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy recently that doesn't always have a HEA, or if it does, it's often many books into the series. I find I'm okay with this as long as eventually they DO get their HEA (or are at least happy together even if the world their in still needs some ass-kicking ;-) What do you others think?

  15. Kate and Curran from Magic Bleeds. There will be more books in the series, but it's nice that a couple can come together and have a decent relationship without getting broken up or fighting over trivial matters.

    GFC Anne38

  16. My favorite HEA was Adrian Brown's in Never Enough by Lauren Dane. Through the entire series he had to watch as his siblings and friends found their HEA. Adrian finding the woman he loves and the son he never knew was lovely.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

    +1 comment
    +1 Twitter follower @GeishasMom73

  17. My favorite HEA from 2011 is Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen. I love urban fantasy too, and as long as there is a HEA at the end of the series, or at least the chance of happiness together, I'm good.
    I'm looking forward to reading Deliver Me From Darkness, it sounds like a fantastic read.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower - Barbara E.

  18. I was trying to decide on a happily ever after and cannot settle on one. I liked Kresley Cole's HEA this year but I also like Christine Feehan's.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  19. Keep those HEA's coming ladies! I'm signing off for the night but you can always email me via my website or join me at Good luck with the contest, and do stop by my facebook page as I'll be telling you more ways to earn chances to win copies of Deliver Me there! Thanks so much for keeping me company and have a great weekend!

  20. I loved Tricks and Tiago from Storm's heart by Thea Harrison. Their HEA was great.
    I am a follower and I tweeted!/Pamk258/status/166049321337360384
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  21. Sorry I can't name one... there are just too many! I would love to read Deliver Me from Darkness... I have a feeling when I do it's going to be a favorite!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower of The Qwillery
    +1 Tweeted:!/yadkny/status/167108715940560896

  22. ohh thats a tough question.. im gonna go with nalini singhs... and how about julia quinn's just like heaven

    +1 for following

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

  23. You made some good points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most individuals will approve with your blog.
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  24. Hi! Great interview! Thanks for this giveaway! What is/are your favorite HEA(s) (Happily Ever After) from 2011?
    I would say Kiss at your own risk by Stephanie Rowe and Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione! Oh and probably all the highlanders from the highlander series by Karen Marie Moning! LOL

    I follow: Proserpine via GFC
    I tweet:!/PCravingBooks/status/168076571654107136