Thank you for joining us today, Fiona. It’s a pleasure and an honor to have you here.
Fiona is multi-published with books in all heat levels from contemporary to sci-fi. In April 2010, Devil’s Isle will be released by Red Sage Publishing and in Spring 2010, Pas De Deux will be released by Samhain Publishing. Her newest release, DragonSlayer, was recently released by Noble Romance Publishing. Other publishing houses that Fiona has worked with are Ellora’s Cave, Cobblestone Press and Changeling Press. To learn more about Fiona, visit her website.
But when you’re finished surfing her website, don’t forget to click back here and read her exciting interview!
GRACEN: Fiona, many of us in America celebrate Christmas. However, you have a similar tradition in Russia with a New Year’s Tree. Can you tell us how that is similar or how it differs from our American holiday?
FIONA: There are a lot of similarities and differences. I grew up in the Soviet Union, where any sort of religion was prohibited. New Year took on many characteristics of Christmas with a decorated tree, plenty of tinsels, presents, and a big white-bearded guy in a red suit. The guy was called Grandfather Frost, and he had a grandaughter (whose name loosely translates to a figure made of snow).
GRACEN: That’s interesting! Do you have any other similar traditions? Like decorating your house, inside and out, having house parties, making cookies, etc.?
FIONA: Oh yeah, we had huge New Years parties! It was the only time we were allowed to stay up till midnight!
GRACEN: I know you don’t celebrate Christmas, but this question doesn’t have to be centered on Christmas. Other than money (because who doesn’t want more of that), what would be the perfect gift you could receive?
FIONA: Gosh, you know, I don’t really know. A book is always a perfect gift J
GRACEN: If you could give any of your characters a gift, which would it be and what would you give them?
FIONA: LOL honestly? Peace. I torture those guys, especially now that I’m writing longer stories. They do get their peace at the end, but then of course, there’s always sequels!
GRACEN: I need to brag on Fiona a moment because she creates amazing cover art for our books at Noble Romance Publishing. When I received the mock-up of Elfin Blood, I was amazed by how well you captured the essence of my book without having read it. So, do you have a process you follow when creating cover art? How do you think you get inside the head of authors and work up such spectacular book covers?
FIONA: Oww – thank you so much! I’d say a little luck and a lot of feedback. I try to capture the essence of a mood and a story – and make them pop with dramatic colors or lighting. Sometimes when reading a Cover Art sheet, an image pops into my head and I know exactly what I want for a cover. More often then not, I hunt for pieces/elements of a story and then somehow jigsaw them together to make sense in the overall composition.
GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing:
Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?
FIONA: Actually I write in a lot of genres, paranormal being one of them. The beauty of paranormal is that I am the mistress of my universe and am not limited by rules of the “regular” world. A heroine with angel wings? Why the heck not!
GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
FIONA: Sharp. I love kick-ass action packed prose, and that is what I want to convey to my readers with every scene and every phrase.
GRACEN: With the current movement to encourage people to give books as gifts, what, in your opinion, makes your story unique? What makes it stand out among all the others?
FIONA: I think DragonSlayer is a perfect gift for someone who enjoyes high “classic” fantasy coupled with a strong romance and a kickass heroine. (Who has swords. Two of them)
GRACEN: Do you prefer throwing snowballs or serving hot cocoa? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
FIONA: Throwing snowballs. Definitely. (I’d burn the cocoa… or spill it on myself)
I think this definitely shows in my writing - bring up the earlier word – sharp. I am very physical and tomboyish. My way of dealing with stress is to beat up my punching bag rather then take a long bath. It definitely comes out in my writing – I tend to be drawn to action packed sizzling scenes.
GRACEN: Who decides what your characters do, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stuffing the stocking?
FIONA: Its very much a collaborative process. I’ve turned into a die hard plotter, so I usually know exactly what will happen going into the store. Then a character will look me dead in the eye and say something so outlandish and so incredibly perfect that I just have to go with it.
GRACEN: What character did you have the most fun creating and why?
FIONA: I really enjoyed Xara from DragonSlayer. She reminded me a lot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the earlier seasons (I LOVE Buffy!). Similar vulnerability, similar struggle between emotions and duty and strength and destiny.
GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?
FIONA: I think I’d really like to meet both Xara and Griall from DragonSlayer in real life. I’d want to watch Griall turn into a dragon!!! (I’ve always had a fascination with dragons)
GRACEN: Which of your characters would you /never/ want to meet under any circumstance and why?
FIONA: I don’t think I’ve ever made a character whom I wouldn’t want to meet… Even the evil ones needed a little love.
Trailer For DragonSlayer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI-FdNMi0qo&feature=player_embedded
*A Dragon's Curse*
Griall must find the woman who can release him from his curse before he becomes a Death Beast like his father. Even if the man inside him craves the Dragon Slayer's touch, he knows she must destroy the beast who shares his skin before it's too late.
*A Slayer's Pride*
Xara cannot escape the lie upon which her life is built. A Slayer who has never fought a dragon, she’ll never feel feel strong enough to be the one Griall seeks. Surely, a Slayer wouldn’t allow herself to love a beast! Xara must find a Slayer’s power to kill this dragon before his curse destroys them both.
She couldn’t breathe with his hands on her, couldn’t think with him this close. A dragon. An enemy. Her body did not care.
"Don’t touch me."
He gave her a mocking, lethal smile. "What will you do to make me stop?"
She plowed her fist into his face, heard the crack of bone. Watched as that sensual mouth bled, those light eyes narrowed. Surely he'd shift into the dragon now. His scales, his teeth would cool the lust inside her belly.
She willed him to turn into the beast. Lifted a fist again. Froze mid-swing when he pulled her toward him, tumbling them both onto the grass. She rolled on top of him, struggling to push his arms over his head. The fire in her belly flared as she cradled him between her thighs, the heat of his arousal hot and urgent against her.
She arched toward him, as forbidden pleasure coiled. While her head screamed stop, arousal bloomed inside her as she struggled, pushing herself into him, wanting more, needing more contact.
Her hands were now above her head, his heat fueling the tension gripping every muscle. Watching her eyes, Griall took his weight off her, eased to the side, claimed both her wrists in one large fist while she struggled to breathe, to calm, to think.
Slowly, his free hand traveled up, those clever fingers brushing over her lips, tracing a dark path over her neck.
She should have stopped him. She did not.