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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tantalizing Tuesday

The NightMan
T.L. Mitchell

To say this past week has been a "blur" is an understatement. Besides having gone by faster than I even noticed, with my new glasses falling apart and my using my older pairs, even more blurry than that. I used my previous pair which was 3 steps weaker than my new pair, and the transition back has been full of headaches, so I haven't done much reading. Then on Monday, yesterday, I remembered something that the doctor said about one of the other older pairs of glasses I still had sitting around. It was 2 steps stronger than my previous pair, which would make it only 1 step weaker than my new pair, so I put them on. After most of the day, I noticed a reduction in headaches and was finally able to read again - yay! That's kind of what I was doing today. I picked up Dark of kNight by T.L. Mitchell, our guest for today and found myself very absorbed in the story.

While it isn't dialogue driven as is the newest trend in books, it is in a first-person pov and, while I'm not sure I have a clear picture of what the main character looks like yet, I happen to be in her head and pretty-well able to see what she sees. If it isn't picture perfect I can write it off to the notion that maybe she isn't all that observant when it comes to her own surroundings, as not everyone is observant all the time, especially in times of crisis, like what Julie (the main character) finds herself having to deal with when the book begins.

Her father has died and it is a family friend, and his long-time business partner, that tells her. To say he is controlling is an understatement, but he has a soft-spot for his daughter, Casey, and that much is evident.

I really like how this story pulls you along through the main character and really lets you see what she feels as she feels it. If the rest of the book is this way, it should be a fascinatingly good read!

Let's get to the reason you're here, the interview! In honor of April 15th being tax day, we’re asking 15 questions this month.

ME: Speaking of taxes, are you’re taxes finished, or do you procrastinate with them? Do you do them yourself or do you have a taxman do them for you?

TRACEY: My taxes are finished for the year. I do always try to file them on time after I have received all my information. I have always completed my tax returns myself.

ME: As it says, “April showers bring May flowers”. What flowers do you hope to see the first thing in spring?

TRACEY: The flowers I love to see in the spring are Daffodils and Tulips. Growing up, we always had a spring garden filled with a variety of colors of these flowers.

ME: Do you plant your own garden? Why or why not and where is it (are they) located?

TRACEY: Yes, I do plant my own garden. I love gardens and enjoy the work. In the past I have usually planted several small gardens around the house.

ME: Do you prefer plants or seeds? Does it matter where you get them, or do you have a favorite place to go? What’s the name of the place and why do you prefer to go there?

TRACEY: I prefer plants. Seeds take a little too much time and I have never had much success with them. It really doesn’t matter where I buy the plants, it just depends on what I’m looking for at the particular time. Specialty colored roses I usually order from Jackson & Perkins. I look for specific colors and like hybrid roses.

ME: What will you plant (or have already planted) this year and why?

TRACEY: Since I have just moved, I don’t think I will be planting a flower garden this year. Maybe after I am more settled I will start planting.

ME: Do you have any plants that are must haves for your garden, ones that it just won’t be complete without?

TRACEY: For me, the musts are roses, bearded iris, daffodils, bleeding hearts and lilacs.

ME: For your produce, is the local grocery store just fine, or do you like to hit your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that you do like to get?

TRACEY: I seriously have a problem with the local produce at the grocery store. I prefer to buy my produce at a local farmers market or grow it myself. My ideal choice of shopping when I lived in Florida was an Organic Grocery store called Evermann’s. My favorite fruit varies. It depends on what I have a taste for that week. I love pineapple, bananas, mangos and papaya. For vegetables, summer squash is my favorite.

ME: Now that we've learned a bit about you, let's learn a bit about your writing. What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?

TRACEY: My main genre is paranormal romance.

ME: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?

TRACEY: The elements I use in my story are mystery and suspense. Personally, I love to read a story with both. I figure if I can write a story that will keep me interested, I know it will keep the readers interested.

ME: Do you prefer red roses or black roses? If so, does that show in your writing? If so, how? If roses aren’t your style, what flowers are? Do they influence your writing? If so, how?

TRACEY: I prefer red roses. I would say it does show in my writing. Red roses represent love. Actually, in my novel Dark of kNight I mention roses. The rose I speak of is a white rose. It’s name is called peace. In the prologue and a dream scene the heroine, Julie Knight dreams of a rose garden. Her life has changed so drastically …not to give any spoilers out, but she looks for peace. In the dream, she sees this white rose, its scent is so delicate and she recognizes it as Peace. The last statement she makes, “I reached my hand through the fog to collect my prize; my peace.” It is a very strong statement for a young woman who has gone through so much in her life in such a short time.

ME: The jury’s still out on this question, so we’re still asking it! - Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one planting the seeds? How do you cultivate those seeds regardless of who plants them?

TRACEY: I find myself very fortunate to have a publisher who allows me to write the stories I enjoy. My publisher, Wild Horse Press, and I stay in close contact with one another when I’m working on a new project or idea. Sometimes, if a story hits me - I just write it. Prime example, The NightMan. The NightMan was story that burned to be told.

Personally I have heard complaints from readers who are reading cookie-cutter books. The characters of these books maybe different but the story is still the same. Readers want variety and something new and fresh. As a writer, I believe you lose your creative flare when you are told what to write. To make an impression on readers I believe you have to set your heart free as a writer. The vision you create for your readers is important. They want to feel apart of the characters, feel emotion and see a vivid picture of events. I don’t think I could ever write for a publisher who dictated “what” I needed to write. If that were ever the case…I would open my own publishing company. J

ME: In your opinion, what author had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing did you find so influential and why?

TRACEY: OMG, I’m caught between two authors. When I first started writing many years ago, it was Stephen King. I read so many of his books and developed his flare for horror and suspense. Quite a few years ago I was introduced to Karen Marie Moning and her books. Moning’s writing was exactly what I loved. She carried the mystery, suspense and humor in her stories. Along with a wonderful romantic tale.

ME: While authors can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Dark of kNight, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?

TRACEY: The story of Dark of kNight began as a series of dreams, actually nightmares. The dreams were so vivid and clear, some mornings I would wake up with my heart pounding in my chest. I couldn’t understand why I was having these series of dreams. After about the third dream I started writing them down. Before long, I realized this may make a good book. After writing the first draft a friend of mine read over the story and loved it. She encouraged me to keep writing and finish it into a full length novel. Which after the final draft, I ended up with Dark of kNight. The story was truly based on a series of haunting dreams.

ME: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is a second book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)

TRACEY: The heroine and hero of Dark of kNight is Julie Knight and Daniel Maxwell. Julie is tall, slender built( a little on the athletic side), long dark brown hair and light brown eyes. She has olive/tan skin (which is answered in Fall of kNight). Daniel Maxwell, handsome, tall (6’4”), well built- not overly but very smooth, his hazel green eyes complements his black hair. Which he does have somewhat of a dark appearance.

Daniel and Julie have always known one another. Their families were close- even when they were children. Daniel has always loved Julie from the first kiss. He has never wanted anyone else other than Julie. The two went their separate ways - only to be reunited by the death of her father. Years had passed between the two of them, but the love Daniel had for Julie remained. This time he wasn’t going to fail.

OH comical cut ups? Of course! This is one thing I love about writing. There are quite a few between Julie and Daniel. But my favorite is with their friends Jason and Heather. Now, if you could picture a group of wolf shape shifters, young and out for a good time at a very nice restaurant, you would have something like this:

“Several stories crossed the table of Daniel and Jason’s fishing expositions. One of which was the story of the big one getting away. Not to mention how drunk they were one night when they thought they saw the Loch Ness Monster. Daniel said it was the moon moving on the waves of the lake. Jason swore it was Nessie which had tipped the boat and caused him to fall into the lake. We all laughed as Daniel reminded his dear friend he had never seen such a brave heart as his friend pulled his trousers down to moon the so-called monster when he fell backwards over the boat.”

ME: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)

TRACEY: I have been very pleased with the response to my cast of secondary characters. Like I mentioned above Jason and Heather McLaughlin. Jason is a purebred Irish pup and he has the personality of someone who will make you laugh even when you don’t want to. Heather, is petite just a little over 5’4”, she has a pixie-like hair cut. She is not Irish, but loves her purebred Irish wolf lad Jason. She is not as wild as Jason, but they make for a very cute couple and compliment each other wonderfully.

Jason and Daniel met in Scotland, while Daniel was working on bio-genetic research. They are both scientists and are employed by a company co-owned by Daniel and Julie’s father.
Scene stealers? If you read the book you will notice Heather is a little reserved. So this particular scene was a stealer for her. CAUTION SPOILERS* This scene happens immediately after Julie and Daniel discover the vampires (Richard and Nathaniel). Richard shows a particular interest in Julie, which causes Daniel to become very protective over his wolf girl.

I turned toward Daniel and he looked to me in concern.
“I don’t like that Richard.” He huffed.
“Because he has a thing for me?” I teased.
“I better be the only one that has a thing for you!” He growled. “Besides can a vampire actually have an erect…”
“Daniel!” I shot at him in surprise.
“Well, I was just wondering.” He shot back.
Heather and Jason walked up to us. “Rumor has it, they are huge.” She said as she laughed and darted off changing into her wolf image.
Jason roared loudly with laughter as he followed her changing into his wolf image. There was no way I could contain my laugh when I looked into Daniel’s astonished face. I unzipped his robe and slid it off his shoulders. The shock was still on his face. Smiling I slipped out of my robe. I began to walk away from Daniel.
I turned my head slightly to the side. “Darling, you have nothing to worry about.” I purred as I laughed and burst forth into my wolf image.

ME: Okay, so let's get down to the blurb and excerpt!

Dark of kNightBLURB:
*Julie Knight never really knew how much her life would change after the death of her father.
After returning home to Spring Place, FA, the mysterious animal attacks begin. The small town is in an uproar over the horrific killings.
Julie finds herself in danger when the truth of who she is has been revealed. The last of a thousand year old bloodline of Lycans, Guardians of the mysterious Fort Mountain.
Daniel Maxwell, the handsome, dark, yet mysterious scientist returns home for the funeral. He has changed, but his love for Julie remains the same. She is what he has always wanted. She is what he needs. He would die for her. He would kill for her.
The passions begin to flare and so does the romance between Julie and Daniel. Joining forces with a mysterious group of moon-eyed people, together they must prepare for the ultimate battle- the battle against a deadly pack of werewolves.
Can Julie and Daniel‘s love be strong enough to protect them from their dangerous desires? Or will they be forever lost in the Dark of kNight?*


I knew one day I would reach this place in my life; I just didn’t realize it would be so soon. Love, I suppose, has no rules and yields to no boundaries. Never knowing when it will strike.

Never before would I have imagined I could love someone as deeply as I love him. I would fight for him. I would die for him. This is what I believed. This is the Lycan way. Yes, I could say I love this man more than my own life. It was odd that I would fall in love with someone who needed me as much as I needed him.

My world as I knew it stopped when my father died. I was not ready to lose anyone else again. I couldn’t bare the loss of the one who is so dear to my heart. He is my angel and my love. If I were to lose him then my life would end. I knew I would die.

As I stood in the rose garden, one rose stood out among the rest. It was a beautiful pure white rose. Its name was Peace. Never before have I seen such a delicate rose. Its scent was by far more fragrant than its neighboring roses. It was a scent that drew me in like the scent of my lover.

The fog had begun to settle in, moving slowly through the rose garden. I reached my hand through the fog to collect my prize. My peace.*

5 Moonbeams (comments):

Jamie said...

Looks like a good read. Thanks for the interview...Stacy

Unknown said...

sounds great!!!!!!
been a fan for while

Sheila Deeth said...

Loved the interview. Loved the read too. Thanks.

Carrie said...

Thanks to Tracey for stopping by today! We hope to have her back when her the next book in the series comes out!

Thanks Sheila and Blackrose for stopping by today! It's always nice to see our regulars!

Bonnie Lea Elliott said...

Tracey Mitchell's Knight series are wonderful books.This was an interesting interview, Mistress Bella! Thanks so much,
Bonnie Lea