Monday, March 05, 2007

Guest authors: MaryJanice, Emma, Catherine, and Vickie

This so rocks! Today ALL FOUR authors included in the new anthology from Berkley, DEMON'S DELIGHT, have agreed to be our guests. Please welcome MaryJanice Davidson, Emma Holly, Catherine Spangler, and Vickie Taylor to the ride. I think if we all skooch over a bit we can squeeze them all into the car. Maybe someone will have to sit on the trunk and hold on to the antenna, but we won't drive too fast. (You can click on their names above to visit their websites.)

The ladies four have answered a few questions (even the silly one) and everyone who leaves a comment today will be entered to win a prize package of books from the authors. Plus, the authors plan to stop by during the day, so if you have a question, post it in the comments. Pretty cool, eh? So let's see what these ladies are up to...

In the realm between the living and the undead, between human and immortal, four of today's hottest authors create a world where demons, witches, vampires, angels, and humans are caught up in sensual paranormal encounters. Explore the delight that ensues when opposites come together . . .

Q: Is your novella (in this anthology) a spin-off, or related to the characters or world in any of your other works?

DAVIDSON: This is a brand-new novella [“Witch Way”], with paranormal characters I have not tackled before this anthology: witches, and witch hunters.

HOLLY: "The Demon's Angel" is set in the same world as my recent release, PRINCE OF ICE. I wanted to write about how the demons' advanced science might clash with the humans' Victorian experience.

SPANGLER: Actually no. I've never written a vampire or angel story before. This was [“Street Corners and Halos”] very new for me, and I really enjoyed it.

TAYLOR: No, “Angel and the Hellraiser” is a new set of characters.

Q: What's your favorite paranormal 'creature' to write about?

DAVIDSON: I'd have to say Betsy, the vampire queen. And not just because she's a vampire; because she's a person who worries about finding a parking space and paying her utility bills. Seems like most vampires just don't have the day-to-day worries we mere mortals have. Betsy, from my Undead novels, is the best of both worlds for me.

HOLLY: I'm enjoying my demons/yama pretty much--they're just so sexy!--but I'm also thinking maybe I haven't discovered my favorite creature yet. Maybe I've yet to invent them . . .

SPANGLER: Up until now, I've written characters who were basically human, but had superhuman or supernatural powers, so I guess that's my favorite. I lean towards creating paranormal worlds, and populating them with people who might have supernatural abilities, but are otherwise relatively "normal". The exception would be my Leor hero in Shadow Fires, who was part human and part reptilian.

TAYLOR: My "Stone" series--CARVED IN STONE, FLESH AND STONE, LEGACY OF STONE--is about Gargoyles! Actually, I ran across the old legend of how gargoyles came to be, then put a twist of my own on it to create my heroes.

Q: If you could be a paranormal for a day, what would you be?

DAVIDSON: A witch, definitely. You just wiggle your nose, like Samantha, and poof! Instant gratification.

HOLLY: You know, I wouldn't mind being one of my lady demons for a day. They're all really pretty, really smart, eat whatever they want, never get fat, are strong enough to kick butt whenever they need to, and they get to have really great sex with their demon guys. Plus, they wear awesome clothes and jewelry. I could live with that.

SPANGLER: I would love to be a witch (a good one, of course), and have magical powers. Wouldn't that be cool?

TAYLOR: It's a toss up between a time traveler and a shape-shifter. I've never written a time travel, but I think it would be fascinating to go travel to the past and the future at will. Being a shape-shifter would be cool too, though. I'd love to fly without an airplane, swim in the deep of the ocean...and the next time I say "I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation," I could actually do it!

Q: Do you work with the other authors in the anthology, or strictly by yourself for a compilation such as this?

DAVIDSON: What happened to me was, my editor pitched the theme ("Demon's Delight") to me and asked if I wanted to contribute. I said you betcha. Then I wrote the novella (WITCH WAY) and turned it in.

HOLLY: This is the most creative interaction I've had before I wrote a novella, and that was because Catherine came up with the great "opposites attract" theme. It was a good spark for the story.

SPANGLER: This was my first participation in a novella, but all we did for Demon's Delight was agree we would create paranormal stories with opposites for the hero and heroine (witch/witch hunter, demon/human, angel/human, vampire/angel).

TAYLOR: We shared a few sentences overview of what we were writing, but all the stories were developed individually.

Q: Ladies, what will we being seeing next from you?

DAVIDSON: Well, my husband and I are working on the fourth Jennifer Scales book, and I'm working on SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS, my next Fred the mermaid book. And of course we're both gearing up for the book tour in June to promote UNDEAD AND UNEASY, the 6th Betsy book. Sixth. Yikes! Who knew? ;-)

HOLLY: My next book out will be the mass-market reprint of ALL U CAN EAT in May.

SPANGLER: TOUCHED BY FIRE, will be out in October.

TAYLOR: LEGACY OF STONE - the third in the Gargoyle series, coming summer 2007!

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by! I've had opportunity to start reading the anthology, and it is fun, sexy and darkly delicious. And talk about a nummy, sexy cover!

[author pics from top to bottom: MaryJanice, Emma, Catherine, Vickie]


Tehya said...

Am looking forward to this anthology!


Chris Roberts said...

I have been looking for this anthology here in South Florida. I am hoping to see it on the shelves this Tuesday.

KimW said...

Four terrific authors in one book! I'm putting this one on my "want" list.

Adriana said...

Definitely going in my TBR pile! Hmm... Lady Demon for a Day? The next hit show? Sounds yummy, in any case!


Helen Brenna said...

Hey, ladies - a warm (tough to come by these snowy MN days)welcome to the convertible. So fun to have all 4 of you visiting!

One of these days I'd love to write a paranormal/fantasy type of story, but honestly it's scares me a bit. I think because I wouldn't know where to begin. Does it ever feel daunting to any of you to have so few limits put on possible story-lines, let alone settings?

MaryJanice Davidson said...

Helen, for me it's freeing. Plus, I'm so darned lazy so a world where you make ALL the rules is a good thing for me. I love historicals but would never dare write one; too much research! I couldn't even stick to standard vampire "rules" with the Betsy books; she can handle crosses and walk around in the sun. So don't let the lack of rules hold you back! :-)

ellie said...

What a great interview! very interesting and informative. Looking forward to this anthology. Thanks.

joelle said...

What a unique idea. This collaboration sounds so appealing. Love your ideas of choosing what you would like to be and your powers as well.

pearl said...

All of your books sounds great! Enjoyed this interview which gave me insight into your newest ideas and books as well as what aspirations in the paranormal field.

sharon said...

Fascinating interview which provided me with your original ideas about your paranormal existence. The anthology sounds delightful and will look out for this book.

Teresa said...

This book has to be put on my TBR pile as an avid reader with my favorite genre being the paranormal this book is a must from some of my favorite authors. Loved all your interviews today and i'm looking forward to all your new releases this one included. Love reading anthologies to be able to read several authors stories in one book.

Heather B. said...

I can't wait to get ahold of this book. I love Betsy. I think that's my fav series that you write MaryJanice. I finally got a copy of Fred's book but haven't read it yet. I am looking forward to her story too based on what I've read on your website.


Vickie Taylor said...

Helen, I totally agree with the goddess Maryjanice! Like you, I was nervous when I first started writing paranormal...but then after the first one was under my belt I'd found true writing freedom. Whatever your imagination can dream up can happen! It's very liberating.

Everyone else - thanks for taking us for a ride in the convertible. Look forward to chatting with you today!

Shannon said...

MJD, I Love your books! Emma, Catherine and Vickie I have read some of your stuff and it is very good as well. I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Anyone else wishing for warm weather?

Helen Brenna said...

MJD and Vickie, food for thought. One of these days ...

Did you guys know each other before you worked on this novella?

alissa said...

Fabulous interview which is enlightening and entertaining. Love the choices you made being paranormal for a day in the interview which was fun to read about. thanks for this look into paranormal and your great anthology.

Kalayna-Nicole Price said...

This book was already on my TBR list, but I'm definitely going to have to bump it up closer to the top once it hits stores. (what tomorrow, right?)

I was wondering if any of you amazing ladies would touch on how you approach your world/myth building.

Emma Holly said...

Hello, everybody! ::waving:: Hi, fellow anthology authors.

Helen, the funny thing is, theoretically you can go into and out of an anthology without ever knowing the other authors at all. MaryJanice and I knew each other a little bit from our "Secrets" days, and Catherine and I share a lovely agent, and Vickie and I are now official "anthology acquaintances", but there's only as much interaction between the authors as they *want* to have.

Of course, these days more and more anthos are author-driven, so you might gather your buddies together and say, "Let's pitch an anthology about such-and-such to an editor."

Michele said...

Welcome Ladies!

I'm going to ditto Kalayna-Nicole in asking about your world building. Do your established series seem easier because you've been writing in them a while? Do you take 'time off' to research and build a new world when starting a new series, or do you work on it as you're writing the story?


Vickie Taylor said...

Helen, honestly MJD and I still don't really know each other. We've only exchanged a few emails related to Demon's Delight promotion, etc. Although I hope to have a chance to meet both MJ and Emma sometime soon. Catherine and I are long-time friends and belong to the same RWA chapter.

Cherie said...

Great Interview! I want to read this one so bad! 4 great authors in one book makes it sound like a winner to me. Thanks for being here ladies.

Cherie Japp

Catherine Spangler said...

Hey gang,

I'm coming in late, as usual! Helen, I've written paranormal from the start (even when "they" said it would never sell), because the stories in my mind were SF romance stories. Like MJ and Vickie said, it's very freeing, because the author can determine the parameters of the world, and give her characters all kinds of neat powers and abilities.

Before the anthology, I knew MJ via online communication (I was incredibly lucky enough to read UNDEAD AND UNWED before it was published) and Vickie Taylor is my critique partner, so I know her pretty well-LOL. I've met Emma via email during the course of creating the anthology. All three of these ladies are terrific and mega talented. I'm just along for the ride!

I'll tackle the world building question a little later, when I've had more caffeine.

Thanks for letting us hang out with y'all!

~ Catherine

Christie Ridgway said...

I'm perched on the bumper to make room for our visitors! Thanks for riding.

And wow! These stories sound fabulous. Your imaginations are inspiring. As I write books that are pretty cemented in the "real world," I enjoy reading books that take me outside the everyday.

How do you like working in the short format of a novella?

Catherine Spangler said...

Hi Christie! I enjoyed writing the novella, but the short format is difficult for me. I love secondary characters, and they always keep popping up in my stories. I had the longest novella of the group, and I kept calling our editor and asking her how many more pages I could have. Fortunately I had enough room that I didn't have to delete Catria (you'll have to read the story to see who she is).

~ Catherine

Michele said...

So witches are new for MJD. Loved the story, and REALLY look forward to reading more witches/witch hunters from you.
Here's an odd question for MJD: I love when a writer inserts a few quotes at chapter headings, or before the story as you did. Do you collect quotes? Do you search for specific ones to match the story? Or does a story come from a specific quote?

Catherine, your take on the vampire having psychic sex was awesome! Do you plan to do more vampires in the future?

Emma, love your demon universe and really liked when he got wings. I'm going to ask the stupid question: Where or how do you get your ideas? Do you weave in mythology to your stories?

Vickie, you're a gargoyle woman. So did the venture into new characters spark some new story ideas for the future?


Cathy said...

Great cover and story titles. Love paranormal storylines and will be adding your book to my wish list.

Leiha said...

Emma, I would love to be one of your female demons too! You had me at the great sex part, LOL. Can't wait to pick up this anthology!

MissyB_in_NJ said...

I am excited to read this book! My prior para-normal experiences have only been vampire-related. Now I'm reading Katie MacAlister, who has all sorts of unusuals in them. But now witches, gargoyles, witch hunters, angels.... Very cool! I was in a vampire rut, lol! Good luck, ladies! I'm running over to amazon now!

Catherine Spangler said...

World building--great questions from Kalayna-Nicole and Michele! I generally approach world building based on my characters. My first books (the Shielder series) were SF romance, so I created cultures and colonies and planets. But the focus was on the special shielding ability of the Shielders and the mind control/dominance of the Controllers. I do have a pretty solid library of books on world building, but I refer to it more when I need actual technical information (what type of planet, atmosphere, wormholes, etc.)

My new Sentinel series is based on Atlantis, a personal passion of mine since I was very young. I used the Edgar Cayce readings (there were over 700 on Atlantis) to create the Atlantis-based characters, but then stepped beyond that for the current-day culture and the super powers of the Sentinels, and how special humans help focus their psychic conductions.

World building becomes easier as you write a series, because it builds on itself and doesn't have to be re-created with each new story. However, the world usually becomes more complex and more defined as you write deeper into that world. I think my subconscius is always working on the world, and when I sit down to write, it shares new knowledge about the world.

One "sacred" rule (IMO): the author can create the world with whatever laws and situations she wants, but must then remain consistent to those laws. If my female vampire/prostitute can have fantasy mind sex with clients in one story, then in that world, other vampires must have the same ability (unless I can explain that she's special and different from other vampires).

Have your eyes glazed over yet? LOL!

~ Catherine

Debra Dixon said...

Welcome, guest riders! And a big hello to Emma. I've been a big fan for many years. I'm looking forward to the anthology. (It's in my cart at the "big honking internet bookstore.")

An anthology was the first place I became acquainted with MaryJanice's books.

One of the things I love about anthologies is that they give me a chance to read new authors (to me).

Heather B. said...


Your new book "Touched by Darkness" looks really good and I am going to have to add that to my tbr list.

I love reading and primarily read paranormal. I have been reading it for several years and I am hooked. I can't pick up a regular novel or romance anymore unless it has some connection to the paranormal. I love this type of book because it lets me get away from the real world (mom, student, full time employee). Reading is me time.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I enjoyed the q & a session a lot.


Emma Holly said...

Wordbuilding. Hm. I think that's like anything to do with writing. You do it whatever way works for you! I like to start with pieces from the real world, which seems to give my fantasy world more substance, and then mix them up in new ways. So the setting for, say, Prince of Ice, began as the real Forbidden City in China, and took off from there.

Michele - the story fairies give me my ideas. Anyway, that's the best explanation I've come up with so far. I liked Harry's wings, too, which were really born out of the need to give the demon in the story an opposite. Thankfully, my editor didn't say "what the heck is this crazy/silly plot?"

I get where you're coming from, Catherine. It seems like I'm always using ALL my allotted pages *g*

Hey, leiha! Maybe I can start a gang of wannabe lady demons *g*

Lis said...

The anthology looks great, already added to my tbb list. What, if anything, inspired or sparked your individual novellas?

principessa said...

This new anthology has me interested and I loved the delightful interview. Especially interesting is the paranormal ideaas of becoming something special with the powers bestowed if possible. Best of luck.

MaryJanice Davidson said...

Emma is the reason I have TWO children. I read Menage and, um, went to find my husband, and, um, didn't bother to find birth control, and now my son is seven and it's ALL EMMA'S FAULT. :-)

I love the novella length; it's perfect for me. 100 manuscript pages is just right...I can tell a story but not be sick to death of it by the time I type The End.

Since RT is next month, I'm hoping some or all of we DEMON'S DELIGHT authors will be there, so readers can get multiple autographs for their copies! (I'll be there for sure; I love RT.)

Quotes...I both collect them, and try to find just the right quote for a story. I have to say I've never seen a quote and then written a story around it, but I suppose it's only a matter of time!

World building...I love it, and it's much easier, I think, when you're writing a series. You can keep peeling the layers back the more books you write. I don't think it's as much fun to put all kinds of time and imagination into a wonderful elaborate world and then only write one book for it. That's why a lot of my books are crossovers (e.g. the Wyndham werewolves meeting up with the Undead gang in UNDEAD AND UNEASY this June).

Hope that was helpful!

Maria, Lover of All Things Romance said...

I'm sure this is going to be one hell of an anthology, can't waut!:)

Maureen said...

Your anthology looks great.

Heather B. said...


can't wait till your cross over book this summer. I love the Wyndham werewoves and I loved when they met up in Dead and Loving it.

I wish I was getting to go to RT conference, I think it would be a blast to meet my fav authors.

Have a great afternoon and thanks all of you for stoppin by.

Leiha said...

Emma, count me in for your gang and I can think of 20 other women who will join you right away, LOL. Now let's look for the male demons EG!

Catherine Spangler said...

Hey all, I got tied up at work and some appointments afterwards, but I'm baaaack! Michele, I meant to answer your earlier questions about writing more vampires. I don't know right now. I'm so character oriented, and Rachel was so strong in my mind. If more vamps show up, I guess I'll have to write them. But no plans for now.

Okay, question--What's your favorite type of paranormal story? Vampire, witch/warlock, werewolf/shapeshifter, time travel, demon, angel, fairy/elves, SF,etc.?

I'd be hard pressed to just pick one, but I lean towards vampires and witches. Okay, maybe shafeshifters. And okay, maybe SF (which I write). I love MJ's stuff, and I thought Emma's demon world was astounding. And after writing my own angel and reading Vickie's angel, I could get into them as well.

What's your fav?

~ Catherine

Vickie Taylor said...

Kalayna-Nicole, to tell the truth, I don't do much world building in my stories. That would be far too much work, LOL. All of my stories are set in the contemporary real world, so I have to go by most of the real world rules. It's just my characters that are special. While I like stories set on other worlds (particularly Cathy Spangler's "Shielder" series) I prefer to write in the contemporary world so that I can just concentrate on the characters and the story and avoid getting lost in the detail of the setting. It takes a very talented writer to pull off stories set in other worlds, imho. I'm not sure I have the patience for the task.

Vickie Taylor said...

You asked how we like working in the short format of a novella. Personally, I love it! I would forget the longer books and just write the novellas if I could get away with it. The limited page count allows me (forces me!) to get right to the heart of a story. no dilly-dallying. No extraneous info or events. I really, really like that!

Vickie Taylor said...

Michele, you asked if working with these characters sparked any new ideas for me. Not really. Both this story and my story "Blood Lust" in the BITE anthology were one-offs. Stories that had been germinating in my mind for a while, but I had to outlet to write since I was well into my gargoyle series. They aren't set up well to be ongoing series, and there weren't really any secondary characters that lend themselves to additional stories. I'd love to continue doing anthologies, but I suspect if I do they'll be new worlds/characters/mythologies.

blackroze37 -tami said...

since its all great authors, I cant imagine how good the book will be!
I love the cover!!!!
thank you for the many hours all you authors have made fun! from your books!

Emma Holly said...

Re: writing novella length--I've gotten into the habit of writing novellas that are tied to my longer books.

(Weirdly enough, I wrote my story for Demon's Delight before I wrote Prince of Ice. I thought "The Demon's Angel" would ease people into that millieu. Instead, it came out later. Such are the twists and turns of publisher scheduling!)

I like the quick gratification you get from a novella, but it's also a way to break the sometimes stringent word count requirements of the larger books. If I have a side trip I'd like to take in one of my novels, but there just isn't room, I can explore that part of the story in an associated novella. That's a lot of fun for me.

Hey, back at you, Debra!

MaryJanice, what I want to know is why you didn't figure out how to name your son after me? Emmit has a nice ring to it *g*

Catherine Spangler said...

I really enjoyed writing the novella as well, especially how quickly I was able to write it. MaryJanice has a good point--sometimes when you're writing a larger book, it seems like you'll never get finished (especially when the deadline is looming on the horizon).

I also loved the concept of opposites coming together--let's face it, an angel and a vampire are a very unlikely duo. Or a witch and a witch-hunter . . . or a demon and a human . . . or a daredevil hellraiser and the Angel of Death. I think that's what we all enjoyed about doing this novella--it was different and fun to do.

I think Emmit is very nice name :-)

~ Catherine

Karen said...

I love novellas, I think that I read 3 of these authors first in anthologies. And I have almost exclusively been reading paranormals for the past year.

Caffey said...

I have been so waiting for this anthology since I saw it on Amazon! Too I think they gave you a great cover that will appeal too to those who read fantasy as well since some books are in between there and the romance section of my store. I go back and forth there to find these books, so I hope too you find a bunch more readers for this! Its truely wonderful, gave me goosebumps and laughter reading your interviews here!
Any plans for you all to do any follow up stories to this anthology and plans to write together again for this type of anthology or others?