Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interview & Giveaway with . . . Zoe Archer

I would like to give a big welcome to Zoe Archer, author of five novels, most recently her phenomenal Blades of the Rose series of which 3 of the 4 titles are available, Warrior, Scoundrel, Rebel and the forthcoming Stranger. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about herself and her writing so make her feel welcome! (And buy her books!)

1. You spend a lot of time doing research for your books, how many hours do you think you actually put into each novel?

As far as research time, that's difficult to say. I do several days to a week or two of preliminary research, but even when I'm actually writing the book itself, I'm constantly looking things up either in books or online. I remember waaaay back in the day when the only source of information came from libraries. I still love libraries, and still use them, but if there's anything that the internet is good for (aside from shopping and Twitter), it's research. The other day, I needed to know about 18th century powder flasks. A few Google searches later, I had the information I needed. But I'm careful to double check information that I get online. It can be pretty dodgy.

2. How long does it take you to write your novel and get it to the point where you send it to your editor? And along that line, do you employ a free lance editor to look at your work prior to sending it to the publisher?

WARRIOR probably took me about seven or eight months, all told, but I was writing spec, so the time parameters were a little more open-ended. I wrote SCOUNDREL and REBEL in four months, per my contract. STRANGER took a little longer, because I wrote a novella ("The Undying Heart" in HALF PAST DEAD) in the middle of that, and also because my deadline wasn't as tight for it. For the first book in my new HELLRAISERS series, I have five months per book. My husband (sci-fi romance author Nico Rosso is my critique partner, so he reads and gives notes as I write, then he reads the completed first draft in its entirety. I do more revisions based on his notes, then give it to my agent for her feedback. After all these revisions, I send it to my editor. I definitely don't need to hire a free lance editor, since I already have several pairs of eyes looking at my stuff already!

3. Which of your books is your personal favourite? Can you tell us why?

That's such a tough question! They each have their special places in my heart. WARRIOR was my first foray into writing historical paranormal adventure romance, and it really was in many ways the "book of my heart," so it definitely means a lot to me. I loved writing SCOUNDREL because the hero, Bennett, was so much fun and the setting (Greece) was so rich and beautiful. REBEL has such a kick-ass heroine in Astrid, and that was great. And then with STRANGER, I was able to wrap up the whole storyline, plus I was finally writing Catullus's story. I love all my heroes, but seriously, I think Catullus is wonderful. Shy inventor genius hero! So awesome!

4. If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Oh, probably Catullus. I'm not scientifically minded, so it would be very interesting to watch him work. Plus, he's an intellectual and collects waistcoats. He's also a field operative for the Blades, so he's got some stories to tell, once he gets over his initial shyness.

5. What is the one thing in publishing or the publishing process that you find the most irritating?

I'm glad that there is finally more variety in terms of setting and storyline. For a while, it was getting pretty limited in terms of what publishers were buying--not mine, of course! It would be nice if there was a way to know sales information sooner, but accounting in publishing is a complex and sometimes baffling process. People ask me now how the Blades of the Rose series is doing, and I can only shrug. I really won't know a thing for at least six months, if not longer.

6. For us up and comers, do you have piece of advice that you wish you had when you were starting out?

I learned by doing, and that's what new writers need to know. The way to get better is to keep writing. Thinking about writing doesn't get the book written, and doesn't make you a stronger writer. Sit down and write.

7. Last question, if you could go back and re-do your writing career, what, if anything would you change?

Honestly, I'm pretty happy with the way everything has played out thus far. I started writing when I was a little kid, and always with the goal toward publication. There have been many hard knocks along the way, but it's made me wiser, stronger and grateful for any success. There were moments of hubris and moments of despair, and I managed to survive all of them. There's a reason why, when I sold my first book (LADY X'S COWBOY), I had the Japanese characters for "courage" tattooed on my ankle.

As an added bonus, Zoe has graciously offered a free SIGNED copy of Scoundrel and I will be adding to the goodies with a copy of Warrior to give out to two lucky commenters.

All you've got to do is tell us who your favorite hero/heroine couple is. The more badass the better!

You can get an extra entry by being a follower of my blog. Good luck to you all, and thank you again to Zoe.

P.S. This contest is only open to Canadian and US residents and will run until December 7th at midnight.


Eileen Andrews said...

My favorite hero/heroine couple would have to be Neo and Trinity from the Matrix. Something about their chemistry! Yummy!

Shannon said...

I can't win but I would pick Lea and Han Solo. Love the back and forth, even if it is old school!

Tanya said...

Lielu and Korben Dallas from 5th element :) totally one of my faves as well as Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton from TrueBlood :)

Rosie Hong said...

One of my favorite couples is Eliste and Dref from Paula Volsky's Illusion. She is a nobleman's daughter turned fugitive fighting for survival, and he is a serf's genius son turned rebel fighting for liberation from the ruling class. It's based on the French Revolution set in a sci-fi world, and Volsky's writing is beautiful.

Sheree said...

Jocelynn Drake's Mira and Danaus - vampire and vampire slayer, each with lots of angst and even more angst together.

I like Harry Dresden but he doesn't really have a heroine (Susan died).


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Awesome interview!! I can't wait to read this series!! It's hard to pick a fave couple, but I love violet and jay from the body finder. thank you for the contest!!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

Jesilea said...

The most kick-ass heroine I can think of was Sydney Bristow on the TV show Alias. Unfortunately, I thought her love interest, Vaughn, was a weenie. For guys, I love the vampires in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. She really knows how to do alpha males!

Thanks for the contest! I am a blog follower. My email is jesilea (at) charter (dot) net.

Dawn M. said...

My favorite badass couple is Jaz Parks & Vayl from the Jaz Parks series written by Jennifer Rardin. There's not much they can't handle.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com