Interview {and give-away} with Zoe Archer!

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What could be more awesome than discovering a fantastic new book series and new-to-me author? How about that author visiting my blog for an interview + giving away a signed copy of her book! Zoe Archer is here to chat…

Where do you keep your ideas and potential character and/or book ideas before you start working on them?

Usually, I store them in my head, but my husband (who is also a writer) encourages me to write everything down.  This is to keep me from forgetting things, which I definitely do, as well as freeing up “shelf space” in my brain for new stuff.  So it’s a mix of both keeping ideas in my noggin and writing them down on notepads or on my computer.

Do you have any mood setting routines or traditions when you sit down to write? Do you write at same time of day and in same spot usually?

I always write at my desk, which is a vintage kid’s desk with a white and sparkly top.  Generally, I like to have music on, which can vary depending on what I’m working on.  Since I write full time, I set my alarm and get up each morning, noodle around the internet for a little bit, have some breakfast, and then get to work.  This is my sole source of income, so I can’t afford to indulge recalcitrant muses. 

When stuck, how do you get that muse to wake back up?

Honestly, I don’t get stuck very often.  There are lots of ideas stored in my brain, and more keep coming, so it’s not a matter of finding something to write about so much as finding the time to write about it.

Do you enjoy any other creative outlets or hobbies?

I like to bake.  I find it a very satisfying practice to work at something and have a tangible result at the end of the process, unlike writing, which is about intangibles and delayed gratification.  Also, at the end of the baking process, I have something tasty to eat!

Is there a favorite food and/or beverage you enjoy while writing? One that is a part of your usual routine perhaps?

The funny thing is that I never drank coffee until I became a full-time writer.  I don’t think it mattered to me at my sundry day jobs whether my energy or interest was flagging.  But now that I’m doing something I love, I’m all about the nonfat vanilla lattes (or Coke Zero, if I haven’t had coffee in the morning). 

 

  

Let’s talk about the Blades (aka your current series of books) for a minute if you don’t mind.

I don’t mind at all!  The Blades of the Rose is a secret organization of men and women who travel the globe seeking out and protecting the world’s magic.  The books are historical paranormal adventure romance–a lot of modifiers for some very unique stories!  When I set out to write the first book, WARRIOR, I decided I wanted to write something that I had always wanted to read but never found on the shelves.  My agent adored the book, and editors really liked the writing but were afraid of the Mongolian setting. Eventually, one brave editor fell in love with the book and was willing to take a chance on something different.  She asked if I had a series planned, and, boy, howdy, did I!  Now it’s two years later, and the Blades series is finally here.  Still having a hard time believing!  

As I’ve said before it’s by far and away my favorite new series this year! Can you share a bit about it for those who haven’t yet read the books?

These book are FUN.  They’re full of adventure, action, magic, exotic locations (Mongolia, Greece, the Canadian Rockies), steampunkish inventions, courageous men, kick-ass women and some pretty steamy love scenes.  I’ve described the Blades series as Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider, plus hot, hot sex.  Really, is there anything wrong with that scenario?

I loved all of REBEL, but sometimes I wondered how you dreamed up such fantastic scenes. I wonder- do you ever step away from the computer and make-believe that you’re in the story to help your writing process?

My husband and I do a lot of brainstorming, just thinking up cool or unusual scenarios.  Because the field of magic is wide open, I can pick myths from around the world and mix them up in the cocktail shaker of the narrative, plus add my own take on legends readers might be more familiar with.  I don’t act my scenes out, but sometimes it takes a bit of sketching to map out particularly intricate action sequences.

One of the things I love best is that both the male and female leads are heroes in their own rights in each novel. Each with special skills and unique personalities, they’re all unforgettable. It makes me wonder- what special skills does Zoe Archer have?

Personal shopping, baking connoisseurship (or snobbery, depending), ’80s music dancing, napping, reading, crossword puzzle solving, and book writin’.  

Last question: one of the most asked questions I get is about the art of storytelling and how to be better at writing. As a fabulous professional author, can you share one tip or idea?

You become a better writer by writing.  There’s absolutely no other substitute.  I received an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, but my real journeyman’s work came when I wrote my first complete novel, outside of the Workshop.  And then, when that book was finished, I wrote another.  And another.  Thinking about writing but not actually committing to the process will not help your ability increase.  The only way to strengthen your skill is through doing.     

So thrilled to have you visiting my blog today- as I said before edit/skip/add as you like. I know my readership is going to love this!! 🙂

Thanks for having me!  I’d love to give away a signed copy of REBEL to a commenter in the US/Canada.  🙂

Here’s the blurb for REBEL:

On the Canadian frontier in 1875, nature is a harsh mistress. But the supernatural can really do you in…

A Lone Wolf

Nathan Lesperance is used to being different. He’s the first Native attorney in Vancouver, and welcome neither with white society nor his sometime tribe. Not to mention the powerful wildness he’s always felt inside him, too dangerous to set free. Then he met Astrid Bramfield and saw his like within her piercing eyes. Now, unless she helps him through the harsh terrain and the harsher unknowns of his true abilities, it could very well get him killed…

And The Woman Who Left The Pack

Astrid has traveled this path before. Once she was a Blade of the Rose, protecting the world’s magic from unscrupulous men, with her husband by her side. But she’s loved and lost, and as a world-class frontierswoman, she knows all about survival. Nathan’s searing gaze and long, lean muscles mean nothing but trouble. Yet something has ignited a forgotten flame inside her: a burning need for adventure, for life—and perhaps even for love…

http://www.zoearcherbooks.com
http://bladesoftherose.com
Twitter: @Zoe_Archer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/zoe.archer1

Thanks to Zoe Archer for joining me here today!!! If you’d like your chance to win the signed copy of REBEL just leave a comment here – I’ll draw a winner (randomly) from the comments on November 12.

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52 responses

  1. This was so cool May! thanks for bringing a new series of books to obsess over now that I’m waiting for more jr ward!

  2. I love reading about other people’s creative process. Zoe’s comment regarding thinking about writing vs. actually writing really hit home & has inspired me to carve out time to put pen to paper daily. Thanks for the book recommendations!

  3. Love reading and reading about autors and the process they go through. Especially love the snack they must have to be creative. Very interesting interview!

  4. How cool! I love to hear authors talk about their work. I have ordered all four of these books for my daughter for Christmas thanks to your recommendation. She enjoys romance and fantasy and these sounded perfect!

  5. Great interview!
    Writng is such a fascinating process.
    Are the books “stand alone” or best read as a series?

  6. I love reading what I call “fantastical” novels. These sound like they fit that perfectly. I’ll be checking the library for these. Thanks for a chance to win.

  7. What great nuggets from Zoe and an MFA from Iowa WW. Impressive! 🙂 I’ve been following her blog tour and very much looking forward to REBEL. Thanks.

  8. May great interview. I liked hearing about the process and the books sound like a great searies. thanks for the chance to win them. Jane

  9. Sounds good enough to get me back into reading. Would love to spend the cold days ahead reading these books.

  10. Can’t wait to pick up one of these books to get started on the series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  11. I’ve been looking for some new books and these sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing and doing such a great interview.

  12. I’m always looking for good new books to read, a nice mix of romance, fantasy and adventure is always up my alley!!

  13. Feels a little like I’m stalking you to up my chances of winning one of your books, Zoe. 😛 However, I do enjoy reading your posts and finding out more about your books behind-the-scenes.

  14. Great interview! I’m just getting into reading again and would love to go through this series. Thanks for the chance!

  15. What a treat to hear about the book from its source = thanks Zoe for sharing your time and thanks May for organizing it!

  16. WOW! You interveiwed THE Zoe Archer! For real?! You asked great questions and got very interesting answers from our star guest.
    Zoe must be petit (despite her stellar baking skills) to write at a childs’ school desk!
    I would love to win this autographed copy. Thank you for the chance!

  17. Fantastic interview, May and Zoe! You know I LOVE to read as you do, May, and this sounds like a great series to have ready for this month and next as I have surgery scheduled. These books will allow me to escape and enjoy the world of Magic and craetivity! Many thanks!

    kastenc at sbcglobal dot net

  18. Great interview – thanks May and Zoe. I’m going to have to see if these books are available in Australia!

  19. WOOT I love to read and your books are just the type I look for! Thanks for the chance and thankyou May and Zoe!

  20. Thank you both for taking the time to share with us. I enjoyed this interview so much I went to my our local pool of libraries, but I had no luck finding a single one of Zoe’s books. Sniff!! I’d love to get started on her series. Hmmm… Christmas is coming!!

  21. OOO! I am on time! Pleased to meet a new writer, would LOVE a new book. My family hands them around so many people will read the one copy.

  22. I finished Warrior and loved it so much. Lookin forward to the rest of this series. Thanks for a great interview and this chance!!

  23. I love reading about your process. I really need to practice doing more than thinkig about doing. Thanks for the chance to win- your books sound like really fun reads.

  24. How cool. I saw these at the store and now reading this and knowing a bit more… Well it sounds like I should have bought them! Will start this series for sure.