Today I’m delighted to welcome paranormal/romance author Christy Gissendaner, who also writes historicals as Robin Danner. She’s published a superwoman twenty-three books so far while raising three boys under age six. Her latest, Unmasking the Wolf, was just released from Taliesin Publishing. Christy has answered some of my questions (okay, a lot of my questions) and will be around to respond to any comments or questions you may have.
1. What was your first car?
It was a Chevy Cavalier, a blue four-door my grandfather bought for me when I turned 16. It was cool because I was the first of any of my friends to get their own car.
2. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Stars Wars. Most definitely. I’ve never watched Star Trek, just small clips of the episodes now and again. Not to my liking.
3. Worst movie ever?
Joe Vs the Volcano. Sorry, Tom Hanks, but that movie was horrible!
4. Who would you most like to have a conversation with at dinner?
Is it wrong of me to say no one? I have three boys under the age of 6 and I’ve come to crave peace and quiet while I eat instead of constant chants of “Mama, Mama, Mama!”
5. Best guilty pleasure ever?
Watching Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team. I veg out in front of the television and chomp on snack food as I watch the enviously skinny ladies starve themselves to fit into their uniforms. I know, I know. I should be a feminist and shout “girl power” but I love cheerleading. Can’t help it.
6. Who would play you in the movie?
Oooh, love this one. Rebel Wilson, for sure. Even though she’s a bit fluffy (like me), she’s a gorgeous gal and probably the only actress can carry off my sarcastic humor with aplomb.
7. What is something people don’t know about you?
I have a tattoo. That would probably surprise most people. It’s a purple rose on my left ankle I got when I was 19. I usually even forget I have it!
8. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Serious answer would be my kids. If we’re talking material things, it would be air conditioning. Summers in southeast Alabama (USA) are blazingly hot.
9. As a child (or now!), what did you want to be when you grew up?
A nobel peace prize winning author and a doctor who discovered the cure for aids.
10. Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Creating the names of my characters is the best part of writing to me. I do try to match the name to the personality. I’ve also been known to use bits of my friends’ names to form my characters’ names. For Unmasking the Wolf, my current release, I used names that typically wouldn’t have appealed to me. As a red-haired Italian werewolf, Gina was the perfect fit for my heroine. And what better name than Luke for my Southern boy turned self-made millionaire?
11. What is the single biggest challenge of creating the settings in your novels?
I typically set my stories in towns I’ve lived in or visited. That way, I can be sure to give the feel of the setting that is realistic and believable. For this book, I actually branched out and depended on the internet. Clinton, Indiana is the hometown of Barb Sollars, my friend and fellow employee who recently retired. When I found out about the Italian roots of the city, bam! Instant story. Since it was a small town, very similar to the town I grew up in, it wasn’t hard to create Gina’s background. Giving a decent picture of Boston though was difficult for me. I’m a country gal and living in big cities isn’t something I’ve had much experience with. I started this book not long after the Boston Marathon tragedy, and I wanted to honor the city in my own little way.
12. What are the differences in how each of your pen name alter egos approaches her novels?
It’s almost like night and day. As Christy, I struggle to keep my conversation light and lively, even though I may touch on “darker” topics. As Robin Danner, my historical persona, the words just seem to flow straight from my mind onto the page. Perhaps because I grew up reading regency romance, I tend to stay much darker and more descriptive as Robin. My Christy books are much more lighthearted and comedic.
13. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever heard?
Funny thing about me is I’d actually written and published several books before I let people know about them. I’m shy in reality and letting people know I wrote romance novels, sometimes erotic in nature, frightened me more than anything. It wasn’t until I saw mostly good reviews on my books that I started announcing to people around me on a daily basis. So not many people offered me advice as they didn’t know until I was pretty much a proven author myself. I’ve read advice since then and by far the best is to not give up. I know, it’s probably trite, but if you keep trying eventually you’ll succeed. I haven’t given up yet on my dream to reach the bestseller lists!
SPECIAL NEWS: Unmasking the Wolf and all other Taliesin titles will be available from Taliesin Publishing at 40% off today (Saturday, December 7) at http://goo.gl/xqwURB. You can also find it at major eBook sellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ARe.
UNMASKING THE WOLF by Christy Gissendaner
Publisher: Taliesin Publishing
Number of pages: 130
Gina Moretti is determined to escape her rural home of Clinton, Indiana, a place where wolves have met, married, and mated for generations. As the only daughter of the alpha, she’s lived her entire life under her father’s rule. No way is she ready to find a mate until she’s experienced more of the world. Against her family’s wishes, she goes to Boston where her scientist cousin, Dominic, has offered to give her a place to stay. She stumbles, quite literally, into her cousin’s gorgeous boss.
Lucas Mason, a Southern boy turned self-made millionaire, rose above his poverty stricken childhood and now enjoys a life of luxury in Boston. To honor his murdered sister, he hires her lab partner to continue their research. His employee, Dominic Moretti, is on the brink of creating a method to combat the scent of a wolf when his country cousin breezes in. Luke knows in an instant that Gina is his mate. The only problem is…she doesn’t even realize he’s a wolf.
As Luke and Dominic get closer to medical trials, an unknown enemy becomes determined to stop them…at any cost. Can Luke discover his foe in time to protect his research…and his mate? And what will happen when Gina finds out he’s not quite as human as he’s led her to believe?
Thank you Christy for joining us today. Even though Joe Vs the Volcano is one of my guilty pleasure movies (maybe you just haven’t seen it with a pitcher of mojitos?), I loved your answers!