Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Guest Author Aileen Harkwood
I’m excited to have Aileen Harkwood on my blog today. (I had baby brain when I posted on Friday who was going to be here. Sandra Sookoo will be here later in the month, and I’m over at Catherine Bybee’s blog this week. Sorry about the mix-up. BTW-Baby is home and doing awesome!)
As a special treat, Aileen is giving away an e-book copy of Wolf’s Den to a lucky reader of this blog! Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. (If for some reason, it won’t let you leave a comment—I know that happens more often than not—just email me at Lauri(AT)izoom.net and I’ll make sure your name gets in the drawing.)
Aileen Harkwood, author of Wolf's Den: Legacy of the White Wolf Book 1 from The Wild Rose Press, lives in the Southern Rockies with her family, their passive-aggressive cat and fetch-addicted chocolate Labrador. She writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense and is always on the lookout for an unexpected twist or touch to add to her stories. Alpha males are her favorite heroes to write, though in real life she loves a hero who doesn't always realize he's an alpha until his heroine is threatened.
Lauri: Hi Aileen, and thanks for being here today.
Aileen: Thanks so much for having me. I look forward to choosing a winner for the ebook of Wolf’s Den from your visitors.
Lauri: When you think ‘romance’ what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Aileen:Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. When I first read it, I knew it was the epitome, the foundation of all other romance novels that have come afterward. What I love about Austen is that she used everything around her to craft her stories, the time in which she lived, society as she saw it, the dialogue she must have heard each day, and her dreams of the perfect, destined mate. Sadly, Austen never married, and I can visualize her expressing her own unfulfilled desire for love through her novels.
Lauri: Oh, Pride and Prejudice. I love that one, too. My favorite quote from that book is in Chapter 17,"Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion". So, in your opinion, what would be the best piece of writing advice you could give someone writing their first novel?
Aileen: My advice would be to keep reminding yourself that this is your first novel.
When I first started writing, I found myself frustrated by a number of things. I thought I wasn’t writing fast enough (and in reality, I wasn’t, at least not for this genre). I had trouble with different parts of story telling, actually a whole lot of the parts of writing a story. I worried that the rejections I received said I wasn’t meant to be a writer. I mentally kicked myself for not being able to make the words do what I wanted them to do.
Wolf’s Den isn’t my first book, in fact, it isn’t even my second. I ended up throwing the first one away, as well as the next one. At the time, it felt demoralizing. Looking back, I can see that these early efforts were not a waste of time. They were hard earned lessons and I’m proud to have written them.
While I’ll always ride myself hard, I know that if I keep dwelling on what I haven’t yet achieved, it stops me from moving forward. That’s what I would share, be good to yourself as a writer both in terms of success and nourishing your inner writer.
Lauri: I so agree. Success comes in many forms. Thank you for those words of wisdom. Tell us, Aileen, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Aileen: If I were well off financially and could afford my dream, it would be to buy not one spectacular house in one place, by three or four modest homes in a variety of areas. Nothing too big, cozy places. I would design each one differently to match the area, but also to provide a different inspiration for my creativity.
I would choose a house near the water in northwestern Washington State for its wild natural drama and afternoons where I could sit in a chair in front of a huge picture window, watching the rain and fog and a crashing ocean. I’d buy a funky, old adobe in Santa Fe because nothing inspires my photographic muse—photography is a big hobby of mine—as much as New Mexico does. I love walking Canyon Road and winding my way through the tiny alleyway shopping areas of the Plaza downtown. The Gulf Coast of Florida would get my vote, as well. Driving through Florida, experiencing the coastal towns on the small, barrier islands is both relaxing and exhilarating. Imagining a romantic scene on the beach with one of my heroes is not hard at all. Finally, I would buy a small place in the foothills near Angeles Crest in Los Angeles, even with the fire danger there, because that’s where I grew up and I miss it terribly.
I know a lot of writers would love to live in exotic foreign locales, yet I love the U.S. It may be going through tough times right now, but it still has so much to offer.
Lauri: Oh, please let me know when you are settled in each of these homes, I want to vacation at your houses! I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments on the good old U.S.A. It’s time for you to tell us about your book.
Aileen: Wolf’s Den is set in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, and inspires us to wonder, is love more powerful than death? The hero, Griffin, is a member of the Kith, clans of werewolf shapeshifters who live in the high, seldom traveled wildernesses of the northern Cascades and Rockies. He’s the alpha for his pack, and has just lost his destined mate to a jealous wannabe she-alpha. Pack law dictates that he not only bring his mate’s killer to justice, but having lost his mate, must submit to a killing blow by the next alpha in line, so that he can follow her into the afterlife. The heroine, Luka, is an amnesia victim, who wakes in a body she doesn’t recognize and is accused by Griffin of having murdered his beloved mate.
The Book was released in July, 2010. It’s a breathless, fast-paced book that grabs hold from page one and doesn’t let go.
Lauri: It sounds wonderful, and intriguing. Please give us an excerpt.
Aileen: I’d love to:
“Where did you hear that name?” he asked.
“I didn’t. It’s mine.”
“I don’t believe you.” A growl replaced the hurt sound that had come from deep in his chest. “Who told you? Are you a voyeur, as well? Did you spy on us while we made love?”
Spy on him and Anya? Would she do that?
“It’s my name,” she insisted, and then was overcome by a violent fit of coughing. She couldn’t breathe. The smoke was poisoning her lungs and starving her blood of oxygen. She grew dizzy.
She watched him, the supreme effort it took to regain control, but he clamped down and put away his darker half.
“Wait here until you hear the shots, then go,” Griff told her. “Head for the trees, and when you reach them, keep running. Don’t stop.”
He turned, looked back once, and then vanished into the smoke and flames devouring the cabin.
Lauri: Wow! Thanks for that snippet! And congrats! I know there is a great review for it on Amazon! So, what’s next for you?
Aileen: Yes, there is. It’s also available at The Wild Rose Press.
What’s next? Well, I’m working on three different books at the same time, Book 2 in the Kith Series, a romantic suspense set in Santa Fe, and a fun, erotic paranormal that takes place in a small town on the Oregon coast. Visitors can keep up with my writings by visiting my blog.
Lauri: Thanks so much for being here today, Aileen, and thanks for giving away a copy of your book as a prize to a lucky reader!