Author Interview + Giveaway: Regan Black
Please Note: Giveaway information is found at the bottom of the post.
Hi, Regan. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us.
Regan: Thanks for inviting me, LizzieBeth. I appreciate the chance to meet your readers.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Aside from being a paranormal romance author, I’m a wife, mother of two, and with three retired greyhounds, two cats, and four finches living with us I call myself the domestic zookeeper. I’m also a serious coffee addict.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing most of my life, usually poetry, short stories or articles, but I didn’t discover I could write full length novels until about 2001. Once that bug bit though, I haven’t been able to stop.
Would you mind telling my readers a little more about your current book? What is its title and what does it entail?
Of course! In May 2011 the fourth book in the edgy 2096 series was released. Tracking Shadows is about the king of Chicago smugglers and the assassin hired by a rival to take him out. This may just be my favorite of the series because Slick Micky is such a slippery character, but a real hero. And his romantic match is the hot and dangerous Trina Durham, who’s back in town for a bit of revenge.
How did you come up with the idea for the book?
The plot was no problem, crime bosses in Chicago would naturally be competitive, but I wondered for a long time what kind of woman might be able to crack Slick Micky’s tough exterior. I think I’ve always wanted to reveal Slick Micky’s softer, real side. You know here he’s created this extensive operation with ruthless a street reputation (though he deals mostly in caffeine, sugar and nicotine – all illegal in 2096). Yet everything he does is all for the good of his employees. He thinks of them as his family.
What type of research, if any, did you do for the novel?
For the 2096 series, I usually look at what Chicago is now (as a city), then I actually take a closer look at Chicago’s past. From that I push forward into the imaganitive part of the future. Tracking Shadows opens with Slick Micky paying homage to the historical march of Gypsy Smith – an evangelist in the late 1800s who peacefully marched on the Levee, the hot bed of sin at the time. But since Slick Micky’s job is crime, I looked at that event from the impact it had on the business owners in the Levee.
Tell us a little more about your 2096 series.
The 2096 series started on a dare during a short story contest in a writer’s group eons ago. One of the other members didn’t believe that our assignment to write a complete story that could be read aloud in 5 minutes or less was possible. I set out to prove him wrong and created Jaden Michaels who became the kick butt alpha female of Justice Incarante, book 1 in the Shadows of Justice series. From there each of the characters took on a life of their own and I’ve had fun playing in my impossible, dark and edgy future.
What is your favorite character of the series? Is there more than one that you like the most?
Oh, that’s tough because by the end of a book I love them all. LOL Jaden will always have a top spot in my heart as a female lead, though I’d happily count all of my heroines as friends if they were real people. Top honors for heroes? That would go probably have to go to Slick Micky, although I feel the way the romantic partnerships lined up worked out so well, but there’s something about him that just makes me smile…
Is this the only genre that you’ve written of? Or have you experimented with others?
I’ve done some experimenting – a lot of it before I sold Justice Incarnate and realized my writing strength usually includes some paranormal element. In fact, my September 2011 release is the first of a lighthearted new series, titled The Matchmaker’s Mark. It’s a contemporary paranormal romance set in Charleston, South Carolina. The series focuses on how creatures who aren’t entirely human (elves, werewolves, trolls, etc.) find their soulmates or avoid arranged marriages.
But my first time topping an Amazon chart came with a short story in the horror/ghost category. That was completely unexpected. Free everywhere, Famous Last Words is a tale of ghostly revenge that my first publisher used to introduce me to readers.
Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, are you able to tell us a little more about it/them?
Yes! The fifth book in the 2096 world, Shadows to Light will be out in December 2011. This book features Mira, the supernatural healer who makes cameo appearances in all of the 2096 novels.
The next book in the Matchmaker’s series will be out early 2012, and I’m very excited about this one too. As for other projects, I have several working. There’s a contemporary mystery and a new urban fantasy, as well as a few other irons in the fire.
How do you find inspiration when writing your stories?
I pick up inspiration from a lot of things. Something odd or out of place, something that touches my heart, some story or legend from the past, it all fuels my muse.
When I’m writing, a book becomes all about the characters. Their adventure is often surprising which is one of my favorite things about my writing process.
What’s influenced you the most?
Learning from other authors and writing groups, gaining with the experience of writing each book. I think reading a wide variety of genres and watching great movies has been the most influential as far as learning to tell a story and learning what matters most to me in telling that story.
What do you in your spare time? Do you spend it reading or doing research for future works?
Some days it doesn’t feel like I have a lot of spare time with my aggressive production schedule and a busy family. We are all big readers and big movie fans, so that’s something we share and often our discussions get lively. My kids are both busy with high school and college so those activities and events get me away from the computer often enough to keep me sane. The real secret? I often rely on yoga or date night with my husband to work out plot issues whenever they come up.
When thinking about writing new material, do you take the time to outline your story or do you just go with the flow and see where it takes you?
Sometimes I start with the perfect ending, but usually I have the opener in mind and I start out just going with the flow. It’s a stronger process for me, even though it means more editing at the mid point. But since I accepted that as part of my writing system it’s become more streamlined. Usually around the 50 page mark, I’ll hammer out the rest of the outline and know exactly where the end point is, but that leaves plenty of room for those surprises I enjoy.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
Naturally, I’d recommend my own 2096 series for fans of urban fantasy and thrillers, or The Matchmaker’s Mark for readers who enjoy paranormal romance.
One of my favorite authors, Debra Webb, just launched an amazing new thriller series and Obsession is book one of twelve. Vampire fans should check out Lisa Phillips if they haven’t already. She has such a romantic way of telling a tale.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
I always like to remind writers to take the time to learn your strengths and find the story you love to tell or need to tell and follow it. No two authors have the same process or the same way of looking at a topic or situation. Capitalize on your unique talent and perspective to set yourself apart from the pack.
For readers, authors wouldn’t be here without you. When you find a book you love, leave a review to support that author so other readers can share your experience.
Here you have it, everyone, a lovely interview with an amazing author, Regan Black. I hope you’ve all learned more about her. I appreciate the opportunity that she’s given me to feature her here on my blog and forward to more of her books in the future. Best of wishes always to you, Regan.
Regan: Thanks so much, LizzieBeth! I’d also like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
About The Author:
Regan Black writes action packed paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels and short stories so readers of all ages can savor a fantastic escape from the daily grind. Raised in the Midwest and California, she now lives with her family, three retired greyhounds, two cats, and four finches in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the abundance of history and legend fuels her imagination.
For more updates on her writing, follow her blog: http://www.reganblack.com
Now, for the giveaway – Regan is offering ebooks of all of the 2096 books: Justice Incarnate, Invasion of Justice, Veil of Justice, and Tracking Shadows. There will be one winner per each title with a grand prize one winner of all the titles.
To enter the contest, all you have to do is comment on this post. Don’t forget to list your email address is your post so that we’ll have a means of contacting you should your entry be the winner. The contest closes on Sunday, November 13, 2011 @ 11:59 p.m. Winners will be selected on Monday and we’ll promptly get in touch with each of the winners.
Good luck to all of entrants! Don’t forget to spread the word about the contest.
And while it’s not required, a review of Regan’s books would be lovely. I know she’ll thank you. ;)
Thanks so much for stopping by!