Monday, January 23, 2012
Author Interview: Stephanie Rowe
Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is a nationally bestselling author of more than twenty books. A life-long reader, she began crafting stories at age ten, but didn't realize it was her dream until she was an adult.
Once the light dawned, she immediately left behind "work" as the world defines it and went to "work" as she defines it, which means getting up every morning with a smile in her heart so she can spend the day doing that which makes her spirit sing.
Stephanie believes in learning to listen to your heart in order to figure out what your dreams are, and then opening yourself to the inspiration that will direct you there. She believes we all deserve the right to enjoy life, and for the ride to be as easy as we want it to be, and that we all should accept nothing less than making our dreams come true.
Stephanie lives in New England, and spends every day doing her best to fill it with people, observations and activities that uplift her soul, which include writing, tennis, friends, and her amazing family.
Current Release: Hold Me If You Can
Stephanie Rowe Interview:
PR: Each of your warriors in the Soul Fire series has a forced girly “hobby” (Blaine: Cross Stitching, Nigel: Drawing) which also tends to be one of their coping mechanisms, how do you decide what hobby to give each warrior?
SR: It really came from them. I didn't select their hobbies. When I started to write the books and learn about the characters, they simply showed me what it was. Nigel, the hero in my current release, HOLD ME IF YOU CAN, if different from the other warriors, because he fully embraces his talent. Nigel was a creative type even before he was kidnapped by Death's grandma and tortured in the Den of Womanly Pursuits for 150 years. The other warriors resist their softer side, but Nigel embraces it. He's a peaceable kind of guy, even when he's the middle of bloodletting with some demons, it's not uncommon for him to pause and do a few sketches. When I started writing his book, I was surprised to discover that Nigel's love of his art was not simply because of his inner serenity, but because he has such a dark side that only his art keeps it at bay. Even though he seems the most mellow, Nigel is actually the most dangerous, volatile and deadly of them all, and we get to see how that transformation haunts him in HOLD ME IF YOU CAN.
PR: In a few words or sentences how would you describe the SoulFire series to someone who hasn’t yet picked up this wonderful series?
SR: The Soulfire series is about a team of immortal warriors who have recently escaped from the Den of Womanly Pursuits, after 150 of torture and sensitivity training by Death's grandma. These hardened survivors can, much to their dismay, wield a pair of knitting needles as well as they can vanquish a demon with a sword. Not that they will admit that. Ever. Denial only goes so far, however… If a man's got a talent with a curling iron, he can hide it for only so long…
PR: Every parent says they don’t have a favorite child but secretly deep down where no parent will admit to it, they have their favorite or one that takes a special place in their heart. Do you secretly have a favorite warrior from the SoulFire series?
SR: My favorite warrior is always the one I'm writing about. I get so immersed in his life, in his emotional struggle to find himself and love, in his quest to save those he loves, that he becomes my hero during that journey. So for me, at the moment, Nigel is my favorite. I love how hard he fights to be the man he wants to be, and when his art is stolen from him, I love his courage and determination in finding another way to control with the monster he carries within. I love how he cherishes Natalie, how he helps her in her own battle. I think he's a great dichotomy of the deadly tortured warrior who can still be a total softie (and be damn proud of it!). Nigel is a total bad ass who can decimate the bad guys within in seconds, but in his heart, he likes nothing more than to tap into his artistic side and pour all his inner tenderness into paints of those he loves. He's the man who will write you poetry at the same time he's slaying demons for you, and he'll turn love making into the most beautiful experience ever, because he's not afraid to tap into the side of him that is about beauty, love and harmony and to shower his woman with all that tenderness.
PR: The world where the SoulFire series resides in is so incredibly unique, where did you get some of your inspiration from?
SR: When I started writing the Soulfire series, my goal was to take the traditional and twist it into unexpected directions. I wanted to surprise the reader by creating a powerful, sexy story about the triumph of love in the most unusual of circumstances. Of course, I wanted the men to be badass immortal warriors who had been sufficiently tortured to make it impossible for them to trust, to connect or to bond (except with the woman who was meant for them, and their loyal team of warriors). Who wouldn't want that kind of man in her books?
But I also wanted these guys to be more complex and unexpected than your typical tortured warriors. I wanted to turn the traditional paranormal hero on its head, so I wanted to give these guys an unexpectedly soft side that torments them as much as it gives them peace. I did that by having them spend a few centuries being tortured in the Den of Womanly Pursuits by Death's grandma. While in the Den, the men of the Soulfire series were forced to tap into their softer sides. It's to their great dismay and embarrassment that they have become addicted to their delicate pastimes for their sanity (literally), and they try their best to do their cross-stitching, knitting and other such skills in private, or when appropriately covered in the remnants of a man-battle. I wanted to show that a man can be a bad ass warrior, and still tap into his gentle nature without losing that which makes him so powerful and appealing.
The whole series is based on that kind of approach: I wanted to take the expected and twist it on its head. Like the main villain in TOUCH IF YOU DARE is Cupid, who normally you'd think would be a good guy. The book is full of satirical twists on the paranormal romance norm, not just with the warriors, but in many different ways. I had a lot of fun creating it, and readers seem to enjoy it as well.
PR: I have fallen in love with some of your supporting characters such as Death, The Grim Reaper and The Godfather, are you planning on giving any of your supporting characters HEA’s?
SR: Well, I don't want to give away too much, but Death is going to get a girlfriend in book four, SEIZE WITH YOUR KISS, which is scheduled for July 2012….
PR: If you could co-author a book with one other author (dead or alive) of your choice who would you choose?
SR: You know, I have to admit, I'm not really a co-author kind of girl. My mind seems to work in bizarre ways that no one else's does, and I have found that trying to get anyone to understand what's going on in there doesn't work very well. So, I think I shall have to remain content to read the masterpieces of others, and toil away on my own…
PR: Some authors say that they have a music playlist when working on their book or to help set a mood for a certain scene. Do you have playlists for writing and if you do what is some of your favorite songs/musicians to set the mood?
SR: My "get up and get going" song is Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. I've actually had a pretty rough go of things the last few years, and that's been my theme song to pump me up and decide to take control instead of wallowing around in victim mode. Nothing changes until you change your attitude!
PR: Are any of your characters in any of your books based off of real life people?
SR: I am always paying attention to everything that I see, hear, notice or experience, and tucking it away for inclusion in a book. You just never know when something will come up! It can be an experience, a comment someone makes, an attitude… it's never an entire person or an entire experience, just snippets that all come together. My Alaska Heat romantic suspense series that is coming out this week (ICE, Jan 2012) was born one night while I was grocery shopping. I started chatting to the gal at the bakery, who told me how she had been living in Alaska training to be a bush pilot, but had to come home to take care of her ailing father. We started discussing Alaskan bush pilots (primarily a male occupation), and I became so interested in the kind of man who would risk his life every day to take care of others that my Alaskan bush pilot series soon came to life. You just never know where the ideas will come from!
PR: So what is next on the schedule for Stephanie Rowe?
SR: Thanks for asking! I have a super busy 2012. My sizzling hot romantic suspense ICE is being re-released this week as an eBook, and early February will bring the next book in that series, CHILL. Late February I will be launching my new dark & sexy paranormal series Order of the Blade. The second and third books in that series will be out this spring as well. The fourth book in the Soulfire series, SEIZE WITH YOUR KISS, is scheduled for July. I also have a new book in the Immortally Sexy series coming in late 2012. Readers have been waiting a long time for Mona and Rafi's story, and it's finally here. I'm so excited! I'm also hoping to squeeze one more book in the Alaska Heat series in late 2012, but we'll have to see. So, busy year! For more details, visit www.stephanierowe.com or visit me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StephanieRoweBooks or on Twitter at StephanieRowe2.
Thank you so much Stephanie Rowe for stopping by my blog and taking the time to answer some questions for us.