I have the pleasure of welcoming New York Times award-winning author, Rebecca York to BCC today. Rebecca has written over 125 books. KILLING MOON was a launch title for Berkley’s Sensation imprint in June 2003. DRAGON MOON is the ninth book in the Moon series. Rebecca enjoys cooking, walking, reading, gardening, rock collecting, travel, and Mozart operas. She and her husband live in Columbia, Maryland.
You also have the chance to win Dragon Moon, so make sure you enter the giveaway at the end of this post!
Not too long ago I spoke to a group of seniors in the American Studies Department at The George Washington University about my career. The professor asked me to start by revealing something I hate about my job
What a way to begin!
But it wasn’t hard to come up with something. Like the covers of my books. Some are right on. Which is simply a matter of luck, since the cover is outside the author’s control.
I’ve had some doozies. Like UNDERCOVER ENCOUNTER, one of my Harlequin Intrigues from a few years ago. I call it UNDERWATER ENCOUNTER because it’s all green, and the hero looks like he’s drowning. DH points out that there’s a big screw running up the middle of the picture. Bulletin to the Harlequin art department: If you don’t know how to draw a New Orleans railing, leave it out of the picture.
Then there are Amazon reviews. Of course I’ve gotten some great ones. Here’s what a couple of respected reviewers said about KILLING MOON, my first werewolf book.
Romantic Times Book Club, Reviewer: Jill Smith
…thrilling paranormal tale… sets up a highly intriguing premise and introduces riveting characters. 4 1/2 stars, TOP PICK
Bookpage, Reviewer: Sandy Huseby
…mesmerizing action and passions that leap from the pages with the power of a wolf’s coiled spring.
And here’s my favorite nasty Amazon review for the same book–
…when will it end?! As a hardcore werewolf fan i found it interesting at first but all the forced magical bonding and the avoiding it got irritating fast. it was so irritating that i either wanted to scratch my eyes out or rip the book in to tiny pieces and ‘scream get over it!’ in frustration… yet my love of werewolves made me finish the book as painful as that was. You’d think someone born a werewolf even if raised in a bad family would except what he was better then this. as the first romance novel i’ve bothered to read i really hope not all romance novels are like this.
It warms my heart to note that the review is, um, illiterate.
Of course, there are things I LOVE about the writing life. Like waking up in the morning and reaching over the side of the bed to pick up my laptop computer. I boot up, and I’m ready to work. Well, ready to read my e-mail and Twitter. After that, I get to work.
Then there’s the job itself. How many people get paid to sit around making up lies? Or spinning stories, if you prefer.
I could keep bouncing back and forth here between the good news and the bad. For everything I love about my career, there’s something I hate.
Like revision letters. Or the inconvenience of getting royalties only twice a year.
Then I remember how much I love doing the research for my books. We travel a lot, often to check out locations for romantic suspense novels. DAY OF THE DRAGON, coming out in December, is set in Las Vegas, Italy, and Peru. I’d been to Italy and Las Vegas, so we planned a trip to Peru, scouting out locations I could use for the last third of the book. Of course I was bowled over by Machu Picchu, but a lot of people have been there or seen pictures. So I settled on Colca Canyon, which is actually deeper than the Grand Canyon although it’s not as spectacular looking because it’s not as wide. But there was plenty of local color I could use in the book, including the condors with ten-foot wingspans who glide on the canyon thermals in the mornings. And the desert scenery with the sun beating down, the women in colorful native costumes, and the small towns built of mud bricks with roofs of sheet metal, held down by rocks. They all made a perfect background for action sequences, like when my hero and heroine are ambushed and have to fight off men with rifles.
When I travel for research, I always find out things I would never have known if I hadn’t visited the location. For example, I had no idea that there are a lot of gambling casinos in Lima. But as soon as I saw them, I knew I was going to use one in the book.
What else do I love about being a novelist? The chance to create characters I can put through horrible trial and tribulation–then give them the happy ending they’ve earned. That’s certainly true of Ramsay Gallagher and Madison Dartmoor, the hero and heroine of DAY OF THE DRAGON. He’s a dragon-shifter who’s lost his ability to shift and she’s an archaeologist who may hold the key to his salvation–if they dare to bridge the gulf between them.
On balance, I love being a genre writer. And I can’t image doing anything else. What do you think? If you’re a writer, what do you love about your job, and what do you hate? And if you’re not a writer, I’d also love to know the answer to the question.
You can find out more about the author here:
I have 5 (FIVE) copies of Dragon Moon to giveaway away – 4 (FOUR) USA and 1 (ONE) UK
All you have to do to enter is the following:
3. One entry per person please
Giveaway ends Sat 25th Sept!