Happy Friday everyone! I’m so pleased today to welcome my fellow Gulf Coast Chapter RWA chaptermate Cynthia Eden to the blog today! I was so excited when they announced the RITA finalists to see she’d made the list for Angel in Chains! I really enjoyed her Fallen series and she agreed to let me grill, er, I mean, ask her polite questions! So without further ado–
Thank you for the congrats! And thank you so much for interviewing me! I’ve had such a wonderful time writing my Fallen books. The Fallen books are dark and sexy—filled with lots of twists and suspense. In those tales, my angels must confront an onslaught of human emotions—the angels feel emotions for the very first time when they lose their wings (and fall into the mortal realm).
I think their struggle with human emotions is what makes them so compelling. They’re very powerful, physically, and yet dealing with such raw emotion for the first time, like a child, and that can be scary for both them, and anyone near them. You’ve got such great world-building in your Fallen series, and being that we’re writers I can’t help but ask, are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m both! 😉 For me, it actually depends on the story. There have been some tales that I completely plotted out in advance (usually the stories that are heavy on suspense elements), but then, for other stories, I just wait and see where my characters will take me.
Very cool! Building on that last question, how much ahead do you plan things? For instance, in the RITA -nominated book Angel in Chains the hero is Az who was not such a nice guy in the first book Angel of Darkness. Did you know when writing the first one that Az would be the hero of Book 3? And if so, were there things you wished you could go back and change in the first book when writing the third that related to Az’s character?
LOL, that is a really good question! And, yes, when I started writing ANGEL OF DARKNESS, I did know that Az would be getting a book of his own. Because I knew that Az would eventually be a hero, I needed to take steps in my second Fallen book (ANGEL BETRAYED) to redeem him. I didn’t want to make Az into a perfect hero—he simply can’t be perfect. The guy is far too dark and he’s done far too many wicked deeds in his life for white knight status, but I did want him to show growth for the readers. I wanted readers to see that Az was trying to change. For his heroine, Az learns that he will do just about anything. He wants to prove his worth in ANGEL IN CHAINS, and he tries really hard to show that he can be more than just a power-mad ex-angel.
I think I remember noticing that, you’re showing his growth even in Book 2, and I thought that was very smart, as it made his growth more believable–he didn’t all of a sudden have this arc because he happened to be the hero of book 3, but rather his questionings and wonderings were shown in book 2. Speaking of the other books, which hero in the series is your fave and why?
I am so torn! I love both Sam (from ANGEL BETRAYED) and Az. Sam has more of a dark, mocking humor, and Az…well, how can I not root for the bad boy?
I hear ya! I think Sam’s mine 🙂 What was the inspiration for the series?
I wondered what it would be like to live—for centuries—without any emotions. To live in a void, just carrying out your duty, day after day. That void—that’s the existence that my angels have. But the instant that they lose their wings, they are no longer immune to the pull of emotions. Without their precious wings, they get slammed with every emotion imaginable.
How would it feel to suddenly experience rage, love, sadness? I was curious about this—and this curiosity inspired my series. As I wrote, I realized that, of course, different angels would react to emotions in different ways, and I loved writing all of the stories to show those different experiences.
I always find it interesting to hear how others come up with ideas! As I said, this is a very compelling part of the series for me–it’s one of the reasons my fave Star Trek characters are the non-humans like Data, or formerly human like Seven of Nine, who struggle with what it means to be human. And since we’re discussing emotions–you’ve been a RITA finalist before, in romantic suspense, so can you tell us what it’s like to get The Call?
It is a huge thrill for me. Huge. But, to be completely honest…I get so nervous/happy that I just wind up sounding like a complete idiot on the phone. I repeat the same question again and again—and I say, “I’m so excited!” about fifty times.
Getting the call is an amazing feeling. Win or lose, I simply feel honored to have made the finals.
Yay! I can’t even imagine!! I’ll live vicariously through you! What aspect of writing paranormal do you find the most challenging?
Hmmm…keeping track of all the world rules! When you get to about the fourth book of a series, it really pays to have a “world bible” that you can use for your research. You don’t want characters in book 4 to suddenly have powers that the folks in book 1 didn’t possess.
I think that’s definitely something that writers of non-speculative fiction don’t have to worry about! What do you love about reading/writing paranormal?
I love the idea that anything is possible—that there is more to this world than just what we see each day. Paranormals let me believe that magic can exist (even if that magic is confined to the pages of a book).
Can you tell us about what you’re working on now and what’s up next for you?
Right now, I am preparing to start a brand new paranormal series. The first book in the series is called BLOOD IN MOONLIGHT. The heroine is a New Orleans homicide detective—one night, she stumbles onto a case that will change her life. A murder victim leads my heroine to discover that the world isn’t what she thought. There are real monsters out there, and the new man in my heroine’s life—he’s the man who rules every paranormal in the city. It’s a very dark, very sexy story. Can you tell I like writing dark and sexy books? Cuz I do!
Oooh, that’s sounds very cool! Yes–dark and sexy, sign me up! What are you reading now?
I have a huge stack of books in my TBR pile, but, right now, I’m working on edits—so no outside reading for me at the moment. ;(
Bummer! If you could have a paranormal power, what would you wish for?
I’d like to read minds.
That would be a fun power! Who are your auto-buy authors?
I have so many (that’s why my TBR pile is crazy huge!!!). I absolutely love the work of all my fellow paranormal RITA finalists (they are amazing!). If I go outside the paranormal genre, then I would add Linda Howard and Amanda Quick to my auto-buy list.
Thank you, again, for interviewing me. It’s been a pleasure!
Thank you for being here! It was fun learning more about your writing and what’s in store. Paranormal Unbounders, have you had a chance to read The Fallen series yet? What do you like most about them?
Angel in Chains blurb:
As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death. Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions…
About Cynthia Eden
USA Today Best-selling author Cynthia Eden has written over twenty-five novels and novellas. She was named as a 2013 RITA® finalist for her paranormal romance, ANGEL IN CHAINS, and, in 2011, Cynthia Eden was a RITA finalist for her romantic suspense, DEADLY FEAR.
Cynthia is a southern girl who loves horror movies, chocolate, and happy endings. She has always wanted to write (don’t most authors say that?), and particularly enjoys creating stories about monsters–vampires, werewolves, and even the real-life monsters that populate her romantic suspense stories.
Cynthia’s foreign sales for her books include translations to Japan, Germany, Thailand, Greece, and Brazil.
(Back in the day…) Cynthia graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama where she studied Sociology (because people interest her) and Communication (because she likes to write about said people). Cynthia has worked as a college admissions counselor, a teacher, and as an editor. But now, Cynthia is thrilled to be spending her days making up stories.