Wicked Paradise, was just released this month.
Galen: Congratulations and welcome Erin, tell us about your book.
Erin: Balanced between the future and the past lies a pre-utopian paradise that may be mankind’s last hope for survival. Yet the island hides a sinister secret…a fearsome demon from ancient Ireland is imprisoned there and it’s about to escape to the twenty-first century.
Desperate to save a future post-apocalyptic world from total destruction, sorcerers send the most powerful sorceress from medieval times, Morgan of the Druids, through time to an island prison to kill WindWraith, the long-imprisoned Fomorian demon.
After a deadly squall tosses Druid-assassin Ryan O’Rourke into the Pacific Ocean, he washes ashore on an unchartered island brimming with magic. Ryan’s determined to find a way to return to Earth’s wasteland to battle the resurrected Fomorians plaguing the dwindling human race. When he stumbles across the enchantress who tantalizes his dreams to the point of madness, his plans turn upside down. For she stirs in him a hunger that puts his life’s purpose at risk.
Morgan has no choice but to kill the Fomorian before it kills her. But Ryan has other plans for the demon . . . Now Morgan and Ryan must decide between love and duty in a perilous race against the evil that could destroy Earth.
Galen: What was the inspiration for WICKED PARADISE?
Erin: I wanted to write a time-travel in an unknown setting, a middle ground between my heroine’s home on Avalon and my hero’s home in Los Angeles. I was also reading Druid history & mythology at the time, so I knew my book had to have another fantasy element other than time-travel. When I conceived the book, a couple of lines from an old favorite song, “Hotel California” triggered the concept of the island paradise. “This could be heaven or this could be hell” and “you can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave” put the idea in my head about a deserted and unchartered island, and a colony of desperate and lost people who were destined to live on the island. I had to give them a purpose for being there (a little hell), and a reason to want to stay (a lot of heaven).
Galen: What started you on the road to writing romance?
Erin: I was in a romantic suspense reading mode and a couple of novels with cops as the hero gave me the idea of a psychic helping the police find a kidnapped child. Of course, a romance between the psychic and the detective was bound to happen! It gave me the kick I needed to get back to writing after burying the writing bug I’d had since I was a kid. The psychic and detective romance turned into my first published novel, CHASING SHADOWS!
Galen: Do you remember the first romance book you read? If so, who was the author? What made it stick with you?
Erin: It was the classic THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER by Kathleen Woodiwiss (which probably ages me!). I remember reading a lot of historical at the time I discovered that book. But they were epic historical without a centralized romance, and the small romantic elements in them left me wanting much more. On a whim, I thought I’d check out this historical romance book that had become such a sensation. The fact that THE FLAME was over 500 pages long was a bonus! I loved long, drawn out lush stories with characters you never want to leave. I LOVED the book, and it started me on lifelong adventure of reading romance books in every genre.
Galen: What’s your favorite line from one of your books?
Erin: “I’m not in the mood to rescue idiotic women again.” This is Ryan talking in WICKED PARADISE. It shows so much who he was when the story began! The man came a long way by the end of the book!
Galen: If you could have any other job, (not your current writing or day job) what would it be?
Erin: I dabble with Photoshop & graphic art for my own purposes. I’m not proficient at it, though. What takes me 8 hours to perfect one design, probably takes an expert 1 hour! I would love to spend more time learning the tools better and do it for profit.
Galen: Where would you like to travel to if you had to research an area?
Erin: Since I’m a little bit Scottish and Irish, Scotland & Ireland would be the first place I’d go. I’ve always wanted to visit all the castles and landmarks. Scottish historical romance made up a large part of my reading history!
Galen: Describe your workspace.
Erin: I have a great dedicated office in my house. But it also serves as my telecommute office for my day job. Two computers and two printers on an oak desk and credenza with a full height bookcase stuffed with books complete the space! I like to stack things, so my desk is covered with stacks of papers and folders. I even have 2 tall shelving units in my closet with stacks of magazines, folders, books, computer peripherals (and a lot of crap!). But I can close the door and no one can see the clutter!
Galen: Best and worst part of being a writer.
Erin: Writing gives me a creative outlet to an otherwise mundane life! I love to give a voice to the worlds in my head, to disappear into these worlds and become my characters just for a while.
Not having enough time to write is my biggest pet peeve. Beyond that, it’s the promotion and PR. I want to do everything I can for promotion, but I only have a small window of time to do it, so I have to pick and choose.
Galen: What are the three books you’d have if you were stranded on a deserted isle?
Erin: I love long historical and fantasy books, so I’d chose:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey
Galen: Name two blogs you read everyday.
Erin: I wish I had time to read blogs every day. A couple blogs that I visit regularly are the Crimson Author’s Ladies in Red blog and Barbara Vey’s Beyond Her Book @ Publishers Weekly.
Galen: Are you a pantzer or plotter?
Erin: When I wrote my first book CHASING SHADOWS and WICKED PARADISE, I was a pantzer! But during the revision stage of WICKED PARADISE, I became a plotter. It was the only way I could keep the story straight when it went through its various iterations. Now, I draft a high level plot and a goal, motivation & conflict chart before I start each book. There’s no way I could plot out every detail, though. My muse has a mind of its own and the book I complete is always different than the book I set out to write! Yet, the main plot points remain. It’s those pesky subplots that make it fun and tortuous!
Galen: Did you sell the first book you wrote?
Erin: I wrote my first book when I was 18 and it was never meant for publication. The poor neglected manuscript sits in a box underneath my stairs never to see the light of day. However, the first book I wrote as an “adult” was published—CHASING SHADOWS—which I’m excited to say came out in print two weeks before WICKED PARADISE was released!
Galen: What do you do when you are not writing?
Erin: This past year, I purchased and updated a house, which became a year-long time sink. Now that it’s done, I’m catching up on reading! I’m also a TV junkie. I love The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones, True Blood. Can you tell I like paranormal and fantasy? Plus, I’m a Survivor fan! Can’t wait for the next season!
Galen: What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Erin: Never give up. Never surrender.
To celebrate the August 13 release of WICKED PARADISE and the July 16 print release of my first novel CHASING SHADOWS, I’m holding a Kindle giveaway on my website! One lucky person will win a new Kindle. Stop by and enter my “Set Sail for Wicked Paradise Contest.” Contest ends September 8, 2012.
**Leave a comment in this Blog post for your chance to win a copy of WICKED PARADISE (PDF, Kindle or Nook format). Winner will be chosen by random draw from all comments received by August 31, midnight EST.**
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You can purchase WICKED PARADISE AT: