Coffee Time Romance would like to welcome Vanessa Gilfoy! Vanessa was gracious enough to sit down and chat about everything from oceans and Oregon to scandals involving her racy book covers. Oh, and she talks a bit about her books as well.
Hi Vanessa, so nice to sit down and have a chat with you. Do you prefer coffee or a margarita today? (whichever it is, I'm SO there!)
Bring the salt, girlfriend! We’re celebrating! My first paperback, Healing Wounds, is now available at Amazon.com so we’re having margaritas.
Thank you for inviting me to gab. :)
So what is a typical day in the fabulous life of Vanessa Gilfoy?
I live on the beach in Oregon. It’s been fantastic even with the storms. I spend a lot time near the water. The ocean’s addictive and I love hunting carnelian stones on the shore.
Up until two years ago, I taught high school biology inland in California. My husband and I decided we wanted a family and to live near the ocean. So, now I’m a mom by day on the beach and still a writer at night.
With the housing market crash, we’ll probably move back to our home in California this fall, but we got to enjoy a year vacation in Oregon.
Oh, funny thing. My husband is a teacher and got into some trouble at work for proudly showing off ARCs of my books to his co-workers. Most of the staff was really supportive and excited, but one woman was actually offended by the covers of Healing Wounds and Masquerade of the Cursed King, so she filed a formal complaint. Weird, huh? Apparently, my covers are just too sexy. (Cue the music.)
What makes you smile?
Jokes, even attempted ones, and of course kids. They say the funniest things.
The way to my heart is definitely through humor. My husband makes me smile and laugh, ever since we first met in Santa Cruz over ten years ago. Completely opposite to what I write. The heroes of my tales are usually dark and brooding, very unlike my husband. Ben’s wonderfully too together to be a paranormal romance or fantasy hero.
Why is Fortress Around Your Heart your favorite song?
The lyrics. Sting is a master of the dark and brooding hero returning to make things right. He uses a dramatic metaphor that seems like setting at first. The fortress, the barbed wire, battlements, and mines all represent defenses he caused in the woman he loved when he left her years ago. Now he tries to survive past her rage and pain to rekindle what he should never have given up. In the most poetic way he says he can’t undo the hurt, but he asks her to let him in to build a new love and soothe away her rage –
And if I built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire
Your books tend toward the supernatural, the magical, the dark side. What draws you to those stories, what draws them out of you?
Supernatural and magical worlds seem more believable when there’s grit and a dark edge to them. These stories draw me in because of the fantasy settings and satisfying endings. The darker elements of my stories come from nightmares that I build on. Since I can’t always change the path of nightmares in my sleep, I write them the way I wish they’d gone.
You seem to be a fan of book trailers. Do you enjoy putting them together and do you think they are really useful tools for marketing?
Oh, I love multimedia. Putting together book video trailers takes a lot of time, but the finished eye and ear candy is worth the hours of cursing. They’re great as screensavers and they pop up in the strangest places online in oodles of languages.
I’ve received a few messages from readers, mostly on Myspace, saying that the trailer convinced them to buy my book. Those messages feel great. Emails from readers give me a natural high.
What kind of men can readers expect to read about in your books?
The yummy kind. I prefer darker heroes. Perfect, goodie-goodie men are no fun to write or read about. I love tarnished heroes with wounds they try to hide. It’s great bringing their secrets, revealing their vulnerabilities to the heroine. Who doesn’t want to know a hunky guy’s deep dark secret?
Your new book, QUEST INTO THE FORBIDDEN, is the third in a series. How did these characters evolve?
Quest into the Forbidden started as back story for an epic fantasy that hides in my hard drive. I fell in love with these side characters, and Ellora’s Cave’s call for submissions spurred me to write their tale -
Under a waterfall, a questing king finds an elven princess. He knows it’s wrong, but he can’t resist her dewy skin and thrilling magic. Their forbidden tryst was only meant to last one night, but he wants more. He chases her through a hostile land where magic and arrows threaten to destroy them both.
She delights in the taboo sensation of him. But if she gives in to her desires, can her spells and his sword defend against her father’s armies?
What ties the series together? Are there more to come in this series?
Each tale in the New Pangaea series stands on its own. They can be read in any order. What ties them together is the dark fantasy setting, ancestry, and secrets yet to be uncovered.
There are plenty more planned for this series, including tales of buffed-up wizards, bitter dwarves, and sexy elves.
Do you have any exciting WIP's you'd like to talk about?
Vampires of an Aztec God. I just finished the rough draft of this vampire romance short today. It’s a sequel to Healing Wounds, and OMG was it fun to write.
In Mexican and Aztec legends, there were vampire witches called civatateos who were the servants of the Aztec god – Tezcatlipoca, a very hunky, yet dark immortal. He was the reason for Aztec’s bloody sacrifices. Bring him up to modern times and he makes an amazing dark hero for an American latina who’s lost her roots.
Turned into a vampire by her best friend who was murdered that same night, Bissette is alone and struggling for her old life back of books and law. When her grandmother’s medicine man points her in the direction of Tezcatlipoca, she finds a frightening yet mouth-watering ally and foe. She doesn’t trust him, but she can’t resist his sculpted, bronzed body nor his godly charm. Can he really undo the curse, or is he lying to get her late best friend’s cursed heirloom?
Thank you, Vanessa, for taking time away from the gorgeous beach to talk with us. It was fun. And Congratulations on winning a New Covey Award for your book trailer for Guardian of the Onyx Empire! Cheers!