Interview & Giveaway: My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann

Posted July 19th, 2012 in Author Interview, Giveaway / 25 comments

Today we have the wonderful Victoria Danann, author of the paranormal romance My Familiar Stranger (click for my review). I’ve asked her some probing questions, and she didn’t hold anything back. So take a look at the interview below to get some insight on the mind behind the book. Victoria was kind enough to also provide a copy of her book to one lucky winner. So make sure to check out the giveaway below for a chance to win the ebook of My Familiar Stranger (click to purchase).

Jennifer: Can you tell us a little about your book, My Familiar Stranger?
Victoria: This is the first book of the series, The Order of the Black Swan, but it reads as a stand-alone novel with a beginning, middle, and end. Since it is the book that sets the series tone and parameters, it is about twenty five percent longer than most books in this genre. I didn’t want to recycle what has already been done (and done) so I drew on a combination of interests in romance, science fiction, fantasy and, of course, the supernatural with which I am intimately acquainted.
Jennifer: How did you come up with the world in your book?

Victoria: I like to think of myself as self-aware, but I don’t have an answer for that one. Little scenarios have been popping into my head since preschool. No idea from whence it comes.

Jennifer: If you could choose one character from your book to have dinner with, who would you choose? What would you two talk about and eat?

Victoria: This is SUCH a great question. I would have to choose a very minor character names Farnsworth who is in charge of Operations at Jefferson Unit. She is in a position to know everything there is to know about everybody and could give me an earful if she could be persuaded to talk. (She seems like a red wine girl to me.) I imagine that Farnsworth is a fish eater. I see her ordering something like sea bass and a salad with an arugula base which may blow the red wine theory. I have wondered if there might be potential romantic interest between Farnsworth and Sol Nemamiah, but I have no confirmation of that.

Jennifer: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in writing My Familiar Stranger and how did you overcome it?

Victoria: That’s an easy one. The biggest and only obstacle is time. Time and I are locked in a perpetual battle for supremacy. Oh, and by the way, it is a battle to the death. 

Jennifer: Can you tell us three surprising facts about yourself?

Victoria: 1.) I play Classic Rock music around Houston, mostly in biker bars although we did get to play Warrior Dash which was 35,000 people and a very wild time. I’m the utility player: keys, rhythm guitar, vocals. 2.) In one of the chapters of this lifetime I was an evening wear designer and was copied by the very best. 3.) I spent just under five years as a practicing metaphysician or, as one friend loves to say, a ghostbuster.

Jennifer: If you were going to come up with a theme song for your book, what song would it be?

Victoria: Love Bites, Def Leppard. Be sure to ask me that question when we talk about the next book in the series because there is a theme song that figures prominently in the book.

Jennifer: If you could be any kind of supernatural being, what would you like to be and why?

Victoria: I suppose I’d be a Teutonic fertility goddess. First, immortality would solve my biggest problem which is limited time. Second, since the world is basically overpopulated, my services would rarely be needed which would leave me free to do whatever I wanted. And, as an irresistible fertility goddess, I’m sure you could guess what that might be.

Jennifer: So, can you tell us about your writing routine? When, where, how often, and if you have any special quirks or rituals?

Victoria: My life is already complicated enough without rituals. Quirks? I do have to have the seam of my paper coffee cup lined up with the seam of the sleeve. Does that count?

I try to avoid routine whenever possible, but, more or less, it goes like this. Exercise, chores, email, put out fires at 7th House, take care of family business, practice guitar. On a good day, there’s time left for writing. If I go for awhile without finding that time, I start waking up at 2:30am and thinking, “Well, I might as well get up and write.” The only way I can keep all the irons in the fire is to “work” seven days a week with the exception of weddings, funerals, parties, gigs, and family emergencies.

Jennifer: How do you come up with your character’s personalities and traits? Do you base any of them off yourself or people you know or are they purely from scratch?

Victoria: Every character represents the author’s experience. In my case, characters are usually an amalgamation of bits of myself, people I have known, characters I have read or seen in media, and sometimes strangers that are observable by eyes and/or ears. One of the ways I make my characters larger than life is by combining some of the most interesting things about several people I’ve encountered into one personality and, bam, you’ve got somebody who isn’t easy to ignore.

Jennifer: Has a particular book you’ve read influenced your life?

Victoria: I suppose everything I read leaves a footprint on my perspective, but, if I pick a single book to call influential, it may have been The Arabian Nightswhich I first read when I was about ten and again many times thereafter. Given what Middle Eastern culture has become during the centuries since the tribal nomads took over, it’s hard to reconcile that the template for my strong and resourceful heroines originated in those stories, but they did. That, combined with the fantasy aspects, gave my imagination wings because the world described was so completely alien it freed me from a requirement to place any sort of boundaries on story. 

Jennifer: What can we expect from the rest of the series / next book?

Victoria: The second book, The Witch’s Dream, is finished and will be released October 14th. The book trailer, also complete, will be released September 1st. The third book, entitled The Summoner’s Tale, is planned to release February 14, 2013. Right now I’m thinking there will be seven books in this series, but that could be plus or minus. The characters will let me know.

Jennifer: I can’t thank you enough for taking time out to answer a few of my questions. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Is there anything else you would like to mention to my readers before we part ways?

Victoria: Thank you, Jennifer. Bloggers are heroes to indie authors because you provide the exposure for our books and the connection to readers we might not have otherwise. It’s a marvelous service to both and I appreciate the work you do to promote this genre.  

Author Bio: 
For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.
Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston’s premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.
This series will include some of my actual experience in the paranormal with fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing “metaphysician”, but most of the material is fantasy.

Links:
web http://www.victoriadanann.com

Summary
Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forceably transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own. She is stranded. Alone. Far from home. A stranger in a “strangish” land.

Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?

My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.

Erotica quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an eCopy of My Familiar Stranger. Details are on the Rafflecopter.


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Author Interview, Giveaway

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25 Responses to “Interview & Giveaway: My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann”

  1. Kretch1

    I think the common theme is most of the paranormal books we read, is the manly men, strong females and how they are equal not subservient, and very sexual men. Anxious to hear what you feel is the common theme and why we like them so much,

  2. Brenda

    I think it boils down to paranormal creatures are the ultimate alpha males. They love hard, fight hard, ooze sex appeal, they’re loyal, and all of this is wrapped up with danger and adventure.
    Also, I think women like the fact that love can and does bring these paranormal males to their knees–love changes them.

  3. Becky Weiner

    I believe that the woman wants to be needed, respected, heard, loved and wanted. also the leading man tells her all the time that she is desirable etc… and he has no eyes but for her and wants to protect her.

    This book sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Lorraine Beaumont

    Sweet blog btw- um, let’s see-why are we attracted to paranormal males-they think we are awesome for being ourselves.. and they are hot-with superpowers and all-what is there not to love;0)

  5. Victoria Danann

    Okay. My turn. Believe it or not, it’s not a trick question. It’s just a my-house-my-rules thing where I get to say what the answer is because I asked the question. Doesn’t mean I’m right. Just means I think I am.

    Collectively these were the best answers I’ve received to this question to date. Thank you for giving it so much thought. Becky Weiner touched on the key when she said “has no eyes but for her”.

    Yesterday I was having lunch with friends in the home of a woman who lives on a golf course. She talked about what a problem it is that the golfers stop and urinate next to her yard. My reply was, “EW. NO WONDER WOMEN LOVE TO READ FANTASY.” For that and all the reasons you’ve mentioned, many of us take our recreation in alternate worlds.

    If someone has the choice between reading fiction set in reality and fiction set in fantasy, I don’t understand why anyone would EVER choose the former.

    So here’s my answer. We’re heard a lot from men about the “biology is destiny” argument, that they are driven to want to pollinate all the flowers, that they can’t help that impulse just as they can’t help becoming sexually bored with one woman after a time. Yes. Many stay true to their spouses in the technical sense, but lose interest in intimacy over time.

    Hypothetically, let’s accept that and call it reality and therein lies the appeal of paranormal romance. In fantasy we can manipulate the truth and make it whatever we want. Yes women want strength in a mate, maybe a little excitement, but I think what we want more than anything is a male with a tunnel vision desire for ONE woman that is potent and lasts forever. That is often expressed in PNR as “lifemate” or mating for life.

    Sometimes when people ask me why I started writing I say two words: Kresley Cole and this is the central theme of every Immortals After Dark book. Tunnel vision desire for one woman? See “A Hunger Like No Other”, Kresley Cole. Also, “The Witch’s Dream”, Victoria Danann to be released October 14th.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      LOL, this is exaclty the reason I read fantasy. I don’t want to read about the real world, I get enough of that just living in the real world. I want romance that will last forever. I want to see a man love someone (i.e. Me) forever and never lose that spark. Great answer, Victoria.

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