Friday, May 7, 2010

Welcome to Caitlynn J. Gabriel's guest blog

Welcome Ms. Gabriel to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.

Did you always want to become a writer?

Absolutely. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a story that I
wanted to tell.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

The most interesting…well, I’d have to say that I have discovered that writing is about 15% talent and 85% hard work and self-discipline. The least interesting…huh, now that’s a tough one because I really don’t finding anything about the art of writing uninteresting. I guess it would have to be a blank sheet of paper, that’s pretty darned boring. But once my pen gets to scrawling, there is nothing uninteresting about it for me!

How do you plan to celebrate your first release?

I think that I’ll probably have a small dinner party with family and friends, pop
open a bottle of champagne, and just relax for one night (after I’ve finished with my
opening day at Eternal Press). Then first thing the next morning, I’m going to roll
up my sleeves and finish the second novel in my series!

How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?

My husband is about 80% of the reason that this particular book was finished.
When I started writing “To Stand with Angels”, he accidentally happened to come
across it and asked to read it. Fortunately for me, I let him, because he had me
churning out a new chapter every week until we got to the end. Apparently, my
book isn’t only for the ladies!

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?

Oh gosh, you had to ask. Yes! I love reading. Reading is the reason I write. Stephen King is my favourite author. “The Stand” is a book I read at least once a year, as are “Delores Clayborne”, “The Shining”, “Rose Madder”, and most of his shorts collections. I think there is a definite influence his work has in my writing, but I also feel I have a very independent voice as well.

Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?

Writing is a very visual aesthetic for me, so in answer to the first, my characters not only live as I’m writing, but also in the back of my mind day in and day out. They’re always developing, always growing. They do, and have often, taken over my life, especially when I’ve been in the middle of an intense scene. I close my eyes and visualize being were they are, seeing what they see, and feeling what they feel. The scenes and dialogue come easily when I take the time to mentally see them and interact with them. For instance, towards the end of my novel, there is a traumatic scene when Rian (my MC) makes a very shocking and personal discovery. I felt that scene was gripping because I felt how she must have felt to make such a monumental discovery.
In answer to the last, the only character in my book that has a living remodel, if
you will, is Kyle Bodeen. I began the book based on his particular character and then built the story around him. I always see Kyle as Josh Holloway (Sawyer)on Lost. He has the mannerisms and personality traits that make him much the devilishly handsome, yet mysterious and possibly villainous, character that Mr. Holloway portrayed in the first few seasons. How’s that for an extra long answer?

Where do you get the inspirations for your books?

Clint Eastwood to start with. His westerns have always inspired me. One day, I was watching “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, and the thought occurred to me; “Why not write a spaghetti-type Western, add romance, and then step it up a notch and throw in a supernatural element along?” So I began to write a western horror, wrapped it in romance, threw in some blood-n-guts thrills and one big, bad demon and Viola!.. “To Stand with Angels” sprang to life. It was sort of a new take on the Old West and the moment I started writing, I fell in love with the story.

Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?

No, but I’m not your typical “love scene” author. I tend to believe that “less-is-
more” when it comes to a love scene. Not to say that my novel doesn’t have a few fleshy moments, but I tend to focus less on the acts of lovemaking, and focus more on the overall act of love itself. To that end, the love scenes in my novel are there to move the story along and are not the ultimate climax of the book itself.

Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?

Funnily enough, I’ve never suffered writer’s block with “To Stand with Angels”. The sequel “At the Devil’s Right Hand” hasn’t been as kind. I have one horrible case of writer’s block at the moment. However, I am pretty sure that once “To Stand with Angels” is completely done and out for purchase, I will be able to focus on my writing once again and the writer’s block will take care of itself. As far as deadlines go, I am a very OCD individual. I hate being late almost more than I hate
writer’s block!

Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer)?

Oh, either. I’m a fan of the book. If it’s only one, yet it manages to knock my socks
off, I’ll read it again and again. If it’s a series and I love it, so much the better. I’m not at all prejudice one way or the other.

If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?

Honestly, I’m gonna have to say Contessa Lang. She’s beautiful, care-free, and completely without inhibition…it doesn’t bode well for her, but I wouldn’t mind walking a few feet in her shoes, just to experience her zest for life.

What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?

Well, I have to say “To Stand with Angels” because so far it is my only completed
novel. I adore Bradyn in this novel because he is always a constant, he’s good for a
laugh, yet serious about life. Rian is a wonderful woman that changes over the entire
course of the novel. I think readers are going to like to see how both of them grow
and change with the story.

Would you like to give another genre a try?

I have two fantasy YA books planned, one for my daughter and one for my son (both of whom love to read). Of course, finishing my trilogy is my first goal right now. Only two more books to go! WHOOOT!

If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?

Awesome question. I’d love to see all the books as movies one day, but I’d be thrilled if “To Stand with Angels” was put up on the silver screen. Bradyn Preston would be played by either Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale, Rian Keene would be played by Sophia Bush or Odette Yustman Liam Briggs would be played by Russell Crowe Contessa Lang would be played by either Ali Larter or Kate Hudson Kyle Bodeen would be played by Josh Hollway

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

I am, and always have, been mesmerized by the Old West (obviously) but there are so many points in history I would love to revisit. I would love to go back to June 14, 1947 and be in Roswell, NM when whatever it was crashed and tell that rancher, William “Mac” Brazel to hang onto all the debris he found. Just imagine how much that’d be worth on Ebay right now!

Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?

I am an avid music-lover. I tend towards heavier music, like rock and alternative.
My book was inspired in great parts by the bands “Within Temptation”, “Anarchy Club”, “Avenged Sevenfold”, and “The Killers”.

Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?

Well, as you may have guessed, “To Stand with Angels” is a paranormal romance set in the Old West during the summer of 1878. At first, everything about my novel appears to be a normal, ordinary western romance, until certain things start to have strange connections or bizarre twists.
Rian Keene lives on a homestead in the Wyoming wilderness. She’s not there of her
free will, but because she is hiding. She is also trying to raise her orphaned nephew, Kendall, as well. Bradyn Preston happens across her house, tied to a horse, beaten, and half-dead. Rian takes him in and cares for him, but all the while, she is afraid of who might be chasing him and who will discover her whereabouts. However, outlaws guns are gonna be the least of her worries when Bradyn rides back to Laramie to face the man who beat him and turned him loose to die…
There’s a demon in town and no one is who they would appear. Now Rian and Bradyn are going to have to face their pasts and come to terms with their destinies in order to conquer the Evil that has taken Laramie hostage. Déjà vu, auras, angels & demons, and the characters’ intertwined and intersecting pasts are a few of the themes a reader will find in this book.

Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?

Right now, I am working on the sequel to “To Stand with Angels” entitled “At the Devil’s Right Hand”. The story begins almost 12 years later (1890) and introduces a bounty hunter whose work involves capturing stray demons, and a trio of Elementals who are on a demon hunt of their own. Rian and Bradyn return to this novel, but the focus is more on Kendall and, Rian and Bradyn’s daughter, Rowyn. It is a work in progress but I hope to have it done later this year.


Out of the corner of his eye, Bradyn saw her shudder as she stood looking down into
the grave. Cheyenne Joe’s eyes stared lifelessly up at them. He started piling dirt back into the hole, his back aching. Her sudden movement caught his attention. The quilt was tossed on a nearby stump. Then she picked up her shovel and threw a giant scoop of dirt on Cheyenne Joe’s head.
He observed her action with masked humor and curiosity, but said nothing. While she worked feverishly to cover the man’s head, he shoveled dirt back into the hole with maddening speed. Rain, mingled with acid sweat, rolled down his naked back. His scabbed-over abrasions began to sting. Ignoring the pain, he forced himself to work
faster. Rian dug with more speed as well. Soon, Cheyenne Joe was nothing more than a
patch of freshly turned soil. In a few short weeks, the grave would be nearly invisible. Bradyn caught her eye and gave her an affirmative nod which she returned. A job well done.
He sank down on the ground with a loud moan. His back ached, his head hurt, and just now, he could think of no better reward for his toils than a hot bath and long, uninterrupted sleep. He rested his head against a forearm and closed his eyes wearily.
“Are you alright?” Rian sounded guilty. She knelt beside him, and touched his muddy shoulder timidly. “Mr. Preston? You must be exhausted. Are you in pain?” Bradyn leaned his head back and focused his gaze on her. Dirt and sweat streaked her lovely face. Her warm eyes glinted with concern as she appraised him. The tenderness in her expression made his stomach jump. Perhaps she cared a bit after all. “What is it?” she asked. The color rose in her cheeks as he continued to look at her. She shifted uneasily under his gaze. Bradyn decided he had mastered the art of making her uncomfortable to perfection, but he didn’t answer. He couldn’t answer. Very aware of her closeness, of her small, dirty hand resting on his shoulder, he was suddenly, inexplicably tongue-tied. He felt an odd sense of pride in her. It was almost
fanciful and completely ludicrous. She wasn’t his, he barely knew her, and yet in the short time he since he had met her, she had earned his admiration. Rian Keene was an amazing woman, and he doubted she had the slightest clue that she was. Realizing he was staring, Bradyn cleared his throat and looked away. “Should we say a, uh, prayer or something for him?” Rian’s laughter caught him off-guard. What could she possibly find humorous at a time like this? “What’s so funny?” he asked. When he raised an eyebrow out of curiosity, she assured him quickly, “Oh, I’m not laughing at you. I just for the life of me can’t think of a fitting prayer to say over a man like that.” She sobered and appeared to think on it a moment. Dusting her hands, she said, “I think I know what should be said.” Standing and turning toward the grave, she bowed her head. Bradyn followed suit and rose to stand beside her, interested as to what she had in mind by way of a eulogy. Lord knew there was precious little to be said for Cheyenne Joe or the state of his soul. “Thank you, Lord, for the bountiful mercies that thou hast bestowed on us today. Thank you for saving our lives and letting Mr. Preston blow the guts out of Mr. Cheyenne Joe, the bastard who tried to kill us. If he tries to get into Heaven, please send him straight to Hell and we will be eternally grateful.” She paused briefly, opened one eye, and then quickly shut it again. “Oh, yes, and Lord, if it be thy will, it would be nice if no more of Mr. Preston’s friends came to visit. Another dead man on my conscience is more than I’ve got the stomach for. Amen.” Bradyn felt his mouth drop open as he watched her pray. It wasn’t any prayer he’d ever heard his mama lay at the good Lord’s feet, but Rian’s face was as serious as Moses passing the Ten commandments down to the children of Israel. He knew she intended no humor with her words, but he found them hilarious just the same. He had to cough to suppress his laughter. A rattling boom of thunder reverberated through a sky now as black as the inside of a dog’s belly. Lightning sizzled across the horizon, blazing a purple-white glow behind the thick, rain-laden clouds. With no warning, the wind picked up its howling tirade, and the rain followed suit. In moments, they were both sopping wet. Wrapping a muddy arm around her shoulders, Bradyn pulled her to his side. “Let’s get out of this rain before we catch our death or get struck by lightning. I’m not too excited to find out if God took your prayer with good humor or not.” Rian bit her lip, as if she had been about to say something and then decided against it. Instead, she only nodded and leaned against him the slightest bit as they started walking back to the house.


Cate Masters said...

Congrats on your release, CJ! Can't wait to read it. Wishing you much success.

MC Halliday said...

Your interview was interesting and the books sounds fab!