Interview with Cecy Robson plus giveaway
Cecy Robson is a brand spanking new author and I’m thrilled to have her here today. I have read her novella (as you can see from my review here) and I have read her novel (as you can see from my review here) and both were quite good. In fact, her novel Sealed with a Curse outright impressed me. Cecy is super sweet and quite talented and I’m excited for you all to meet her. So here she is…Ms. Cecy Robson.
Welcome to Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks Cecy!
Thank you, Julie. I’m happy to be here where the men are yummier than chocolate and the chicks kick serious supernatural ass!
You are having a busy December! Your new series launched with a novella earlier this month and it continues with its first full-length novel next week! Tell us about your Weird Girls series?
The Weird Girls series is about four unique sisters who obtained their rare powers as a result of a curse placed upon their Latina mother for marrying outside her race. Their journey begins when the supernatural community becomes aware of who they are and what they’re capable of.
The first full book in the series, Sealed with a Curse, releases December 31st. Tell us about it.
A bloodlust epidemic is plaguing the vampires of the Lake Tahoe region. Misha Alkesandr, a powerful master vampire and leader of an infected family, is being held responsible for the spread of the virus and for human deaths that have occurred as a result. Convinced he’s being framed, Misha can’t trust anyone within the mystical community. So he turns to Celia Wird and her three sisters when they come to his attention, knowing they hold no ties to anyone of magic and knowing they’re his only hope. Celia and her sisters reluctantly agree to help. The problem is now that the girls have stepped into the supernatural limelight and exposed their rare abilities, they become a target.
What made you decide to kick off the series with a novella?
My editor at Penguin, Jhanteigh Kupihea, actually offered me a contract for the novella in April―hoping to use it as a promotional tool to get readers interested in my series before its debut. I decided a prequel would work best so I based it on what happens to my “weird” girls when they first move to Tahoe.
Both your novella and your full-length novel feel like they start right in the middle of a scene – which is interesting because readers can’t help but get sucked in immediately. You don’t really include any lead in or long introduction. Did you purposely write them like that or is that just the way things turned out?
It just happens to be the way I write. My dear friend, Maria, once told me I write for the ADHD readers of the world. In truth she’s probably right. A book has to pull me in right away, otherwise I get bored quickly and will be distracted by food or something shiny. As a writer it’s fun to start in the middle of chaos and see where it takes me. Otherwise, I’d get bored writing, too.
Each sister has such original powers/abilities. How did you decide what powers Celia, Taran, Shayna and Emme would come into?
Each of their powers developed over time. Since they’re considered “weird” even by mystical standards, I sought to make them different from any supernatural I’ve ever read about. So I played with how to make their mojo unique and truly “weird.”
When I finished reading Sealed with a Curse, I immediately sought you out on twitter to chat with you about it. During that ‘conversation’ you told me that Sealed was originally just the first few chapters of your original draft. That your editor decided you should expand your book, turning one book into many. Did you take out your ‘editor voodoo doll’ when you were told to do that because the idea was so crazy or did you enjoy the challenge of turning a few chapters into one full-length novel?
No, no voodoo I assure you. I’ll admit, at first I was intimidated and wasn’t sure I could do it. Thankfully, my over-active imagination―the same one that made the first book packed with many a plot―came to my rescue. Once I started. I pounded out the pages and made them my bitches. Looking back, although I was terrified, it was a great idea. My novels now are so much stronger for it.
One main-main lady and three main ladies…that is a lot of ‘main characters of the same gender’ for one series. Yet once readers get to know each sister, it’s very obvious who is who thanks to the unique voice and tone you gave each girl. Was that a challenge, to make sure that each sister sounded different on the page and stood out to your readers?
Absolutely. When I wrote the original WEIRD GIRLS novel the biggest complaint from my betas was that except for Celia, the girls all sounded the same. Each time I reworked the novel I strived to make the girls as different and unique as possible.
In your non-author life, you are a labor and delivery nurse. And oh! Lookie here! So are two of your characters! In fact, all of the sisters are nurses! Did you always know, when you sat down to think about what your characters would be like, that they would all mirror your career choice or did that just sort of happen as you wrote?
I needed to give them careers that I was familiar with and one that would realistically allow them to work near each other. Nursing was perfect because I could place them in different departments based on their personalities. It also allowed me to place them anywhere in the states. After all, with a nursing degree, you can work anywhere.
You asked Ida Larsen to draw your leading ladies. You sent her your book and voila! She came up with visuals for your four sisters. Did Ida get it right on the first try? Were you nervous when you sent her your book, wondering what she would come up with?
Poor, sweet Ida. I sent her the original WEIRD GIRLS novel. She hasn’t read SEALED WITH A CURSE yet since I wasn’t signed with Penguin when she began creating my characters. Needless to say it took A LOT of work to get the girls right. We went through several stock photos, lots of playing with different hair types, clothes, and poses. Emme was the hardest. Celia, I can’t even tell you how she nailed her on the first try. If I’m ever in Denmark, I’m taking Ida out for dinner―the woman has the patience of a saint!
You could easily have written this series as a paranormal romance series with each sister having her own book. What made you decide to go the urban fantasy route instead?
My over-active imagination doesn’t always allow for HEA’s and there are too many adventures yet to come. As “romancey” as my series can be, I love the thrill-ride and exciting escapades UF provides. That’s why I write Urban Fantasy Romance, readers get the best of both worlds.
Book two, A Cursed Embrace, will be hitting shelves on July 2nd 2013. Can you give us a hint or two about what to expect in this next installment?
Celia Wird’s and her sisters’ unique powers have been exposed to the supernaturals of Lake Tahoe. But fame comes at a price and being “weird” isn’t always welcomed. An evil has risen, powerful enough to haunt a Wird sister’s dreams and leave a path of unimaginable suffering. This time their powers alone won’t be enough to save them (cue the scary music).
Okay, Flash Four time
Flash Four questions about books and writing ~
How long, from start to end, did it take you to write “Sealed with a Curse”?
Four months including edits.
Did you see yourself being a writer as you were growing up?
Not at all. I started writing May 1, 2009.
In what room of your house do you write from?
My bedroom, on a secretary’s desk, with the door locked.
Do you tend to come up with the title for your book before you start writing it, while you’re writing it or when it’s all done?
After it’s done. Celia’s novels will be branded with the word “curse.” If the series takes off and I’m contracted for more Weird Girls novels, Taran’s brand will be “fire,” Emme’s “touch” and Shayna’s . . . IDK, something sharp and pointy. J
Flash four questions about random things ~
Sweet or salty snacks?
What color is your toothbrush?
White with green rubber grips.
Your high school experience: good or bad?
Lousy. I know firsthand what it’s like to be mistreated and ostracized so it was easy to identify with what my “weird” girls have been through.
What do you like on your pizza?
Mmm . . . pizza. Just give me a great New York slice with just cheese any day.
Thank you so much Cecy for taking the time to answer my questions today. You really have a lovely writing voice. I was very impressed with Sealed with a Curse and can’t wait for readers to enjoy the book as I did. I wish you tons of success. And if your first book is any indication, you will have it. 🙂
Thank you, Julie. I know you have high standards when it comes to novels. So you can just imagine my excitement when I found out how much you loved my writing!!!
Giveaway time! Cecy has put together a really (and I mean really) nice prize for you guys. From today until Wednesday January 2nd, you can enter to win this:
To enter, just leave a comment below! Interested in gaining two more entries? Follow Cecy on Twitter (do that here) and Like Cecy on Facebook (you can do that here) and boom! Two extra entries! If you follow / like, just say so in your comment. Giveaway open internationally and you must leave your comment by January 2nd 2012 11:59pm EST. Good luck to each of you and THANK YOU to Cecy for such a cool giveaway!