Sunday, March 22, 2009
Night's Rose by Annaliese Evans (An Interview)
Terra: Your heroine Rosemarie is so multi layered that it just blew my socks off. How difficult was it to incorporate all the facets of her heritage, history and personality so that she would be realistic?
Annaliese: Thank you so much. I'm really glad that you connected with Rose. I did my best to make her as rich as I possibly could. As a former actor, I tend to approach my characters from a kind of "methody" place. (According to wikipedia: Method acting is a technique in which actors aim to engender in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters in an effort to create a lifelike performance.)
So I tried to imagine what it would be like to have gone through everything Rose had been through in her life, to have so much history and experience, but also to have denied important parts of herself for so long. It put me in a fairly sad head space during some of the writing of the book--she has a horrific past she's trying to move beyond--but I hoped it would pay off. I'm glad it translated for you!
Terra: This story has two hero’s instead of one which in my mind is a wee bit rare. What made you choose to do this especially with them being such polar opposites and how difficult was it to keep their personalities from getting mixed up with one another?
Annaliese: I've written erotic romance for years and in that genre two heroes isn't as rare as you'd think. I mean...if one man is good....couldn't two be better ;)? Not to tip my hat too much, but there are some interesting developments between Rose and her two men in book two that I hope will please both Gareth and Ambrose fans alike. And as far as getting them confused, there was never any danger. As you said, they are so very different that they stood out clearly in my mind.
Terra: I love the fact that you use a real to all of us fairytale background for a foundation. Actually, I think I caught a whiff of bits of one or two others in the story, what made you choose to use this as your background for your heroine and why?
Annaliese: I've always been obsessed with fairy tales and the impact these folk stories have on cultures across the world. In opposite sides of the globe, you'll still have stories that mirror each other exactly in theme. It's wild. Fairy tales are some powerful collective unconscious juju and I love that. It's such a rich place to pull from for a story. (And yes there are hints of other fairy tales in there too! Gareth and Ambrose are also based on fairy tale characters. That is explored more in the coming books.)
Terra: I have to say I loved the entire concept of Night’s Rose with its being able to please the romance lover, fantasy lover, paranormal lover and last but not least the fairytale lover in me. Do you have any plans to carry these traits into future books and any ideas on how?
Annaliese: I have another series in the works right now that's more straight urban fantasy (with a romantic element, of course), but there are no current plans to mine the fairy tale world again just now. But if the Night's Rose books do well...well, I might have to reconsider that :).
Terra: Hmm…….Ambrose the Fae or Lord Shenley the Vampire, you really know how to make it tough to choose don’t you! If you had your choice between the two of them which do you think you might pick and why? Personally, I think I would be a glutton and take both! ;)
Annaliese: Lol! Yes ma'am. Both please! But if I had to choose, I think I'd go with Lord Shenley the Vampire. He's got the sense of humor that I think you'd need in a partner if you were really going to be together for multiple lifetimes. And he's so delightfully naughty. Love that, lol.
Terra: You’re at a book signing and there is this one man checking out your book, convince him that he needs to look beyond the cover as this is not just your average romance book but one he would absolutely love!
Annaliese: My husband, a man with nearly twenty years in the air force who likes to play rough on the hocky rink read this and enjoyed it. This isn't a book just for women, it's for men who love their wives, who love loving on their wives, and who enjoy a good sword fight.
Terra: How hard was it for you to go from romance mode into battle mode without letting the romance part interfere to the point of endangering your heroine or one of your two heroes?
Annaliese: Once again, went to the methody place. Luckily I've only been in a life or death situation a few times in my life, but it's amazing how clear your head becomes at times like that. You aren't thinking lovey dovey thoughts, you're thinking about how to survive and make sure the people you love survive too. I think you can best do that when you focus on what you need to be doing and trust that your partner knows what he needs to be doing.
Terra: We know Rose is sexually attracted to both men, loves both of them in their own way, how can she possibly choose between them without letting the guilt factor chew her up and spit her out?
Annaliese: Hmmm....I don't think I can answer this question without giving away book two spoilers. You'll just have to wait and see ;).
Terra: Where do you usually go for inspiration when trying to come up with the ideas for any particular scenes? Some authors need a particular background music, some brain storm in the shower, some need absolute quiet, what’s your trigger?
Annaliese: For "Night's Rose" I looked at a lot of paintings of "Sleeping Beauty" inspired art throughout the ages and did a lot of googling of old castles and of historically accurate town and city scenes. I really did my research on this book in a way I never have before. I'm sure I've still made some mistakes the real history buffs will spot, but it's not from a lack of pouring over old books!
Terra: What is your favorite fairytale and why?
Annaliese: Wow. That's a hard one. I find so many of them annoying because women are consistently placed in victim or villian roles. That's why I love rewriting them. I like to think that women are moving closer to equality and that the stories modern storytellers write help support that.
Thanks so much for having me over to the blog Terry!
For all of Anna J. Evans' erotic romance backlist, please visit http://annajevans.com
To learn more about the next book in the "Night's Rose" series, "The Prince of Frogs" (coming September 2009 from Tor/Forge romance), visit Annaliese's site at http://annalieseevans.com
Annaliese will give away two signed advanced reader copies of Night's Rose. You must tell us which is your favorite fairytale and why. Also, don't forget the email addy (no addy no entry). Check back on March 30th to see who won!
February 6th, 1750
"Comtesse de Fournier? Is that you, my lady?" The voice held not the slightest edge of fear, confirming Rose's suspicions. Sir Walter Pithwater knew little of the history of his people. Tonight, that shameful gap in his education would hasten his journey to the grave.
Rose crept slowly through the garden's maze, grateful the hedges had yet to reach their full height. Pithwater was clearly visible above the top of the shrubbery, his bald head gleaming in the moonlight, while her own figure remained concealed. She was barely five feet in her heeled slippers--but even Lord Drummand, the host of the country party and a man close to six feet, would be largely concealed within the maze. The people of the tribe were simply unusually tall, and Sir Walter was no exception.
It was one of the clues that had alerted her to the ogre's true nature, in addition to his monstrous appetite. A late night venture down to the Earl's kitchens confirmed her worst fears. The cook needed little prying to confess she worried the baronet would eat her employers out of house and home, forcing them to end their party early and disgrace themselves in front of many influential friends and members of Society.
The woman should have been more concerned about the ravenous guest eating her out of chambermaids and stable boys. Two of the household staff had gone missing in the past week. Rose doubted their bodies would never be found. Ogres were unique among supernatural predators in that they ate the entirety of their victims--bones and all.
"Comtesse?" Pithwater called again, a suggestive lilt in his tone. "Come out, come out, my little rosebud."
Rose grimaced beneath the black hood concealing her powdered curls from the light of the moon. She had been christened Rosemarie, and allowed a few to call her Rose, but had never been pleased with ridiculous pet names derived from her Christian name. Especially when they sprung from the mouth of a repulsive goat like Pithwater.
Still, she had no one but herself to blame for attracting his amorous attentions.
She had led the man to believe she was penniless and in need of a protector, lest she follow in the footsteps of other impoverished women of standing who lived their lives in the shadows of polite society as courtesans. Nothing had been said outright, all communicated in hushed intimations as such things usually were, but Pithwater had taken the bait.
He'd invited her to the garden maze tonight for what she gathered was a trial of sorts, to see if she would please him as a mistress. The reward for his pleasure would be her own cottage near Marylebone Gardens and an allowance he had named generous, but which they both knew to be hundreds of pounds short of a livable sum. Not that the allowance was of any real consequence.
Rose knew what her fate would truly be--a few months in his bed and an eternity in his stomach. Ogres could never retain a human lover for long, no matter how fetching they found them. Their appetite for flesh always outweighed their desire for carnal pleasure.