Monday, December 17, 2012

Tes Hilaire - It’s an Author Ambush!

Don’t wave a red flag at a bull. Don’t stick your head in the lion’s mouth. Don’t dance naked in front of a hungry cheetah… okay, I made that last one up, but still, good advice, yes?  Another one we can add to the list is: don’t ask readers to make up interview questions for you!  But that’s just what I did… and here is what I got. 

Sharon asks: How do you deal with family members reading your books? Like your mom reading the sex scenes. And what age will you let your kids read your books?

I have to admit I have mixed feelings. My mother has been super supportive of my writing and actually likes a good romance, but she does squirm a bit over the fact that her daughter is the one writing it! Worse for her is that she really wants to help my career but feels funny telling friends and family what I write. She admits that she’s crossing her fingers for one of my YA’s or UF’s to be picked up so she can share it without blushing. As far as my kids? I’d say the same as any other child out there: When you’re eighteen!

Anna asks: Will Alexander get a book?!!! I'm dying for more of him.

Anna isn’t going to like this answer, but the truth is I’m not sure.  His future is still a bit fuzzy for me, you see, because I thought it was going somewhere but then something happened in my plot for book two and it’s not quite so optimistic anymore.  We’re going to get him his HEA though! I promise. Just hang in there, Anna!

Anna also asks: I always love hearing/seeing authors writing space and if they have any quirks when it comes to their process.  How about yours?

Sorry to disappoint, Anna, my space isn’t all that.  It’s me and a computer…and my hubby sitting on his computer across the way from me. We play footsie a lot (as in get your foot out of my space) but don’t see each other’s faces much because the computer monitors are in the way. When we get too sick of each other (or the foot wars get too intense) I often grab my laptop and escape to a quite corner of the house with a cushy chair, some coffee, my headphones and visit an alternate world—namely the one where my Paladin warriors live :-)

Wendy asks: If you could be any character who would it be and why?

Hmmm… I was just asked this the other day and my answer is still the same: None of them! Have you noticed how characters in books are always getting into tons of really…um, crappy for lack of a better word, situations?  I personally like my life well ordered, my world safe, and my downtime uneventful, thank you very much! ;-)

Wendy: Also what was the weirdest thing anyone has asked you or said to you about yourself or your books?

Weirdest? I’m not sure, but I’ve had a creepy moment where someone once said to let them know if I needed help working out the kinks in my next sex scene. Um… subject change anyone?

Marlene asks: Out of all the genres out there, what got you interested in writing paranormal romance?

I think, for me, paranormal romance allows for two things that I crave in a romance novel: Escapism and Contrast.  Contrast?  What’s that, right? Contrast is that juxtaposition between a really dark, gritty world and the absolute joy of being in love. And to see that love overpower such darkness is the ultimate love story for me.

Marlene: How long did it take you to get your first book published?

My first book will never be published… in fact it’s going to stay hidden on my hard drive ;-)  No really, it felt like forever with tons of near misses, but if you add up the number of years where I was seriously pursing my career (key word being serious) I think it was about three. Still too long for the eager writer though!

Marlene: Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’m a mix. I started as a pantser, overcompensated with plotting, and am now somewhere in the middle. I’ve learned that though it’s important to have a good idea where you’re going you have to be flexible too. And if the material isn’t flowing organically from my brain to the keyboard, it’s normally a good sign that I’ve over-plotted and am trying to force something to work that just isn’t going to.

Phyllis: What inspires you to write your Paladins?

Beyond the origin story, which you can find here I assume you mean why do I write them. Really it’s very simple. I have to tell their stories. Their world and stories have become so real to me that I actually have guilt over not getting them to their HEA. Take Alexander, for example, I’m really gnawing my nails over him right now because I just don’t see his future very well yet and I really, really want to find him the bond-mate that’s going to complete his soul.

Phyllis: What process do you go through to vet your characters?

Basically my characters make it into my book if I’m writing them and they cop an attitude with me. :-D  No, this is truth. I don’t want a complacent character that is going to do anything and everything I tell them to. I mean, yeah, it’s kind of nice not to have the arguments, but when all is said and done if a character doesn’t have steel in their spine, then they end up not being all that interesting on the page and so goes my plot.

Phyllis: Why did you make Valin darker than the others and shorter? 

Valin… ah, Valin. Love that “black sheep” Paladin. He just doesn’t seem to mix well with all those other big, goody-two-shoe Paladin, does he? Doesn’t play well either ;-)  And really, that’s why he is how he is… or should I say that’s why what he is has made him who he is? Ugh… confusing. You do like to ask the tough questions, Phyllis!  How about this: Valin is shorter than his six foot plus brethren and likes to hang in the shadows because that’s who he needs to be. I know, I know, you’re going to ask: needs to be for what? But to find out that, well, you’re just going to have to read book three ;-)

Phyllis: Why was it Roland that was turned?

Because there is evil in the world and even those with the greatest strength can falter just as they can choose to strive for redemption. And don’t tortured souls in need of redemption make some of the best heroes? ;-)

Phyllis: Why red hair on Alexander?

Because :-D  I guess it’s the contrast thing again. Alexander is this big, strong, solid man full of power. He’s rock steady and the man anyone would want in their corner and because of his red hair and barely there freckles people just don’t take him seriously enough to think he belongs anywhere but as their back-up man. But the truth is that under his easy going front, there is a true leader in there, and I suspect that if and when he does get pushed past his limits it’s going to be quite a show.

Phyllis: How do you pair your hero and heroine?

I throw a likely couple in a padded room (or scene as the case may be) and watch to see if sparks (or fists) fly. Trust me, this works, as there have been times when they didn’t and I knew to let one or the other out and send them on their way and try again.

Pyillis: With regard to the plot of these books, where did it come from?

From my cluttered mind. :-D  It actually started out as a chapter. The chapter was fairly close to the one you see in the beginning of Deliver Me from Darkness but without any sort of world build. It was my “padded room” test between Roland and Karissa. The sparks were there, but I knew I needed to put some real scenery in the story. A bunch of brainstorming and research and trial and error later and Viola!

Pyllis: Where do you like to do your writing?

I edit, FB, tweet, etc at my desk. For fresh out of the box writing I tend to move around a lot. Sometimes at my desk, sometimes on my porch or the couch or even a coffee shop.  Who knows where my muse will lead me!

Phyllis: Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate!  And red wine :-)

Phyllis: Do you write AM or PM

AM normally but when the muse comes to play I’ll stay up all night if needed.

Phew! Thanks to my wonderful ladies for ambushing me (how weird does that sound?) How about all of you readers? Are there any questions that you’ve always wanted to ask an author?  If so you have until this Wednesday to ask! One lucky commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me from Temptation (US & CA) AND three more commenters from any country will win digital copies of Deliver Me from Darkness (your choice of nook or kindle-prize must be redeemed by 12/22). Sound awesome? Great! To enter leave your name and email along with whether you are US & CA or International and a question for me before midnight on 12/19. Thanks!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daphne Award-winning author Tes Hilaire started creating whole new worlds to escape upstate New York’s harsh winters before finally fleeing to sultry North Carolina. Her stories are edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. And no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, @TesHilaire. Look for the other books in the Paladin Warriors Series: Deliver Me from Darkness (in stores now) and Prince of Shadows (November 2013).


A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.
Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.

Logan Screwed Up…Big Time
When things go bump in the night, Logan bumps back. Vampires, demons, succubi—you name it, he’s fought it. His job as a Paladin angel warrior is to protect humans. Not fall for one.
She Never Believed in Divine Intervention…Until Now
Detective Jessica Waters protects humans too—with her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. She doesn’t believe in fate. But if anyone looks like a gift from the gods, it’s Logan. And he clearly knows more about her case than he’s letting on…


erin said...

Thanks for a fun post and congrats to Tes on the newest release! I'm very excited as I just got these two books and I can't wait to get started. Please don't enter me in contest. Merry Christmas everyone!

Pat Cochran said...

I love "call" stories. What was your call like?
(The one telling you your first book was being
accepted for publication!)

Pat Cochran

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Aw man you're killing me. Come on Alexander!! The boy needs to get his act together and let you know what's going on! LOL Great post :)


Tes Hilaire said...

Hey all! Thanks so much for stopping in :-) I'll be back in a few to answer the questions above, just got off my plane and am getting the kiddos ready for bed! PHEW! Thanks so much for stopping in.

Tes Hilaire said...

Erin, I hope you LOVE them both :-) And thank you so much! Have a great Holiday season.

Tes Hilaire said...

Pat - exciting, shocking, thrilling, surreal? :-D It was also a bit weird because my in-laws were over and they didn't really know I was trying to get published so I kind of breathlessly interrupted our get-together to go squeal in private!

Tes Hilaire said...

I know! Tell me about it! I think you need to come over here and have a talk with him, Anna. (and when you're done, let me know what he said!)

Nicole said...

I like this book! Will be reading:) congrats and thanks for the giveaway!
US and

*yadkny* said...

Great questions and answers:) Thanks for giving us a little insight into your life and stories! What are you currently reading or the last book you read?

Tes Hilaire said...

Thanks for stopping in, Nicole! I'm glad you're enjoying the Paladin Warriors!

Tes Hilaire said...

I told myself no new books until Christmas. I have too much to do... too little time... But there I was in the airport with nothing to read and a long plane flight ahead of me and I Just.Couldn't.Resist! Sigh... I'm in the middle of Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann... AND I DON'T wanna put it down! (willpower, Tes... willpower!)

Mary Preston said...


if you did not write, what other creative outlet would you pursue?

Mary Preston


Tes Hilaire said...

Mary - Oh... I'm a Jacqueline of all trades :-) I've dabbled in scrap-booking, quilting, musical instruments, even painting (which wasn't all that spectacular, though my 7 year old thinks I'm a great artist :-D ) I've been tempted to try out jewelry making but honestly I just don't have the time! Not a problem, though... I'd rather write ;-)

Chrisbails said...

Happy Holidays. Great post. I just got Deliver Me From Temptation and did not realize 2nd book of series. I know need Deliver Me From Darkness. Adding to my Christmas list.
My questions for you are: I am a big reader and always looking for new author & books to check out. Any new books or authors that you would recommend? What is your favorite genre to write about? Read?
Thanks for the giveaway.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

Tes Hilaire said...

Christine - I've recently been reading Shawntelle Madison's new series and also my wonderful fellow Sourcebooks author Elisabeth Staab. They're both series I'd recommend. One is more Urban Fantasy where the other has a BBD grittiness to it but is still definitely paranormal. I personally love Urban Fantasy, though I want that overall HEA arc so I guess that's why I gravitate to darker PNR. How about you? What is your favorite genre?

Eli Yanti said...

Nice post Tes

I cant' wait to read your book, so what is more :D