Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight Blog Tour Interview

Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a Centaur touched by Zeus.

As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her family acknowledges her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately desires.


Thank you for inviting me over for a chat today, Brittany. I’m excited to be here, and thrilled YOU signed up for the Blood Debt tour!

If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would you choose?

Okay, I could answer this question two ways. I am a horrible, with a capital “H,” cook; so, my inviting anyone over for dinner is not necessarily a great invitation. Everyone has different skills, cooking is not one of mine. With that said, five people I’d like to go out to dinner with? That’s easy, although narrowing it to five is a little hard, but:

Michelle Leighton (author of The Wild Ones) is a live wire and after a few hours of dinner conversation I dare you not to have a sore jaw from laughing.

Amy Bartol (author of Inescapeable) is about as fun as they come, is easy to talk to, and I go out with her every time she and I are within fifty miles of each other.

Tiffany King (author of Meant to Be) I’m convinced is one day going to win the nicest author on the planet award.

Shelly Crane (author of Significance) is my Indie Author Idol and is a truly lovely person.

Christie Rich (author of Five) is an up-and-coming Indie Author and is the only of the five I haven’t yet gotten to meet in person.

What is one food you would never eat? 

Insects. I can give this answer with confidence, as I’ve had a couple of opportunities to eat insects and each time opted against it (big surprise, right?). I was in Thailand and found a roadside vendor who was serving fried rice; the main protein ingredient was not chicken, pork or shrimp – yes, the insects were intentionally in there and I passed. That same evening I was walking along the streets and saw a man grilling something that smelled really good, when I got close I realized they were the biggest cock roaches I’d ever seen – YIKES!! I took a pass on those as well! Lucky for me, I did stumble on a Dunkin Donuts a few blocks further.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

When it was time to title Blood Debt, I held a contest. I published a short synopsis of the story and let my friends and fans nominate titles. Keren Spencer from the United Kingdom chose Blood Debt. There were tons of great titles submitted, but hers really captured the story’s theme. Everyone who entered the contest got a free ebook of Blood Debt when I published and Keren received a signed Paperback Copy. If you look in the acknowledgement section of Blood Debt there’s a big thank you to Keren for her choice in titles.
Which authors have influenced you the most? How? 

I’m sure this is the part where I’m supposed to list a bunch of literary giants, sorry, not going to happen. At least not the literary giants you may be expecting. Every independent author I’ve met, either in person or on-line, has been over-the-moon welcoming, thoughtful, brilliant, genuine and kind. Independent Authors go out of their way, every day, to help other independent authors. I think it’s one of the few professions where there is no competition! Someone who loves a book in one genre could just as easily fall in love with another book in the same genre. I’m influenced by every author whose books leave me with big black circles under my eyes! A few who come to mind are: Rachael Higginson, Charlotte Abel, Amy Bartol, Shelly Crane, Heather Self, Shannon Dermott, Christie Rich and Michelle Leighton.

What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

There are several scenes I love in Blood Debt, all for different reasons, and I guarantee my favorite is NOT the same as any of the people who read it. I can’t describe the scene in any detail or it will be a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t yet read Blood Debt. But the reason I love it is, I’m able to make the readers believe something horrible has happened, really horrible. In fact I regularly get tweets, messages and emails from readers when they hit that section of the story – everyone one of them is furious me. Why do I love this part? The passion in those messages tell me the readers have truly connected with the characters and feel a vested interest with the main character, Camille.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Shortly after I published my first book, Meeting Destiny, I joined goodreads. I think I had sold maybe twenty-five books. I was still very new to the site and I was surprised when a friend request came in from Charles Young. This was followed by a message saying he had read Meeting Destiny and loved it. Charles was my very first fan and I still message him regularly. If any of you have ever sent a message like the one I received from Charles to a “Rookie” author, I can guarantee you will never comprehend the lifelong impact your simple act of kindness has made (or will make) in that author’s life! When a story moves you, let the author know. Since that day, I’ve met many readers that have gone out of their way to brighten my day – every single message has been an inspiration. Charles, if you’re reading this blog post, thank you, again.

As for the bloggers of this world, OHMYSWEETGOODNESS I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I have never met a group of people so willing to selflessly give up hours every day, taking a chance on someone they’ve never heard of to devote hours of reading, then evaluate their work and promote on facebook, twitter and blogs. I will never be able to repay the kindness I have been shown by you and others just like you Brittany, but know that a day doesn’t go by that I don’t know how lucky I am.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I grew up in Iowa, I’ve also lived in Hawaii, California, Virginia, and Japan. I’ve visited: Australia, Thailand, Korea, Great Brittan, Mexico, Belize, the Cayman Islands and Canada. Although I carry a soft spot in my heart for many of the places I visited and lived, the first place that ever felt like home was South Carolina. My husband and I moved to South Carolina twelve years ago and I doubt we’ll ever want to live anywhere else.

How did you know you should become an author?

A lawyer made me do it! I used to work with a lawyer that I had a great deal of respect for, one day out of the blue he said, “Ms. Straight, you are one of the most compelling writers I’ve ever known.” That was one of the most unexpected and flattering compliments I had ever received, especially knowing that what he’d just read registered a full 10 on the boring scale. That compliment stuck with me for months, until one night, I started typing.

Meeting Destiny was the first book I wrote, I’m not sure if I was wholly inspired. It was more along the lines of, “Hmmm, I wonder if I could actually write a book?” Much the same way I’ve asked myself, “Hmmm, maybe I should get a new pair of shoes?” LOL! A year later, when it was finished, I let a friend read it, and she convinced me to publish it.

How do you react to a bad review?

It depends what the review says. Reviewers who take the time to write critiques on the story that are actionable, I’ll return to the section in the book they’re referencing and if I agree that something could be improved I’ll consider modifying the story.

Mean-spirited reviews with no actual critique of the story, I ignore. Not everyone likes every book and I don’t expect everyone to like all my books. I’m grateful that someone read the book and felt passionate enough about the experience to tell the world even if they didn’t like it.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

Ha, I would go back in the past, but not because I think I’ve made decisions I’d like to undo. I cherish each of my failures I’ve made in my life because I do everything I can to learn from them. The reason I’d like to go in the past? I didn’t discover my love of writing until I was forty, I would love to have known what a passion I would have for writing when I was in my twenties!

Brittany, thanks again for letting me stop by today!!

Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC. She has two fantastic son, three rotten dogs and an amazing husband. When not writing she enjoys RVing with her family, swimming and reading all types of romance genres. Her favorite is paranormal romance.

Twitter: @NancyStraight

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