~ On Hiatus ~

June 18, 2011

Tracking Shadows Blog Tour: Interview with Regan Black and Giveaway!

Hi everyone!

I'm very happy to be a part of the Tracking Shadows by Regan Black Blog Tour! I had the honor to interview Regan, a super nice author who writes great books that won't appeal just to book addicts, but to everyone who needs to escape a few hours from the real life madness! ;) So please welcome Regan @ Deea's Journal!

Deea: First off, tell us a bit about yourself.
Regan Black: It's a rather normal tale...I grew up in the Midwest and lived with my grandparents in California during the summers. As an only child I relied on books and my imagination instead of siblings for amusement most of the time. Both of my grandmothers were fantastic storytellers, one was a writer as well, and I think my writing life grew from those deep roots.

Fast forward a few decades and I'm married to my own personal hero (twenty years and counting) and we have two amazing kids (18 and 15) and a domestic petting zoo featuring three adopted greyhounds, two cats, and four finches.
D: What do you love most about writing?
RB: The discovery. Or maybe the quiet. Wait, I have a house full of distractions, so I'll stick with the discovery. It's such a cool feeling when something develops 'on the page', whether it's a new device in 2096 or a fresh character wrinkle or connection.

Many times, my husband walks in the door and I'm nearly bursting, eager to tell him all about what happened or what developed on the page. 
D: Who are the greatest influences on your writing?
RB: Aside from my writing grandma, I've been influenced by painters (Monet) poets (Poe, Neruda) and other writers like Nora Roberts, Sabrina Jeffries, and Clive Cussler. Not so much what they write or how they write, but by their work ethic and productivity. There have been plenty of authors in all genres and stages of writing who have reached out along the way to help, guide, or just encourage me.

My family's unflagging support is a huge influence as well as my network of friends and the growing fans. Writing is primarily an individual sport, but knowing there are people who want to read the finished product is motivating and keeps me striving to get the best story onto the page.
D: For those who have yet to discover your stories, how would you describe your books’ world and characters? 
RB: The Shadows of Justice series is a little dark, and though it's set in 2096 Chicago, it's not overrun with the kind futuristic techno-speak that's better suited to instruction manuals. I focused my world building efforts on how the characters would react in a society riddled with restrictions designed to protect the general population. The trouble is, the general population doesn't realize the powers that be have been manipulating things to stay in power. So you have a balancing act between characters seeking justice and characters exploiting a twisted system.

Two examples are the regulation of caffeine to protect people from overindulgence and the military policy to 'juice' soldiers with a supplement to make them stronger in battle. It's a lighter subplot in the first three books, but outlawed coffee leads to a terrific business opportunity for a smuggler like Slick Micky. In contrast, the designer of the soldier's supplement enjoys a side effect of mind-control and increased loyalty which makes that a darker, more villainous element.

2096 reveals a growing number of people with specialized talents both naturally occurring and due to genetic manipulation, as well as entrepreneurs like Slick Micky, who are crafty enough to find ways to thrive at the edges of the law.

With a smuggler and assassin as primary characters, Tracking Shadows delves deeper into the criminal community and gangs underpinning Chicago business in a battle for power and control of the city.

But no matter which 2096 book or story you pick up, I want it to be about the characters and I hope readers enjoy the adventures.

D: Your books are filled with action, suspense and twists and turns that really keep the readers on the edge of their seat. Which makes me wonder: what’s your writing style? Are you a planner or a pantster? (pantster - someone who writes by the seat of their pants, aka they go with the flow, without a specific outline)
RB: Oh, I'm a pantster and I won't even try to deny it. I do very little plotting in the beginning of the process, layering it in and tightening up those elements in the rewrite. Whenever I've tried to outline or plot beyond a basic story concept, I just hamstring myself and fight it, so I've learned to play to my strengths and just let the story unfold. It was a hard lesson, but so very valuable.

The only real planning that applies to my writing and creativity is how I manage my time and my production schedule, i.e. which book I want or need to produce next.

Every person has inherent skills and talents, and to me it seems authors magnify that concept. I can tell you how I write, outline my ideal day, but I can almost guarantee my process won't work for another author.

You've got to know when you're at your best for which activity, then stick to it.
(Advice noted!)

D: Where does your inspiration originate? I love the high tech, futuristic elements in Tracking Shadows! 
RB: It makes me so happy to hear that! While the various devices that show up in my 2096 future often surprise me, I did (and still do) plenty of research to build that world. Usually my research starts with studying  where we've been. It amazes me how quickly we've moved from a computer that needed it's own room and cooling system to the stunning computing power in the hand held devices we take for granted now.

It helps to have a husband and kids with high-tech-tendencies, so we often get into discussions about gaming, movies, and general development and advancement that spark my imagination and keep me dreaming up the impossible.
(Cool! Wish I had someone to talk to about it, I love everything high-tech!)

D: Speaking of which, can you give us the short, Twitter-like description of Tracking Shadows? 
RB: Oh, my. In 140 characters or less? LOL I'd have to say: "When your past becomes your future: Tracking Shadows!"
D: I think we all love the witty, sexy, kick- butt heroes/heroines in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books. (Go Trina!) But who is your favorite hero/heroine (in a series that is not your own)? 
RB: Oh, that's a tough one. So many characters feel like friends by the end of a good book. A standout favorite has to be Gwen from Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning.
D: So what’s next for you? Are you working on a new story? 
RB: At the moment I'm working on two stories. One is in rewrite, and one is a brand new idea. Both have a paranormal angle, but they're contemporary rather than set in 2096. The next 2096 novel that's just forming up in the margins of my notepad is Mira (the nurse with healing power). Looking at the calendar, my plan is to have her story ready for an ebook release in December of 2011.
(Yay, I really wanted to know more about Mira!)

D: Is there any question you always wished someone would ask you but no one did? ;)  
RB: Wow, another tough one. I'd love to answer, "What one thing do you wish you could do?" The answer is painting, or another visual art medium. It seems like painters and photographers can create something for people to enjoy at a much faster rate than I can write a novel. I know it's not true, that it takes just as much creative energy to do what they do, but a tiny part of me has always envied that talent and I've often felt that I write primarily because I can't put my stories on canvas.
D: Now could you answer some quick, random questions for me? I’m always too curious and eager to know more about authors!
Early bird or night owl?

Early bird (though I do miss my old night owl days)

Coffee or tea?

Coffee!

Favorite sweets?

Lindor truffles and Starburst jelly beans

Favorite color?

Red

Favorite season?

It's a tie between Spring and Autumn

Biggest pet peeves?

Overpriced ebooks

(I second that! Sometimes the ebooks are even more expensive than the hardcovers!)

Guilty pleasures while writing?

Reese's Pieces

What are you currently reading?

Simply Irresistible by Kristine Grayson

Which country would you like to visit the most?

Scotland

D: Thank you for your time and for your thoughtful, inspiring answers! I’m looking forward to reading your new stories!
RB: Thanks so much for hosting me during the Tracking Shadows Blog Tour! This has been a fun interview and I appreciate all the support!

Hehe, my pleasure!

About the author:


Regan Black writes action packed paranormal and urban fantasy novels so readers can savor a fantastic escape from the daily grind. Raised in the Midwest and California, she now lives with her family in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the abundance of history and legend fuels her imagination. Experience a Regan Black adventure at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords. You can keep up with Regan at ReganBlack.com, Twitter and Facebook.

Tracking Shadows 

In 2096, the American government has gone above and beyond to 'protect its citizens', even regulating sugar and coffee. Every new legislative measure opens up a black market for an enterprising person willing to seize the opportunity.

In Chicago, Slick Micky is the king of smuggling. Known to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere, he specializes in caffeine and sugar and works in the anonymity of shadows. But recently an old enemy is tired of waiting for Micky's empire to crumble and has called in the best assassin in the business to take him out.

Trina Durham is an assassin with a sterling reputation, thanks to her unique ability to induce deadly hallucinations. When Slick Micky killed her best friend, she left Chicago - forever. She's back now, unable to resist the perfect opportunity for vengeance. But no one warned her Slick Micky might as well be a shadow. Or that shedding light on the man and his secrets would put both her heart and reputation at risk.
Buy the book

I loved this book, it was an action-packed, quick, refreshing, read! I'll post my review tomorrow. I really recommend it, so here's your chance to read it:

* The giveaway is open internationally and it ends on June 24.
**I will use Random.org to choose a winner. I will announce  the winners for this giveaway and my Graduation Giveaway on June 25.





Check out the next Tour Stop tomorrow: Just Another Book Addict.


I hope you enjoyed the interview! Good luck!
xoxo
Deea

11 comments:

  1. What a great tour, Deea! I loved your interview questions, and answers, Regan. It's so good to get all of these perspectives of the book and the author, as well as the different blogs.

    Deborah/TheBookishDame

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi again Regan!
    As I've said before, this tour gives us the opportunity to get to know a lil more about you. Thank you!
    I also like reeses, they are soooo yummy!!

    I must say that I'm looking forward to read Mira's story!

    Daniela.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Deborah Thank you! I love the interview too, it's very insightful. :)

    @Daniela Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to reading Mira's story as well!

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  4. Good morning! Forgive me for sleeping in a bit...and thank you @Deb, @Daniela for saying hello on this tour stop! @Deea did a fantastic job.

    These interviews, and follow up comments have been so much fun!

    Good luck in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Regan Good morning! No problem, I slept in a bit too.:)

    And thank you, I had fun too!

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  6. What an awesome post Deea & Regan!! Super questions and fabulous, interesting answers, Regan. LOVED IT!

    Laurie
    Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

    PS... I slept in, too. This must be the day for it!! LOL

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  7. Thanks @Laurie! We're still overcast (and in desperate need of rain) but something about a cloudy day makes me want to write faster. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great interview of an author I had not read before. Now, I really want to read this book. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks.

    o2oole(at)verizon(dot)net

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  9. I'm glad you liked the interview, Joni. Good luck in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great interview thanks so much for sharing! Your book sounds so good its one of those books where I could have read it in one sitting! Im loving the blog tour thanks so much!
    tishajean@ charter.net

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Thanks for stopping by! I love comments! ♥

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