Friday, March 19, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Alexis Morgan


Alexis Morgan grew up near St. Louis and received a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her hero hubby have called a small town near Seattle home for 30 years, and this is where she launched her writing career. As an avid reader of gothic romances and westerns, it doesn't take a big leap to see how she started penning contemporary romances and American West historicals! Reading and writing in these genres gave her a fondness for flawed heroes who stay true to their own code of honor; whether they're fighting rustlers with pistols or weilding swords, shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow warriors. Currently Alexis writes paranormal romances for Pocket Star and Silhouette Nocturne (including Bites)! She's looking forward to seeing her 20th novel on shelves during Spring 2010!






When did the concept for your Paladin series spark? Did you have all the Paladins and Handlers in mind, or did they evolve?

I was still writing American West historicals back in 2004 when a different kind of character started moving around in the back of my mind. I could just see this powerful warrior wearing jeans and a chambray shirt and carrying a sword. All I knew at that point was that he was a modern day hero who fought at the edge of darkness and light with an ancient weapon. Gradually, I figured out that the edge was actually a barrier between two worlds, one bright with light, the other shrouded in darkness.

That warrior became my first Paladin—Devlin Bane. I started the story with five Paladins and one Handler, the woman Devlin was in love with. Other characters have evolved as the stories have grown. For example, at the beginning I had no idea that I would have hero from the other world, and yet I’m just finishing my second book with a Kalith as the hero. It’s been fun seeing where the characters have taken me.







Why did you set up the storylines so the Paladin die over and over and know they’ll become like the Others?

I wanted the Paladins to have special abilities that made them the ideal warriors to protect our world. Their special DNA, inherited from Others who have blended into our world in the past, allows them to die and come back from it, but at such a terrible price. Even so, knowing the cost, they still pick up their weapons and head into battle, just as warriors have always done to protect their land, their people, their world.






Which component do you think has made the Paladin popular, while other series have lost appeal?

There are a lot of really terrific paranormal romance and urban fantasy series out there, and I’ve learned a lot from reading the stories by all those talented authors. The ones I like best evolve and change as the stories and, more importantly, the characters demand. I hope that’s what I’ve done with the Paladins. For example, I expected Barak to die in the first book when he crossed into our world. Instead, I realized that he was an honorable warrior just like the Paladins. By letting him live, it took my series in a whole new, and for me unexpected, direction.




If you were entrusted to be a Handler, which Paladin past or present would you choose?

For me, it would always be Trahern, without a doubt. He’s the one who is skating way too close to the edge of losing his humanity, but he still holds the line. That lost soul/warrior combination is always my favorite kind of hero.






Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited during your “author” excursions? Was a person or incident responsible for making the trip special?

When I was starting the series, my friend and I drove down to Mount St. Helens to see the volcano up close and personal. Although some places around the mountain were replanted and have come back from the 1980 eruption, the area immediately surrounding the mountain still reflects the awful devastation. The mountain still smolders. In fact the day we went, there was been a series of new tremors showing on the seismograph. Scary stuff. It was an amazing place to see and just made the books more real for me as I write them.






On release day, have you gotten in the habit of doing a special ritual or activity?

A friend and I pile in the car and drive to several local bookstores so I can sign stock—well, and have the fun of seeing my books on the shelf. Then we celebrate by having lunch together.









Are there any appearances or other big news fans should be privy to?

VAMPIRE VENDETTA, my first full-length vampire story, is a May release from Silhouette Nocturne. It’s set in the same world as the Bite that came out last November, The Vampire’s Desire. I had great fun writing both stories, and I just found out that I’ll be doing two more Bites and two more Nocturnes in the same series.

My next book signing will be the Spring Fling at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA on Friday, April 9, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

What’s new in romance? From cowboys to vampires, secret agents to warriors – this crew of authors provides thrills, chills and even some steam! Discover some of the newest books on the shelves and learn what’s coming up from the gals who know all about romance. Featured authors are: Alexis Morgan, Deborah Schneider, Lauren Dane, Amanda Forester, Kimberly Fisk, Jessa Slade, Rebecca J. Clark and Shelli Stevens




If you'd like to find out more about Alexis, check out http://www.alexismorgan.com/ and remember that one lucky post-er's name will be drawn from the comments below to receive a copy of DEFEAT THE DARKNESS!



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19 comments:

nightsmusic said...

Oh, Alexis! Don't forget your Talions tsk...you don't want Ranulf upset with you ;)

You do write some of the best warriors. They're much more 'human' than many others meaning, I can see myself bumping into one in line at the coffee shop. Believable.

Now, I'm just waiting for the vampire to be released...

s7anna said...

I am loving all the great covers...and I'm eager to read Defeat the Darkness.

Happy Reading
Anna
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Alexis Morgan said...

NM--trust me, I haven't forgotten the Talions!

s7anna--thanks for stopping by. I had such fun writing Hunter's story. I hope you enjoy it--

Alexis

Lynda K. Scott said...

what a terrific sounding series! I'd heard of it, but vaguely. Now that I know what they're about I'll be adding them to my collection :-)

Alexis Morgan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lynda--

If you're like me and like to read series in order, the first book in my Paladin series is Dark Protector. The first in my Talion series is Dark Warrior Unleasted.

Take care,

Alexis

practimom said...

The Paladins are Awesome! And Blake is my favorite, too. The story line is just great reading and the HAWT warriors just seal the deal. Alexis is super sweet and I recommend another of her series, the Talions, as well.

Paladin love From the "caves" of NC
Christy

Alexis Morgan said...

Christy--

I've never made a secret of the fact that Blake Trahern has been my fave from the beginning. I can't tell you how many scenes I had to rewrite in the first book because he kept trying to take over. That's why he got the second book, otherwise I'd have been fighting him in every story.

Alexis

Liz P. said...

Love all of your Palladin books! Like you, Blake is still my favorite and I think in large part because he wasn't first. We first get to see him from the outside, the way others view him, in the first book and then you take us into his dark loneliness in his own book. Fantastic series!

Alison said...

Will there be twelve paladins, like the twelve paladins of Charlemagne's court?
This series is new to me but I love the concept and look forward to reading it!

Alexis Morgan said...

Liz--you know, I never thought about it that way. You're right, though. Seeing him through Devlin's eyes, and then through Laurel's sure gave me two very different perspectives.

Alison--I'm not sure about the twelve, but for sure there will be at least nine. I have a novella coming out in January in an anthology with Susan Sizemore. Then I have two more Paladin books scheduled for next summer. The trouble is, with almost every book, another Paladin comes swaggering onto the stage demanding his story be told. :-D

Alexis

Ciara said...

Hi Alexis! I agree with Anna--the cover gods have smiled upon you. They match the great stories between the pages. I'm looking forward to Vampire Vendetta!

Alexis Morgan said...

Thanks, Ciara! I've been known to send the art department chocolate on occassion. Don't know that it helps--but it sure doesn't hurt--
:-D

Alexis

Laurie said...

I hope it's not too late to say "Hi"
I love the comment someone made (maybe NM?) about how you write the best warriors...I agree!

Alexis Morgan said...

Laurie--
It's never too late to say hi! Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you like my guys so much--

Alexis

Linda Andrews said...

What an intriguing idea for a series. Thanks for posting the covers now I know which books to look for. But picking which one to read first is going to be difficult.

Jessa Slade said...

I love that you've made the Paladins pay such a high price. It's a great reminder that power has a price tag.

I was so surprised when you let Barak live! Bad guy = dead, usually :) But like making the Paladins pay for their power, I really appreciate the idea that we get a lot of chances to make good. Well, until we turn irredeemably evil, but you know what I mean ;)

Alexis Morgan said...

Linda, I hope you enjoy my stories if you get a chance to give them a try.

Jessa--I think part of what makes the warrior heroes and heroines in paranormal romance/fantasy/urban fantasy work is the high price to be paid for the powers the characters are given.

And yeah, I was surprised, too, when Barak convinced me not to kill him off. It also changed the dynamics of the series because once you see the enemy as an individual it gets harder to hate him.

Alexis

Lil said...

I am impressed when a writer can make a reader see a villain from previous works in a more sympathetic light.

Mt St Helens was really eerie when a group of us were taken on a field trip there in 1986. You could still see the odd abandoned car and everything covered in ash. The dead trees looked like skeletons and there was very little new growth. It was a lasting image.

Alexis Morgan said...

Lil--
Although I live in the Pacific NW, I didn't go see the mountain up close until 2005. Even after all that time, it was amazing how little had come back from the explosion. Plants peek up here and there, but you can tell they were just starting to take hold. The freakiest part was watching the movie on the eruption at the visitor center and then having the screen roll up into the ceiling and the curtain opening to reveal the mountain sitting right outside. My first thought was to wonder how much protection that glass would offer if things went bad quickly. :-o

Alexis