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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Interview with author Nancy Northcott and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Nancy Northcott to RFTC. With the recent release Guardian, Nancy has stopped by to answer a few question. Please give her a warm welcome.

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy and YA romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes she loves in The Protectors, her new contemporary mage series from Grand Central Forever Yours.

Her debut novel, Renegade, received a starred review from Library Journal. The reviewer called it “genre writing at its best.” Nancy is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and has won the Maggie, the Molly, the Emerald City Opener, and Put Your Heart in a Book.

Married since 1987, Nancy and her husband have one son, a bossy dog, and a house full of books.

Places to find Nancy:

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Thanks for having me, Danielle. I'm excited to be here today.

I've been a book geek all my life. I grew up in a small town not unlike the one in my books, Wayfarer, except that the businesses in my hometown didn't have magical or mystical themes.

My reading tastes run the gamut from nonfiction, especially history, to pretty much all forms of genre fiction except horror. I read a lot of fantasy and romance. Since discovering comic books at age seven, I've loved superheroes. My mages, with their extraordinary abilities, are sort of like superheroes on a smaller scale.

Did you always want to be a writer?
No. I used to be a lawyer. I started writing superhero fan fiction in my twenties and slowly progressed from there to creating my own worlds and characters.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
Plotter with a dollop of pantser. *g* I plot the main turning points of both the external plot and the relationship. If I get an idea I like better as I write, though, I'm open to reworking that structure.

Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes they come from playing “what if” with news stories or features or genre conventions. Sometimes they're deliberately constructed.

In Renegade, I started with the fugitive who's really a hero and gave him a sheriff for a heroine so he couldn't immediately turn her into an ally. Southeastern Georgia became the setting because I wanted a place that could be spooky and hadn't been used much, which led me to the Okefenokee Swamp. In turn, that rural setting led to the mages having nature-based powers.

Protector, my novella, grew out of news coverage of the 2011 Honey Prairie fire in the Okefenokee. I admire wildland firefighters, so the heroine is a firefighter and the hero, a helicopter pilot, makes water drops on the fire. I should add that both of them are mages.

The hero of Guardian, Dr. Stefan Harper, first appeared in Renegade, but I created his heroine, FBI Special Agent Camellia “Mel” Wray, by working backward from Stefan's established traits. He loves music, so it made sense that she might also and that they could've met because of it. They also needed conflict, though, so I looked for something that would raise barriers. That led me to pair my mage hero with a woman who doesn't believe in magic or trust anything paranormal.

To make things even harder for them, I made them former lovers who broke up because he couldn't tell her about his magic. His sneaking around to study magical healing led her to think he was unfaithful, and because he knew she couldn't accept the truth, he let her think that.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
#Guardian. Torn apart by magic. Reunited by murder. A second chance at love. #mages #ghouls #hotromance #romanticsuspense

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love all subgenres of romance but lean most heavily toward paranormal/fantasy, historical, and romantic suspense. I read quite a few thrillers and a fair amount of fantasy.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I don't read a lot of mainstream fiction because I find much of it so depressing, but this book grabbed me when I was in high school, and I still love it.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
The ones where characters are being hurt, either physically or emotionally. If those scenes are going to carry the importance they should, the writer can't pull punches, but going there in my head, to the depth that's necessary to convey the full extent of the hero or heroine's pain, is very difficult.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Thanks to having been in RWA for while, I've had the pleasure of meeting or emailing with many authors I admire, so I'll pick from those I haven't had the chance to chat with yet. There are quite a few I could name, but I'll go with the first three who came to mind today.

Harper Lee has to be on the list, of course. She wrote my favorite book, and I'd love to talk to her about how she came ot write it and why she never wrote another.

I'd pick Gena Showalter because I enjoy the way she combined Greek mythology, action-adventure, and hot romance into the Lords of the Underworld. I also admire the way she put a futuristic spin, again with hot romance and action-adventure, on vampires, aliens and secret agents with her Alien Huntress series.

Karin Slaughter writes suspense rather romance, but I love the characters and conflict, as well as the action, in her Will Trent series. There's a romantic arc--I rarely read any fiction that doesn't have one--but it progresses over several books.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
The story arc in the Protectors series has a projected total of seven full-length novels and possibly a few more novellas. Right now, I'm working on the next novel. The working title is Warrior, and its hero is Will Davis, the mage archaeologist, ace researcher, and ladies' man we've seen in the previous books. We'll see what kind of woman it takes to pierce his shell of breezy charm and touch his heart.

Thank you again for having me here today, Danielle!

Renegade's hero and heroine are opponents turned lovers. Protector is about friends becoming lovers, and Guardian centers on a second chance at love. What's your favorite romance theme?


Stefan Harper swore an oath to protect the mage world and so was forced to hide his powerful magic from the beautiful Mundane woman he loved as a student. Backed into a corner one painful night long ago, he let Mel believe he’d been unfaithful rather than put her at risk by revealing who—and what—he was. Now she’s back, and the attraction burns hotter than ever.


FBI agent Camellia “Mel” Wray has vowed to avenge an old friend’s brutal murder. When the investigation requires forensic consultation by the only man she ever loved—and lost—one look at the gorgeous medical expert makes Mel realize he’s still impossible to resist—and still harboring a secret after all these years.


Caught in a deadly ghoul trap, Stefan faces a desperate choice. To save the woman he loves, he must take the risk he avoided years before and reveal the full extent of his powers. Will Mel accept the unbelievable and trust him? Or will love cost them everything?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo | iTunes |
Check out the Protectors series:
Click for info.

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 2 lucky people will win an eBook copy of Protector

To Enter: 
  • Please answer the question: What's your favorite romance theme?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. As far as romance themes I'm a sucker for two characters finding themselves in a tough situation and while fighting to survive fall for each other. Thanks for a wonderful interview! Can't wait to read the series.

  2. I like the theme of instant dislike while being attracted to each other. I love the gradual progression to HEA.

    1. Sebella, the opponents to lovers theme can be a lot of fun. It's interesting to watch that attitude become something else.

  3. Melissa, I think one reason I read so much romantic suspense is because of just what you describe. The characters often have their backs to the wall and fall for each other while they're focused on survival. Love sort of sneaks up on them. That's what happens with Val and Griff in Renegade, the first book in the series. I hope you enjoy the books.

    1. Sorry I couldn't get the reply box to load properly, Melissa.

  4. I like stories where the hero feels duty bound to stay away from the heroine but can't (i must be mean).

    1. Linda, LOL! If the hero and heroine don't suffer a bit on the way to HEA, the ending doesn't have as much punch. At least for me, but I notice I've gravitated more to darker stories in recent years.

  5. Congrats Nancy on the new release!!! I love the reunited lovers who are forced to work w/ each other and finally get the hash out they need to fall back in love :)

    1. Thanks, Erin! This is the first reunited lovers story I've written, but I enjoyed working on it.

  6. i love enemies to lovers stories

  7. I like friends to lovers stories.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Hey, lookeee here! Two of my fave peeps in one spot. Hi Dani! Hi Nancy!Dani, great interview. Nancy, wonderful answers and huge congratulations on the release of GUARDIAN I loved RENEGADE. I loved reading about what books you like - that's always fascinating with writers, isn't it? Sometimes the influence is overt and sometimes it's more subtle - but it's nearly always there.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I'm glad you liked it. I also enjoy knowing what writers read. Sometimes, as you say, the threads are obvious, but not always. Still, it's fun to look.

  9. I love all things paranormal. I am looking forward to reading this series. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

    1. Eva, I love a lot of paranormal elements, too. I enjoyed being here, and I hope you like the books.

  10. Variations of Beauty and the Beast.

  11. One of my favorites is reunited lovers, especially when there is a lot to overcome. Thanks for the contest and congrats.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I think Stefan and Mel have a good bit to overcome, and that was part of the pleasure of writing their story.

  12. My favorite romance is paranormal romance...has been for a very long time!

  13. I love ll romance but I do love the secret baby theme.

  14. I love marriage of convenience stories.

  15. I have many favorite romance of them are: enemies to lovers stories.