All Things Paranormal

All Things Paranormal

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Interview with Author Nancy Holzner

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Author of the
Deadtown series, Nancy Holzner on her promotional
tour for Deadstone.

At the end of the interview there will be a link to take
part in the giveaway Nancy is holding.

A tour-wide giveaway- readers can enter at each stop.
Nancy is offering 5 book giveaways- 5 winners.
Each of five winners gets his/her choice of a signed copy of Deadtown, Hellforged, or Bloodstone.
This giveaway is open to US only

1. Who is Nancy Holzner, really?

I'm a former medievalist who's also worked as a high-school teacher, college admissions counselor, copyeditor, technical writer, and corporate trainer. I grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts, but I've also lived in Boston, London, Alabama, and the Finger Lakes region of New York (my current home). I'm a dog person, although I don't have a dog right now. I like reading, wine, going for long walks, and listening to classical music. I'm more of a night owl than an early bird, although I seem to do my best writing in the morning. I drink a lot of coffee.

2. Where did you get your inspiration from for the Deadtown series?

The inspiration came from several places. I was reading the blog of an agent who was listing some of her pet peeves in query letters, and one of the things she said was that she didn't like the phrase “So-and-so wrestles with his own personal demons”--because who else would wrestle with your personal demons besides you? I decided to take her rhetorical question literally and came up with the idea of a character whose job it is to kill other people's personal demons. (There have been days when I've wished there was a “Personal Demon Extermination” listing in the Yellow Pages!)
I knew I wanted my main character to be a shapeshifter, and I found the legend I wanted for her foundational mythology in the Mabinogion, a medieval collection of early Welsh tales and legends. Vicky is descended from Ceridwen a witch/goddess who could change her form into any shape she wanted. I chose Boston for a setting because I'd lived there and thought it would be fun to see what happened if that city suddenly had to acknowledge the existence of paranormals in their midst.
When I put together those three elements—a shapeshifting demon slayer descended from Ceridwen and living in Boston—the story started to emerge in my mind.

3.  Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?

I think that writer's block happens when a writer loses his or her perspective on the story. I tend to get stuck when I take too high-level a view, like I'm way above the characters looking down at them instead of down on the ground with them, experiencing what they're experiencing. To get back into the story, I'll reread the previous scene, asking myself what the characters are thinking and feeling, and taking notes. When I'm clear on what's going on with the characters at the start of the scene that's been giving me trouble, I can usually adjust the scene and get things moving again.

4. Bloodstone is the third in the series, do you have a fourth planned?

There will be a fourth book, and I'm putting the finishing touches on the manuscript now. It's called Darklands, and it's scheduled for release next summer. In it, Vicky travels to Annwn, the Welsh realm of the dead, to prevent the return of an old enemy.  I hope to continue the series for at least one or two more books after Darklands.

5. While working on a story, do you type directly onto the computer or are there notebooks and plot ideas jotted down in various places?

I work directly on the computer. For years, I freelanced as a copyeditor, and most of the editing work I did was electronic, not on paper. I got very used to reading and writing and editing on a screen. These days, I do most of my writing on my Asus Eee netbook, which is small and very portable,  and has a long battery life, so I can write wherever I happen to be.

6.  What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/ editing?

I listen to opera. I'm a real opera fanatic, especially Italian opera. I can't listen to opera when I write, because it demands my full attention—and sometimes makes me cry. I always say that, when I listen to opera, if I'm crying I know I'm having a good time.

7.  If you had one piece of advice for all those writers sitting out there procrastinating about making that first submission, what would it be?

When you say that someone is procrastinating, I'm assuming that  the writing is in fact ready to go—that it's been workshopped and critiqued and revised and polished and is truly as good as the writer can make it. If that's the case, the thing to keep in mind is that rejection is part of the process. All writers experience it. When a rejection arrives, think, “OK, this is part of living a writer's life” and (this part is important) send out the piece of writing to the next agent or editor on your list. A combination of care (that is, producing polished work) and persistence will eventually lead to publishing success.

8. Tell us about the Deadtown series in a paragraph or less.

Shapeshifter Victory Vaughn lives in Boston's Deadtown section, along with her vampire roommate; her teenage zombie apprentice; her on-again/off-again boyfriend, a workaholic werewolf lawyer; and several thousand other paranormals. Vicky spends her nights killing other people's personal demons for a living. But bigger, nastier threats are looming over Boston—and to conquer them, Vicky must face the demons of her own past.

9. What is your favourite scene in the series so far? 

I can't say that I have a single favorite scene. Some of the scenes that have been the most fun to write are those that take place in Creature Comforts, a monster bar in the New Combat Zone, which is the no-man's land between the checkpoints into Deadtown and human-controlled Boston. I also really enjoy writing scenes that show Vicky entering clients' dreams to kill the demons that cause nightmares—anything can happen in a dream.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today, Nancy!  J

Thank you very much for inviting me to stop by!

By Nancy Holzner
Book 3 Deadtown Series
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-10: 044102100X
ISBN-13: 978-0441021000

Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.

As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…

Follow this link to enter the draw:


  1. Hi, Jacqueline! Thanks for inviting me to visit your blog, and thanks for the interesting interview questions. I loved your lake photos, by the way. I could use a break like that! :)

  2. Happy to have you, Nancy!
    I'll book two cabins the next time I'm going and you can vanish right along with me :) lol