Today, I’m happy to welcome Daphne Award-winning author and Tennessee native Tes Hilaire (although she was “displaced” to the cold, far environs of upstate New York at an early age and had to make her way South again). Tes’ new paranormal romance, Deliver Me From Darkness, was released Feb. 1 by Sourcebooks Casablanca. For more on Tes, you can visit her website at www.teshilaire.com, or read the Q&A below, of course!
Sourcebooks Casablanca is giving away two copies of Deliver Me from Darkness to commenters today, so be sure and leave your email in a comment at the end!
ABOUT DELIVER ME FROM DARKNESS: A stranger in the night… He had once been a warrior of the Light, once of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep. Comes knocking on the door… She is light and bright everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.
Now, let’s hear from Tes!
Congratulations on the upcoming release of your debut Deliver Me from Darkness! What has been the biggest surprise of your path to publication?
Oh my, the call? No, truly. I always hoped I’d have that moment, I even believed I would, eventually, but after having so many almost moments I’d convinced myself to be happy with the journey and to just keep plugging away. So when Leah Hultenschmidt called and told me Sourcebooks wanted to buy Deliver Me from Darkness, I think it took me a good minute or two to form a coherent sentence!
Give us the “elevator pitch” for the book.
Vigilante vampire and fallen “angel” warrior Roland yearns for, but doesn’t believe in, redemption for his soul—until the day his soul-mate is delivered to his door.
What inspired your creation of the Paladin?
Deliver Me from Darkness didn’t start off as a “warriors” book. It actually started with Roland and Karissa’s story. It wasn’t until I’d finished the first chapter and saw that though their chemistry was sizzling, that I needed more. And there was Logan, my hero’s best friend. I knew he had supernatural powers, knew he was some sort of hunter or protector, but I didn’t know he was a part of something greater or that Roland had been too before being turned. That’s when the idea of the warrior angle came in. Still, it didn’t fully form until I stumbled upon an 8th century piece of literature called The Song of Roland. From that song came the seeds for my mythos; the beginning of my version of the Paladin and the inspiration for the betrayal that has its roots in a hatred so deep that my warriors still fight against its devastating effects thirteen centuries later.
Which comes first for you—the plot or the characters?
The characters, though I’ve learned—the hard way—that it’s a symbiotic relationship. You can have the best plot in the world and it’s going nowhere if your characters are weak or don’t fit the role. Similarly, you can have the most interesting characters out there but without a strong plot the story falls flat.
What’s been your biggest fangirl moment (or who might make you have one)?
I’ve had a good number of WOW moments when I realize that I’m interacting with some of my favorite authors out there, but the biggest moment thus far has to be sitting at the Golden Heart/RITA awards and J.R. Ward slipping in and sitting directly behind me. Chicken that I was, I didn’t turn and introduce myself, but that’s okay, I probably would have stumbled over my tongue.
What’s on your bookstand—what are you reading now?
What’s not? I swear it’s hard to reach my reading light the pile is so high. In the eclectic stack you’ll find anything from Ilona Andrew’s Edge series (which I really can’t classify, fantasy? Romance? Urban?), to Benjamin Tate’s epic fantasy, Leaves of Flame, to Suzanne Brockmann’s romantic suspense, Breaking the Rules, to Laura Resnick’s humorous Urban Fantasy, Vamparazzi, to…okay, enough. But as you can see, I am in danger of being crushed beneath the pile, which is why I’ve vowed to start using my e-reader more!
What’s next for you, publishing-wise?
Well, I just turned in book two in the Paladin Warrior series. Deliver Me from Temptation picks up soon after Deliver Me from Darkness ends and explores Logan’s story as he learns that there is so much more to life than duty!
Thanks, Tes! Want to win a copy of Deliver Me from Darkness? Leave a comment and tell me your favorite paranormal warrior (I love those boys from the Black Dagger Brotherhood and would TOTALLY have had a J.R. Ward fangirl moment). You know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!