Yazfest

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Hey Gang,
You’ve heard me talk about Yasmine Galenorn a lot this past year. She’s the one who wrote “Witchling.” Her editor asked me for a blurb for the book, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Her new book Changeling will be out the same day as my Charmed & Deadly (June 5, 2007), and we hang out on the witchy chicks blog (http://witchychicks.blogspot.com)

She’s a cool chick and I wanted you all to get to know here better. Here’s what she had to say about herself:

I write paranormal romance/urban fantasy and paranormal mysteries under my own name—Yasmine Galenorn, and chick-lit cozies under the name of India Ink. While writing three different genres—four if you count my nonfiction—may seem scattered to some, I feel it allows me to expand my horizons and explore a lot of different avenues that fascinate me, and I’d like to branch out even more.

From the time I was young, I wanted to be a fantasy/science fiction writer, but after writing seven novels that ended up in the closet, I accidentally turned my hand to nonfiction and wrote eight metaphysical books. I had no intention of writing nonfiction, but an idea struck me and, frustrated by the lack of success with my novels, I decided to send it in to an editor at a small publishing house. They picked up the book and just like that, my career in nonfiction was born.

In late 2000, I’d had the year from hell. Between the months of November and December, my husband was laid off from his job, told he had a terminal condition (he didn’t—it was a misdiagnosis, but the terror of that left its mark on our hearts), and my mother died after a two-year bout with cancer. One week after her death, I received a contract for my eighth nonfiction book and they wanted it in six weeks. I had no choice—we needed the money. I wrote the book and burnt out big time.

Longing to write something fun, longing to return to fiction, I sat down at the computer and started typing away, not sure what I was writing and not caring. Within a few pages, I had the beginnings of a paranormal mystery. After three chapters, I asked an agent friend of mine what he thought and he not only encouraged me to finish the book, but line-edited it to teach me how to pace a mystery (considering I’d never in the world thought of writing one before, I had no clear concept on how to work the structure). I finished the book, all six drafts of it, and a friend’s agent took me on as her client and within three weeks, I had a three-book contract with Berkley Prime Crime. Bingo—the first Chintz ‘n China book—Ghost of a Chance—was born, and with it, my mystery career took off.

After a year or so, I decided I wanted to branch out. I suggested a new series to my editor and she talked it over with marketing. Nope, they weren’t interested but, she said, they had another idea—one they wanted me to try. Everything else would be up to me except the setting. They just wanted a cozy, chick-lit type of series set in a bath and beauty shop—the shop itself was left to my imagination. So I decided, even though I prefer writing paranormal, to give it a shot. And bingo, the Bath & Body Series was born. Since it was in the same imprint as the Chintz ‘n China series, marketing insisted on a pen name. I didn’t like the idea, but told them as long as I got to pick the name, I’d do it. Hence, my alter ego of India Ink was born.

Another year went by and, still writing the first two series, I realized that I really wanted to break into the urban fantasy market—the market I love to read. I was sitting in the living room one night when three sisters showed up in my mind while I was watching a movie and introduced themselves as the D’Artigo girls. They were half-human, half-Fae, they said, and one was a witch, one was a werecat, and the third was a vampire, but she hadn’t always been a vampire. They weren’t too good at their jobs as secret agents with the Otherworld Intelligence Agency, they confessed, but they tried. And oh, by the way, there were these demons trying to get through the portals to destroy Earth and their home—Otherworld—and would I tell their story?

Since this sort of thing is par for the course when you’re a writer, I didn’t even blink, just wrote everything down. A few days later I approached my agent and editor and told them, “I’ve got an idea…think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Charlie’s Angels, toss in a little I Love Lucy as well as a bit of erotica and…well…that’s what this series would be.” I wrote up a proposal, sent it in, and bingo, the Sisters of the Moon series took off.

And now? There are always new paths to tread, as well as old, beloved ones to continue on. Since I’m good at multi-tasking, I figure I can run through a half-dozen worlds at once, no problem. As long as I have enough caffeine. ~grins~

Yasmine

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About Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. She is also in the anthology Spirited, and the proceeds go to help literacy. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

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