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Rebecca York Interview

Hi Rebecca and welcome to Fallen Angel Reviews.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Iím a five-hundred-year old elf who found out I can sell my life stories in the romance market. Um--just kidding. Iím a full-time writer who loves her job.
You have several projects in the works. Please tell us about them.

Yes, Iím working on several books at the moment. My method is to write as fast as I can, then put the book aside and pick up something else. When I come back to the original work, I can look at it very objectively. Itís like someone else wrote the material, so I can edit very objectively. I used to write slowly, then do a lot of editing. Iíve figured out that I can write much fasterĖbut I canít shorten the editing process. I do a complete edit of the book on the screen. Then I print it out about three times, editing each version and putting the changes back into the computer.

Right now, Iím also finishing up an Intrigue novella, "Luke," in DESERT SONS, with Patricia Rosemoor and Ann Voss Peterson. Itís another one of the books where the three of us have a mystery running through three fast-paced stories. When a famous pueblo painter, Joe Cordova, is terrorized by a witch and murdered in the desert, three men and women are pulled into the investigation.

My heroine is Ashley Donaldson, who was adopted by a couple in Los Angeles. Her mother was a pueblo Indian, and Ashley wants to learn about her heritage, so she came back to New Mexico. When Joe is killed, sheís forced to work with his nephew, Luke Cordova, a former bad boy who spent five years in prison for a robbery he didnít commit. Of course, Luke and Ashley have been attracted to each other but unable to admit their feelingsĖpartly because Luke thinks that a woman like Ashley canít possibly be interested in him. During the murder investigation, they draw closer and finally realize they are in love.

Iím also deep into another single title for Berkley. I love exploring various paranormal themes. This book, which Iíve called SOUL MATES (but Berkley will probably change the title), is about sex-linked telepaths who discover their powers and then must develop and use them to prevent sinister forces from destroying them. The story has been in my head for a long time, and it has the same emotional intensity of my werewolf books.

Iím also starting to work on some proposals for Intrigue. One of them is going to be another vampire story, since I loved doing the vampire novella in IMMORTAL BAD BOYS for Brava.

How did the 43 Light Street series for Harlequin Intrigue become such a long running series?

Hum. Maybe you should ask the readers?

I started 43 Light Street as a three-book series about a psychologist, a private detective, and a lawyer who helped each other with cases. After the first books were popular with Intrigue readers, the editor let me expand the series to other people who worked in the building.

Over the life of the series, itís also expanded to include the agents for a high tech company called Randolph Security. Randolph became closely involved with The Light Street Detective Agency because Cameron Randolph, who owns the security company, is married to Jo OíMalley, who founded the detective agency. Cam is a wildly creative inventor, and heís got a space alien named Thorn Devereaux on his staff. Between them, they can come up with any kind of unusual equipment I need for my plots.

I also use the Light Street Foundation to launch some stories. The foundation administers several charitable endeavors. Recently, for example, they started a program to help exonerate falsely convicted criminalsĖwhich led to my story, INTIMATE STRANGERS. In the Light Street series, I have a whole cast of characters I can rely on. If I need a doctor or a lawyer or a hard-bitten secret agent, I have them. Also, I donít have to abandon my characters when their book is over. They can play secondary roles in my new stories. So readers get to keep up with previous characters they know and like.

I do get requests from readers that I use some of the characters who arenít seen too often. I had a lot of trouble finding a new role for Dan Cassidy, who started out in TRIAL BY FIRE as a stateís attorney. I had him quit his job and join Light Street. Now heís a troubleshooting lawyer for Light Street.

Another factor in keeping the series fresh and creative is my expanding it from the original concept to include the new companies that are associated with Light Street and the new locations for stories.

I can see from your website that readers will get another book in the Moon series. What can you tell us about the upcoming Crimson Moon?

CRIMSON MOON, my next single-title Berkley is the fourth book in my Moon ďtrilogy.Ē One thing I want to say is that I didnít set out to write a werewolf series. The idea for KILLING MOONĖa werewolf private eye who used his wolf senses to solve crimes--grabbed me by the throat and wouldnít let me go. After I sold it to Berkley, editor Cindy Hwang wanted more werewolf books from me, so Iíve expanded my lycanthropy universe. CRIMSON MOON is about Ross and Adam Marshallís brother, the one they thought was killed in a bar fight. He escaped from the hospital morgue and took the opportunity to create a new identity for himselfĖas Sam Morgan, a kind of Robin Hood thief who delights in robbing rich men whose companies rape the environment. He meets his lifemate, Olivia Woodlock, because she tricks him into robbing her fatherís houseĖso she can blackmail him into pulling off a major heist for her. But Olivia Woodlock has secrets of her own, secrets that can destroy both her and Sam. I knew I had to make Sam different from his brothers, because I want my stories to be different. And I wanted to make the conflict in the story different, too. Sam has issues to deal with that his brothers havenít faced.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

All my writing comes from inside meĖin that itís based on my values and my sensibilities. In a sense, my heroines are what I would like to be without all my faults.

And I travel a lotĖpartly to collect experiences and make sure that the settings of my books are correct. There are things about a place you will never learn unless youíve been there. Like what the interior of a Masai hut in Kenya is really like. Or what itís like to be in the far north in the middle of summer when the sun never sets.

But my imagination plays a big part too. I imagine situations that Iíd never get into in real life and write about them in my books. Iíve never been a werewolf, but I spend a lot of time thinking about what it would be like. And ever since my early science fiction and fantasy reading, Iíve love the idea of being a telepath.

What to you is the best thing about being a writer, and the worst?

I love being paid to make up stories and write them down. I love reaching over the side of the bed and picking up my laptopĖand Iím ready to work. (I sleep in a tee shirt. So in summer I just have to pull on a pair of shorts to look dressed. In winter, its sweatpants.) As a writer, you can work any time you want. You can take your work with you anywhereĖif you have an Alphasmart.

The problem is, your work IS ALWAYS THERE. I always feel like I should be working, and I have to force myself to walk away from the computer and do other stuff. The writing life is never exactly what you want. Either youíre worried about not having enough contracts. Or you are being pushed to do more work than youíd like. Well, thatís partially my fault because I am writing for three houses.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

I canít imagine not writing. I like to play with my grandkids. Travel. Do craft projects. I used to garden, but Iíve confined that more and more to my garden roomĖwhere I can sit among small trees and flowers and not have to get too hot or too cold or bitten by insects.

If you had a chance to either go to the past or the future, which would you choose? Any particular year?

Just visit? Or would I have to live there? I do like time travel stories, but I fear I wouldnít like life without all my modern conveniences. And I think going into the future would put anyone at an enormous disadvantage because there would be so many technological innovations to cope with. Just think about how much life has changed in the past few years. Would you have thought people would be walking around carrying cell phones and bottles of water?

Do you plan your stories ahead of time, scene by scene, or do you sit and let the story just flow?

I try to plan my stories scene by scene. If Iím writing a complicated plot, itís difficult to simply plunge in and make it come out right. My "outline" never entirely holds up, though. Iím in the process of adding scenes near the beginning of my SOUL MATES story because I need to introduce some plot elements earlier than I thought.

Following that question, do you write from beginning to end or as the story comes to you?

Well, I partially answered that question above. I try to write from beginning to end because there are always scenes I want to write more than others. So I reward myself for writing the less fun ones by writing the more fun ones. But quite often I do have to go back and put in scenes or add material to scenes to make the plot work. Or I have to work more on a characterís traits so that his actions will be believable.

When a book is released do you have any special tradition?

Not really. My husband always wants to go out to dinner, though. So we often do that.

What question would you love to answer that I didn't ask?

I feel really lucky right now. The market is at a perfect place for me. I can write the paranormal stories that I love. And I donít have to pull back on the sensuality. When I first started at Intrigue, my editor wanted me to make my love scenes shorter. It was a great day for me when she asked me to make one longer!

For more information about Rebecca York, check out her website

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