Monday, July 16, 2018

Review Wyvern's Angel - Interview with Deborah Cooke

Unless you've been living under a rock you know that Deb Cooke/Claire Delacroix is my all time favorite author. I LOVE everything she writes, historical, paranormal, urban fantasy contemporary, YA. I started off reading her historical romance with just a touch of woo woo and fell in love with her world(s) her characters and her stories and like many established authors today has decided to go indie all the way. We touch on that topic during our chat so I hope you take the time to read the interview and my review of the latest in her Dragon Shape Shifter Princesses of Incedium series, Wyvern's Angel.

Publisher: Deborah A. Cooke
Release Date: 5-29-2018
The Dragons of Incedium #9
Source: Author for review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo
Incendium exclusive website
Bond is a secret spy for the Gloria Furore space pirates, a former member of Princess Anguissa’s crew, and a fallen angel with a love of pleasure. His wings will be returned once he meets the Host and completes his mission—but Bond isn’t counting on the distracting allure of a dragon shifter princess determined to seduce him. Percipia has no interest in romance or love, but knows she has to claim the Seed and fulfill her obligation to her kind by conceiving a child. But Bond isn’t interested in a quick seduction—he prefers to savor every moment—and the Gloria Furore soon catches up with him. Being with Bond makes Percipia feel more alive than she ever has and she soon realizes she is falling in love. Being with Percipia is too much like heaven for Bond to resist giving her all she wants from him…but when they are attacked and Bond must choose, will he save Percipia or complete his quest at any cost?

Interview with Deb:

Deb hi! Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy.
It’s been a while and you’ve been busy with multiple series going and being your own publisher and PR/Marketing person.
Hi Deb! Thanks so much for inviting me back for a visit - and yes, it has been a wild ride these past few years.

On the topic of publishing
You’ve decided to go all indie all the way, even re-releasing your out of print books.
Since I’ve continued some of the series that were originally launched by traditional publishers and continue to write in those worlds of mine, it’s ideal to have the entire series (or all the books in the world) available to readers as ebooks. There are still old print editions available for sale, but so many readers like their ebooks. :-) It also gives me the opportunity to fix any inconsistencies that have been discovered since the original publication, and to update the front and end matter about the series and the rest of my books. One of the really fun projects over the past few years has been making my graphical branding consistent across series and for each author brand. I love how the books look now.

What is the thing you miss least about traditional publishing?
I don’t miss building consensus. Whenever an author proposes a new series to a publisher, especially if it’s in a new direction for the author, everyone at the house needs to be convinced that it’s a good idea and good direction for the author brand before the work can be contracted. When I have an idea and want to write that book, I get impatient with those kinds of discussions, even though I recognize the power of having the whole team in agreement. I just want to start writing!

What is one thing you miss most about traditional publishing?
I miss having a talented team, each one bringing his or her skills to the challenge of taking my books out as well as possible. I always enjoyed talking to my editors about cover art and the various considerations behind the design, and loved having great copy editors, line editors and proofreaders. I’ve built a team of my own, but building and maintaining a team myself is a lot more work than having the publisher manage those details. Since I am my publisher now, it’s all on my plate.

It’s a growing trend for established authors to transition from brick & mortar to self-publishing and I can see the draw for new authors trying to get their foot in the door, but what attracts the tenured authors like yourself?
For me, it’s about having control over my work. I love managing my own author brands and choosing my creative direction. I love being able to update my book files, cover copy and/or covers at any time, if I feel it needs to be done. The money is better and it’s more consistently paid, plus I can choose my own objectives. I don’t care as much about bestseller lists, for example, as my publishers always did. Being my own publisher means I can focus on the stories I want to tell and earn a living doing it.

An oldie but goodie Dragonfire series staring your hunky PYR are being republished.
Here’s a link to their website
Are these being republished in all formats?
The first eight Dragonfire novels were originally published in mass market and in ebook format. They’re being republished this summer in ebook, trade paperback and in hardcover collector’s editions. The other three volumes that complete the series are available in the same formats, and so will Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion when it’s published in October.

Are they getting updates or are they in their original state?
There are some minor changes, mostly corrections of continuity errors. Probably the biggest change is the addition of a scene to the prologue of Winter’s Kiss which was removed from the original edition but available to read on my website. Its now back in the book, where I think it should be.

Are you adding to the Dragonfire series? I seem to remember there were more possible stories to tell.
Yes, my plan was always to write more books featuring the Pyr. That plan was just put on hold while I awaited the rights reversions. The next series is called DragonFate and it will launch in 2019.

Let’s talk about the other dragons, from Incendium.
There are twelve dragon shape-shifter royal princesses.
Wyvern’s Angel was fabulous, a one sitting read that left me wanting more dragon tales.
I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Will there be only twelve novellas?
I’m not sure what the length of the series will be. There are short stories between each novella, and the novellas are longer than I’d initially expected - they’re really short books, coming close to 50K words instead of novellas at 25K. The series is stretching out over time a bit and I might wind it up with 9 novellas instead of the originally-anticipated 12. We’ll see.

You’ve never been shy about mixing genres and this series dips its toes in several, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal romance and a little urban fantasy too.
What’s the hardest thing author wise about mixing genres?
The hardest thing is definitely marketing the work. The more you mix subgenres and genres, the more the ultimate market is segmented and the smaller it tends to become. I find this interesting with books because I don’t think it’s true with movies. There is some more discoverability in digital books because they can be on the virtual shelves in more than one section, though. I love writing the Incendium books, but they haven’t really found their audience. If I was to think like a publisher, I’d stop the series, but I think like a writer, so will continue. :-)

Flatiron-5 Series-Pinterest Board
Let’s chat about your Flatiron series.
It’s set in the Flatiron building in Manhattan
Was it intentional that one of the biggest brick & mortar publisher’s shared the same address?
It’s not set in that building, Deb. It’s set in the Flatiron district, where there are a number of buildings that could host the fictional fitness club. I was published by TOR once upon a time (which is owned by Macmillan) and did visit the Flatiron building several times during the time we worked together. I really liked the neighborhood which is distinct from other areas in Manhattan. Because so many buildings in that area have metal frames, they’re not as tall as the skyscrapers in midtown, plus they have wonderful period details. The area revitalized and gentrified over the time I was writing those books (The Prometheus Project) and it was interesting to see how much it had changed each time I visited.

Ah thanks for clearing that up Deb, I’ve never visited NYC so I wondered just how huge the building was. For those who didn’t know about the Flat Iron District like me click HERE to learn about it.
For readers who don’t know, explain how the partners of F5 came to be.
Most of the partners were friends in college, but didn’t find jobs right away, or didn’t like the jobs offered to them. They decided instead to start a business together and chose to establish a high-end fitness club. Tyler is the finance guy - he’s the only one with a day job. Kyle is the enthusiastic idea guy and he found Damon when he was studying the potential competition before F5 opened. Damon has experience in fitness clubs so is the voice of reason and also has a talent for design. Cassie, the only woman, is their marketing guru, and Theo is the one with the media and entertainment connections. They’re all attractive fitness buffs themselves, and I like how they work together.

There is now a spin-off of this series, The Secret Heart Ink series of novellas. How do they relate to F5 and can they be read as stand alones or do readers need to read F5 first?
Secret Heart Ink is a series of shorter books (around 50K while the F5 books are closer to 100K in length) featuring the people who get a special tattoo from Chynna, who opened a tattoo shop at F5 in book #3 of that series, In the Midnight Hour. The idea is that the tattoo brings true love to the bearer, but there are skeptics. Cassie got the first one in In the Midnight Hour, which will yield results in her book, Some Guys Have All the Luck. In the meantime, Chynna has given away a few more, beginning with the Secret Heart Ink book, Snowbound. The second book is Spring Fever and the third will be out later this summer. It’s called One Hot Summer Night. These stories feature three friends from a little town in Maine, who get tattoos on a girls’ weekend in New York.

One of the fun things about Secret Heart Ink is that Chynna, the tattoo artist, has come from the world of Dragonfire. In Whisper Kiss, she’s the owner of the tattoo shop where the heroine, Rox, works. I really liked Chynna and wanted to give her a little more opportunity to shine. She’s sold the shop by now and has a pet raven with a talent for choosing tarot cards. I’m looking forward to those two sharing more of their story.

The Secret Heart Ink series stands on its own in that you don’t have to read the F5 books to read the Secret Heart Ink stories. It’s always best to read my individual series in order, as I tend to provide updates on continuing characters. If you want to read the books in the F5 world in the order they occur, though, both Snowbound and Spring Fever come after In the Midnight Hour, then One Hot Summer Night is set after Some Guys Have All the Luck.

Deb thanks so much for letting me pick your brain I can’t wait to see what’s up next from you.
Thanks for doing the interview, Deb! It’s always a treat to chat with you. 

My Review of Wyvern's Angel:

Wyvern’s Angel
Deborah Cook
Series catch-up:
Far away on the world of Incendium King Ouros and Queen Ignita have twelve daughters, all beautiful all with special talents and most importantly all dragon shape-shifters. As the daughters reach maturity each has one and only one carrier of the seed the male who will father their child. And if they’re lucky he may also be their Heartkeeper. These are their stories.

Cooke’s latest dragon shifter tale continues to be a mix of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal romance and stars Percepia; Princess number five and her Angel mate, Bond. It’s a space dragon drama that will draw readers in with a fluent narrative an imaginative well mapped out world, an impressive and inventive storytelling style and a vast stable of interesting characters. The tale feels futuristic a techie wonderland yet there is some chivalry and dialogue that hails from a bygone era plus readers get a side-line of unrequited love and betrayal thrown in for good measure. This couple is especially memorable because they face some rather unique obstacles. It’s easily a one sitting read and although the series should be read in order it is possible to skip around a bit.

Fifth daughter to the King of Incendium, Princess Percepia would much rather read and study then worry about propagating the next generation of dragon shape-shifters. In fact if the carrier of the seed meant only for her never arrives she’ll be more than happy. That is of course until it happens, before she met and yearned for the enigmatic, dangerous and apparently on the run, future father of her child. She does know she needs to hide her identity, what she doesn’t know however may kill her. Bond is on a special assignment on loan from the celestial realm gathering information on the diabolical space pirates known as the Gloria Furore, he wishes he had time for more fact finding but he’s due to get his wings back and frankly he can’t wait to be away from this lethal place and go home. That is until he meets the beautiful, bold and lethal (thank you very much for saving his hide) Diverta. And he decides that her allure is too great and even though he won’t remember their pairing when he returns home he can’t deny her or himself the fire between them. He just doesn’t have a clue how hot her fire can burn.

Connect with Deb - Website- Facebook - Twitter
Meet Deb:
Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, #1 Kindle Bestselling, KOBO Bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ Bestselling Author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012. She is on the RWA Honor Roll.

Deborah thinks a lot about publishing and writing, and also knits too much.

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  1. I have switched back to blogger comments so unfortunately all the previous comments have been lost :(

  2. Great interview and review! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I think I listened to and enjoyed the first book in this series. Lovely interview DEbbie.I am glad to see you liked it.

  4. Many authors are switching to Indie and why not when it rewards them so well, even if it is a little more work. This latest addition to the series sounds like anther happy read and the mix of genre would work well I'd think.

  5. Oh the spin off series sounds like a lot of fun :)