Friday, December 20, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Denise Tompkins

Author Denise Tompkins stopped by to talk about her book, VENGEANCE. It is an urban fantasy with strong paranormal romance elements and will release on December 24, 2013.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
VENGEANCE is the third book in the Niteclif Evolutions (LEGACY is book #1; WRATH is book #2). Maddy is faced with a whole new level of fear in the third book and must come to terms with what it means to choose to live and choose to love. It’s a great adventure with a few laughs, a little heartbreak and a fast-paced storyline that my editor called “compulsively readable.” (You have to love it when your editor can’t put your book down!)
I have read and reviewed LEGACY, and cannot wait to read VENGEANCE! Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?  (Read my 5* Review of LEGACY HERE)
While Maddy is the heroine in this series, VENGEANCE is, truly, Hellion’s story. It’s about his own vengeance against an unavoidable past and a plan for vengeance in an unknowable future. The fourth book, RETRIBUTION, is a strong continuation of VENGEANCE’s theme of reclaiming what you can of your life when it all seems out of control.
And while I absolutely love urban fantasy with an undying passion, I actually write across several different genres. I have three paranormal romances coming out with Harlequin Nocturne Cravings (12/1/13, 3/1/14, 5/1/14) and six contemporary romances coming out with Harlequin Blaze starting in (very roughly) September 2014. The underlying theme here is clearly romance. (LOL)
Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
I was one of the remarkably lucky authors who sold their first true full-length manuscript (LEGACY, Samhain Publishing, October 2011). I’ll share with you a little secret, though. I have several manuscripts I’ve written since then which haven’t sold, either full manuscripts or proposals. Being published doesn’t guarantee that everything you write in the future will sell, unfortunately. The market for the book of my heart absolutely fell apart roughly six months before that book was finished. I was devastated. But I still have that manuscript ready and waiting, and there’s a great deal of historical data that says the markets are cyclical and will come back around. 
As for sending the manuscript out myself, the first one I did. Then I landed with an agent who handled those things for me. I ended up working with a different agent roughly a year later. My current agent (whom I love madly) handles all of that now. My responsibility is to write.
Tough topic: do you have any rejection stories to share?
I have too many rejection stories to share! Even as a published author, rejection is a common theme in writing life. It’s a huge mistake to believe that once you sell, you’ll always sell. Every story has to be considered on its own merit. There are, of course, authors who have made it so big they’re beyond the norm and publishers will contract anything they write. That’s not everyday life, though. The best thing I can share from my rejection experiences is this: writing is truly, truly subjective. What one editor dismisses may be exactly what another is looking for. I’ve learned to read a rejection, set it aside and then come back to it a couple of days later and really consider it – try to extract the best information from it I can.
What is your writing routine like?
I don’t really have a routine. My personal life is a bit wonky, so I sneak in words wherever I can. My writing mantra is very simple: WED = Words Every Day. I don’t set unreasonable goals or a number of words I must write. I enforce for myself the fact I must touch the story and add new words. Period. So far? It’s worked like a charm!
Routines don't always work, I agree. Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
The most rewarding thing for me has to be, hands down, my fans. I get fan mail that makes me absolutely giddy. The most validating thing for me as a writer is to know I’ve reached someone, made them laugh or think or cry, and that they’ve fallen in love with the characters I’m so intimately involved with, even just a little bit. 
Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 
The absolute best advice I can give you is twofold. First, read. A lot. Pick up books by your favorite authors and see how they do things. Consider how they craft a story. Evaluate how they handle things like dialogue tags and description and emotional complexities. If you love their voice and their storytelling abilities, reading is as much research as pleasure.
Second, keep writing. If you’re waiting for agent or publisher responses on a query/manuscript, don’t sit there. Write. Be working on your next project. I know it’s hard, but you will find that with every new project you tackle, you get better. Join writing groups where the members are more advanced in their skill and then really push yourself to grow. Find a mentor. Get two or three great critique partners. Learn to take constructive criticism. Let me say that again: learn to take constructive criticism. It’s so important. Truly, though, the best thing you can do is to keep writing.
Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
*I am absolutely terrified of spiders. I don’t know kung fu until I walk into a spider web. Then? My moves are epic.
*I know how to drive a tractor.
*My greatest dream is to own a home in the UK and split my time between my current home in the US and my dream home there.
What’s next for you?
I have a six-book contract with Harlequin Blaze and am very, very busy making the keyboard smoke in order to get these books to readers. The books are two very, very different trilogies. The first is about three male friends, all strippers, and the second is about three brothers who are ranchers in New Mexico.

The demons that haunt you don’t have to be your own.

The Niteclif Evolutions
, Book 3

Maddy Niteclif’s world has changed so radically she’s no longer sure she recognizes the face staring back at her in the mirror. Pale skin, wide eyes, new scars, and even newer wounds. They’ll heal. It’s the invisible wounds—the ones that disfigure the soul—that pose the most danger.

Hell’s higher thinkers have organized. They’re seeping into the paranormal world, bypassing easy targets as they run larger prey to ground. Maddy is caught in a mad scramble to identify the next target before the demons find the individual. But when the demons’ mark is someone from under her roof, she finds just how far she’ll go to protect those who belong to her.

Maddy is about to learn the most difficult lesson yet: loving someone, seeing his scars ripped open and watching as he’s driven to his knees…it hurts. To save his life means she’ll have to sacrifice the only other man she’s ever loved. There’s only one guaranteed way to ensure both men survive, but it will require the ultimate sacrifice.


Denise Tompkins lives in the heart of the South where the neighbors still know your name, all food forms are considered fry-able and bugs die only to be reincarnated in aggressive, blood-craving triplicate. Thrilled to finally live somewhere that can boast 3 ½ seasons (winter’s only noticeable because the trees are naked), her favorite season is definitely fall. It’s the time of year when the gardens are just about to pass into winter’s brief silence, and the leaves are out to prove that nature is the most brilliant artist of all.

A life-long voracious reader, Denise has three favorite authors. Why three? Because favorite authors are like chips: a person can’t have just one. Her little house was so overrun with books that her darling husband bought her an e-reader out of self-preservation. He was (legitimately) afraid she might begin throwing out pots and pans to make room for more books, and he didn’t want to starve. Smart man. You can learn more about Denise by visiting"

WEBSITE        Twitter    
 How can my readers buy your book?  Any online retailer carries the e-books and the print editions are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and several independent bookstores.

Samhain Publishing HERE
All titles, including the Harlequin releases, will be available through major retailers as well as and

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