Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Witch’s Bounty (The Witch Chronicles #1) by Ann Gimpel

Published: March 6th, 2014


One of only three remaining demon-stalking witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way out the door to help, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to northern England to quell a demon uprising there.

Duncan swallowed uneasy feelings when the Sidhe foisted demon containment off onto the witches two hundred years before. He’s annoyed when the Sidhe leader sends him to haul a witch across the Atlantic to bail them out. Until he sees the witch in question. Colleen is unquestionably the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Strong and gutsy, too. When she refuses to come with him, because she’s needed in Seattle, he immediately offers his assistance. Anything to remain in her presence.

Colleen can’t believe how gorgeous the Sidhe is, but she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. She, Jenna, and Roz are the only hedge Earth has against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it. Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

Thank you, Mrs. Ann Gimpel
Thank you so very much for hosting me. It’s a pleasure to be featured on your blog. Thanks too for a thought-provoking set of interview questions. 

What does “dark” bring to a Paranormal Romance? 
Like with most genre tags, opinion plays a big role, so tags vary from author to author. For me, when I say “dark” paranormal romance, I’m clueing the reader that there are demonic forces at play in the book. The antagonists are nasty and will stop at nothing to injure or kill the hero and heroine. In Witch’s Bounty, Colleen, Roz, and Jenna are demon-stalking witches, and the last of their kind since the Irichna demons killed off their sister stalkers. The tone of the story is grim and the outcome uncertain. In many ways it could be labelled romantic suspense with paranormal elements. 

What is your opinion about how much can be changed the info we get from the folklore? Is a good thing the mix of the folklore characters and their characteristics? 
If I’m understanding your question, it revolves around whether I take liberties with folklore and mythology. The short answer is I don’t. But it’s important to point out that there is never just one version of a folk tale or a myth. Part of my psychology training was in mythology and symbols, so I read a lot (hundreds of books) from many different cultures. One thing I do is I keep my representations of gods, goddesses, and symbols consistent from book to book. So if a Celtic god shows up in one book, he (or she) will have the same personality traits they have in other books I’ve written. Ditto for the bad guys. This isn’t the first tale where I’ve used Irichna demons, and it won’t be the last since Witch’s Bounty was the lead off book for a planned trilogy. 

What “romance” represents for you and for your characters? 
Romance is a formula in many respects. The hero and heroine (if you’re writing M/F) meet, are attracted to one another, fight the attraction for a variety of reasons, experience at least one “big, dark moment,” and fall into one another’s arms at the book’s end with a happily-ever-after ending. If I label one of my books a romance, it will always have that plot thread. Now some of what I write is urban fantasy, which has romantic elements, but aren’t true romances per se. 

I actually like writing romance because the characters are happy and happy characters make my job as an author much easier. 

There is plethora of paranormal romance in our day. There is a recipe for a good such romance or all depend by the author’s talent, inspiration and research? 
I believe I addressed the formula in the previous question. And yes, there’s a bunch of paranormal romance out there. As opposed to contemporary romance, the paranormal side of things always includes some fantasy elements. Because my writing (and reading) roots are in science fiction and fantasy, the paranormal genre was a natural for me. I continue to be thrilled by the variation I find in some of my favorite paranormal romance author’s works, like KM Moning and JD Robb. 

What Ann Gimpel – the Jungian psychologist says about Witch’s Bounty? 
Oh my, I could have a heyday with this question, but I’ll rein myself in and limit my comments to a couple of paragraphs. First off, there’s power in different numbers, so it’s not accidental there are three witches in the book. Three is a transformative number and it opens the possibility of growth and development for all the characters in the book. 

Second, within Witch’s Bounty, there’s something called the Dreamers’ Paths. They’re overseen by a dream guardian and the way into them contains each person’s worst nightmares, but if you persevere you find priceless gifts in the dream realm. I patterned the Dreamers’ Paths after Jung’s Collective Unconscious. To toss in a bit of context, Carl Jung, a psychiatrist who practiced during the first half of the twentieth century, pioneered the concept of a Collective Unconscious. According to him, fairy tales and myths are the dreams of an entire culture, springing from the Collective. 

I know that might be a bit deep, but stories come to me from the imaginal world. I’m more of a medium when I write than anything else and I’m sometimes surprised by what I’ve written when I tune in the other side of my brain to edit. 

About the author:
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel. 

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist. 

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

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1 comment:

Ann Gimpel, Author said...

Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog and for your thought-provoking interview questions. It’s a pleasure to be here.