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Blue Diablo Virtual Tour: Guest Blog with Ann Aguirre and Big ARC Giveaway

One of our most anticipated reads of 2009 is Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre, so when we were contacted a few weeks ago and asked if we wanted to be part of her Blog Tour we immediately said yes. And we are very pleased to give the floor to Ann Aguirre!

Hello, and thanks. I’m tremendously excited as the countdown clock rolls down toward release day for BLUE DIABLO. Ana and Thea posted a blurb on Sunday, so you already know my urban fantasy centers around Corine Solomon, who possesses the gift of psychometry.

Instead of offering a soliloquy about the size of crickets in my backyard (and how the cats drag them in to startle me), I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve done blog interviews before, but I’ve never framed it like this. Usually, the blog hosts ask me a certain number of questions, I answer them, and it limits what readers can say about the matter.

Today, we turn the interview up to eleven. Here’s what we’re going to do. You, dear reader, are free to ask me whatever you like (within reason). I reserve the right to refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me (or others), but most things, I’m sure I’ll be happy to ramble on about. Ask about my writing, living in Mexico, my pets, my vacation plans, what I’m writing, how I write, or whatever strikes your fancy. To make this super-interactive, I’ll be stopping in all day to answer your questions, and hold a dialog with you. So let’s get started!

And for those who leave a question by Midnight PST we have something special to sweeten the deal: Ann is generously offering 5 ARCs of Blue Diablo. Here are Teh Rules:

a) winners promise to post a honest review online somewhere by April 8th (see d);
b) winners will be selected within 24hrs;
c) winners will be contacted via email by Azteclady (Ann’s wonderful promotion wiz) , therefore a valid email address must be provided for the comment to be entered in the giveaway;
d) winners must send link to online review to either Ann or AztecLady by April 8th;
e) we will announce the winners tomorrow, Thursday by midday Eastern on this very same post so check back here! We will also have them in the sidebar.

So, let’s get this party started shall we? Ask away (but remember to play nice) and good luck!

ETA: ANN SELECTED THE WINNERS AND THEY ARE:

Jennygirl
Katiebabs
Michele Lee
Lori T
Leslee

CONGRATULATIONS! AZTECLADY WILL CONTACT YOU FOR YOUR CONTACT DETAILS! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL QUESTIONS AND ANN FOR THE AWESOME ANSWERS! THIS WAS UTTERLY FASCINATING!

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84 Comments

  • Rosie
    March 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Ann, are you going to be at RWA again this year? And if so, do you plan to do any panels or workshops?

  • pidute
    March 11, 2009 at 12:01 am

    hum…maybe you already answers that one but why
    psychometry ?
    I find that original lately we have a lot of everything 🙄 but not that !

  • pidute
    March 11, 2009 at 12:15 am

    arggggg forgot the adress

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Rosie, yes, I’m attending RWA. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

    This year, I was fortunate enough to find have two panels selected. I’m now 3/3 in the proposal arena. Titles are:

    High-Octane Kisses: Writing Action with Heart
    (with Carrie Lofty, Elisabeth Naughton, and my agent, Laura Bradford)
    and

    The Billionaire Tycoon’s Secret Promotional Baby: Making the Most of Online Marketing
    (with Carrie Lofty, Smart Bitch Sarah, Jane Litte, and Barb Ferrer)

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Pidute, that’s an excellent question. First, because of the rarity of it. We see a lot of telepathy, mind-reading and foretelling. I can think of many series that offer those, so I wanted to do something different. That’s also why there are no vamps, weres or fairies in my UF. If I was going to tackle UF, I did my best to make it unique, so readers wouldn’t go, “Hm, I feel like I’ve read this before.” My fingers are crossed that people will think the Corine Solomon series is fresh, original, and different.

    Also, since it relies on touch, psychometry offers the perfect vehicle for building a price into the use of the ability. I belief in checks and balances. For every wonderful, amazing gift, my characters will generally have a setback or a fault. There’s no free lunch. So if you can read minds, then something hideous goes along with it. I can’t say more without revealing too much about the book, I think. I hope that answers your question!

  • pidute
    March 11, 2009 at 1:31 am

    it does ,thank you and i must say ,NO VAMPS ? Whouhou ,i am all vamp out!

  • Lys
    March 11, 2009 at 4:52 am

    I would love to enter…. but I can’t think of a good question. 🙁

    Apparently, my brain is not working yet this morning.

    Would you tell me about living in Mexico? The closest that I have ever been is Mexican Village in Detroit.

    Thanks,
    Lys

  • Chris
    March 11, 2009 at 4:53 am

    I’m intrigued! I’ve been enjoying read more UF and paranormals that are going beyond vampires.

  • Stacy ~
    March 11, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Please don’t enter me in the contest as I can’t promise that I can review it by 4/8, so I’ll get my own copy 🙂

    You write such amazing stories set in different worlds. Have you ever considered writing just a contemporary romance w/o paranormal, urban fantasy, etc. elements? Or do you prefer the challenge of creating your own worlds and rules?

  • KMont
    March 11, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Please don’t enter me in la contest. Just stopping in to say hi to Ann – Hi, Ann!

  • Leslee
    March 11, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Hi Ann,

    I wanted to ask about your method. So many authors either plot it all out or know the beginning and maybe the end but find it more exciting to figure out the middle as they go along. Which are you? And how do you schedule your day? I have one kid in school and one at home. So I wonder how to find the time to write.
    Thanks! Looking forward to reading Blue Diablo as I love everything you have done so far!!!

  • pidute
    March 11, 2009 at 5:37 am

    It say in your bio that you have been a clown ,what was that like and really how did you feel disguising yourself as one of the scariest being in the universe ? (I blame Stephen King!)

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Lys asked, “Would you tell me about living in Mexico?”

    Absolutely. We’ve been here for four years now. (I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!) This required me to learn Spanish; I’d taken three years of it in high school and a semester in college, so it wasn’t totally foreign to me. I’m somewhere between conversational and fluent now. The weather is lovely, nearly always warm and sunny (except during the rainy season).

    I adore living in the mountains. There’s a mall we got to called La Cuspide (roughly means the Summit) and it’s at the top of a peak. The design of it is open, so you can stand and look out over the the countryside. Such an amazing view!

    The people are very friendly, and the pace is slower than the US. The one downside to living here is that I don’t get to sign books as often as I’d like. But I sure enjoy it when I do.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Chris, I hope everyone feels that way! I know vamps are very popular, but they’re represented amply in the market already. However, if you’re madly curious about what a vamp story by me would be like, you can find one in the upcoming second Mammoth Book Vampire Romance.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Stacy asked: “Have you ever considered writing just a contemporary romance w/o paranormal, urban fantasy, etc. elements? Or do you prefer the challenge of creating your own worlds and rules?”

    *leans in* Well, I did write a contemporary and nobody wanted to buy it. So either I’m not very good at it, or the market wasn’t what it needed to be in order for them to take a chance.

    My Ava Gray books say “contemporary” on my contract, but they do have what I consider paranormal elements (but not vamps or weres). They’re taut and dark and very sexy.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    *waves to KMont* Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Leslee asked, “Which are you? And how do you schedule your day?”

    I know some writers swear by their muse, but I write on a schedule. Without discipline, I would never meet my deadlines. So my process is pretty simple. I start with a core idea: a tagline if you will. The book I’m working on right now would be “Equalizer meets X-men, has crazy sex with Punisher premise, and then lives happily ever after.” I’m not a plotter. I know authors who have great success with outlines and such, but I find if I think it all out beforehand, it removes so much of the magic that I don’t care to write the story anymore (because I already know everything that happens.) That’s part of the joy in writing for me — figuring it all out.

    Once I have that tagline: I build characters (or sometimes they spring ready-made from my head like Zeus / Athena). I almost always have the start point firmly in mind (ie, rednecks chasing the heroine, or prison break, etc) and the end point. Sometimes I even write the end before the book is done. Then I just need to work out the middle bits, what happens between points A and C (or possibly D, E, or F.). I’ve done that with my last three books, in fact, and it’s worked wonderfully.

    As for work, I write from 9-2:30, when it’s time for me to go pick the kids up from school. Hopefully, I will have met my 3K a day word count by that point, as the afternoon turns into a flurry of activities, errands, helping with homework, and then dinner. Typically we’ll do something as a family afterward for an hour or two: talk, play a game, or watch some TV.

    If I fell shy, then I get back to work in the early evening and make up the difference. When I’m working on a project, I live by 3K a day. Then I let it sit for a bit before going back to see what I need to fix. If I need a second opinion before turning it in, I have my beta reader or one of my crit partners look at it. If I’m confident of the book, it goes straight to Laura Bradford, my agent, and Anne Sowards or Cindy Hwang, my editors.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Pidute asked, “what was that like and really how did you feel disguising yourself as one of the scariest being in the universe?”

    It was pretty awful, actually, as I’m afraid of clowns. This was a college job. I’d dress up in the suit, do my makeup and put on the shoes — and then drive to various gas station grand openings to give out free balloons and hot dogs to the kids. You should have seen the other drivers double-take when we passed on the road.

  • Leslee
    March 11, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Thanks Ann! I really appreciate you taking the time to tell us how the magic happens!!! I love Jax by the way! I really enjoyed that short story you did about the assassin from the Jax books! Would love to see more from his point of view! :mrgreen:

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Leslee, I’m so pleased you enjoyed EXILE’S LAMENT! I’d like to write a book (or a novella) for Vel, but I won’t get the chance until after Jax wraps up. I’m hoping to sell two more books in the series.

  • Jess
    March 11, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Hey Ann!

    How do you start a book? Not, where do you get your ideas, but how do you develop them into something that can support a book? 🙂

  • dd03
    March 11, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Hi, Ann!
    Just wondering where you are on the next Jax book?
    I’m so wondering about Vel now. And of course, Jax & March.

    btw…ok to not enter me into the contest. Don’t think I should take books with review deadline until I honor Carrie’s for What a Scoundrel Wants…which I’m rereading!
    🙄 I know…I suck.

    Also…love that you’re on Twitter! Love the impromptu & unstructured…ness…heh…of interacting with others there!

  • Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]
    March 11, 2009 at 7:31 am

    A friend of mine lives in Merida and says the Mayan 2012 calendar/end of the world thing is a ripe topic of discussion in Mexico (it is just a trivia question here). Have you heard much on the topic and if so what do you think?

  • jennygirl
    March 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I would love to review this book and promise to have it done by April 8th. Here is my questions:

    Where do you like to take your vacation?
    Do you have a dream vacation spot?
    Do your vacations ever give you ideas for your writing, like locale, or characters?
    I imagine as much as you want to relax, you can’t help thinking about your next project or idea.
    And I love vacation whihc is why I chose this as my question 🙂 Thanks so much Ann and have a great day!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Jess asked, “How do you start a book? Not, where do you get your ideas, but how do you develop them into something that can support a book?”

    Mostly, I take that tagline idea and run with it. I accept that my first drafts will be a terrible mess and I just write until I have something that resembles a book in terms of word count. Then I revise, revise, revise, until what I’ve written is shiny.

    dd03 asked, “Just wondering where you are on the next Jax book?”

    Doubleblind is finished, polished, and in the production queue. I still have copy edits and galleys to do on it. The book comes out in October. Killbox is also finished and has been turned in. I’m awaiting revision notes on that one. It comes out next year in Oct.

    I like chatting on Twitter too!

  • jennygirl
    March 11, 2009 at 7:43 am

    whoops! forgot my website

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Doug asked, “Have you heard much on the topic and if so what do you think?”

    To be honest, in my circles, nobody is talking about 2012 or the Mayan prophecy. It’s no more a widespread concern than the minority who were convinced Y2K was going to destroy the world. It makes for an interesting plot device, of course, offering an excuse to write a post-apocalyptic novel set in the near future.

    If I’m wrong, I won’t be around to hear about it. *g*

  • Katie
    March 11, 2009 at 7:48 am

    How many books are you planning for the Corrine Solomon series? Are all of the books going to be set in the same location or will Corrine be moving around and seeing the world?

    Thanks for the opportunity to win an ARC!!
    Katie

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Jenny girl asked, “Where do you like to take your vacation? Do you have a dream vacation spot? Do your vacations ever give you ideas for your writing, like locale, or characters?”

    We often vacation in Mexico because there are so many amazing locales within driving distance. I hate airports now that the new security measures make it frightening and invasive to fly. So anytime we can swing it, I push for car trips. We’ve been to Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Cancun, Acapulco, Puebla, Catemaco, Cuernavaca…

    The kids are having their spring break in a couple of weeks, and we’re going to Queretaro this time. It’s two hours north with a lovely historic district. I’m very excited, as Puebla was a big hit for the same reasons.

    As for my dream vacation, I would LOVE to do one of those world tours, where you visit a crazy number of countries in a month, including Europe, the far east and Australia. If I can get my husband to take the time off, we’ll do it in a few years.

    Yes, I often use our vacations for research. In fact, our trip to Catemaco –and my experience on a remote island, being blessed by a white witch– will be used in the third Corine Solomon novel, SHADY LADY.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Katie asked, “How many books are you planning for the Corine Solomon series? Are all of the books going to be set in the same location or will Corine be moving around and seeing the world?”

    I don’t really have a finite number, but the story arc I have planned to date will require at least six books. If the series does well (and I can keep writing them without suffering loss of quality), there’s no telling how long the series will run.

    Locations vary. Book one takes place in Mexico and Texas. Book two takes place in Georgia. Book three will be split between Mexico and Texas again. Book four will be set in the UK. (Hello, research trip! My husband promised we’d go so I can take pictures and make notes.)

  • Leslie
    March 11, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hi Ann ~ thanks for taking the time to answer questions.

    Do you work on one series at a time or do you switch off – write some Jax, write some Corine, write some Ava Gray? If you do switch off, how do you keep everything straight?
    Thanks!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Leslie asked, “Do you work on one series at a time or do you switch off – write some Jax, write some Corine, write some Ava Gray? If you do switch off, how do you keep everything straight?”

    Unless my schedule has become utterly snarled, I write one book at a time. Multitasking isn’t a strong point for me. For instance, I wrote Killbox (Jax 4), then I did final, editor-requested revisions on Doubleblind (Jax 3). Then I revised Killbox before turning it in. After checking those books off my to-do list, I moved on to Skin Tight, which is the second Ava Gray romance. I’m writing that currently, and am past the halfway point.

  • Amy
    March 11, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Hi Ann. Love your books. 🙂

    How does living somewhere new (mexico) influence what you write or your writing process? Do you have to experience (more or less) the cultures you write about or do you specifically look outward for ideas?

    All this talk of warm, beautiful mexico has me stomping my feet in jealousy (or maybe thats just me trying to stay warm in the frigid northeast… sometimes its hard to tell.)

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Thanks, Amy! She asked, “How does living somewhere new (mexico) influence what you write or your writing process? Do you have to experience (more or less) the cultures you write about or do you specifically look outward for ideas?”

    In the Corine Solomon series, I did particularly want to make use of the experience I gained, living as an expat. I’ve been exposed to a great deal of Mexican culture that doesn’t typically make it into mainstream entertainment. For instance, here in Mexico, there’s a pervasive belief / acceptance in the supernatural that runs in a natural lockstep alongside Catholicism, a certain tolerance, too.

    I don’t always write what I’ve experienced. In the Jax books, for instance, I made it all up. When people tell me the books are lacking in hard science, I go, “Well, yeah.” I felt like there were plenty of hard science concept books out there, but fewer character driven SF stories that women would feel comfortable reading. That’s what I was trying to do.

  • Deborah Blake
    March 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Hi Ann,
    Sounds like a fascinating book. As both a reader and a writer of paranormals, I’m always looking for the new and different idea.
    Two questions:
    Have you ever met anyone who has your protagonist’s unusual talent? (and thanks, BTW, I was trying to come up with the word for that the other day, and couldn’t remember it!)
    And is there a particular part of Mexico that is the most famous for Aztec ruins? I’m writing a series where the first book involved the Anasazi and the second will revolve around the Aztec. I’d love to take a research trip, but it’s not likely to happen:-)

  • Caitlin F
    March 11, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Hi, Ann,

    I was wondering what influenced you to become a writer? Was it always a passion for you or was it just something you stumbled onto and discovered you could do well? Did any authors inspire you? Who are your favorites?

    Thanks very much!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Deborah asked, “Have you ever met anyone who has your protagonist’s unusual talent? (and thanks, BTW, I was trying to come up with the word for that the other day, and couldn’t remember it!)
    And is there a particular part of Mexico that is the most famous for Aztec ruins?”

    No, I’ve never met anyone who said they could read an object by touch.

    The most famous Mayan ruins (I’ve visited them) are at Chichén Itzá. There’s also Tulum, Xel-Ha, Uxmal, Yaxchilán (near Guatemala in Chiapas, Mexico), Kabah, Labna, Ek Balam, Cobá, Dzibilchaltún, Palenque, Bonampak, Toniná, and San Gervasio. To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to explore the Yucatan peninsula where there’s a high concentration of ruins. Chiapas has the second highest concentration.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Caitlin asked, “I was wondering what influenced you to become a writer? Was it always a passion for you or was it just something you stumbled onto and discovered you could do well? Did any authors inspire you? Who are your favorites?”

    I always wanted to write. When I was 9, I wrote my first book, which won a prize and sent me to state finals. At this event I had the pleasure of listening to Shel Silverstein read from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Thrill of my life!

    I don’t know if this counts as inspiration, but I look to Nora Robers for her work ethic.

    As for books, well…it would take forever if I made this exhaustive because books are my great love. I do read across genres. Some of my favorite authors include:

    Mystery: Julia Spencer-Fleming, James Lee Burke, Casey Daniels

    Science fiction: David Brin, Neal Stephenson, Jack McDevitt, Connie Willis, CS Friedman, Douglas Adams, Walter Jon Williams

    Fantasy: Jeri Smith-Ready, Sharon Shinn, Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Pauline Alama, Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris

    Romance: Anya Bast, Lauren Dane, Eileen Wilks, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Eve Kenin, Larissa Ione, Nora Roberts, Amie Stuart, Connie Brockway, Kresley Cole, Meljean Brook, Madeline Hunter, Carrie Lofty, Anne Stuart, Linda Howard…

    Whew. I have to stop. Just too many to list.

  • Leslee
    March 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Wow, there are some really good questions out there. Thanks Ann for giving us a peek into your process and now I am in serious withdrawl for some Jax and March!!!!!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Yep, I’m having loads of fun today. Leslee, I’m tingly with anticipation for my Doubleblind cover art. I’m thinking I should be getting it soon, like within the month.

  • Patricia
    March 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

    There have been so many interesting questions and answers. I’m always fascinated to know how a writer works.

    I would like to know what your writing environment is like. Where is your office and how is it set up?

    Thanks

  • katiebabs
    March 11, 2009 at 10:54 am

    So if Corine touched, say my cabbage patch kid, she would know all about me?

  • Hope
    March 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Hi! My question is how do you keep track of the characters appearance & personality as well as say buildings they visit? 3×5 cards? Notebook?

  • Ana
    March 11, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Wow, I am loving to read all the questions!

    A big thank you to Ann for being around the whole day, this is really great! I love your list of favorite authors – another Neil Gaiman fan I see!

    I am going to add a question to the pot – a silly one, granted but I know from your blog that you wanted to watch it so: have you seen Watchmen yet? Like? Dislike? :mrgreen:

  • Michele Lee
    March 11, 2009 at 11:40 am

    1. You rock!

    2. Thank you so much for adding multi-racial aspects to UF without them means to be weird ethnic/exotic stereotypes.

    3. Any tips for someone who also wants to use the spectrum of humanity in their work?

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Patricia asked, “I would like to know what your writing environment is like. Where is your office and how is it set up?”

    Oh great, I get to break out the visual aids: Office picture 1

    Office picture 2

    That’s the setup, except that computer is now attached to the big screen (We watch TV on the internet) in the living room and I have an adorable indigo Imac. It’s ancient, but I <3 it.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Well bugger! My links didn’t work. Lemme try this:

    http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/2276/office2se5.jpg

    http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/2835/office1jx6.jpg

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Katiebabs asked, “So if Corine touched, say my cabbage patch kid, she would know all about me?”

    It depends on how attached you were to said doll and whether she dropped her mental barriers to read it. Otherwise she would be bombarded with impressions all day long.

    Hope asked, “My question is how do you keep track of the characters appearance & personality as well as say buildings they visit? 3×5 cards? Notebook?”

    I use my mighty, mighty brain. No charts, cards, lists or anything.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    http://annaguirre.livejournal.com/1236.html Ana, that’s my commentary on Watchmen.

    Michele, I think SF and fantasy tend to be more welcoming of different skin tones (in comparison to romance). So you’re in the right genre, at least. I’m really pleased about having two of Corine’s love interests not be white-bread.

  • Poppy
    March 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    So many good questions have already been asked. Okay here is my question…do you listen to music while you write or do you like it quiet?

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Poppy asked, “do you listen to music while you write or do you like it quiet?”

    Each book has a playlist, and I listen to those songs in a loop to maintain my mood. I’ve also been known to shut curtains and blinds so as not to become distracted.

  • Jessica
    March 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I can’t think of a good question, but wanted to share how much I have enjoyed the two Jax books and how great this Q&A is!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks, Jessica! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy Jax. I really adored your reviews of them. Sometimes I read them when I need a warm fuzzy.

  • Danielle
    March 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Ann, when did you start writing? I want to be a writer, so is it hard to get published?

  • Maered
    March 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Great questions, everyone! OK – I’m going to get straight to the point. Can you give us any info/spoilers to the next Jax/March book? Please? I am seriously withdrawn. 😥 HELP ME!!!!!

  • hagelrat
    March 11, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Enter me please, i’d love to read this book.

    Ok a question – what superpower or psychic talent would you most like to have and why?

    Thanks
    Hagelrat
    hagelrat@googlemail.com

  • Jackie M (Literary Escapism)
    March 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    OMG 5 copies! I want in. I love the Jax series and I can’t wait to check this one out.

    A question, huh….Hmmm….have you spent much time in Guadalajara since you moved to Mexico Ann? I spent about 6 months there studying Spanish and I loved it. I really want to take my son there once he gets older. Between Tonala, Talaquepaque (sp??), el centro historico, everything was awesome.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Danielle asked, “Ann, when did you start writing? I want to be a writer, so is it hard to get published?”

    I’ve been writing for almost 30 years. And yes, it was hard, but everyone’s journey varies.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Maered asked, “Can you give us any info/spoilers to the next Jax/March book? Please?”

    I can give you the blurb for DOUBLEBLIND.

    It’s not easy to tread lightly wearing steel-toed boots.

    Sirantha Jax isn’t known for diplomatic finesse. As a “Jumper” who navigates ships through grimspace, she’s used to kicking ass first and taking names later—much later. Not exactly the
    obvious choice to sell the Conglomerate to the Ithtorians, a people whose opinions of humans are as hard as their exoskeletons.

    And Ithiss-Tor council meetings aren’t the only place where Ambassador Jax needs to maneuver carefully. Her lover, March, is frozen in permanent “kill” mode, and his hair-trigger threatens to sabotage the talks—not to mention their relationship.

    But Jax won’t give up on the man or the mission. With the Outskirts beleaguered by raiders, pirates, and the flesh-eating Morgut, an
    alliance with Ithiss-Tor may be humanity’s only hope. Which has Jax wondering why a notorious troublemaker like her was given the job…

    There’s also an excerpt in the back of Blue Diablo, which is yet another reason to grab it. :mrgreen:

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Hagelrat asked, “what superpower or psychic talent would you most like to have and why?”

    Personally, I’d love to be able to fly. Forget first-class; I will put everything I need in a backpack and zoom wherever I’m going. Book signing in California? No problem! Lunch with my friends in Chicago? Give me a couple of hours!

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Jackie asked, “have you spent much time in Guadalajara since you moved to Mexico?”

    I have never been. We’re going to Queretaro in a few weeks, but so far, we haven’t made it to Guadalajara. It’s on the list!

  • Nicole D
    March 11, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Hey!

    So when you find time between writing to get some reading in, who are your favorite authors?

    Thanks and I can’t wait to read the new book!

  • Li
    March 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I read your answer to Stacy@9, and went to avagray.com and read the excerpt. It actually reminded me a bit of Nora Roberts’ writing 🙂 I’ve to think a bit more about why, but ir was possibly the latter half and the dialogue / interaction between the characters.

    I’m curious about why you qualified your answer to Stacy’s question – can you share what are the paranormal elements in your Ava Gray books?

  • Jaime W
    March 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Ann! Your books are awesome 😀 Is Killbox the final book in the Jax series or will there be more? What are your top 5 favorite books of all time?

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Nicole D asked, “So when you find time between writing to get some reading in, who are your favorite authors?”

    It would take forever if I made this exhaustive because books are my great love. I do read across genres. Some of my favorite authors include:

    Mystery: Julia Spencer-Fleming, James Lee Burke, Casey Daniels

    Science fiction: David Brin, Neal Stephenson, Jack McDevitt, Connie Willis, CS Friedman, Douglas Adams, Walter Jon Williams

    Fantasy: Jeri Smith-Ready, Sharon Shinn, Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin, Pauline Alama, Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris

    Romance: Anya Bast, Lauren Dane, Eileen Wilks, Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Eve Kenin, Larissa Ione, Nora Roberts, Amie Stuart, Connie Brockway, Kresley Cole, Meljean Brook, Madeline Hunter, Carrie Lofty, Anne Stuart, Linda Howard…

    Whew. I have to stop. Just too many to list.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Wow, what an amazing compliment! I’m going to run around telling people I got compared to Nora Roberts for days. 😀

    Li also asked, “can you share what are the paranormal elements in your Ava Gray books?”

    Yes, of course. The setup is this: certain humans have developed powers through forced evolution (the details of which would constitute a spoiler). These abilities are unusual, not the typical psychic stuff (foretelling, mind-reading, etc). It’s our world with a “what-if” scenario attached to it.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Jaime asked, “Is Killbox the final book in the Jax series or will there be more? What are your top 5 favorite books of all time?”

    With luck, there will be two more Jax books, titles to be determined. Since I just completed Killbox not long ago, I haven’t worked up a proposal yet.

    Top 5 books, gah. You might as well as me which ovary is my favorite. (It’s Lefty.)

    In no particular order:

    Archangel by Sharon Shinn
    Sunshine by Robin McKinley
    The Eye of Night by Pauline J. Alama
    Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
    As You Desire by Connie Brockway

  • katiebabs
    March 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Dizzy and Harry! One of my favorite Brockway books ever.

  • Susan G
    March 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Ann! I’ve been reading a lot about Blue Diablo on different sites, I’m looking forward to the books debut!

    My question is, from the excerpt, it seems you write in the first person. I prefer this, it makes it more real for me (like real life is, not knowing what other people think…), what makes your decision on writing first person vs. he said/she said when starting any book?

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Ditto, KB. I want another Brockway historical in the worst way. If I was allowed to pick 5 more books, I would add:

    Ritual Sins by Anne Stuart
    Cry No More by Linda Howard
    Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts
    Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Susan asked, “what makes your decision on writing first person vs. he said/she said when starting any book?”

    I write sf&f in first person for the reasons you mentioned. For me it’s important to have that one person you identify with over the course of the adventure.

    In romance, I prefer multiple points of view. I don’t like romances written in first person because I feel like I’ve been cheated of half the falling in love experience. So my Ava Gray romances will always be in third person.

  • Susan G
    March 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks Ann. I know a lot of authors stay with the same style of writing no matter what the genre, I like that you are diverse and can write both ways. I definitely see your point of view on the romance part, I didn’t think of it that way. I guess I inject myself personally into the stories and need to read and think from multiple views.

    I wish you much success with Blue Diablo!

  • bridget3420
    March 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Ann,

    Does your family enjoy your books?

    Bridget

  • orannia
    March 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    HI Ann *waves*

    Ohhh, lots of interesting questions. Am still working my way through the comments, but I was wondering of your heroines which one you relate to the most? Thank you 🙂

    Oh, and please don’t include me in the ARC contest. I am the world’s worst (and slowest) review writer (I’ve only written one to date) and I wouldn’t want to accept the ARC if I couldn’t deliver a timely review 🙂

  • orannia
    March 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    OOPS! Forgot to say – all the best with the release of Blue Diablo Ann!

  • Lori T
    March 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Ann~

    I absolutely love your books and I can hardly wait for the release of Blue Diablo!!

    My question is…how would you spend a perfect day? I know…lame question.

  • JC
    March 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    What’s your favorite type of cookie?

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Bridget: yes.

    Orannia: That would have to be Corine.

    Lori T: I’d read books and nap and watch movies. And I wouldn’t cook at all.

    JC: Hmm. Chocolate chunk with macadamia nuts.

  • Wendy
    March 11, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Hi, Ann!

    So for the Blue Devil series – how many books are you thinking it’s going to consist of? 🙂

  • Wendy
    March 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    And ooooh chocolate chunk with macadamia nut cookies are AWESOME.

  • Ann Aguirre
    March 12, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Wendy, I’m not sure right now. At least six books, I hope. Possibly more.

    I’ve picked the winners, and have sent them to the Smugglers. They should be announced shortly. Thank you for this wonderful, amazing response!

  • Leslee
    March 12, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You for picking me! I am so thrilled. I will so have it reviewed and posted by April 8!!! (happy dance)

  • azteclady
    March 12, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Congratulations to the winners!

    *waiting for addresses to send off shiny ARCs*

    *sniff* I’m gonna miss them… *sniff* They are so shiny and pretty and…

    😉

  • orannia
    March 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations to the winners!

    azteclady – step away from the ARCs 🙂

  • Lori T
    March 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Oh my gosh…I am so excited that I won! Thank you so much and congrats to all the winners!!

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