Interview with Regan Summers!

Soooo, guys. I’m super excited, because the third book in a series I love (the Night Runner series), is out. To celebrate that occasion, I’m hosting its author on my humble blog. Many thanks to Regan Summers for graciously allowing me to embarrass her!

About the book (CLICK THE PICTURE!):FallingFromTheLight_1600x2400

Phoenix, AZ

All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.

With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.

94,000 words

About the Author:

Regan Summers is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Night Runner series. As a native Alaskan, she’s used to long, cold nights but thinks they’re better with a helping of sexy vampires. Don’t Bite the Messenger, the first in the series, was a finalist for the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards in the paranormal category.

And now, without further ado, TO THE TALKIES.

Yo, Regan.

Yo to you as well.

Thank you for volunteering to be on my shark-infested blog. I know it takes a lot of courage, and I want to commend you on your bravery. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Thank you for having me! *adjusts shark tank* I was born and raised in Alaska, in a household without cable television. I spent most of my childhood imagining I was a unicorn or an Arctic explorer or a leopard that had been adopted by the Boxcar Children and was expected to help support the household. This is what a lot of darkness and a house full of books will do to a child. Eventually I learned to discern imagination from reality, and I have been disappointed ever since. As I got older, and playacting shipwrecks and space travel started to be frowned upon, writing became a necessary conduit for my imagination. I also have a husband, a son, a full-time job, and a recently-shorn cat.

So, YOUR BOOK IS COMING OUT. I’ve personally devoured the first two books and cannot wait until this third magically appears on my e-reader. For those who don’t know, I’ll let Regan fill you in on her awesome trilogy:

Thank you so much for saying so! *looks directly into the camera, awkwardly adjusts tie* The Night Runner series focuses on Sydney Kildare, a 20-something human who had a rough beginning, turned into a bit of an adrenaline junkie while working as a courier for vampires, then decided to get out of the running game while she was ahead. This is a world where vampires aren’t only “out”, but are also intricately connected with humans in a few key areas. They’re economically powerful, politically savvy, and have great PR people. They also have a tiered hierarchy based on power and their willingness to use it.

Don’t Bite the Messenger begins with Sydney preparing to leave her job and Alaska just as a vicious vampire hive stages a coup against the Master of the territory. During that she meets Malcolm Kelly. He’s a thief who pissed off Master Bronson and ended up bound in servitude. He’s charged with minding Syd but all she wants is to get the hell out of Dodge. They should go together like oil and water, if you set the oil on fire, but they are drawn to each other for reasons other than looks or sexual attraction. And it’s an interesting development, seeing them recognize and tentatively move toward each other in the midst of all these vampire schemes.

Let’s talk about Sydney for a bit. I was surprised that I was so taken with her, since I’m usually very critical of the way FMCs are written. She’s so multidimensional, strong, but still a human being with flaws, fears and idiosyncrasies. How do you craft your characters? What’s your process?

What is this “process” of which you speak? I tend to start a story with a vague chain of scenes in mind, and a sense of the core of a character. Syd’s one of my favorite types of people to read about. She’s intrepid, spontaneous, and follows her pleasure. This is not to say that she’s fearless or thoughtless. Not at all. She fully recognizes evil in the world – maybe because it gets in her face often – and that’s why she embraces the opposite. She’s also fierce, no matter the odds, which I find makes it easier to root for her.

Speaking of process: PANTSING OR OUTLINING AND WHY.

Ahaahaa. I was just talking to a friend about this. I call myself an outliner, but that is a LIE. I do write outlines. I even write entire first drafts by them. And then I revise until the real story comes out. So I pants, but within a framework. 

Be honest. Are you a little bit in love with Malcolm?

No, I’m not a little bit in love with him. *dons dark glasses so you can’t see my heart-shaped eyes* I really do adore him, and it’s not just because he’s gorgeous and, um, skilled. It’s because, once he decides on something – whether it’s protecting someone incapable of protecting themselves, or loving someone who might not even love him back – he throws himself into it. And he doesn’t do it because he’s powerful and it’s not that difficult for him. He tries so hard, even when it jeopardizes his own tenuous position. There’s something so brave and optimistic about that. I just love it.

How did you come up with your version of the vampire race?

I’ve always been interested in the mechanics of the vampire, which I haven’t seen discussed much. Mine are strong, and each has their own particular talent. But the thing I focused most on is their energy – what it is that keeps the undead ambulatory and, more importantly, allows them to think and form new memories, have feelings, that sort of thing. While it’s not discussed at length, my vampires’ energy very much differs from humans’, which created unique opportunities in this series. And that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂 

Your world is pretty dark and grim. (I LOVE IT.) Is that a conscious choice, or a natural tendency? Can you tell us something about the atmosphere of the third book?

You know, I never considered this world dark. I was really quite surprised when the reviews for Don’t Bite the Messenger started coming in. I thought the book was so fun! But I tend to fixate on things that make me laugh, and I can endure (or make my characters endure) quite a lot in between funny moments. So I guess it’s a natural tendency. Though I will acknowledge that Falling from the Light is a dark book. It was difficult for me to write, so I guess that makes it extra dark?

I asked you how you got into writing. What makes you continue?

The stories need to be told. If I didn’t write, I’d probably hang out at a bus stop shouting tales at passersby. And they wouldn’t even be edited. It would be awful.

Cap or Bucky? WHY?

Oh, MAN. What a question! What’s so great about Cap and Bucky is them in relation to each other. And Cap’s chest. I mean, his principles. Principles, not pectorals. Bucky’s a hot mess of violent tragedy – both given and received – and that’s just too interesting to turn away from.

Find Regan online at (and please do, because she’s hilarious):

Website: http://regansummers.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Regan_Summers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5350866.Regan_Summers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReganSummersAuthor

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/6nFaH

What It’s Like Inside My Head, or The WIP Machine

Some of my writer friends call me the WIP Queen. At least, I’m assuming they mean WIP and not Whip. Because that would just be awkward. I swear I didn’t tell them– Anyway.

When I told my friend slash alpha reader Derek* about my intention to write a blog post about this subject, he said, and I quote: “That is a fascinating topic. I find your head amazeballs. Shaped like a giant inflated pumpkin balloon. Full of weird thoughts. Passions and desires. Snacks.”

Giant inflated pumpkin balloon aside, all of these things are true (and possibly deserving of their own blog posts at some point in the future). However, first and foremost, my head is filled with a WIP generator. While that might sound blissful to some, it’s a pain in the behind.

To wit, this is the process that usually occurs, while hiking, cooking, showering, snoozing, et cetera:

  1. A line pops into my head. Dialogue, or a first line of a first chapter, or a description, or maybe a faint idea of plot.
  2. Oh, that would make a cool short. But should I go route A, or route B?
  3. Dammit, I can’t choose. A divine sign that I should do both?
  4. In the span of an hour at the most, Route A and Route B both grow at a breakneck pace from short to novella to novel, adding characters and background and plot threads, until it’s a series of at least five books in the same universe with an ever expanding plot and character list.
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This has led to a writing folder with 51 WIPs, at last count. Only 51, because I ignore the ideas that don’t make my writer boner go SPROINK immediately. And just about 14 of those 51 are shelved. For the others, I still get ideas, I still brainstorm, I still write. I find it hugely frustrating that I will never be able to finish all of them in my lifetime, and that the way my brain is wired means that I’ll come up with another 100 or so in the next decades that may never see the light of day.

To combat this, I’ve come up with a strategy. I focus on one WIP. That’s my main squeeze, my bb, my magnum opus. As long as I make my daily word count for that WIP, I’m allowed to play around with others. Which is necessary. The next WIP I’m going to focus on, when my current one TRUE COLORS is done (just three more chapters), is very lighthearted. I won’t be able to only write that one without also dabbling in some grimmer worlds. But that’s a topic for next time, darlings.

*Derek is not for sale. Mine.