Today’s debut author is Nancy Northcott. Book 1 of The Protectors, Renegade, will be released November 6th. I’ve known Nancy from our local RWA chapter since 2007. She’s been a mentor for me in so many ways. She is constantly pushing me to keep going and not give up. Welcome to Teatime Romance, Nancy. Tell us about yourself and what you write.
Thanks, Amy! I’m delighted to be here. I started spinning tales when my grandfather and I drew stick figures together and made up stories about them. We also read together.
I always loved popular fiction. In grade school, that meant YA romance, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery/suspense as well as G-rated historical romances my mom owned or our local librarian recommended. I now read just about everything except horror, including a lot of nonfiction.
Around age seven, I talked my grandfather into buying my first superhero comic book for me, and I loved the action and the adventure and the cool powers in the stories. I was active in fandom for a number of years and usually make it to Dragon*Con in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend.
As my bio notes, my childhood wish to be a superheroine was doomed, but writing lets me be whoever and whatever–and wherever–I choose, which is great! Renegade is most easily described as paranormal romantic suspense. It’s set in our contemporary world, in south Georgia, but it has elements of dark fantasy and a lot of action in it, too.
Thanks! This is all very exciting for me, and I love the cover, too. When the mage world’s most wanted criminal, Griffin Dare, rescues the southeastern mages’ top cop, Valeria Banning, from certain death, she has little choice but to listen to his claims there’s a traitor among the mages’ leadership. Listening leads to investigating, and she crosses the wrong person’s agenda. Val and Griff flee for their lives, falling in love and trying to unmask the traitor before her former allies catch up with them. The book started with my desire to write a paranormal. Given my early love of superheroes and wizards, mages were a natural choice. A mage is just another kind of superhero to me.
Of course I needed a couple who could not be immediate allies, so I figured a sheriff (or shire reeve, as the mages call the office) as the heroine and a fugitive as the hero would give me that. I gravitate toward stories with a lot of action, so that also had to be an element.
Even though Griff is an outcast, I didn’t want him to be completely alone, so I gave him secret allies. My small-town childhood came in handy for creating Wayfarer, Georgia, where he lives under an alias.
Finally, I needed a big problem that could grow as the series went on. I have a great brainstorming group, and they helped me work out the details and refine the magic system. I’m immensely grateful for their input. I love English history, so I developed a history for my mages that goes back to the Dark Ages.
Tell us what happened when you got “The Call.” I hear there may have been ‘signs’ involved.
My agent submitted Renegade (my title, by the way, and I’m delighted they kept it!) to my future editor late last year. After following up in January, she called me to say the editor was out of town but would call to talk when she got back the next week. “And,” my agent added, “I heard ‘Renegade,’ by Styxx, on the radio. Maybe it’s a sign.” I certainly hoped it was.
Two days later, I heard the same song on the radio while I was running errands. One of those errands involved stopping at a local business. While I was browsing, I heard the manager ask a guy at the desk, “So what’s your name?”
“Griff,” he replied, and a chill ran down my spine. I’m not a big believer in omens, but I had to wonder at that point.
A few days after that, the editor called to make us the hoped-for offer. She and my agent worked out the details, and I joined Grand Central’s new Forever Yours line, which is digital and PoD only. The ebook will be out in just about three weeks (November 6), with the PoD available December 18.
So its safe to say your new ringtone is Renegade by Styx? Your website states this is Book 1. Tell us about the series.
The series is called “The Protectors. Each book will feature a different couple, as we romance readers expect, but we’ll also see characters from earlier books as the overall stakes escalate. I currently have plans for six or seven books.
The second book, Guardian, revolves around Stefan Harper from Renegade and the Mundane (or non-mage) FBI agent he once hoped to marry. Unfortunately for them, his secrets and her fears still stand in their way. It’s scheduled for May 2013.
We’ll check in with Griff and Val and get a peek at Stefan’s past in Protector, the novella I’m finishing up now. It’s scheduled for next March. It’s about a wildland firefighter and a helicopter pilot, both mages, who thought a one-night stand had written “the end” to their attraction but are forced together again.
A favorite question we have for your guests is to ask what five books you’d take with you if the house is on fire. It’s a tough question.
Yes, it’s fair to call that tough. 🙂 Five books? Not five carloads? Ouch! That’s a touch choice, but let’s see…
I have too many romances and know too many romance authors to pick among those books. So I guess I’d grabTo Kill a Mockingbird, the D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths, The Lord of the Rings combined edition, and the two photo albums from our son’s first year.
Finally as this is Teatime Romance, please share with us what type of tea do you like?
There are quite a few. If I’m drinking it hot, I reach first for ginger peach. In warm weather, I brew plain old Lipton but also like peach iced tea.
Nancy has graciously provided a copy of Renegade in Kindle or Nook e-book format to one lucky commenter. Tell us if you are a rule enforcer or a rule breaker?
SHE ENFORCES THE RULES
As the mage council’s sheriff for the southeastern United States,Valeria Banning doesn’t just take her job seriously, she takes it personally. So when a notorious fugitive and supposed traitor risks his life to save hers, she has to wonder why. To find the answer, she’ll have to put everything on the line, starting with her heart.
HE BREAKS EVERY ONE OF THEM
As a mage, Griffin Dare is sworn to protect innocents from dark magic, which is how he finds himself fighting side by side with the beautiful Valeria Banning. But when the council finds out the two have been working together, the pair must run for their lives–from the law, the threat of a ghoul takeover, and a possible council mole.
NOW THEY ARE EACH OTHER’S ONLY HOPE
Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy and YA romance.
Nancy became an attorney but eventually realized her internal superheroine needed more room to play. She left the legal profession to teach at the college level and to write freelance articles and novels, most recently blending her extensive knowledge of fantasy into her own stories. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes she loves in her new contemporary mage series.
Married since 1987, she considers herself lucky to have found a man who not only enjoys a good adventure story but doesn’t mind carrying home a suitcase full of research books. Nancy and her husband have one son, a bossy dog, and a house full of books.