TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Alix: I don’t know if I have any actual quirks, although my cp’s and family may answer differently. I do tend to whine about midway through every book. Things like, “this book stinks” and “how did I ever think this was a good idea”, and the ever-useful, “Help!”. That’s when they pick me up, dust me off, and tell me to suck it up and get back to work. It’s habit, but it works. :-)
TQ: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Alix: Your blog isn’t long enough to list every author that has all of them, but I do have authors who hold a special place in my heart. I dedicated HEIR OF DANGER to four of them; Mary Stewart, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jane Austen, and Rosamunde Pilcher. These are my four go-to authors. Different in genre, style, characterization, but I read their books over and over whenever I need to get lost in a familiar story where the writing is flawless and the characters are old friends.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Alix: I’m a confirmed pantser so my process requires a lot of nail-biting and hair-pulling as the story moves forward, mainly propelled by my muse and lots of coffee. The hardest part is restraining myself from adding so many twists and turns in the plot that I corkscrew myself right into a corner (see answer above). Before I sit down, I will have a general idea about the major turning points of the story. Then it becomes a matter of connecting scenes to build the tension up to each point. But those scenes always evolve as I go and I’m never certain what will pop from a character’s mouth that will change everything.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Alix: Starting over. Every new book is a new challenge and I’m always certain when I begin that I have forgotten how to write and the new book will never be as good or better than the last one.
TQ: What inspired you to write the Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy?
Alix: The inspiration for the story came from a previous manuscript. The heroine of that book’s father was murdered under mysterious circumstances, and now and again there was an allusion to some larger dark conspiracy. From those seeds, the entire Heirs of Kilronan series grew. Though it wasn’t until I began writing the first book, EARL OF DARKNESS, that the King Arthur ah-ha! moment struck. After that, the story clicked into place pretty rapidly. HEIR OF DANGER is the culmination of the three books, so it was where I had to wrap up all my loose ends. This made it both easier since by the time I began writing, I knew my characters really well, and I knew where the story was going. The hard part was trying to write myself out of all the corners.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for the Trilogy?
Alix: The series is set in Ireland which is close enough to England that much of Society and custom were the same, but far enough removed due to its occupied status that there was a lot I had to learn before I could place my characters there. I found some fabulous research material on Ireland during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, both city and country life as well as travelogues and diaries kept by visitors to the country which helped tremendously plus some great travel maps from the period that zeroed me in on every little bump in their roads. And last but not least, my s-i-l is from Limerick, so I was able to pick her brain when I needed an authentic phrase or expression to place in my characters’ mouths.
TQ: Describe Heir of Danger (Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy 3) in 140 characters or less.
Alix: A man too dangerous to live. A woman determined to make it on her own. An inescapable destiny that will change both their worlds forever.
TQ: In Heir of Danger, who was the most difficult character to write and why? The easiest and why?
Alix: The most challenging characters were either Rogan or Helena Roseingrave. Both characters have clearly defined goals of their own that don’t always fall into line with that of Brendan and Elisabeth. I needed to give them strong and plausible motivations for acting the way they do and yet work to make them sympathetic characters.
The easiest character was also the most fun to write. Brendan Douglas is cynical, self-serving, but smart, determined, and never takes himself or anything else too seriously. I tend to write tortured heroes whose past actions still haunt them. Brendan is no exception to this, but while circumstances may be cripplingly dire, he never loses his self-deprecating sense of humor.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Heir of Danger?
Alix: This is the first time I’ve written an animal as a major character in a book. Killer is a stray dog who attaches himself to Brendan and Elisabeth along the road. When he first appeared in the story, I had no real idea of how he would fit into the whole. He was just a fun addition to their dangerous road trip. So it was almost as much a shock to me as anyone when he ended by playing such a pivotal role.
TQ: What's next?
Alix: I’m working on a new series, but plans are still sketchy at this stage. I’m also thinking about dipping my toe in the indie-world with a new book in my Bligh Family series. Again, I’m still in the beginning stages of this venture, but readers can catch any developments on my website www.AlixRickloff.com or my FB page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alix-Rickloff/101434889914147
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery
Alix: Thank you so much for inviting me here today to chat. Now, I want to turn the tables and ask a question of my own. It’s a new year and we’re all about resolutions and goal-setting this month. My goal for 2012 is to finally jump into the Twitter-verse. How about you? Something you want to do or somewhere you want to go before Dec. 31st? I’d love to hear about it!
About the Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy
Heir of DangerHeirs of Kilronan Trilogy 3
Pocket Books (December 27, 2011)
Mass Market Papberback, 400 pages
A man too dangerous to live . . .
After seven years outrunning enemies, friends, and his own soulcrushing memories, Brendan Douglas is risking everything on a desperate mission. He has vowed to thwart the evil mage Máelodor’s plans to unlock the past and reshape the future; unfortunately, the precious treasure that is his key to success lies with a woman Brendan jilted seven years before.
A woman determined to find a life of her own . . .
When her golden-eyed childhood hero abandoned her at the altar—disappearing in a storm of magic and mayhem, destruction, betrayal, and disaster—Elisabeth Fitzgerald struggled to put away her humiliation and loss. Finally, she has found a new fiancé and a comfortable future. Then, the one man she thought she would never see again appears—among her wedding guests. Brendan Douglas has returned.
An inescapable destiny . . .
It’s not just that Elisabeth is promised to another; Brendan knows he is drawing her into terrible danger. But he cannot resist the bewitching, brave, wholly unexpected woman his youthful nemesis has become. He promised to sacrifice everything, but is he willing to sacrifice Elisabeth?
Lord of ShadowsHeirs of Kilronan Trilogy 2
Pocket Books (June 28, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Who is working the demon arts . . .
Was it her murdered father? Her fugitive brother? It has been seven years since Lady Sabrina Douglas cloistered herself with the Sisters of High Danu, but the questions remain. She is Other—a mixture of Fey and mortal—quietly using her powers to heal. That is, until she saves a half-drowned man, his soldier’s body a roadmap of scars, his fathomless eyes filled with heartbreaking loneliness. The inexplicable connection overwhelms her defenses, touching her heart, mind . . . and body.
. . . and to what end?
A man with no memory, Daigh MacLir seeks his past even as unknown threats fill him with monstrous rage and inhuman abilities. But as a desperate game of hunter and hunted is played out from ballrooms to bedrooms, what Daigh discovers is more chilling than anyone could possibly imagine. Defying death was only the first step in the task he has been given, and Sabrina is his last hope. But dare he risk involving her? Daigh has been summoned to find an ancient king, and even the powers of love may not be enough to win the battle against the powers of darkness.
Earl of DarknessHeirs of Kilronan Trilogy 1
Pocket Books (December 29, 2010)
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
The magic she tries to hide . . .
Born a lady, but reduced to surviving in the slums of Dublin, Catriona O’Connell has been hired to steal a mysterious book from Aidan Douglas, Earl of Kilronan. But Cat is secretly Other, an age-old mixture of Fey and human—something Aidan recognizes immediately when he surprises the lovely young burglar in his library, about to steal a magical diary.
. . . is the magic he desperately wants.
From the moment Aidan sees her, Cat’s spirited beauty enchants him, but her uncanny abilities are what he truly needs, for Cat can understand the mystical language in the diary he inherited from his murdered father. So Aidan makes an offer: translate the book or be thrown in prison as a thief. And as Cat slowly deciphers each page, she and Aidan are drawn together by passion . . . and into the violence of the Other world that is the Kilronan legacy. Can they defeat those who seek the book, or are their lives in even greater danger than their hearts?
www.AlixRickloff.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Alix-Rickloff/101434889914147 or www.blameitonthemuse.com.
What: One commenter will win a copy of Heir of Danger (Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy 3) from Alix. US/CANADA ONLY.
How: Leave a comment answering Alix's question:
Is there something you want to do or somewhere you want to go before Dec. 31, 2012?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
I would love to go back to on vacation this spring. Taking a trip to visit Chicago. Taking my two kids to visit the aquarium, Navy Pier, go to a cubs game, and just other random stuff. I am not far from Chicago and have never been myself(other than the airport). Have always wanted to go and no going this summer.ReplyDelete
Love the covers of these books. Very gorgeous men on the covers. This one looks good and would love to win and read. Thanks for the chance to win.
I definitely want to finish the dissertation this year, which means lots of writing ahead of me! Thanks so much for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
+1 Tweeted (https://twitter.com/#!/RebeLovesBooks/status/157131979312201728)
I would like to be able to perform on stage before December 2012 as well as get a film or commercial gig on TV :)ReplyDelete
GFC: Arianne Cruz
email: cruz042 at cougars.csusm.edu
I would love to go to a book lover's convention.ReplyDelete
+1 I'm a gfc follower.
I want be to able to go and visit my brothers and sisters in England before the end of this year. I don't get to see them much, being as I live 4,000 plus miles away from them.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this opportunity. The book sounds amazing and I love the cover models. Yummy!!!
+1 - Comment
+1 - Follower
dpd333 (at) aol dot com
Is there something you want to do or somewhere you want to go before Dec. 31, 2012? ---> Well the only thing that comes to mind is to finish this WIP I am working on. I really love the characters.ReplyDelete
I'm dying to go to BEA! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcomReplyDelete
If I could go anywhere this year it Would be back to the beach. I love the beach and my kids have such an amazing time when we go, but we haven't been able to make it for the past few years :(ReplyDelete
The covers are amazing!
+1 Tweet : https://twitter.com/#!/harley_chick883/status/157180003145101312
Total of 3
I would like to attend a book convention. I also would like to read at least one book by "new" authors I discover.ReplyDelete
booklover0226 at gmail dot com
The wonderful Delilah Marvelle is going to make me go sky diving. Something I really never thought I would do. But she told me I can chicken out..ReplyDelete
Oh, I follow you but not in that crazy stalker kind of way. :)
shared on FB http://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-n-Kisses/240017362704897
shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/KellyMueller_
Great interview! Thanks for this giveaway! Is there something you want to do or somewhere you want to go before Dec. 31, 2012? I would love to go to Ireland and visit the Highlands!ReplyDelete
I tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/PCravingBooks/status/157208604708057088
hmm there are a ton of places and things i would LOVE to do.. but realistically.. im going to go home and stand in my best friends wedding and pray i dont look like a giant blueberry.. lol..ReplyDelete
hopefully go somewhere warm with the BF too!!
alainala AT hotmail DOT ca
+1 for following
I want to go and see New Orleans. As of right I have a trip planned for later this year. Hopefully everything works out. Thanks for the chance. Books sound amazing!ReplyDelete
I am a follower.
sariahwalters at gmail dot com
Sorry I'm late coming to the party but I see a lot of great goals planned for this year!
A trip to Chicago would be fantastic. Isn't it funny how you always put off visiting the places you're close to? I've lived near DC my whole life and I've never been to the White House or the Washington Monument. Good luck getting to Chicago this spring.
If you're like me, a deadline works wonders in the motivation department. It was amazing how much I got done with a thesis advisor breathing down my neck. :)
What a wonderful goal! What sort of performing do you do? Singing? Acting? Play an instrument? Fingers crossed and break a leg 2012 is your break-out year.
What booklovers convention are you thinking about? RT in Chicago? I've never been but I heard it's a lot of fun.
Can I stow away in your luggage when you go to England? It's been waaay too long since I've visited and I've never done the north of the country; the farthest I made it was Manchester. It's on my to-do list, although probably not for this year.
I would love to go to Hawaii someday but I doubt if that will happen by the end of the year. We are going to Walt Disney World. I have never been there. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.comReplyDelete
Finishing the w-i-p? You and me both! I'm a few chapters away, but they seem to be the toughest.
Is there something in particular you want to do at BEA, Krystal?
Yes, I hope to finally get my website up where I can share my wit, insights and excellent reviews with the world! What else can a bookaholic do? And also meet my goal for books read in 2012 at Goodreads.ReplyDelete
I really, really want to travel to Ireland this year! My daughter went to England last year and I couldn't go, so I'm hoping to be able to visit Ireland with her this year :)ReplyDelete
I have Alix's two first books and I absolutely loved them, so I would love to win a copy of this one, too!
+1 tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/jwitt33/status/157245177008893952
jwitt33 at live dot com
We bought a new travel trailer, and we hope to go somewhere for one weekend a month.ReplyDelete
I'm a follower.
I made a comment.
I tweeted. https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/Roxiesmother/status/157253407864930305
Thanks for the giveaway. srbagby 50 at gmail dot com
I want to go visit my father on the other coast. He is getting older and I do would like to see him again.ReplyDelete
debby236 at gmail dot com
Are you an East coast beacher or a West coast beacher? We're close enough to get for at least a day every summer though the ride home with sand in the bathing suit is a long one. :)
Tracey is another book convention goer! Wow, we've got two of you wanting to head out to meet the authors. Or are you authors wanting to meet readers? Either way, good luck and have fun!
Is Delilah jumping out of that plane with you? You're a braver girl than I am. I can barely climb to the top of a ladder without getting wobbly. Drop me an FB message when you go and tell me how you liked it.
You're another one I'd like to stow away with. I would love to visit Ireland and all the fabulous places I discovered as I was researching the books. I even have built in family I could visit. Unfortunately, I've gotten bad about flying as I've grown older. Maybe that should be another goal for 2012. Get on a plane even if it's a short hop from DC to NYC and back.
If you're in the mood, watch 27 Dresses. A great bridesmaid movie. And have a blast at your best friend's wedding!
Trips seem to be on everyone's agenda this year. I'm feeling positively housebound listening to all these great plans.
Would love to visit the beach again and this time take some camping equipment and my ereader full of books:) Then setup shop and do nothing but read!ReplyDelete
+1 Follower of The Qwillery
I definitely want to go back to California for another visit to my sister and friends. I just went in November, but there were a lot of friends I didn't get to see, so I want to go again this year and hope to see those friends I missed as well as my sis and her family.ReplyDelete
Barbed1951 at aol dot com
Id love to go back to South Beach .Ive ben twice and loved it .ReplyDelete
also follow via email
posted to my blog
Thanks for a great interview!ReplyDelete
I know, I know... it's kinda lame, but my 2012 resolution is to tackle my TBR piles, physical and electronic. I've been hoarding books and my goal is to read at least 1/2 of these piles to justify my hoarding :)
+1 gfc: erin
I tried NaNo this past November and found out that November is not the time to take on a project when you work in retail. So, I want to actually finish this novel I've had floating in my head this year. I definitely don't want to wait until NaNo in November again, in case I'm still working in retail. I'm thinking of doing my own in February. I just have to make myself a little chart to keep track of my word count.ReplyDelete
And I also want to read at least 104 books this year (an average of two per week).
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com
I would love to say i have traveled to one of the countries i always wanted to go....or to have written a story that has been publish.ReplyDelete
I love the covers and been dying to read them.
GFC: Lindsey Hutchison
I would like to go to London this year.ReplyDelete
I follow this blog.
Thanks for the giveaway.
I would love to go to Scotland.ReplyDelete
+1 GFC follower Marlene Breakfield
I'd really love to go to Alaska this year. I've been trying to talk the hubby into it for a few years now so this might be the year!ReplyDelete
mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com
I just want to spend as much time with my kids and family as possible, and do more family activities. We are hoping to go the Great Wolf Lodge in the spring and take a trip to Seaside this summerReplyDelete
+1 GFC follower
I just moved to Washington state but I haven't had the opportunity to see the mountains. I want to take a quick vacation to a cabin in the mountains.ReplyDelete
geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com
+1 Twitter follower GeishasMom73
+1 Tweeted giveaway
I'd like to take my Mom to Las Vegas. She hasn't been there for a long time and I know she really wants to go...but is afraid to fly. So, I'd like to be the one to show her that flying isn't so scary and Vegas is a short trip from where we live anyway. She would like it...I think.ReplyDelete