Friday, June 15, 2012

Interview with Laura Resnick and Giveaway - June 15, 2012

Please welcome Laura Resnick to the The Qwillery. Disappearing Nightly, the 1st novel in the Esther Diamond series, was reissued with a new cover on June 5, 2102.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Laura:  I suppose this doesn't really apply anymore, since I no longer print manuscripts (I just email the wp file to my editor), but back when I used to print them... By the time I was writing the final couple of chapters of the book, the first 3/4 of the book was always printed and in the shipping box. This is because I can't write the final section of a book until everything that comes before it is completely decided, finished, and done. So by the time I'm writing the final 2-3 chapters, all previous chapters are so set in stone that they can already be printed and boxed, because nothing else will change in those pages.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Laura:  A plotter. I'm very methodical and preparation-oriented in most things, and this extends to how I write, too.

TQ:   What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Laura:  Stamina. I always disagree with writers who say things like "a short story is just as hard to write as a novel." No way! A short story is hard work for, oh, 25 pages. A novel is hard work for 400-1,000 pages. Sustaining that level of focus on a story for the MONTHS it takes to write a novel, compared to the few days it takes to write a short story or article or column, is very challenging for me.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Esther Diamond series?

Laura:  I thought of this series so long ago that I honestly don't remember what inspired it. I first wrote the proposal for the series around 1995. (The whole saga of why it took sooooo long to get Esther Diamond published is on the "Those Crazy Ideas" page of my website: ) The series concept was a natural fit for me and my areas of interest: I was an aspiring actress before becoming a writer (Esther is a working actress), I'm a fantasy writer, I love New York, and I love comedy. So all those things got rolled into this series concept.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for novels?

Laura:  I do a lot of background reading on the subject matter (ex. for UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC, I read a lot about traditional voodoo beliefs, practices, and history; for VAMPARAZZI, I read a lot about traditional vampire folkore, which is substantially different from popular tropes about vampires in modern fiction and film). For the Esther Diamond novels, I also do on-site research via trips to New York (ex. I found out about the Mount Morris watch tower, a featured locale for UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC, by visiting Harlem several times; most recently, I spent four days in NYC's Chinatown during Chinese New Year to get background material for THE MISFORTUNE COOKIE (2013)). And whenever possible, it's very useful to do hands-on research (ex. find out what it's like to shoot a gun or wield a sword by doing so) or to interview an expert (such as a cop, lawyer, doctor, ER nurse, priest, etc.).

TQ:  Which character from the Esther Diamond series has surprised you the most?

Laura:  Nelli, who is Max's canine familiar. I had no idea she would exist. I was writing book #2, and when it was time to bring Max (the elderly mage who protects New York from Evil) into that story, a chaotic set of events occurred, and Nelli sprang into being. This wasn't planned, I wasn't expecting her, and I was surprised to see a large mystical dog enter the story and become a regular part of Max and Esther's lives.

TQ:  Describe Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond 1) in 140 characters or less.

Laura:  Struggling actress Esther Diamond must find out why performers all over NYC are =actually= disappearing during their vanishing acts--or she's next!

TQ:  Tell us something about Disappearing Nightly that is not in the book description.

Laura:  The one way this book changed, when it finally got published, from the original proposal I had written in 1995 is that an NYPD detective, Lopez, becomes Esther's love interest in the book (and the series). In my original version 17 years ago, Lopez was a womanizing opportunist who was Esther's nemesis--totally different from the way the character wound up being written in the final version I eventually sold and wrote of DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Disappearing Nightly?

Laura:  There's a scene where some of the characters do a breaking-and-entering at a magic shop, in search of clues or evidence, and encounter a number of unexpected things. I really enjoyed working on that whole section of the book and was happy with how it came out. There's also a scene where Lopez, the cop who becomes interested in Esther, comes to her apartment and tries to talk to her off the record while she's filthy and sleep deprived, which was also fun to do.

TQDisappearing Nightly has been reissued with a new cover. What do you think of new cover?

Laura:  I'm very happy with the cover, which was done by fantasy artist Dave Palumbo, who was very professional and easy to work with. This is much, MUCH more suitable packaging than the original cover for this book back in 2006, which helped kill the series (my contract was canceled after DN's poor release and weak sales, and I wound up having to move the Esther Diamond series to a new house, DAW Books, which has done a great job of rescuing and relaunching it). You can see from the new cover that this is a spooky-funny urban fantasy. The old cover didn't convey anything about the book at all--not even its genre, let alone its tone or subject matter.

TQ:  I know this might be hard to answer, but... who is your favorite character from the Esther Diamond series?

Laura:  Well, my favorite character is probably Esther herself--which is convenient, since she's the one I spend the most time with; she's the point-of-view narrator of the series. But I'm very fond of many of the characters. Actually, the character I have probably most enjoyed writing so far is one I loathe: Mad Rachel, the incredibly obnoxious, self-absorbed, and noisy actress with whom Esther shares a dressing room in VAMPARAZZI. Mad Rachel is the only character whom I've ever based on a real person. She's inspired by a former neighbor of mine--who drove me CRAZY. Although Mad Rachel's name, appearance, profession, and location are altered to protect the innocent (me), her -behavior- in the book is identical to the neighbor who spent a year driving me nuts. So writing her into a book turned out to be a form of exorcism for me, and I really enjoyed doing it.

TQ:  What's next?

Laura:  DISPPEARING NIGHTLY, Esther Diamond #1, was reissued last week; and Esther 2, 3, and 4 are currently available. Next up is Esther #5, POLTERHEIST, which is due out in November. To be followed next year by Esther #6, THE MISFORTUNE COOKIE.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Laura:  Thanks for inviting me!

The Esther Diamond Series

Disappearing Nightly
Esther Diamond 1
DAW, June 5, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The first book in the magical Esther Diamond mystery series...

When mysterious mystical disappearances disrupt her career, struggling actress Esther Diamond teams up with Maximillian Zadok, an eccentric elderly wizard whose day job is protecting the Big Apple from Evil. Meanwhile, the sexy NYPD detective investigating the disappearances fears that Esther and Max may be a bigger problem than the vanishing performers.

Esther Diamond 2
DAW, January 5, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

While waiting tables in Little Italy, actress Esther Diamond realizes some magical mischief is going on when a rash of doubles--dopplegangsters--starts to appear throughout the city. A paranormal screwball comedy adventure.

Unsympathetic Magic
Esther Diamond 3
DAW, August 3, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

From the award-winning author of Doppelgangster comes the newest novel in the popular Esther Diamond series

Acting jobs don't grow on fire escapes, so struggling actress Esther Diamond is outraged when her guest role as a hooker on controversial TV drama The Dirty Thirty is jeopardized by zombies, angry spirits, and a voodoo curse. But will Esther's courage backfire and end up leading her to become a human sacrifice on the altar of the sinister supernatural powers that are taking over New York City?

Esther Diamond 4
DAW, October 4, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Playing a scantily clad vampire victim in an off-Broadway play, struggling actress Esther Diamond now may be the target of someone who claims to be a genuine bloodsucker...

About Laura

Laura Resnick is the author of the popular Esther Diamond urban fantasy series, whose releases include Disappearing Nightly, Doppelgangster, Unsympathetic Magic, Vamparazzi, and the upcoming Polterheist. She has also written traditional fantasy novels such as In Legend Born, The Destroyer Goddess, and The White Dragon, which made multiple "Year's Best" lists. She began her career as the award-winning author of fourteen romance novels, written under the pseudonym Laura Leone. An opinion columnist, frequent public speaker, and the Campbell Award-winning author of many short stories, she is on the Web at

Note: You can also find Laura on Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of Disappearing Nightly (new cover) from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Which cover of Disappearing Nightly do you like better - Old or New?

Old                             New

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. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, June 22, 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.*


  1. i prefer the new one i think we see more the mystical element of the story in it

    +1blog follow


  2. I much prefer the new cover - it has an element of fun to it that the original cover doesn't have!

    GFC Follower: Mel S

  3. I think the new cover rocks! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway! +1 Comment, +1 Follower

  4. i like the new one ...

    +1 comment
    +1 follower by email :chikojubilee at gmail dot com
    +1 twitter :
    +1 blog :

    chikojubilee at gmail dot com

  5. thanks for a great giveaway!

    I really like the re-release cover. And I'm glad to hear it's being re-released cuz I've been looking for that book! :)

    gfc: erin

  6. Artistically speaking I think the old one is better. It's in balance while the new cover is more crowded and chaotic.
    The new cover does tell me more about what to expect from the story though, while the old cover doesn't tell me much.
    Hmm...... Old cover wins for me.

    +3 comment, follower, tweeted


  7. The new cover definitely!

    gfc follower - Martha Lawson
    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  8. I like new cover :)

    +1 comment
    +1 follower via GFC as Filia Oktarina
    +1 twitter :

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  9. I like both covers, but I like the original cover the best. Thank you for the giveaway!


  10. I like the old one better.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follower

  11. I like the new one, I think it has more detail than the old cover and it grabs my attention more. Thanks for the giveaway.
    +1 follower
    +1 Comment
    +1 Tweet:

  12. [+1] Definitely new! The old cover would not ring my buying radar at all!

    [+1] GFC follower. GFC name is Cherry.

    [+1] Twitted:

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-spamme [at] yahoo [dot] com

  13. I like the older cover. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom thank you for the chance to win!
    GFC Krystal LArson

  14. I love the new cover. It is neat. Please enter me in contest. I am a follower and email subscriber.

  15. the two of them are really nice but I think I prefer the new one. It allows us to have a better idea of the book.

    thanks for the giveway and the interview!

    gfc follower:Melliane


  16. I definitely prefer the new cover! I love the cooler colors and how it gives a sense of what the tone of the book will be!

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc
    +1 tweeted:


  17. I like the new one more. It has a lot of detail and a cool undertone colors making it look dark and mysterious.

    GFC follower

  18. I like the new. I find it to be more intriguing
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  19. I think the new cover better reflects the kind of book (I think) it is.
    I'm a gfc follower.


  20. I love both, but the new one is my favorite for sure.

    I follow GFC- Natasha
    Facebook- Natasha Jennex
    Twitter- @AGreatBook


  21. I definitely thing the new cover is much better at conveying the idea that this book is a spooky-funny urban fantasy. I'd probably never even pick up the book with the other cover.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara

  22. I prefer the new. There's a lot more going on in the background. The colors are fabulous too. WAY more interesting.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  23. I like the old because of the red. To me, it means stop, danger. I expcect some danger and excitement in the book.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  24. I totally love the new cover--the old cover looks like a romance book, not UF. Wouldn't have caught my eye at all--the new one has a bit of UF, some cozy...I clicked on it right away to see what it was about!

    Haven't read anything by this author yet!



    or you can always reach me at

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  25. I like both covers but judging by the synopsis, the second fits the atmosphere of the book itself better and thus should be a better indicator to potential readers. In that sense, book 2 is better.
    Quillery Follower
    april dot vrugtman at gmail dot com

  26. I like the new cover.

    I follow the blog.


  27. I prefer the new. But I do like about the old is that it shows the actor/performer aspect.

    tweet -
    blog -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  28. While I do think the new cover gives a better idea of what to expect from the book, when I only consider the actual cover, I have to go with the old one. The new cover is also pretty cool, but it's something I expect from a UF. The old cover, however, is prettier.

    Thank you for the interview and giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower