Hello Book Monsters! Book Monster Reviews is very pleased to welcome USA Today bestselling author, Regan Hastings/Maureen Child to our site today.
Regan Hastings is the creator of the AWAKENING series which currently consists of two (2) books, "Visions of Magic" and "Visions of Skyfire" which was just released on Tuesday, October 4. For those of you who are not familiar with the AWAKENING series, here is a synopsis of each book to keep you up to par…
They sound great, don't they? Now let's go talk to Regan to find out more about this great new series…..
Book Monster Reviews: Hi Regan! Congratulations on Tuesday's release of "Visions of Skyfire". Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by and chat with us! We’re so happy to have you with us today!
Regan: Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here, and I appreciate the opportunity to chat with readers about VISIONS OF SKYFIRE.
Book Monster Reviews: We always like to start out by getting to know you a little bit better.
Q1): Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can't find out on the internet, in your bio, etc?
Regan: Wow, great question! One, I’m not a morning person or at least, not until after I’ve had two cups of coffee in silence. Two, my house is for sale right now, so I have to rush out the door whenever a realtor calls to come see it, which makes it challenging to write. And three, I have an unnatural love for cheese.
2) What are some other hobbies and interests you like to do when you're not writing?
Regan: I love spending time with my family. They are endlessly interesting, especially the young ones. Halloween is especially fun, helping put together costumes. Isn’t it great how kids put on the costume and really feel like they have become whatever character they’re dressed as?And when holidays aren’t keeping me busy, I read incessantly, have a wildly diverse DVD collection that keeps me rewatching over and over and I crochet. Way too much. Need a blanket?
3) Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Regan: As much as I love my children – and I do – they were making me crazy when I was a young stay-at-home mom. They inspired me to start writing as a way to keep my sanity, and a way to be able to continue to be a stay-at-home mom after they started school.
4) You have written so many stories in multiple genres of romance? Which would you say is your favorite genre to write in? Which is the most challenging for you?
Regan: I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite! I love them all. The real joy of being a writer for me is being able to transport myself to different worlds, which makes writing in different genres even more fun. I started out writing western historicals, so I’ll always have a soft spot for the old west. Then I moved into contemporaries then took a slight detour into light paranormal and finally discovered the dark. LOL. Hard to choose a favorite, really. Because each genre allows me to explore different things. While writing VISIONS OF SKYFIRE, I lived in a dangerous, exciting world where magic was real and enemies were around every corner. Then I got to start on one of my books for Harlequin Desire, and suddenly, I was stranded on a tropical island. The best part about it is that there are sexy men wherever I go!
5) Do you have any interesting writing quirks or things you must have with you to begin the writing process?
Regan: I buy a Barbie doll and a Ken doll. Before I begin to write, I design and sew elaborate costumes for each, dressing them as the hero and heroine of the book I’m about to start. I get out a teeny, tiny paint brush so I can get their eyes the right color, and I add any scars or tattoos the characters have. If I can’t find dolls with the right hair color, I dye their hair, and then I get out my tiny scissors to give them the proper haircut.
That’s a complete lie. J But I made you blink, didn’t I? The truth is, all I need to start writing is a computer or a pad of paper and a pen. I don’t have any particularly interesting writing rituals. Unless you count my coffee pot, my synopsis and a window that I can stare blankly through while I come up with just the right way to get started.
6) Who are some of your favorite authors and series?
Regan: Oh, so many! And across genres. I like to be transported to different worlds while reading, the same way I do while writing. In paranormals, I adore Jeanine Frost and Lara Adrian. Laura Wright’s Mark of the Vampire series. The heroes are deliciously dark and tortured. My friend Kate Carlisle writes the quirky Bibliophile Mysteries, which I’m completely addicted to. When I’m in the mood for contemporary romance, Susan Mallery is absolutely the one I turn to.
7) What is your favorite inspirational quote?
Regan: Actually, it’s part of a much longer quote that I heard during one of the first workshops I attended at my Orange County chapter of RWA. “There is no substitute for persistence.” For me, that told me that if you simply keep working, keep trying, keep sending out your book, you will eventually succeed. But if you don’t try, nothing will happen.
8) What are 3 things that never fail to make you smile, and 3 things that never fail to piss you off?
Regan: Three things that never fail to make me smile: my kids, dancing in the kitchen with my husband, and writing The End on my latest book. Three things that never fail to piss me off: when someone hurts or insults my kids, people being rude to the elderly, and a trip to the DMV. J
9) What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but never have been? Could you answer that for us?
Regan: Question I’ve always wished someone would ask: How does it feel to hit #1 on the New York Times best sellers list? Answer I will be happy to provide when the time comes…: Fan-freaking-tastic!
Book Monster Reviews: Now we'd like to ask you some questions about the AWAKENING series.
10) For those out there who have not yet read the series, can you please give us some more detailed information about what the AWAKENING series is about?
Regan: I’d love to! 800 years ago, a coven of witches chosen to protect an ancient, powerful artifact grew greedy for the power and knowledge the artifact could bring. Against the wishes of their Eternal mates, they cast a dangerous spell, and their incantation brought demons pouring into the world. The witches and the Eternals were able to fight back most of the demons, but not all. Shamed, the witches cast their next spell upon themselves, sentencing themselves to live many lifetimes without magic, to gain wisdom before their powers Awaken again. Each witch hid one piece of the artifact to protect the world.
12) How many books do you have planned for the series?
Regan: Oh there are at least six and maybe more.
13) What were some challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc.) in bringing the AWAKENING series to life?
Regan: I did a lot of research into witchcraft, the history of it, the urban legends surrounding women of power. I spoke to several practicing Wiccans and they’ve been fabulous, especially in understanding that the way a writer treats witchcraft won’t necessarily be strictly by the facts. Then I had to look into gods and goddesses and the ancient Celts because my coven began in Ireland, then eventually moved to Wales. And there was finding the home of my coven, and now my plan is to visit that place in person. My biggest problem is that I have such an active imagination, and I really feel like I’m living in the world of the book while I write it. The world of The Awakening is very dangerous, not just for witches but for any woman who is suspected of being a witch. Neighbors turn on each other. Longtime friends make accusations, and it only takes one such accusation to bring the Magic Police to your door. If suspected witches aren’t killed outright, they’re imprisoned and often tortured. So my challenge at the end of every writing day was to bring myself out of that world and not become paranoid about what my neighbors were saying about me!
14) What's next for Regan Hastings and your other pseudonyms? What do you have planned in the upcoming months?
Regan: In December, my next book with Harlequin Desire will come out: THE TEMPORARY MRS. KING. It’s part of the King’s of California series of contemporary romances I write as Maureen Child. It’s fabulous and fun… and there’s that tropical island I mentioned earlier. Next up for Regan Hastings is VISIONS OF CHAINS, to be released in June.
15) Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Regan: As you know, I’m giving away a copy of VISIONS OF MAGIC here today (the first book in The Awakening.) I’m also holding a contest on my website. All you have to do is answer a simple question about the free excerpt of VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. The winner will be chosen at random from among all the correct answers and will win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click here to read the excerpt: http://www.reganhastings.com/excerpt_skyfire.html
Book Monster Reviews: Thank you again Regan for dropping by. We wish you the best of luck with your AWAKENING series and we would love to have you back on Book Monster and LITERAL ADDICTION in 2012 to help you celebrate and promote the release of "Visions of Chains".
Regan: Thank you so much! I’d love to visit you again to chat about VISIONS OF CHAINS!
If you would like to find out more about Regan/Maureen and her books, you can visit her at any of the sites below.
Regan's Website: http://www.reganhastings.com/
Maureen's Webiste: http://www.maureenchild.com/
CONTEST: Regan is giving away a copy of VISIONS OF MAGIC, the first book of The Awakening series.
To Enter: Make sure you are a follower of the BMR Blog and then post a comment on the interview and make sure you leave a valid email address. Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing. You must also be a follower of the BMR blog.