Welcome to our Irish Castle near the coast where we've been invited by Erin to join her inside. Here we can smell the salt and brine and feel the bite of the cold Irish sea yet inside we'll find heroes to warm our hearts. So let's head inside where we can fill our cups with mead and enjoy a chat with Erin. I'm so excited to introduce you to her. I've wanted to have her as a guest since forever but this woman is BUSY! Not only is she beautiful, she's a great author who loves to share her sense of history!
Erin Quinn is an award winning author who writes haunting romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information.
Deanna: Erin, I've waited a long time to have you as a guest here so needless to say, I'm thrilled to introduce you to my readers. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Erin: Hmmm. Well, I’m a mother of two, I work full-time on top of being a writer, I’ve been on a diet since I was eight, and I’ve sat in the gas chamber at Florence Penitentiary and lived to tell about it.
Deanna: For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?
Erin: Absolutely! Dinner: Mexican food (the more heat and cheese, the better) and the movie could be anything from an epic disaster movie to chick flick. I love movies and will sit through anything—even more than once (with the exception of Scarface, Casino and Goodfellas—hate those gangster movies)
Deanna: Do you prefer wine, whiskey, scotch, or ice tea?
Erin: Rum, beer, diet coke or anything else that might come my way. I’m easy (but never cheap. Just ask my husband).
Deanna: Ha! A good woman is never cheap! What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?
Erin: Read. I love to read and it’s my favorite pastime. When I’m not doing that, I love to watch movies.
Deanna: Many authors dream of writing full time. Do you have to split your writing time between a day job?
Erin: Sadly, yes. It’s a grueling schedule sometimes.
Deanna: As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?
Erin: Ha! More than I can count, that’s for sure.
Deanna: Our friends who don't write don't always understand what it's like to have so many voices in our head! How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Erin: Interesting question. I usually have very twisty story lines, but I like to think there’s only one main plot tied into all the subplots.
Deanna: Readers love to know how writers spend their day. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Erin: For me, writing days go like this: Get up, coffee, computer. Hopefully my husband is golfing so the house is quiet and it’s just me and the doggies. I usually spend a good hour or two going through email, updating blogs, interviews, FB, etc. The business side of the business can really suck up your life. And then I get down to the writing. I try to write between 10-15 pages a day on my writing days. Some days I succeed, others…not so much.
Deanna: Marketing is definitely a time consuming part of writing but I love that aspect of the job, too! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Erin: I tend to pen a very dark tale and I’ve found that redemption is a recurring theme in my stories. In my world, time is rarely linear, death is hardly ever final, and second chances do come to those who are worthy. I love playing with these elements and they seem a natural backdrop to the stories I want to tell.
Deanna: Your latest series, The Mists of Ireland, uses time travel in an interesting way. Tell us about your ideas for that series.
Erin: I love time travel stories and really wanted to try my hand at it, but I didn’t want to “go” where so many had gone before. When I started Haunting Beauty, I began with the question, “what if you could change something in your past?” Of course, anyone will tell you that you can’t, that changing something will eliminate your present existence. Furthermore, (they say), it’s impossible to meet yourself in the past and doing so creates a paradox, the butterfly effect and yadayadayada.
My answer to that is…how do they know? Since time travel has yet to be proven, how does anyone know it wouldn’t work exactly as I have it Haunting Beauty? And if you do change something in your past, who’s to say it wasn’t always meant to be changed? Who’s to say you weren’t intended to travel back and do the very thing you just did? Who’s to say the paradox would be if you didn’t make that change?
I guess I approach every story I write with that “prove me wrong if you think it can’t happen” attitude. If I can think of it, if I can describe it, then why can’t it happen?
Deanna: We're dying to hear more about all the books. Tell us a bit about your series.
Erin: The Mists of Ireland are part of a time-travel series that takes readers to Ireland to meet the families MacGrath and Ballagh. For centuries these two families have been entwined in love, jealousy and the mysticism of an ancient tome called the Book of Fennore. Surrounded by lore and superstition, this ancient Book wreaks havoc on humanity—but when it falls into the hands of the MacGraths and Ballaghs, it ignites powers within them that make them its most formidable enemy. Each of the four books within the series focuses on one of the MacGraths or Ballaghs and follows their journey through time as they try to defeat the powers of the Book and deal with the new reality it sets out before them. Reviewers and readers alike have called the Mists of Ireland series “filled with fascinating characters, wonderful detail, and the beautiful scenery of Ireland” and “An enthralling read. Quinn’s mélange of paranormal, time travel and romance is outstanding!”
Deanna: Of the four books in the Mists of Ireland series, do you have a favorite?
Erin: Yes. *grin*
Deanna: Would you share an excerpt of one of the books with us?
Saraid’s people have been hunted down and all but annihilated. In desperation, her brother has arranged for her to marry the enemy and make him their ally. Terrified, but determined to meet her fate with dignity, Saraid agrees to become the wife of Ruairi the Bloodletter, named for his cruelty and violent nature. But on her wedding day she discovers her new husband is not the Bloodletter at all, but someone who wears the same face and looks at her with a stranger’s eyes.
Below is the scene when she first realizes there is more to her new husband then the cruel warrior she sees. Her perceptions are filled with contradictions and I loved writing the complex emotions she experiences.
There were too many to fit into the tiny church, so they gathered on the pathway before it. For a moment, no one moved or spoke. Then Cathán pulled a blue ribbon from his tunic and stepped forward, giving Saraid and the Bloodletter the signal to face one another. On wobbly legs, Saraid turned to the man she would wed. The monk in his long coarse robes emerged from the small gathering and stood patiently waiting for Saraid to put her right hand in the Bloodletter’s left. Her left in his right, wrists crossed. With a satisfied grunt, Cathán began to twine the ribbon around their hands, over and under until the knot of eternity was complete. She was numb through the monk’s speaking of the vows. If she did not know better, she would say the Bloodletter was feeling the same. There was a gleam of something that might have been panic in those blue, blue eyes. Did he dread this as much as she? But that would mean Ruairi the Bloodletter had feelings, and that could not be true.
She took a deep breath when he lowered his head to kiss her, feeling dizzy and sickened and something else she could not define. As if sensing the turmoil inside her, he caught her gaze and held it for a moment, his searching, probing. She felt as if he were trying to say something with those enigmatic eyes, and for a flashing instant she felt again that sense of another lurking behind the sky blue of them. What a frightening mystery this man was.
And then his mouth settled over hers and thought fled. His kiss was warm and soft when she’d expected cold and hard. The touch of his lips gentle and coaxing when she’d prepared for rough and invasive. The kiss was brief, and yet it felt that time stopped for the length of it, giving her the chance to feel every nuance, every unexpected instant. It seemed he tried to pull back and then hesitated, allowing just another moment of the contact that shocked her like a hot ember popping from a blazing fire to burn her. With their hands bound and trapped between their bodies, Saraid could do little more than allow it. She’d be allowing so much more later, when they were alone.
He pulled away, just enough so that he could look into her eyes again, and she saw something there that she did not understand. Confusion that matched her own. A need—but not the kind she’d expected. Not lust, but longing.
Then he was stepping back and a mask came over his features once more. His father stared at him for a moment, the look hard and warning, the message unmistakable. It was only then that it occurred to her that the Bloodletter might be as much a pawn as she.
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Thank you so much for having me as your guest, Deanna! You asked some great questions!
Deanna: Erin, thank you so much for spending the next few days with us! Readers, please leave your comments to be entered into Erin's contest below. She has a question for you...
CONTEST: I would love to give away a digital copy of any of my titles (readers choice) to one lucky commenter on Saturday, July 21st. If you choose not to leave your email addy in the comment, please be sure to stop back here to see if you're a winner so I may contact you. Tell me: If you could time travel, would you? Where would you go?