Book Tour & Giveaway: Candid, non-spoiler Q&A with Rebecca Zanetti on “mom moments” and writing a believable strong young hero
Please help me welcome back one of my favorite authors, Ms. Rebecca Zanetti…
… creator of epic, badass heroes and addicting, sweeping story arcs!
[box_tip]Psst – this interview is SPOILER-FREE!! Read on with confidence, even if you haven’t yet read the book![/box_tip]
Rebecca Zanetti (RZ): Thanks so much for having me here! You know I’m right at home here at GraveTells.
GraveTells (GT): As an author, you’ve “watched” Janie grow up from a small child into this magnificent young woman who bears the fate of the world on her shoulders. Did you have any “mom” moments while writing Janie & Zane’s story?
RZ: LOL! You know, I didn’t have any mom moments. I think I always saw where Janie would end up, and who she’d end up being, so the series was always focused on her meeting fate and deciding her own destiny. Before I sat down to write it, I did think about the sex scenes, and how they’d work out with folks who remember Janie as a kid. So I just kept it honest–Janie was growing up, and her struggles with growing up were similar to the readers struggling with seeing her as an adult, so I think it worked out well on the page.
GT: On a smaller scale, the same is true of Zane – you’ve shepherded him through 2 decades of tough life, hardening him as a soldier and a leader “off page” while giving him those periodic breaks to connect and bond with Janie in the dream world as they grew up. How did it feel to finally get to introduce and develop the real Zane?
RZ: Great question! I was so happy to finally be in Zane’s point of view! After the first couple of books, I didn’t get to explore his brain because I had to keep his life a secret a little bit. Plus, he went through some hard times, and it was nice not experiencing those with him. 🙂 Although, his life made him who he became in Marked, so it all worked out nicely, I think.
GT: Was it difficult to find the right balance between the sweet, adoring Zane we’ve known from the dream world throughout the Dark Protector series and the authoritative, demanding, no-nonsense soldier he revealed himself to be in person?
RZ: To be honest, that was the fun part. Janie thought she knew Zane, and the readers think they know Zane, and Zane is full of surprises. I think that makes him intriguing as a hero, and it also makes him strong enough to deal with fate, destiny, and even Janie. Even though she’s been raised by the meanest badass vampires in the world, she’s had them at her beck and call. It’s nice to see somebody she can’t completely wrap around her little finger, and I think that would intrigue Janie as well.
GT: Let’s talk about Kalin. His character has always been shrouded in intrigue and danger and as a reader, you never knew just what he might do. He is definitely a bad dude, but also seems to have a heart hidden somewhere deep down, particularly when it comes to Janie. Were you satisfied with Kalin’s ultimate role in Marked and can you tell us more about his character development process?
RZ: I had a lot of fun with Kalin through the years, and I thought it was important for him to have his own journey. I don’t like heroes who are only good or villains who are only bad. Through the series, there have been several opportunities for Kalin to choose if he wanted to be good or evil, so whatever fate he meets, he deserves it. He has chosen good some times, and bad the others. I’m very happy with how it turns out, and I have to admit, I was surprised by it. My plan for him in Book 1 was very different by the time Marked came to be.
GT: Parts of this story were very difficult for me to read – there were times I literally thought “no no no!!” in my head – and you made some critical choices influencing how the outcome of the story arc would play out. How much of this story was already set before you started writing it and did you ever feel conflicted about the paths the characters took?
RZ: If you were worried about how the book would end, then I did my job. 🙂 I was never conflicted about the paths the characters took, to be honest. There were so many questions that had to be answered in this book, and so many threads that had to be completed, that the book came together like a tenth story in the series should. I think that Janie ended up being a lot stronger than I expected in Book 1, and a lot more complex. As did Zane and Kalin, which I enjoyed seeing.
GT: The Kayrs brothers are sort of like “the unstoppable force meets the immovable object” – large, in-charge, and united against the world while taking good-natured shots at each other. These incredibly strong men are the pillars of the series and there were some tough scenes with them throughout Marked. Was it difficult to reconcile their roles in the events of this book with the needs of their baseline characters?
RZ: I don’t think I can completely answer this without giving away spoilers. But I can tell you that a note I received from my editor right after she read Marked was that one of the things she really loved was how, no matter what was happening or how dire things looked, the Kayrs men remained true to their natures no matter what they faced. That was a nice note. 🙂
GT: Jase seems to play a smaller role in Marked than the other Kayrs brothers. What’s up with that? Was he just hanging out in Ireland with Brenna, fending off fanatics?
RZ: I hadn’t realized he played a smaller role – LOL! I guess Jase’s story was complete, and there were so many other threads that had to be completed, that he didn’t get as much page time. But he’s in the book throughout, and he has a nice scene at the end. I’ll have to make sure he shows up more in the spinoff series than his brothers. Well, after the first book, Wicked Ride, because I already wrote that, and Dage shows up a lot.
GT: This is probably a publisher question but I’m going to ask you anyway since there are likely some other readers out there who want to know… *grin*
Amazon shows the release date for the paperback version of Marked as December 1 while the Kindle version isn’t slated to release until December 22. Is that correct? Why the disparity when a digital edition is, seemingly, easier to prepare?
RZ: Okay, this is so funny, because I’ve been chatting with my street team today about this. The release date for both the digital and the print copies of Marked is supposed to be December 22nd, without question. The December 1 date for the print version was entered as a mistake. The interesting question is if Amazon will stick with the December 1 date because that’s what’s in the computer. (Yes, we spent much time today quoting Terminator and discussing Skynet taking over…) I think the mistake may mean early print copies, because the traditional print run of Marked isn’t until next July, so print-on-demand copies are available probably now. I’m answering this question on November 30th, so we should update when this goes live with an answer to this question: Did the computer win? UPDATE: The computer won, and POD copies were sent out three weeks early. [GT update: I still tagged my review as an “early review” even if it’s already released! Kindle still says December 22, so it’s partially true! =P]
GT: Now that you’ve wrapped up the series – and started on the spinoff Realm Enforcers stories – do you have any plans to switch tracks? Maybe take a little breather? Any brand new story universes stewing in that talented brain of yours?
RZ: Besides the spinoff series, I have a brand new series called The Scorpius Syndrome debuting next year. It’s a dark, gritty, paranormal romantic suspense taking place in a dystopian-like Los Angeles. It’s very sexy. I’m not holding back at all, and so far I’m really enjoying it. A novella called Scorpius Rising will be in the anthology On the Hunt with Alexandra Ivy in July, and then the first book, Mercury Striking, will be released in January of 2016. I’ve recently signed with a film/tv agent who wants to pitch the book as a television show.
GT: Okay, I seriously just got a round of chills. I cannot wait to read that!
You know, rock star romances are all the rage now, and I for one would LOVE to read a Rebecca Zanetti rocker romance! *hint hint*
RZ: Very interesting! I will have to give that some thought. I always had a crush on the base guitarist, to be honest.
GT: You heard it first here, folks – a RZ rocker romance! Just kidding of course… although we can hope… really hard…
Seriously though, as always, it has been a pleasure to have you as my guest on GraveTells, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Marked and finishing up the Dark Protector saga. Thank you for creating such a rich, compelling world for readers to escape into… can’t wait to see what’s next!
RZ: Thank you so much for having me over again. It’s always a pleasure to play here at GraveTells, and thank you also for your amazing support. Happy Holidays, everyone!
Janie Kayrs has known Zane almost her whole life. He was her friend in the dream world. She trusted him. But that was before he kidnapped her, spiriting her away to an isolated cabin to learn what her dreams never told her. Like how dangerous he looks. How he got on the wrong side of the negotiating table. And how much sexier he is in real life…
Zane is a battle-hardened warrior, used to command and solitude. But Janie has drawn him from the minute they met. His need for her could destroy everything he’s worked for, but the risk is too sweet not to take it. They call her the Chosen One. But when it comes down to the questions of peace or war, life or death, safety or passion, it will be Janie who makes the choice…
About the author
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. Her current publishers are Kensington, Grand Central, and Entangled. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Dark Protectors, The Maverick Montana Cowboys, and the Sin Brothers series. Upcoming series are: The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com
Rebecca is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card during the Marked tour! To enter to win, leave a comment or question on this post for Ms. Zanetti, then fill out the prize widget below.
If you could ask one question about the Dark Protector series, what would it be?
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Click the tour button below to see all the blogs hosting Rebecca as she celebrates Marked and the conclusion to the Dark Protectors series!