This AAD Author Spotlight is a two-fer: writing team Gayle Donnelly and Robyn Mackenzie. They are the authors of the sexy PNR Infinite Betrayal. Thank you ladies for visiting the blog today!
Jen: How did the two of you meet?
Gayle: Robyn and I met at work. I had just started the job and when I was being introduced around to everyone, one of the first things I noticed was a girl sitting at a desk with the most gorgeous hair. Red and Nelly Olson curly. I was so jealous! Robyn was soooo completely shy and soft spoken but the more I got to know her, the more I began to love her!! But believe it or not, our friendship really didn’t strengthen until she moved away to Illinois. We began talking over email and it all grew from there.
|Robyn & Gayle|
Jen: What’s the process like for co-authoring a book?
Gayle: For each book, we are either primary or secondary. Primary for us means that whoever “owns” the main characters, primarily writes the story while the secondary writer assists with plot line, wording, flow, and making sure the story stays on track. For Infinite Betrayal, Mina and Mathias belonged to me. I knew every character trait they should have and how they should speak. Their back stories were in my head so I needed to make sure their paths were true to their personal stories so I would write sections and Robyn would review and add. We would go through marathon discussions at Starbucks to go thru my initial ideas and build off of each other. It’s amazing how much our voices are the same. There are complete sections she and I have written independently of each other and for the reader, it’s seamless. Thank God!
Jen: What about the love scenes? I have a mental image of one of you asking the other, “Hey, do you think she should go down on him before or after he plays with her nipples?”
Gayle: Honestly, those scenes aren’t as complicated as you might think. We discovered that reading those scenes aloud to each other is key. If we can see it in our minds, then we know it’s possible. There have been a few books we’ve read where the love scenes are almost impossible to accomplish. Certain positions just aren’t realistic and really not that hot. What we try to do is think about what would be incredible to us as wives and women and try to put it in writing. If the reader can imagine feeling and experiencing what we have written, then that’s all that matters. What makes a woman’s toes curl is what we’re going for! The ultimate man making incredible love to the one woman he would die for. What woman wouldn’t want that!!
Jen: I really enjoyed Infinite Betrayal. Tell new readers a bit about the world you two have created there.
Gayle: The Coteri are a race of shifters dedicated to keeping balance between the human race and Nature. Trying not to allow man to destroy what essentially created them. Without one there is not the other. But in today’s society, humans don’t seem to realize that. Coteri live among humans as guides, teachers, lawmakers, and influential leaders in order to be a part of every-day life…keeping tabs on certain aspects of industrial growth, military enhancement, and scientific developments.
We obviously wanted a world that didn’t already exist in the romance community and that’s a bit hard to come up with!! We have read soooo many stories and series in which there were shifters, magic, vampires, etc and we wanted our world to encompass a little of all of it. Infinite Betrayal just scratches the surface of what we will get into in books 2 and 3.
Jen: Half-breeds are a big element in the series. Will they be able to eventually shift totally, or just partially?
Gayle: Shhhhh…..it’s a secret!!
Jen: Will Mia and Mathias be part of Infinite Surrender? I take it this is Chloe’s book?
Gayle: Yes. Infinite Surrender will be Chloe and Talon’s story. The one thing that we love as readers is when the writer continues the stories of the characters in the earlier books of the series. Mina and Mathias will definitely make an appearance in Book 2 as well as 3!
Jen: When will it be out?
Gayle: We hope and pray that Infinite Surrender will be out by early 2012.
Jen: Can you give us any hints/ snippets/ teasers?
Gayle: The following is an unedited teaser we featured on our website a few weeks ago. It is a brief, unedited sneak peek of when Talon and Chloe finally come together in Washington:
Killian stepped forward and crossed his arms over his chest. “Tell me, Talon. Did Roderick send you or are you here on your own? Last I heard, your orders were to stay at the castle to protect his daughter.”
Chloe turned to Talon in surprise. Surely he wouldn’t have come here against the express wishes of the king. Would he? And what’s this about Mina needing protection? She filed that in her list of things to ask him about later.
She watched as Talon’s jaw tightened before he spoke. “I’m here for her.” His huge hand encircled the back of Chloe’s neck. “That’s all you need to worry about.”
With that, he turned her and led her out of the room toward the elevator doors. They stepped in and she pushed the button to the parking garage; her emotions still a jumbled mess. As the doors closed she was unceremoniously thrust against the back wall, a solid weight pressed into her. Talon’s hands came up to cup her face as his turbulent blue eyes focused solely on her. “Mine, dammit.” He growled before his lips took hers in a hungry kiss. It was a kiss meant to devour, to mark, to own completely. His taste rolled over her senses as she arched closer and dug her fingers through his thick mass of black hair. She couldn’t stop the moan that erupted as he drove his tongue deeper into the recesses of her mouth, tasting and taking everything she had to give. She felt the evidence of his arousal pressed against her stomach and she wanted more. Damn her body’s response to this man. Chloe lifted one leg around his hip and pressed into him, creating needed release to the pressure that was overtaking her. His hands were all over her. Pressing, caressing, urging. This is what she wanted from him. Unleashed passion. Ownership.
Talon moved his hands around her ass and lifted. Chloe instinctively wrapped her other leg around him, squeezing her thighs tight, not wanting to ever let go. He lifted his head and held her gaze. His breath was heavy and fast, his brows furrowed as though he was fighting an internal battle as to what to do next. She made the decision for him. “Don’t stop, Talon. Please.”
As he closed his eyes and leaned in, doing her bidding, the elevator dinged and the doors slid smoothly open.
He quickly released her and stepped back, drawing in deep breaths. The turbulent depths of his blue eyes singed her senses. Oh yeah, he was definitely witness to her exchange with Killian, she thought. She tried to straighten her clothes with as much dignity as she was capable of before exiting the elevator and heading toward her car.
Jen: Wow. (*fans self*) What are you doing when you’re not writing? “Day jobs?” Kids? Scrapbooking? Secret techno sex raves?
Gayle: Well, I stay busy with my day job and then come home to a hubby of 16+ years and two daughters. My oldest runs track and my youngest wants to do it all!! They are wonderful girls but huge handfuls!! The only hobbies I really have are reading, landscaping, photography, and of course…writing. Hopefully one day, I will be able to call writing my full time job!!
Robyn: As for me, I also have my full-time day job (which just happens to still be at the same company as Gayle). My husband and two kids keep me hopping as well but for fun when I’m not writing I love reading, kickboxing, attending my kids sporting events, and watching UFC events.
Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in NOLA?
Gayle: The first thing that drew us to AAD was the location……The Big Easy! I so love that town! I was raised north of there in Monroe so the South is truly where I call home. I introduced Robyn to NOLA a few years ago and to have another chance to go back with her is fantastic! We are also really excited about seeing some of our favorite authors!! We are, of course, readers first and I can completely see myself stalking Jeaniene Frost! (Bones is a God, by the way!!) But to put a cherry on top, we found out we received 5 AAD Bookie nominations: E-book only book of the year, Best non-wolf shifter novel, Best World Building, Best Cover, and Debut Author of the Year. Hearing our names called out would be a dream but honestly, sitting out on the balcony overlooking Bourbon St with a Pat O’s lemonade, laughing with Robyn all weekend, and meeting some really great readers and writers will be prize enough!!
Robyn: Honestly, the excitement of the ‘first experience’ is probably what I’m looking forward to most. We’ve wanted to attend AAD in year’s past but our schedules just didn’t allow it. We were bound and determined not to miss it in 2012 though! There’s nothing more fun than taking a girls weekend with my best bud to a great city and getting to meet a group of incredible authors and readers. Gayle and I are both so looking forward to attending and we can’t wait to meet everyone!
A big thank you to Gayle and Robyn for being here today. While I go compose myself from that steamy snippet, you can go enter to win your very own copy of Infinite Betrayal. Just enter the Rafflecopter form below. You can also learn more about Gayle & Robyn on their website.