AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: REBECCA GOINGS
I have cornered extremely busy author and fellow geek to learn a bit about her… Chatting with Rebecca Goings…
The Viper Prince, Book I of the Desert Princes of Jikkar from Carnal Passions. It’s the first of a five book series about hot desert princes on another world. The princes, in order, are the Viper, the Scarab, the Falcon, the Spider, the Cobra, and the Jackal. (Yes, only five books, but six princes. I explain why in the books. No spoilers!)
Tell us a little about The Viper Prince, what inspired you to write it?
For years I’ve always wanted to write about a sheikh. But I was stymied.. It seemed sheikhs in romance these days are modern day western thinkers with button-down shirts and private jets. They might have an exotic palace or two in a desert country, but there was no grit, no horses, no DUNES.. Where were the duuuunes?? LOL
I thought maybe I could write a historical sheikh, but tradition bogged me down, as well as history. I couldn’t find a point in history I wanted to write about, much less give the book the flavor I wanted to give it. I kind of wanted to mash all of the middle-east together to make a melting pot of sorts. When I had that idea, I thought hey, I should make my own world and go to town with my ideas.
And that’s exactly what I did. The whole of Jikkar is like the sandy dunes of the Sahara. The princes each own an oasis that was given to their family eons ago by the very gods themselves. Their task is to bring their water to the people of the desert in caravans. So the princes are nomadic, however, the rest of the planet live in tent cities.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A little of both, actually. I know where I want to go, I know plot points I want to hit along the way, but I let the characters lead me there.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I write all over the place. I have fantasies, historical westerns, paranormals, and a couple of contemporaries. I never wanted to be branded into the corner of writing one genre. I never wanted to have 500 pen names to write all the stories rattling around in my brainpan. It’s hard enough to promote one name!
But since The Viper Prince is technically fantasy (with a sci-fi twist, since they *are* on another planet–perhaps another dimension) I’ll tell you that I love fantasy because the sky is the limit. When magic is present, it doesn’t matter if the setting is a medieval-type world, an alternate history, or a desert world, the story can become literally anything. From dealing with gods coming down from on high, to being able to grow lush green plants in a barren wasteland. And I LOVE that creative freedom.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Mynos the Dragon from my Legends of Mynos series from Samhain Publishing. He’s not a main character, but he’s absolutely pivotal to those stories and one of my very favorite characters.
In the Desert Princes, my two very favorites are the Scarab and the Spider.
Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
Laith Moreland from Hearts Eternal. I don’t hate the character as much as I dislike the story itself and the way it’s told. I wrote that book so long ago (only a few years but it feels like an eternity) that it makes me cringe to read it. So many clichés and just…overall kind of cheesy writing. lol I know it’s funny for an author to admit that, but there it is. The sequel, Hearts Unbound, is stronger, in my opinion. It’s probably why Jareth Moreland is my favorite of the Moreland brothers.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I don’t have any characters in my books that I’ve fashioned out of real people, unless you count putting pieces of me in my heroine and pieces of my DH in my heroes. Sometimes, I describe my character’s clothing with what I’m wearing at the time I’m writing. There have been a few times in my BEAST books that I’ve needed a key code to unlock doors and such. I’ve made those key codes from important dates in my life. The most recent code is in Mark of the B*E*A*S*T*, Book IV, my latest one. I think it was 11509. That was the date I’d written that scene. November 5th, 2009. Another key code from THE B*E*A*S*T* WITHIN was 95325 – that’s the date I got married – 1995, March 25th.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m a geek. Not quite the kind of geek that still lives in their mother’s basement, but I’m big time into geeky shows, geeky celebs, games, movies, & pop culture. My hand on a Bible, I just recently told Wil Wheaton–to his face–that he needed to stop appearing in all the shows I watch because it was getting embarrassing for him (because he’s obviously stalking me. lol – **said instance was spoken at a signing event at Pax Prime in Seattle (Penny Arcade Expo), a gaming convention held on the Labor Day weekend. He got a kick out of it, then signed the back of my iPad. See attached pic of said iPad.)
Oh yes, did I mention I also snagged the signatures of comedy singing duo Paul and Storm? Or MC Frontalot? How about Jonathan Coulton, affectionately called JoCo by his fans? Oh yeah, I’m a geek. If you’ve heard of these folks, chances are you are one too.
Favorite shows: Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Leverage, Stargate Universe
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Dutch Brothers Iced Kickers. Made. Of. Win.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
A.) Music and B.) No one bothering me. Sometimes C.) a change of scenery (porch/deck/different room – I have a laptop)
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Yes and Yes! In fact, my Desert Princes series was heavily inspired by the song SAHARA by Nightwish. One of the verses actually says, “Ancient mariners in a sea of sand…” That’s my princes in a nutshell.
My BEAST series was born of Linkin Park and Disturbed.
Within Temptation is also inspiring me to write more fantasies with their lovely music. In fact, they sing my favorite song ever, ANGELS. There’s got to be a book plot in that song!
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
I don’t know! I don’t picture my characters as Hollywood hotties. The Viper has a well-kept short beard, so any hottie with a beard that wasn’t all “Joaquin Phoenix.” The heroine is blonde, so maybe a Reese Witherspoon type.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was in the living room of my old house. I was damned excited! Bouncing off the walls even. I told my DH who met my squee with the raised brow of “this too shall pass”. Heh, I don’t think anyone thought I’d continue pursuing my writing. Not because I wasn’t determined enough, but that it was eBooks. I got my first contract in 2004, mind, back when most eReaders and smart phones didn’t exist. So friends/family were hesitant to extend their congrats due to thinking my career was “going nowhere”.
I look at my backlist now and chuckle.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Twelve. My sister left for college and left behind her Johanna Lindsey collection. I was bored one day during summer vacation. Boy, did I learn a LOT about sex that summer….
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am currently working on Book V of my Desert Princes, The Jackal Prince. I just got my contract for The Spider Prince, Book IV, from Carnal Passions! These books are releasing every two months. The Viper Prince just released August. The Scarab Prince is coming October. The Falcon Prince will be available in December and The Spider Prince in February. I can only assume The Jackal Prince will be April. After I finish this book, I’m thinking either a dark fantasy with a medieval flair or erotic historical cowboys. Which do YOU think I should pursue?
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
Oh, if anyone poo poos eBooks I will SCHOOL them!! I get so defensive about eBooks these days you don’t even know. I inform them about how eBooks have been shaping the face of publishing, and how they will only become more and more popular with the eReaders available on the cheap. As far as poo pooing romance itself, I’ll tell them how romantic fiction makes up the lion’s share of the fiction market with regards to sales.
And I’m doing quite well for myself, thank you very much.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
The edible kind. ;P