Eileen Wilks- Interview and and Giveaway with the Author
With the October release of MORTAL TIES, we would like to welcome the author Eileen Wilks.
TRC: Hi Eileen and welcome to The Reading Cafe. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Eileen: I’m pretty sure I’d suck at speed dating, which is what this kind of question reminds me of, but I’ll try: I love the color turquoise, my new black bean soup recipe, painting almost anything, and gardening. I hate bermuda grass, the word “utilize,” and that moment when you realize you just locked your keys in the car. I was born in Texas. By the age of twenty-one, I’d lived in 2 countries, 6 states, and 12 cities and towns. I then spent many years at the same address, but recently uprooted myself to move to Norman, Oklahoma.
TRC: You have described your first writing experience like an alcoholic with his first drink. What was the catalyst that started you on the road to writing?
Eileen: A friend and I went through our second adolescent by writing what would now be called fan fic–little scenes we shared with each other based on Star Trek. I loved it, but had no idea how to go from writing a couple scenes to writing an entire book using my own characters. Then one night I woke up at 2 a.m. with the entire plot of a book in my head.
I wrote that book in longhand on multiple legal pads. Eventually I got it transcribed into a form I could copy and send out. The wonderful story that obsessed me for over a year was then turned down by every publisher in this country and a couple overseas. There’s a reason for this: it was a pretty bad book. Didn’t matter. I was hooked, and have been writing ever since.
TRC: Many authors say they have always had an active imagination since childhood and this imagination fueled their desire to write. Have you always had the desire to write?
Eileen: I never aimed at being a writer, but I’ve been playing with stories all my life without realizing I was prepping for a career. One of my favorite things to do when I was young was to draw pictures and make up stories to go with them. In the seventh grade, I wrote Girl From U.N.C.L.E. stories. None of this persuaded me I could or would be a writer. It took a 2 a.m. wake-up call (see previous question) to do that.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you faced as an author?
Eileen: The usual–rejections, money, rejections, money . . . my first five books were rejected. The first book I wrote after making my first sale (to Silhouette) was rejected. As for the money problems . . . I’ll just say that it’s easier to make it as a writer if you have a spouse earning a good paycheck who can carry you on his or her health insurance. Getting established takes time. Income is erratic and unpredictable, and often nowhere near what many readers think writers make.
TRC: WORLD OF THE LUPI is your series featuring an elite family of wolf-shifters. What background information can you give our readers about the series?
Eileen: Magic is real in my lupi world. Otherwise, it looks a lot like ours. People argue, hook up, go to work, marry, sleep, weep, and spend too much time on Facebook or YouTube or that site with all the funny cat pictures.
Lily Yu is a homicide cop turned FBI agent. She doesn’t spend much time on YouTube, but she argues, she sleeps, and once in awhile she weeps. And she’s going to get married. Her fiancé is Rule Turner, known to the human world as “that werewolf prince,” and to his lupus clan as the lu nuncio, or heir. Lily works for a special Unit within the MCD—that’s the Bureau’s Magical Crimes Division. She became a cop to stop the monsters, although it was human monsters she had in mind at the time. These days, the perps she tracks may be a lot more—or a lot less–than human.
TRC: MORTAL TIES is your 9th novel and latest release (October 2012) in the WOTL series. Would you please tell us about the premise of this storyline?
Read an excerpt HERE
Eileen: FBI agent Lily Yu is living at Nokolai Clanhome with her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, when an intruder penetrates their territory, stealing the prototype of a magical device the clan hopes will be worth a fortune–if a few bugs can be worked out . . .
But the prototype can be dangerously erratic, discharging a bizarre form of mind magic—and it looks like the thief wants it for that very side effect. Worse, whoever stole the device didn’t learn about it by accident. There’s a Nokolai traitor in their midst. Lily and Rule have to find the traitor, the thief, and the prototype. One job proves easy when the thief calls them–and his identity rocks Rule’s world.
As they race to recover their missing property, they find Robert Friar’s sticky footprints all over the place. Robert Friar―killer, madman, and acolyte of the Old One the lupi are at war with―an Old One whose power is almost as vast as her ambition to rock the entire world . . .
TRC: Lily and Rule are the principal characters throughout the WOTL. How many books do you have planned for the series? Have you considered focusing on another couple or writing a spin-off to the series?
Eileen: I don’t have a fixed number of books in mind, though I do know the basic premise for the last book–when the time comes to close the series. Which is not yet. I’m contracted for another three lupi books and happy to still be spending time with Lily and Rule, but I do have another series idea floating around in my corner of the mystery swamp, a.k.a. dark matter, which as everyone knows is where writers get our ideas.
TRC: What plans do you have for the next installment in the WOTL series? Novella?
Eileen: I’m currently working on Book 11, Ritual Magic: Lily and Rule battle an evil that strikes far too close to home–an evil so dark it forces them into a most uneasy alliance. After that, I hope to work on a novella. That’s my version of taking a break. Novellas aren’t really instant gratification, but they’re so much quicker for me that they seem that way.
TRC: Many authors bounce ideas with other authors, as well as family and friends. With whom do you bounce ideas and why?
Eileen: When I need to talk out a problem, I usually call my daughter. She lets me babble until I realize what the real problem is–and it’s almost never what I thought. Usually I was asking the wrong question, which seldom yields a useful answer.
TRC: Have you ever considered writing a Young Adult series of novels?
Eileen: I don’t think I’m on good terms with my inner teenager–that isn’t a voice I conjure easily. Like most things in life, this could be subject to change
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Eileen: Ritual Magic, as cited above.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Eileen: Most eagerly awaited book for me this year: Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King. I’m crazy about her Mary Russell character and her take on Sherlock Holmes.
Coffee. Some would say that isn’t a food, but what do they know? Oh, all right, I’ll give my second favorite, too. That would be chocolate, but I’m not supposed to eat it these days.
My brother’s creme brulée.
Impossible to pick just one, but the one that popped into my brain this time is Raiders of the Lost Arc.
Favorite TV Show
Currently, that would Big Bang Theory.
Last Movie you saw
Brave. Loved it.
Dark or Milk Chocolate
Do you have any pets?
No, but I’m claimed by three cats, who graciously allow me to live with them, feed them, pet them, and otherwise tend to their needs.
TRC: Thank you Eileen for answering our questions. Congratulations on the release of Mortal Ties. We are looking forward to reading the next instalment.
Eileen is offering a copy of her latest release in the World of the Lupi series MORTAL TIES to one lucky member at The Reading Cafe.
1. You must be a member at The Reading Cafe. If you are not a member, please register using the log-in at the top of the page or by using one of the social log-ins.
2. If you are using one of the social log-ins such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with the comment as Twitter et al does not allow for contact information.
3. Giveaway is open to residents of continental USA and Canada only.
4. Giveaway runs from October 16-19, 2012.