Author interviews are one of my favorite types of spotlight. I always find them interesting. Today I’m so excited to be interviewing Mary Gillgannon who is releasing her new book Call Down the Moon. Please help me make Mary feel welcome!!!
The love through the ages combined with time-travel and reincarnation is an awesome concept. Was it tricky to write?
The hardest part for me was learning to write in the modern era. I’ve written lots of historical romance novels, but this was the first time I had to write dialogue and descriptions appropriate for my own time. It took a bit of getting used to, but then I realized it’s actually easier. I didn’t have to worry about whether I was using anachronistic terms or research every detail.
It seems like both your hero and heroine will change a lot through the story. What did they (you) find most difficult about those changes?
I think Connar had a lot harder time than Allison. Not only is he living in a world that’s completely different than the one he grew up in, but the woman he has come to this time period to be with is different than the one he knew in the past. Allison is much more independent and self-reliant than a woman of the ninth century. She’s also much more comfortable, not to mention assertive and experienced, when it comes to sex. Even the way she looks is a little different, since she wears make-up and styles her hair. But once he gets used to it, Connar ends up liking all the ways Aisling has changed. He admires her strength and independence and finds her sexual confidence exciting. Because he’s confident and determined himself, he can accept and appreciate those qualities in her.
What did you find most interesting or intriguing as you wrote the book?
The modern Wicca scene is part of the plot, and it was fun to show how a lot of the spiritual beliefs of Connar’s time have survived and remain meaningful to people today. Celtic mystical belief (or what we know of it), is a large part of many pagan rites and practices. I used this connection to the past to give Connar a vocation in the modern era (he owns a New Age store) and in quite a lot of other ways in the book.
What did you like most about combining a modern hero and a historical/old-fashioned hero?
Connar struggles a bit with some of the things expected of a modern man. For example, he hasn’t learned how to drive a car yet. Things like this give him a kind of vulnerability, and I hope make him seem more human and realistic. And he really struggles with how to behave on a date. Not to mention the idea of using a condom!
If you could travel to another time, which would you choose? And why?
I would probably choose the dark ages, because even thought the term makes that time period seem grim and “dark”, I actually think the quality of life was better than in the middle ages, or any era up until relatively modern times. People had worked out basic hygiene practices and at least in places like Ireland, they had adequate food and a fairly healthy diet. And in Celtic cultures, women were respected and had legal rights. It’s ironic, but Christianity was a potent force in changing that. Not so much in the beginning, but as the Church’s power grew and it become more hierarchical and controlling, it made ended up marginalizing women and discounting their knowledge of things like herbal lore and healing practices. And as such folk knowledge was lost, that had the effect of reducing the quality of life for everyone.
What genre would you like to write that you haven’t tried yet?
I’d really like to write a mystery someday. It would probably have to be pretty “cozy”. Even though I like to read dark, gritty mysteries, I’d never been able to write something like that. I keep thinking that some day an idea for a mystery will just come to me. Which is pretty much what happens with all my books.
What one question would you like to ask your readers?
I’m curious how readers discover new authors. There are so many books out there–what makes you take a chance and try someone new?
And now, for the speed round (a la Actors Studio). Answer the following questions with 1 word:
- What turns you on? sunshine
- What turns you off? negativity
- What is your favorite word? magic
- What is your least favorite word? no
- What sound or noise do you love? rain on the roof
- What sound or noise do you hate? chainsaw
- What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? college professor
- What profession other than yours would you NOT like to attempt? assembly line worker
- What is your favorite swear word? damn
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter the Pearly Gates? It took a few lifetimes, but here you are!
CALL DOWN THE MOON
In the ninth-century, Irish warrior Connar fell hopelessly in love with Aisling, one of the Nine Sisters, a group of priestesses skilled in healing. When Aisling came to a tragic end, he used magic to travel to the future to reunite with her. But someone has followed Connar from the past, and they are determined to keep Allison and Connar apart. As Allison struggles with terrifying visions, she must learn to trust in a love that transcends even death.
He went into the kitchen and pulled a dusty bottle from the wine rack, then dug in the drawer for a corkscrew. His hands shook as he inserted the corkscrew and worked it down. He couldn’t believe this moment had come. Aisling was here. After all these centuries. It was…magic. He took a deep breath. She was the whole center of his world, his reason for existence. He had to make certain everything went perfectly.
Pulling out the cork, he poured each of them a glass of wine and took the glasses into the living room. She was sitting on the couch, looking so beautiful it made his chest hurt. He handed her a glass and sat down beside her. Not too close. He didn’t want to distress her. But if he didn’t touch her soon, he would lose his wits.
She took a sip of the wine. The tip of her tongue poked out in an unconscious gesture as she tasted the wine. Connar sucked in his breath. He couldn’t endure much more. He was overwhelmed with desire. It was torment to be so close to her. To watch the rise and fall of her breasts beneath the tight fabric of her dress. To observe the pulse of life in her slim neck. To feast his eyes on the silken perfection of her skin. Every nuance, every detail of her body aroused him.
“It’s good wine,” she said. “I mean, I’m hardly a connoisseur, but it’s very mellow.” She looked at him, a shy flash of blue eyes. His mind went blank as he focused on her lips. Full and ripe, and moist from the wine.
He put down his own glass and cleared his throat, struggling for control. “Yes, it’s good wine. I’ve been saving it.”
“Saving it? For me?” Her voice was breathless, soft and light. Her pupils were huge, the black centers consuming the blue irises.
“Yes, for you.” He took her glass of wine and carefully set it on the table to his right. Then, he reached out and put his hand on her neck. She didn’t move, merely stared at him, lips slightly parted. He leaned forward to kiss her.
About the Author:
Mary Gillgannon writes historical and paranormal romance and fantasy. She also works full-time in a public library, where she has the enviable job of ordering fiction. Since her two children are now grown, she indulges her nurturing instincts on her husband, dog, four very spoiled cats and her garden. She travels when she can, and especially enjoys visiting places in the British Isles. She is currently at work on the second book in the Soulmate series.