Today I have an interview with author Nancy Madore. While she is known more for writing romance/erotica, her latest book, The Hidden Ones, has her branching into historical/science fiction/paranormal.
What kind of research did you do to write The Hidden Ones?
In a way, I’ve been researching this series all of my life. It’s a story that has it’s root in ancient Mesopotamia around 3,000 BC, the time period written about in the Old Testament. I had a very religious upbringing, and actually read the entire Bible by the time I was thirteen years old. I’ve always found the Biblical characters fascinating, and spent many hours trying to fill in the missing gaps in their stories. Though the religious teachings didn’t stick, my fascination with the Old Testament did. I developed an interest in ancient history, mythology and theology. I knew I would write about this someday, I just didn’t know when, or how. This latest craze in paranormal fiction presented the opportunity. A lot of people don’t realize this, but the period just before the Old Testament was written was when the concepts for almost all paranormal phenomenon were born. Angels, demons, monsters, giants, spirits, vampires, and even aliens—all can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia. I decided to bring that history into the story and share it with my readers.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
No one likes a bad review, but having a background in marketing and sales, I had already developed a thick skin. And people are different. They’re entitled to their opinions. I try to see negative reviews as an opportunity to reflect on how I can improve my writing. The key is to know what to take to heart and what to ignore. I once had a reviewer complain that my strong writing voice interfered with the story. I listened to that good advice. It is critical that the narrator remain silent, unless they are meant to be a character themselves. However, I also received strong criticism for something one of my characters did. This character was meant to be objectionable, and the reader was supposed to be outraged. Mission accomplished. Though I got a low star rating from that angry reviewer, I secretly relished in the fact that I was able to get her so emotionally involved in the story.
Do you write your book from page 1 to the end, or do you jump around?
I used to worry that I might not have much ‘natural’ talent, because I go about my writing in such a systematic, almost scientific way. I hear about these writers who just start writing and let the story lead them. The mere thought of it fills me with anxiety. I have to plan out every detail before I’ll allow myself to start writing. I have to know the plot inside and out. And I have found that I prefer to write from the past to the present, otherwise the pieces don’t seem to fit together as well. It wasn’t until I read an essay on writing by Edgar Allen Poe (one of my favorite authors of all time) that I was able to appreciate this method of mine. When Poe describes his writing technique when creating the poem, The Raven, it reads more like a science experiment than an artist at work. I was delighted to learn that someone that talented had something in common with me! It gave me hope.
When working on The Hidden Ones, (once I plotted out the entire series) I wrote the story of the angels and the Nephilim first, then of my characters’ first encounter with the souls of these Nephilim in 1948. Only then would I allow myself to begin writing the main story, which takes place in the present day.
What is your least favourite part of promoting your book?
All of it. Even though my background is in marketing and sales, I have to admit I’m out of my element here. This market is different than any I’ve worked in before. In a way that’s good. The internet has levelled the playing field in many respects, but it has also crowded the field to the point where it comes down to the most aggressive, rather than the most talented. Just finding reviewers—real reviewers, the kind who simply love to read—is harder than you can imagine. You offer your book with a little blurb and some of the reviewers get downright testy. Even the ones who are interested complain that they’re backed up for months! And it seems like everyone has an agenda (including me, I do realize). But as an author, I really just want to write. Promoting my book is time consuming and, though I know it’s necessary, I don’t care for it one bit.
Which of your characters is your favourite?
Lilith is my favorite. She’s strong, courageous, and very human. I plucked her character right out of the ancient myths. There’s no doubt that she’s a villain in history, but there’s no real explanation why. How did she get to be so hated and feared? Though the legends of her are hard to swallow, I believe that she was a real character. Why else would so many rumors have developed about her? She’s considered a demon, a succubus. In Jewish legend she was the first woman (before Eve), who refused to submit to her husband. But who was she?
There is little but conjecture to go on, so in piecing together her story, I was obliged to draw my conclusions by looking at the people who started the myths about her. By examining the way they viewed women and the world, I think I’ve figured out why they felt the need to demonize her. I imagine
her to have been a rebellious character, and a bit too strong for their idea of what a woman should be. She was undoubtedly sexual and did what she pleased, or why else would they have deemed her a succubus, a threat to wives everywhere? And I think being ostracized took its toll on her. All of this I feel from things that were said of her. Her character has stayed with me; it haunts me the most of all the characters I’ve written.
Nancy Madore achieved enormous critical acclaim with her ENCHANTED series, which includes ENCHANTED, ENCHANTED AGAIN and ENCHANTED DREAMS. Now, following her life-long interest in history and mythology, Nancy Madore is launching a new series in the historical and science fiction genres, called LEGACY OF THE WATCHERS. Volume 1 of the LEGACY OF THE WATCHERS series, entitled THE HIDDEN ONES, is now available.
LEGACY OF THE WATCHERS (the series)
Thousands of years ago, something came out of the sky that changed the course of human history. Testimonies abound of these ‘angels’ and their hybrid offspring, the ‘Nephilim’ giants. These mighty ‘gods’ quickly rose to power, and the ancient world came alive with industry and culture. Many consider this period in history to be the ‘dawn’ of our civilization. People who lived as hunters and gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years suddenly began settling in one place, cultivating the land and even governing themselves. They invented irrigation, the wheel, protective armor and algebra. They somehow acquired knowledge of our solar system that even modern technology wasn’t able to confirm until the 1970s. Most importantly, they began to read and write. Yet an undercurrent of terror was spreading like wildfire, carrying whispers of ‘djinn,’ ‘daeva’ and ‘demons.’
The Watchers were supposed to do just that: watch. But humankind proved far too tempting and they ‘fell’ to earth, taking wives for themselves and even having children. But their children grew into unruly giants whose souls didn’t ascend like human souls, but remained here, on this earth. These errant Nephilim souls haunt the earth to this day. They are the ‘djinn,’ the ‘hidden ones,’ also known as ‘daeva’ and ‘demon.’ They have one purpose—to live. But to live they need bodies.
This chain of events has now reached the point where the djinn need more than just our bodies to survive. They must take back control of the earth, just as in the days when they ruled as gods.
THE HIDDEN ONES, Vol. 1
As CEO of her own thriving company, Nadia Adeire is flush with success, but a secret society dating back to the Essenes believes her to be one of the ancient djinn—the notorious demoness of Hebrew legend, Lilith. What’s more, they have reason to believe that she’s plotting a catastrophic attack on the world.
Nadia is snatched from her ‘perfect’ life and trapped in a maze between a present day disaster and the ancient legends of the djinn. The only way out is to retrace the steps of her deceased grandmother, Helene. The deeper Nadia goes into the past, the harder it will be for her return unscathed. But it is the only way to stop the impending disaster that was set in motion five thousand years ago.