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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Q&A with the authors of Nightfall

Their passion will transform them.
Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought, in her wildest nightmares, that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her–one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.
The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna’s father. Skilled and steadfast, he’s ready for the Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and the mutant dogs attack–vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.
When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion–a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age. Excerpt from http://ellenconnor.com/books/nightfall/

Ellen Conner is the pen name for two fantastic authors Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty and they were awesome enough to answer some interview questions for us at Two Chicks on Books. We sent them a few sets of questions and had planned on only using one set but the answers were so awesome we chose two sets so without further ado here they are!

Questions about Nightfall:

You’ve described the  Dark Age Dawning trilogy as a paranormal post-apocalyptic romance – can you tell us a little about the world?

Ann:  Too much analysis of the creation removes the “wow” factor. I’d rather readers go in with a blank slate and just fall into our world. However, I will say its dark, gritty, and dangerous with elements drawn from both fantasy and horror to supplement the strong characters, the hot sex, and emotional resonance of the romance.  

Carrie: And each of the books features a different couple with their own individual happy endings. That seems to be a huge concern among readers who are eager for this trilogy. They want to know if they’ll be rewarded for diving into this scary, intense world. The answer is hell yes.

Each of the three books focus on different characters in the same world. Is there any overlap - do any of the characters from other books appear as secondary characters in each book or does their story wrap up at the end of each installment?

Ann:  Each book is meant to be a standalone. Certainly, your appreciation of Midnight or Daybreak will be enhanced if you start with Nightfall. But you can read them separately or out of order. Characters from other books are mentioned, but they don’t play important roles. It’s crucial to focus on the couples falling in love, not be distracted by walk-on cameos from couples who already got their HEA.

Carrie: Yes, you’re not going to see any sort of huge family reunion, but neither are the other characters completely forgotten. We continue to reassure readers throughout all three books that despite the worst conditions imaginable, the heroes and heroines who’ve fallen in love are still thriving.

The cover art for each novel is totally hot and pretty fierce. Are you happy with the way they came out? Do they adequately represent the characters in each of the books?

Ann:  I love the covers. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen romance covers that kick this much ass. I could write a book about how awesome the art is, especially how empowered the women are in their poses and the possession of their own weapons. In fact for Midnight, Rosa’s gun is bigger, which is so fitting. Thanks, Gene Mollica. You rock, sir!

Carrie:  Berkley was fantastic in allowing us input into the design and the models. They delivered such a cool likeness to our creative vision and exceeded our wildest dreams. And see, this is another benefit of writing together. We still occasionally IM each other and squee over how lucky were are!

The three books in the trilogy are Nightfall, Midnight and Daybreak. If asked, would you consider turning this trilogy into a longer series?

Ann:  My gut reaction is no. Are there more stories we could tell in this world? Absolutely. There are couples from Midnight who fascinate me, but it would take more money than they’re likely to offer to get me to ruin the symmetry for the sake of filthy lucre.

Carrie: But then the question becomes...how much filthy lucre?? I’m mostly teasing. We planned the symmetry from the beginning, even down to the titles. To prolong it now would feel lopsided. Besides, we have too many other great ideas to explore next.

I know you’ve provided an excerpt on your site for the first two books in the series, but is there any other sneak peek you can give us?

Ann:  I think it’s the whole first chapter, isn’t it? I generally don’t give more than that away. It should be enough to give reader an idea as to whether they want to go on.

Carrie: Yeah, go check out the website. We worked hard on making the opening irresistible!

General questions:

What projects are you both working on now?

Ann:  I just finished writing Devil’s Punch, the fourth in my urban fantasy series, starring Corine Solomon.

Carrie: I am putting the finishing touches on the second historical romance I have in my Christies series with Pocket. I need a title! Soon!

What is your favorite type of paranormal character to write about?

Ann:  I love the one I’m with.

Carrie: Anything that feels fresh. I’m not a natural paranormal writer the way I feel I’m a natural historical writer. So it has to be something that stands out and makes me excited to make that leap.

What book or film influenced your writing the most when you were first starting out?

Ann:  When I was first starting out? I was eight. So back then, I was reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew.

Carrie: Mine would’ve been the TV show “The Young Riders.” History? Romance? Hot young guys? Yes, I gleaned lots of inspiration from that.

If there was an apocalypse, would you want to exist in the post-apocalyptic world you created for this series?

Ann:  Haha, NO. I’d be dead in the first round. Unless a hot ex-military dude took a liking to me and hauled me off to the woods... hm...

Carrie: I’d be more like Chris, who becomes the hero  in Midnight. He’s a scientist. Incredibly resistant to change. So yeah, if some heavily armed ass-kickers barged into my home and said they were in charge? I’d survive. But not otherwise.

If Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor had to participate in Celebrity Death Match, who would win?

Ann:  Wow, you don’t ask the easy questions, do you? I’d have to know what version of Ripley and Connor. If it’s Sarah from The Terminator, she gets her butt whooped. She’s not bad ass until T2. And does Ripley have the Alien DNA yet? Then she’d kick even ripped Sarah’s ass, because she’s still only human. So in conclusion:

T1 Sarah vs Ripley:  Ripley wins
T2 Sarah vs Ripley:  Sarah wins

And if Ripley gets her genetic code tweaked, it’s game over for Sarah.

Carrie: Unless you add guns to the mix. But seriously, this question makes me so sad! Let’s not lose two incredible females to such senseless slaughter! As long as one or the other wasn’t threatening their kids, they’d be able to work it out.

Or, if you had to choose, who do you like more – Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor?

Ann:  Don’t make me choose. I love them both.
Carrie: I, too, refuse to choose. We’re called Ellen Connor for a reason...

So if you want to find out more about these awesome ladies and their books check them out here http://ellenconnor.com/  you can also read chapter one over there!

Go buy Nightfall you will not be disappointed!


  1. Very cool! I look forward to reading this one!

    Angeline Kace

  2. Oh my gosh these authors are amazing. I love their answers. I could not stop laughing at some of them!

    This sounds like a series I'm definitely going to enjoy!

  3. Oh! This sounds so amazing! I've put it on my TBR list.

    Thanks for stopping by even though I think your comment got eaten. :(


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