October 28, 2013

Interview & Review: Ann Gimpel

It’s wonderful that I have been able to be part of the To Love the Highland Dragon tour! Gimpel is here for an interview, and I even have a review of the book below!


toloveahighlanddragonAnn Gimpel: First off, thanks so much for hosting me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Shera (Book Whispers): Well thank you for stopping by, it’s wonderful to have you. Now time for the fun part!

In your own words introduce yourself.

AG: Once upon a time, I was a psychologist with a strong interest in mythology and symbolism. I always enjoyed analyzing dreams and hunting for hidden meanings in what my clients told me. Now I’m a writer. It won’t surprise you that I still have a strong interest in mythology and symbolism. The only difference is that now I write about them, rather than weaving them into psychotherapy sessions.

BW: How did you come up with the idea behind your dragon shifters? Not sure if I'd be willing to share the same body with a moody dragon.

AG: Shifters have loomed large in many of my books. I’ve had characters that were wolf shifters, cat shifters, and bear shifters. I’ve always adored dragons, so I figured, why not? In the story world for To Love a Highland Dragon, Lachlan (the mage) and Kheladin (the dragon) have their own personalities. Yes, they’re stuck in one form, or the other, but that doesn’t mean that the other entity doesn’t get to have an opinion. It actually gave me some great opportunities for dialogue to help my readers know more about both the mage, and the dragon. By the time I was done writing, I had the utmost respect for both of them.

BW: Did you have a favorite character to write, or do they all get your love equally?

AG: What an interesting question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that one before. Erk! It’s sort of like being a mom with several children, and having someone ask if you have a favorite. Bottom line is you always do, but it’s terribly politically incorrect to say so—at least out loud. Probably my favorite character in this book was Kheladin. The dragon energy is just so compelling. Together, he and Lachlan truly are larger than life.

BW: Were there any particular parts that were hard to write?

AG: The hardest part was keeping modern language and knowledge out of Lachlan/Kehladin’s parts of the story. There would have been no way for Lachlan to know about anything modern, like computers or airplanes, so he had to be surprised every time, and have believable reactions to a very different world than the one he fell asleep in.

BW: There are dragons, witches, Celtic Gods, and other fun paranormal things, what mystical critters were your favorite to write?

AG: I had a lot of fun with the witches in To Love a Highland Dragon. I tried to make them stand out, so a reader would recognize them and easily be able to separate them from the dragon shifters and Celtic gods. One of the things that draws me to paranormal fiction, both as a reader and as an author, is the richness of supernatural elements. I thrive on the possibility of magic lurking in the oddest places. When I write, I can actually make it real.

BW: When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"

AG: Many authors are inspirational to me. On the fantasy front, there are Tolkien, and15808767 McKillip, and LeGuinn, and Jordan, and Goodkind. On the romance front, I like Nora Roberts/JD Robb, KM Moning, Kate MacAlister, and Nalini Singh. I suppose I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t gotten into too many writing jams. My muse is extraordinarily helpful. She catches my plot glitches and tells me what will happen next. From my psychology background, I understand my muse is part of my unconscious mind. Just like with dream analysis, I have to be open enough to the buried parts of myself to listen to her. Someone, I think it was Terry Brooks, once said something like, “In this business, if you tell your muse to go away, she may never come back.”

BW: For you personally, not your characters, between a vampire love interest and a werewolf love interest which do you prefer? (What team are you on? Team Vampire or Team Werewolf.)

 AG: Team werewolf! I’ve written plenty about wolf shifters and zip about vampires, although I have had a vamp or two in cameo roles.

BW: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important about your books.

AG: Maybe not funny so much, but a huge part of my life has been mountaineering and the backcountry. I love my long hours of solitude with a pack on my back. Many of my books have almost written themselves in my head on trips like that.

BW: What can readers look forward to from you? What are your plans for To Love a Highland Dragon, stand alone, series, or other plans?

AG: To Love a Highland Dragon was the first book in the Dragon Lore series. Book 2, Iron Maid, is complete and contracted. It should release in either early January or early February. Here’s the blurb:

Jonathan Shea is a software engineer. When pressed, he admits to being a closet witch, but he’s always been a shade ambivalent about his magic—until a dragon shows up in Inverness, and then all bets are off. Along with others in his coven, Jonathan is both charmed and captivated by the creature fresh out of legend.

Britta is a dragon shifter. Dragged from the Middle Ages by the Celtic gods, she and her dragon prepare for a battle to save Earth. The first human she lays eyes on in modern times is Jonathan. There’s something about him. She can’t quite pinpoint it, but he has way more magic than any witch she’s ever come across before.

Surrounded by dragon shifters, Celtic gods, Selkies, and a heaping portion of magic, Jonathan comes into his own fast. Good thing, too, because fell creatures have targeted him, Britta, and the dragons. In the midst of chaos, he finds passion so poignant and love so heartbreakingly tender, it will change his life forever.

On other fronts, Noreen’s Choice, Book 2 in the Wolf Clan Shifter series, releases 11/4. Here’s its blurb:

It’s 1936 in Calgary. After a terrifying experience, Noreen is frantic to escape the Garden of Eden cult, so she catches the night train north out of town. An ominous stranger, and a farmer who’s furious she slept in his barn, remind her just how alone she is in the world.

Wolf shifters, Les and Karl, eke out a primitive existence on the flanks of the Canadian Rockies. Between Hunters who want to kill them and a wildfire raging out of control, they’re relieved when their clan leader, Jed, shows up.

Jed has a surprise in his car, though. While passing through the nearest town, he spied Noreen by the side of the road picking straw out of her hair and offered her a ride. Before Jed’s car even stops rolling, Les and Karl know she’s their mate. So skittish she’s barely willing to exit the car, Noreen busies herself helping Jed and his pack mates unload supplies.

Can Les and Karl convince her to stay? If she does, will the risks she faced as a cult member pale in comparison to being mated to shifters?

Lastly, I just finished a book about demon-stalking witches. I’m getting ready to look for a publisher for it.


About the Author:anngimpel

Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent, who practices in a very isolated area high in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago.

For a complete list of Ann's short stories, novels and novella length fiction go to her website:
www.anngimpel.com


Review:

To Love a Highland Dragon (Dragon Lore, book 1) by Ann Gimpel

toloveahighlanddragon

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: To Love a Highland Dragon

A modern day psychiatrist and a dragon shifter stranded in time can’t escape their destiny, no matter how unlikely it seems.

Blurb:
In a cave deep beneath Inverness, a dragon shifter stirs and wakens. The cave is the same and his hoard intact, yet Lachlan senses something amiss. Taking his human form, he ventures above ground with ancient memories flooding him. But nothing is the same. His castle has been replaced by ungainly row houses. Men aren’t wearing plaids and women scarcely wear anything at all.

In Inverness for a year on a psychiatry fellowship, Dr. Maggie Hibbins watches an oddly dressed man pick his way out of a heather and gorse thicket. Even though it runs counter to her better judgment, she teases him about his strange attire. He looks so lost—and so unbelievably handsome —she takes him to a pub for a meal, to a barbershop, and then home. Along the way the hard-to-accept truth sinks in: he has to be a refugee from another era.

Never a risk-taker, Maggie’s carefully constructed life is about to change forever. Swept up in an ancient prophecy that links her to Lachlan and his dragon, she must push the edges of the impossible to save both the present and her heart.


Review:

Dragon shifters, Celtic Gods, a dash of time travel, mages, witches, and more! There is a lot of wonderful paranormal coolness soaking the pages of To Love a Highland Dragon. My favorite part is probably the humor that each character seems to bring to the dialog. Lachlan and Maggie have great humor together. Though I think the Celtic Gods were the real stars for me. Overly arrogant beings are always good for a laugh or two.

There is a lot packed into this story, maybe a tad to much for such a short amount of pages. Gimpel still does a pretty decent job of it, so I give her an extra star from my initial 2 out of 5. What pulled me out was Maggie. Gimpel made an amazing modern and independent woman. Independent woman being key here. However, she’s all but willing to toss all of that out the window. Because she has been horny. Yep. Lachlan presses a few hard ons against her and she is toast. From there on I just couldn’t take the relationship or the love seriously. It was instalove, that readers are supposed to believe turns into magical love. Sure everything is explained, but it shouldn’t have to be explained.

This book is for fans of Dragons, gods and goddess, and so on. Pretty sure a lot of Paranormal Romance fans aren’t gong to have an issue with the love story. Probably won’t even mind the instalove, I’m just the picky type. With this first book Gimpel shows off some of her talent as an author and I’ll be looking forward to future works.

Sexual Content: Plenty of dirty humor, jokes, and some sexy bedroom scenes.

 
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
To Love a Highland Dragon (1)

To Love a Highland Dragon (1)

To Love a Highland Dragon (1)

1 comment:

Ann Gimpel said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Shera. It's a pleasure to be here and your interview was awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed Maggie, Lachlan, and Kheladin.