Friday, May 20, 2011

An Interview with Author Nora Weston

Happy Friday everyone! Today, the lovely and talented Nora Weston is dropping by to talk about her writing journey. I've had the pleasure of reading her first novel, a sci-fi romance entitled Guardian 2632, published by Melange Books (see my review HERE). Her next novel, The Twelfth Paladin, is to be released in June!

Welcome to Unwritten, Nora! From your website (HERE), it says your writing "slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror." Out of all those genres, which one do you gravitate toward the most? 

Oh! That is a difficult question, really tough. I love them all, especially if the Sci-Fi is spine-chilling and the fantasy frightens, so that means...I gravitate the most to horror. I enjoy putting my characters into disturbing situations, frequently involving supernatural events that test their sense of right and wrong. Why do some people/characters rise to the occasion and beat the odds, while others struggle through a dilemma to fail? Heroes are found in unlikely places, so I utilize that in my fiction and poetry. I suppose I’m also attracted to horror the most because my childhood was filled with Dark Shadows and The Twilight Zone. There’s nothing like a good scare!

Tell us about your non-writing life. What keeps you busy off-screen?

Well, off-screen, days and nights blur together in my laundry room. With six kids and their friends as overnight guests, plus college kids coming and going, believe me...that keeps me busy. As you can imagine, keeping milk in the house is a challenge too! So besides the everyday activities of wife/mother/friend, I also enjoy reading, researching for my stories, and freelance painting, mostly landscapes, but some faux painting too. It’s amazing what you can do with one roller and three colors of paint. 

My family is big on movies, so Saturday is movie night! We all like action/adventure, Sci-Fi, fantasy, and horror, and comedies are great too. I just saw the new Jane Eyre was fantastic!

You've told me a little about The Twelfth Paladin, and I'm itching to read it. Would you share a little bit about this book?

Sure! The Twelfth Paladin places good against evil as angels, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire, named Rachel Darnell, vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. Jake foolishly dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees. 

Buy it HERE in June!
Here’s a short blurb

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin.

Although this is a supernatural/horror novel, The Twelfth Paladin also deals with Jake’s refusal to accept he is accountable for his life choices. Everything dreadful that happens to his fault because he lives life on the edge and tends to blame others for his misery. He’s positioned in a war between Heaven and Hell and then must decide which side he’ll stand on. It’s a wild ride into nightmare land, a story about a rebellious hero who finally has something precious to lose.

I happen to think Dr. Zane Grayson from Guardian 2632 is one sexy dude. What inspired that particular character and the storyline in that book?

Yes! I agree Zane is super-hot. He’s a military man with a rock hard body, but he also has that oh, so wonderful, sensitive side. He was easy to write about because Guardian 2632 was inspired from a series of relentless dreams about Zane Grayson and Julia Emerson. There was no way to forget this guy...long, black bangs, dark eyes, physically fit to the point it’s crazy, and his desire for Julia made for explosive dreams.

At first, the dreams were only about Julia’s crumbling marriage to Jack. The fights, his reckless behavior, and his irresponsibility toward his family soon entangled him with a mobster, named Marshall Pickett. Julia’s life was put in harm’s way. It all played out, night after night, like a soap opera, which was really bizarre, because I’ve never watched any soaps! Before long, Zane Grayson...a mastermind from the future, entered to make sure I awoke every morning preoccupied with these ghosts from dreamland. So, Guardian 2632 became a short story and then grew into a full-length novel. 

Are you working on anything now and can you tell us about it?

Currently, I’m finishing the final edits for The Twelfth Paladin. I’m so excited it will be coming out in June. Then, it’s back to Zane, Julia, and Lindsay since the sequel to Guardian 2632 is a top priority. The sequel will deal with Lindsay and her recruitment into Guardian TMF. Due to Zane’s genetic enhancements and Julia’s physic abilities...Lindsay inherits unique gifts to become a guardian the likes of which the world has never seen.

I've been snooping around your website, and you've got a number of publishing credits to your name. When did you publish your first story and what advice would you give to those of us who are new to this business?

This is terrible...but I can’t remember what story or poem was published first! So many hectic and hilarious years flew by raising my clan, and sleep was practically nonexistent, so you’ve asked a very curious question. Now, I’ll have to ponder this! However, most likely, the first thing I published was poetry. I got bitten by the writing bug, but I was too busy to write anything too epic, so I found poetry was perfect to express my creativity.

The best advice I can give is to read a lot! Know your genre well and have fun being immersed in the craft of writing. Stay motivated by writing down your dreams, observing people and places, and listen to all kinds of music to keep creative juices flowing in new directions. Beyond those things, research markets at, and stick to the guidelines one hundred percent of the time. If you are new to writing, whether it’s fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, remember to edit like crazy, and do not get discouraged if things don’t always go your way. Just keep revising and submitting to get the acceptances coming in. 

Ready for the random question? Of course you are! If you could pick any sci-fi TV show (past or present) on which to guest-star, which one would it be and why?

Ah! This one is easy for me. It would have to be The Twilight Zone because even though the stories were scary, a lesson was learned as well. I still remember watching those shows with my it was yesterday. 

Now, Ms. Weston, please be so kind as to share a short excerpt from one of your published works or even a work in progress?

I’d be happy to! Let’s go with an excerpt from The Twelfth Paladin.

Excerpt from Chapter Two

Setup: Jake Cottrell and an old, high school buddy, Davis Travis, have gone to a local carnival in Clearview Oregon. Davis knows Jasmine well and asks her to do a reading for Jake...

       Jasmine’s dark green eyes intensified making me feel vulnerable, like my skin was nothing more than clear, plastic wrap. Her crystal ball glowed bluer as pure white light shot out from the top of it. The warm light split up into thousands of hair-like strands, which proceeded to wrap themselves around my stinging flesh. A satisfying, but overwhelming aroma gobbled up the carnival smell once present.
       I couldn’t speak, felt immobile in every physical aspect, yet my mind burned. Things about my ridiculous childhood appeared throughout my mind much like a movie. Tender moments shared with Tony were especially heartfelt to see, like the day he showed us our new home. After that, I remembered when my mother left us, and our life mirrored the underworld. Sadness just about asphyxiated me. Out of nowhere, the sorrow left as I relived the surreal accident at the Motocross Track. For a second, I was dead and descending into Hell.
       At last, relief came to me as Jasmine released her hands from mine. As fast as a lightning bolt, the white light retracted back into her crystal ball. “My, my, Jake Cottrell,” she said while patting her lovely chest.
       “What did you see? Am I going to win a lottery or something?” Standing up to leave, I acted like nothing had happened.
       Jasmine came to me and then placed her delicate hand on my right shoulder. A half-smile disappeared when she leaned in to whisper, “Surely you will fall into darkness, before you willingly bathe in the glory of the light. All in due time, Jake Cottrell.” 
       Faster than Tony could empty a bottle of whiskey, goose bumps consumed my skin. “Stop it. How did you know I dreamed that?” 
       Inches from my face, Jasmine ran her black nails along my jaw. “You’ve been scarred with angelfire. Your right shoulder I believe? A war is going on, but you won’t accept you’re the twelfth one, will you?” She laughed, dancing about the tent looking more like a medieval witch than a modern-day carnival gypsy. “I hope you’re ready for the ride of your life…because it’s coming.” Jasmine spun around faster as the candles flared and her cackle grew more intense.
       “Angelfire, ride of my life, and the twelfth what? Oh, forget it. You’re nuts. Come on, Davis!” 

Thank you so much for being here today, Nora! Please come back again and I wish you the best of luck!

For more about Nora and to keep up-to-date with her releases, click the links below.
Melange Author Page:


  1. Thank you both so much for a rich, fun and informative interview. I love hearing authors' stories of progress and success.

  2. Great interview! I can't imagine how you have time to write with all your kids :). Also interesting about the painting. I dabble myself sometimes. Best of luck with your new book!


  3. Mysti: Thank you for hosting me! You always come up with the most interesting questions. :)

    Margo and Ruth: Thank you so much for stopping by.
    Painting...ah, yes, so relaxing. I encourage everyone to try it!

  4. Hi Mysti & Nora. Great interview!

    Nora's books sound AWESOME! Can't wait to read them. It's always great to hear from other writers. Thanks Nora. :)

  5. CherylAnne:

    Thanks for visiting! :)

  6. Great interview Nora, love the cover on the book. Good luck with it. T.D. Jones

  7. Hi, TD! I'm glad you made it to Unwritten. :)
    Waiting to see a cover is exciting, but difficult, so I was super happy to see it looked like the one in my head.


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