Renee Vincent returns — and brings her hero!


Please welcome back author RENEE VINCENT, who has brought a guest with her!

Renee: Thank you, Anya – I was very excited when you asked me back.  I know that Dægan was excited  as well, considering this is his first official interview. I just hope he gets here soon.

In the meantime, we can go ahead and begin with the questions that don’t revolve around him.

Anya: Tell us more about RAELIKSEN.

Renee: Ræliksen is about a Norse warrior who has fallen in love with an Irish maiden whose very father—an Irish King—is hell-bent on ridding Ireland of her pagan foreigners. And that includes the ruggedly handsome hero of the story, Dægan Ræliksen.

(Note: Some say Dægan bears a strong resemblance to a well-known Scottish actor. I don’t see it myself.)

While the story may seem like the typical Romeo & Juliet—a powerful love forbidden by many—the reader will soon find out that it is nothing like the Shakespearian tale.

Ræliksen is indeed a sensuous love story between two people of opposite worlds, but it also incorporates a lot of action, while stringing along interesting details of the past, ensnaring the reader in a web of complex plot twists. Ræliksen will not fail to bring the reader full circle in the end.

Dægan: Certainly there is more to the story than that.

Renee: Well, hello Dægan. It’s about time you got here. (clearing her throat inconspicuously) You are very late.

Dægan: My horse can only carry me so fast, as opposed to the three hundred and fifty horses you have under the hood of your truck. Which, by the way, still baffles me.

Renee: Dægan, I don’t literally have that many horses under the hood of my truck, it’s just the amount of horse “power” it has. Oh, never mind. Can we just get back to the interview?

Dægan: Of course.

Renee: So, what is it you think I have failed to mention about the story?

Dægan: Did you tell the readers about the “first kiss”?

Renee: I didn’t tell them about that, but I was contemplating about posting that very scene in the excerpt at the end.

Dægan: Oh, good choice. I especially enjoyed that scene.

Renee: I’m sure you did. And as I recall, you didn’t exactly baby-step your way into Mara’s heart.

Dægan: She was frightened…

Renee: And angry.

Dægan: Aye, but being the…what’s that strange term you authors use…Alpha male?

Renee: Yes, that would be the term.

Dægan: So being the Alpha male, I had an obligation to show Mara that there was no reason to be frightened or angry with me, and that oft times requires a bit of blatant forwardness.

Renee: That kiss was blatant and forward all right.

Dægan: It was certainly a good start, but what really set the forward motion of the story was how I saved Mara from a fleet of other Vikings coming ashore for the war with the Irish, which, I might add, I had no fight in.

Renee: Well, there is that.

Dægan: And…that my spineless twin brother was leading that fleet!

Renee: Dægan, I really didn’t want to go into that since that was part of the intricate web the readers were supposed to find out on their own.

Dægan: Indeed, but I was under the impression that we were to present a high level of intrigue for those who have not yet picked up your book. Do you not think the conflict with my brother, alone, greatly instills that?

Renee: Yes, it does, but the point was to let the reader find out for themselves that your twin has a part in this tale.

Dægan: Hmmm…I suppose I have given that away. My apologies, Renee.

Renee: No worries. But you may need to apologize to Anya for being tardy. She is a busy woman.

Dægan: Of course… (reaches out and takes Anya’s hand, kissing her knuckles warmly while uttering his apologies and how beautiful her name sounded on his lips.)

Renee: (rolls her eyes) Could we please?

Dægan: What? I did as you suggested.

Renee: Yes, while laying it on a bit thick, don’t you think?

Dægan: At no fault of my own…you made me charismatic and undeniably charming. I am just staying true to my character.

Renee: Very well. Next question, Anya.

Anya: What was the hardest thing about writing RAELIKSON?

Renee: Not being able to write as fast as the scenes were playing out in my head. I lived and breathed this story, and admittedly Dægan consumed me.

Dægan: Really?

Renee: As if you didn’t know. I mean look how many late nights you and I spent together—very late nights. And even when I wasn’t writing, you were always there. You would even invade my dreams, melting my heart with your words…

Dægan: (narrows his eyes) You sound as if you were in love with me.

Renee: Doesn’t every reader fall in love with the hero?

Dægan: I haven’t the slightest notion about that. Remember, this is the first romance novel I’ve been in.

Renee: Well, if you must know, it is very typical for a reader to get so engrossed into the hero’s character, so much in fact, that they subconsciously put themselves in the place of the heroine.

Dægan: Even in the bedroom scenes?

Renee: Especially the bedroom scenes.

Dægan: Is that so? (ruminates over that revelation)

Renee: (sees that Dægan is putting far too much thought into it) Next question.

Anya: What is the hardest thing about writing the sequel, Mac Liam?

Dægan: (sighs) Must we talk about him?

Renee: What’s wrong with talking about Breandán Mac Liam?

Dægan: Do you not remember what happened in Ræliksen? He is in love with Mara—my Mara—and sees fit to tell me about it.

Renee: Love triangles add the necessary conflict sometimes needed in a series.

Dægan: And my twin didn’t give me enough to contend with?

Renee: Hey, I wrote your character to possess a significant amount of resolve and graciousness, even toward those who brought tension and strife into your life. Breandán Mac Liam was not as big an issue as you made him out to be.

Dægan: You realize I am biting my tongue right now.

Renee: I do, and you should be. There is no reason to belittle Breandán. Besides, you know as well as I that he would not act upon his feelings given that Mara already loved you. And do not forget that he ultimately saved your life.

Dægan: (flips his hand in a dismissive manner) I would have found a way out of that predicament.

Renee: Can I answer Anya’s question now?

Dægan: If you feel you must.

Renee: Thank you. (smiles sarcastically) Writing Mac Liam comes with its many challenges, most of which I can hardly talk about as I don’t want to give anything away. But the one issue I have is being completely infatuated with two men at the same time.

Dægan: I beg your pardon?

Renee: It seems the more I write on Mac Liam, the more I start to fall in love with him.

Dægan: Are you trying to break my heart?

Renee: No, of course not. But I can’t help the way I feel.

Dægan: (taps his foot impatiently) What does Breandán have that I don’t?

Renee: It’s not about that. I don’t wish to compare you two and I doubt Mara will want to either when it gets down to it.

Dægan: You mean to tell me Mara is actually considering Breandán?

Renee: (bites her lip and shakes her head) I really can’t say much more on that.

Dægan: (looks directly at Anya) Next question, if you will.

Anya: Have you completed MAC LIAM?

Renee: No I haven’t. But I have high hopes for its release in 2010.

Dægan: That makes one of us.

Renee: Oh, don’t grumble.

Dægan: You have hardly written about me in the sequel.

Renee: Because…the sequel is about the Breandán, not you. Hence the title, Mac Liam.

Anya: Any tips for struggling writers – do’s and don’t’s, or mistakes you’ve learned from?

Dægan: (interjects quickly) My advice would be to not write about love triangles.

Renee: You certainly speak your mind, don’t you?

Dægan: Again, no fault of my own.

Renee: Well, my advice would be to not give up—persevere despite your struggles. That being number one.

Secondly, set your goals to be ‘attainable’, but dream as big as you want. Use each attainable goal as stepping stones toward that distant dream and you’ll get there. It may not be overnight, but you will get there.

Thirdly, gain a thick skin. As your writing is out there for all to see, there will be those who praise it, and those who do not. While their criticism may not be what you want to hear necessarily, it will make you a better writer as you work to improve yourself.

Dægan: And, as I said before, write one hero at a time.

Renee: I think we should leave that up to the discretion of the writer.

Dægan: Indeed. Ill-advised, but, nonetheless, ‘tis the writers’ prerogative.

Anya: Do you belong to writer’s groups, or do you have writer friends who support/critique your work?

Renee: I belong to the American Romance Writers (RWA), the Kentucky Romance Writers (KYWA), and just recently joined the Ohio Valley Romance Writers (OVRWA) as well.

I highly recommend joining writer’s groups as there are many successful authors and aspiring writers who belong to local chapters and give support to those within the group, whether by their own example or by their critiques.

Everyone I have come into contact with in those groups has been very helpful and quite willing to aid their fellow writers in any way they can. You can never have too many friends in the competitive world of publishing.

With that being said, I must add that your friendship, Anya, has been a blessing to me. Thank you again for taking the time to interview me and for allowing me this spot on your blog.

Dægan: That goes double for me, Anya, my dear. (takes Anya in his arms, dips her over his forearm, and plants a big one on her surprised lips.)

Renee: I am so sorry, Anya. I’ve written Dægan to be quite spontaneous and evidently, incorrigible as well. He really needs to remember that he is NOT in a romance novel right now.

Anya: I’m finding it hard to speak, much less think. You know I have an appreciation for finely crafted male chests . . . and biceps and shoulders and all those other good bits.

Dægan seems to have rather a lot of all those things, and I swear he is flexing his muscles on purpose just to watch me drool! Makes it difficult to focus on the conversation, but I’m doing my best!

A huge thank you to you both for visiting with us!

61 responses »

  1. Daegan, it’s very nice to meet you! I, for one, am never immune to a manly man. I favor the alpha male in my writing as well. And thank you for allowing Renee to drag you into this interview. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the world to get to know you and want to learn even more about you, you clever man!

    *grin* Love the post, ladies. The eye candy-FABULOUS!

    Hope to see you at RAD Renee!

    • I am pleased to make your acquaintence as well, Rosie, and to be honest, Renee did not have to drag me here. Once she indicated that the majority of those present for this interview would be women, I just could not allow myself to disappoint those in my favor.

      Although, she failed to mention how beautiful you all are. A man could get quite used to “interviewing”.

      • As you can obviously see…That was Dægan, not myself. He doesn’t have an account (for obvious reasons) so I let him use my log in.

        From now on, he will put his name first and then his post.

        I apologize for the confusion…he is really having a hard time getting used to typing the letters of his name instead of carving them out in Runes.

        (sigh) You should see my computer screen – deep scratches all over it! 😉

  2. Like Rosie I love a manly man. The warrior hero or Alpha male is my cup of tea. Warrior is ruled by his inherent sense of justice. Control is his middle name. He does what he says, and says what he does. He’s driven, dangerous, and committed to writing wrongs and punishing evil!
    Thanks for the cool interview Daegan.

    • Dægan: Good morning, Tonya.

      Are you a Druid or perhaps a witch, for it seems you know so much about me, yet I know naught of you?

      ‘Tis true, I have righted many wrongs in my time and I have done my best to bring honor to my father’s name. But I am still a “flesh-and-blood man” who is quite capable of having a weakness — one, mind you! And that would be my Lady Mara.

      Men do not often admit such frailties, but I am man enough to proclaim it and wise enough to know the benefits of accepting a woman’s delicate power.

      Men who fight it, are foolish men, would you not agree?

  3. Don’t let Rosie/Gabriella fool you — it’s not just any manly man she likes, it’s men in kilts. Shirtless men with Scottish accents. Whose names are Gerard Butler. I’m surprised she’s taken this so calmly — usually when another woman mentions his name it’s time to duck and run!

    Tonya – I love your description of the warrior hero. Perfect!

    • Dægan: I do not wear a kilt, as I am a Northmen, but I do fancy a kirtle without breeches. I believe Renee likes it as well, as I have found on many occasions her staring at the muscles in my thighs.

      Which reminds me…Renee? Is that why you wrote me to have a deep gash across my thigh? So you could get a better look?

      • Oh please, Dægan! You enjoyed that injury as much as I did. When Mara was tending your wounds ever so kindly, her hands touching your bare leg…, I SAW your reaction.

        Dægan: I am a mere man.

  4. On the cover of Ræliksen the picture shows Dægan wearing pants but on page 62 (in my paperback copy of Ræliksen ) in the cave after Dægan has to fight off several men and Mara is cleaning Dægan’s wound on his upper thigh, Mara comments that Daegan doesn’t wear the breeches like the other men (in Hladir). Dægan says that he doesn’t because he prefers to dress the way men do in Erin. Okay, does this mean that Dægan wears a kilt? Ah, I like to think so. That would be so sexy. Maybe in Mac Liam we will have Brendan Mac Liam running around shirtless in a kilt. With Breandán I don’t know if he will have the whole alpha male thing going on.

    • Dægan:
      Good morning, “Dægan Lover”. I am sorry, but I must comment on your name. Where I come from, nicknames are often given to describe the person better – though some are not flattering. Yours, however, flatters me immensely and describes you well. Please extend my gratitude to the person who has bestowed that name upon you.

      And if you look closely at the cover, those are not breeches I am wearing. That is my bare leg. Renee made it clear to the illustrator that NO BREECHES be put on my body. She was very adamant. If it looks like pants to you, then you’ll have to counsel the man with the paints.

      And I will forget, my love, that you brought up Breandán Mac Liam in my presence. I am certain Renee can better answer that one for you.

  5. Dægan, on a more serious topic, it seams you have known a lot of suffering in your life… Raelik,Gustaf, Eirik and Domaldar. You know what it’s like to go on and to continue to live your life somehow carrying around all this deep pain and hurt. I think now that Mara is suffering deeply that she should know the truth about Nevan. Nevan also knows what it’s like to continue to live a life with the pain that Mara suffers. Maybe Nevan can be a comfort to her. What do you think?

    • Dægan: It is true. I have suffered, as many have also endured pain and loss in the tumultuous time of the 10th Century.

      Like you, I have hopes that Mara will soon know the truth of Nevan in the sequel. To my knowledge, Renee is plotting that revelation as we speak – course now she may string me up for divulging such information.

  6. Becke, not all names were suffixed with “son” or “dottir”.
    Some names were given to those according to the landmarks from whence they came. For instance:

    Östberg means “mountain (or hill) in the east” from öst meaning “east” and berg meaning “mountain”, “hill”.


    Lindström means “linden stream”, from lind meaning “linden (lime) tree”, and ström meaning “stream”.

    So instead of your father’s last name, you could have been known from the brook that babbled near your family’s longhouse. Though you’d still have “dottir” at the end of it. 😉

  7. To answer “Daegan Lover” about whether Breandán will be running around shirtless with a kilt in the sequel…

    No he will not have a kilt (as that is primarily Scottish), but he WILL be without the cover of clothes during some moments in the book. There is a waterfall near his home and that is all I am going to say on that.

    I do love your questions, by the way.

  8. Dægan, after your fight in the cave with seven of Domaldr’s men two of them reported back to Domaldr and described your ability with your sword and that you fought like a warrior. I know that you are a merchant but do you think that there could be the spirit of a berserker in you?

    • Dægan: The spirit of the berserker lives in all of us, but what varies is how much a person can take before it invades the body and dominates the mind.

      Renee is sitting next to me, whispering in my ear that what I call the “spirit of the berserker”, she calls “adrenaline” – whatever that means…

  9. Dægan, in Karen Marie Moning’s book To Tame a Highland Warrior the main character in her book, Gavrielle Moloch, turns out to a berserker. What I’ve heard about berserker’s is that they are almost impossible to kill. Renee does mention the word berserker on page 60 (I have a paper back copy) so I wouldn’t be surprised if Renee has a surprise in store for you maybe in a third book. And you being a Northmen I know that you are a very good swimmer.

  10. Dægan:

    Renee has certainly pondered the thought of a third book – a prequel – where I am younger and in my Northern homeland (as several readers have eagerly suggested).

    I can see that you think it a grand idea for Renee to write a third book that puts me back into the spotlight. And I could not agree more. Perhaps I can persuade her…

    • It’s funny that in yesterday’s interview a commenter brought up Tristan and Isolde, for in Ræliksen, Breandán resembles this man from that very movie:

      this Henry Cavill (The Tudors)

      But in the second book Mac Liam, Breandán would favor more to this look as I have decided to crop his hair shorter for when he meets Mara (7 years later):

  11. To all my fans, particularly “Daegan Lover”:

    As I said in yesterdays interview, I have ambitions of writing a historical / contemporary where a woman feels “drawn” to a complete stranger, and seems to love him despite the fact that she has never met him – until she sets foot on a particular Aran Island.

    While I do not necessarily have goals to write a prequel of Ræliksen, I do not think that this floating “story line” will disappoint you – especially if you are wanting more of Dægan.

    Was that a big enough hint for you? 😉

      • Yes, your fans would take a prequel, sequel, outtakes from Raeliksen or whatever you can give us to be with our Dægan . Your prequel idea sound like what author Judith McNaught did for her first book Whitney, My Love. She and her fans loved these characters so much that she didn’t want to let this family go so she wrote a prequel called A Kingdom of Dreams (one of my favorite books).

    • Dægan:
      Given the fact that Tait is in love with Thordia, I doubt Tait would be open to such an idea.

      But if I had my choice, and if my fingertips were the ones punching these keys, I would definitely be writing about Tait, instead of Breandán.

      But that is neither here nor there, as my opinion matters not to Renee. I begged her at one point to remove Breandán’s character, but she insisted that he was good for the story. She said it gave the readers something to ponder and left a wide berth for a great sequel.

      Grand suggestion though, “Daegan Lover”.

  12. Dægan has informed me that he has a starving-warrior-sized hunger about him. So we will return later on this evening to answer any further questions you have after I fetch him a meal.

    Thank you to everyone who has stopped by today. I had so much fun and I know Dægan did to.

    See you soon!

  13. A huge thank you to Renee and Daegan for visiting with us! I’m going to leave this post up over the weekend in case anyone else would like to join the discussion. Thanks, Renee!

  14. Well I must say that Dægan nearly ate me out of the house and home! Gotta love a man with a healthy appetite.

    I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come here, get to know me, and share your comments. It was wonderful to be here and Anya’s hospitality was so warm and sincere, I nearly felt like I was in the comfort of my own blog.

    I will certainly check back this weekend, if anyone has anything they’d like to add or ask — either of myself, or Dægan.

    You all have been so kind and generous with your time and your praise. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Have a great weekend.
    All the best,

    • I would be honored to do so. Thank you again, Anya, for your warm hospitality and your hard work in making this interview with Dægan possible.

      I hope to see you in a few weeks. 🙂

  15. I think this is one of the most fun interviews I have ever seen on a blog. Take that back–it IS the most fun interview I have ever seen.

    I think I am in love–when do I get to see this book? M.

  16. Well, my dear, if that is not a loaded question…

    I am not sure how to answer that. 😉
    Though I could say that she has not forgotten about the “small blessings” in her life. She fairs well holding onto those.

  17. Dægan, I hope you will let us know if and when you will be doing your next interview. Be sure to tell Mara we all said “hello”.

    • I will certainly let you know.

      Renee has not told me if there are any other interviews in the future, but hopefully I have behaved myself well enough to be asked again.

  18. Hee. Anya, I’m a little surprised you managed to remain unflustered and carry on after all Daegan’s flirting. I’m pretty sure I’d be overcome if a GB look-alike kissed my knuckles. In fact, I know I’d be an amophous pile of goo on the linoleum. (Sorry, Rosie.)

  19. Pingback: Renee Vincent: An author to watch « The Career Writer Network

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