Thursday, October 4, 2012

OCNB Author Feature and Giveaway - Nancy Holzner

Don't miss your chance to meet author Nancy Holzner at the Olde City, New Blood mini-convention in St. Augustine, FL this coming February 8-10th!

Need MORE of an incentive to come chill out with some awesome authors by the beach?? 
How about if you win FREE REGISTRATION?? 

That's right... this week we're having a blog-hop-style contest and you could win your way in!! 

There will be 3 winners, who will be chosen randomly from all entries on the Rafflecopter form, announced on October 7th. 
(Winners will be responsible for their travel and hotel costs, but their registration fees will be covered by the mini-con!!) 
All of the featured bloggers for the event will be hosting special guests from Olde City, New Blood this week (September 30th – October 6th) and every post is another chance for you to enter to win. There will be additional chances to enter at some of the featured authors' websites, as well. 

For a complete list of blog posts and extra author entries, please see the link list on the convention website:
Contest Links

And now for today's OCNB Featured Author:
Nancy Holzner
Deadtown (Deadtown, #1) Hellforged (Deadtown, #2)
Bloodstone (Deadtown, #3) Darklands (Deadtown, #4)

Nancy Holzner is the author of the urban fantasy series, Deadtown!

Read on for:

  • my interview with Nancy 
  • a chance to win a signed copy of DARKLANDS - International! (leave a comment)
  • PLUS a chance to win registration to the Olde City New Blood convention in St. Augustine, Florida! (Rafflecopter)

1. For those who don't know, tell readers a little about the world your Deadtown series is set in.

My Deadtown series follows the adventures of Victory Vaughn, a shapeshifter who kills other people's personal demons for a living. Vicky lives in Deadtown, Boston's paranormal-only district that was formed after a mysterious plague swept through the downtown and transformed two thousand Bostonians into zombies. The series looks at tensions between the human and paranormal populations, in the context of a crazy demi-demon whose ambition is to lead the legions of Hell beyond its boundaries to rule the other realms. In the middle of all that, Vicky is dealing with her werewolf lawyer boyfriend, a teenage zombie apprentice, a sister who wishes for nothing more than a normal suburban life, a vampire roommate with a habit of quoting Shakespeare, and a 300-year-old aunt who can kick any demon's butt.

2. And tell us about Victory, the series' kick ass heroine.

Vicky comes from a line of Welsh shapeshifters that traces its origins back to the witch/goddess Ceridwen. Among her race, the Cerddorion (ker-THOR-yon), females can change into any sentient creature, up to three times per lunar cycle. The closer to a full moon a shift happens, the more the animal brain takes over. The Cerddorion are dedicated to protecting humanity from demons, also descended from Ceridwen through another branch. Vicky runs her own business, exterminating the personal demons that arise from her clients' fear, guilt, or revenge. In the series, she learns that she may (or may not) be the long-prophesied Cerddorion champion who'll finally defeat the demons that threaten humanity. She's trained for this role since she was a teenager, and her arsenal includes guns, bronze-bladed knives, and a flaming sword. And although she's up for saving the world, mostly she just wants to earn a living, keep the peace with her family, and figure out her feelings for Kane, her workaholic werewolf boyfriend. She has a snarky sense of humor, she never runs from a fight, and although she can be unsure of herself she always tries to do the right thing.

3. What inspired this series?

I'd been reading a lot of urban fantasy (Kim Harrison, Rachel Caine, Jim Butcher, early Laurell K. Hamilton) and thought it would be a fun genre to write in. I saw a blog post from an agent who mentioned she didn't like to see the phrase "so-and-so wrestles with his own personal demons" in query letters—who, she wondered, would wrestle with your personal demons besides you? Instead of taking that question as rhetorical, I started thinking up possible answers. I combined the idea of a personal demon exterminator with an interest in Welsh mythology (I began my career as a medievalist), and Vicky was born.

4. What is your favorite type of paranormal creature? Is it safe to say zombies? Or is it something else?
I do enjoy a good zombie story, and it's been fun to put a twist on conventional zombies with this series. But I really like shapeshifters, including all kinds of werecreatures and shifters (like Vicky) who aren't tied to a specific animal. I'm also a big fan of ghost stories and would love to write a really spooky, atmospheric, Gothic one.

5. How are the zombies in your series different from others that readers might have read before?

They're not shambling, mindless brain munchers like the ones you see in horror films. Three years before the first book, Deadtown, takes place, a magically-enhanced virus killed two thousand Bostonians in a matter of minutes—or so it seemed. Three days after the tragedy, the victims began to rise. The quarantine zone became Deadtown, the district where all paranormals must, by law, live. The plague victims, officially known as "previously deceased humans," or PDHs, are popularly called zombies because they rose from their graves. Deadtown's zombies retain their personalities and wills, and they can talk and think like anyone else. But their skin looks more like a corpse's than that of a living person, and their eyes are blood red. They're not actively decaying, but neither do they heal. They're super-strong, vulnerable to sunlight, and nearly impossible to kill. They're always hungry, but they prefer junk food to human flesh—if you want to make friends with a zombie, carry Twinkies. Well, I should say they usually prefer junk food. A whiff of fresh human blood sends a zombie into a frenzy of blood lust, which tends to make human-zombie social situations rather awkward at times.

Fast Five:

1. Favorite guilty pleasure: A square of very dark chocolate with a glass of red wine.

2. Celebrity crush: This changes, but I was recently discussing Iron Man/The Avengers with a friend, so I'll go with Robert Downey, Jr.

3. Author you'd be starstruck to meet: Ilona Andrews (I've already met both halves of this husband-and-wife team. We were on some panels together at a con, and they were incredibly nice.)

4. Favorite writing snack: Coffee!

5. Favorite recent movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Not my usual genre, but I thought it was funny, well acted, and charming.

Thank you so much to Nancy for visiting today!

Leave a comment below for Nancy Holzner to read! Everyone who comments will be entered to win a signed copy of DARKLANDS (INT)!

After commenting, enter on the Rafflecopter form to win free registration to the Olde City New Blood convention in St. Augustine, Florida!

*Please note: To win the copy of DARKLANDS you must leave a comment in the blog comments section below. 
To enter to win the free registration you must enter on the Rafflecopter form. 
They are TWO separate contests!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Okay, the zombies sound really creep. Zombie's that can think are the most dangerous of them all.

    1. The zombies in my series started out almost as comic relief--the opening scene of Deadtown shows Vicky's teenage zombie apprentice giving her a hard time on a demon kill. But they developed into characters in their own right--some scary, some not so much. I have fun writing them.

  2. I haven't read any of your books yet. I want to know where the interest in writing about zombies comes from and what kind of zombies are they? Are they just like humans except that they have died and come to life, or are they brainless?

    1. Hi Phaedra,

      The zombies in my books are really supporting characters. I wanted an event that would force humans to recognize paranormals as real, and an out-of-the-blue zombie plague seemed like a good one. :) The zombies in my books aren't brainless; they have personalities just like living people.

  3. Vicky and her flaming sword!! I absolutely love the flaming sword.

    Yeah, zombies are really creepy. Not only the look, but the attitude.

    Ps, i already got darklands. So can i choose one of the first 3 books?

    smile_1773 at yahoo dot com

    1. Hi Sienny,

      If you win, you can choose any book in the series. It's probably best to start with Deadtown, but I've had readers tell me they had no trouble following the story even if they started with later books.

  4. I would love to win this! Then I can get all caught up on the series! jepebATverizonDOTnet

    1. Thanks for reading my series! And good luck!

  5. I'd love to win Darklands. I have the rest of the series. It's well written and very entertaining.

    1. Thanks very much! Good luck in the giveaway!

  6. Forgot my email

  7. Love the story/idea of how Vicky was 'born.' It's always interesting for me to get a glimpse into a writer's process.


    1. That was an inspiring moment for me, for sure. Love when that happens! :)

  8. I loved the first book... but haven't gotten to read the 2nd or 3rd yet, though they are definitely on my TBR list! The world you created was amazing & Vicky was so fun to read! I agree with you, shapeshifters are awesome (were & other)! : )
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    ambience.of.rain {at}

    1. Thanks very much, Christa! I hope you'll get a chance to continue the series soon. Good luck with the giveaway!

  9. Thanks for the info on the series :) Nancy's one of the authors I haven't read that'll be at the event so it was really nice to find a bit out about her books. I'll have to grab them up before Feb :)


    1. I hope you get a chance to check out the books. Be sure to look me up and say hi at OCNB!

  10. Sounds like a really good series!! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks, Natasha! I hope you'll take a look at my books--and good luck with the giveaway!

  11. Sounds great. Thanks for sharing! Looks like a fun convention too.
    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    1. Thanks, Donna! I'm really looking forward to the con (and not just because of the whole Florida-in-February thing...).

  12. Just wanted to thank Christen for the invitation to visit her blog and for the fun interview questions! I'm sorry to appear late (my husband's been ill and things have been kinda stressful here lately). Thanks to everyone who commented, and good luck with the giveaway! I hope to see many of you at Olde City, New Blood in February!


I love to read comments!

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