Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paranormal Debut Author, Cecilia Dominic, with G*veaway!

Today I am welcoming Cecilia Dominic to my blog. She is fascinating and fun. Plus she writes some very interesting Paranormal. Her debut book, The Mountain’s Shadow, comes out October 1, 2013 from Samhain. I wanted to celebrate and introduce her to you, also I am terribly curious…

Welcome Cecilia!

Thanks, M.V., for inviting me to your blog! I enjoyed your questions.

When did you start writing, why?
My mother says I dictated my first story to her when I was two years old. What it lacked in plot and character development it made up for in enthusiasm. Apparently it was about a bunny.
Now that’s starting early. I like it!

At this point my husband, who was totally freaked out by a short story in which a monster popped out of a river and ate someone, would ask if the bunny had evil intentions. No, the bunny didn't eat anyone. That was long before I got into speculative fiction. So, as to why I started writing, I can't tell you. Maybe I always found reality to be boring and thought it would be fun to make up stories. This I can identify with…welcome to the dark side, I mean, to the side of endless possibilities. 

Tell me about your book- The Mountain's Shadow (blurb)
Here is my super spiffy publisher-approved blurb:

Out October 1, 2013 from Samhain
First it was ADD. Then pediatric bipolar. Now the hot behavioral disorder in children is CLS, or Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome. Public health researcher Joanie Fisher was closing in on the cause in hopes of finding a treatment until a lab fire and an affair with her boss left her without a job.

When her grandfather leaves her his multimillion-dollar estate in the Ozarks, though, she figures her luck is turning around. Except her inheritance comes with complications: town children who disappear during full moons, an irresistible butler, and a pack of werewolves who can’t seem to decide whether to frighten her or flirt with her.

Joanie’s research is the key to unraveling the mysteries of Wolfsbane Manor.  However, resuming her work means facing painful truths about her childhood, which could result in the loss of love, friendship, and the only true family she has left.

Warning: Some sexy scenes, although nothing explicit, and adult language. Also alcohol consumption and food descriptions that may wreck your diet.

Oh, this sound absolutely fabulous! I can hardly wait to read this. 

 How long did it take you to write? Then edit? (evil I know)
Yes, you're evil! If you'd written about a bunny when you were two, it would've eaten someone.
Just kidding… I don't know the exact answers to your questions, only where I can remember being at certain points in the process.
This I also understand—writing, editing, all of it becomes part of the bigger picture. Involving, wine…frustration…wait, I digress.

The Mountain's Shadow grew out of a mix of predoctoral intern angst, a dream where I was talking to a handsome dark-haired man who was upset over his nephew disappearing, and the loneliness of being long-distance with my fiancĂ©, who is now my husband. I started it during the fall/winter of 2003 while I was doing my predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at the Little Rock, Arkansas VA. I can't say exactly how long it took me to write because life stuff like getting married, writing a dissertation (that one was particularly annoying), and starting a career kept interrupting the writing process. I do remember finally completing it at my current home, where I moved in 2006. Maybe I finished it in 2007 or a little later because I recall working on it while on a business trip to Phoenix for a drug trial launch. Side note:  if you want to get fed very well for free and have a high tolerance for boring PowerPoint and forced enthusiasm, get involved in clinical pharmaceutical trials. The things I remember most clearly about that trip were the chocolate fountain and the cacti.
Ah! I used to work in Research, but that is another story. I like that you kept with this story—it called to you.

Editing was similarly sporadic, as the manuscript partially went through a critique group. According to my submission database, I sent out my first query for it in January 2008. It sold in 2013. Thankfully all parts of my process have gotten much faster since then.
Oh, I understand this as well. I don’t think there is a book out there that can help you with this aspect or prepare you. WELL DONE! On getting it out there!

What was the hardest thing about writing this book, the easiest?
This was my first novel, so the hardest thing about writing it was just about everything. To make it simple, I'll say the hardest thing about it was balance. How to find that perfect timing mix of research and writing. How to find time to write among the demands of my very busy life. How to balance the books I read for research on the table while eating sushi at my favorite little place in Little Rock, where I would go by myself for lunch on Saturday when my fiancé (now husband) wasn't visiting. Oh, and the sexy scenes weren't easy, either since reading naughty bits written by other people makes me laugh out loud. My editor had to do some gentle encouraging for me to get them where they are. My husband also kept my wine glass filled while I worked on them. That always helps.
Yes, the story that calls to us to write is not always the easiest…and I am glad you persevered. 

The easiest part of writing the novel was getting into the main character's head. The book is written in first-person from the POV of an early career Ph.D. When I started it, I was doing my predoctoral internship, which is one of the final steps to getting a clinical psychology Ph.D., and a lot of her insecurity was my own at the time. I was afraid after I sold it and when it came time for my editor's revisions that I wouldn't be able to get back into Joanie's mindset, but it wasn't as difficult as I'd feared.Ah! Very interesting—I was afraid too, but I think when you create a character it stays with you forever. This is good…

What is your writing style? Plot/Pantser, mix? 
I'm a hybrid leaning heavily toward pantsing. I try so hard to do outlines, but at this point, the best I can do for my proposals is start writing and then build to a sort of synopsis, the last fourth of which always ends up being adjusted dramatically.
I am seeing many authors like this—a mix. I can’t do one or the other completely. So this I can relate to. 

What did you read as a kid?
I promise there were no books about carnivorous bunnies, but I read all I could about cats and sharks, so I did like predators with pointy teeth. My favorite thing to do over the summer was go to the library and kick arse at the summer reading programs because I got rewarded for doing something I loved. For nonfiction, I read a little of everything from Greek mythology to the aforementioned cat and shark books. Of course there were also all kinds of novels, and I really liked fantasy and science fiction. I'll always remember the first time I picked up Dragonsong, one of Anne McCaffrey's books. She's still my favorite author.
OH! That book was one of the FIRST I read of hers, and loved her since then.  I bought Dragonsong and Dragonsinger for my own daughters, but I think really, I bought it for myself…

What are you reading now?

Current reading in process:  Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables edited by James Bassett and Stephen Antczak, The E Myth Revisited:  Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber, and Humanity's Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy edited by Arthur C. Bohart, Barbara S. Held, Edward Mendelowitz, and Kirk J. Schneider, all PhDs.

You do go from fiction to non-fiction—very cool. Next time I talk to you, I am going to be far more nosey. 


I have to take the business book in small chunks and digest them, so that one's been in process a while. Ditto with the psychotherapy book, although it's going a little faster. I just started the steampunk one and hope to write in that genre soon.
I hear you there—good luck on reading and I am cheering on with the Steampunk. I love to read it!

Name three of your favorite things.
See question 9 [below]. Seriously, red wine, especially zinfandel, dark Belgian chocolate, and cats, specifically my tuxedo cat Bailey. Oooh, yum, on the zinfandel and dark Belgian Chocolate.  You make me miss my cat. 

And just for me: Wine, Coffee or Tea?
Coffee first thing in the morning,(Yes!) tea for lunchtime or afternoon, (totally on board with this) and wine for 5:00 and later unless it's weekend, in which case wine can be for lunch and later.
 I truly like the way you think!

Thank you so much for stopping by, I really want to have you come back so we can delve more into characters, and other fun things. (Wine).

One lucky commentator is going to win an ebook when it comes out in October. (Kindle). Please leave your name and email address likes so:  name at yahoo dot com in the comments to be eligible. I will name a winner on Sunday, September 22, 2013 (BUT you won’t get the book until October 1). 


Cecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it. She became a clinical psychologist because she's fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn't stop writing fiction. The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own practice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, which is why she writes and blogs under a pen name.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she's been told, is a good number of each.

You can find her at (Click on the Words):

Cecilia's Twitter:  @RandomOenophile

(And you can Pre-Order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble)


  1. Had the pleasure of meeting Cecilia a few months ago at a wine tasting (shock I know!). She and her husband were delightful, and I've been following her on twitter since. Already got the book pre-booked and can't wait to read it! timcairl at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Tim,
      I think Cecilia is a gem! I am looking forward to this book myself...she had me at "werewolves" or it may have been the carnivorous bunny...
      Thank you for stopping by and good luck!

    2. Great to "see" you again, Tim! Thanks for stopping by and for already preordering the book. If you win the drawing (and it looks like your chances are pretty good), I can send you a t-shirt instead.

  2. Tim, you have won!!
    I will email you--congratulations! :)