Sunday, July 14, 2013

SUNNY: BLOG FEATURE - Author Interview with Nancy Northcott Spotlighting "Guardian"

Today I am thrilled to welcome author Nancy Northcott of The Protectors series. I have had the pleasure of reading the entire series, including the latest, "Guardian."  The series is complicated, imaginative, with plenty of action and drama.  Please join me in welcoming Nancy Northcott!

Thank you for having me today, Sunny!

How did you get into this world of humans, mages, demons, and ghouls?

I’ve always loved stories of magic, adventure, and romance.  At age seven, I discovered super-heroes.  They hooked me immediately, and I’m still a fan.

Mages are a lot like super-heroes, and this world merges the kinds of stories I enjoy.  The ghouls and demons were a deliberate choice to play off the idea of things that go bump in the night.  They’re magically gifted but can’t survive without using mages and humans, so they seemed like ideal adversaries for my mages and their nature-based powers.

What is your inspiration for the story?

For Guardian, the story worked backward from what I’d established about Stefan Harper in the first book, Renegade.  As you know, he’s a mage and a doctor.  He also loves music, so it made sense that he might’ve fallen in love with a woman who also did. 

Since the course of true love cannot run smoothly in a romance novel, however, he and his heroine, FBI Special Agent Camellia “Mel” Wray, needed some sources of conflict.  I figured the worst kind of woman for a mage to love was one who didn’t believe in magic, so Mel doesn’t.  And for good measure, they have a painful past.

I really appreciate your female characters. They are strong, smart and true partners to their male counterparts. Who were your influences for these female "leads"?

Thanks, Sunny!  I’m glad you like them.  They were inspired by the superheroines I grew up reading, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Elasti-Girl (a character from a comparatively obscure series who was more independent and self-reliant than most heroines of her era), and other super-powered women.  Nancy Drew was also a strong influence.

Which of the characters is most like you?

That’s hard to say.  Each of them incorporates something of me, either as I am or as I wish I could be, starting with the magical powers I think would be so cool to have.

Griffin Dare and Valeria Banning, in Renegade, are determined to bring a traitor to justice despite overwhelming odds.  I’m not sure I’d be as resolute as they are. Stefan has boundless wells of compassion, and he and Mel share musical talent I envy.  

In Protector, the novella, Josh Campbell flies helicopters although I’m not sure I’d actually ride in one, and Edie Lang wants to be a smokejumper and parachute out of airplanes to fight wildfires. They have physical courage I wish I did.

If you could cast your Protectors series, who you want to fill the major roles?

Griff would be someone who looks like Christopher Reeve ( ).  The closest to Val is Mary McCormack ( ) of In Plain Sight.

For Josh, I’d pick Scott Speedman of Last Resort ( and for Edie, Amy Carlson of Rookie Blue ( )

Stefan is almost the twin of Lucas Bryant of Haven ( ), except that Stefan’s hair is darker and a bit longer and his eyes are brown, not blue like Bryant’s. The resemblance is really uncanny. 

The dh and I were watching Haven, and I grabbed his arm.  “Stefan!  That’s Stefan!”  I announced.  He tried to make appropriate noises but didn’t really get why I was so ramped up about it. 

Kathleen Munroe ( ), who also appeared on Haven, as an FBI agent as luck would have it, is almost a perfect double for Mel.

If I were casting Will Davis, archaeologist, ace researcher, and ladies’ man, I’d pick Eric Christian Olsen ( ) of NCIS: LA.  Will’s heroine is still under wraps, so I think I’ll stop there.

I know that you are a history graduate, as am I. Two of the reason I love history is 1) sometimes fiction cannot compete with the reality of some of events in history 2) history is about the human nature and the choices that people make and that what makes it accessible. What do you love about history and how do you incorporate it in your writing?

I think you said it well with “human nature and its choices.”  As a college history major, I studied mostly political history.  Only as a senior did I discover social history, the chronicle of how people lived, what they wore, slept on or ate, how they earned their livings, and how they thought about themselves and each other.  I find those aspects intriguing

I’ve incorporated both sorts of history in my writing by creating a backstory for the mages and their struggle against ghouls and demons.  There’s a snippet of that revealed in Renegade.  Guardian focuses more on the present day, but we’ll see more of that history in the third novel.

What is next for the fans of the Protector series?

I’m working now on the third novel, Will’s story, with the working title Warrior.  There will be a pivotal archaeological discovery, and we’ll find out what kind of woman it takes to pierce the shell of his breezy charm and touch his heart.

There may be a novella first.  I’m not sure at this point.

How many books do you plan for this series?

There are a total of seven novels, five more after Guardian.  There may be novellas sprinkled in between some of them.  That’s still up in the air.

Thank you, Nancy for give us the opportunity to learn more about you and your work. 

Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Sunny!  I’ve enjoyed it.

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman.  Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy and YA romance.  A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes she loves in The Protectors, her new contemporary mage series from Grand Central Forever Yours.

Her debut novel, Renegade, received a starred review from Library Journal.  The reviewer called it “genre writing at its best.”  Nancy is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and has won the Maggie, the Molly, the Emerald City Opener, and Put Your Heart in a Book.

Married since 1987, Nancy and her husband have one son, a bossy dog, and a house full of books.



Sworn to protect the mage world, Stefan Harper was forced to hide his powerful magic from the beautiful Mundane woman he loved as a student.  Backed into a corner one painful night long ago, he let Mel believe he’d been unfaithful rather than put her at risk by revealing who—and what—he was.  Now she’s back, and the attraction burns hotter than ever.

FBI agent Camellia “Mel” Wray has vowed to avenge an old friend’s brutal murder. When the investigation requires forensic consultation by the only man she ever loved—and lost—one look at the gorgeous doctor makes Mel realize he’s still impossible to resist—and still harboring a secret.

Caught in a deadly ghoul trap, Stefan has one chance to save the woman he loves.  He must take the risk he once avoided and reveal the full extent of his powers. Can Mel accept the unbelievable and trust him? Or will love cost them everything?

The Protectors Series

Renegade:  Amazon B&N Goodreads           
Protector:  Amazon B&N Goodreads



  1. Sunny, thank you for featuring these books and the fabulous Nancy Northcott! Nancy, I loved Renegade and Protector and have Guardian waiting on my Kindle to read (when I get back to reading contemporaries - I'm stuck on historicals this week!).

    I think Sunny really hit the nail on the head with her comments about your strong heroines. The women in your writings are all strong, competent and confident. They also seem to know themselves and what they want pretty well. Not that they are inflexible or don't need to grow and change, but they are a lovely break from the typically rudderless (or hyper-career-focused) heroines often featured in contemporaries. I like the balance. These seem like women I would want to befriend in real life. Always a great thing!

    I hope you write lots more novellas. Protector was a lovely surprise while I waited for Guardian to come out. It also felt like a full-length novel. I don't know how you packed so much story and action into a novella! :)

    1. Caren, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed Renegade, and I appreciate your picking up the other two. The way you described my heroines is very flattering. I hoped readers would respond to them that way.

      I'll bear the request about novellas in mind. They have a certain appeal as a way to keep things moving between books. And I enjoyed writing a shorter form.

  2. Ohhhh, this series sounds so good. I love a good suspense folded into my paranormal. Thank you Sunny and Nancy for such an interesting post. I'll have to add Guardian to my TBR pile. Have a great day.

    1. Thank you, Dana! I've tried to put suspense in along with the romance and magic. I hope this particular blend will work for you!

    2. Dana, you won't be disappointed. I stumbled upon this series and feel very lucky to have found it!

  3. Thank you for this. I haven't heard of this series. I shall add to my tbr list.

  4. Hey Nancy!

    I love this series! Love it, love it, love it!!
    Great to see you on this blog today. Sunny, great interview.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! Isn't this a pretty blog?

    2. Aww, shucks! Thanks, Nancy. It is our honor to have you on.

  5. Hi Sunny! Hi Nancy! Fun interview! Nancy, congratulations on the release of Guardian. I found Stefan such a fascinating character in your wonderful Renegade! By the way, love the casting suggestions. I always find that so interesting - I know the characters become their own people, but a physical model makes a great starting point.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I'm glad you liked Stefan so much.

      I know a lot of people start with actors who resemble the characters, but I work the other way around. If I start with an actual person, the character feels less mine. So I start with the character and then try to see who matches up well.

  6. Thank you Sunny for the great interview. The thing I love about this series is the wonderful worldbuilding of a mage/mundane/ghoul world. Nancy makes it so believable with her remarkably detailed societies. I can definitely see the impact of Nancy's superhero influences in this action-packed series. I'm glad to hear there's more to come.

    1. Thank you, Donna! I appreciate that.

    2. Donna, I totally agree with you. One of the best elements of the Protector books is the world-building. It is complex and creative.