Friday, November 15, 2013

Fun Interview with Gabrielle Holly, author of Animal Behavior

Animal Behavior
Book 1 in the Wolf’s Mark series
Gabrielle Holly
paranormal erotic romance

Alex McKenzie and Gwen Chaney are both desperate for change. They find it in the mysterious, passion-filled werewolf world.

When shy veterinarian, Alex, turns to dark magic to cure his awkwardness around women, a botched spell transforms him—body and soul. By day he’s the star of TV’s Dog Talker, and uses his newfound powers to communicate with troubled pets. Under the full moon, he becomes a man-beast driven by his unquenchable sex drive.

Gwen is running from a string of bad relationships and a failed business venture when an unexpected inheritance brings her to the tiny northern Minnesota town of Talbot. She’ll soon learn that her grandfather left her much more than a cabin in the woods.

As Alex struggles to keep his insatiable libido under control, Gwen stumbles into his life and complicates everything. Until she understands the secrets of the pack—and her unique role in it—Alex must be on his best Animal Behavior.


About Gabrielle and Animal Behavior

Q: Do you have a favorite quote or line from Animal Behavior? If so, please share.
A: His attraction to her was ferocious and fighting it was exhausting.

Q: Who is your favorite main character from Animal Behavior? Why?
A: That’s kind of like asking someone to choose her favorite child! I love my heroine, Gwen and my hero, Alex. I find Alex especially interesting. I’m drawn to stories about the duality of human nature and Alex personifies that. Alex starts out as a painfully shy guy who—through a botched magic spell—becomes an uber-confident, sexually-driven werewolf. He is at his core a decent man, but struggling to control the beast within.

Q: Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
A: Sergei Markov- the werewolf pack alpha. He’s a former professional basketball player and speaks with a heavy Russian accent. He’s seven feet of tall, dark and raw sexuality.

Q: What question do you wish that someone would ask about Animal Behavior?
A: What’s with all the unique character and location names? A: I’m a big fan of old monster movies and have a particular soft spot for The Wolf Man (1941) starring the incredible Lon Chaney, Jr. Names of the film’s cast, crew and characters are scattered throughout the book (and the next two in the series) as my homage to the movie that inspired so many of my nightmares… and fantasies.

On Writing and Writing Erotica

Q: Why did you choose to write in this genre/subgenre?
A: I dig the tall, dark and animalist type ;-)

Q: Do you outline or do you start with a basic idea and let it flow? (plotter or pantser)
A: I’m a pantser with a plan. I know who my characters are and where they’re going before I type the first word. That said, if—after we get started—my characters want to lead me down a different path, I usually follow.

Q: Do your family and friends know what you write? If so, what do they think about it?
A: They do. None of them are surprised. I’ve been hearing “She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do” my entire life J

Q: In erotica/erotic romance, the sex is depicted graphically. Are there any specific words or phrases you aren't comfortable using in your stories? Word or phrase that makes you say “ick”?
A: I’ve gotten over it! In fact, when my husband comes home and asks, “What did you do today?” I’ll often answer, “You know, same old, same old—I wrote about cocks and pussies.”

Jocelyn says... LOVE this answer. Cracked me up.

Q: How long ago was your first story accepted by a publisher and did you pee your pants? J
A: Almost exactly two years ago. I was working a 9-to-5 job and read the email at work. I stared at the screen in disbelief for… I don’t know how long. The place could have burned down around me and I wouldn’t have noticed.

Jocelyn says... Since you didn't answer, I'm going to pretend that yes, you peed your pants. :-)

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the publishing process?
A: I love the feeling of anticipation what I start working on a new book. It’s like a first kiss. I also really enjoy doing the research before I start writing.

I’ve worked for three different publishers and have had several wonderful editors, but the editing process itself is my least favorite. However, in all cases it has resulted in an improved final product. I think of editors like midwives. Their goal is to deliver the healthiest, most perfect little bundle of joy possible.

Fun Stuff

Q: Wine, Beer or Liquor?
A: Canadian Whiskey – specifically Windsor mixed with Diet Coke over lots of ice.

Q: Dogs, cats or other?
A: Dogs! I have two: A rough collie (like Lassie)—named Riley—he’s sweet but neurotic; and a golden retriever—Maggie—she’s a big couch potato. I also volunteer at our local shelter socializing (playing with) the pooches and working with them in shelter-dog obedience class.

Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: I’ve been a student of the Law of Attraction and The Secret for many years and I think I’ve finally got it. For me, the secret of The Secret is that I already have everything I need. Once I stopped waiting for good things to happen and started appreciating the good things I have, everything just fell into place.

Final thoughts: I have a sign tacked to my bulletin board: “Don’t get it right. Get it written.” It’s a reminder to turn off my self-editor during the initial writing phase and just get the damned words on paper. There will be plenty of time for editing later.

Thanks for having me Jocelyn!  ;-) ♥ Gabby

Thanks so much for being here! Come back again. 

Animal Behavior Excerpt

Within an hour of returning from L.A., Alex’s cell phone had been chirping with incoming texts. The new human consort had arrived in Talbot the night before and the entire pack was buzzing with the news. It was strictly against policy to broadcast pack business, and all of the texts were coded. They referenced a “new deputy in town” and speculated when they’d get to meet her.

Introducing Gwen Chaney to the pack would be up to their alpha, not Alex. Sergei explained to him that these things had to be handled carefully. Passing the mantle usually only happened once in a generation and the incoming human consort had no idea what he or she was in for. Sergei would determine how and when Gwen would be told.

Alex had planned to do a little hunting in the morning, then introduce himself in the afternoon. His visit would just be one neighbor welcoming another. He hadn’t counted on Gwen wandering cluelessly through the woods, putting herself in harm’s way.

Yet, there she was, passed out on the ground after facing off with the big cat. Alex tried to concentrate on first aid as he knelt beside her.

There wasn’t much of a family resemblance, but there was no doubt that Gwen was John Chaney’s granddaughter. She definitely has his courage, Alex thought. She hadn’t cried or freaked out during the cougar attack. When Alex had arrived on the scene she was waving her arms and screaming at the big cat to get the fuck off her dog.

This woman was no damsel in distress. Still, he wondered if she would be able to pick up where her grandfather had left off. The Chaney family business was not for the squeamish. He doubted if she had any idea what John had meant to the pack, let alone the expectations that she would step into his very specialized role.

He glanced down at the unconscious human-consort-elect. Fainting had been an automatic response to pain and adrenaline, not a sign of weakness. She was only out for a few seconds, but that was plenty of time for Alex to take inventory. Long, dark hair, pale skin, full mouth—pretty, he thought. The photos he’d seen of her hadn’t done her justice. Even under her puffy winter coat he could easily make out her lush curves. The thought of what those big breasts and full hips would feel like under his hands made his cock jerk to life. But it was the scent of her that distracted him the most.

In the years since his change Alex had been drawn to dozens of women because he could smell their arousal, but he’d never experienced anything like this. Before he was within ten yards of her, the scent had triggered something deep in his core. And the bravery she’d shown during the attack was so impressive—so unlike the behavior of the vacuous, high-maintenance women he’d been spending his time with—it only multiplied her allure.

He wanted her desperately and the sudden depth of his possessiveness was confusing. And yet, there was a kind of certainness in his instant connection to her that somehow calmed him. The agitation he’d felt in L.A. seemed to flow out of him and was replaced with single-minded focus.


Leaning so close that his lips nearly brushed her throat, he breathed her in. A low moan rumbled from his chest and when she began to stir, he forced himself to pull away.

Easy. Don’t frighten her.

She stared up at him for a long moment as if trying to read his thoughts. He was relieved that she couldn’t…

Author Bio:
Gabrielle Holly lives in the Midwest with her husband and two enormous, world-class-shedding dogs. She has worked as a freelance journalist, newspaper humor columnist, magazine editor, stand-up comic and morning radio show host. She has a short attention span and enjoys reading, cooking, crafting, hunting for antiques, attending live theater, spending time outdoors, watching movies, and coercing her husband into being her “research assistant."

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