Barbara Poelle is a literary agent with the Irene Goodman Agency and is the person responsible for bringing us the delicious medieval romance whose gorgeous cover you see to the right. I met Barbara when the RWA national conference was in San Francisco in 2008. She was lunching with my friend and fellow Pixie Kris Kennedy (who is responsible for writing the delicious medieval romance to the right!) in the same sports bar as my current lunch mates and me. (Of all the sports bars in San Francisco, she had to walk into mine...) Kris grabbed me and introduced us.
Thankfully, I hadn't consumed too much caffeine at lunch or that spontaneous conversation could very well have ended with my name on the HOLY COW DON'T ENGAGE THIS GIRL IN CONVERSATION IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE list at the Irene Goodman Agency. Barbara was enthusiastic, friendly, and even in a short conversation, exuded the kind of savvy, smart, go-for-the-throat business sense she's known for. (This assessment had NOTHING to do with the fact that she requested my manuscript during this convo.) In the time since that meeting, I've come to enjoy and admire Barbara even more, so when I was lining up interviews for the blog, naturally I had to issue her an invitation!
Here's a peek at THE (deliciously medieval) CONQUEROR:
England, 1152. Henry II is king. The country is wracked by bloody civil war. Griffyn Sauvage is a valiant knight with a strict moral code of honour. But when his family's estate and vast treasures are seized, he becomes hardened by the betrayal. Now he will go to any lengths for vengeance - even if it means forming a union with his most despised enemy by marrying his daughter, Lady Guinevere de l'Ami. Then, Griffyn lays eyes on Gwyn and is completely disarmed. As war strikes, Gwyn is left alone to fight her enemies who want control of her ancestral lands. When Griffyn comes to her rescue, she is grateful that the mysterious, brave knight has risked his life to protect hers. With each passing day, she finds herself drawn to him even as she senses he's hiding a dark secret from her. And when another dangerous adversary closes in on both of them, Griffyn and Gwyn's trust in each other will be put to the ultimate test.
Barbara chose to be interviewed by the Were-llama himself.
Barbara Poelle (aka Beeshark)
Now that you know who's who, it's time to dive into the interview and reveal the amazing cupcake my hubby made for Barbara. Barbara told me she adores the Beeshark (And who wouldn't? Look at his pic!) and wanted his likeness immortalized in cupcake form. Always up to a challenge (Although he did have a "Bee-what???" moment at first ... sort of like his "But what does a Kitten of Doom look like??" reaction to Holly's cupcake request. Lit agents might be the death of him.), my hubby stepped up to the plate and proved once again he is the Cupcake Master. So, without further ado, I give you the cupcake and Barbara's interview with the Were-llama.
1. So, you’re a writer. I’m a super-scary shape-shifter who can command obedience with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. What do we have in common?
WELL, I'M NOT A WRITER, I'M AN AGENT, SO APPARENTLY WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON IS VODKA BEFORE NOON. AND OF COURSE, A DEEP AND UNABIDING LOVE FOR THE DELICIOUS ROMANCE NOVEL THE CONQUEROR BY KRIS KENNEDY.
2. Vodka before noon? Light weight. I can drink vodka from three in the morning until midnight and never miss an opportunity to slay an opponent. I like to spit at my enemies from whichever end is closest to them. Do any of your characters have cool abilities like that?
WELL, MY CLIENTS CAN MAKE ME HAVE A SPONTANEOUS PAVLOVIAN DROOL REACTION WHEN I READ THEIR WORK, SO WE ARE BOTH KINDA SLOBBERY.
3. I beg your pardon. I do not slobber. I spart. If I had a nickname, it would be The Awesome. You?
GENTLE LOTUS FLOWER OF PEACE. (MY HUSBAND JUST FELL OFF OF A CHAIR SOMEWHERE)
4. Gentle? Flower? Peace? Maybe you need to lay off the vodka. Besides, everyone knows true peace will only happen when every living creature gives in to the power of my awesome red eyes. I hang around this blog because I love stories. What’s your story about? Bonus points if it includes a llama.
WELL, IN FACT, IT DOES. BECAUSE WHEN I WAS 18 MY BFF BOUGHT ME A SPONSOR-A-LLAMA IN PORTUGAL THAT PROVIDES FUR FOR CLOTHING FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR. HIS NAME IS PETER. AND I MADE SURE TO TELL THEM TO LOCK HIM UP UNDER THE FULL MOON.
5. You named a llama Peter? And gave humans permission to regularly strip him of his fur? *glares with awesome red eyes* You’re making me a cake worthy of my awesome Were-llama status and decorating it to represent your story. What does it look like?
IT'S A CUPCAKE CAKE. FOUR CUPCAKES, EACH TOPPED WITH A BEAUTIFUL SWEATERS, ONE FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER, EACH KNITTED WITH CARE IN CULTURALLY-APPROPRIATE PATTERN USING TECHNIQUES PASSED DOWN THROUGH GENERATIONS. AND A FIFTH CUPCAKE, WITH A VERY NAKED AND DISGRUNTLED PETER.
6. Llamas are fierce, predatory creatures. Even transforming one of us into Naked Peter won't stop our awesomeness. Recognize. Any Were-llamas in your book?
WHILE I REPRESENT A NUMBER OF UNDEAD AND HINKY TYPES INCLUDING THE 2011 RELEASE OF THE ZOMBIE DEBUT AFTERTIME BY SOPHIE CRANE AND THE DELICIOUSLY HAUNTING YA WITHER BY LAUREN DESTEFANO, UNFORTUNATELY MY LIST IS TERRIBLY LACKING IN WERE-LLAMAS. WHEN I GET SAD THINKING LIKE THIS, I KNOW THE BEST THING FOR ME IS A SPICY ROMANCE BY KRIS KENNEDY LIKE THE CONQUEROR.
7. Any book titled THE CONQUEROR must surely have a were-llama within its pages. Who else would be doing the conquering? Anyone you know who might be a Were-llama and you just haven’t figured it out yet?
KRIS KENNEDY HAS VERY SILKY HAIR. I'M NOT SAYIN, I'M JUST SAYIN.
8. Well, naturally. Who else could write THE CONQUEROR? Llamas or camels and why? Think carefully.
LLAMAS, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE LIGHT WEIGHT ALPACA FUR ON CHILLY FALL NIGHT IN CENTRAL PARK.
9. You seem obsessed with stripping llamas. I defy you to come over here and try to strip me. It would be the last thing you ever did. I give you a baby Were-llama as a companion. What do you name her? ... Say Naked Peter and I shall terminate both the interview and you.
10. Wise girl. My favorite word is “awesome” because, yanno, look at me. What’s yours?
11. As a young Were-llama, I dreamt of taking over the eastern seaboard one face full of spit at a time. What did you dream of doing when you were young?
GETTING A PICTURE RUBBING THE CONICAL NOSE OF A GREAT WHITE BEE-SHARK.
12. The bee-shark seems a fierce beast nearly as awesome as a were-llama. Nearly. Cake or cookies?
NEVER CAKE. CAKE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.
13. Do you share chocolate?
14. Or when I compel you to with the awesome power of my glowing red eyes. The Zombie Goat invasion is upon us. How will you fight them off?
WELL, WITH THOSE JANKY BELLS THEY WEAR, I WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR THEM COMING, SO I AIN'T SCARED.
Thank you, Barbara, for such a fun interview! And for making sure delicious books like THE CONQUEROR make it onto our book store shelves. To learn more about Barbara, visit her agency site or check in with her every Tuesday on the Hey There's A Dead Guy In The Living Room blog. Of course, the fun isn't over yet!
One lucky commenter will win a 10 page critique (if you're a writer) and a copy of THE CONQUEROR! Here's how to enter:
1. Earn entries:
*Comment on this post with a question or comment for Barbara = 1 entry
*Be a follower of this blog = 2 entries
*Tweet the link to this interview = 3 entries (Use @cjredwine or leave url to tweet in your comment so I can see it.)
*Post the contest on your blog = 3 entries (Include link in your comment.)
2. Tally it up: Please tally up your entries and leave the total in your comment.
3. Check back: The contest is open until 8 p.m. Sunday, June 6th. Please check back to see if you've won and to claim your prize.
Good luck to all and happy reading!