Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Interview with Eliza Gayle, Author of Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel

Welcome to our interview with Eliza Gayle, author of Malcolm: A Black Cougar Novel. Eliza is giving a copy of her book to a luck commenter so don't forget to include your email address in your comment.

What inspired the story behind your Black Cougar Series?
There were two things actually. First there is a stretch of dangerous road through the Mountains of North Carolina called Dragon Tail. Reading the website and visiting the area inspired the setting for my shifter.

I decided to write cougars because I wanted something you’d actually find in NC and bobcats are a little too small in my mind for these alpha shifters. When I happened across an old Native American legend that talked about the mysterious (and believed to not exist) Black Cougars that represented death, the lightbulb went off. 

Is each novel interlinked or are they stand alone?
The three books do have an overarcing storyline that is wrapped up in Malcolm’s story. While I think you can read Malcolm and get the idea of the other two, it’s probably a much richer experience to read them all and in order. Lucas then Kane then Malcolm.

You’re hero, Malcom, is a shifter. Can you tell us what makes him tick?
From the start of the series, Malcolm is pretty much consumed by rage and resentment. He’s made some pretty big mistakes in his past and he has to pay dearly for them. With this much pent up frustration it’s really no surprise how much he’s lashed out through the series.

Cheyenne’s hired to find Malcolm. Can you tell us a little more about her?
It’s hard to say too much without giving away spoilers for the book. Suffice it to say she’s had a rough few years and doesn’t want to play anymore. She’s got a singular goal she’s been so focused on that connecting with Malcolm is going to be far more intense than she expects.

Aside from shifters, are there any other supernatural beings in your book?
Yes. There is a psychic and a witch. Both show up in book 1, Lucas, with the witch continuing into Kane’s story. 

Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I’m usually somewhere in between a plotter or a pantser. These days I at least outline a story before I start as well as write short character descriptions. Much more than that and I begin to lose interest and get frustrated.

Why did you choose to write paranormal?
I write paranormal because I love to read it. I fell in love with the genre thanks to Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter series. Since then, I’ve read many many series.

What’s your writing routine like?
I try to write most every day and I set a word count goal for each week every Monday morning. I have a full time job in addition to the writing career but I am lucky to work from home. So throughout my day I go back and forth between writing and the day job as necessary. I’ve found that I produce my best writing in the mid morning hours so I try really hard to at least write during those hours. 

How do you choose the names of your characters?
After I have written a characters description, which includes their background, I usually turn to baby name books in search of a name that just “feels” right.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and how do you work your way out of it?
I write every day so that helps a lot. But if I get stuck then it’s usually because I need to figure out something in my story so I’ll stop, pull out the notebook I keep by my side at all times, and start making notes.

If that doesn’t work, I take a very long hot shower. No idea why it works but it does. I keep bath crayons in my shower and frequently take notes on the walls. lol

Are you working on any new projects?
I am currently working on another witch book. It’s one I started a long time ago and I figured it was time to finish it. I’ve also got the beginnings of my next shifter book. It might surprise readers of Malcolm to discover I’ve been inspired to write a story about Kitty.

Where can readers purchase your books?
Most of my ebooks can be found at nearly all of the normal online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or All Romance eBooks.

I only have a couple of print books available right now and those can be ordered from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The cougar series will be available in print in July.

Where can readers connect with you on the web?
I tend to be all over the place. I try to keep my website updated regularly with all my book info at 

I also use facebook a lot where I love to post pictures about things that are going on like vacations or random things I find at the mall that make me laugh. Lol 

For more frequent and short updates on what’s going on, you can follow me on Twitter at


We’d like to thank Eliza for chatting with us about her book. You can read our review of Malcolm here. We will be interviewing Eliza live today on Blog Talk Radio at 3:30pm PST. The link to the interview is here.

Don’t forget to add a comment with your email address to enter the contest for a copy of Malcolm. Thanks everyone!


  1. I love the idea of "bath crayons" to write ideas on the walls with. Not sure why but it's usually in the shower for me too :) Great interview! I recently read Lucas and look forward to reading the rest in the series!

  2. Eliza,

    I thought I was the only one that had ideas in the shower! Must be our brains work on a solution while we sleep and everything percolates to the top when we relax. =D

    I love paranormal stories, but shifter novels are my favorite! I can't wait to read your Black Cougar series...especially Malcolm. Thanks for the great giveaway!!!


  3. Paranormal books .... mmmm shapeshifters - that's right up my alley =)
    Thank you for this giveaway!


  4. Having werecougars was an awesome idea! I've always wanted to write a novel with werecreature that's not a werewolf.