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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
To submit articles of interest to our readers Email Barbara.

June 2000 Issue

Holy Thor, Vikings and More!

Judy Di Canio

Award winning author, Judy Di Canio, and her husband live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their three Golden Retrievers (Max, Ceasar & Hunter) and their three Maine Coon Cats (Merlin,Wizard & Magic). Living with Goldens is fun. They love to take walks, visit parks and play ball. Cats (or maybe it's just Merlin) like to stand on the keyboard as you are writing, which makes editing a story reeeeeally interesting.

An Interview with Judy Di Canio

Barb S: Judy, your bio states that the hero is "dressed" like a Viking. This could deceive the reader into believing Beloved Warrior is a Viking Time Travel. Dar isn't exactly a Viking is he? Nor is the book precisely a time travel. Can you explain?

Judy D: The hero, Dar, is a Norse Warrior/Sorcerer from Asgard. It is believed that the Norse gods were the ancestors of the Vikings. After having done lots of research, I dressed him in a cape, rough clothing, boots, and a war hat, which is similar to what the actual Vikings wore.

The first glimpse I got of him was of him standing on a dark road, with lightning flashing above. His sword was raised toward the sky and his purple cape billowed in the wind. It was the first scene I wrote for the book and after that, I was hooked on writing the entire story.

Yes, the book is a time travel romance. In addition to traveling from one place (Asgard) to another (Earth), Dar also travels through time from the far past (almost at the beginning of our time) to current day Earth. Boy, Is he in for some fun adventures while learning about modern day technology!! And the heroine has lots of fun with the dragon, too.

Barb S: This book was very different, villains from both worlds, giants, magical clothing and weapons, a Dragon! Did these things have a basis in Norse mythology or in your own fertile imagination?

Judy D: Yes, a lot of the book was actually based on Norse Mythology. Odin, Loki, the giants, Asgard and Ragnarok, "the war of the gods" were true. I took the descriptions of the halls and Asgard from several mythology books.

The magical stuff and the dragons were extras. I wanted to use part of the Norse heritage while still creating an intriguing society that readers could enjoy. The dragons, especially Firedrake who is Dar's little pet, were added to keep the hero company as he traveled in a strange land. I based Firedrake off my Golden Retrievers. As Ceasar ate my slipper, I added a scene. When Hunter nibbled on my boots…well, you get the idea.

Barb S: Judy, you and Beloved Warrior garnered three P.E.A.R.L. nominations (Best Fantasy, Best New Author, Best Overall Paranormal). Were you excited about that? Has it helped draw attention to your work?

Judy D: I was EXTREMELY excited about the nominations. This was a "book of the heart" and was turned down by numerous editors and agents as I tried to Get it published. To have it nominated for THREE awards was validation that persistence definitely pays off, especially for a new writer.

I am extremely grateful to readers for getting the word out about the book and also for their feedback. Writing is such a lonely profession. You see only the keyboard and monitor for days on end. Getting fan mail and e-mails from readers makes it worth all the countless hours it takes to write a book. And since my books usually take about a year to write, the nominations were even more exciting.

Barb S: Beloved Warrior was your debut novel for Leisure and one of the early releases for their Love Spell Perfect Heroes line. It was obviously very popular with the paranormalromance listers and the readers were quite enthusiastic for a sequel. Dar has a brother Lor and also a sister. Will there be a much awaited sequel? (fingers crossed).

Judy D: The sequel with Lor has been put on hold. The editor is asking for revisions, and until the details are ironed out, I'll be working on two books - a mainstream called DANGEROUS SOULS and a healing book tentatively titled OPPORTUNITIES FOR HEALING.

Barb S: You are currently working on mainstream romance, Dangerous Souls (the paranormal elements are real), can you tell us a bit about it. I takes place in your home state. Is this a real town or fictional? When will it be released?

Judy D: The book has been nagging at me to write it for over a year. There are four main characters: one is an indian shaman, there's a reiki master, a reluctant channeler and a witch. All four have abilities that are natural to them. As a reiki master, I have found that very few people have heard of this "hands on" healing modality. In an attempt to "spread the word" that there is more out there than people realize, and a lot of it has been around for thousands of years, I began to do research on what I term "the powers within." You would be AMAZED at what shaman can do! They can travel to the spririt world, do "soul retrievals" for people, and even use healing energy from the earth. The American Indians were the caretakers of the earth. They lived in harmony and honor. What you put out comes back and they did it well. Honoring earth is honoring spirit and they practiced what they preached.

Captivated, I decided to combine four different cultures in a story that has the elements of: mystery, murder, romance and passion while at the same time creating a powerful story and characters that could eventually turn into a series. I think of this book as an adult series for fans of : Buffy, Charmed, Harry Potter, Roswell and The Others. There's (hopefully) a Market out there for this type of book and when people learn that most of the paranormal elements in the book are REAL, they will hopefully be intrigued. If anyone is interested, I have chapter 1 of this story on my website. Choose the word DANGER. I'll be pitching this book to both editors and agents at the Romance Writers of America national convention in Washington DC.

Barb S: Do you have plans for any additional paranormal romances?

Judy D: I have about fifty romances in my "to be written" pile. Some are Shorter books (like Silhouette and Harlequin), others are historical, but most have some type of paranormal TWIST. I had actually planned to write a trilogy with three brothers who had unique abilities and an odd, matchmaking family. When I see my editor, I'll mention the series to him, but I'll also be shopping it around to other editors. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to reach my readers. I hope Everyone gets a chance to enjoy the magic whether it be in the form of BELOVED WARRIOR or another book!!!

Judy Di Canio



Buy it now!

Love Spell
(Perfect Heroes)
July 1999
368 pages
ISBN# 0505523256

Nominated for:

BELOVED WARRIOR - Finalist: Best Fantasy/Magical
Best New Author,
Best Overall Paranormal

Room for Rent

Jennifer Giordano wasn't looking for a hero, just a boarder to help make ends meet. But Dar was larger-than-life in every respect, and as her gaze traveled from his broad chest to his muscular arms, time stopped, literally. Her new tenant unsheathed a knife and shattered the face of her chiming grandfather clock. Then he diced up her beeping alarm clock, and Jennifer know this hulking hunk with a magic mantle, crystal dagger, and pet dragon would never be the ideal housemate.

Heart Not Included

The Norse god treated her with an unexpected gentleness, even though he used her dining room furniture as kindling to barbecue her dinner. Jennifer had little time to mobilize her defenses. But as the Norseman with the disarming smile turned her house into a battlefield, Jennifer felt a more fiery struggle begin. Gazing into his twinkling blue eyes, she knew she could surrender to whatever the powerful warrior wished, for she'd already won the greatest prize of all: his love.


Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with:
Sandra Hill

Judy Di Canio

Romance News:
Berkley Editor Judy Palais
Photos from CR2000

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.

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