1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
First off Janet let me say thank you for having me today. I appreciate your allowing me to introduce myself to your site’s visitors.
At this time, my erotic romances are my books in print. I write across genres or combine elements of several and often have more than one story going at the same time. Occasionally I’ll hop from one to another and back again in the same day. :)
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Erotic romance most definitely chose me! I’ve spent the past four years writing a rather cerebral contemporary series.
Life changed for me about a year and a half ago when my grown daughter got me thinking about publishing again. Ambient Income was the phrase she’d used after reading about a very successful ebook author who now lives solely on his royalties. It caught my imagination, I liked the idea of Ambient Income. Ambient is such an evocative word. It means to come from all sides. I like the thought of good things coming from all sides!
The time fame for all this mind shift was kind of crazy -- no more than a full week all told. Shortly after my conversation with my daughter, I came across a magazine article stating eReaders were becoming affordable and ebook sales were on the rise. The very next day, I read online that romance was the fastest growing genre, the sub-genre of erotic romance was even more so. That very same week, I heard that many New York Times bestsellers started out in romance. Unbelievably, one morning just a few days later, I got an email from C. Hope Clark, who does Funds for Writers, and read a comment on erotic romance. I threw my hands in the air and surrendered. The Muse spoke to me. In fact, once I understood this inspiration for what it was, I realized she’d been hitting me on the nose for a week!
I figured I’d write erotic romance to break into this business, learn the ropes, and have some idea what the heck I was doing by the time I finished my series. I made a plan, wrote a book, and two books and a full year later I’m about to submit my next erotic romance to my current publisher. Yes, I’ll get back to that series eventually…
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
Because I’m comfortable using words to create worlds, I’d likely try just about all of them. There is one I wouldn’t touch though because it’s just not in me, and that is Horror. I can write chilling, I can write suspense. In a mood, I can write maniacal or matter of fact evil. But I can’t write the depth of cruelty, fear, and suffering found in the Horror genre. Hats off to those authors who can paint with the dark paints. It takes a lot to go outside of yourself, write for the sake of the art, and do so convincingly.
I have touched upon horror in my writing, but I don’t see me doing a whole book of it because I’m an emotional marshmallow. I’m far too sensitive a person who cries at weddings, births, funerals, and occasionally TV commercials. It simply wouldn’t sound believable.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I’m an informational reader for the most part. Oddball that I am, I read encyclopedias like other people read magazines. Once a year I’ll binge, and I mean binge, on fiction -- romance mostly, but I’ll do a run of historical fiction too. My yearly pilgrimage could include titles by the likes of Diana Gabaldon, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, among others. When the binge ends, I go back to reading information.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing
I’ve been writing for more than twenty years on and off, but seriously knuckling down for about five. I’m a person who loves learning all kinds of things. You might say my childlike wonder is still pretty much intact. My interest(s) du jour often direct where my mind goes when the Muse says it’s time to write. That being the case, any given day catches me writing across a wide range from one end the spectrum to the other -- everything from early readers and childrens literature to erotic romance (not under the same name!).
After an unrealized bid for the New York publishing houses for my childrens stories more than twenty years ago, life got busy and I really didn’t pursuit getting published after that. I have plans for my other completed books now that I have a better understanding of how this business works. 2012 may see me in print in several genres. Now if I could just figure out how to produce an eight-day week to get my stack to print!
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
My series, the unnamed 5-book, 4-year in the making, as-yet-unfinished, Magnum Opus (affectionately called the MO), has a fabulous family of men and I adore all of them. By far, of all the men who’ve come out of my subconscious to introduce themselves, these guys stay front and center as the best.
Were I to pick from my published works, I’d have to say it would have to be S from Hermes Online. That is one smooth-talking, sensual, sexy man. S and I took part in a character interview a few months ago and he told me even more about himself. I found I liked him even more than when I dreamed him up! That man’s a keeper. On the other hand, it’s so easy to fall in love with these perfect specimens of manhood that rise fully formed from my imagination, I’m sure the hero in my next novel will end up stealing my heart as well. He’s certainly trying to!
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Ooh. I’ve never really given any thought as to how my bad guys were created. That’s something to think about. To be honest, they kind of sprung from my head like Athena!
My aforementioned series has a villain to remember. This bad guy could be Voldemort’s younger brother. That story’s villain was so developed before I even put him to pen, that I even surprised myself. He’s given me goosebumps on several occasions because he’s not really bad, he’s just being himself.
I suppose in the end, my bad guys are me on some level because if you think about it they’d have to be. How else could I write them into being? Muahahahahaaa! ;)
8. What are you working on now?
I’m finishing the self-editing of book one in a shape-shifter story. I’m less for forty-five pages from writing my pitch letter. Yea! All I’ll say about the topic for now, is it’s based upon a local legend. That in itself is a very curious thing considering it’s about a shape-shifter!
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
Dreamscape is my most recent novel. I got into a conversation with an online friend one day about impossible love stories and that was the spark for this particular story. One of my favorite old black and white movies is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. In it, Lucy Muir, a nearly destitute widow at the turn of the last century, comes to live seaside in a house that once belonged to a cantankerous old sea dog named Captain Daniel Gregg. He tries to scare her off, but as a woman with few options, she stands firm and holds her ground.
As the story unfolds, the two form an unlikely friendship and tiptoe around an impossible love that culminates at the end of her life when he returns, takes her by the hand, and walks with her into the mist. How romantic is that? To this day I love that story. As a girl, I wanted Mrs. Muir to love Daniel Gregg without thinking twice. I also knew there really was no future in it. When I wrote Dreamscape, I held that unfortunate fact in mind. But the thing is, I like bending scenarios and making them work somehow. :)
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
And just as in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Dreamscape too has a haunted house. But where Mrs. Muir and Captain Gregg sidestepped the love issue because of the poor logistics of loving a ghost, Dr. Jason Bowen and Dr. Elaine O’Keefe’s relationship takes a different turn. I suppose it’s my own way of rewriting the story that so captivated me as a child. I think the best way to sum it up would be to offer the blurb:
Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing—he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.
Here’s a bit from the first chapter:
"I"m so excited, Ben, look!” Lanie held out her trembling hand. “I’m shaking all over. I’ve never been inside the gate before.”
Looking up at the massive house with its several boarded windows and shutters barely attached, Ben Danowski turned to her in surprise. “Lanie, are you sayin’ you bought this place without looking inside?”
She laughed lightly. “Pretty reckless, huh?” She went on to explain how she’d loved the old place ever since she was a little girl. While other children called it haunted and broke windows, she’d dreamt it was her house, and now it was. She had yet to go inside but knew by the realtor’s paperwork the house was filled with whatever furnishings Margaret Mason, the last of her family, had left when she died.
What she didn’t mention was she felt she already knew every
inch of the place because her dreams often took her here. She’d seen enough in those dreams that she didn’t need to see the inside before she signed the contract. As both tried to unload the property for nearly twenty-four years, her sight-unseen purchase had surprised and delighted the realtor and the bank president. It didn’t matter if the antiques of her dreams filled the house or if the rooms were empty. All that mattered was the house was hers.
Ben knew while old lady Mason lived, the house had been in pretty good condition and was closed up tight after she died. He told her, “I think you’re going to find the Bowen house is basically sound. Had it been any other house you were buying sight unseen, I’d say you’d bought a Pandora’s Box of trouble.” His father’s good friend Frank Wurley kept an eye on the house through all the years it had sat vacant. Living across the street like he did, Frank made a daily check for broken windows and most often was able to get them replaced within twenty-four hours. He gave up trying to keep up with the regularly vandalized atrium. But more than Lanie’s neighbor, Frank was the president at the First National Bank, which held the Bowen title in trust. They’d discussed the three unusual stipulations in Margaret Mason’s will. The house was never to be rented, and the bank was to use whatever monies necessary from the estate to keep it in livable condition for the next owner, whoever that turned out to be, and for however long it took to sell.
Thanks again for having me Janet. I enjoyed your thought-provoking questions.
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