Welcome! My 50day/50blog tour is stopping here at my house today! I'm so glad you could join me. As you can see, I'm pretty laid back. Please make yourself at home. Check out the video library (My YouTube BookTrailers are posted along the right side of the blog) and once you're done here, visit some of my favorite blogs.
As soon as people learn I'm a writer, these questions almost always follow. I thought I'd answer them here.
Where do you find your story ideas?
They find me. Maybe it's a bit of historical research. A painting that begs a question. A strain of music that starts a story scrolling in my mind. A character that steps out of my subconscious and demands I tell her story. Once I have a kernel of an idea, I play with it, develop it, test it to see if it matters enough to propel me for 400 pages.
Why do you write under 2 different names?
Because I like having to maintain two websites. Just kidding. The suggestion to use two names came from my editor since the style of writing is so different for each name.I write sexy, light-hearted historical romance as Emily Bryan and dramatic epics as Diana Groe.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, though I've always been a voracious readers and was intrigued by the writing process. I've been--hang on!--a professional opera singer, a teacher, a choir director, a home-schooling mom, a realtor and a banker. My daughters say I'm a Renaissance Woman--I've done a bit of everything.
Now, I'm a writer.
Guess I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
Publishing is such a competitive business. How did you sell your first manuscript?
With a good bit of luck! I realized early on that I didn't want to just have a book published. I wanted a writing career. That meant I needed an agent. After winning a few writing contests, I attracted an agent who shopped my work out. She sold my work to Leah Hultenschmidt at Dorchester and I've been blessed to have terrific editorial support ever since.
Unfortunately, my agent has suffered some health problems and is closing down her agency. Once again, I find myself without representation. I will miss her terribly and will never forget that she was the first publishing professional who gave me hope.
Now, I have to start the agent hunt once again.
Now wait a minute! You're already published. What do you need with an agent?
While it's true that I have a very good working relationship with my editor, I really don't want to have to haggle with her over the details of my contract. I'd rather keep my collaboration with Leah on an artistic footing.
Why do you write those type of books? (This question is usually accompanied by an eye roll and is typically asked by someone who knows me, goes to church with me, knows my kids, and has at least one of my books tucked under their arm)
The obvious answer is so YOU will buy them.
But the subtext of the question is 'Why do you write books with explicit sex scenes in them?'
The answer to that is that I write about life. All of life. Every scene in my books must serve the story. And I can't tell my characters' story without telling all of it.
What advice do you have for beginning writers?
Write everyday. Creativity is a muscle. It will grow stronger with regular exercise. Read about the craft. Attend workshops and writers seminars. Find critique partners you trust. Don't quit. If I can do it, you can do it. Good luck!
I'm giving away copy of Vexing the Viscount today to one lucky commenter. If you're a writer, what question do you regularly get asked? If you're a reader, is there something about writing you've been dying to know but were afraid to ask?