First of all, I’d like to thank you, Vonnie, for having me as a guest at your wonderful blog. I have met so many lovely new authors over at The Wild Rose Press, and you are one of them. You’ve sent me a list of questions, and I thoroughly enjoyed answering them.
1. What authors and genres do you like to read?
I love to read contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance, as well at non-romance books. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, LaVyrle Spencer, Kristin Higgins, Linda Howard, Allison Brennan, Jennifer Crusie, Jill Marie Landis, Jodi Thomas, Deanna Raybourn, and Susan Crandall. Just to name a few. Non-romance, Jodi Picoult, Sandra Kring, Elizabeth Berg. I read male authors, too! I could go on and on, there are just so many fabulous authors out there. Makes me a little queasy thinking I’ve thrown my hat into the ring.
2. Do you enter writing contests? If so, has this been a positive experience for you?
Oh, I’m a big believer in contests. I started off in the Romance Writers of America entering a lot of chapter contests and getting the snot slapped out of me. I was also dubbed a contest slut by my fellow RWA chaptermates. I learned a lot, and I also grew a thick skin. Eventually I caught on and started making the finals in contests with a few of my entries. One for the Road won and was a finalist in six or more contests a few years back. The judges loved the story and the idea of having an older heroine. Though the manuscript got requested by an editor and found me an agent, the big print publishers weren’t interested, so I’m grateful for The Wild Rose Press and the Last Rose of Summer line.
Since I’ve been published in category romance, I’ve entered published contests, too. A couple of my Medical Romances for Harlequin, Mills & Boon have done well in contests. Temporary Doctor, Surprise Father, was a finalist in the Greater
Book Buyers Best 2010 contest, short contemporary category, and The Heart Doctor and the Baby just won the short contemporary category in the 2011 Winter Rose Contest. So, as you can see I still enter contests. Detroit
My advice for contest entrants, if the critique from the judges rings true, or more than one judge says similar things, take another look at your entry and consider making some changes. As with all critiques, take what you can use, and what makes your story better, and don’t torture yourself about the rest. We’ll never please everyone. It’s impossible.
3. Do you ever dream of writing in a different genre?
I can’t say I dream of it, but I have thought about tackling a cozy mystery. Also, when I see movies like Win Win, where the story is so wonderful, I fantasize about writing general fiction, bigger stories with lots of secondary characters and storylines. When I realistically consider what that would entail, I get exhausted. Not that writing romance isn’t hard enough! In all of my reading years, I’ve always been most drawn to the romance portion of any novel. I guess, in the long run, I’m hooked on romance.
4. What part of the writing process brings you the most pleasure? The most angst?
When I begin a new book, I feel completely overwhelmed. Yes, I’ve written the synopsis, written up a conflict chart, gotten feedback from either my critique partner or, if it is one of my category books, my editor. Facing that blank page is always daunting. And the first three to four chapters feel like wading through molasses. That’s the angsty part. Eventually I’ll stumble into the “zone” and get so caught up with my characters and their story, that the words flow and flow, and a snowball effect happens toward the end of the book, and whew, I end up holding onto my hat by the time I write The End. Of course, that’s just the first draft, but I’ve managed to tackle this beast of a story and toss it onto the page! Hooray! From there it is re-writes, editing, revisions, more re-writes and editing, reading, re-reading. Well, you know the process. The part that brings me the most angst though, is waiting for reader responses. Until I’ve had some feedback from readers, I can’t relax or breathe easily. My nerves are all a tangle just writing about it for your blog, Vonnie!
5. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on another Medical Romance for Harlequin. I’m happy to be under contract with them and have, what I feel, is a good romance story in the works. The hero is my favorite kind – tortured. And the heroine is a solid non-glamorous type of girl (my favorite kind of heroine) who has been dealt a serious blow.
And I’ve also got some good news to share. In July I contracted with The Wild Rose Press for a second book. This one is for the Champagne Line and it is called, An Indiscretion.
6. Tell us about your current release…or soon to be release.
Vonnie, I’d love to! ONE FOR THE ROAD, on sale now, is a road trip, a romance and a mystery all rolled into one big, hopefully fun, story. I think the best way to tell you about the book is to use the back book cover blurb:
D’Anne Palmer and her husband had a life others dream of—traveling the
in a luxury forty-foot motor coach, going where they wanted. Suddenly, D’Anne finds herself a widow with her only asset being the motor home. Without funds to return to US , she decides to hire out the RV. California
(My actual words for this section were: D’Anne Palmer and her husband are on their cross country, last ditch, mend-it-don’t-end-it marriage tour when he drops dead. This was gently edited by my wonderful editor at The Wild Rose Press – LOL)
Tyler White was a “one-hit-wonder” ten years ago. At a crossroads, he decides to attempt a comeback. He’s hoping the three-week tour he’s put together will reignite his career. All he needs now is some cheap transportation, and the widow with the RV might just fit the bill.
D’Anne and Tyler discover a lot about themselves—and each other—as they journey from
Nashville to Las Vegas, via Texas, with the band and ’s dog. Can close quarters really help a has-been singer on the comeback trail and a widow with Tyler style find love? California
As you can see, the trickiest part of this story was having a new widow – her husband has died six weeks before the book begins – fall believably in love again. I worked very hard to make the transition slow and realistic, and I haven’t had one complaint about it yet, so hopefully I pulled it off.
One thing the blurb doesn’t mention is the secondary mystery which involves D’Anne’s deceased husband. As usual, he’s made a mess of things, and she’s left cleaning it up. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was I got to write a car chase scene involving a forty foot deluxe RV, a Hummer, and a beat up VW bug. Ah, the joys of writing the stories of our hearts, right Vonnie?
Thanks again for having me guest blog. I’d love to know what your readers think about books that don’t quite fit into one category. For example, One for the Road is a road trip, a midlife coming of age story, a romance and a mystery.
Readers, do you enjoy books that are hard to categorize?
One for the Road is available at The Wild Rose Press (Please link to this: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=1b97b3e5b60d91dc2246332c76133a16&keyword=Lynne+Marshall&x=24&y=9
And at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/One-for-the-Road-ebook/dp/B005CI7BVQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1312221298&sr=1-1
As well as Barnes & Noble, Digi Books Café, Fictionwise, and many more online e-book stores.