Welcome, Dianne, lovely to have you here! I am hearing more and more great things about Breathless Press and I love their covers! How are you finding them as a publisher? Did you work with the same editor on both your stories?
In case you haven't guessed, I love learning how other publishers work when compared to my own - just nosy, lol!
Let's get started, shall we?
Thank you, Rachel, for having me as a guest today.
1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
I think writers always set goals for themselves. Sometimes one’s out of reach! But that’s what makes the small successes all the more fun. I usually write novel length MS’s, without any luck finding a publisher for them. This year I decided to try something new. I flirted a little with erotica in my novels, and thought I’d try my hand at a few m/m short stories. I wrote ‘Shelton in Love’ in January, and after many rewrites, I had it picked up by Breathless Press. I’m published! Finally, I reached a goal I had set.
2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
There comes a moment in writing where I’m totally immersed in the story. The interaction of the characters is alive and vibrant; the story line is progressing smoothly. I’m right in the scene with them, heading down path A, when suddenly the characters take things into their own hands and go down path B instead. I don’t know what’s down that way! Is it dangerous? Fun? I follow them blindly, letting them lead me where they will. I absolutely love that.
3) The worst part?
The rejection letter. We’ve all seen them. I obsessively check my mail when I send out query letters. When I get a reply, my heart’s pounding when I open it up. They always start out with a nice line, BUT, they can’t represent me, or the story doesn’t fit their publication list for the year. Blah, blah, blah…
4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
There are a lot of writers who’s work I admire, or envy J, but instead of a book, there’s a scene from a movie I wish I’d come up with. Remember at the end of ‘The Six Sense’ where the man realizes he’s actually a ghost? That scene blew me away. I hadn’t seen it coming. What an incredible twist! I started the movie over again, just so I could catch all the clues pointing to him being a ghost instead of real. So well acted by everyone. I wish I could write plots like that one.
5) Favorite author/s & book/s?
Oh, too many to list! Let’s see, there’s everything by C.J. Cherryh. Everything by Dean R. Koontz. Everything by Michael Crichton and Robin Cook and Michael Stewert and Michael Palmer. Oh, and Elizabeth Peters and Patricia Cornwall. If you haven’t noticed, I’m an incurable bookworm!
6) Tell us about your latest release?
‘Shelton in Love’
Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.org/Book/291
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/lCYZ0R
One of the characters in my novel ALEX is bisexual, and though it’s only mentioned lightly in the book, I became curious what it would be like for a man to be in love with another man. How would they interact? How do they fit together? This is what I set out to discover when I wrote ‘Shelton in Love’, and I admit, I enjoyed writing every line of it!
Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then Shelton’s loneliness would be complete.
7) Tease us with a blurb/short excerpt
Shelton chuckled, already stripping out of jacket and shirt as he crossed to the curtained booth. Tera was always in a rush, bursting with more energy than two or three other people combined.
Stepping into the booth, he quickly changed from jeans into the coffee-brown slacks and white dress shirt hanging on the rack. Slipping his arms through the ivory-colored vest, he slung the coffee-and-tan tie around his neck and returned to Tera's side, tucking in the shirt as he went.
Shelton glanced up at a low whistle, feeling the tingle of a blush in his cheeks under Nevil's appraising eyes. He tried to stifle a surge of excitement that Nevil had come to watch the photo shoot, when he hadn’t seemed interested earlier. Plans must have changed with Percy.
"You dress up nicely," Nevil assured him as he stepped closer to bat Shelton's fumbling hands away from the tie. "Let me do that."
Shelton concentrated on Nevil's fingers on his tie, urging his heart to stop racing before Nevil felt it pounding under his fingertips or heard its wild patter. Nevil's breath brushed his cheek and his spicy cologne sent his senses whirling.
Why was the man so damned attractive?
Shelton hardly noticed Tera slipping a jacket on his arms until Nevil commented on it, rubbing the silk and wool material between his fingers. "Nice."
Shelton glanced at his sleeve and admired the sharkskin pattern of taupe and tan and black checkers. He shrugged his shoulders, delighted with the fit and comfort of the sport coat. "A new one?" he asked Tera.
"I've had the design finished for months but couldn't decide if it should go in my summer or fall catalog."
Nevil finished with the tie and stepped back, looking Shelton up and down. "Definitely summer, though I'd wear a coat like that all year round. Almost any color of slacks would go with it."
"Or socks," Shelton muttered, a reminder to himself as Nevil ran his fingers through his hair, sending sparks of desire through his body as the man mussed his curls.
Nevil tilted his head to take in the overall affect. A lazy smile spread on his face while a warm gleam entered his fantastic eyes. "Delicious." His gaze lingered on Shelton's shoulders before sliding down to his hips.
Shelton wished the coat was buttoned as he felt a twitch in his groin, his body perking up at the attention. The whirl of the camera in Tera's hand recalled him from the tantalizing thought of Nevil's hands on him as well as his gaze, and Shelton moved to stand under the soft light she set up to complement the glow from the setting sun.
He thought he'd feel awkward with Nevil watching as he posed, but instead found the man's presence exhilarating. Shelton knew he looked his best and Nevil's admiring attention bolstered his confidence. Ignoring the stares of a few passersby, he flirted with the camera, losing his inhibition as Tera called encouragements and clicked frame after frame, only calling a halt when the sunlight had gone.
"These are lovely. They'll fill out the catalog nicely," she commented, tilting the camera to show the men a few of her favorites.
Nevil whistled at one in particular, where Shelton had glanced at the camera through lowered lids, a secret smile playing on his lips. The overhead light brought out the highlights in his chestnut hair and lightened his hazel eyes, complementing the warm colors of his ensemble for an overall attractiveness.
"You'll need to stockpile this coat, Tera," Nevil observed, his eyes never leaving Shelton's. "Every man who sees that picture is going to want one for his own." His gaze was intense and Shelton colored at the innuendo.
8) What is your favorite attribute of the hero and heroine?
Shelton is a gentle, lovely man I can’t help but like. Nevil is vibrant, witty, slightly dangerous, yet he truly comes to care for Shelton in the end.
9) What’s next?
‘Shelton’s Promise’ comes out July 8th from Breathless Press!
Also, my paranormal/suspense novel ALEX will be released soon from Solstice Publishing.
AND, I have a short ghost story ‘The Trials of a Lonely Specter’ due out from MuseItUp in October.
Currently, I’m working on another erotica, this time a fantasy novella where my hero is led astray by a beautiful, magical young man.
On my laptop at the dining room table. There’s a large picture window on my left overlooking the garden, and straight ahead, thru the kitchen, is the sliding glass doors to the backyard. I have light and beauty and music all around me. Also, if I try to write anywhere else, I get lazy. When I sit at the table I know it’s time to WRITE.
Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
I’ve written two fantasy novels that I’m still reworking. I’d be in heaven if they could be published in the next five years.
12) Where can we find you?
Great interview, Dianne and I wish you all the luck in the world with your novellas after writing novel-length stories as well. This industry can be so frustrating!