Hi Luna! Great to have you visit with me again. It's been far too long! Can't wait to find out what you've been up to and, of course, hear all about your latest release. First, we start with my probing questions...over to you :)
1) Did you set any goals for 2013?
My friend, Jan Marler Morrill, author of The Red Kimono, gave me a dream jar for Christmas. I’ve put several dreams in that jar including traveling to Scotland in 2013 and getting my romantic suspense, Ex-Ray, published. Both of those have come true. Now, I just need to buy that lottery ticket!
2) Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer? My favorite author is Elizabeth George, bar none. She’s brilliant. She has the most complex, twisted plots that actually make sense. How she does it, is beyond me. My biggest influences as a writer have to be Velda Brotherton and Dusty Richards. They run the critique group I belong to. They’ve been running the group for over 20 years. I have no idea how they sit through listening to us newbies read week after week, but they do.
Dusty gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten as a writer. He’s an old cowboy, rodeo announcer and auctioneer. In his cowboy twang, he said “Just finish the damn book!” He then went on to explain that I was self-editing myself into paralysis by analysis—although, he didn’t put it in those words. He said something along the lines of, “Give yourself permission to write horseshit and then go back and shovel out the barn. Just get the damn book finished!”
3) How long does it take you to write a 50,000-60,000 word manuscript? It really depends on the manuscript. I write the first draft of my contemporary romance, Santorini Sunset, which is 85K in about six months. Then, I spent at least six more editing it. I find that it takes me longer to write erotica because of self-editing. I have to give myself permission to write the repeated phrases and terms and then go back and fix them.
4) Tease us with a blurb/short excerpt:
This is a blurb and excerpt from Tokyo Tease, my latest erotic romance.
Passion in the Orient... All-American girl next door, Natalie, jumped at the chance to see the world when offered a job in exotic Japan. Reality, however, proves much harsher than her many dreams...until her co-worker--and the star of her every fantasy--turns up the heat. Kentaro steps behind her on their morning commute, turning the crowded train ride into a journey of sensuality. With every sway and turn, the sexy Asian god's touch tortures and teases, arousing her with the speed of the bullet train. But this is only the beginning. Kentaro unlocks a world of exotic pleasures surpassing Natalie's dreams.
"How'd it go with the guy you work with?" Sanchez asked.
"He still hasn't really talked to me but . . .well . . . he kind of touched me on the train."
"He touched you?" He bristled as if ready to defend my honor, which I had to admit warmed my heart a little. Before he worked himself into a rage, he asked. "Touched you, how?"
Too embarrassed to go into details, I skimmed over our interactions. "Well, he stood behind me and touched my stomach." My cheeks flamed. "And well, today, he pulled me against him."
"What do you mean?"
I raised my eyebrows hoping he'd get the gist of our exchange, but he gave no indication of comprehension. "You know...he pulled me against him so my well...backside...was against his front side."
"Was he hard?"
The flames burning my face and scorched their way to my scalp. I nodded.
"Hot damn, Natalie. I think the guy noticed you!"
"He told me to wear a skirt tomorrow. What should I do?"
He grinned. "You should wear a skirt."
"Therein lies the rub."
He looked at me like I was insane. "I'm guessing he means something short and sexy."
"Hell yeah." Another grin, bordering on lecherous.
"I don't have anything like that," I explained.
"Let me see." He stood, grabbed his wine and headed toward my bedroom.
Stumbling over myself, I finally gained my balance and hurried after him. While I wanted a man in my bedroom, one searching my closet wasn't what I had in mind.
"Good God, woman." Sanchez glanced at my clothes. "Do you work in a morgue?"
The scraping sound of hangers sliding across metal filled the room. "Brown, gray, black, oh, more brown. Look at this, it's . . . nice." He held up a gray cardigan sweater.
5) Tell us about a new author you’ve recently discovered:
Linda Joyce writes some mouth-watering romances set in the bayous of Louisiana. They are steamy and full of fun interchanges between the characters.
Celia Bonaduce is a hoot. I loved her latest release: Merchant of Venice Beach.
6) Name two romances you’ve read more than once:
The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough. There is something about the unlikely heroine that touches my heart. A poor, downtrodden spinster finds love in this story set in the Australian Outback. I used to read it once a year, but lost my copy during a move. I need to buy another because just thinking about it makes me want to read it again. It’s truly beautiful.
Just about everything by LaVyrle Spencer has been read more than once, but Sweet Memories, Morning Glory and The Fulfillment are the ones with worn out pages. Again, it’s the unlikely heroine that I enjoy so much in these books. I honestly don’t care if a gorgeous eighteen year old, heiress/countess/princess/daughter of the laird finds happily ever after with the billionaire bachelor of the century. I like love stories where everyday people find love. There are clichés in the everyday person finding love too: introverted bookstore owner, ugly duckling older sister, strong, independent business woman too harried for love. Spencer avoids those scenarios and writes stories about lonely women who have no expectations of finding love and she does it with tear-jerking compassion.
7) Tell us about your first car:
Ha! My first car was a 19xx (really old) baby blue Ford F-150 pickup. I planted an acre patch with 1,000 tomato plants and worked that field every day for an entire summer to earn the money for that puppy. I remember arriving my junior year of high school with an awesome tan and one banged up, but totally awesome truck. I was so cool…not.
8) Where can we find you?
So great to catch up with you again, Luna! Comments and questions, lovely visitors???