A few weeks ago I was honored to be included in a podcast of TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK hosted and run by the fabulous and talented Stephen Lomer. I had sososos omuch fun doing it, even though I look wicked nervous and antsy!!! If you have a few free minutes, give it a watch. Here’s the link: TMAYDB
Tag Archives: #authorinterview
It’s always a good day when I have one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs visiting me. Today, Jennifer Wilck drops by and I finally got her to answer my author interview questions. Hee hee!! She did a great job, too! And Jenn’s got a new WRP book out titled LEARNING TO LOVE that she’s giving us a little taste of after the interview, so stick around!
Jennifer Wilck, The Author
What drives you to write? The voices in my head. No, I’m not crazy, but characters pop into my brain demanding their story be told. Plus, I like taking control of something and making things work out exactly as I’d like.
What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance because I like setting things in the current time and world, and then improving upon reality.
What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I love reading historical romance because I’m fascinated by history and what life was like hundreds of years ago.
What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? Schedule. Ha! That’s funny. I try to write every day, and in a perfect world, I do. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, so it doesn’t always happen. But when all the stars align and everyone cooperates, I typically get business-stuff done in the morning (blogs, marketing, etc.) and then write until my daughter comes home from school in the afternoon. At that point, if she doesn’t need me for anything, I’ll do some more writing or editing until it’s time to get ready for dinner.
Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I’m kind of a nomad, actually. With my laptop, I can go anywhere, so while I start at the dining room table while I eat breakfast, I move to the couch or onto the deck in the nice weather, or sometimes my desk. As long as I have a window I can look out of to see the trees and flowers, I’m happy.
Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? I prefer quiet, so I don’t listen to music or have the TV on in the background. I can filter out background noise if I’m sitting in Starbucks or Panera, though. Actually, sometimes writing there is really good because it forces me to concentrate on what I’m doing and not on what’s going on around me.
How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is a four-part series about men who are philanthropists and the women who challenge them. It’s a damaged-hero trope and I love working on it. The idea came to me while my oldest daughter and I were away on college visits in Boston. I’m not sure what happened, but we were sitting in our hotel room while she completed some homework, so I took out my laptop and started to write. Five thousand words later and she said she was hungry for dinner.
Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually my characters come first. They’ll start talking to me in the middle of a scene and I’ll have to flesh it out. Once I see that it can work—it doesn’t always—then I’ll figure out the character’s backstory and motivation and create a story around it.
What 3 words describe you, the writer? OMG, you’re limiting me to three??? Pantser, emotional, quick.
Jennifer, The Gal
Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I always look at the dessert menu first when going out to dinner so I can plan whether or not I want to leave room.
Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Teddy and I was in elementary school.
If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say one of the vacation days with my husband and two girls. We always have a great time together.
Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? All three?
If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I guess concealer. That way everyone would see how tired I actually am and maybe come up with a solution?
What three words describe you, the person? Friendly, snarky, caring
If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Well that would never happen because I can’t sing. J But if I had to pick, maybe “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Or a girl-power song.
If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Dumbledore. This world needs fixing and I’m starting to think he’s our only hope. Plus, you know, magic.
- Favorite sound—my daughters’ laughter
- Least favorite sound—whining
- Best song every written—that’s way too hard! I love Christina Perri’s Thousand Years, though
- Worst song ever written—um, some of the rap songs my daughters’ listen to
- Favorite actor and actress—George Clooney and Catriona Balfe
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)—Christiane Amanpour. I think she is fascinating and I’d love to experience her life for a day.
- What turns you on?—humor and intelligence
- What turns you off?—ignorance and bigotry
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)—Is that what you’re wearing?
- What’s your version of a perfect day?—spending time with my family without conflict, just enjoying each other’s company and doing something together.
And here, as promised, a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from LEARNING TO LOVE
Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.
Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father’s law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.
When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can’t possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?
What the hell just happened? She wanted to be friends. The only kind of “friend” he wanted to be with her had “boy” attached to it. No, that wasn’t true. He enjoyed her friendship because he loved talking to her, hearing her opinions, sharing himself with her.
But he was becoming more attracted to her. So far, they’d only kissed, but that one kiss, that unbelievable kiss, haunted him. His lips still burned where they’d touched hers, his insides still turned to jelly when he thought about it. In fact, he’d been hoping there would have been more kissing in her apartment once he’d apologized for his gaffe.
But she’d focused on their arrangement and her overreaction, and here he was pulling away from the curb into rush hour traffic.
She thought he was dating her only to impress his father. If he were one hundred percent honest with himself, he’d acknowledge the partial truth in that statement. But the more time he spent time with her, when he wasn’t royally screwing things up with her, the more he wanted to move beyond their arrangement.
His head was another matter. It was still focused on not making a fool of himself, on maintaining the right reputation, on spinning the right message.
But listening to his head was probably what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. As unbelievable as it might sound, it was time to follow his heart.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Connect with Jennifer here:
Today, I get to introduce you to another of my wonderful and talented Wild Rose Press sistahs, Judith Sterling. Judith writes medieval romances, and I’ll admit, I haven’t read a lot of that genre. But after reading a little about her new release, The Cauldron Stirred ( Guardians of Erin, nook 1) I am certainly going to rectify that!! Meet Judith and then stick around for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from The Cauldron Stirred.
Judith, the Author
- What drives you to write? An instinctive urge that’s always been with me. I wrote my first story when I was three years old. By age nine, I was writing chapter stories and elaborate scripts for my dolls to act out. Of course, I played all the parts!
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write medieval romances, The Novels of Ravenwood. During college and grad school, I studied in England, Scotland, and Sweden. I jumped on every opportunity to explore castles, monasteries, and other medieval buildings throughout Europe. The older the structure, the better! In ruin after ruin, the whispers of the past seduced me; in particular, 12th-century England. There’s also a touch of romance in my young adult paranormal fantasies, the first of which is The Cauldron Stirred.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Mostly historical romance set in the British Isles. I love England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and my first degree was in history.
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I write most weekdays but try to devote my weekends to family and relaxation. It’s good for the soul and for my lower back!
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in front of a window in my bedroom. When I need a break, I look outside at the 17th-century Witch House across the street. Salem, Massachusetts isn’t a bad place to write. This is Hawthorne country!
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I prefer quiet, but with 13-year-old twin boys, that’s a rare luxury!
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?Sometimes I listen to music—film scores mostly—but I also like quiet. It might sound strange, but oftentimes, music plays in my head without the need for an outer source.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? The Cauldron Stirred (the YA paranormal fantasy) was partly inspired by travel in Ireland and paranormal events in my own life.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Plot, and I always use old-fashioned pen and paper for brainstorming and outlines. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how and why inspiration strikes. If I sit in front of blank paper with my pen poised above it, images and ideas just start to flow. Sometimes they’re connected to my own experience; other times, not. But sitting there ready and waiting seems to signal my muse.
- What 3 words describes you, the writer? Passionate, empathetic, wistful.
Judith, The Person
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! During grad school, my Hindi professor loved the sound of my voice. He recorded me singing, then took the tape home to India, where he played the songs for his family and his pet cow. Does that qualify as unusual? If not, I can tell you I’ve always been a magnet for the paranormal. And I’m cool with that!
- Who was your first love and what age were you? I was infatuated with a classmate when I was 10 years old, but in terms of real love, I’d have to say my husband! We met when I was 31—and he was 25—and from day one, we knew we belonged together. He was well worth the wait!
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….That’s hard to answer, but off the top of my head, I’m torn between two: (1) my first day in Killarney; (2) the day (night, actually) when my family and I investigated the paranormal in Gettysburg.
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers.
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I rarely wear makeup anymore, so I guess I’d say moisturizer.
- What three words describes you, the person? Loving, compassionate, adventurous.\
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Either “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence or “Come Sail Away” by Styx.
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Nancy Drew, and we’d solve a spellbinding mystery together. I loved those books when I was younger!
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound – howling wind
- Least favorite sound – motorcycles
- Best song every written – a tie between Mozart’s Symphony #25 in G minor and “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas
- Worst song ever written – Hard to say, but I’m not fond of country music.
- Favorite actor and actress – Christopher Lee and Katharine Hepburn
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) – Eleanor of Aquitaine. She’s a fascinating figure from the High Middle Ages, and I’d love to see her world through her eyes.
- What turns you on? Halloween, the sound of rustling leaves, stormy skies, ruins, ancient stones, classic movies, intelligence, humor, contemplation of the unknown, travel, foreign languages, and delicious food!
- What turns you off? Violence, bigotry, false accusation, hot weather, and reptiles.
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I’ve had fewer first dates than most of my friends, and probably most women! I honestly don’t remember.
- What’s your version of a perfect day? Exploring a historic site on a cool, cloudy day with my loved ones, followed by good food and a great movie.
Ashling Donoghue never dreamed moving to Ireland would rock her perception of reality and plunge her into a mystery that brings legend to life.
At seventeen, she’s never had a boyfriend, but she feels an immediate connection to Aengus Breasal, the son of the wealthy Irishman who’s invited her family to stay at his Killarney estate. For the first time in her life, a guy she likes seems attracted to her.
But Aengus is secretive, with good reason. He and his family are the Tuatha Dé Danann, ageless, mythical guardians adept at shifting between this reality and the magical dimension known as the Otherworld. Evil forces from that world threaten the Breasals, the Donoghues, and all of Ireland. Ashling must open her heart, face her fears, and embrace a destiny greater than she could ever have imagined.
The night air was deliciously cool. Moonlight and darkness held equal sway over the backyard thanks to the shifting clouds. I dashed across the lawn and halted in the exact spot where Aengus had stood. Panting, I looked around, willing some kind of clue to materialize.
The ruins in front of me darkened as large, heavy clouds swallowed the moon whole. The wind tugged at my long, loose hair and pajamas. Tiny raindrops spattered on my nose and cheeks. I turned my palms to the sky, and cold rain pelted them.
“Great.” Intending to return to the house, I swiveled around.
I gasped. My right hand flew to my chest. “Aengus?!”
The man himself stood an arm’s length in front of me. “Why are you here?”
“You scared the crap out of me!”
The strident sound came from the ruins. I whirled around and stared at the dark keep.
Aengus grabbed me from behind. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me. I reveled in the feel of his taut body, of his warm flesh against mine.
Suddenly, everything changed. The rain stopped. The wind died. The entire landscape was bathed in the soft hue of twilight. Breasal Castle looked brand spanking new, just as it had during the bizarre dream in which I brought Aengus to the cottage. But this time, I knew I was awake.
Dumbfounded, I gawked at the medieval magnificence before me. I had no idea what had happened and no desire to pull away from his embrace.
His lips brushed my right ear, sending a shiver down my spine. “This way.”
His right arm released me, and his left slid down to my waist. Maintaining body contact the entire time, he steered me toward the stand of oaks on our right.
Once sheltered by the trees, he turned us around so we faced the castle.
“Are we hiding?” I whispered.
“Why? And what just happened?”
“I can’t say.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
Until that moment, I’d forgotten I wore pajamas. Now I was acutely aware of it. Satin was pleasing to the touch, but something told me my attire had nothing to do with his grip on me.
I looked up at him. “Not that I mind, but why are you holding me so close?”
His hand tightened on my waist. “It’s necessary.”
“I don’t suppose you can explain that, either.”
With his gaze locked on the castle, he shook his head. He pressed his right forefinger against his mouth in a silencing gesture. Then he pointed up at the keep.
High on the battlements, the black-haired woman from my dream—and from Branna’s painting—paced back and forth. Her hair whipped about her pale face and slender frame.
She paused beside a gap in the crenelated wall and glared down at the fairy mound. Her colorless lips curled into a sneer. Then her human form morphed into a dark shadow, which fragmented into what seemed a million black particles. They swarmed into the air and shot across the twilit sky, disappearing into the distance.
I took a deep breath. “So she’s real.
He nodded. “She’s real, to be sure. Come.” With his arm still hooked around me, he led me out of the woods and toward the fairy mound.
Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons
You can connect with Judith here:
In a week of FIRSTS, here’s another: my very first interview with an NC-17 story teller. Saffron A. Kent is a Wild Rose sistah, and her debut novel, A WAR LIKE OURS has gotten some pretty amazeballs reviews. Saffron is the first to tell you the story she wrote isn’t for everyone. It’s raw, and tormented, and really like nothing you’re used to reading when you think of any lines of the romance genre. And because of that, she’s making a name for herself in the literary world. Saffron sat down recently to answer my interview questions and agreed to let me give you a little glimpse into her world. Stick around after the piece, because she’s sharing something from A WAR LIKE OURS with you.
Saffron, The Writer
- What drives you to write? Reading. I am a big reader and love to read tons of things. And the more I read, the more I want to write.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary and erotic romance. Mostly because for me, emotional growth and internal conflict are what attract me to romance. So I like to focus on character’s internal journey without getting distracted by external plot points. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in external conflicts. Without them, we have no story. But I like to keep things focused on emotional journey.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? All of them except suspense. As I said, I’m more of an emotional story person and I feel suspense takes away from the romance. Nothing against the subgenre though.
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? Yup. Every single day, especially when I’m heavily involved with a project. I think it keeps me motivated. The more I write, the more I want to write.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I like to write in bed (LOL!). I like to be comfortable and if I’m going to spend hours writing, I’d rather do it in my soft bed. Other than that, I have this great armchair that is just fantastic to spend hours in. So that’s my second spot.
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I need totally quiet. Maybe that’s why I miss out on listening to music while writing or writing in a coffee shop. It’s a dream of mine to write at a table by the window and be this dreamy kind of writer! But so far it hasn’t happened. I get distracted easily so I need the quiet.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? Nope. Can’t. It’s very hard for me. But occasionally when I really feel like being a rebel, I listen to whatever I’ve got saved on my playlist.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I was watching this movie, The girl with a dragon tattoo. I was struck by the hardness of the character and her history so much. The protagonist starts dating girls and is skittish of men because of a horrific incident in her life. It was very intriguing to me and I wanted to explore such a character, hence, Madison came into being.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character, always. For me, characters make the plot. They need to be active, engaging and continuously evolving throughout the story.
- What 3 words describes you, the writer? Plotter (I need to know what’s going on; I can’t do on the spot writing). Re-writer (I think I re-write almost every scene at least twice. So I re-write the whole book twice, no matter what. Nothing is good enough for me). Perfectionist (It goes back to point 2. Unless I’m happy with something I can’t even show it to my beta readers. I won’t. And to make me happy, it takes a long time).
The Person Questions:
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m a fan of chocolate cheesecake. Love it!
- Who was your first love and what age were you? I was fifteen I think. It was a guy from school.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. The day I got the email from TWRP that they will publish my book. Oh Gosh! I got that email in the middle of the night, the editor had just finished it. She wrote me this raving email, saying she simply has to publish it because the story is so different and unique and fresh. I couldn’t sleep after that. I was laughing, crying. It was insane.
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers. Definitely more manly to me.
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? It would be my Apricot scrub. I love that thing so much.
- What three words describes you, the person? Anxious, awkward in social situations and totally talkative at home.
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Any song by Lana Del Ray. I adore her. She is my go to artist when I’m down.
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’d hang out with Hermoine from Harry Potter. She is bookish and a nerd. I’d love to go to a library with her and talk about books all day.
- Favorite sound: The gurgle of coffee maker in the morning. It means the coffee is ready.
- Least favorite sound: The fire brigade sound. I think for obvious reasons. It’s loud and it never fails to make me anxious. I’m always like, what’s going on? Is it me?
- Best song every written: Summertime sadness by Lana del Ray
- Worst song ever written: Ugh. Too many to count. I know this would make people hate me but I don’t like Justin Bieber so… any song by him.
- Favorite actor and actress: Daniel Day-Lewis among many others and Michelle Pfeiffer, again among many others.
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I want to be Gillian Flynn for one day. I just want to see inside her mind and you know, how it works. It’s genius. Whatever she writes is pure gold for me. I love her.
- What turns you on? Sense of humor.
- What turns you off? People with huge egos or over-confidence
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) Are you not wearing a bra. LOL! I had this top on that was kind of revealing and I don’t why he thought I wasn’t wearing a bra. Ugh. That was the worst. I was so embarrassed.
- What’s your version of a perfect day? Coffee in the morning, lazing around in bed with a book and my husband all day. Eating pizza. Watching Netflix when I’m done with the book.
Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.
After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.
A forbidden kiss…
But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.
Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.
A liar…a hater…a forbidden kiss…
My arm had begun to feel numb. I forgot to breathe as I looked at him. He could really hurt me. I knew this in my heart. He could really do it. My fear kicked into high gear. Please no. I didn’t think I could go through that again. Turned out people like me could be scared of some things, too. Surprise, my subconscious chanted, weakly.
I tried to free myself. “Let me go.”
He brought me even closer and puffed his stale breath on my face. I fought hard not to gag. His chest wasn’t touching mine, but one deep breath and it would brush. I stopped breathing.
A soft flick, a caress resonated on my skin where he’d grabbed me. It was so soft that it could’ve been air touching my skin, but I knew it was him. He was circling his thumb on my arm. My heart pounded, furious, afraid, and with a tinge of excitement. In the next second, the caress was gone like I’d dreamt it.
I struggled harder. “Let me go!” And then I broke down and uttered a word I hadn’t spoken like I meant it in a long while. “Please.”
Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper.
My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things.