Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

Bertrice SmallBestselling and award-winning romance author Bertrice Small answers my questions about the romance genre and market and tells me more about her novels & favorites…

Hello Bertrice, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! At first, a little bit of Astrology: you’re Sagittarius, aren’t you? The stars say they are usually intellectual and honest, but also careless and restless. Do you think you’re a typical Archer?

Yes, I am a Sagittarius.  We are outspoken creatures and say exactly what we think.  We are said to be intellectual, and we don’t tolerate fools easily. However we are loyal to those who are loyal to us. We like to travel, but we travel as much in our heads as we do in the world around us.  Careless is not a word I’ve ever heard used in relation to a Sagittarius.  Some of my best friends share this sign with me, notably Kathryn Falk, the founder and CEO of RT Book Reviews, Morgan Llywelyn, the best-selling author who is my anam cara, and author Virginia Henley.

Your latest book, “The Border Lord and the Lady”, will be published in October 2009. What is it about? Can you share a few secrets? Will there be another book in the “Border Chronicles” series?

The series known as “The Border Chronicles” has been distinguished not by a single family, but rather by 2 things. The Border country of Scotland, and the families who lived in it.  Book 4, THE BORDER LORD AND THE LADY is set in the early years of James I of Scotland, 15th century, and the book opens in 1424. I have a lovely video trailer on my website at right now that gives you just a hint of the story.  Enough, I hope, to encourage people to purchase the book.  James I returned to Scotland after being held captive in England since his boyhood.  He returns with an English wife, Lady Joan Beaufort, and the young queen brings with her Lady Cicely Bowen, a girl with whom she has been raised.  Cicely is our heroine.  Desired by 2 men, a powerful Gordon laird, and a rough Border laird, she is kidnapped by the latter when the Gordons block his every attempt to court Cicely.  But of course with a Bertrice Small novel you can’t expect the usual storyline.  I love to twist and turn my plot before getting to that happy ending.  And yes, there will be 2 more books in “The Border Chronicles.”

How and when did you start writing? What sparked the idea for “The Kadin”, your first novel? Finally, why the romance genre?
I wrote my first novel in rhyme when I was 13.  It was about an Inca princess who threw herself from the heights of Macchu Picchu rather than succumb to the advances of an evil Spanish conquistador.  LOL!  High drama for a little girl in convent school.  But I had been writing poetry since I was 7.  When I was in college I became friends with a girl from Turkey whose grandmother had  been in the harem of the last Ottoman sultan.  She had grown up with the tales her grandmother told, and since I had had a very close relationship with my own Irish grandmother, we shared the tales of our different ethnic heritages. That sparked my interest in Ottoman Turkey, and when I learned that the mother of Suleiman the Magnificent (also known as the Lawgiver) was a Western European by birth, and in her old age had been called Hafise, the wise one, I knew I had to write her story.  Since nothing else was known about her I did my research, and then let my imagination run wild.  However back when I wrote THE KADIN, the Romance genre as we know it today didn’t exist.  I wrote a Historical novel in the mold of Anya Seton, Taylor Caldwell, Jan Westcott, Frank Yerby.  I spent at least 2 years writing the novel, and another year re-writing it.

You said “The Kadin” sold very quickly. How many publishers did you send it to before hitting the right one? Is there a secret? Would you have carried on with your writing if it hadn’t sold that easily (let’s say, if it was unsold after two or three years)?
THE KADIN was sold to the first publisher it was given to, and that was G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a hardcover house.  It was February 1973.  However 6 months later the editor on the book, and the publisher got into a quarrel.  Long story short, he fired her, and cancelled the contracts on the three books on which she working.  My then agent loved the book, and believed it was a hardcover.  The original paperback novel was just coming into prominence then.  He insisted on taking THE KADIN to every hardcover house in the U.S. of A. at the time, and there were a lot of them.  They all said the same thing.  Unknown author. Too risky.  Finally 2 years later he did what I had been advising ever since we had lost the Putnam’s deal.  He took it to Nancy Coffey at Avon Books, and she bought it immediately.  And while he hauled the manuscript about, yes, I continued to write.  I finished LOVE WILD AND FAIR which was published the same year as THE KADIN.  If you’re a writer, you write.

What do you think makes a good romance novel? Could you share a piece of advice with aspiring (romance and non romance) authors?
The Romance genre is so varied today.  I think what makes a good novel in any genre is good writing, a story that keeps you turning the pages, and sympathetic characters that you can root for, or hate.  My only advice to aspiring writers is to believe in your work, but be willing to accept criticism, and act on it if the criticism is valid.  If it isn’t just keep going straight ahead.  There is no magic formula I regret to say.

A very strange thing happens to the romance genre: it’s always criticised for being samey and boring (not literature, some people say) and some romance author say they nearly have to “apologize” for writing it when asked about their job. But, at the same time, millions of copies are sold every year. What can you say about it? Would you try a different genre or will you stick with romance forever?
I write Romance in 3 sub-genres.  Historical, where I made my reputation. Fantasy which I very much enjoy because I can do as I please without the restraints of Planet Earth’s history; and I write Erotic Contemporary, my least favorite because I am not really a 20th or 21st century person.  I am proud to be considered one of the Romance genres “pioneers”.  I’ve never denied my genre. Those who bleat about real literature don’t get it.  These days literature is  divided into 2 catagories.  Fiction and non-fiction.  And fiction is divided into 2 sections.  Literary fiction which deals with serious or scholarly subject matter, and popular commercial fiction such as mystery, romance, thrillers, etc.  I find it interesting that romance, written predominently by the female of the species get criticized but the other fiction genres which are either all or half written by the male of the species is not. Hmmmm.  Can you spell jealousy?  After all we authors in the romance genre sell more books than all the other popular commercial fiction genres combined.  And yes, I will always write in the romance genre as long as my publishers want Bertrice Small novels.

Some authors like to write in Starbucks, others only handwrite. How do you work? Do you have some rituals or habits? What is a typical working day for Bertrice Small? What about the writer’s block?
I began writing with a clipboard, a yellow-lined legal pad and a BicClic ballpoint pen.  I switched to a typewriter half-way through UNCONQUERED when I realized my flow would go even faster.  I switched to a computer about 10 years ago  when I could no longer get ribbons for my IBM Quietwriter 7.  The PC I work on isn’t connected to the internet.  Too many hackers for my taste.  I work 6 days a week from about 9:30 a.m. in the morning until about 7 p.m. in the evening with a break for dinner about 2 p.m.  I work about 50 weeks out of a year.  I’ve been fortunate in that I write steadily with some days slower than others, and other days so fast I can barely keep up.  3 pages a day, 50 weeks a year, will give you 936 written pages, enough for 2 or 3 novels.

Your books frequently appear on the New York Best-Seller list, you won countless awards and have millions of fans from all around the globe. Does being a famous novelist make it easier to work with publishers & editors? Or are you still constantly challenged?
I regret to disappoint.  Despite my many accomplishments I am not a celebrity or anywhere near famous.  I’m just a successful working author of popular commercial fiction, genre: romance.  The only real perk I get is the courtesy of having a minor bit of input on my cover which are very important to me.  I let my agent, Ethan Ellenberg, handle the publishers and any problems that may arise. I’ve always had a good working relationship with my editors over the years.

What do you like most in writing a romance novel?
What I like most about writing – and it could be any genre – is the ability to earn my living doing what I love best.

Would you like to see your books on screen? Or maybe a TV series (Bertrice Small’s Romances, for instance)? Why do you think there are so few movie adaptations of romance novels?
I would love to see my work on film, but only if it was done right.  A big “if” in Hollywood.  “The O’Malley Saga” and “Skye’s Legacy” series along with “The World of Hetar would make great television series.  But few movies or television series are made specifically for women.  And with historicals and fantasy there is the problem of transposing the fiction into a screenplay, and the expense of mounting such a production which is why I don’t think I’ll ever see one of my books done in that media format.

You’ve been writing romance novels since 1978. Do you think the readership evolved in any way since (were there more romance lovers before or did their number increase over the last years)?
I think the evolving of the romance genre into so many and varied sub-genres has brought more readers into our sphere.  Readers who had never before read a historical but who have read my fantasies or erotic contemporaries are then curious, and will check out my historicals.   But readers have their specific likes and dislikes.  The bigger the genre has become the more readers we have garnered, and we have kept our readers which is why the genre thrives.

Which other romance author would you recommend? Is there a book you wish you’d written?
I love the authors I grew up with in the 1950s and 1960s.  Anya Seton. Jan Westcott. Sergeanne Golon (the French husband/wife team who write the Angelique series). Taylor Caldwell.  Among today’s authors in this genre I am fond of Shirlee Busbee, Jennifer Blake, Roberta Gellis, Thea Divine and Barbara Bretton.  I’m also a huge Harry Potter fan.  Is there a book published that I wish I had written?  No.

If you weren’t a writer, who would you be?
Someone high up in a creative position in the television industry.

If you had a faerie in a bottle granting you three wishes, what would you ask for?
More time. Good health. And success for my son, Thomas.

And here is the famous “Nothing-to-do-with-books-question”: you’ve found $100, how will you use your newly acquired money?
Put it in the church poor box.

What are you working on right now? What’s next on your “to do” list?
I’ve just begun the next book in “The Border Chronicles”, THE BORDER VIXEN. The manuscript is due in spring of 2010 for publication in October 2010.


Author & Book: One of my favorite books is “Katherine” by Anya Seton, but I also adore the first 5 books in the “Angelique” series by Sergeanne Golon.
Movies & TV shows: “Casablanca” with Humphrey Bogart, “A Lion In Winter” with Katherine Hepburn, “Cleopatra” with Vivian Leigh and Claude Rains. “Stargate”
Food: Rare beef, good cheese, and chocolate
City: New York and Venice
Music: Mozart, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Broadway Show Tunes.
Place to write: My office
Hobby: My garden
Quote or Motto: I don’t really have one

“Tea or Coffee?”

Tea or Coffee? Tea with cream and sugar
Saturday night. Disco & Restaurant or Home, Books & DVDs? Home
Going on holidays. Beach or Mountains? I live on the Eastern End of Long Island which is surrounded by the sea on 3 sides, but I also like the Adirondacks and Catskill mountains.
Sleepy Little Town or Crazy Megalopolis? Moved out of New York City almost 34 years ago.  Would never go back. Love my small town America.
Pick a DVD: Comedy or Weepy Drama? Like old historicals like “Robin Hood” with Errol Flynn, or comedies like “Tootsie” or a weepy drama like “The Best of Everything” or “Marjorie Morningstar”.  I’ve got eclectic tastes.
Like To Travel or Hate to Move? Used to love traveling.  Now content to stay put.
Sport Lover or Couch Potato? Couch potato without a doubt.
Leader or Follower? Leader
Shy or Easy-going? Easy-going
Serious or Funny? Both serious and funny, but maybe a bit more serious.

Thank you, Bertrice!
You can learn more about Bertrice Small and her books at


Carly PhilipsBest-selling romance author Carly Phillips talks about her witty series, projects, writer habits and more!

Hi Carly, and welcome on the new and improved Veronika Asks! Please introduce yourself to our readers…
Hi, Veronika … I’m Carly Phillips … a bestselling author of romance novels or romantic fiction, take your pick in description. I write what I love which is romance – a happy ending.
I’ve been published for almost ten years … and love every minute of what I do.

If you could describe yourself with three words…
Sensitive, loyal, nonconfrontational.

You’re Cancer, aren’t you? They are said to be imaginative, empathetic but also easily hurt. Would you define yourself as a typical Crab?
Oh yes, I am a typical Crab. I value my close friendships and I am very loyal but I am easily hurt and can withdraw for that reason. I can be moody depending on things going on in my life and even my writing / career can affect my moods. I am definitely a Moon Child.

Cross my Heart is available in paperback today. Tell us more about this novel.
CROSS MY HEART is the story of Ty and Lacey, childhood sweethearts who are separated by circumstances – they fake her death to save her from going back to an abusive uncle – and they reunite years later so she can reclaim her inheritance before he does – or before someone prevents her from doing so. It’s a love story and it also introduces Hunter and Molly who have their own story in SEALED WITH A KISS due out September 25th.

You’re working on several series, including the Simply Series, Costas Sisters Series, Hot Zone Series, Chandler Brothers Series… would you like to quickly sum up those series and tell us which one you ‘d advise to a reader who wants to start reading your books?
SIMPLY SERIES – republished stories that were written for the Harlequin Temptation series of books – very hot and sensual stories that begin with Kayla and Catherine Luck, sisters who are very different – and these are some of my favorite heroes. Deeply sexy stories! In order: SIMPLY SINFUL, SIMPLY SCANDALOUS, SIMPLY SENSUAL, SIMPLY SEXY

COSTAS SISTERS – UNDER THE BOARDWALK and SUMMER LOVIN’ – each the story of twin sisters – Arianna and Zoe Costas – these are my wacky Greek family stories. Lots of fun and of course yummy heroes – coincidentally in August on my website I am giving away UNDER THE BOARDWALK and MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, DVD.

THE HOT ZONE – HOT STUFF, HOT NUMBER, HOT ITEM, and in July 2008, HOT PROPERTY – my athlete stories – I adore these – wacky, fun, family oriented, hot and sexy – The stories aren’t typical athlete stories – the first three are my Jordan sisters – who come to live with their sports agent eccentric uncle as children and become public relations experts in the sports business. Of course they end up with jock heroes!

THE CHANDLER BROTHERS – THE BACHELOR, THE PLAYBOY, THE HEARTBREAKER – these books put me on the map – Kelly Ripa picked THE BACHELOR as the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. Family oriented stories about a mother who fakes illness to get her bachelor sons to settle down and give her grandchildren!

How do you write (where, when, how)? How do you react to the writer’s block?
Wherever, whenever I can. I wake up around six AM for the kids, check email, and then I try to do 5 pages or more each day so that I write two books a year. It’s been crazier lately as the kids get older. Funny but I thought teenagers would give me MORE time to write, not less, LOL! For the last two years, I’m an Apple/Mac girl. I write on a laptop … or if I’m in the car, an Alphasmart when I’m in places with the kids.

Who were you before starting to write? How did you start writing?
There was a “me” before I started to write? I can’t remember NOT writing. I always told stories in my head. Who knew that not everyone did? I was a lawyer (hated it) but didn’t mind the student part that came first – which is maybe why writing isn’t a chore but a love? Who knows! I was home with a colicky baby, reading romance when I decided to try and write one. Bought a “how to” book, outlined it (see a pattern here?) and just began!

Do you consider yourself a Chick Lit writer? What do you think about all those attacks against Chick Lit (such as “Chick Lit is dull and samey”)?
I don’t consider myself a Chick Lit writer because I consider myself a Romance Writer. For me, the distinction is that Chick Lit doesn’t guarantee a “happy ending” between hero and heroine; and Chick Lit also doesn’t (in my mind and I could be wrong) guarantee monogamy between hero and heroine once they meet. So this is MY distinction and why I don’t consider myself a Chick Lit writer. That said, it’s unfair to call it dull and samey because romance also has it’s similarities … it’s why I come back as a reader over and over again. Just my two cents. Every genre has its own distinctions. I respect them all.

Do you have any advice for young writers?
I get asked this a lot and for this reason, I have a website section:
But it always comes back to PERSISTENCE and not giving up, developing a thick skin, and if you want to write romance and learn, join RWA and your local chapter (
Details are in this section though. 🙂

What do you think about eBooks?
No thoughts one way or the other. I don’t specifically write for e-format at the moment

So, TV addict, you said it gives you many ideas… explain yourself 🙂
It takes just one little spark. For example – I’m planning a new series after the Hot Zone and the idea of someone who cons people because it’s all she knows came from a TV character … and yet everything else is my own. I take a mini concept and tweak it. I just need the spark to speak to me. It can be character, it can be plot. But in the end, it is my story, my characters, etc. Also Tom Cruise having Dyslexia – I read it in People Mag. years ago – years later, Brandon Vaughn in Hot Stuff came from that spark.

And now the famous Nothing-To-Do-With-Books question : You’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use that money?
Split it between my girls.

Which books would you advise for a perfect beach read? Have any favorite authors?
All my fellow Plotmonkeys (I have a blog with other bestselling authors) (visit us! We blog fun, give away prizes etc.) – Janelle Denison, Julie Leto, Leslie Kelly … I love Rachel Gibson, Susan Donovan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, more recently I read Michelle Bardsley’s light vampire books …

Would you like to add something, Carly?
Just an apology that it took me so long to do this interview … I had a deadline …
I’d love to list where to find me on the Internet: (blog)
Facebook – still need help on this one, LOL
And if you find me from this interview, be sure to let me know, OK?

“Tea of Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ? Go out early for dinner; come home to read for the night
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? BEACH
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ? ROMANTIC COMEDY (what else?)
Traveler or not ? NOT
Sporty or not ? NOT


TV show: still miss ALIAS – Love HOUSE and GREY’s ANATOMY
Movie: Music and Lyrics (Today. Ask me tomorrow and it might change)
Book: romance – almost anything light
Food: milk chocolate, icecream
Music: mellow – old – Elton John, Neil Diamond
Favourite place to write in: on vacation, at the beach
Quote or motto : IT IS WHAT IT IS

Thank you, Carly!
You can visit Carly on her website

Barbara Taylor BradfordBest-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford answers my questions about her life, her work, her projects… Love, success, family secrets…

Hello Barbara! Thanks for answering my questions and welcome on “Veronika asks”! Could you please say a few words about yourself to our readers?

I am a bestselling author of 22 novels, including: A woman of substance, Remember, Emma’s secret and the Ravenscar Dynasty. My books have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 90 languages. Ten of my books have been produced as TV movies, or miniseries. I was inducted into the writers Hall of Fame of America in 2003.

If you could describe yourself with three words…
Love to Write.

You’re Taurus, aren’t you? They are thought to be patient and determined but quite jealous. Do you match this description?
Determined, yes. But not the jealous type. I own a good deal of patience most of the time.

You started working as a journalist when you were sixteen years old. How did it start?
I began working as a typist in the typing pool for the Yorkshire Evening Post. My parents wanted me to go to Leeds University, but I wanted to break into the newspaper business. I wasn’t a great typist, though I did get treated surprisingly well as the only woman in a male dominated newsroom. My first several articles were actually published under other peoples names. eventually it was discovered that I had some writing talent and the news editor hired me as a reporter.

You started a brand-new family trilogy, the Ravenscar Dynasty. Tell us more about it!
The Ravenscar Dynasty is a modern novel, told in the modern vernacular, and set in the early part of the 20th Century. However, I have, to a certain extent, based my protagonist Edward Deravenel on the English medieval king, Edward IV. Born Edward Plantagenet, the Earl of March, he was the eldest son of the mighty Duke of York and his Duchess. Edward’s father was a prince of the blood and a royal duke, head of the royal house of York, rightful heir to the throne of England.
When Edward’s father was killed in the Battle of Sandal Castle in Yorkshire in 1640, during the Wars of the Roses, Edward assumed his father’s heredity title and became Duke of York. He continued his father’s heredity title and became Duke of York. He continued his father’s fight to win back the throne from his cousin, Henry VI, Duke of Lancaster, the Earl of Warwick, later known as the Kingmaker.The throne of England has been usurped by the House of Lancaster from the House of York some sixty years earl9ier, and it was in 1461 that Edward Plantagenet took that throne back when he defeated Henry VI and became king that same year.Aside from “borrowing” the exceptional good looks of Edward Plantagenet, and his height of six feet four, unusual for those times, I have used some aspects of his character and personality in the depiction of Edward Deravenel. Significant events in the life of the medieval king are used in a modern form as the basis, in part, of Edward Deravenel’s story.

Your first novel is “A Woman of Substance”. How did this idea come to you and why did you “decide” to write a novel?
I attempted to write four different novels prior to « A woman of substance » to no avail. This was in the mid 1970s. Although I was a good writer at the time, my approach was all wrong and I never could complete any of those stories. It was around that time that I read an interview with the writer, Graham Green, who told Time Magazine that “character is plot.” Till then, I was trying to write stories first and fill in the characters. Suddenly, I had this idea for Emma Harte: a strong woman who endures a difficult upbringing to become a woman of substance. The character was my story. everything fell into place after that.

Could you say you’re like Emma Harte?
I’ve always been determined to success, not unlike Emma. and I did emerge from a modest upbringing to become a successful author. So from that standpoint I would say I am like Emma. My hardships were much different than Emma’s.

Which one of your books would you advise for a first read? Which one is your favorite?
« A woman of substance » is my most popular book. I’m told that it is one of the ten bestselling novels of all time. It is also the begining of the Harte family saga, which are now a series of six books. My personal favorite book (of those I’ve written) is called “The women in his life.” This is based loosely on my husband’s escape from the nazi’s as a child.

There are so many realistic characters in your novels! How do you describe so well every character’s personnality?
As a newspaper woman, details were crucial. We worked on a tight deadline and there was little margin for error. This proved a strong foundation for my career as a novelist. Only now, instead of taking detailed notes about a living subject for an article, I write up detailed sketches of all of my characters before writing a book. To me they are living, breathing beings in my imagination

Did you write novels in a genre other than romance? If you didn’t, would you like to try?
Although my books have strong elements of romance, I do not classify myself as a romance writer. I really write popular women’s fiction. Many of my novels also contain mystery, suspense, current events and a great deal of History.

You have 22 books published, all bestsellers! Is there a secret? 🙂
If I had one, I wouldn’t tell you! But seriously, I don’t have a recipe for success other than hard work, diligent research and some good luck.

What every aspiring writer would like to know: how do you usually work (when, where…)?
I set a strict writing schedule when I am on deadline. I usually start in my home office at 6am. I work straight through until lunchtime. Around 1pm, I usually proofread my morning’s work before going on to the next chapter. I never work much past 6pm. I am at my best during the morning/afternoon. I type my novels on an IBM Lexmark typewriter, not a computer. The computer is only for research. I am a strong creature of habit.
Do you have some advice for aspiring writers?
First and foremost, you need to be serious about your desire to become a published author. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort and dedication to hone your skills and produce a work worthy of publication. But like anything else, if you possess the talent and the determination, you will likely succeed.There are two excellent monthly publications geared toward helping aspiring writers. One is called The Writer; the other is called Writers Digest. Both magazines contain a wide array of articles for writers of all levels. You wrote a book called “Living Romantically Every Day”.
Is it so important for you to bring Romance in today’s life?
That book, « Living Romantically » is a lovely coffee table book that I did a few years ago for a holiday item between novels. It’s a sweet little book about finding ways to keep a relationship successful. So many people had been asking me about the secret to my 35+ year marriage to my husband, Bob. I finally decided to write a book that described many of the ‘secrets’ to our success. And yes, it’s the little romantic gestures that are needed in any relationship to keep things exciting.
What would you do if you had to start over and choose a new job?
I’d probably be a decorator. Before my novels I wrote a few small books about interior decorating.
What do you think about eBooks?
I’m really not much of a technology person. I’ve never read a book on a computer screen, or printed out a book from a website. I’m old fashioned and prefer to read my books bound and in one piece. I do like the concept of audio books. And I have listened to the reading of some books on occasion.
You were born in England, but you now live in New York. What do you love most about New York?
New York City has been my home for forty years. I love the excitement, the dining, the entertainment, the pace, and the opportunity to help others. My husband and I helped found the New York Pops Orchestra. We’ve made so many friends here in New York. It’s also the center of the publishing world.
You’ve found $100 in your pocket, how will you use that money?
I’d probably go to a bookstore and pick up some books. I love to read in my spare time. History and biographies are two of my favorite subjects.
What about your projects?
The « Ravenscar Dynasty » is the first in a trilogy. The second book in the series will be called « The Ravenscar Heir ». I am writing it now and it should be out before the end of this year (November).

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ? Flip a coin here. I love to go out, though a good book can take you anywhere.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ?
I’m not much of a hiker so I’ll go with beach.
Country or City ? City. I like the excitement of a big city. It energizes me.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else)? My favorite movies are biopics like « Capote », « Ray » or the Johnny Cash film from last year.
Shy or Easy-going ?
Certainly not shy!
Serious or Funny ? A little of both. I have a good sense of humor.
Traveler or not ? Travel is a must. I take a holiday every Summer for a month or so.
Sporty or Couch Potato? I once played tennis, does that count?
Leader or Follower? I try to be the one to make most of the plans amongst my circle of friends. I like to take charge.


TV show: 20/20
Movie: Capote
Book: Anything by Patricia Cornwell
City: New York (also West Palm Beach, Florida)
Music: Tony Bennett
Place to write: My home office
Motto: “Character is plot.”

Thank you, Barbara!
Visit Barbara’s website

Stacy DawnAuthor Stacy Dawn talks about her short eStories and her upcoming full-lenght novel. Romance and sport can’t live together, you said? Read that!

Hi Stacy! How are you doing? Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Thanks, I’m doing great! Well, I’m a romance author, which is good considering I’m a hopeless romantic. I live in Southern Ontario, Canada in a small house out in the country with my husband and two young sons.

If you could describe yourself with three words…
Compassionate, honest, goofy

You’re Libra, aren’t you? I heard they’re diplomatic, romantic but quite indecisive. Are you a typical Libra?
Oh yes, very typical. I’m always trying to keep the peace when I can’t even make up my own mind LOL.

Your short stories are published as eBooks, could you please talk about them, for those who don’t exactly know how it works…
Basically, it’s like going to a bookstore on your computer. For instance, you could go to The Wild Rose Press website at and click on their bookstore then pick out a book to buy (try Stacy Dawn’s books…I hear she’s got some fun stories) When ordered, you download the book onto your computer, open up the file and start reading. They have covers, dedications, and everything like a normal book but your bookshelves don’t get overloaded.

How did you get published? Did you want to be ePublished at first?
I’ve always wanted to write and be published. I sold a few stories to various magazines and was working on longer pieces when I heard of The Wild Rose Press. I submitted and thankfully, they liked what they read. No actually, ePublishing is new to me too but in all honesty, I love it. The Wild Rose Press also do print books as well which are now available through so it’s like having the best of both the eBook and print world

Tell us a bit more about your latest story, “Sold!”…
Sold! is a funny story about the indecision of making that first move…does he like me or is it all a fantasy in my head?

What do you like in writing romance? What would you say to those who say “romance isn’t a serious genre”?
First, I’d say they were nuts. Romance is a HUGE percentage of book sales and publishing. I like writing it because of what’s called the HEA—happily ever after endings. No matter what problems your characters face, in the end they will find a way to make it together. Like in life, it’s never easy but it is possible.

Your upcoming eBook is called “A Matching Fancy”… can you tell us more?
This is another short story. It involves a woman who, while watching her niece at a wedding thinks love is only for the young…until an outspoken guest shows her differently. Watch out for the little twist in the tale!

And I also heard that there will be a full-length novel coming out in print, soon…
Oh yes! This will be my first full-length novel published and I am so excited. Wanna Make a Bet?–When aspiring artist and purposefully single Sophie Montgomery mutters those four fateful words, her sexy neighbor, Jay Coltrane, pounces on the opportunity to prove she’s not as immune to him as she thinks. Before she knows it, Sophie finds herself not only betting against a seduction, she’s betting against her own ability to keep her dreams intact and a certain luscious landscaper out of them. It will be coming out in mid 2007.

I heard that eBooks publishing will grow faster and faster… What do you think about it?
I’d have to agree. There are many products like ebook readers on the market now that make it so easy to download your books onto it and take them with you on trips, commuting, the bus, whatever. And with today’s technology, most can hold over two hundred books—can’t stuff that many into your knapsack and haul them around very easily LOL.

Do you think eBooks will take the paperback books’ place soon?
As much as I like eBooks, I still enjoy curling up on the couch with a paperbound book in hand so in all honesty, I would hope for a happy medium and not one taking over the other.

What’s the greatest thing about being ePublished? Any bad sides?
One of the first things learned when starting to submit your work is patience and the ability to wait and wait and wait and wait. Because everything is done electronically, the process for ePublishing is a lot faster than print publishing. There is still a lot of waiting time but it’s probably cut in half. The bad side is that there are still a great number of people who don’t know about ePublishing, others who refuse to give it a try because of their loyalty to print books, or simply those who don’t have access to a computer. So promoting your stories can be hard and sometimes limited.

Isn’t it sometimes, let’s say, sad, not to be able to “hold” your work in your hands? (that’s a thought I always had about ePublishing).
That is a consideration and I’m thankfully with a publisher that does do print books as well but yes, most of my stories being eBooks shorts will never be crushed against my chest in ecstatic excitement. But, then I get an email from a reader saying they loved it and you know, that’s my real dream come true.

How do you work (where, when, how…)?
My desk is shoved up against a little wall in the sportsroom. Yes, I said ‘sportsroom’. My husband is a sports-aholic and the room is filled with all sorts of memorabilia, posters etc. Luckily, I face a big window so I get to see the luscious countryside instead. I write mostly during the day, an hour or so at a time in between feeding, playing with, and refereeing the kids. I’m not much of a night owl because they like to get up very early in the morning so I usually only write at night if I’m on a deadline. I find if I balance my time then we’re all happy. I’m half punster/half plotter, which means some stories I just sit down and start typing where other stories I like to lay out a solid outline before I start.

Would you like to add something, Stacy?
I would urge everyone to give eBooks a try. I’m not saying everyone is going to like them but I think they will surprise a lot of people too. I also love to hear from readers and writers. I can be contacted through my website at And most important, I want to say a big thank you to you, Veronika! I’ve had fun.

And now the nothing-to-do-with-books question : You’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use that money?
I’d take twenty of it to splurge in a stationary store (I LOVE pens, papers, and nik-naks) then, sad to say, the rest would probably go to regular things like groceries, bills, or new clothes for the boys who grow like weeds.

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ?Read a book.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ?Beach
Country or City ?Country
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ?Romantic Comedy.
Shy or Easy-going ?Half and half
Serious or Funny ?I like to think I’m seriously funny LOL but of course I’m also delusional.
Traveler or not ?Not. I admit I’m a homebody.
Sporty or not ?I don’t have a choice in this house. I’m not very sporty but am learning quickly
The leader in the group or not ?Leader, usually by default


TV show: Survivor
Movie : While You Were Sleeping
Book : I Will Survive by Samantha Connolly
Music : Country
Food : Chocolate
City : New York at Christmas
Favorite place to write: Living room
Quote or motto : For safety sake. “Better pack an extra snack for the boys for safety sake.” “Better take another once over the manuscript for safety sake.” “For safety sake, you better not tell anyone you have character voices talking to you in your head” Things like that LOL.

Thank you, Stacy!
Stacy’s website

Kat MartinAn interview with best-selling historical romance and contemporary novel author Kat Martin. Today, she talks about her new novel, Scent of Roses, a ghost story.

Hi Kat! Would you like to introduce yourself to your readers and tell us more about Scent of Roses?
Hi, everyone. My name is Kat Martin and I write Historical Romance and Romantic Suspense. I’ve been writing since 1985 and have written more than 36 novels. SCENT OF ROSES is my latest book. It’s a ghost story based on an incident that actually happened in the San Joaquin Valley in the summer of 1995. Of course, I added the sexy bad-boy hero, Zachary Harcourt, who is one of my personal favorites.

Astrology now: what’s your sign? Do you match the sign description?
I’m a Gemini, born June 14, Flag Day, and I match Gemini very, very closely.

Why a ghost story? Did something like that happen to you?
I have always been interested in the paranormal. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a parapsychologist. There were so few schools, it was impossible to make that happen. I have had several interesting experiences, one was the basis for my first ghost story, THE SILENT ROSE.

For a first read, which one of your books would you recommend? Which one is your favorite?
I really think SCENT OF ROSES may be the best book I’ve ever written. It is so interesting and different, and I loved the hero, who was such a sexual kind of guy. My personal favorite is THE SECRET, maybe because it’s a contemporary romantic suspense set on a ranch in Montana.

How do you write (how, when, where)?
I usually get on the computer by 10:30 in the mornings and first do whatever PR work I need to do (like this interview). That gives me a little time to wake up and get ready to write. I try to be writing no later than noon and go till maybe six, then it’s time for a glass of wine and a little relaxation with my husband. Amazing how tired you are after six hours of concentrated writing.

Some authors really like to write in Starbucks… do you?
I love Starbucks! But I go there to drink coffee not to work. I have a gorgeous view from my office in Montana and also from my work space at our house at the beach, where we live in the winter.

Have your books been turned into movies (or maybe will be)?
I had a lot of interest from HBO TV for THE SILENT ROSE. Currently have a bit of interest in SCENT OF ROSES. I think both would make great movies. THE SECRET might make a good movie, as well. Love to have it happen.

I’ve seen on your website that you travel a lot. Do you have a treasured souvenir?
I have a wonderful piece-of-eight–a silver doubloon–pirate treasure off the sunken ship, Atochia, bought in Key West Florida, a souvenir of my book, DEEP BLUE. I have a great gold nugget I wear on a chain. It came from Dawson City, Yukon, a souvenir of MIDNIGHT SUN.

Do you base your books on real events?
I use real events whenever possible. I mention things that have happened in the news to valid the story I am trying to tell. In SCENT OF ROSES, the ghost was a real murder victim and according to extremely credible reports actually appeared as I tell the story in the book.

And now the nothing-to-do-with-books question: you’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use that money?
Probably put it in the bank. Wait a minute–that’s no fun. If I was staying at the beach instead of being in Montana where it’s hard to find places to spend money, I would probably go out to dinner somewhere over-looking the water.


“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday night. Book or Disco? Going out.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains? Either mountains or beach.
Country or City? Both, at one time or another.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?)? Big flick, entertaining and fun.
Shy or Easy-going? Neither. Driven and fairly serious.
Serious or Funny? Pretty serious, with moments of humor.
Traveler or not? Yes.
Spory girl or Couch potato? Sporty? What is “sporty?”
Leader or Follower? Probably not a leader.


TV show: Currently, Medium.
Movie: Quigley Down Under
Book: Eagle in the Sky
Music: Country Western
City: Paris
Favorite place to write: Mountains or beach
Quote or Motto: My favorite word would be censored in this article.

Thank you, Kat!
You can visit Kat’s site here: