Q&A with Dena Garson

Phew! If only.... ūüėČ

My fellow Ellora’s Cave author has just had her first release —¬†Down to¬†Business¬†for the Branded line of erotica. To celebrate her fabulous new release, I decided to do a quick Q&A with the lady herself, to get to know her a little better! Don’t forget, when you finish reading this you should skip over to Ellora’s Cave immediately to pick up a copy! If that hunky topless man to the left isn’t enough to convince you, here’s a wee peek at the blurb!

Leigh and John Templeton have plans for the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, looming deadlines may prevent John from being able to get away. In particular, one very long and dull contract review.

When Leigh delivers dinner to John at his office, she makes him a deal to spice up the contract review process‚ÄĒfor every page he completes, she‚Äôll remove an item of clothing‚Ķuntil she‚Äôs naked and waiting for him to claim his reward.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from a lot of different things Рconversations with friends, magazine or newspaper articles, news reports and even rumors! Rumors are especially fun because your imagination can go wild guessing how people got into the situation and the reasons why.

What makes a hero sexy for you?

It’s that hero that is deeply and¬†truly¬†in love with the heroine. One that may fight the good fight but in the end realizes he is a better person for loving and being loved by the heroine. But let’s face it – there is nothing sexier than a strong, alpha male loosing the¬†reins of his control because of his need and desire for his¬†woman?

Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!

What are you currently reading?

LOL – I’m reading The Hunger Games because my oldest son loved it so much. When a pre-teen gets excited about not just one book, but the whole series, it’s got to be good. I have to admit – I’m more than half way through it and it’s got me hooked!

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Just like reading, writing is a form of escape for me. It’s a chance to live in someone¬†else’slife for bit. Only with a bit more control over the way things end. Well… mostly anyway. I think most writers will tell you that sometimes their characters and stories will take them down a path they didn’t see coming.

And your least favorite?

I constantly fight with my internal editor.¬†It’s very hard to turn off the¬†criticism¬†and doubt as I write so that I can at least get the first draft down on paper. I have to keep reminding myself that I can go back later and change things.

What’s next for you?

I have two new works in progress and¬†in between, I’m also working on¬†revisions to two stories I wrote last year.¬†One of the new WIP’s is a¬†paranormal contemporary set in Ireland. I’m very excited about writing it. The characters are just yammering around in my head wanting to get out and on the paper. The other WIP is another story aimed at the Branded line at Ellora’s Cave.

Thanks a million to Dena for taking part in my little Q&A session! Many congratulations on your first release!
Down to Business is also available on Kindle!
Much love,
Rea x
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Missing the concrete jungle…

His music was really wonderful....

New York. I never used to have any burning ambition to go there. I’m not much of a shopper – mostly because my limited finances don’t often allow me to go on a raging spree. I ended up there quite unexpectedly in the winter of 2007, and the city captured my heart in ways I don’t think I can even explain. I can remember the first moment I stepped out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Coming face-to-face… or face-to-steel with the New York Times building filled me with a moment of excitement and then… nothing. I felt almost disappointed. Was this it? It wasn’t what hours of Sex and the City had taught me it would be.

 

It didn’t take long to fall in love, though. New York City is an assault to the senses. It’s noisy – as noisy as you can possibly imagine it would be. Sirens, horns, shouting, talking, engines… it is truly impossible to take it all in. The sidewalks are always busy, everyone vying for a piece of terra firma, pushing through and constantly moving. Always moving. Even if you want to walk slowly, you can’t. No one ambles along in NYC – it’s as though you are being drawn, compelled against your wishes, driven forward by some invisible force. It’s only when you climb into bed at night that you realise just how much you’ve walked – and how little you’ve rested.

 

For me, it was the belief that anything can happen in this vibrant, crazy city. Anything you want to be, you can be in New York. The air is positively electric with optimism and resilience. From the middle-aged black man in Central Park who played his saxophone with such moody passion, to the group of thirty-something entrepreneurs in Starbucks who were pitching ideas for a record company, everyone has a story. Everyone is inspiring and interesting.

 

I’m not in New York today. I’m always missing it, though. If it weren’t for the city, I wouldn’t have written my novel Stolen Nights. I wouldn’t have decided with resolute certainty that THIS was going to be the one. I was inspired when I was there, feeding off the optimism that shines through. I was thinking about it today… and I can’t wait to be back in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

Synopses, blurbs, titles and all the yucky parts…

When I think about it, there’s only one part of writing that I actually enjoy – and that’s the writing part! LOL. I recently finished writing a synopsis for a proposal, and I was reminded of how difficult it is to “sell” a story in just a page. How should I articulate all the emotional, atmospheric ideas I have? That part that really makes the story, or those piece of dialogue that you wish were real, the bits where, as a writer, I wish were spoken to me by a handsome, virile male lead. One page. Just one page to get across weeks and weeks of brainstorming, contemplating, dreaming, researching… and falling in love with my characters. I worry that the higher-up in charge of reading my synopsis won’t get how deep my characters are – and how could they possibly? Maybe my characters are only so deep in my head.

Blurbs are even worse, because then you are selling a published novel to the public, in three paragraphs or less. That, let me tell you, is a skill and one I have come to admire. There’s nothing nicer than picking up a really awesome book at the bookstore, reading the back and immediately falling in love with the whole premise, before you’ve even peeled back the cover. (I am going to go off on a tangent and say…. how wonderful is that first moment of pulling back the cover on a brand new book, running your hand over that smooth, pristine paper… contemplating the wonderful possibilities that are contained within?) I fear that my own blurbs don’t encapsulate the hours that went into forming my characters, working and re-working the plot… I want my passion for words to shine through in the stories that I write. Maybe, when you get it just right, that’s your magnum opus.

Writing has been my passion all my life. I thought when I was eighteen I was good enough to be published. Nonsense, obviously, otherwise I would have been… but even then, writing those stories, I felt a sense of passion that nothing else has been able to match. Mostly because I’m not talented enough at anything else to have honed my skills. I wish I could draw, paint and play the piano, but unfortunately I was blessed with a singular talent. I think. I hope.

My point is that nothing gives me more happiness than sitting down and writing for hours, losing myself in my story, creating characters from nothing and making them into real, living entities in my mind. Blurbs, synopses and everything that makes me cut down my “masterpiece” to a few words are simply the banes of my life.

Along with editing and re-drafting… but that’s another blog post altogether!

Setting my mood….

Irish instruments!

I will soon be starting a short story set in Ireland. Details to follow.

 

Whenever I sit down to write, I always select music that best sets my mood. Whilst writing ‘Stolen Nights’ my audio player had a continuous loop of instrumental Indian music (sitars and tablas), and a random collection of Hindi and Tamil pop. Then, if I was writing about New York, I would play jazz and Michael Bubl√© because those are the songs that most remind me of the time I spent there. I love music, as I have mentioned before. It is remarkable how my mood can be set by it, and how I can be transported from my desk at home to an exotic location just by the beat of a drum or the strum of an Indian sitar.

 

In preparation for writing about Ireland, I already have a whole playlist selected. For example, the whole score to the movie Titanic is filled with interesting hints of Celtic music – the eerie melancholy, the haunting notes. I enjoy being able to vividly imagine places based on the music I am listening to – and I suppose a healthy imagination helps, too! Sometimes I wonder where my writing would be without music because, when I think about it, there is always something playing in the background when I am pottering away at the keyboard. Sometimes I don’t hear it at all, but it’s always there.

 

Right now, I am listening to some classical. Who knows what inspired that notion! I definitely think I have the most random and varied taste in music. Upon looking through my track listing, I discovered I have songs in: English, French, Tamil, Hindi, Spanish, Italian and even one song in the most obscure language Konkani – and those obviously don’t include the instrumental ones! I sense that some Irish ones will be installed shortly!

 

I’m off to plot and plan now, and maybe get some writing done! ūüôā

 

Love,

Rea x

Things I want in a hero…

Heeelllloooo....

Let me express that I am being incredibly shallow here, okay? I’m not trying to be profound. I think we all have a bit of shallowness in us, don’t we? Let’s not lie… we enjoy romantic heroes in movies because they look damn good. For example, in my novel Stolen Nights, I have always said if I could pick any man to play him in a movie (yeah, I was dreaming big, but it’s always good to have a solid image) I would pick the incredibly attractive (drool worthy…) Indian actor John Abraham. (See picture). However, aside from an astoundingly good bone-structure and eyes that imply all the naughty things he’d like to do, there are a few other things I want my hero to have:

 

1: A good dress sense. I like a man who wears a tie. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because power is implied, and there is something sexy about a man who is in command, knows what he wants, isn’t submissive etc. I also love a ¬†man in a suit – and not just the first ill-fitting suit he can find, but a well tailored suit that hangs upon his shoulders as though Rapunzel spun the threads herself. The tie should be silk, the shirt fine cotton. Dunno why.

 

2: Good shoes. I have an interest in shoes, even on men. The shoes should definitely do the fine suit justice. No point in ruining a good piece of attire with bad kicks, right?

 

3: Languages. A man should speak them. The more the better. I like an intellectual man – a reader, a learner and therefore the more languages in a hero’s arsenal, the better. His appeal goes up the harder the language is to speak. My boyfriend speaks Malayalam, which is his mother-tongue. You can see what that particular language looks like in the photograph. It is as complex when spoken verbally as it is when it is written down. Sometimes when my boyfriend speaks, I imagine there are no spaces between the words. If I wanted to say

I have literally no idea what it says...

“I don’t speak Malayalam” then phonetically, it would look something like this: “Enikku ‘Malayalam’ samsaarikkan ariyilla”. Now… if I was able to say that without too much strenuous activity for my tongue, wouldn’t I be able to speak Malayalam anyway, making the whole phrase a moot point?

 

4: Play a musical instrument. The piano or the cello,¬†preferably. I love music and I cannot imagine living in a world without it. These two instruments can evoke so many emotions in me, so if my John Abraham look-alike hero was able to play an instrument then he would be the ultimate bloke, really. If I had to pick, I’d say the cello. There’s a brooding, seriousness to the cello that would make my handsome hero so much more mysterious.

 

So what about you? What do you like in a romantic hero? Or gentlemen, a heroine? (I sense the men will have less requirements than us ladies!)

 

Much love,

Rea x

 

 

New Year’s!

Well, Happy New Year everyone! Another festive season behind us – it seems Mulled Wine Time goes too fast, doesn’t it? Back to normality once more! For me, I have been idling around the house for days now, promising myself I will, a: write a blog post and b: write in general! As it is, I instead watched rubbish television, drank tea, watched more rubbish television and generally procrastinated my way through the whole day. ¬†Outrageous, I know!

 

I have been writing today, though – just a little bit, I’m easing myself back into work gently! Maybe it should be like the whole band-aid thingy… ripping it off in one big tug? I don’t know. My new year’s resolutions this year tend to reflect my status as a consummate procrastinator – I have to exercise more, write more, motivate myself more… etc. etc. I am probably not alone in this, though. I was just talking to my friend who says she’s trying to motivate herself, too. What about you guys? What have you promised yourself a new year of bigger, better things – or are you a cynical old boot who doesn’t see the point in making more false promises, and putting pressure on yourself?

 

See, dammit, I am already talking myself out of it! Haha!

 

Anyway, I just want to wish any readers a very happy new year and I hope for only prosperous things for you all! So whether you are giving up smoking, fighting the battle of the bulge, promising to work harder, party more, relax some or just have a good time, good luck to you all! I’m sure we’ll all be back here next January making the same promises but hey, new year, fresh start.

 

Until February anyway!

 

Much love,

Rea x

Stolen Nights – Out Now!!

Time to Celebrate!!

Stolen Nights has been released with Ellora’s Cave – so zip over to their website to get a copy now!

 

It is amazing to see my little book published. I remember waking up one morning and deciding that THIS IS IT, this is definitely the one I am going to get published. I have waited a really long time to having that definite feeling – so the excitement I feel today is unlike anything I have felt before!

 

Stolen Nights is an interracial adventure romance, set mostly in India. You can read the official excerpt over on “Writing ‘n’ Things” or head straight over to:¬†http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9831-stolen-nights.aspx¬†– to get yourself a copy!

 

Much love,

Rea x

Release!

Stolen Nights will be released on Ellora’s Cave on the 23rd of December! Hop, skip and jump over there to get yourself a copy!

http://www.ellorascave.com – I hope you like it! You can read the official excerpt over in “Writing ‘n’ Things” as well as see the book cover – isn’t he so sexy?! Yummdiddlyumptous!

Stolen Nights

Well, I am delighted to announce that my novel is scheduled to be released very shortly with Ellora’s Cave! You can read the official excerpt over in “Writing ‘n Stuff’ but below I have posted the official blurb as well! I had so much fun writing this. There is something about the idea of professional thieves that I find so attractive. Maybe because I like a bad guy, but not fully-fledged murderous felon? Or maybe because I don’t have diamonds and paintings worth millions…? I suppose I see it as a sort of Robin Hood kind of thing, only a bit more self-serving. Anyway, Vikram Singh – my hero – became very real in my mind, and I was able to perfectly envision him in my head when I was writing. Hopefully his bold, brash and very roguish character comes across to the reader as well!

Blurb below!

He’s fast. She’s faster.

Lisabeth Baker is the best professional thief in the business and she‚Äôs just acquired a mythical golden flute‚ÄĒthe same golden flute her rival, Vikram Singh, desperately needs.

Life in their business is a lonely one and Lisabeth has been struggling to find a man who can satisfy her needs. Vikram is everything she could possibly want in a bed-mate and she‚Äôs willing to cut him a deal‚ÄĒtwo nights of no-strings sex in which Vikram must satisfy her every whim and desire, no questions asked. He‚Äôs the only man who has ever been able to match her wit and handle her acerbic attitude, and Lisabeth discovers that with each sexual encounter her feelings for the Indian deepen further, leaving her far outside her comfort zone.

For Vikram, Lisabeth is the most infuriating woman he has ever met, which makes it difficult to understand why he wants her. The occasional glimpses into her softer side have Vikram contemplating what a life with Lisabeth Baker would be like, and he soon realizes two nights won’t be enough.

 


Trashed!

Where the rejects end up!
I’m a fickle person when it comes to my writing. Every story I start I think ‘this is IT, this can be amazing’ then I start to question myself, nitpick and move on to the next story – repeat cycle. It’s surprising how quickly my mind can change in regards to this and it can be very frustrating and unproductive. Tonight I started a new quick-fiction story that I aim to have finished very shortly. I was up early this morning (a rarity for me as I usually stay awake until 4am and sleep until noon), so it’s felt like a long but productive day. Maybe there’s something to this early-morning malarkey. I’m not fully convinced, though… for example, the dark mornings are murderous. It was after 9am before the sun crested the mountains today. It was dark by 4.30pm. Grim, grim, grim!

Of course the dire wintry weather is a good excuse to stay in jammies, heat a hot-water bottle and write with a cup of tea. I disconnected my internet again – it works for me, stops me wasting time and is definitely going to be my default writing mode from now on. The heater was blasting, the music truly deafening and lo-and-behold, I got 3000 words written in a few hours!

Tomorrow my target is 5000. Optimistic?

Watch this space!

Much love,
Rea x