Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Interview-Ramona Butler

I met Ramona Butler through the Sierra Romance Writers Group and I’m excited to have her visit today.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I can’t remember NOT being a writer, so I think I was born one. In fact, I was barely old enough to read when I wrote a letter to the editor of a large, metropolitan newspaper complaining about a pitifully ugly comic strip character -- and my letter was published.
After that, I was always writing something, primarily for my own entertainment. Yet it wasn’t until I retired that I decided to try for publication, thinking I’d like travel writing. So I enrolled in a class at the junior college and soon found myself writing restaurant reviews, a periodic public opinion column, and nostalgia pieces. I even became a stringer for a small newspaper. And yes, I sold a couple of travel articles, but then I decided to try fiction -- and was hooked.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
That’s a tough question, because I’m a voracious reader, and I usually fall in love with the heroine and hero of whatever book I’m reading at the time. But I will say that I’m a big fan of Suzanne Brockman’s Navy SEALs.
Tell me what inspired Sabrina Says.
I had begun writing fiction while I lived in the Sacramento area. After moving to Nevada, a friend from my California critique group contacted me about our writing together, and I jumped at the chance. She would drive up here and we’d hash out characters and a storyline. Then, she would go home to Sacramento and we would begin our back-and-forth, long distance collaboration
Almost immediately, one of our books became a finalist in the notable Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition. So, of course, we went to the National Conference, which was in Dallas that year. And even though we didn’t win, we enjoyed our fifteen minutes in the spotlight. Returning home, I discovered that while we were away, four “lonesome cowboys” had erected a huge billboard alongside highway 395, south of Reno -- advertising for lady friends. When I saw the newspaper story about that billboard, I just knew we had the basis of our next book, Sabrina Says, which was out first sale. Sabrina Says was published in paperback by a New York publisher, then published in the Netherlands, and then in the US again in hardcover. And I’m thrilled to report that Sabrina Says is now available on the Internet as an ebook, via Amazon’s Kindle ebookstore. It is also available for the Barnes and Noble ereader (the Nook), and will soon be available for several other ereaders.
Other books that I co-authored with Louise Crawford: Jaded Hearts (Romantic Suspense), Trouble in 3-D, Sagebrush Cinderella, Dance with Destiny, and High Flying Love. All, except for Jaded Hearts, are lighthearted, contemporary romances.
My newest book, Border Heat, I wrote alone. It, too, is a Romantic Suspense.

Border Heat excerpt
A gunshot shattered the silence. And from out of nowhere, a large form, blacker than the black night, slammed her to the ground, covered her. Air swooshed from her lungs. She gasped for breath, twisting, thrashing, fighting the hulk that had landed on top of her. When her knee struck soft tissue, she was rewarded with a oath, then a hoarse, low-pitched, "For God's sake, stop your squirming. I'm trying to save your unappreciative hide!"
Stunned by recognition of that husky rumble, she stilled. "Jess?" Lord, he was heavy. Solid muscle.
"Shhh, don't talk." Words breathed against her temple.
"Get off me, you--"
His callused hand covered her mouth and shut off her words. She twisted again, writhing, bucking--with no success whatsoever.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Author Interview-Regina Duke

I had the good fortune to meet Regina Duke at a gathering of local romance writers and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest today. Regina Duke also writes dog books as Linda White.
What inspired you to become a writer?
As a child I read constantly. I have a memory dating back before kindergarten of copying the print off a page onto a piece of paper. I did not know what the page said at that time, but I felt compelled to write those symbols on paper. I was writing!
My first trip to the library at five years old was memorable because they would only allow us to check out four children’s books at a time, and I read all four in the car on the way home. There were never enough stories! So I began writing my own as soon as I had access to pens and paper. I shared with girl friends at school. Ironically, although my writing skills always earned As in school, my male English teachers never enjoyed my creative efforts! Not masculine enough, I guess.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Wow, there are so many! But I love Varene in Cate Rowan’s Kismet’s Kiss, and I want to -be- the kickass heroine in Sandra Edwards’ Staked.
Tell me what inspired this story.
The Woof in the Wedding Plans is about my romance characters Terri and Russ after they return from their adventure at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They fell in love while Russ was saving Terri’s life, but now it’s October and they have to deal with matters closer to home. I love my characters and it’s very difficult to drop them after writing about their romance. So I was inspired to spend more time with Terri and Russ and see if they could make a go of things in the real world, away from the Canyon.
Since dogs are an inspiration for much of my life, I weave them into my stories as well. Terri and Russ are dog people. I wanted to follow them beyond the original romance and see what happens in their lives as they head toward marriage.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
I’m giving away my age here, but I am retired from my “day job.” My current commitments involve dog training, dog shows, and writing in different genres. I have gone “indie” as they say, after spending decades submitting manuscripts to the gatekeepers of the publishing houses. I kept getting wonderful rejection letters, but my work never fit anyone’s “line.”
I get up in the morning and write or edit or do my email and marketing. Evenings are spent in dog classes. And believe me, almost every canine scenario in my stories has happened to me or someone I know!
Now that I’ve said that, I realize that I am finally living the life I dreamed of living. I am writing and sharing my stories, and I am playing with my dogs and my friends. Happy camper!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m working hard and fast to make my other books available and to write new ones. I hope that those who enjoy my characters and my style will check back periodically and see what other worlds I’m playing in at the moment.
Find out more about Regina at the following links:
Regina Duke’s The Woof in the Wedding Plans,
Regina Duke’s North Rim Delight,
Linda White’s Loving the Sensitive Dog,
Book blurb:
Wedding plans are well along, but Terri hates the plans and hates the planner! She has adopted a German shepherd, but he thinks he belongs to Russ, her future husband, and Russ’s two shepherds are not happy about it. Although Russ is the man of Terri’s dreams, her future father-in-law is turning into the man of her nightmares. Her job is also in danger. And now a phone call has thrown her life into turmoil. Something has happened to Russ!
Come along for the ride as Terri tries to salvage her marriage plans and save her man!