I’m pleased Regina Duke, good friend and a fellow writer from Sierra Romance Writers, could join us today. What advice do you have for writers who are considering indie publishing?
This sounds contradictory, but I would say, “Jump in! Then slow down!” By that I mean that there is a lot of non-writing stuff to learn about the publishing end. I had to figure out the various web sites, set up my accounts, create web sites (still learning there), find indie lists and support groups, and all of that was happening at the same time I was re-editing the novel I decided to publish first. Some people are gifted at web-related tasks. I didn’t even have Twitter or Facebook! So if you are in that boat, jump in as soon as possible and get busy with those areas. Then, once you have a book ready to publish, slow down and proofread it again. (Personal experience speaking, she blushed.) And once it is published, slow down your expectations a bit. We read about authors who are selling thousands of books their first year and our pulse races. But those ladies (and gents) are doing all of the web chores and more behind the scenes. So if your initial sales are slow, don’t worry. Pat yourself on the back for everything you had to learn and do to get that first book on-line!
What was the inspiration for North Rim Delight?
Several years ago, I took a vacation with my brother and his wife to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They were reminiscing the entire time about all their previous trips to the Canyon and how romantic it was for them in their youth. And I thought, “What a great place for romantic suspense!” Almost every day there was some kind of accident or mishap, so those incidents are not outside the realm of possibility. A helicopter with tourists even crashed while we were there! When I got home, I started working on North Rim Delight.
Cast the movie—who would play Terri and Russ?
This is a great question! OMG. Let’s see… Keanu Reeves isn’t buff enough, but he’s a hunk! George Clooney is 20 years older than my hero, but hey, he’s George Clooney. Oh, oh, I know! Can I have David Boreanaz? And for Terri… hmmm. Strange. The women don’t pop immediately into my head. LOL! Someone slender but realistically so, slightly athletic because she’s so active, with a big dose of girl-next-door. Any suggestions?
What are your other passions outside of writing?
Oh, dear, I hope you’re not sorry you asked! I am passionate about dogs. Dog training, dog rescue, dog shows (eventing, not the beauty pageant), trick dogs, therapy dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs. That’s why there are so many in my books. They play such a huge role in my life, it’s hard for me to conceive of characters who do not have dogs in their lives. (I like cats, too.)
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ve recently begun a workout program to make sure I get some exercise every day. When I write, I go into a “zone” where time seems to stand still. Unfortunately, so does my derriere. If only I could rig a platform for my computer, something I could carry over my shoulders that would allow me to write while walking! LOL! And you would not believe the laughter when I try to determine on my living room floor whether a character (like Russ) could actually physically perform a move in a book. I’ve decided I should hire a stunt man to proof these moves, because if my body has to do them, poor Russ is in a lot of trouble.
Terri Baker is through with men! But her abusive ex-boyfriend Gavin has other ideas. Meanwhile, she is grieving for her beloved German shepherd. She heads for the Grand Canyon to get away from it all. But three men are chasing her. One wants her money. One wants her heart. And one wants her life.
Russ Camino is a bounty hunter with a haunted past. He made a promise that he must keep, and he has no time for women. Not even when he meets one who makes his pulse race. When he discovers that the hit man he is following is after Terri, he knows that he must protect her at all costs.
Russ spoke again. "I'd love for you to come to my place in Reno and meet my girls.”
Terri's heart leaped in her chest.
"I think they'd really love you," he added as they reached the porch of their cabin. He paused with his hand on the door knob. "I'm a pretty good judge of who they'll like," he said, "and I think they'd cover you with kisses."
Terri looked into Russ's eyes and wished he would cover her with kisses. Then she blushed at the thought of it. But as if he'd read her mind, Russ pulled her close and kissed her softly on the mouth.
A moment later Terri's arms were around his neck. He smelled so good, like sunshine and good health and something slightly tangy that she couldn't put her finger on. Then she remembered the gun in her hand the night before and knew it was the firearm and its holster adding to the montage of scent. She felt a yearning deep inside, and the desire to satisfy it pressed her closer to him, until they were thigh to thigh, chest to bosom, and the kiss grew warmer and more insistent.
At last they had to break off the kiss in order to breathe.
Terri was suddenly aware of a pair of tourists walking by on the path. "Maybe we should go inside," she murmured.
"Good idea." Russ's voice was now a sexy baritone, husky with arousal.
"One of us should open the door," said Terri, mesmerized by his brown eyes.
"Another good idea," murmured Russ. He fumbled behind himself for the door knob, but had to half turn to use the key. They moved indoors without separating. Terri let her tote slide off her arm to the floor. The heat of their embrace made the cabin feel overly warm. Russ pushed the door shut and turned the lock with one hand while the other pulled Terri into a deep kiss. She began to moan, and the sound made Russ’s blood pound in his ears. He felt like a teenager again. The excitement of her touch was overwhelming. He marveled at the scent of her, the sensuous sweetness of her mouth.
They turned their faces to the side for a breath of air.
“Oh, Russ, you feel so good,” whispered Terri.
Russ wanted to reply but only managed an affirmative mumble.
Then Terri’s cell phone rang.
Terri groaned in disappointment.
Russ whispered, “Ignore it.”
But it kept ringing.
“I can’t,” said Terri. “I’ll wonder who it was until I look.”
Russ pulled away. “I know. I understand. Go ahead.”
She reached down into her bag and pulled the phone out. The tiny screen told her the caller was Gavin. Russ saw it, too. Suddenly he was more alert. He nodded at her to answer.
Out of habit, Terri answered in speaker mode. “Hello?”
The anger in Gavin’s voice chilled her.
From North Rim Delight
And the novella sequel, Woof in the Wedding Plans,