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Just Like A Dame, Daisy Dexter Dobbs

Thanks for the freebie AngieW!

Review will be up on Monday…

Going To A Wedding… And Man Boobs…

Friday, April 28, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

My brother’s getting married tomorrow! Whoopee!

So that you don’t miss me too much, I’m going to leave you with an interesting pic. WARNING, THERE IS NUDITY THUS NOT SUITABLE FOR UNDER 18’S OR THE EASILY OFFENDED!


I was hoping this was photoshopped, but I’m not so sure.

Sex And The Clitty…

Thursday, April 27, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Don’t bother reading on if you’re easily offended, because you probably will be. Offended that is.

I’ve decided that I’m not overly fond of the term ‘eating out’.

No, I don’t mean, as in going to a restaurant. Indeed, I am actually talking about the sexual act.

The Tall Guy and I discussed this last night, and he disagrees with me. He kinda likes it. The perve.

I’ve always suspected that ‘eating out’ is a term that a man must have invented. Every time I read it in a book, it kinda takes me out of the story, and I find that I end up squeezing my legs together, and not in a good way either.

I think my problem with its usage, is that it reminds me too much of how The Tall Guy some men like to spend hours down there, kinda like they’re having a five course meal. Some days a gal only wants a starter, especially when she already went ahead and had the main course. Know what I mean?

I told TTG that I thought it was quite a vulgar term, even for me. His answer was that it beat using ‘muff diving’, or ‘minge-eating’.

Who says romance is dead?

I went to the hairdresser’s today, and because I knew I’d be there a while, I took a book with me. Anyway, there was a girl probably in her early twenties, sitting next to me, browsing through a hair and beauty magazine. I think she was getting her roots done. They certainly needed doing anyway.

I felt her burning stare, so I looked in the mirror and asked her if there was a problem.

I think I took her by surprise, but she gamefully asked me what I was reading. So I tell her. Linda Howards’s Dream Man.

Her name was Sandra. This was how our conversation went: (more or less)

S: What’s it about?
K: It’s a romance book
S: It doesn’t look like a romance book
K: It is
S: What’s it about?
K: A woman who has psychic visions of murders being commited
S: Doesn’t sound like a romance to me:
K: It is
S: Is there any sex?
K: Some
S: How much sex?
K: Enough
S:Still doesn’t sound like a romance to me
K: Ever read a romance book?
S: Silence
K: Well?
S: No
K: *Rolls eyes*
S: I thought romance books always had couples kissing on the cover
K: Not always
S: Barbara Cartland’s does
K: She’s dead
S: Silence
K: Silence
S: There’s usually lots of sex in ‘those’ kind of books isn’t there?
K: *Mentally runs S over with a garbage truck*
K: Silence
S: Don’t you get embarrassed reading them in public?
K: No
S: Really?
K: Really
S: Silence
K: So what do you like to read then?
S: Dan Brown
K: *Rolls eyes*
S: The Da Vinci Code was out of this world
K: So I hear
S: You don’t look like a romance reader
K: Oh?
S: You’re not old or anything
K: *Stupefied silence*
S: Can you recommend any good ones?
K: Yeah
S: Nothing with lots of sex though
K: *Evil grin*
K: Sensation, by Thea Devine. You’ll love it.

Yes, I know, I should have recommended a really good book, in order to promote the genre, but for fucks sake, she interrupted me when I was on a really good bit. I swear, I read the same page about ten effing times. Sigh.

The moral of the story? You meet ignorant twats everywhere.

This week’s popular search phrases:

Sperm+fart – Hmmm…

Karens hole.com – Maybe it’s the name of a pub…

Karen love kate – The people who put this in as a search phrase always find my review of Kate Rothwell’s book *g*

Jehovah’s witnesses and chronicles of Narnia – What’s one got to do with the other?

Girl’s blog on giving brother a blowjob – Sick bastard, I bet this is a guy.

How many really swallow cum? – Erm, I have no idea…

Karen Scott married name – What?

Guys who want to meet to suck cock in S California – Interesting, George Michael anybody?

Karen fucks kate – No I didn’t. Seriously.

Ejaculating in a woman’s face – another popular one

Swallowing too much cum – Erm….

What does bukaki mean? – I’m still not sure about this one, I thought I knew what it was, but apparently not.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Dominant, Submissive – I wonder who the dominant one is *g*

Do women really like the taste of sperm? – One more for the road!

Happy Belated Birthday To The Queen…

Sunday, April 23, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Not bad for an eighty year old eh? (Photograph by Lord Snowdon)

The Changing face of the Queen

She was 80 years old on Friday. She still looks pretty good, although I suspect she would look better if she smiled more.

I often wonder if she ever feels trapped in her life. I would if I was her. Fancy being married to that horse’s arse, Prince Phillip, and having at least two sons who are mad as ten badgers.

I sincerely hope Charles doesn’t become king. I may have gotten over the fact that he’s an unfaithful rat, who talks to plants, but envisaging Her Royal Horseness, Camilla, at his side as queen, is enough to make me lose my breakfast.

I’m not sure what my feelings are about the monarchy as a whole. Sometimes I think they are a burden this country can ill afford, but then I always get the argument that they’re good for tourism.

I wonder though, do people come here just to see the royal family? They are a tourist attraction, certainly, but to what extent are they important to our tourism industry?

What do you guys think of the British royal family?

AngieW is looking for people to review e-books published by Samhain Publishing, as a way of generating interest. Why not pop over and volunteer? There are free books involved if you’re lucky enough to get chosen!

By the way, no gushing reviews unless the book deserves it!

Stolen From JaynieR’s Blog…

Sunday, April 23, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized
Karen S
The Tall Guy

93% Compatible

? Karen S and The Tall Guy have been romantically-together for a long time. That alone demonstrates a degree of compatibility. Similar personality descriptions are a plus. Their shared faith will help form a bond between them. Both are also sports fans, and that can bring people together. Both are brainy, and that is a good thing. However, their astrological signs are not in harmony. They share a favorite season, and that is good. And their views on children are similar. Overall, Karen S and The Tall Guy are highly compatible. They are capable of having a beautiful relationship together. ?

Test Your Dating Compatibility

Hmmm… So maybe I wont leave him just yet then.

Well, I’ve just come across the most fucking disgraceful thing ever.

Apparently, in order for Millennia Black’s next book to be published, she has to change her white characters to black. Why? Because she’s black, and the publisher wants her stuck in AA fiction ghetto hell.

Her first novel, The Great Pretender featured black characters, and so, she’s now been neatly labelled, thus no-colour swapping allowed. What. The. FUCK?

How the frigging hell does this happen in this day and age?

To the editor or indeed publisher who thought this was a smart move, YOU RACIST TWATS ABSOLUTE FUCKING MORONIC ARSEHOLES!

Millennia, they fucked you over on your first book, and now this? Seriously, you need to find a more enlightened publisher.

Ok, I’m done.

You know, if there’s anything guaranteed to piss me off, it’s romance readers who get all hoity-toity about the use of profanity in romance books.

A reader at the All About Romance Yahoo Group, recently wrote:

This obviously annoyed the hell out of me, so I had to throw my tuppence in. What? Did you really expect me to do any less? *g*

My reply to her comments were:

Now, I guess the question of how much swearing is too much, is totally subjective, but seriously, how many people have grown up without hearing the odd swear word here and there?

God knows, I don’t expect a girl who was brought up in a convent to use words like twat and cunt, but by the same token I certainly don’t expect an army ranger to substitute the good old F word for something as inane as ‘oh fudge’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the use of the F word in every other sentence, (seriously) because that would just be overkill, but for instance, in a situation where the hero, (in a romantic suspense) has just been shot in the arm by a perp who’s trying to kill him, I certainly wouldn’t’t expect him to say “ Oh dear, I’ve been shot”. Would you? Seriously?

I obviously don’t mind swear words in books at all, but they do have to be used in context, and they should gel with the character who’s using them. In other words I don’t expect to read about a little old lady screaming “Drop it mother-fucker!” at the top of her voice. I suspect that that wouldn’t really work.

Most of us are grown-ups, we know the score when it comes to swear words. Some of us swear like sailors, others only cuss in highly stressful situations, whilst there are some people who just wont use profanities at all.

Regardless of your own personal stance on this subject, I would assume that anybody reading romance books wouldn’t be so naïve as to think that swear words have no place in them. That just doesn’t make sense.

Are there really people out there who think it’s ok to use sexual words like cock and pussy, but get offended by the use of the F word?

The F word has been around since the 15th century, and I dare say it will be around as long as man-kind still has the propensity to get annoyed.

What say you?

So I spent the evening with these lovely boys tonight. Let me introduce you to Urs, (Swiss) David, (American) Sebastien (French), and Carlos, (Spanish).

In an effort to get more business from current clients, there are times when I have to bribe schmooze them. Tonight, I had tickets to see Il Divo in concert, so I took 3 clients who’s money I would like to see more of, with me.

The guys were fabulous. They’re an operatic boyband vocal group, and they sing all their songs in Italian. If I’m not mistaken, our own Simon Cowell discovered them.

My favourite was the Spanish guy, Carlos. He wasn’t the best looking by far, but he was the one with the passion and the personality. All the ladies at the Manchester Evening News arena thought he was pretty fab too.

They opened with their version of Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart, or should I say, ‘Regressa A Mi’, at which point I was ready to part with my knickers. Bloody marvellous.

They’re touring all over the world at the moment, I believe they’ve already been to Las Vegas, but they’ll be going back to the US in June. They kick off the US leg of their tour in Florida, on June 14th, and finish up in Concord, California, on July 1st. After that, they’ll have one date in Canada.

If you live anywhere near where they’re performing, I would strongly recommend that you go and see their show. They were utterly fabulous.

Why Do Authors Use Pseudonyms?

Friday, April 14, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Anne’s got an interesting post about authors and their pseudonyms. She wants to know why an author would choose to use a pen name rather than their own.

She’s also got a poll going, asking why some authors do choose to use their own names. I’d like to know too, so any authors out there should hop on over and vote.

I’m pretty sure the majority of erotic romance authors out there use pen names. The reasons are probably two-fold, A, they don’t want their neighbours to know that they write smut, and B, they don’t want their children to know they write smut. *g*

Happy 1st Birthday To My Blog…

Thursday, April 13, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

A year ago today, I put up my very first blog post.

I’d been a member of quite a few author loops, and I was getting pig sick of having to watch what I said, or even worse, totally being ignored. I remember often posting at a certain loop that I was pretty active in, and finding that nobody wanted to speak to me. All the readers on this particular loop seemed to know each other pretty well, and I felt kind of shut out. I made a huge effort to participate, but time and time again, I was continually ignored, so I decided to just leave the group.

Not only did I leave the group, I stopped buying the author’s books. The whole experience left a pretty bad taste in my mouth, so I certainly wasn’t going to make matters worse, by actually spending my hard earned pennies on her books. Fuck that.

Anyway, I decided to leave most of the author loops that I was part of, mostly because they were just too cliquey. I hate cliques. The funny thing is, most of the authors would probably deny that their groups were cliquey, but I assure you, they were.

I did keep to a couple though, and although I’m not as active as I used to be, I still really appreciate Sarah McCarty and Eve Vaughn’s listserves. The ladies in both of these groups were pretty nice, and very welcoming to a newbie with a big mouth.

I remember reading JW Mckenna’s Darkest Hour and feeling so mad, that I needed an outlet. I needed somewhere where I could say that his book was crap without stepping on toes, so that’s when I decided to start the blog.

This was my first ever blog entry:

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I’ve had a pretty good time actually, cuz I know without the blog, I wouldn’t have ‘met’ gals like the fab Maili, who I believe was the first person to link to me.

Like most things in life, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so I aimed to please myself, and nobody else. I’ve tried to stay true to who I am, and I write about whatever happens to be on my mind, regardless of who I offend.

There will be people out there who think I’m the devil incarnate, but equally, there will be people who think I’m ok, either way, the most important thing about my blog, is that it’s mine and I can say what the hell I want to. Which is what I always wanted, so I think I’ve done ok.

Stolen From Sybil…

Thursday, April 13, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized
Your Blog Should Be Orange

Your writing has a star quality – it’s charming, bold, and flamboyant.
You write what’s on your mind, without fear of embarrassment later.
You are one of the most honest bloggers around, and people appreciate your daring persona.

You know what they say, never talk about religion or politics in polite company.

An edict I generally do my best to ignore.

I was listening to my fave radio station earlier today, and the presenter was talking about the different theories going around with regards to how man came to be.

As my regulars will know, I’m not a fan of organised religion. Too many crazies using God as an excuse to commit the most heinous of crimes.

Anyway, the radio presenter invited a guy from the Christian Voice Society (or some such nonsense) to give his views on the subject.

What a fucking arsehole.

He was the most jumped up, sanctimonious little bastard I’ve had the displeasure of listening to in a while.

Basically, the host referred to God, as “the big man upstairs”, and this so-called Christian totally went on off his head, and accused the presenter of disrespecting him and his religion. WTF? Talk about missing a sense of humour gene.

He then went on a ridiculous rant about how the radio host was a sinner, and started spouting hellfire and damnation crap. Sigh.

People like him, are one of the main reasons that I think organised religion sucks hairy balls.

Anyway, in spite of the wanker, I thought the discussion was interesting on many levels.

I myself, a self-confessed-almost-atheist, can’t decide one way or the other. I probably lean more towards Darwin’s theory of evolution, but I’m not totally sold on it. I think this is mainly because of my Sunday school brain-washing teachings.

Ahhh Sunday school days…… I always used to think that Jezebel rocked, cuz she wore bright red lipstick and she got all the boys. It was only later that I found out that she was a slut, and apparently sluts are bad. Sigh.

So anybody have any definite beliefs either way?

Oh shucks, I do love to see a big ugly author blog fight, Where the hell was I when this blew up?

Author Name: Brenda Novak
Website: www.brendanovak.com
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Series
Latest book in shops now:
Every Waking Moment, Romantic Suspense from HQN Books; The Other Woman, in stores May 06.

Before we begin this interview, I need to check that you’re still grounded and that your head isn’t swollen from all of your success, so with that in mind, when was the last time you did the ironing in your house? *g*

Years—but I’m not sure that’s all because of the writing. LOL It only costs $1.50/each to have someone at the drycleaners iron my husband’s shirts. I consider that one of the last great bargains. It probably takes me 20 minutes per shirt, so you can see why I’d rather pay $1.50 and be done with it. 🙂

Oh a woman after my own heart, surely everybody has somebody who does their ironing for them? *g*

The first book of yours that I ever read was Snow Baby, and I recall how moved I was by Chantel and Dillon’s story, as well as the complex relationship that Chantel shared with her sister Stacey, where did the inspiration for this book spring from?

I tend to build all of my stories around the conflict. Although my sister and I haven’t had the particular problem that Chantel and Stacey faced, we’ve had our difficulties in the past, together with the anger and remorse that those difficulties have caused.

I built the sister relationship in this novel on the love/hate feelings we have experienced for each other because of our particular upbringing and situation.

Having read quite a few of your books, I’ve noticed that a lot of your stories involve babies and/or children, is that because you’re particularly passionate about them, or do certain publishers insist on their inclusion when writing for lines such as Superromance?

Children tend to make everything more complex. A decision that would be fairly easy to make if you were the only one involved suddenly becomes difficult because you’re responsible for another life. I think children up the ante and the risk, which is why I use them. I love lots of conflict and drama and difficult decisions.

Children also infuse a great deal of emotion into a novel—what do we feel more passionate about than our children and family? That said, Harlequin is big on a “family” feel for the Superromance line, so children have a good place in those stories.

I try not to sacrifice the sexual tension that can often get lost in a story that includes children, however. My focus is still on the hero and heroine and the thrill of experiencing their emotions as they get to know each other and overcome the obstacles keeping them apart.

I noticed that in your 2005 release, Every Waking Moment, the heroine wasn’t married to the guy she was living with (Manuel), and so this meant that she was able to get involved with the hero (Preston), after running away from Manuel, is it difficult to avoid the implication of adultery, when the story is based around a love triangle?

Yes. I personally would never have had a problem with the heroine falling in love with Preston even though she was (technically) married. To me, she didn’t owe Manuel anything. He’d trapped her, abused her, obsessed over her and neglected their child (emotionally). She’d fallen out of love with him years earlier, and was only in the situation because Manuel wouldn’t let her go.

But many people are very literal. If it says on paper that the heroine is married, then she’s committing adultery by getting involved with someone else even though she’d be divorced already if she’d had a choice.

I didn’t want to deal with this whole moral issue or have it get in the way of what I considered a very exciting chase story, so I had them living together instead. Also, this fit well with the character I saw as Manuel’s very controlling and jealous mother.

She was large and in charge and wasn’t willing to acknowledge Emma’s place in his life. His concession to her was not to marry. He thought he could control Emma enough that he could have his cake and eat it, too.

Do you think there are circumstances where adultery in a romance book is acceptable?

Wow, tough question! LOL I think you can probably guess from above how I will answer this. Adultery to me is more than a Marriage Certificate. Adultery is a betrayal of trust. If the only reason you’re not divorced is because your husband is forcing you to remain in the marriage,

I would certainly be sympathetic if such a person found his/her true love and would probably not condemn them for being open to falling in love again. But there aren’t many such situations involving adultery that I can condone. Marriage is a sacred thing and must be treated as such, especially if children are involved. That’s how I feel about real life.

That said, there are many books that explore the reality of the human condition, and I wouldn’t toss a book aside that involved adultery for that reason alone. It would depend on the characters’ frame of mind, the intent of the author, the message of the book as a whole.

Lots of people make mistakes and I think we often learn through literature by experiencing all facets of our existence. Just because I like thrillers doesn’t mean I condone killing. It’s the same with adultery. I may read an occasional book that contains adultery, for various reasons, and wouldn’t condemn it for that alone unless I felt it was glorifying and promoting selfishness, dishonesty, hurtful actions toward others, etc.

Your writing seems to be heading more and more towards the romantic suspense route, is there a particular reason for this?

I like a lot of emotion in my books. Suspense adds another facet to work with, the opportunity to build a bigger plot. I’m not a huge fan of the stereotypical “thriller,” where someone is out there killing this person and that person, thinking up more and more diabolical ways in which to do it simply because they’re psychotic. I’m more interested in the emotional complexities that drive individuals to do certain things—and how those around them deal with the consequences.

My next romantic suspense book, Dead Silence, which is out this summer, deals with the Montgomery family and the dark secret that they’ve hidden for years. It was fascinating to me to write this story and explore why they did what they did, why they kept it secret, and how they’re going to handle the natural results.

What are your thoughts on writing love scenes? Do they present any particular challenges? Do you let anyone else read them before they are published?

I don’t have any problem with writing love scenes. They’re a natural outcropping of how my characters are feeling toward each other, so I let them “speak” to me, or do what they would naturally do as unique individuals.

These scenes are definitely challenging in that I want them to be good, however. I always hope to include just the right amount of sensuality—not too much that they’re overly graphic or gratuitous yet not so little that I don’t pay off on the sexual tension humming through the story.

It’s often said that category romance books are usually predictable and too formulaic, what do you say to people who hold that opinion?

I think every genre can be accused of being “formulaic.” What’s more formulaic than the standard thriller? Yet a *good* thriller can be wonderfully engaging and frightening and fun to read. It’s all in being able to convince the reader that what’s happening is really happening, that it matters to the characters, and that the characters themselves matter.

I think that holds true for romance, even in series. Fortunately, I write for the Superromance line, which is the longest and most mainstream of the series lines.

My editor has been great about encouraging me to branch out in my story choices and to try new and more challenging things. I’m not sure if you read Sanctuary, but this is a perfect example of a book you wouldn’t typically find in series.

I haven’t actually, but I’ll be sure to check it out!

When you develop your characters, do you model them on people you know in your life, or do they all come from inside your head?

I think a writer can’t help but imbue her characters with some of the characteristics of those she knows well. I can’t say I model my characters after a specific individual (real people are far too complex—my sister is a perfect example. She’s both generous and selfish, but that would come off as inconsistent on paper if I were to highlight both of these traits exactly how she is in real life).

Do any of members of your family read your books, and if so, what kind of feedback do you get from them?

My mother and my two oldest sisters read my books. They’ve been very supportive and often encourage their friends to give my work a try, especially Tonya, my oldest sister. She loves books as much as I do and is always reading. Maybe that’s why she’s more involved than the others, who don’t typically read fiction.

What were your favourite books as a child?

I loved the classics. My favourite books have long been JANE EYRE, THE THORN BIRDS and GONE WITH THE WIND, but I started reading romance in high school. When I found Kathleen Woodiwiss, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I still love her books. I really liked Sidney Sheldon and Barbara Taylor Bradford, too. I also started reading Harlequin novels in high school and really enjoyed them.

What does a typical day as a writer consist of?

Sitting at my computer! I get up, get the kids off to school and start writing. I stay put until they get home from school. It’s the only way to meet my deadlines and do the other business I do each day. This time of year, beyond trying to meet my daily page goal, I’m putting together Brenda Novak’s On-line Auction for Diabetes, a fundraiser designed to help my son, who has diabetes. It runs May 1 – May 31st at www.brendanovak.com

What a fantastic cause!

If you only got 5 books to keep for the rest of your life (the horror!) which would they be?

Ones I wouldn’t mind reading over and over–GONE WITH THE WIND, THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE, SHOGUN, CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, THE ALIENIST and …a compilation of the classics, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and Susan Elizabeth’s work. (Okay, so I couldn’t narrow it down to five! LOL)

Which authors are you glomming at the moment? (reading a lot of?)

Christine Feehan, Debbie Macomber, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Janet Evanovich are my favourites. But I’m actually reading quite a wide variety right now. Currently I’m in the middle of THE ILLUMINATOR by Brenda Rickman Vantrease, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I just finished A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray, which was good. Up next on my reading list: THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, THE COURTESAN, THE KITE RUNNER and THE FAR PAVILIONS.

Wow, I’m impressed that you manage to fit in reading, and writing into your schedule!

Do you have other close romance writer friends, and if so who are they?

Because I spend the majority of my time writing or going to sporting events for my children (I have 5), I don’t get to spend as much time with my writer friends as I’d like, but I do have several whom I really treasure:

Christine Feehan, Debbie Macomber, Tara Taylor Quinn, Debra Salonen, Roz Denny Fox, Melinda Curtis, Susan Floyd, Linda Style (oh boy, I can see that I’m going to get in to a long list here—so let me just say ALL the Superromance authors.

They are wonderful and very supportive, some of the best women in the world). I also have close unpublished friends, including Kendra DeSantolo, who often reads for me, and Anna Stewart, who is making another lovely Reader’s Retreat Miniature Box for my on-line auction for diabetes (coming in May, don’t forget! LOL).

Lots and lots of well known names!

When did you realise that you wanted to write books, and who or what inspired you?

While growing up, I never dreamed I’d write a book. I didn’t get the idea until I caught my daycare provider drugging my children with Tylenol and cough medicines to get them to sleep all day so she could watch soap operas. After that, I couldn’t trust anyone with the care of my children and quit my job to stay home with them myself. But my husband’s business was floundering, so I needed to do something. I hit upon writing as a way to work from home!

Gasp! I hope you kicked your babysitter’s butt!

If you could have a one-to-one conversation with a famous historical figure, who would it be with and what would you talk about?

Jesus Christ. Whether you’re a believer or not, who wouldn’t want the chance to meet Him, speak with Him? I’d probably ask if I’m measuring up to my potential as a person and see where He would have me improve, but I’d also want to ask Him a lot of questions about the universe. I’m fascinated by astronomy. LOL

What is the greatest challenge facing women in today’s world? Have women’s issues been given short shrift by the mainstream media and/or politicians?

I think the greatest challenge facing women today is building happy, healthy families—children who are mentally and emotionally able to function at a high level. I think we need to remember to stand fast when the wind blows, no matter how tough it gets, and to spread more love and peace and calm.

I think we need to have a quiet confidence in who we are and what we can do, and never let anyone tell us we can’t obtain our dreams. And I think we all need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause.

Incidentally, I think the same goes for men. 🙂

How many times did you get rejected (if indeed you did) before you got published?

I was only rejected a handful of times before HarperCollins bought my first book, so I was lucky in that way. I faced rejection again, however, when HarperCollins bought Avon and I was orphaned before my first book ever came out.

My agent submitted my historicals to half a dozen other houses, who rejected them, before I began to focus exclusively on the contemporaries I was writing for Harlequin. At some point, I’d like to see those story ideas published.

What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your writing?

I’m always chasing my BEST book. The book I’ve just finished is never quite good enough. I want to start another one that is even better, that is unforgettable, that everyone in the world will love.

If I could write something, just one book, that is as good as some of my favourites, I’d die a happy person whether that book ever met with commercial success or not. To me, it’s all about writing a good book and being proud of it.

How has the romance industry changed from when you first started writing, and which of these changes were you happiest/unhappiest with?

I know everyone claims that the market is getting tighter, and I’ve definitely seen some of that. My first book came out in November of 1999, so I’ve been around for about six years (in the published realm), and that’s been long enough to see some trends. When I was trying to sell Taking The Heat, which is a romantic suspense with a prison setting, my agent told me it was too “dark.” She wanted me to write romantic comedy, because romantic comedy was as hot as paranormals are right now.

For once, I’d like to hit one of those trends just right. LOL But I’m good at certain things and not so good at others, so I’d better stick with what I do well, which is (I hope) writing dramatic, evocative stories about everyday people.

In your experience, what would you say was the most effective method of marketing a romance novel?

Boy do I wish I had an answer for this—but I have no clue. LOL

Although they account for more than half of all books purchased in the U.S., with over 51 million romance readers in the United States, the genre has not always received the respect it deserves in the literary world. Why do you think that is? Could the scorn be based on the fact that 90% of the readers are female? Is this merely sexism in the form of literary snobbery?

Perhaps sexism is partly to blame, but I think genre fiction typically gets shortchanged.

Which of your books is dearest to your heart, and why?

Dead Silence, which will be out in August. The conflict in this story, and the heroine, are both so complex (as well as her relationships with those around her—for good reason) that it kept me glued to the pages as I wrote it.

This is the beginning of a romantic suspense series from MIRA Books that is set in a fictional small town in Mississippi (so even the setting was evocative to me).

Which of your books has achieved the most commercial success so far, and what do you think made it so successful?

I’d have to say Cold Feet has probably been the most commercially successful. I think the idea of having the heroine be the daughter of a possible serial killer was intriguing to people. Also, Harlequin gave the book a good cover, which didn’t immediately scream *ROMANCE*, so I think I got some cross-genre readers.

Wow, I haven’t read that one, but you’re right, it certainly does sound intriguing.

Which of your books do you feel you’re best known for?

I think I’m best known for my Dundee series. It’s a series I’ve been writing for Superromance, and it’s been very well received. I get lots of reader mail on it.

I’ve always wondered about this, but as an author, once your books are published, do you actually go back and read them yourself, and if so, are you able to enjoy them, or do you perhaps see things that make you want to chew your own arm off in frustration? (grin).

I’ve never gone back to read one. Mostly, there are so many other books waiting to be read that I pick one of those up instead. I already know what’s going to happen in my own books, so I haven’t had the driving interest, you know?

Just recently, it was suggested that reader reviews aren’t as credible as reviews by your peers, and that only writers/authors should be able to review books in the first place, what are your thoughts on this?

I disagree completely. Authors read with a completely different eye than regular readers, and they’re not my target audience. I’m looking for the average booklover, who can still get lost in the magic, not someone who is as picky and jaded as I’ve become. LOL

Has anything a reviewer or reader said or written about you changed the way you write?

It’s made me more cautious. I hate when there’s a mistake in a book and I have someone contact me to tell me about it. LOL So I try to be extra cautious. That doesn’t mean that a mistake won’t sneak through, but I now rely more on notes, etc., than my own mind.

Last year, RWA attempted to try to define romance, and it caused a bit of a furore round the blogosphere, due to the limitations of the definitions. What were your thoughts on this at the time, and do you think it’s possible/necessary to define romance in a way that doesn’t exclude other sub-genres?

I’m sorry, I haven’t really kept up with this. I’ve been so buried with my own work that I didn’t get involved and don’t really know the issues.

When was the last time you went overseas and where did you go?

I went on a tour of Scotland with Novel Explorations. Patty Suchy puts trips together for authors and aspiring authors and they are AWESOME. Check out her tours at www.novelexplorations.com

Who are your favourite romance hero and heroine of all time?

The heroes are far easier for me to remember. Hmmm…wonder why. Could it be that I’ve fallen in love with them myself? LOL I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips creates the best heroes ever. They are SO masculine, and sexy and funny. I really like her grasp of the male/female dynamic. So Bobby Tom Denton would be my favourite hero. My favourite heroine would be Stephanie Plum. Boy, would I like to be her and have to choose between Ranger and Joe…. (G)

If only one person could read your book, who would that be? (as in the person who you would want most to read your book)

Last year, a fan named Jenna finaled in the Golden Heart. When she got up on stage, she said that she’d been inspired by her favourite authors and named me as one of them, along with several really big names that I admire myself. I was so flattered; it really made my whole conference. So I’d probably like her to read my book (especially because she always offers such encouragement).

If you had to pick, who would you say has been most influential within the romance genre?

Kathleen Woodiwiss. I glommed onto every book she wrote when I was in high school, and it was her that really showed me how much I love this genre.

Name your top five favourite romantic films.


What was the last book you read, and did you enjoy it?

A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY. I did really like it. I’d probably give it a B-.

Have you ever written a book that you didn’t particularly care for, and do you cringe if you see people picking it up to read it? Jennifer’s question

Fortunately, not yet. I often worry that the older stuff isn’t as good as what I’m writing now, but I still really like the stories over all, you know? I like the conflict and the characters, etc. If I had to pick my least favourite, it would probably be SNOW BABY {K: Nooooooooo! SB was great!}, but that seems to be one of my readers’ all-time favourites, so go figure. (shrug)

What do you enjoy the most and least about being a writer?

I love writing. It’s the most fulfilling job I could ever have. I love the challenge and the sense of accomplishment. I love hearing from others who enjoy what I’m doing. The only thing I hate is that I can’t write a book in a day, and that there is limited shelf space. LOL

Have you got any words of wisdom for the aspiring writers out there? Any good research sources?

Believe. That’s the best advice I can give anyone.

Finally, when’s your next book due out, and what’s it about?

The Other Woman is the next book in my Dundee, Idaho series and will hit bookshelves in May. I’m excited because I really like the way this story turned out. It was difficult to write because the back story is so closely connected to the book that came out in September Big Girls Don’t Cry, and yet it’s a very different story from that one.

Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer these very nosy questions!

You’re welcome! Thanks for inviting me to share in your blog!

That’s all for this week folks, I’m sorry it took me so long to get this interview up, but you know how it is, when life gets in the way!

Well next week there wont be an interview, but hopefully, I’ll start again the week after!

Ciao for now!

Blatantly Stolen From KristieJ!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized
You Should Be a Joke Writer

You’re totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you’re spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life…
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian – or comedic writer.

Speaking of Cheating Heroes…

Monday, April 10, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Anne’s got a really interesting rant about cheating heroes in romance stories. She hates them with a passion, go check it out! It’s pretty amusing.

Personally, I don’t think they belong in romance books either. I read romance books for pleasure, I sure don’t want cheating heroes messing with my fantasy that not all men are scummy bastards.

Congratulations Robin F! If you e-mail me your snail mail addy, I’ll send the book off by the end of this week!

Thanks to everbody else who took the time to enter!

Now, anybody want to give me any freebies? Don’t all rush at once. And MJD, you still owe me a book, don’t think I’ve forgotten!

Brenda Novak’s Interview will be posted tomorrow, I promise, in fact I’ll do it now, ready to post tomorrow!!