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Interviews

Debut Print Book: Coveted by Shawntelle Madison

Debut Print Book: Coveted by Shawntelle Madison

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

Coveted-Final-Cover

Name of debut release: Coveted

Release date: 04/24/2012

Publisher: Ballantine Books

2 sentence summary: Natalya Stravinsky, a werewolf with an undeniable compulsion to collect holiday trinkets, must summon her inner strength to help defend her estranged pack against their rivals and prove herself worthy of her pack. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, the man she loved and lost five years ago, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and an adventure of redemption is waiting to happen.

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Characters: Natalya Stravinsky, Thorn Grantham, Nick Fenton

What makes this story different: Coveted is more of a romantic comedy. It’s about a woman determined to change her life and fight for what she’d once lost. Of course, a few laughs, a cast of colorful secondary characters, and some supernatural creature group therapy along the way never hurts either.

Is this a series?: Yes, this is the first book in the series with the next one coming out in the fall.

Why you wrote this book: The idea for this book came from an article in a medical journal. The article on the front page was about obsessive compulsive disorders and went in-depth on describing the symptoms and treatment for patients. A huge what-if jumped out to me and Natalya the werewolf was born—a holiday trinket hoarder with OCD.

I really wanted Natalya to feel relatable and be real. The pain of feeling alone without family—or a pack in her case—is something many people face today. Especially when the secrets you keep in your home is something that ostracizes you from others. I could easily relate to Nat’s situation and this really helped bring the story to life.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I’ve written two books before this particular book sold to Random House. Both of them were paranormal romances. I think out of the three heroines I’ve developed so far, Nat “feels” the most vivid and real in my mind.

What’s your writing process? I’m not an everyday writer. It took me a while to figure that out and now I’m comfortable with my process. For me, my words sit in a well waiting to be tapped in a well—and sometimes that well can run dry unless I give it time to refill. When I do write, I do it in sprints using Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die or I’ll just write directly in Scrivener. I’ll take a break for a day or even a week, but when it’s time to work, I will knock out 5-10K per day for a period of time when I’m in the zone.

Your next published book. The next book in the Coveted series is Kept, which will come out in Fall/Winter 2012. I can’t wait to reveal the new cover to everyone.

The last book you read that you loved. The last book that I read and still think about often was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s an 80s nerdfest of epic proportions. The book was very original and brought back a lot of great memories about the music and technology of that decade.

Now if I was thinking in terms of romance books, I’d have to say hands down that I fell in love with Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. I started the series through audiobooks, since I’m a very slow reader, but each time I came back to listen to the next book, I can’t help but sigh thinking about Bones. Frost is a master storyteller and I can’t wait to finish the one I’m listening to right now.

The last book you read for research. I read Debra Dixon’s Goal, Motivation, Conflict before I write new material. Each and every time. Her book helps me take a raw idea and focus it into something useful. I recommend that book to everyone and I even made a tool on my author website to create GMC grids.

The romance book character you most identify with. . This one is hard. There are many books where the heroine resonated with me, but I think the character I’ll never forget is Cherijo Grey Veil from the StarDoc series by S.L. Viehl. From the get go, Cherijo looks like any other woman. She’s not the strongest or even the tallest—but through her wit and her intelligence she gets out of the most dire and difficult situations. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by the cover” definitely applies in her regard. And that’s one of the things makes her very powerful. I can only hope that when I’m facing problems I can come them just like Cherijo has in those wonderful books.

You can check out more about Shawntelle Madison and her books at http://shawntellemadison.com

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Debut Print Book: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Debut Print Book: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St....

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.

Name of debut release: The Haunting of Maddy Clare

Release date: 03/06/2012

Publisher: NAL

2 sentence summary: In 1920′s England, a girl working for a temp agency is assigned to be assistant to a ghost hunter. When they investigate the ghost of a dead servant named Maddy Clare, they get more than they bargained for.

Genre: Gothic, romance, mystery, historical, paranormal

Characters: Sarah Piper is a shy, lonely temp who is swept up in her very first ghost hunting case. Alistair Gellis is a young, rich, eccentric World War I vet who is obsessed with ghosts. Matthew Ryder is Alistair’s assistant – dark, damaged, and haunted by his war experiences.

What makes this story different: It’s a mix of genres. It’s a gothic ghost story, set in the 1920′s, with a romance and a mystery in it as well. The ghost story is the chilling, old-fashioned kind and it’s blended equally with the other elements.

Is this a series?:

Why you wrote this book: I love ghost stories, but most pure ghost stories don’t have a romance plot. I love old-school gothics and wanted to read one that was creepy and scary and romantic at the same time. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted to read, so I wrote it myself!

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I wrote two full manuscripts and half of a third before this one. The first two were rejected everywhere. I was halfway through my third manuscript and really struggling with it when the idea for this book came to me and wouldn’t let go.

As for why it was published, I think that the top reason was that after two and a half manuscripts, I found a voice that really worked for me. Once I settled into my voice, the writing flowed more easily and got noticed by first an agent, then an editor.

What’s your writing process? I have a day job so currently my writing process is “any way I can, at any time I can scrounge.” I usually start a manuscript longhand in a spiral notebook, because it’s easiest to carry everywhere and never runs low on batteries. Commuter trains, lunch breaks, whatever it takes. Once I have a good handle on what the book will be, I sit down at a computer and type.

When I’m on deadline, it consumes all of my evenings and weekends. I haven’t watched television in well over a year!

Your next published book. An Inquiry into Love and Death, NAL, March 2013

The last book you read that you loved. Just one? Oh gosh. Dark Road to Darjeeling, by Deanna Raybourn. Can’t Buy Me Love, by Molly O’Keefe. And yes, I just cheated.

The last book you read for research. Aside from dry World War I texts? The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford. Anything about or by the Mitfords is not only great research for the early twentieth-century era, but incredibly entertaining as well.

The romance book character you most identify with. Any Mary Stewart heroine ever. If I had to pick a favorite, possibly Nicola Ferris in the Moon-Spinners or Vanessa March in Airs Above the Ground.

 

You can check out more about Simone St. James and her books at http://www.simonestjames.com

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