It is so very nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?
Hi! Thanks for having me. Other than a short stint outside of Dallas, TX, I’ve always lived in NW Ohio. When not writing, I like to hike in the mountains…Tennessee, Colorado, South Dakota…with the dh. At home, I sew…slipcovers, curtains, clothes…and bake.
How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?
Ahem…um, one of my fave authors ended a book in a manner I didn’t like. It ticked me off so much that I threw the book across the room and claimed I could write better than that. The dh told me to put my money where my mouth was….yeah, turning down a dare isn’t in my nature. And writing a book is hard work. LOL. Worse, it’s darn addicting.
Who is your favorite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
One? Seriously, I don’t think I could pick just one…off the top of my head – Roberta Gellis, Sylvia Thorpe, Jude Deveraux, JR Ward, Amanda Quick…
What genre do you enjoy reading? What’s your favorite book and why?
When I’m not working, I like medieval romances. When I am working I read paranormal or contemporary.
If you’ve published a series, what is the series about?
Since I usually write about siblings, I guess all of them have been series —
What was it like creating back to back stories that link?
Was never a problem until the current set. For whatever reason, I didn’t set these stories up from oldest to youngest sibling and my notes got trashed in a computer crash so trying to backtrack ages, names, descriptions, etc., has been a trip.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in?
What has been your most proud moment as an author?
Getting that very first letter from a reader. I cried in awe. Someone I didn’t know read my book and liked it enough to send me a letter. I still have it.
Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?
It took me 12 years to contract my first book and about 11 years in, I packed up the office, boxed up the research books, and stowed away the computer. For almost 6 months.
Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?
This’ll sound odd, but neither. I don’t plan a story, I don’t plot it out….it just “appears”. I don’t question these things for fear the magic will die.
Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?
During first write, I don’t even get hung up on periods let alone commas. During editing, I drive myself insane.
What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?
Don’t get hung up on word choices.
Don’t over think it.
Allow yourself to feel your way through the story.
What are you working on now? What will you release next?
Right now I’m working on Rory of Roul’s story, it’s book 3 in what I call Warrior Wolves, but he’s the youngest brother. The next release will be out this July – The Warrior’s Runaway Wife, it’s Elrik of Roul’s story, book 2 and he’s the oldest brother.
So… where can we get your books?
Harlequin, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks….
How would you define what being a successful writer means?
Everyone can ride the highs. It’s being able to stand strong against the rejection, the book or series tanking, reinventing yourself, getting up after being beat down – to me, those are the successful people, the ones who can find it in themselves to snarl at “NO” and keep on going.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
LOL – after I wrote the first rough draft for my first book, I put it away and spent 2 solid years seriously researching the period of King Stephen and that’s where I stay. Now, I always research. Daily I’m browsing historical sites or nonfiction books.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read them, but I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that it’s all opinion. Good or bad. It’s just that person’s opinion. Movie critics trashed Excalibur. I loved it.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The scene in Bedded By Her Lord where the hero comes home after being held captive for 7 years to find his wife giving birth. Only his thoughts of her and the love they shared gave him the strength to survive his captivity. Would he hate her? Would he hate the baby? How would he feel? How would he deal with the pain?
What’s your writing schedule like?
Normally 9pm until 4:30am. I’m a night owl. When I’m closing in on the last ¼ of the book I just don’t stop. I pay for afterwards, but when I hit that race to type ‘The End’ nothing gets in my way. Especially nothing as silly as sleep.
How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
I’ll see something or read something that just simply creates a story. It’s just there. Like a silent movie in my head. I’ll run it back and forth until I can feel it. That takes anywhere from a couple of hours to years…. Sometimes there’s just not enough there for a book. Once I sit down to write, it takes about 4 – 6 weeks.
How have your family and friends accepted your career as a writer? Are they supportive?
I’d say they are more resigned to the fact that, yes, Denise is odd.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
The main characters are always imaginary.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
I was researching something about King David I of Scotland and ran across a tidbit that led me to a wiki article about Robert the Bruce’s mother. A young man brought her word of her husband’s death and she was so taken with the man that she held him captive until he agreed to marry her. My kind of woman. LOLOL.
Where would you like to travel to and why?
Right now I just want to go sit in the Smokies. Because it feels like home and feeds my soul.
Tell us about how you develop your characters?
Develop my characters…hmmm…I write what I see and feel. Other than eye and hair color, there are no charts, or anything in great detail. Once I know I have material for a book, I’ll go browse actor/actress pictures until one hits me as the hero and heroine and that’s about it.
Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?
My current heroine – Lady Gillian. She desperately needs a husband and goes out and captures herself one. Unfortunately for her, she finds herself wed to the man before she realizes that she’s in way over her head.
What would you like readers to know?
When I was young, I’d sit on Grandpa’s lap and he’d tell me wonderful stories about princesses and brave knights who would come rescue them from whatever danger they faced. Even after his stroke, when his Bulgarian accent was so thick people could hardly understand him, I could, and while it took him a little longer, he would still tell me stories. As a grade schooler I made up stories in my head all the time. As wonderful as those memories are, there’s nothing better than being able to share stories with readers.
My next release is The Warrior’s Runaway Wife. Available in paperback from Amazon June 19, and on Kindle July 1.
From the back cover:
THE NOTORIOUS LORD of ROUL…
…must take her as his bride!
Lady Avelyn flees an unwanted betrothal to an elderly warlord only to be hunted down and returned to King David’s court by fearsome Elrik, Lord of Roul, a legendary warrior with a heart of ice—and a kiss of fire.
And now Avelyn is bound to Elrik—and his bed—when Elrik is commanded to wed her instead!