A: The same thing that inspires me to write all my books—the stories are in my head and I can’t get them out until I’ve written them down. In this case I knew I wanted to write a revenge romance and had a specific hero in mind.
By that, I don’t mean I knew his name or what he did for a living or even why he was so angry! But I knew he looked at the heroine as an emissary for his enemy, that he would sleep with her, then ruin her life and earn her undying scorn. Basically I wanted to paint myself into a conflict corner and try to find my way out.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: I’ve written a fifty-thousand plus novel in a month, but that is very challenging and I’m not very fun to live with. The end result is not as clean as I like, either. Six weeks is more realistic and having two months is a steady pace without being frantic.
When all is said and done, I take about three months because I usually like to write a proposal, which takes a week or two and usually includes the first 20-30 pages. I send that to my editor, then finish writing after her feedback. (That’s the 6-8 week stretch mentioned above.) In a perfect world I have another week or so for my own rewrites, then I have revisions from her. Those are usually done in a week or so and I often have a couple of rounds.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
A: I did! At least in high school I knew I wanted to write Romance. Before that I always enjoyed writing stories for Composition, but I don’t think I realized it could be a job. Even in high school, I thought you had to be old, that writing was something you did after you retired from your real job and wanted to fill up your days and maybe make a little money on the side. It wasn’t until I’d met some romance authors that I discovered it could be a career at any age.
Q: Do you write full time now? Do you find it hard to stay disciplined?
A: Writing is my occupation, yes. I quit my day job in early 2014. For years (decades) I wrote around my family, often waking early to write for an hour before getting the kids to school and myself to work. (My husband takes care of himself. He’s been married to a writer for a loooong time.)
I learned to be disciplined because there was no use getting up early, missing precious sleep, to look at Facebook. I sat down and wrote. That habit of forcing myself to focus has served me well. Nowadays I do get up and look at social media while I drink my herbal tea. I answer whatever emails can’t wait, then I eat my breakfast, make my coffee and knuckle down.
I break for lunch, I break for exercise, but I typically work until about five thirty when I rejoin the living, make dinner and fold laundry or do other chores—the same things most people do around their day job. I typically save writing blog posts and other promotional tasks for evenings and I often work weekends, but I don’t die of guilt if I knock off early on a Sunday to go to the movies.
Q: How many books have you written?
A: Since I sold in 2012, I have turned in twenty-four titles of varying lengths and genres. Some of those were books that I wrote before I published, so even though my schedule is very disciplined, I am not a super-being. I did not write all of those in the last three and a half years. Having said that, I’m hoping to get at least one more Harlequin Presents written this year and a novella for Tule’s Montana Born.
Q: What are you writing now? What’s next?
A: I’m very excited about a duet coming out with Harlequin Presents in Jan/Feb. It’s called The Wrong Heirs and it’s a baby swap! The switch is discovered right away, but the repercussions are huge for the characters.
In the first one, The Marriage He Must Keep, Octavia has finally given her arranged-marriage husband the son he wanted, but it’s his fault the babies were switched so she doesn’t want to be married any more. In the second, The Consequence He Must Claim, the father of Sorcha’s baby is her former boss and he doesn’t even know he made love to her! He’s pretty shocked when the hospital asks him for a paternity test sample.
Please also watch for the A Montana Born Christmas Boxed Set, scheduled to release October 20th. My Blame The Mistletoe will be included with seven other award-winning and best selling authors’ Christmas novellas and it will be a steal of a deal!
VOWS OF REVENGE
Revenge never tasted so sweet…
Calm and controlled Melodie Parnell has always wanted to experience insatiable passion. She thinks she’s found it in the bed of sinfully attractive Roman Killian. But in the sultry aftermath of their lovemaking, Melodie is catapulted back to reality when Roman reveals his true plans…to ruin her!
Satisfying the longing in Melodie’s entrancing blue eyes was a glitch in Roman’s plan. Convinced she’d been sent by his enemy, he intended to simply punish her! Except it seems that Melodie was innocent, and now Roman’s plan takes a different turn… Could his vows of revenge become vows of marriage?
She followed Roman into the nearby cabana where he turned with a towel in his hand. His gaze raked down her again, making her acutely aware of how her clothes were suctioned to her like a second skin. She plucked at her knit top, which only stretched the neckline and ruined it.
Roman came forward, shaking out the towel and slinging it around her. He was so tall it was no problem at all for him to get it around her.
Her heart did another somersault and his musky scent stole through the air of chlorine as his wide chest filled her vision. Weakness attacked her.
“I—” It would be silly to apologize. She hadn’t fallen on purpose, but he looked so thunderous. “Thank you,” was all she could manage as he drew the edges of the towel to where her waiting fingers brushed his.
“When you sank like that, I thought I was going to have to come in after you.”
“It was quite refreshing, to be honest. I needed to cool off.”
She shouldn’t have said that. The sexual tension she was fighting became something they both had to acknowledge, like it was a real thing holding them in its vortex.
She found herself staring at his mouth, anticipating its feel against hers. Kisses were about as far as she went these days after losing her virginity for all the wrong reasons. Even kisses, however, always seemed to fall short of the hype. She always felt as though she was going through the motions, not really losing herself to the experience. If she couldn’t get caught up in that much, there was no use going further, she’d decided.
But she remained ever hopeful that she’d find a man who made things different. Today, at least, she wanted to be kissed. Deep longing filled her, making her ache to know how it would feel to kiss the man before her.
Distantly she was aware of his hand grasping her upper arm. He stepped closer. His head tilted.
She should have been startled, but it felt so natural. She dampened her lips. Parted them. And gasped when he branded her with the heat of his mouth.
So hot, so smooth and commanding, instantly hungry. Claiming her like a desert warrior stealing her for his harem. His hand splayed in a firm pressure behind her tailbone, bringing her imperiously into the wall of his muscled frame.
Heat burned through her wet clothing, sealing them tight with only the friction of dampened fabric between them.
He kissed her as though he meant it. As though he was making sure she’d never forget this moment. As though she was his and he was ensuring she knew it.
She kissed him back with the same passion, not thinking of anything beyond exploring this new pleasure. Letting him have her because what he was doing to her was fresh and exciting and incredible. His kiss made her feel desired. His tongue touched hers and shivers of delight stung her skin. A flood of arousal seared between her thighs, urged her to lean into him and let a moan of pleasure fill her throat.
“Here you are—oh!” Ingrid said on a breathless burst, then laughed with embarrassed hysteria.
VOWS OF REVENGE can be purchased in mass market paperback or eBook format
Canadian Dani Collins spent twenty-five years dreaming of becoming a romance author, made her first sale in 2012, and promptly won a Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times for her first Harlequin Presents. Dani also publishes in romantic comedy, medieval fantasy romance, erotic romance, and has a popular series of small-town rancher novellas with Tule’s Montana Born. Married to her high school sweetheart, she has two mostly-grown children (one of each) and doesn’t have any hobbies. She’s too busy writing.
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