Vonnie, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Storm’s Interlude is a contemporary romance set in the hill country of Texas. Rachel is a home care nurse who’s incorporated holistic healing practices with traditional. She travels to Texas to help a single mother prepare for a second round of chemo. The patient has an overly protective brother who’s not too keen on this holistic mumbo-jumbo so he plans on keeping a close eye on Nurse Rachel. He just has no clue keeping a close eye on her is easier than keeping his eyes—and hands and lips—off her. There is a strong element of suspense in the last half of the book when Rachel’s maniacal ex-fiancé abducts her. Yet the turmoil he provides to the story does not qualify it for a strong romantic suspense.
How do you come up with ideas?
A snippet of a scene flashes in my mind and sparks the beginning of an idea. My current release, Storm’s Interlude, began with the visual of a naked man cresting a hill wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer. What’s happened to his clothes? The answering starts the story.
A novella, Those Violet Eyes, began with a visual of a guy getting off his Harley and adjusting his stance to accommodate his prosthesis. I could see discomfort and a sense of agony in his eyes. Why does he wear a prosthesis? What saddens him so? Did he loose part of a leg in Iraq? His pain bothered me, and I had to find out.
Mona Lisa’s Room, a romantic suspense set in Paris, began with a scene that ended up in chapter two. My young government agent calls a lady he’s protecting, “Mrs.” Alyson, my heroine, tells him one does not call a woman, who’s divorced her cheating husband, “Mrs.” He replies, “Yes ma’am.” Her agitation growing, she informs him one does not call a lady “ma’am” when she’s two days shy of turning forty and none too happy about it. I saw him open a hotel room door, gun in hand, peer up and down the hall, and glance back over his shoulder at her. “We can leave now. The coast is clear.” He quirks a dark eyebrow and quips, “Unless you’ve got something else to teach me, Aly.” And she’s pissed because he has the audacity to make up a nickname for her.
A World War II soldier whispered to me in bed for two nights last week about his special girlfriend back home in Pennsylvania—Pearl. She sends him rose-scented letters. This, too, along with other flashes of a scene or whispered requests, will become stories one day.
What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Drawing my reader so deep into the story they feel and react with the main characters. If my characters are walking through a cold creek while fully dressed, I want my reader to feel the cold water soaking up their clothes and gunk getting in their shoes.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Developing the attraction between the heroine and hero; I enjoy writing sexual tension. I love it when the heroine drives the hero to distraction. I write about Alpha males with soft, chewy centers and the strong women who knock their lives off kilter.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
To write what I read, not what I think others want me to write. I like my romances with heat ratings between the levels of hot to flame-throwers. I’m also from a very straight-laced religious family, plus I’m a gentle, jovial grandma. So to please my family, my first romance was sweet. No sex, no sensuality, no spark, but my brother, the preacher, loved it. See, even ladies in their sixties can succumb to peer pressure. When no publisher liked it, I decided it was time I put on my big girl writing thong and write the type of story I’d enjoy reading. Once I broke through that personal barrier, I was free to write something I truly enjoyed. Write what pleases you.
Would you consider self publishing?
I ask myself this question from time to time. I might when I feel I’ve conquered more of my bad habits. I’ve eliminated those amateur words: that, just, only, had, was, to name a few. My agent is a stickler for removing all “said tags” and passive verbage, so I’ve conquered those bad habits. I still struggle with one person’s dialogue followed by another person’s reaction within the same paragraph. For me, it sounds right. Not so with my agent and editor. (Oh, to train them to my way of thinking.
) I’m still learning, folks, so I need that trained eye to help give my readers a quality story. They say the learning curve of a writer is continual. For now, I’m going the traditional route: agent and a publisher that produces both print and eBook (The Wild Rose Press). I’m being treated very well at TWRP; they are a fabulous publisher to work with.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
Is your muse demanding?
Oh yes, the hussy. As soon as I email my finished book to my agent, I’m typing “Chapter One” again—and the excitement begins anew.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
That women are the stronger species. We’ve been beaten, battered, debased in some instances, and tossed aside, but we are never broken. We survive. We eventually re-invent ourselves. We are a rock of hard-times chiseled granite…and we are beautiful.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Paris, most definitely.
What song would best describe your life?
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Writing term papers. Yeah, I was weird that way.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Warning: Do not treat me as if I’m stupid or you will self-destruct in sixty seconds.”
Books Coming Soon
Those Violet Eyes
Mona Lisa’s Room
My debut book, Storm’s Interlude, is in the running for “Book of the Year” at Long and Short Reviews. For those of you who hop over to http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm and vote (ain’t I sneaky?) and leave the percentage amount in your comments, you’ll be entered to win one of three copies I’m giving away of Storm’s Interlude. Don’t forget to leave your email address so I can contact you should you win.
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I love pizza with lots of cheese.
I'm always ready for a hug from one of my 6 grandkids.
When I'm alone, I crawl in bed and read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was once quite skinny.
If I had a halo it would be cherry red.
If I could travel for a year I'd tour Europe.
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