What is your writing routine?
I try and start my writing day as soon as possible after I drop the kids at school in the morning. On a good day, I’ll have five to six hours of writing time which can be very productive! I keep water on my desk (much to my husband’s dismay, since water and computers don’t mix well) and two computer screens open—one for writing and one for research/fact-checking.
But alas, problems arise when I remember there is laundry to do, bills to pay, a house to clean, dinner to prepare...argh! The list of distractions goes on! As you can see, working from home is no easy task. And when I have to write a love scene? Bring on the mood music—I have chores to drown out!
Which author/s inspire you to write?
Authors that have achieved the pinnacle of success inspire me. People like Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber, because in listening to them they make me believe that if they can do it, I can do it. Authors like Roxanne St. Claire and Brenda Novak who are in the middle of the climb inspire me, because their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. And then there are the authors in my local chapter like Wynter Daniels, Pamela Labud, Terry Odell and Catherine Kean who help me become a better writer while they keep moving forward, forging new paths in the ever-changing industry we call publishing.
Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?
I enjoy reading romantic suspense, provided it’s not too scary or gory. Romantic comedy is fun, because it leaves me feeling happy and positive. (I don’t do doom and gloom.) And of course romantic women’s fiction, which I like to read AND to write!
How do you deal with criticism/rejection?
Ugh. Usually my “sales gal” cap is on safe and secure and I know from experience that getting the sale is only a matter of time; 3 out of every 100 cold call recipients will actually talk to you and one will lead to a sale. Or so they say. So when I’m utilizing this logic, each “no” just means I’m that much closer to a yes. Good news!
But a few years back I received an exceptionally tough rejection (apparently my thick-skin was thinning) and I had to “step away from the beast” so to speak—in order to regain my perspective and objectivity about the craft of writing. Where did I go? Why out to my garden, of course! No better place for me than outdoors. The family and I take care of a 4000 sq. ft. garden and this is a great retreat from the confines of my writing world.
What do you expect from an editor?
An experienced eye for story elements that work, sage advice on plot and character development and of course, excellent grammar skills. For overall appeal of my story, I rely on beta readers with no experience other than reading stories they love. In the end, it’s the readers who matter most!
Tell me about your latest release.
Sam is a feisty lady lawyer with a lifestyle steeped in personal freedom and independence. While family is important to her, she has decided to remain childless and husband-free. Until Vic Marin arrives on scene, that is. Then her current lifestyle choices are challenged.
There is a sub-plot in the novel involving Sam’s younger sister Jessica that pulls Sam and Vic into conflict regarding personal choices and decisions, one that reaches into their relationship and forces Sam to re-evaluate what she thought she wanted from life and what she may desire instead. Lust, or love? It’s time for Sam to choose.
Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt.
She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.
# # #
One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...
Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.
Until Vic walks away.
“I like you, Sam.”
“Me, too,” she murmured, swept away by the current running between them.
He skimmed the backs of his fingers along her temple, and every inch of her wanted to respond. Balmy breeze, the heavy scent of ocean, romantic moonlight... All he needed was to say the word.
“What are we going to do about it?” she asked, quieting her response, taming the exhilaration coursing through her. She didn’t want to appear eager. Interested, but not eager.
“I don’t know.” He smiled. “What I do know is I’m in a difficult position.”
Realization settled in, but she asked, “How so?”
Vic’s smile turned electric. “My boss is sexier than any woman has a right to be.”
Careless to the schoolgirl grin lengthening across her face, she was captivated within the spotlight of his attention. Which was crazy. She was used to entertaining the hot-crackle-pop of new lovers, the tentative first beginnings, but for some reason, this one was different. Not only snared, this one had her hooked, but good. “Go on...”
“Not only stunning, her mind runs circles around most others. A trait I find incredibly appealing in a woman.”
Doubt pushed in. Should they do this?
Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?
It’s hard not to love Sam. She’s a strong woman who is deeply spiritual, lives by her own rules, has fun in a free-for-all sort of way, likes it spicy and gets to bed some pretty HOT men. Yet she does things for the right reasons. She practices law to “right” wrongs, volunteers her time with under-privileged kids and is always there for her friends and family. Samantha Rawlings is not only someone I’d like to spend some time with, but live vicariously through as well! Definitely a hoot, this one.
What are you working on right now?
My third book in this character series deals with a woman’s appearance—both physical and emotional—and her feelings in regard to the same. A tough exterior may prove useful in business, but will it sustain the woman inside? Can she be both tough and confident on the outside, yet soft and insecure on the inside? Men can bluster and power their way through doubt. Can women?
There’s also a particularly delightful hero waiting to help her wade through the murk of uncertainty and emerge strong and sure with a clear vision of not only what she wants from life, but what she needs. Personally, I’d follow him anywhere!
Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?
Write because you love to write and write the novel of your heart. Don’t try and write to the market. Don’t try and churn out a quick book for a quick buck. In the end, you’ll only end up disappointing yourself and your readers. Follow your passion, study your craft and practice, practice, practice. Remember: a career in writing is a marathon. Be prepared to put in the work necessary and persevere.
If you do? You too will be able to say: “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!”
It’s a great feeling.
Where can readers find you?
Everywhere, thank you for asking! My website is http://www.diannevenetta.com. You can join me on facebook.com/DianneVenetta and twitter @DianneVenetta and many reader sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, etc. If you enjoy gardening, check out my blog at Bloominthyme.com. And for those of you who like the feel of a book in your hands, my books are available in both electronic format and print.
Thanks for having me today!
Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children and part-time Yellow Lab--Cody-body! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you'll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men. Definitely men.
A girl's gotta have fun, right?
When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in her kids' school garden (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.
http://www.BloominThyme.com - the last being my garden blog
DIANNE IS GIVING AWAY a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/11/virtual-book-tour-lust-on-rocks-by.html
Thanks for visiting, Dianne - bring on the questions and comments... :)