1Come sit down, Siobhan. Have a cup of coffee or tea and chat with us for a while. How about a piece of coconut cake? Now, let me ask you a few questions before we get to your latest book.
1) How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a writer?
Hmm… first grade, so I guess about six years old. I liked books before that, but it wasn’t until after I really learned to write that I realized I was destined for a literary life. Being able to actually use words instead of pretending that I was writing made all the difference in the world.
2) What did you do for a living in your “previous” life?
My “previous” life still bleeds over into my writer life. I’m a full-time administrative assistant for the local water company. I also do a bit of freelance writing for the local newspaper and some days I even do some independent desktop publishing and digital graphic design. It isn’t much but it pays the bills and puts food on the table.
3) Do you have a family?
I do! I’m married (five years on November 3, as a matter of fact!) with a seventeen-year-old step-daughter and a nine-month old little girl of my own. Oh, and two obnoxiously opinionated cats, a giant guinea pig and a host of wildlife that likes my fruit trees in my yard.
4) What do your closest relatives thinking of your writing career?
My mother, even though she doesn’t always agree with the subject matter, supports me 100%. The rest of my family are just hoping I make it big so they can say they know someone famous. And borrow money.
5) What genre do you write?
Paranormal and Contemporary Romance. Some of it is sweet and some of it is a bit more on the adult side, but there’s always a happy ending. I also write urban fantasy, sci-fi and horror under another name, but we’re not going to implicate my other personalities here.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a hybrid. I generate loose plot outlines but by the end of the story I’m usually in another universe entirely from where I started. Plots tend to grow where they’re not welcome, which turns my stuff into something entirely different than I intended. Every now and then I’ll follow an outline start to finish, but that doesn’t mean I won’t take crazy side-trips.
7) Do your characters ever take over when you’re writing?
All the time. They chatter constantly, and if I do something wrong or don’t do it fast enough, they are absolutely certain to let me know. And if I give them prompts? Oh, it’s really on then. If they have subjects to talk about, they’re going to talk at great length whether I want them to or not…usually over the top of each other, too. Sometimes it gets really noisy in my head and I have to walk away.
8) Do you get inspiration from real people or places?
Occasionally. The personality traits of people I know tend to end up in my characters – I like showcasing the strengths of my friends on paper. As for real places, most definitely. My defined settings are all places I’ve been at some point in my life. It’s easier for me to relate to characters and settings when I know them well.
9) Do you do a lot of editing before you submit a manuscript?
Surprisingly, no… not really. Most of my editing is done during the actual writing. I’ve been accused of writing two drafts at one time because I can’t stand to just let things go. I write a few pages, then self-edit before continuing. If plot points are added I have to stop what I’m doing and go fix the important scenes before moving forward. I also can’t write in blocks like some people because I have to have a continuous idea start to finish or I get confused. It gives me a very clean first draft, which means I usually only need one read-through to fix minor things before I submit.
Now some personal questions (please feel free to elaborate) :
1) Chocolate or vanilla?
I like the soft-serve swirl with both. J
2) Do you listen to music when you write? What do you listen to?
I can’t write without music. As to what, it depends on what I’m writing. If it’s a fight scene, then loud, angry music is best. For love scenes, I’m really bad about either country or eighties love songs. I have a different playlist for each story, and each one is wildly eclectic. I have everything from Alison Krauss to Slipknot and back.
3) Favorite color?
4) Black, white or gray?
To wear, black. Regarding writing, gray, because it means I can get away with more. For digital imaging I prefer transparent over white.
5) Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip.
6) Favorite line of description from one of your books.
Actually it’s a paragraph – from Mocha Memories, my short, steamy story from Mocha Memoirs Press:
Moonlight streamed through the plate glass windows, bathing the loft apartment with a soft, ethereal glow. Deep shadows lurked behind brilliant highlights of white-blue light, throwing the dimensions of the open rooms off by what appeared to be miles. Michael stood in the doorway of the bedroom and watched her – her long, lean body swaying from side to side as she moved around the kitchen. She was a goddess in the dark, her rich, nut-brown skin shimmering silver as she danced on air-light feet across the pale marble tile.
7) Favorite minor character from your book.
Good question. Probably Cera, the best friend in Marked. She’s actually going to make an appearance in the sequel to Marked, which is going to be called Ripped. She’s a statuesque African-American woman who has a wicked sense of humor and seems to be the only voice of reason in the madness that is my version of upper-crust werewolf society in New Orleans. She does her best to keep Tabitha grounded, which doesn’t always work, and she won’t hesitate to call a werewolf down for being a fool.
8) Dog or cat?
Both. I grew up with dogs, but I have cats now. I don’t know if it counts but there are two dogs that come to visit all the time – a boston terrier named Phillip (she’s cute, too. Yes, Phillip is a girl) and a big Lab / Rottweiler mix that thinks he’s a puppy. I don’t know his name, but he’s a sweetie.
9) Country or city?
Country. I would much rather be away from the hubbub of everyday life.
10) Beach or mountains?
Do I have to pick? Can’t I have a beach in the mountains? That would make me very happy even if it is completely illogical and a logistical nightmare!
11) Early morning or late night?
I’m a night owl, but my nine-month-old is a very early riser. By default, I’m now a morning person, and I’m not very happy about it.
A Bit About the Book
Kelly Ray Patrick is a sweet, southern girl who has never been lucky, either in finances or in love. But as the recent co-recipient of a lottery jackpot, she and her friends have set out on a Valentines-themed singles cruise in the hope of relaxing and meeting Mr. Right. Only, to Kelly Ray’s surprise, Mr. Right appears to be her best friend, Dominic James. Nic appears to be feeling the effects of the trip as well, and has discovered his own interest in Kelly Ray.
The only thing stopping them: their friend, Trevor, who has been carrying a torch for Kelly Ray since they were all kids. Will respect for that friendship be enough to stem the budding relationship, or will they throw caution to the wind and indulge in their desires?
A Snippet from the book
Being with Nic was so easy; so natural. It was like they’d known each other forever. In a way, they had. She knew everything there was to know about him, and he about her. They were best friends, and had been since the day their bicycles collided in front of her house. But when his arms went around her and he pulled her flush against him, every bit of easy energy went out the window.
The song changed but Kelly Ray barely noticed. She stared up into Nic’s eyes, and what she saw both frightened and excited her. He was a man on fire, burning from the inside with desire. So many times she’d read descriptions of that look, that hungry, feral look of barely-contained, raw need, but she never thought she’d see it, least of all in the eyes of her best friend.
He wanted her.
(Wow! I gotta read this one. Phew, turn up the fan!)