Author Spotlight

 

I recently had the opportunity to chat with a very talented author.  So, without further delay…let’s hear from the talented

D McEntire

How did you get your start in writing? Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
I have been reading romance stories for a couple of years, then got heavily into audiobooks at one point. There were times when I thought about writing because my daughter has been writing stories since she was ten years old…though she never finished them. I would chicken out because I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I would be able to describe something on paper to where the reader could feel and/or visualize the scene. I had the idea for The Watchers, vampire warriors who protect humans and civilized vampires from Rogues, and decided to give it a try. I began Midnight Reborn in April 2007 right around the time of the Kentucky Derby Festival, which gave me the base/ground work to use in building the story. As I typed the story formed and during the over two hundred pages of Midnight Reborn, other characters began to make noise, wanting their stories to be told. By September, 2007, I have seven completed of the ten planned for the series.

How do you find a balance between family, writing, and your day job? Do you have a writing schedule that you follow?
I would say that I am blessed in many ways. First, my two children and my husband know how important writing is to me. They understand my drive to get the story down (and out of my head) and they are very proud of my accomplishments. Second, I have a late teen and a “tween”, which means the two are often doing their own things.
I don’t follow a writing schedule because I find the only way I can write is when I am “feeling” the story. It’s as if I am “in” the story as it unfolds. Not only am I watching the characters and listening to their surroundings and their words, I feel their emotions. If I am not totally into the story, I don’t force it…I just wait.

Tell us a little about what makes you…well, you.
Me? Well, my family will agree that I am insane. I have always had a sense of humor and a quick comeback. I love to laugh and do so every chance I get., though my family may not appreciate my sense of humor.

You write in several genres, do you have a favorite and if so, why? Is there another genre that you would like to try?
I have started off with paranormal, but have also been working on medieval, western/history, and suspense/action. My favorite seems to be paranormal, vampires especially. When writing vampire romance I don’t feel limited in anyway. I don’t have to worry about researching every little detail. There is also the uber-sexiness of vampires. I seem to have a thing for fangs.

As far as trying out another genre, I think my plate is pretty full right now.

Tell us some of your favorites…foods, music, movies, authors and any others you would like to share.
My favorites…I have always been a huge Buffy fan, as well as Angel. My favorite book series is The Brotherhood of the Black Dagger by J.R. Ward. I listen to a variety of music…alternative, classic rock, country, new age, and hits from the eighties. The type of movies I enjoy are comedies and action. I love the action movies with one hunk of a guy in the lead role. Speaking of guys…besides my love of fangs…I have a thing for bald/shaved headed, sexy men.

You are writing a series of books, The Watchers, that are a connected series. Do you enjoy writing books that are connected and carry on through several books? Do you find it more difficult than writing stand alone stories?
I love to read series novels because it feels as though the story never really ends, especially when they are connected as I have done with The Watchers. Many times I will bring back a strong character to make a cameo appearance in another book. I don’t find writing connecting books difficult because I keep a “cheat sheet” of my characters, listing everything about them down to their shoe size if necessary.

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
Feedback from readers is very important to me. I want to know what the reader enjoyed about the story and what they found difficult to comprehend. This works well for series books because you have a chance to improve with the next story. Good or bad, their opinions are important. I keep an eye out for reader feedback at diane@dmcentire.com.

What was the best piece of advice that you received when starting and do you have advice for aspiring writers?
Enjoy the ride. If you go in to writing to be famous and make a lot of money, you are setting yourself up for some serious stress. It can be a long process, so why not make the best of it? I am learning everyday…mostly from the editor of The Watchers series. I enjoyed writing every one of the stories as I felt a part of their “family”. My advice for aspiring writers is to be open for suggestions and keep at it. I received many rejection letters, then Samhain picked up my manuscript. That was such a happy day!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Not much guilty to it, but I enjoy coffee so much that I am pretty anal about it. It has to be piping hot, and it can’t be in a Styrofoam cup. I also hate powdered creamer. Yuck! Whenever I go anywhere, I stop at my local coffee shop and have my thermos filled to the rim with Jamaican Me Nuts decaf.

When writing…do you plan your stories out or do they develop as you write?
I don’t generally plan my stories. My ideas usually come from a single scene that popped into my head or something I had dreamt. I begin typing and the story unfolds. Usually, I will have two or three WIPs (works in progress) going so when I am not feeling one story, I can change direction by hopping to another story. Many times my mood at the time depicts what story I work on.

How would you spend a perfect day if you could do anything you wanted?
My perfect day would be sitting on the beach and not having to think about a thing. Oh yeah…coffee in hand.

How do you promote your work?
Being entirely new to all this, I am so thankful to have found the yahoo groups. I post excerpts, run contests and chat with the other authors and readers about anything and everything. I have business cards, post cards, and other promo material I keep with me for when I am away from home, I can hand them out to people. Another great way to promote the books is being a part of the Bookworm Bags group where group members make up goodie bags with items received from the other members, and take them to conferences, etc. they attend. It’s a great way to get representation of yourself to places where you cannot physically be.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?
I believe that would be Trigg. He’s spent much of his life trying to uphold his bad-ass persona, but deep down lies another person who doesn’t get out very often. I should also mention that he’s drool material and it would be nice to see him walk downtown streets of Louisville, Kentucky, in the flesh. If you would like to see my vision of him, check out my book trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFoKh3I3YD8 . Midnight Reborn was written in April of last year. Can you imagine my shock and excitement when I discovered the picture of the model I used in the trailer for Trigg? He is from Bulgaria and I chatted with the photographer to get permission to use his pictures. Not only was the model doing a “vampire” shoot, his striped hair is exactly how I described Trigg’s in the book. Fate.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Any current releases?
I just want to thank the readers who have purchased the book, Midnight Reborn, and to let them know the saga continues with Midnight Rose – Vane and Rosa’s story. For Trigg lovers out there, don’t fret because he hasn’t gone anywhere. Readers will not only follow Vane and Rosa through their own trials and tribulations, but will also get to see another side of Trigg. The four Watchers in the Louisville Cell are a close-knit group, and each sexy vamp has one hell of a story to tell.

Check out Midnight Rose – The Watchers, Book Two releasing December 23, 2008 with Samhain Publishing.

In finishing up this interview, I want to that Joyfully Reviewed for this opportunity to talk about my work. You rock!

 

     

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