Monday, June 08, 2009
Hi! I’ve decided to open my blog to other writers so they can tell us something about their processes and what they’re working on, as well as about the books they have out now or are about to launch. Therefore, I’m delighted to turn the blog over to Delilah K. Stephans.
RIW: Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live…
DKS: I live in Mobile, Alabama. Except for Hurricane season it’s a great place to live – we have a couple of cold days in the winter but I hate cold so it works for me. I’m a boring person really. I stay at home taking care of my disabled husband and elderly father and writing, of course.
RIW: How many hours a day do you spend writing?
DKS: It varies – some days I write almost six hours, some days zero. It depends on what is going on and how motivated I am. But, I make it a point to do something related to writing for an hour every day. Sometimes that means reading a book on writing.
RIW: What is the best thing about being a writer?
DKS: I’ve always written. I think writing is a compulsion, you either have the desire to write or you don’t. The best thing about being a writer is sharing the stories that you’ve created.
RIW: Has your life changed since you became a writer?
DKS: According to my husband I spend more time online now and more money on books. Mostly I’ve made some wonderful new friends that have the same compulsion.
RIW: Who are your favorite authors?
DKS: Oh there are so many! Sherrilyn Kenyon I love her Dark Hunter series and the fact that she is not a plotter, but her books are woven together in that world so well. Angela Knight who always manages to have some twist I didn’t expect in her books. Alexis Morgan who has become a friend and managed to write the best first kiss I’ve ever read – I hold every first kiss between my couples up against that one and haven’t surpassed her yet. Sandra Hill she always makes me laugh. Jeaniene Frost who has a remarkable talent for writing in first person. Others are Kresley Cole, Lora Leigh, Lucy Monroe, Kerrelyn Sparks, Christine Warren, Nalini Singh, Kathy Reichs and I’ve just discovered Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Pendergast mystery series.
RIW: Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?
DKS: Well having only two books contracted – my favorites are Sarah from Sarah’s Story who is a very spunky heroine. From my second book, Black Velvet – the hero took my heart from the moment he strolled in and said hi. Jett has to be the most stubborn, foul mouthed and honorable hero I’ve written. But what can I say – I like the bad boys with good hearts.
RIW: What makes a good book?
DKS: That is such a hard question to answer. Each reader brings something to the experience of reading a book. In a romance I’m looking for a book that makes me care if the characters get together. In a mystery I’m looking for a book that makes me think, but I despise mysteries where I figure out the who long before the detective.
RIW: How does reader feedback matter to you?
DKS: Reader feedback is the life’s blood of an author. Good or bad reader feedback makes a writer continue to grow and challenge themselves.
RIW: How do you celebrate the mile-markers of publishing?
RIW: Signing the contract!
DKS: The day I got word I was being offered a contract, my husband and I were checking out of a Biloxi, MS casino. He’d been offered a free room, so we took it. I was standing next to him when I decided to check if I’d gotten any messages from the hospital about Dad – nothing serious but he has multiple health issues and the doctors don’t take chances – and saw I had a voice mail. I stepped away from the counter and listened. I squealed! Got a bunch of strange looks but didn’t care.
RIW: Finishing Edits
DKS: I slumped back in my chair and relaxed. I had always thought finishing the book was hard – then I had edits. Not that I don’t love edits – I do! It gives me a chance to fix things that I see after I submit – but sometimes trying to find the right word to put somewhere – is painful.
RIW: Going over the ARC or galleys
DKS: That was a surreal moment. Looking at the final PDF file and knowing THIS is what is going to readers. I don’t really remember celebrating – just a lot of painful smiles. You know when you are smiling so wide your cheeks hurt?
RIW: Release Day!
DKS: I went a little crazy! The night before I couldn’t get to sleep until around 4AM . I was truly worse than a kid at Christmas. I guest blogged at 4 different sites – luckily I could write those in advance and send them in – I just had to visit each one and comment. Checked the Best Sellers list every five minutes – until lack of sleep caught up. When I came back from a two hour nap – I was on that list!
RIW: Where do you hope to be five years from now?
DKS: Writing! No seriously. I can’t think of anything I would rather do. I hope to be in print. And to travel more than I do now. But on the whole – I’m happy with my life now and I’ve realized a dream. What could be better than that?
Sarah’s Story – Available Now from Red Rose Publishing.
Buy Link: http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore/index.php?manufacturers_id=163&osCsid=b703251a6475c1fbfba428b000569c25
“Shall we begin?”
I nodded. “Please, I have a lot to do once I return home and this is delaying me from business I need to attend to.” The drink helped and my voice didn’t waver.
He nodded. “Very well. Your given name is Sarah?”
“Yes.” The question was typical but that hopeful gleam came into his eyes again. Weird.
“And your middle name?”
“Elizabeth.” What the hell was with these questions?
“I think we can skip some of these.” He moved his finger down the list, occasionally looking up at me and tilting his head to one side while giving me the once over. One time he leaned forward, squinted and stared at my nose.
I knew what he was looking at. “It’s a mole. I’ve had it forever.” I muttered as I rubbed my nose self-consciously. It wasn’t big, just a little spot on the side of my nose, near the base of the left nostril. You really had to look to see it. I hated it and even considered having it removed. I probably would when I got back to the twenty-first century, if I got back.
He smiled, then went back to his list, making affirmative noises as he continued his visual inspection of me. He paused at an item, a sensual smile quirking his lips. “No way to verify that one here.”
Strangely the comment made me think of my tramp stamp. I had gotten it on a dare in Vegas during spring break the year before I’d joined TDC. I’d been celebrating freedom from two over protective brothers and gone a bit wild. The tattoo was another reason there’d been no male visitors in ten years. How the hell did you explain a tattoo to someone from the 1800s?
Simply a rose and barbed wire vine with a dagger in the center that looked killer above the waistband of a pair of low riders , it held the power to convey celibacy onto a time traveler. Some days I hated it and it was looking like today was one of those days. I took another sip of my drink to cover my smile as I wondered what this Union soldier would think of my tat. I also knew that I definitely wanted to find out.