Romance is sexy. And often funny, and sometimes tangled up with suspense. Let’s face it: all sorts of things get mixed up with romance in real life. Piper Denna’s stories are not cut-and-dried romance. She wants her characters to deal with issues female readers can relate to: independence and trust, empowerment, inhibitions, an unfaithful partner, motherhood. Sometimes her characters make mistakes and often her “bad guys” are not 100% bad. Mostly she wants to take the reader on an emotional journey to a happy ending (with a few enviable sexual encounters along the way!). When she’s not writing, she edits, raises two “tweens” along with her husband, and has an evil day job. She enjoys books (or movies) with a comedic twist and hopefully a love story, too. Sexiest parts of a man in Piper’s opinion? The hands and eyes. Shoulders are nice too, and of course, great pecs are never amiss… Visit Piper’s website at: http://www.piperdenna.com/ And her blog at: http://piperpatter.blogspot.com/
Piper: Thanks so much for coming by Wordwranglers today! No problem—thanks for having me.
1. When did you turn serious about publishing? I’d finished my first novel (it’s down to about 175k words now, LOL, so it’s got a ways to go before it’s publishable) and went to a local writers’ meeting, where I found out about a short story contest (and also that my book was about 3 times the publishable length). Went home and penned the short story, which became an opening chapter for my second novel. (I won 4th place in that contest, by the way, and was on top of the world!). Then more stories started coming to me, so I set about finding beta readers and critique partners. Oh, and if you were looking for a time (ie, short answer), about 6 years ago.
2. What are you working on now? I’m about halfway through the sequel to Fantasy Mountain—Fantasy Cruise Ship. I’ve contracted the Fantasies, Inc series with Lyrical Press, so now I’m all fired up to get the series out there. Hoping to do some shorts about the clients at Fantasy Mountain, too.
3. How steamy is it? It’s… way up there. (geyser? LOL). Menage is hot, in sales numbers and content. And my lead characters from Fantasy Mountain are “going there.” That’s all I’m gonna say.
4. Do you consider yourself an erotic writer? What appeals to you most about that sub-genre? Yes, my Piper novels are very erotic, while maintaining a high romance level. I love writing sex scenes, as much as I love writing “fight” scenes. Maintaining sexual tension in an erotic romance is a challenge (a dare?). For me, the physical part of a love affair is pretty big, and some stories just require all those details. I enjoy reading erotic romance, but not so much with straight erotica. Romance is the key element for me. I’ve loved the heck out of a well-written sweet romance, too.
5. Will you be at Rom-Con this year? I’m not sure. The Roccos (Frank and Renee, publishers of Lyrical Press) are hoping to go, so I might. As a straight author, doubtful. RomCon has added some stipulations to their registration. In simple English (at least the way I interpret it), it says if they get enough big-name authors, they don’t want us small-timers around, so our registration fee will be transferred and we’ll have to attend as readers. I fully understand they want to keep it a big event for readers, by attracting big name authors, whose time is best spent with a greater reader:author ratio. If the bestsellers feel like they’ll be spending the weekend with a bunch of aspiring writers, they won’t come. I get that. But… One of my CPs and a fellow published author from Tennessee wanted to attend. After reading the notice on the site, she’s not going to gamble the registration fee plus airfare, hotel, etc and end up being a reader there. These are her promo bucks she’s spending. I don’t have as far to go, but it’s a hefty chunk of change in this economy. And while I love hanging out with authors (met some of my favorites there last year), I do need to get myself out there and promote my own books. So I might just spend the money advertising, and the time writing. I do sincerely hope the conference grows, though, and they get lots more readers. Last year was really fun, and I think all the readers had a great time. It’s a really nice event for Colorado.
6. What’s the best fan encounter you’ve ever had? I got the nicest email from a local lady, who’d read one of my Autumn titles, from the library. When I did my signing at the now-gone Borders in Grand Junction (sob), she drove down from Rifle, just to meet me. Very cool! Reader emails are the stuff that keeps me going.
7. Because you’re an editor at Lyrical Press, do you find reading a pleasure, or a chore? I still love to read. I’ve always got something on the nightstand—it just takes me longer to get through it these days.
8. How long does it take you to write a book? Each book varies, depending on what life events are in my way. I’ve finished a book in 3 weeks, 3 months… and one even took me 2 years. I’m getting better at putting life—and EIC duties—on hold and spending an hour with my story, though.
9. In your book, Fantasy Mountain, it’s about a resort where sexual fantasies become real. What prompted this idea? Honestly… that one came directly from the muse. Can’t think of another explanation. Fantasy Island kind of gave me a basis, but I didn’t want anything to be paranormal or magical about this place. And though I started out making the story about the place, it wasn’t long before it became much more about the people running it, and also more about their love affair than their sex lives—although their sex mirrors what’s happening role in their relationship.
10. How do you see the future of e-books? So far since I’ve been involved with them, it’s been nothin’ but up. I see sales increasing, and formats getting more user-friendly. From an author’s standpoint, it’s easier to convince a reader to buy/try one of my books if she can get it for $5.50, than to go out and buy the print version for $12-15… once she’s got an ereader, that is. And I will say this: I bought 3 books to try on my iPhone, from the Kindle store using the app. First book, I thought it was a big pain in the butt turning pages so often (I increased the font size so it’d be easier to read, which leaves just a couple paragraphs on the screen). It was a charity anthology, which I wasn’t all that into. So… boo. I tried one of the other books, which has been on my To Be Read list for a long while. And you know what? Swiping that screen for page turns is no problem at all! I’m loving it, because no matter where I go, the book is with me. And Kindle purchases are so easy, they should almost be illegal. (almost!) I do have my print books I’ll never get rid of, and I love, love having my own books in print. Just like I still buy George Strait’s CDs, so I can get the bonus material—photos, interviews, lyrics, and have that concrete “thing” to collect. But most of my music I now buy from Amazon downloads or iTunes. There’s a place for both print books and ebooks. It’ll be up to the individual reader to decide which format for each book.