Desiree was kind enough to answer my questions, and she'll be in-and-out on the comments thread all day, so if you have a question for her, ask away! Now, on to the interview.
To start off, tell us a little about Desiree. Where are you from? And did you always want to be a writer?
I live in Texas although I grew up in Maine, and lived in Michigan and Florida. All four states have ended up being settings for my books. I always wanted to write. My mother said I had an imagination so overactive it never slept. I think that's probably still true. I didn't have the time to really do it until I retired but it seems I haven't stopped since then. My stories are varied and cross many subgenres but you can always count on three things: a hot hero, a strong heroine and a happy ever after.
Your 100th book is coming out this month with Ellora's Cave...is that a little bit surreal? And, enquiring minds need to know: do releases still excite you or is it 'normal' now?
I get just as excited about my releases today as I did when the first one came out. It's a little like giving birth and praying everyone will like your child! I don't think I'll ever, ever lose that edge of excitement or the wonder that it's actually happening to me.
After 100 books, are the story ideas still flying around like mad or is it harder to come up with a unique idea?
My brain doesn't ever seem to stop working. I haven't been able to find the Off switch! In fact, I have a folder on my computer with ideas for future stories that probably has another fifty plot lines roughed out. I absolutely love, love, love to write and find it just as exciting as when I wrote the first page of my first book.
Where do your story ideas come from?
Lots of places. Sometimes I'll get an idea from television. I wrote an entire romantic suspense novel based on a one minute scene in an old episode of CSI. Another came from a letter to the editor in my local weekly newspaper. And I love to sit outside at a sidewalk table in the small Texas town where I live, drinking my coffee, watching people and playing what if. And my kids are also great with ideas. My younger daughter is the one who gave me the core idea for my Night Seekers series and my son helps me plot my action adventure stories. In fact I wrote a book based on one of his very good friends.
Most of your books have a suspense element, some with paranormal, do you plan to continue with suspense/paranormal or are other types of stories calling to you?
I'll always write romantic suspense. I grew up reading mysteries of all kinds and still love the genre. And the paranormal beckoned me and I followed. I am in love with shifters and stories about them keep whirling in my head. The great thing about paranormal is you can let your imagination run wild. But I have recently started writing more stories with humor in them, like my first sale to Ellora's Cave, Cupid's Shaft. Samhain bought my novella, Stark Naked, that has a lot of humor in it and it will be out sometime this fall.
For our writer friends, what is the one piece of knowledge you wish you'd know about romance publishing that you didn't when you started out?
That publishers buy only about one in every ten thousand submissions so you'd better use everything you can to polish that manuscript within an inch of your life and make sure the first three pages hook the editor.
Tell us about Book 100, Downstroke...
Downstroke will release April 8 at Ellora's Cave. I loved writing this book so much I hated to finish it!
Here's a little taste:
It's been twenty years since Charley Roper and Dallas Creed parted with great bitterness. In that time she’s made a career for herself with the FBI and private security and he’s been a country rock music icon…tumbled to the bottom and risen again. Now someone’s trying to kill him and Morgan Creed wants Charley to protect his brother and find out who’s after him. When they meet again after all this time it’s obvious the chemistry is still there, stronger than ever. They’re older but are they wiser? Caught up in the bitter wash of memories and the tension of a killer in stalking mode, Charley and Dallas begin a roller coaster ride that is emotional erotic and suspenseful. Is their love strong enough after twenty years to pull them back together?
What is coming up after this release?
I have a novella series for The Wild Rose Press' cowboy kink line called Rawhide and the first story, Crack the Whip, will be out this month. In June Ellora's Cave will begin rereleasing The Phoenix Agency series with more heartstopping action and a lot more heartstopping sex. I have finished Lust Undone for my EC series, Night Seekers, and expect it to be out later this year. I'm working on a short novel called Bedroom Eyes for the EC series, Skin Deep, and a second story for the 1-800-DOMHelp series. Cerise Deland and I are working on a four-novella series for EC called Chasing Tail about four brothers who own a ranch and we have just completed Until Twilight, the third book in our Nemesis series. And for Total-e-bound I am in the middle of Silent Hunters, Book Six: The Sentinels and have just turned in a proposal for a series about four Delta Force warriors who are all Doms looking for the perfect mate. Also upcoming for them is a sequel to my cat shifter story, Pretty Kitty. So. Whew! I guess I won't be bored this year!
Definitely not!! Thanks for coming over to WordWranglers today Desiree, and we wish you the best of luck in 2011 (and beyond!).