Today's guest blogger is Patti Shenberger. Welcome, Patti. Following is her interview and I'm sure she'll be posting excerpts and other goodies about herself and her books. Today's prize will be "The Captain’s Wench" by Patti.
1. So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
I have been writing romance since I was in grade school, crafting my own tales as a sidekick to Captain Kirk, Starsky and Hutch and still doing it! Though now my tastes run to Bruce Willis, Pierce Brosnan and Johnny Depp! Is there such a thing as a typical day? Well, four days ago I would have said get up, go to the day job. That all changed last Wed when my doctor told me it’s time to quit the day job and get healthy. I’m a cancer survivor and while I am still in remission, I am not in tip-top shape. So, now I’m a full time wife, mother and writer. I’m loving it! I get up, feed the four legged critters, kiss the hubby goodbye and settle in for some fun with my hero and heroine.
2. When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?
I started writing in grade school, but did not get my first break till 1998 with Hard Shell Word Factory. I did have two nonfiction pieces published between 1990 and 1994. I had 3 books written before I was published.
3. How did you break into publishing?
In the spring of 1998 I had heard of Hard Shell Word Factory and by fall decided to submit to them. I wanted to see what others were selling to them before I sent in my manuscript. It was October 5, 1998 that I learned I had sold Womb For Rent, my contemporary romance.
4. What influenced you to write?
I have always loved to write and I think from that grew the need to write. You pick up a book and think “I can do this”, then you sit down, find out it’s harder than you think and you’re hooked. There’s no turning back so you forge ahead. At the end of the Yellow Brick Road is the big wood door and behind it the Wizard with a book contract (G).
5. What inspired you to write romance?
I love a happy ending and want my readers to have one as well. You will never see an Amanda Brian (my pen name) or Patti Shenberger book without a happily ever after!!
6. What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
I write in paranormal, contemporary, historical time travel, and love them all.
7. What difficulties does writing this genre present?
For me it was the historical time travel. I needed to do a lot of research and make sure it is accurate. Your reader will know if you’ve goofed up on your facts. Just that simple thing may turn them away from ever picking up another one of your books.
8. What motivated you to write your current book? My current book that is about to be released any day now I actually wrote in 2000. It is a contemporary paranormal. I had heard Trisha Yearwood’s song “I Would Have Loved You Anyway” and literally created Laird Kyle MacLay, his big Scottish castle and sexy but feisty Devon Noone around it.
9. How much time do you devote to writing each day?
Not as much as I would like to be truthful. Time is spent on promo, answering email, playing on the internet (G), but I have gotten back to a routine and can say I spent about 5 hours writing each day now.
10. Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.
My first release was Womb For Rent, a contemporary romance, and then came A Miracle Through Time written with Nancy Fraser. This was the historical time travel which took about 6 years to sell and is published by The Wild Rose Press. Then also by the Wild Rose Press is take No Prisoners, my straight contemporary. Next up is The Captain’s Wench, a contemporary paranormal which I submitted on a Sunday and was bought less than 24 hours later on Monday by Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books. And hopefully in the next few weeks I will see the release of The Laird’s Lady, a contemporary paranormal. Hmm, maybe there is a trend here. Me and my contemporary paranormals!
11. What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on three books. A category romance which I am pitching to Mills & Boon at the RWA Conference next month, a single title women’s fiction – again being pitched to an agent at RWA National, and also a paranormal for Devine Destinies.
12. How do you write? Are you a panster or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
I am definitely a pantser! Wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve tried to plot and found myself straying off course way too many times and in all different directions. So now I wing it. My characters influence me the most. They go off in different directions than I want, but somehow we always make it back to the main point of the story.
13. What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
The Laird’s Lady and Trisha Yearwood’s song. I was so in love with the song and couldn’t get it out on my head, that along came feisty American Devon Noone who inherits a castle from her cousin and along with it a smelly canine and sexy Laird of the Manor who cannot pass on to the other side.
14. Tell us some of the things interviewers are saying about your story or stories.
I just received my first review for The Captain’s Wench last week and the reviewer who was not a paranormal fan said I won her over by making her suspend disbelief. That to me is the biggest praise I can get on a book. With A Miracle Through Time, a reviewer said our facts were historically sound and she could feel the breeze coming off the river and hear the sound of the paddlewheels turning. Again, this is what makes it all worthwhile.
15. What is your all time favorite book?
Definitely The Laird’s Lady is we’re talking about my books (G). If not, then I am a huge fan of anything written by Jude Deveraux.
16. How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?
Wow, this is a toughie. Everything about research is very interesting. Let’s see, I think what touched me the most was when researching for The Captain’s Wench how the “widow’s Walk” came to be. How the women watched the sea from the widows walk (or balcony) for their husbands, lovers, sons to return from a voyage. And how some never did, hence the term ‘widow’s walk.”
17. What advice would you give aspiring writers today?
Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do it. It takes determination and patience. No one is an overnight success. Ok, some are but it’s not the norm! (G)
18. How do you like your fans to contact you?
They can catch up with me on my email at firstname.lastname@example.org I love hearing from them.