Out on the Panhandle author, R.E. Bradshaw, tagged me as part of the “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.” The blog hop project is designed to introduce readers to writers and their work. I will be answering questions about one of my books and the author I tag will answer about her work in progress (or published work) next Wednesday.
What is the working title of your book?
I’m in the middle of writing “Hold Me Forever,” the third in my Southern secrets-themed romances, but my next book to be released is “Every Second Counts” in February. It goes to the printer this month, so that’s the book I’ll talk about.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
After my second novel, “Long Shot,” was released, I received several emails from readers who felt sorry for the character who didn’t get the girl. They liked the zen artist, Bridgette LeRoy. One email advised “some strong butch needs show up and rock Bridgette’s world.” It just happens that I’d previously written in a yahoo role-playing group the very character who could rock Bridgette’s world. Rider was a cocky horse whisperer who loved lots of women. But that yahoo group was set in a fantasy world, so I had to convert Rider into a real person and Marc Ryder was born in my imagination.
The characters from my first two novels, “Bareback” and “Long Shot,” are secondary characters in this story, but this is the last time I intend to return to Cherokee Falls, Va.
What genre does your book fall under?
Romance. I’ll always write romance novels because I’m a hopeless romantic and that’s what I love to read. My trademark is that I write lesbian romances in equestrian settings. Sometimes the horses play a small role in the story. Other times they are a major part of the plot.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Every second counts in Bridgette LeRoy’s desperate mission to protect her heart by stopping Marc Ryder’s suicidal return to riding rodeo bulls.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
After a twelve-year absence, Ryder returns home to Cherokee Falls to recover from being gored by a bull and to settle her grandmother’s estate. Artist Bridgette LeRoy has been named to head a committee tasked with organizing an art auction to raise money to save the art department – and her own job – at the local college. Their attraction burns red hot when Ryder poses nude for an art class Bridgette teaches, but their respective pasts clash to pose an obstacle bigger than a two thousand-pound rodeo bull.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
All of my books, as well as this one and the one I’m currently writing, are published by Bold Strokes Books.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Marc Ryder (formerly Marci Ridenhour) made her debut in an “Authors Challenge” I did a couple of Christmases ago for another yahoo group, Radclyffefirstname.lastname@example.org. It was written in first person and told the story of the cocky Ryder seducing a sexy FAA official who strip-searches her at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. That idea came from my day job as a newspaper editor. Everybody was making a big fuss that Christmas about the new airport body-scanners revealing a little too much and, in keeping with the juvenile atmosphere of most newsrooms, my co-workers and I started listing who we wouldn’t mind being scanned by. Jessica Capshaw (Arizona on Grey’s Anatomy) topped my list.
The Author’s Challenge was meant to be a one time short story, but I enjoyed the character so much, I decided that I wanted to know the rest of her story. I use the first-person AC as a prologue to the novel, which isn’t written in first person.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Four months writing. I have to work my writing time around the full-time job that pays my mortgage. But that doesn’t count the month it usually takes me to develop the story, outline it (I’m not a pantser), and submit it for a contract that puts it on the BSB publishing schedule and the calendar of my awesome editor, Shelley Thrasher. Then we allow ourselves about six months for editing and winding its way through the production schedule of proof-reading (different set of editors), formatting, printing and distributing. That may seem like a long delay from “the end” to publication, but it lets both Shelley and me to step away from the story for weeks at a time and go back to it with fresh eyes. We each go through it three or four times, which gives me lots of opportunity to fine-tune chapters. I do as much editing as Shelley does during this period, I think. I highly recommend that process. One pass through an 70,000 word document is not enough for proper editing. While that editing process is going on, I’m usually also writing my next project.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’ve never shied away from sex scenes – where appropriate – in my romance novels, but “Every Second Counts” is definitely the most erotic (not kinky) novel I’ve written. I believe a good romance requires that the participants lay themselves bare to each other both physically and emotionally. My two characters are very visual, physical people and their first impulse is to converse using their bodies. In “Every Second Counts,” they must also learn to speak with their hearts.
Next Wednesday, learn about romantic intrigue author VK Powell’s Next Big Thing.