Good morning! I'm thrilled to have Cerise DeLand with me today as my Wonder Writer. Whether it's steamy hot historicals or smoking contemporaries, Cerise has a lot of solid, satisfying storytelling to please just about any romance reader -- it sure pleases me!
So here's this week's interview:
Cerise, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
Early birds get the worm! Long ago, when I first started to write fiction, I had three little people, three bathrooms I scrubbed, one hubbie who worked a lot—and no TIME! I told myself to dream my plots as I slept. This is still a practice. (Want to know what I dreamt last night? AH, well….) Up by 7 at the latest, I have had my meditation and yoga, plus 3 cups of java! Brain does not work without java. Then by 9, I am at my computer. Usually, I warm up with a bit of email, and then I am writing until I drop…or I have an appointment! By 5, I am done, baby, done! And it is cocktail hour! Plus time to cook. I am an excellent cook and hubbie and I do dine usually every evening. Then, we are off to the back patio in the summer for our coffee and up to watch something wonderful on tv. Then it is off to bed…where I dream up my work for the next day!
Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
Just the dreaming!
What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
Inspiration has to hit me to work a story. I have to see and feel the characters, then I know the outlines of the plot. But I let the plot surprise me. I must be entertained by what happens…and if I am not, then I stop. Full stop. I analyze, agonize, and then get back to work. Suspense takes me longer to iron the wrinkles. But for the most part, the hard part for me is letting the story come to me, as they say, full blown!
What are you working on now?
I am finishing a contemporary romantic suspense, a sequel to a story that debuted Jan. 20 at EC, titled LAID BARE. This sequel is LAID HOT and I am within breathing space of writing THE END! I am also working on the first of a new series for Resplendence, starring a family whose curse is to never have happy marriages! This is The Stanhope Challenge, set in the Regency era in London. Want to come into my parlor for those stories?
What’s your favorite genre to write?
Oh, I am everywhere I want to be! Contemporary has fewer challenges than historical, but if one writes romantic suspense, the facts better be correct! Killing people is an art form! And I tend not to do it easily!
I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?
I am a reader of mysteries that thrill me. I am deep into Donna Leon’s Venetian police inspector mysteries now. I also love historical mystery author, Ariana Franklin. Two of my favorites are Englishwoman Minette Walters who writes single title contemporary mystery and Jacqueline Winspear who writes about an Englishwoman who was once a World War I nurse, now investigator.
But I adore non-fiction, too. Currently I read the Monument Men about those American charged with finding art the Nazis stole from their captors. Delicious.
Do you have a favorite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I have many long time friends in the industry who have made it to the top of the game. I admire and respect their tenacity. This is no business for the weak of heart.
Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.
Ah, age 8 was my recognition that I wanted to become a writer. (That age for some reason is one many writers say is the time they understood what they were meant to do. Wonder why that is?) I wrote freelance to earn my chops. Wrote for The Washington Post, NYT, and many magazines. Then went to work in the corporate world as a writer! Learned a lot! Too much, perhaps, about corporate America. Then I was published in 1991 in print and have had 18 novels out over on that side of the aisle. They range from historical romance to mystery to mainstream. I love writing them all!
How many books have you had published and for whom?
As Cerise DeLand, I am debuted my 7th novel yesterday with Resplendence Publishing. Titled FALLING FAST, this is a tale about a rodeo manager and the PR consultant he hires to improve the rodeo’s image!
I am happily published by Resplendence, Ellora’s Cave, Total-e-Bound and Wild Rose Press.
What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?
FALLING FAST comes from my past 14 years living in Texas! As an East Coast gal, Texas is a real change and a delightful one. What inspires me most about Texas is the humor of the men and women here. They are just knee-slapping funny. It’s in the water, I swear!
What’s your writing space like?
Fortunate me! I have an office on the top floor of our home and it is huge at 24 x 20. Quiet, sun-filled with a view of the Hill Country of Texas, the room is a scrumptious place to go each morning and spend the day.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
READ and watch movies and tv miniseries. I am so deep into THE WIRE at the moment that I speak with a Bal’mer accent!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Coke or Pepsi? DIET COKE!
Bronte or Austen? OUIIIIIIIIIE. Both! I have written 1st person gothics and Austen types!
Star Trek or Star Wars? TREK. TREK. TREK.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Huh?
McDonalds or Burger King? Both!!!!!!!!
Cerise, thank you for being here! Readers, you can find Cerise at:
(Note on the non-cover pictures above: 1. Mounted Texas Color Guard at the 4th of July Parade, 2. Gage Hotel in Marathon TX., 3. Where Cerise's office is located, 4. Old SPanish Trail Restaurant in Bandera TX)