Today I welcome Vivien Dean to the blog to answer a few questions for Interview³.
Vivien Dean Author Interview³
• I wrote my very first novel at the age of 12 on the typewriter my great-grandmother had used in college.
• I met my ex-writing partner while we were writing characters for an online role-playing world.
• My very first published work wasn’t fiction. It was a movie history/trivia book.
2) Describe your writing style in 3 words
3) Name 3 of your literary influences
• Madeleine L’Engle (who showed me awkward can be beautiful)
• Stephen King (who showed me Everyman can be a hero)
• Roger Zelazny (who gave me my love for genre-mixing)
4) Share your 3 favourite books
• The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: It’s the only book I’ve re-read (as an adult outside of school) more than twice.
• The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I cried, I loved his voice, I loved his choices.
• Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: For two reasons: 1) its subversion of gender expectations and 2) Jamie Fraser
5) What are your 3 essential writing tools?
• My Mac
• The app, Write or Die. I use it on kamikaze mode when I need to get words out and my internal editor won’t shut up.
• Coffee, coffee, coffee.
6) Where are your 3 favourite places to write?
• Locked in my bedroom
• On the bench swing in the back yard after dark.
• In a library. Any library.
7) Name 3 items on your writing wish list
• Get all my stories from now-defunct publishers back out into the world.
• Write a book my mother would actually read.
• From a purely wishful thinking standpoint, a TV or movie adaptation.
8) What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
• Don’t stop reading.
• Enter late, leave early. It’s a screenwriting tenet, but I think it applies to most storytelling, too. Basically, start a scene as late as you possible can, and end it as early. It creates tension and hones a reader’s focus onto what is truly important in the scene.
• Buy Stephen King’s “On Writing.” It’s the only writing advice book that I think has any real practical value.
9) Tell us 3 of your writing plans for the year ahead
• Work with Rick Reed on our third collaboration for Dreamspinner.
• Start self-pubbing my backlist.
• Finish my dreamwalker story for Dreamspun Beyond.
10) Tell us about your latest release
The Charlatan’s Conquest is part of the Dreamspun Beyond line at Dreamspinner, where romance’s favorite tropes get re-imagined in a paranormal world. It’s the first in a series about ghost hunters, though in this case, the “ghost hunter” has never done more than talk to one before the story opens. Cruz Guthrie is a software engineer who agrees to take on a ghost hunting job that his best friend can’t because a) his friend assures him it’s essentially a babysitting job, and b) he really needs the money to help pay for his sister’s cancer treatments. It turns out to be a bit more than he expects to handle, especially when he has to fight his attraction to the client’s skeptic son.
Though it’s part of a gentler line, there is still adult material, so it’s intended for an 18+ audience.
Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.
Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.
About the Author
Vivien Dean is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.
Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.