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DIANNE CASTELL ANSWERS A FEW QUESTIONS

Dianne, thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us.

Hot and Bothered

SAVANNAH SIZZLES SERIES.

Hot and Irresistible

Do tell Dianne about Hot and Irresistible, the 2nd in your Savannah Sizzles Series.

In a nutshell is:

Four Southern gals

Four hot guys

One lost jewel

A splash of ghosts

A mix of voodoo

And a big dose of mystery

that brings them all together

I wrote this series because I love writing about best friends. Nothing is more special than sharing secrets with you bff. And I love a bit a mystery. Sexy alpha heroes are so much fun and Donovan McCabe is certainly one of those even if he is a Yank!

Why the South & Savannah in particular?

I love Savannah and all things Southern…the history, the food, the talk, the long hot nights made for falling in love. To write a book set in Savannah you have to go there and not just once. You need to experience the city in tourist season and when the locals get to reclaim it for their own. Those who live in Savannah love it. They fought long and hard to keep the big mansions, twenty-three squares and unique little shops from the wrecking ball and big box stores. It is the South. It is unique.

I have a bit of voodoo in my books and that too is a special aspect of Savannah. It’s not simply a tourist enticement but a part of the culture, not that all want to admit it but it’s a fact. Savannah is a character in Hot and Irresistible. It couldn’t be set in NY or LA.


Is there anything you need to get the creative juices flowing?  Music or coffee, M&M’s maybe?

I always write in my office which I just redid. There’s room for my two cats to sleep next to the computer…just like they are now… and three windows for great light and nice views of the garden. I run a fan, the noise helps me concentrate. It gets me in the zone and I’m not really in Cincinnati any more but in Savannah or Texas on a ranch or where ever the book is set. The juices get flowing with fear that if I don’t get the book done on time the editor will have a cow. Fear is a great motivator. J

Do you have any rituals?  Actors & musicians have them, some call them quirks. Like playing a certain song before going on stage…something like that?

I don’t have the luxury of rituals. I just get the job done and hope I tell a really good story for my readers. I want them to think the money they paid for my book is truly worth it. The publishing market is tight right now and I’m thrill to have books coming out.

Do your characters pop into your head full grown, so to speak, or do they develop over time?

They develop as I go along but if they aren’t talking even at the beginning I know it’s the wrong character or the wrong story. The characters have to fit the story and the story the characters. It is a marriage of ideas and when they all start to work together I know it’s right.

Do they ever annoy you?

It’s fun when the characters annoy me because then I know they’re up to no good and things are going to get interesting.

I don’t like stupid characters especially heroines. Only strong heroines, please! But that can get them into all kinds of trouble and it’s a blast!

Are you currently reading anything?

I’m reading the October releases for Silhouette Special Edition. Love the family tones and small towns. Always a good read.

And I’m catching up on Brothers and Sisters, my fav TV show along with Mad Men. Great writing in both. Terrific characters. I love these shows.

Thanks so much for coming Dianne,  I’ve had a large time talking with you.

Thanks for having me, Ivy. It’s been great chatting with you.

I’d like to know if there are any Southern belles out there? Even though I live in Cincy I swear I was born on the wrong side of the Ohio River. I love Southern cooking. Paula Deen is my hero. I love sundresses and the big old Southern homes and the slow way of talking. I love sweet tea, gentlemen and I even know how to twirl a baton. Seriously!

So, are there any Southern belles out there? I’ll give away two signed copies of Hot and Bothered (the first book in the Savannah Sizzles series) from the answers.

Thanks, Ivy.

Hugs, Dianne Castell

www.DianneCastell.com

DianneCastell@hotmail.com

CHATTING WITH LORI FOSTER

Lori hon, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.

Do tell, please, about DOUBLE THE HEAT and BACK IN BLACK.

 DoubleHeat150-1                                                                      Back in Black

[Lori said:] Thanks so much Ivy!
“Double The Heat” is an anthology with a Winston novella from me. The hero is a twin (cousin to the other Winstons from pervious stories of mine) and his twin’s story was out December 08 in “Double the Pleasure.” Joe Winston, one of my most popular heroes ever, makes an appearance in each story to visit his cousins and lend his expertise in certain situations. It was so much fun visiting the Winstons again!

“Back in Black” is the (as of right now) the last of my SBC series. This single title features Drew Black, president of the SBC organization. He’s a real character, a mega Alpha, uber sexy, and he was loads of fun to write. Characters from the previous SBC books do have cameos, but I also introduces a new character who has a secondary romance in the story. I hope readers enjoy the story! The cover is fantastic, if I do say so myself.



Is there anything you need to coax and/or pacify your muse?

[Lori said:] Not really, but I do have certain things I like to do when I’m in writing mode. I have a playlist that I crank up and go through scented candles like crazy. My playlist has a lot of Kid Rock, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Uncle Kracker, Macy Gray, Aerosmith and Tom Petty. Those are some of my favorites. My candles are usually cinnamon, cherry, hyacinth or lavender. (With the holidays, I love cinnamon scents!)



How do you juggle family and writing?  Do they help when inspiration strikes or a deadline looms or are you still looking for that elusive bathroom/kitchen fairy like me?

[Lori said:] Hubby is retired now and he goes above and beyond to simplify my life so that I can write without a lot of other concerns. He makes all the phone calls (medical, insurance, banking, etc…) and he does almost all the grocery shopping – and usually the cooking too!

Family always comes first for me, so when my sons (all grown) or my grandson (4 years old) come to visit or it’s a holiday, or there’s another good reason to spend time with them, I do – without guilt. Sunday is always family day and the kids come to visit, or we all go to the movies or dinner together. When I’m behind on a deadline and really have to buckle down, they’re all very understanding. Even when the boys were still at home, they were terrific about respecting my writing time.



I love the fact that a lot of your heroines are older than 20 some odd.  Is that one of the reasons you started writing or have you always done so?

[Lori said:] I mix it up. Sometimes the heroines are younger, sometimes older. Sometimes they’re gorgeous and sometimes not. Some have issues with physical traits that they consider flaws, and some have external issues (threats) and the same can be said for the heroes. I like to write a variety of character types. One thing I won’t write is a stupid or dependent character. And they have to love animals! LOL



You give so much to others and I think that’s absolutely wonderful.  Is there a certain criteria you use to decide who you give to or is it just charities near & dear?

[Lori said:] I like to stick with local charities. The more nationally known charities get help from everywhere – including from me. But when I run a fundraising project, I try to help my neighborhood. We have a wonderful animal shelter near us, and then there’s the county’s battered women shelter, and the One Way Farm for abused and abandoned children, the food bank, the Conductive Learning Center for kids with cerebral palsy and spina bifida… there are more than enough wonderful, worthy local charities that can use a little help.


I’ve noticed there are a lot of authors in Ohio, must be something in the water!  Do y’all know each other, maybe have an Ohio writer’s group or some such?

[Lori said:] There are several Ohio writers groups, including Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America (OVRWA) and Central Ohio Fiction Writers (COFW). I’m good friends with many of the ladies – published and pre published – from both groups.
That’s why my good friend Dianne Castell and I do the annual “Readers and Writers Get Together” every June. In 2010 we’ll have our 6th annual event. Information is on my website at www.lorifoster.com then go to community and then “Get Together.”
The event is in West Chester, Ohio each year. (Because that’s convenient for Dianne and me.
J )

For only $50 we have a whole weekend of fun including a Friday night pizza party, and Saturday continental breakfast, buffet lunch and buffet dinner. We have a gigantic book fair/signing, a used book trade, agent and editor appointments, lots of lots of opportunity for chatting and taking photos, a raffle that earns us some great donations to local charities (see question #5!) and all kinds of fun.
Last year we had around 100 authors, with 300 attendees total. Registration opens in January on my site, and at that time you’ll be able to see the terrific line-up of agents, editors, and industry professionals that we have attending so far.



Any particular reason you “crossed to the dark side”?

[Lori said:] Because I LOVE it. My favorite form of entertainment has always been scarier movies or action plots. I love romance too, so I had to combine them, and so far so good! I’ve had a wonderful time with my L.L. Foster books and look forward to writing many more. BUT… I’m going to take a brief break in publishing the L.L. books because I recently switched publishers, and my new publisher wants to do 3 contemporary romances back to back in 2011 – which means I really need to do a lot of writing to get all 3 done in advance. Busy busy!



Who do you enjoy reading?

[Lori said:] Right now my absolute favorite is Kresley Cole. She’s amazing! She’s hilariously funny, the heroes are uber Alpha and oh-so-sexy, and the pacing is always fast. Her Immortal series is just outstanding. I’ve never read anything like it.

I also adore Linda Howard, Jayne Ann Krentz, Johanna Lindsey and a few others – actually too many to name them all!



Thanks so much Lori for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us today.  I’ve really enjoyed it!

[Lori said:] Thank YOU for inviting me to chat. I appreciate it.
Happy reading to everyone!