Please help me welcome the talented Deanna Dee who’s here to tell us a little about herself as well as her newest release in the Games of Love Series, Finish Him.
Business before Pleasure:
- What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve read romance novels for a long time. I enjoy them, but I never really felt like I could fit in for the female lead. I always identified with the quirky sidekick or the brainiac sister. With the Games of Love series, I set out to create female leads I felt more comfortable personifying. I wanted the quirky sidekick to be the lead and get the guy.
- How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
It depends. Some of the gaming stuff in my Games of Love series is taken from real things that happened during gaming sessions with my friends in college. In terms of non-gaming stuff, I draw from experiences I’ve had, but I don’t use exact events.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting past the 10,000 word mark. I don’t feel like it’s a book until I’m in the 5 digits.
- What are your current projects?
The next book in the Games of Love series (Parker’s book) is my big thing right now. I’m working on getting a title and tag line. Having those often helps. I’m also working on a Christmas short story bundle type thing.
- How do you go about choosing the title for your book(s)?
I love punny titles or titles with double meanings. In Games of Love, the titles are geek references that have romantic undertones.
- What is your favorite genre to write?
Actually, fantasy. Speculative fiction is my first love. As a nod to that, I’ve put fantasy and science fiction things into my romance. It’s really fun sort of combining the two.
- Generally, how long does it take you to complete a book from idea to handing it over to your publisher?
It depends on what else is going on in my life, but usually, it’s between 4 and 6 months.
- Do you ever use someone in your life as a sounding board for ideas or do you prefer to work alone?
I have a few sounding boards—my family, beta reader, and boyfriend—to be precise.
- Do your travel to research for your book(s)?
It’s more that I travel and happen to do research. Some of the places in my books are based on places I found while on vacation.
- Did you learn anything while writing your book(s)?
Definitely. Writing romance gave me a better handle on the emotional range of people. It also taught me that characters, like real people, are unpredictable.
- Have you ever had an idea for a book but never written it and what is it?
I’ve had a lot of ideas that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet. There are so many that I wouldn’t be surprised if I never wrote some of them. So right now, no, but as my statistician boyfriend would say “Possible, likely.”
- When writing, do you have a process?
Not really. I just start and let the words flow. I often have an idea of how the story will start and finish, but I don’t know if that’s a process.
- Do you have any advice for new authors looking to make their own literary statement?
Don’t be afraid to break convention. You never know what will be the next “big thing.”
- How many books have you written? Do you have a particular favorite?
So far, I have three, and One Fling to Rule Them All is my favorite. It’s the one I most identify with, and Lydia was such a blast to write.
- Why did you choose to use a publisher instead of self-publishing?
- Where do your ideas come from?
Uh, pretty much everywhere. I overheard a conversation while at a Movie Stop a few months ago and got an idea for a series.
- How many books do you currently have published?
As of next Tuesday, three, plus a short story in an anthology.
- Are you working on anything right now?
The next book in Games of Love. I also have some short stories in the works.
- Do you have a favorite Hero or Heroine from any of your books and why?
Lydia. I just understand her.
- Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven’t yet read your work(s)?
“May the force be with you.” Thanks for stopping by today!
More About Deanna ~ The Fun and the Naughty
- Share one thing about yourself that would surprise people who know you.
That I’m blind and I drove. Of course, it was on the Tomorrowland Speedway in Disney, and my boyfriend was controlling the gas. But I drove.
- Doggy style, cow girl or missionary?
I’ve never tried doggy style, but isn’t that a Thai dish? And I’m pretty sure the cannibals made a mean missionary stew. So that leaves cowgirl—my favorite superhero.
- What secret sinful pleasure do you keep hidden in your cupboards?
Dark chocolate. (I like to live on the edge.)
- Are you a wine or beer kinda gal?
Neither, really. If Co-Cap (boyfriend) opens a new beer, I’ll try it.
- If you could go anywhere at all on your next vacation where would you go?
- If you could choose any hot famous guy to take with you who would it be and why?
Liam Hemsworth. I’d still go with Co-Cap, but if Co-Cap gets tired, Hemsworth is a good substitute after park hours.
- Thong, Bikinis, Granny Panties, or Boy shorts?
What, no Commando? He’s Cowgirl’s partner in anticrime.
- Are you a dress up in heels or a jeans and flats woman?
Either, depending on where I’m going.
- Homebody or Party all the time girl?
Homebody. I like reading and curling up for movie night.
- Tall, Dark and Deadly or Smart and Sexy or Athletic and Funny?
Smart and sexy, no contest.
- Significant other or Tearing up the town free and clear?
- Favorite social network and why?
Goodreads. I love interacting with other readers and authors.
- What was your “dream” job as a child?
- What was the worst job you ever had while working towards being a published author?
Receptionist. It bored me to tears.
- What would be your next best choice if not writing as a career?
Maybe voice acting. That would be fun.
About Your Latest Release
Introduce us to the main characters:
Sonya Black: She’s a junior in college (history major) who’s kind of terrified of “typical college activities” (clubbing, drinking, etc.) She’s always felt that her older sister doesn’t like her and has spent the last few years trying to avoid spending any time with her. Sonya’s thrown herself into gaming, friends, and school to kind of hide from everything.
Jaxon Nyles (without spoiling anything): He’s in his middle late twenties and has a compulsion to help people. He comes from a good family and is drawn to authenticity in people.
How do these two meet?
Sonya’s sister goes clubbing two days before Thanksgiving and is drugged. Sonya goes to collect her, and Jaxon is the security guard she meets at the club.
How would you characterize their relationship in one word answers, start, middle and end?
What three words would you use to describe this story?
Real-issues, sweet, fun
Blurb: Round One, FLIRT
Sonya Black never expected a petty sibling quarrel could lead to her sister being drugged. Overcome with guilt, Sonya vows to bring the jerk to justice. When she dives into her own investigation, she lands belly up in the company of Jaxon Nyles, the security guard who may have all the answers.
But being a detective isn’t as easy as Sonya thinks. On top of that, Jaxon always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Is he a suspect, or is he falling for her? More important, is she falling for him?
The round has begun. Who will flirt? Who will win? Will hearts break in the process?
With a complex pressing of buttons, the screen goes dim, and my opponent explodes into a fountain of blood and innards. Take that, pixels. The familiar zing of a victory glides through my blood, and it’s all I can do to keep the smirk off my lips. I haven’t been on Thanksgiving break for three hours, and already I’m kicking ass at video games and racking up the bragging points.
Dawn mutters a string of unintelligible syllables. It’s too bad not everyone’s having as good a time as me. “I will defeat you, Dwarf.”
I hit X on my controller to bring us back to the character selection screen. Dawn is the GM, Game Master, of the Marshalls and Magics campaign our group has going, and I play a dwarf. Possibly, she thinks calling me by my race will unhinge me enough for her to win a round. Not likely. “Yeah, yeah. Pick a character.”
Dawn sighs and selects Kerdwin, a random character who appeared in one of the side stories ten years ago. His combos are weak, and his powers are weaker. I keep all this to myself. Dawn pulls no punches during M and M. It’s not my fault if she’s bad at selecting characters in Bloodrage Anarchy: Silver Edition…or any other edition, really.
“Good choice,” I say instead and, with automatic movements, navigate three down and two over to Dalara, warrior princess of the outer realm of Simenia. The screen goes dark for the loading process, and our characters appear on the top of a narrow mountain. Lightning arcs overhead, and drums pound a war beat.
Round One, the game’s automated voice, which sounds like a constipated ogre, says. Kerdwin stands in a pathetic pose Dawn probably knows a name for. Dalara also stands in a pose she would know, but hers looks kick-ass and involves balancing on the balls of her feet and swaying. FIGHT! The constipated ogre bellows his call to arms.
Constipation or not, the call is all I need. I send Dalara into a flying kick and knock Kerdwin backwards. Next, I close the distance to execute Dalara’s strongest combo, a series of kicks and punches that will result in Kerdwin flying across the screen.
“Damn you.” Dawn blocks, breaking my combo. She jumps back until there’s an entire screen of distance between us.
Unfortunately for her, the reprieve will be slight. I regain my feet and go into attack mode, pressing forward twice and then the A button to activate a special attack. Dalara says something understandable only by the people of some tiny country in Asia, and dark flames erupt from her hands. I do this twice more, and Dawn’s life bar drops to a quarter remaining. She ducks my fourth attempt, leaps my fifth, and comes at me, getting through my defenses and landing a punch. The tip of my health bar turns red.
Oh hell no. That shitake will not fly. “Nice.” I send a high kick into Kerdwin’s face and follow with a punching combo. Kerdwin sways on his feet, and I shoot more black flame. “But not nice enough.” Dalara shifts to her ready stance. Kerdwin falls, and the game constipatedly announces my victory. Vacation has never been sweeter.
“Rah!” Parker screams. He’s sitting across the room on my bed, and somehow, he still almost makes me go deaf. “Excellent! Continue! Piff the Eviscerator desires more bloodshed!”
Dawn’s character staggers to his feet, and Dawn and I exchange the kind of sideways glance gamers use when they don’t want to take their attention from the screen. Parker plays an illusionist mage in M and M and, because he’s Parker, has named his illusionist mage Piff the Eviscerator.
“Silence, Gnome,” Dawn says in her intimidate-everyone-but-Parker voice. She’s probably hoping the boy will one day have enough sense to fear her and be quiet.
“Eviscerate!” Parker punches the air. “Blood!” However, that day is not today.
I check the clock on my phone for the tenth time in the last five minutes. Jaxon must really want to apologize for what happened at Fantasmic’s. There’s no other reason for him to choose Kransten’s, an actual sit-down restaurant, for this lunch. I’m not complaining. This is an ideal atmosphere for the informal interrogation I spent the better part of yesterday preparing. I suffered for my obsession by having homework to do until almost midnight, but it was worth it. As a bonus, I got to hide in my room and avoid my family.
A black car pulls into the lot. It parks facing me one spot over, and Jaxon gets out. He’s wearing a black jacket, black jeans, and black boots.
My brain raises the red warning flag, and my insides dance a little. The all-black get-up is understandable in his line of work, but he’s wearing it outside the club. He’s a bad boy. I shouldn’t be here alone with him. I plug my key back into the ignition but can’t bring myself to turn it. Dawn dresses in all black, and she’s one of my best friends. Clothing choice is no reason to blow Jaxon off. Besides, his outfit doesn’t change how much I need information. I put my keys away and get out of my car. The late fall air hits my skin and works its calming magic. I’m in a public place. If Jaxon tries anything, there are security cameras and restaurant employees. Everything will be fine.
“Hey.” Jaxon stops beside me and meets my gaze with sparkling eyes.
My internal stone shield cracks the tiniest bit. Bad people’s eyes don’t glitter with the joy of life. “Hey.” I scuff my sneaker against the blacktop. Maybe he’s not a dangerous psychopath. Never mind he’s given no signs of such. “Nice eating choice.”
“Thanks.” He gestures to the restaurant. “Shall we? I’m starved.”
I nod, and we meander toward the building with an arm’s length between us. Jaxon doesn’t try to get close to me or act in any way threatening. He maintains his distance, and the sparkle stays in his eyes. In other words, he’s a gentleman.
At the restaurant, he holds the door. So more than the clothes follow him from the workplace. I thank him and get the next door. Jaxon doesn’t object with some lame chauvinistic argument. He goes in and stops beside the host desk.
I follow. The place hasn’t changed since my last visit a few months ago. Kransten’s is American. There is no other word for it. The décor is of either sports teams or rock bands. The tables are simple wood. There’s a bar with a TV, and the floor is tile. The lighting is recessed, giving the place a dark feel despite all the windows. As I noted earlier, it’s an ideal place for an informal interrogation.
A hostess comes over and asks if we want a booth or table. Jaxon defers to me, and my snap bad-boy judgment sinks farther into the corner of my mind. He’s not controlling or dominating. I opt for a booth, and the hostess leads us to one, sets down menus, and tells us our server will be right over.
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