Friday, October 16, 2009

Saturday's Author is Dena Celeste

1).  Tell us your latest news?

My latest news is that my book Her Master’s Gift was just released by Noble Romance Publishing! I’m very excited because this is my very first published book, and it’s been a beautiful experience.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?

Oh, I’ve been writing ever since I was a wee little thing. Mostly essays and poetry, though I did write quite a bit of fanfiction as a teenager. Then I decided to branch out into original fiction, and I’ve been doing that for the last 6 years, give or take.

3).  What books have most influenced your life?

Hm. Well, Secret Submissive by Diane Hunter really got me connected with the BDSM Lifestyle and how it’s expressed first. It was my first book on that subject matter, and there was an instant connection.  

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey is the first gift my boyfriend ever gave me, and a lot of the philosophy and even religious overtones (a mix between Judaism, Christianity and Paganism) is something that resonates with me.

Natural Law by Joey W. Hill is the first book I ever read with a female dominant and a male submissive that held my attention and my emotions. She writes so beautifully that I was determined to write in a way that was relatable emotionally.

Those books set me on the path I’m on now, in my writing and my life. It helps to have such awesome authors to look up to!

4).  What are your current projects?

The one I’m working on right this minute is a holiday sweet for a submission call Noble Romance has out. Then I have another BDSM story that I’m revising for another publisher, and a paranormal erotic romance that I work on whenever I get the chance. It’s a very fascinating story, and I can’t wait to see where it goes!

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

There’s the time factor, of course. I find that mostly I write at night, after I make sure everyone else is settled in. My mind is also more open at night.

But as far as challenges…I don’t get a lot of ideas, one right after the other. So when I do, I’m so glad, but then the process of fleshing out what I see in my head is also challenging.

I want to branch out in my writing, in the genres I write in as well as in genres I haven’t tried before! Every so often the words will flow right out of me, but mostly I have to pull it out with the proverbial wrench.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Oh no, I have to pick one? That’s hard! It depends on what mood I’m in and what genre I feel puckish for.

At the moment, I would have to say Jacqueline Carey. Her stories are so intricate and lovely, and yet each one is so unique…I would love to be able to write like that! As it is, she’s a pleasure to read and I get very involved with her characters. Especially in her Kushiel’s Legacy series, though I was pleasantly surprised by her new book Santa Olivia.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

From the moment I could write, I would write something, anything. Cards, stories, essays, poetry. I just love to write. It’s not always easy, but I find it much easier to express myself through the written word than any other way. I also like to explore my own thoughts and philosophies that way. My books are ways for me to explain how I see, feel, and experience certain things.

Writing has always helped me to understand myself and how I have grown and changed. It’s a mental and emotional journey with each story, whether it’s sweet and tender, or hot and heavy with bondage included. Exploring pain, pleasure and psychology are also interests of mine. The way people interact, why people do what they do…well. It’s fascinating!

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?

Oh, that depends entirely! If my muse is cooperating, if I have a deadline, if it’s a short or long story, how complicated the plot and/or characters are. And if my mood will let me finish!

My first completed story I finished in about 3 months. My second, I had started 3 years previously, abandoned it for awhile and then finished in a couple of months. The story that was released from Noble Romance took me about a month to finish. But I’ve been working on some of my current projects for almost a year now!

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I am a caregiver, full-time, so my day is pretty full quite often. I have to take care of my responsibilities before I take time for myself. Usually I will write at night, like I mentioned before. Or I’ll write if I get a day that’s less stressful and hectic!

And when I’m in college (I’m working on a Bachelor’s degree in the Spring), I usually go full-time there as well. So I’ll write in between classes, or after I get any homework done. It’s a lot of work, but I would write no matter what else I did.
10).  Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
I don’t think so. And I don’t write longhand unless I’m researching or outlining away from my computer. I have a very…odd style of outlining. It’s a mix of freewriting and making powerpoint cards by hand, LOL. I use bullet points, and try to organize what I can if my story is very complicated. But if it’s a simple story, I won’t go as crazy.
11).  What do you want to know about the future?
I want to know that everything will be okay. I know that there are no guarantees in life though, and it’s what I make of it. I just want…to be happy. 
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m a night owl! Apparently, I’ve been this way since before I was born (my mother still tells me how I kept her up all hours of the night), but the night time is…dark. That helps! The sun hurts my eyes, so I’m not very fond of the daytime. It’s also a very peaceful, quiet time for me, and the time when I can communicate best.
13).  Do you like thunderstorms?
That depends! I’m afraid of loud, surprising noises, so the kind of thunder that sounds like a baseball bat hitting one out of the park…scares the crap out of me. But if it’s just the sound of rain and gentle thunder, I love it!
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc?
They can reach me by the contact form on my website, but also please feel free to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter ! I check my inbox and my FB and Twitter feeds every day, and I love hearing from people and making new friends!
15).  Anything you would like to add?
Just that I hope people like my book, and keep on reading!

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