My friend and fellow member of Heartland Romance Authors has a new book release this week!!! I had the honor of reading an ARC of Soul Seducer and was asked to write a blurb. I invited Alicia to come back and visit us to celebrate her release with a guest blog post. Here’s what I had to say:
“Dark and steamy, Soul Seducer seduces you from the first page.” —Denise Grover Swank bestselling author of The Chosen Series
I bet you want to read it now, don’t you??? But before you click on the link at the bottom to get your copy, check out Alicia’s guest post below.
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog, Denise. I’m so happy to be here. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m in total awe and admiration of your success. You recently reached 100,000 sales? That’s incredible. Congratulations on that and your Writer Touch Reader’s Award win!
Happy Wednesday everyone! Today, I thought that instead of talking about my writing, I’d ask a few questions of you (as writers and readers). I’ll give my answers first, then I’d like to hear from each of you. You can answer as many or as few of them as you’d like:
1. What is your favorite genre(s)?
Paranormal and Suspense
2. I know it’s impossible for me to say what my very favorite book is, so the question is, what is one of your favorite books, one that really sticks with you and why?
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. I was enthralled with the characters, and what they’d suffered. Especially at the end with Jimmy and Dave. They were on totally opposite sides, yet it was easy to understand and sympathize with what each of them were going through. It was also to understand the difficult decisions they had to make, and why they did what they did, even though it had tragic results.
3. What qualities in a character resonate with you and make you connect with them enough that you want to keep reading and find out what happens to them. (You can name a just a few. I know this could get rather lengthy)
A character who has flaws, and has done something bad in the past but is trying to find redemption. Or, a character who does something bad in the present, but they do it for a good reason.
4. As a reader, what is it that authors do that drives you crazy and make you put down a book?
I can’t stand present tense writing, whether it’s first or third person. I find it jarring and impossible to get into the book, so I have never finished one.
5. Hot or not? Do you prefer detailed explicit sex scenes in your romances, or would you rather the author show sexual tension but leave the actual act to the imagination?
I enjoy books that have either no sex or detailed sex, although I’m not a fan of actual erotica.
6. I’ve found that most writers have strengths and weaknesses, even though they aren’t always able to identify them. If you’re a writer, what is the ‘issue’ that you struggle with the most in writing, or in other words, your weakness? What is your strength?
My weakness, (although I have several, I’ll only mention one), is probably evoking emotion and making readers connect with my characters. My strength would probably be creepiness and suspense.
Although I said this isn’t about me or my writing, I will quickly mention that I have a new release, Soul Seducer. If you’d like to check it out, go to: http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/soul-seducer/
My website is: www.Aliciadean.com
My email address is: Aliciamdean@aol.com
This could almost be written by me! Except for the creepiness parts and who you read. One of my favorite books that made a high impact on me, is Rainsong by Phyllis A. Whitney. Loving music as I do, this one resonated for me in a powerful way.
Great interview gals! Congrats on Soul Seducer, Alicia.
Dean Koontz’s work always impacts me. He’s got an amazing way with description (& the ability to make me laugh at the same time he’s scaring the pants off me!)…my biggest problem as a writer is adverbs and over-describing (I think…I guess I’d have to ask my beta readers :P)…as a reader my pet peeve is when the author writes like (s)he thinks I’m an idiot, dysfunctional characters, and plots with holes so big, the galaxy could fit through it.
Favorite genre: any, as long as there is an actual story or amazing reason to keep reading.
I read The Road over and over again, trying to see what McCarthy did and how I might be able to improve on it. I love it because it’s this very simplistic story–get from here to there–with so much human determination, not to mention that the writing is amazing.
A character who seems real to the point where I forget I’m reading a story resonates with me.
I can’t stand limp endings, and bad grammar. There was one author I completely stopped reading when the end of her book was, basically, “and now you have to read my next book to know the end.” Think I even threw that one.
According to the folks who have read my work, I have a unique style and voice as well as a knack for characterization. I also have the ability to write so skeletally that I confuse the crap out of my readers. Always working on that. That’s funny what you say your strengths and weaknesses are though, Alicia. I would say it’s the other way around, but maybe you’re just working so much harder on a weakness.
Thanks, ladies. I’m glad you stopped by, and very interesting to get your take on these questions. I agree about Koontz, Natasha. He is also a master of making you root for his characters.
LOL, Calisa. I know you’re not into the creepy stuff.
Chryse, I’m glad to hear you say that about my strengths and weaknesses, (I think), now I feel I need to up the suspense and creepy factors, LOL. At least you feel I am not as weak as I thought about emotion and characterization. 🙂
I’m totally with you on the limp ending thing. I hate it when people think you should read a sequel to get a complete story. All books should be resolved satisfactorily, IMO.
Favorite Genre: Paranormal, scifi and YA
Favorite book: Anything by Anne McCaffery and The Hunger Games series
Head hopping in a book makes me crazy. It is really difficult to experience the journey through a character’s perspective if I have to keep track of more than one in a single scene.
I read books for the story rather than the sexual content.
My writing strength is plotting. My weaknesses include description and emotion.
My favorite genre has always been romantic suspense (as a kid, I went for books like Wuthering Heights), but lately I’ve been reading a much broader range. Recently I read THE HELP for a book club, and I was bowled over by the author’s skill in bringing her characters to life. I think the biggest thing I look for is honesty in characters, good or bad.
Political correctness, or a theme with an obvious political agenda, will bore me to tears (don’t we get enough in the news?). I’ll put those down in a heartbeat.
I have to admit to liking the more explicit sex scenes, although like you I don’t go for actual erotica. (There’s something about the language that makes me wince. I think it’s my generation!)
I struggle with a lot as a writer, but my biggest challenge is plotting. My mind jumps all over the place, and I have to have at least a broad outline to work from if I have any hope of actually finishing a story! As for strength…I don’t know! I like painting a word picture for the reader and getting into characters’ heads, revealing all those emotions that we hide from the world.
This was fun! I can’t wait to read SOUL SEDUCER!
Fun getting to know you a bit more, Alicia. A couple of things that make me put a book down. First is rape or sexual abuse in romance. Second, is when the guy has been a total jerk all the way through the story, but toward the end, the heroine decides she loves him. Thanks, but no thanks.
I wish you great success with Soul Seducer! Maybe hanging out with Denise, some of her success will rub off. 🙂
Hi Christy, Leah and Derek,
Thanks for stopping by. Nice getting to know all of you better too (although, Christy, I pretty much knew all of that) You and I are in total agreement, as you know, on the head-hopping thing.
Leah…I must say, you do a beautiful job of painting a vivid picture and drawing a reader in with emotions. I hope you enjoy SS when you get a chance to read it.
Derek…From your lips to God’s ears! If I thought hanging out with Denise would make her success rub off, I’d move in with her. 🙂 I agree about a hero who’s a jerk through the whole book, then heroine decides she’s in love with him. I admit, I do like it when a guy is a bit of an ass (in fiction ), but he has to have good reason and he also has to show a tender moment or two and at least a hint of sensitivity.
Yes, you and I have had the “bad boy” discussion before. *rolls eyes* I guess if all the heroes were nice guys our books would be boring. Moving in with Denise? Not sure I’ve heard anyone use that strategy for increasing book sales. Let me know you get serious about that option.
Hello Alicia! What a fun blog topic!
My favorite genre is high fantasy, and what makes me connect or enjoy a character the most is/are those who truly have something critical at stake and their personal character is tested throughout the story. One who may not be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but whose goal you can get behind because he/she is fully developed.
I like books and characters that will make you think.
Looking forward to having you at The Muse shortly, and ya’ll need to pick up Soul Seducer — it’s Amazing. I’m so glad to see it on the shelves, as this was one story I was pulling for all along. Congrats, bunches.
Hahaha, Derek. It’s a sad truth, most women do like bad boys. I will definitely let you know how the ‘moving in with Denise’ strategy develops.
Hi Claire…good answers! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words about my book. I really appreciate your help and support with Soul Seducer.
I look forward to being at the Muse!