1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Deanna) Hi, Kam. Thanks for having me!
I’m a twenty-something living on the eastern seaboard of the U.S., and I started writing a few years ago. I took some time to learn the ropes and got serious last year when I dove into romance. I published my first book, Critical Hit-On, back in February, and it’s been a wild and great ride ever since.
2. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.
(Deanna) I walk away. The brain is like a computer. It needs to restart and recharge. If one project gets me stuck, I work on something else. If nothing flows, I take a few days off from writing. One or the other usually does the trick.
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Deanna) Glitz and glam, hah! Most of my free time is spent reading (which is a fun kind of research) or spending time with family/friends/the boyfriend. In terms of extracurricular activities, I do yoga (which I love), have jam sessions with friends, and am a member of an improv comedy group. Very glitzy. ;)
4. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Deanna) They do know, and I love them because they are the most supportive people I could ask for. Many of my friends are writers (as is my dad), so I have a great community wherever I go.
5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Deanna) Top 10. K, here goes (in no particular order).
-1. Derek Landy (Author of Skullduggery Pleasant).
Okay, these are in no particular order, but Landy is my favorite author ever. His Skullduggery Pleasant series is the most well-crafted, hit-you-in-the-face series I’ve ever read. If you haven’t, go read.
-2. J. K. Rowling
No list of authors (for me) is complete without the quintessential author of Harry Potter. What’s not to love about that series? And Rowling’s later stuff, such as The Casual Vacancy, is also awesome.
-3. Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson is the author of many things in the speculative fiction genre. From epic fantasy to dystopian super heroes, the man does it and does it well.
-4. Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)
I wish I could have thought of Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles world and concept. Science fiction fairytale retellings? Yes, please.
-5. Shelby Bach (The Everafters)
Bach’s Everafters series is Percy Jackson meets fairytales with a female protagonist. It’s middle grade at its finest.
-6. Christopher Healy (Heroes Guide series)
These are some of the funniest fairytale retellings I’ve read.
-7. Ernest Cline
Ready Player One spoke to me in a way few books have. It reminded me of a darker time and the difficult (but necessary) choice I made to get out of it. Also, all the geek-speak was great.
-8. Madeline L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time is my favorite book ever. I read it when I was a kid, and everything about it has stayed with me my entire life. Meg is a fantastic protagonist. She’s smart, tough, and vulnerable, and the story is rich in science and fantasy. I love it.
-9. John Milton
I took a class on Milton in College. We read Paradise Lost, and I got lost in it (pun intended.) There are so many layers and intricacies. Good stuff.
I love Greek myth. The Odyssey is full of so much, and Homer brings it out brilliantly in verse.
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Deanna) I’d love a movie version of The Lunar Chronicles. In terms of actors, I don’t even know. But that world is so rich, and I think it would translate wonderfully to the big screen.
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Deanna) Lol, top-secret. I’m working on book 4 in the Games of Love series. It’s Parker’s book, and I don’t have much yet. There will be theatre and super hero references. That’s all I know.
I also have some holiday short stories in the works.
8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Deanna) The Games of Love is a series of interconnected books. They can be read out of order but are best read in the following order: Critical Hit-On, One Fling to Rule Them All, Finish Him. All are currently available on Amazon. (Other retailers coming soon.)
9. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Deanna) Certainly. I can be found at the following haunts.
And there’s a “communicator” page on my site. Subscribe to my newsletter and/or drop me an email. I love to hear from readers! J
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Deanna) “The hills are alive…” No? Never mind. I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by today. I’d also like to say that I adore writing and hope you all read lots of books (hopefully, mine included.) And no matter what books you read, leave reviews, even just short ones. They are super helpful.
First, I want to extend another thank you to Deanna for stopping by today. It was a blast learning more about you and your wonderful creations. Speaking of which, lets take a peek at one of those..... shall we. :)
Finish Him (The Games of Love, #3)
Genre: new adult romance
Release Date: November 17, 2015
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.