Friday, April 9, 2010

#Authorpalooza2010 Day 10 - Guest Author Stephanie Draven

Welcome to my little piece of Heaven,

Ms. Stephanie Draven!!!

How long have you been writing?
My illustrious writing career started when I was about ten years old and my grandmother locked me in the back of the car with my younger cousins. My mission? To keep them entertained while she shopped. At a loss for any other way to keep the little hellions entertained, I told them stories.
Nowadays, it's illegal to lock your pet in the back of a car during high summer, much less four children, but since we lived through the ordeal and I went on to be a published storyteller, Grandma thinks I should be grateful to her.

How thrilled where you when your first book was released?
Thrilled doesn't describe it! My first release was a novella called MIDNIGHT MEDUSA, a re-telling of the Gorgon Myth for HQN's Silhouette Nocturne. I was so excited that I told everybody about it. Repeatedly. I think I told cashiers at the grocery store. I may have even called up an old boyfriend or two just to brag. Just kidding. I mean, who would do that? *cough*

What's one day in the life of Stephanie Draven like?
Because Stephanie Draven is a pen name, I like to imagine that she has a very dark and dangerous life. Whereas I am awakened by my fuzzy alarm clock, Butterscotch, I like to think that Stephanie Draven wakes up to the scent of brewing coffee and a mysterious man in her kitchen. Whereas I spend most of my days tapping at my computer, Stephanie Draven does her work in a little villa overlooking the Bay of Naples. And whereas I tend to have dinner with my husband in front of the television, watching my favorite soap opera, General Hospital, I think Stephanie Draven frequents scandalous dance clubs where police raids sometimes take place.

Do you have a current project you’re working on or something you plan to begin soon?
I've been toying with the next installment of my Mythica series for Harlequin--I've done a gorgon, a chimera, a sphinx, a minotaur, a dryad...I think I need to write a novella about a sexy siren who meets the one man who can resist her charms.

In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of being a published author?
When I was an unpublished author, my work came together at my leisure. A novel was finished when I thought it was done and not before. I took my time crafting it until it was exactly the way I wanted it. I don't have that luxury now because I have deadline on top of deadline--which I'm not complaining about, because let's face it, these are the problems I wanted to have! But the deadlines do force me to work much faster than is natural for me, and to create on demand. It's really tough.

What’s the most rewarding?
I know I just told you that deadlines were the most difficult part of being a published author, but the truth is that they also have forced me to get past all the excuses that we give ourselves as creative people. I might have "a process" or "a vision" but all of that is irrelevant when you have a deadline staring you down. It makes you sit down and work, even when you're not feeling it, and that's what makes you into a professional. Meeting your deadlines, being accountable, and creating many works of art to share--that's very rewarding.

If you could co-author a book with any of your fellow authors or anyone from anywhere, who would you choose and why?
That is a really tricky question! The first person that comes to mind is Sabrina Darby, an author for Avon, who just published her work of Regency Erotica, entitled, "On these Silken Sheets." I don't write Regency and I don't typically write erotica either, but what appeals to me about Sabrina is that she's a transgressive writer. She likes to push the envelope and break the rules, and I enjoy doing that too. In every story I've written for HQN so far, I've done something that you just aren't supposed to do in a romance novel--and that's very gratifying for me. So if Sabrina and I ever pair up to write something, you can expect us to be rebels!

Describe your writing process.
I'm a great re-writer. For me, the art is in the editing. That means, I need something to work with, so I've learned to write a fast draft. That is to say, I spend every day for a month writing a set wordcount until the book is finished. Then I take a month away from it working on something else, and when my mind is fresh, I start editing it and turning it into something I'm proud to put my name on. Every writer has a different method, and whatever works for them is great, but for me, there's nothing that beats having a completed draft to work with.

What is the most interesting place you’ve ever visited?
A few years ago, I had the good fortune to visit Mayan ruins in Xunantunich, Belize. I love history, so even though Mayan history isn't my strong-suit or my obsession, it was something truly amazing to be standing on rocks that were carved thousands of years ago by a civilization now lost to us. I'd love to go back.

What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Have you ever wondered what kind of daddy issues a girl might have if she's the daughter of Ares, Greek God of War? If so, get ready for POISONED KISSES, which is my first full-length Nocturne, set to hit the shelves in October, 2010. My heroine is a knife-wielding nymph of the underworld who has pledged to thwart her father and all his minions, starting with a notorious shape-shifting arms dealer. But Marco Kaisaris isn't the monster she thinks he is, and even if he doesn't break her heart, he might still be the death of her.

Thanks for interviewing me!


It was definitely been my pleasure Stephanie! Thank you!

Here's a couple blubs from Stephanie's books:

Midnight Medusa

eHarlequin Books

Read Online Excerpt

As a child, Renata witnessed unspeakable horrors in war-torn Bosnia. Now a world away in New York City, Renata channels her pain and anger into her art, sculpting war criminals--all of whom die once her pieces are complete.

It seems like just a sick coincidence until Damon, a son of Ares, kidnaps her and tells her the shocking truth: that Renata is a gorgon with the power to kill with her art. Will Renata use her new-found power to get revenge, or will the sexy, mysterious Damon stop her first?

Wild, Tethered, Bound
eHarlequin Books
Read Online Excerpt

Lieutenant Nick Leandros is a battle-hardened soldier who thinks he's seen everything. But nothing prepares him for the horror he encounters in a dark, war-torn forest.

The carnage fractures him--body and soul. Split into three separate men with three savage wills, he struggles to tame the cunning creatures and hold them inside. His only hope of salvation is Dessa, a beautiful dryad who is bound to Nick by mystic forces. She alone understands what he has become, and Nick is the only man who can give her the child she needs.

But the cruelest, most lustful part of him demands her submission as the price for his help. With her powers waning every day, time is running out for Dessa to save the last forests of her country...and to heal the man she's come to love.

Thanks to Stephanie, she's giving one lucky commenter a chance to win one of her ARC to her ebooks.

To enter you must either tweet about this giveaway with link of this post and hashtag #Authorpalooza2010.

If you don't have a twitter account you can post on any other social networks, i.e. Facebook, blog, myspace, etc.. and this goes for all the other authorpalooza giveaways as well. :)

And answer the question(s) below.

If you can trade places with one fictional character which character would you choose?

Thanks and Good Luck!



ninidee said...

Stephanie, I enjoyed reading your interview. You sound like a fun girl. Good Luck to you. Maybe one day you will be writing in a Villa in Naples.:)

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

One of the best things about this Authorpalooza is that I discover some new authors which I ahven't heard of before, and thanks to the recommendations my TBR list is exploding! ;-) Now Stephanie is another author I'll have to keep an eye out for.

Haha, Stephanie really has an exciting life ;-) It's great how you incorporate mythology in your novels, would love to read them! And I love the Mayan culture, my dream is to go to Peru and visit some ruins! Oh, lucky you! :-)

Wishing you good luck and lots of success for the future Stephanie! :-)

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

ps: sorry I forgot to copy the link to my tweet, so here it is: I tweeted here:

Stephanie Draven said...

Maribeth, if I'm ever writing in a Villa in Naples, I'm going to throw a big party and invite you. Deal?

Stephanie Draven said...

Stella, I hope you get to go to Peru. South America is beautiful, and when you're in the jungle, you feel like Indiana Jones. Or maybe that's just me and my overactive fantasy life...

SabrinaDarby said...

Ooooh! You know I totally would love to write something with you too! I'd also like to frequent some of those scandalous dance clubs. ;-)

(Don't need to enter me into comment giveaway since I have both of these!)

Christie Kelley said...

Fun interview, Stephanie! The books sound great!

Christi Barth said...

Stephanie - great interview - but October is soooo far away! Can't wait to see how you get around the siren myth, too.

Jeannie Lin said...

I love Greek and Egyptian mythology and your stories sound amazing. Major congrats on the first novel release of Poisoned Kisses later this year.

If I could be anyone...hmmm...I'm waffling between special powers...afternoon tea and pretty dresses...Princess Leia perhaps? She had some rough moments and I would never wear that bikini, but she does end up with Han Solo.

Stephanie Draven said...

Thanks Jeannie! Princess Leia definitely appeals. In fact, perusing my bookshelves, I'm not sure I can come up with a better one. She gets to wear sexy clothes _and_ kick butt.

Cambria Dillon said...

Great interview Steph! I can't wait until Poisoned Kisses comes out -- knife-wielding nymph and a shapeshifter named Marco? Yes, please!

(No need to enter me because I have both your ebooks!)

Rosie said...

I'd trade places with Buffy . . . to be lean, fit and a fighting machine . . . plus have two hearthrobs . . . Angel and Spike. :-)

cait045 said...

Wow what a cool question. I would love to trade places with Cat from Jeaniene Frost. I would love to be with Bones.

Melanie said...

Ooohhh great question!! I thing I have to agree with Rosie and say Buffy. I would prefer being with Spike though. ;)

I think I would also like to trade places with Bella Swan. Two hot guys fighting over me...who wouldn't like that? :D

Great interview! I love coming here everyday and discovering new authors to add on my reading list!

I tweeted :

Veronica said...

Thanks for everyone showing some love for Stephanie. And I loved reading you all picks for which fictional character you would like to trade places with. Mine would definitely be either Sookie Stackhouse or Mercy Thompson.


Jamie Michele said...

I'm late reading this, but couldn't resist saying "hi" to Stephanie. So, hi!

Fictional character I'd most like to become: Sydney Bristow from "Alias."

Stephanie Draven said...

Melanie! You're the winner! I'll arrange with you to get you the prize ;)