Friday, July 24, 2009

Special Guest: Donna Marie Rogers

Author Donna Marie Rogers has been kind enough to do an interview with us today. Readers, don't forget to leave a little hello comment to enter yourself to win an e-copy of her new book, Meant to Be! Now on to the interview...

1. How long have you been writing to get published and what do you think finally garnered your success at it?

I sat down at my computer with serious intent to get published in early 2004. I had tried writing a novel several years earlier (in my 20s), but became discouraged when I realized how hard it actually was to write an entire book. (LOL) But with a thicker skin and a stronger sense of perseverance, I sat down in 2004 and wrote the first draft of There's Only Been You, which took about eight months. I can't even describe how excited I was to type THE END after all those partial stories I'd written years earlier. :-)

2. What inspires your story ideas?

Lots of things, really. The news, articles, life experiences. Family, friends, neighbors, people everywhere. Reality shows, I've discovered, are a great source when looking for quirky characters. LOL

3. How did you come up with your title?

Well, I wanted a title I could work into the story as dialogue, like I'd done with There's Only Been You. I honestly don't remember exactly how I settled on Meant To Be, all I know is when I said it aloud, it just seemed a perfect fit for Garrett & Jessica. :-)

4. Do you use visual aids to help you write? If so, what kind?

Maybe a few pictures of stud muffins...strictly to help keep me focused. LOL

5. Do you relate more with the hero or heroine in your stories?

I know it's odd, but I tend to relate more to my heroes. I love writing in the male POV, and sometimes have to remind myself that my heroines would like to be heard from, too. LOL Maybe it has to do with having two brothers, no sisters, and being the only girl born in four generations on my father's side.

6. Whose POV do you like to write your love scenes from the most and why?

Again, I prefer the male POV, even for love scenes, though I do them from both. But I guess...I already know what's going on inside a woman's head when she's making love. LOL So I prefer to hear it from the other side when I can. ;-)

7. Describe the hero and heroine of your current release.

Garrett Jamison is a big, moody cop with a heart of gold. He's 6' 5" and built like a Mack truck with dark brown hair & eyes. He's the oldest of the Jamison brood; then comes Nick, Sara, and Danny is the youngest. Their parents died when Garrett was twelve, and Uncle Luke, their father's brother, moved in to take care of them. But Garrett's always been the head of the family. A job he takes seriously--maybe too seriously at times.

Jessica McGovern is a tiny slip of a thing, just over five-feet tall, with long blonde hair & blue eyes. What she lacks in height she makes up for in feisty. She struggles back from the brink of depression after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. She packs up her old pickup truck, her mammoth gray-and-white tabby, Mr. Louie, and moves halfway across the country for a fresh start in Wisconsin where she’s rented her uncle’s house--right next door to the Jamison's.

8. Is there wiggle room for a sequel and do you have plans to write one?

Meant To Be is actually the second book in my Jamison series, There's Only Been You (Sara's story) is the first. I plan to write Nick's story soon, and Danny's story eventually (he's in his early twenties, so I'll give him a few years ;-).

9. What are you up to now? Do you have an upcoming release you'd like to share a little info on?

My naughty alter-ego, Liza James, has a recent release with eRed Sage titled Hot For Teacher. Is it all right if I share the blurb? *g*

High school teacher Tessa Marshall is at a club with her sister celebrating her 40th birthday when the hunk of her dreams walks through the door. He's tall, dark, and oh-so handsome. He's also ten years her junior, which makes him the perfect candidate for a night of smokin' hot birthday sex. Only it quickly becomes apparent the man is special, which scares the hell out of her since nothing can ever come of it. With regret, she slips from the room while he's sleeping, intending never to see him again.

Scott Chapman is captivated by the beautiful Tessa, and though he swore off relationships several years ago, he finds himself instantly drawn to the blonde stunner. He takes her back to his hotel room for the birthday night of her life, and soon realizes their connection is deeper than he'd imagined. When he wakes up the following morning and discovers her gone, he's disappointed. They both find out, however, that fate has a mind of its own.

10. Tell us something we'd be surprised to know about you.

I can make & can my own sauerkraut. Pie fillings, too. Beef stew, soups, chili. I can can pretty much anything. Exciting stuff, hey? LOL Sorry, I'm an open book, so I can't think of anything surprising...that I can tell you, anyway. *big wink*

11. What is your favorite fictional love scene of all time (can be literary or film)?

Wow, now that's a hard one. Hmm...If I had the time to really think about it, I'd probably come up with tons of favorites because I've read some fantastic love scenes. One that comes to mind is from Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard, which takes place during a thunderstorm. For some reason, that's always hot...LOL Actually, many of Linda's love scenes come to mind. The woman is a master. Lori Foster writes great love scenes as well.

12. What can readers expect to see from you in the next few years?

Definitely the sequel to Welcome To Redemption, a small-town anthology I wrote with my good friend Stacey Joy Netzel. I know lots of people are looking forward to it (and not just our families...LOL). I'm also halfway through Jack Sutton's story. Jack is introduced in Meant To Be, and I knew right away I wanted to write the brooding ex-con's happily-ever-after.

Tracy, thank you for having me. And thank you to everyone who stopped by!

**I plan to give away an e-copy of Meant To Be to a random commenter, so please leave me a comment to be eligible. :-)

Meant to Be

She's running from her past, he's unsure about his future. Maybe together they can figure out what was MEANT TO BE. Officer Garrett Jamison is at the lowest point in his life. He’s lost faith in his ability as a police officer after unwittingly setting his sister up with a dirty cop. Garrett ended up getting shot, and his sister's son kidnapped right out of his own bed. He takes a leave from the force, in need of some time to make a decision about his future. Too bad he can't get a decent night's sleep thanks to his sexy new neighbor and her howling cat.

Jessica McGovern moves halfway across the country to start a new life in Green Bay, Wisconsin after her ex-husband is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their young son. Her new neighbor is as infuriating as he is handsome, but when her ex is released from prison early and shows up in town, Jessica discovers she's never needed anyone more...


"Come here, Miss Crabbypants."

Jessica resisted, but it was no use. The big oaf outweighed her by a ton. "Look, I just want to finish my tea and relax. Today's my last day off for almost two weeks."

He leaned back and frowned down at her. "Why are you working so many hours?"

She rolled her eyes. "Um, I have bills to pay...?"

His gaze became pensive as he massaged the back of her neck. Slowly, she relaxed until she was leaning into his broad chest, eyes closed, inhaling his spicy masculine scent. He always smelled so good...Damn, the man was a magician; she'd already forgotten why she was mad at him...Wait, oh yeah. "So what's with all that hammering?"

"We're building a doghouse."

His busy fingers moved to her shoulders wringing a groan of ecstasy from her. Oh, God, was she drooling on his shirt? Then his words registered. Jessica leaned back and swiped her mouth with the back of her wrist. "A doghouse? But you don't have a you?"

"No, but Ethan's been begging for a puppy for a couple years now. I guess he finally wore Sara down. And Mike's still in the ‘buy-Ethan-anything-he-wants' phase." Garrett glanced down at his T-shirt and chuckled. He reached out and recaptured the back of her neck. "Liked that, did you? You do seem a little tense—"

"Oh, no you don't." She ducked out of his reach and took a few steps back. He started to follow but she held up both hands. "You stay right where you are."

He propped his hands on his hips. "So do I have a date tonight or what?"

"Or what."

He grinned. "Wear something sexy," he said with a wink before strolling out the back door. The jackass even had the nerve to whistle.

Jessica walked over and slammed the door with a muttered, "Nutjob." Then she headed into the bedroom to search through her closet.


Mary Ricksen said...

I really got a kick out of your excerpt. Nutjob has come to mind several times with my DH.
Good luck with sales!

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Thanks, Mary. And I hear ya about 'nutjob'...LOL

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Another great interview, Donna! Since you enjoy the male POV so much, it's a good thing you write them well, too. Must be something to do with all those focus-inducing stud-muffing pictures. :)

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Thank you, Stacey. :-) And I can easily return the compliment; Tripp Warner from CHASIN' MASON is one sexy dude. *g*

Sweetsnan said...

Donna - I really enjoy your interviews; your personality comes through so clearly. Sauerkraut, huh? Whoda thunk?
Nancy Sweetland

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Donna, I just visited you at Deb's!

Okay, here's something weird -- I make and can my own sauerkraut, too! I'm a good German girl, LOL. Makes the basement stink something awful, though, doesn't it?

Best of luck with the release!

Teresa Reasor said...

I had a Freudian slip when I posted the blog to the loops. Please forgive me. But who knows maybe it will give you a little more exposure. Now everyone will connect Donna Marie to Karen Marie and remember your name. I will.

I loved your exerpt. And laughed out loud.

Good luck with the release!!! I hope you sell a million copies.
Teresa R.

Beppie Harrison said...

Good luck with your book and the books of your alter ego -- when I consider everything you accomplish I am silent with awe.

Fascinating tidbits in this interview -- sauerkraut, huh?

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Teresa, thanks so much for having me, & Beppie, thanks for commenting. I have to admit, because I'm at a different blog each day, I forget to go back and check the others for comments. *sheepish grin* But I'll be drawing two winners to receive a signed copy each of There's Only Been You & Meant To Be, so please, keep commenting.

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Donna, and Teresa,

Great interview and questions. Donna, Your titles are different; most titles are an article, adjective, and noun. But yours do flow smoothly. As for writing in the Male POV, I think it's preferable because we're putting words that we'd like to hear in our heros mouth or brain. We want our man to understand us, to see our beauty the way the fictional hero sees his heroine.

I enjoyed learning a bit about you and your writing, Donna. You don't have to enter me in the contest because I won an e copy of There's Only Been You in November, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That way, someone else will have a chance to read your writing.


Donna Marie Rogers said...

Julie, that's so incredibly sweet, I don't know what to say. :-) I don't love all of my titles, but I am grateful I wasn't asked to change There's Only Been You, that's for sure.

Since you enjoyed There's Only Been You so much, I sure hope you get to read Meant To Be one of these days. :-)

Julie Robinson said...

It's on my list :-)

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