We're delighted here at the minxes today, to welcome minx favourite, Trish Wylie, who's here to answer minxy questions and tell us all about her new book. Trish would like to give a signed copy of her latest Riva, The Inconvenient Laws of Attraction to one lucky (non-minx) commenter, so do leave a comment below!
Right - let the questions begin...
What is your writing process?
It usually starts with a snippet of something; a line of dialogue or something I have watched which I thought should have a different ending or left me asking questions. Next up I'll 'cast' my hero and heroine with pretty pictures and create character profiles, thinking about the conflict which keeps them apart. With a few scenes in mind I wing it from there, keeping an eye on the word-count for turning points.
Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I find the need to eat a great motivator but on the really bad days I'll simply keep plugging away at it-even if I'm writing complete twaddle-and set myself a word-count goal. Once I'm over the 'hump' and get going again, I'll delete a lot of what it took to get me there.
Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I've tried pretty much everything from exercising with a Swiss Ball to WII Fit and have discovered a total lack of self-motivation until about a fortnight before I have to meet people in the writing world. The only thing I do regularly is walk my dogs and look after my horses.
Do you believe in writer's block?
Yes, but I believe there's always an underlying cause for it. In my case it started with burn-out after a particularly busy writing year combined with my first ever run of publicity. When real life decided to add to my woes with family problems I found it even more difficult to write happily-ever-afters. What I have learned is to pace myself, prioritize and allow space for down-time in my schedule. The creative process is all in the mind so I strongly believe taking care of your mental health is every bit as important as your physical well-being.
What have the changes to the current Harlequin lines and branding meant to you? Have they affected your writing process?
Personally I've found it liberating. Over the years I had ideas for stories I didn't feel quite 'fit' in either of the lines I was writing for and often found I was 'reining myself in', despite encouragement from my editor to think outside the box. With Riva I'm pitching the kind of stories I love best and am having an incredible amount of fun writing them. My process hasn't changed any more than it already had for me to get out of my writing 'funk', but I don't feel like I'm holding back now.
What do you think makes a Riva book Riva?
When I think Riva, I think of films like The Proposal, 27 Dresses, Two Weeks Notice and Failure To Launch. They're an incredibly fun read with stories which frequently catch me off-guard. I love that about Riva.
Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book? If so, did it get you into trouble?
Yes, but since it was a long, long time ago and no-one has figured it out, I reckon I've got away with it.
In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
The thing I really wasn't prepared for was how much I've ended up doing online. Like most people I couldn't afford to pay someone to set up and run a website for me, so I found myself on a pretty steep learning curve. I'm still learning but at least now I have a better idea of what works for me and what doesn't so I can prioritize accordingly. On the plus side I had no idea how many new friends I would make across the world. I can honestly say my life has been enriched by the people I've met. I'll be forever grateful for that and for the support they gave me when things were tough.
Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
In the early days I did everything people told me to do; sent out books for reviews, entered contests, took out ads on websites, blogged daily, did interviews and talks, was active on numerous loops, had a presence on MySpace and Facebook and Bebo and, and, and... Some of those things I definitely think helped to get my name out there but eventually it started to eat into my writing time and something had to give. These days I'm a huge fan of Twitter and it's word-count restrictions, am attempting to blog weekly and intend to keep up with a handful of review sites and contests. Anything else will be totally dependent on my writing schedule since I strongly believe the most effective promotion is the books and telling the best stories I possibly can.
What is your top promo tip for other authors?
The latter part of the last answer. I'd then add there's no point doing promotion if you have nothing to promote, and say if a reader enjoys a book by a particular author, they will go looking for more by them.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I discovered it was necessary to mix things up to get back on track. I used to write to music, I wrote the majority of this one in silence. I used to write without stopping to edit, this time I had to have every scene tight before I moved on to the next. I used to type everything into a Word doc, now I write a lot of scenes in long hand and type up my work a the end of the day. I should also add this book taught me that I can still write. On my darkest days I sincerely doubted I could.
What was the most fun part of writing this book?
When the characters were fully formed and took hold of the story. I love when that happens and frequently discover things I didn't know; Liv's NYPD brothers doing background checks on every guy they see her with being one of them...
And just for fun: what would your hero's honeymoon destination of choice be?
He wouldn't be fussy about the 'where' part so long as they were locked indoors with no interruptions.
Thanks so much for the author spotlight, Trish. Trish will pick a winner a week after the post goes live, and pass on their name to the minxes, who will put out a call for contact details for one lucky winner!
Laying Down The Law
Lawyer Olivia Brannigan has faced down some cool customers in her time. But latest client Blake Clayton takes emotional control to a whole new level. The man didn't even bat an eyelid when he discovered he'd inherited a fortune from his estranged father!
Blake doesn't want guilt money - the only thing piquing his interest is the tough-talking, sweet-looking lawyer that comes with his new property portfolio.
Dating on the job isn't in Olivia's 'Guide to Good Client-Lawyer Relationships' and it certainly doesn't sit easily with her 'no strings' attitude... But aren't rules always made to be broken?
The Inconvenient Laws of Attraction is available all over the place, but most especially here:
Mills & Boon Website:
Amazon.co.uk - Paperback (also available in Kindle edition, search around for it!)
Amazon.com - Kindle