Monday, July 20, 2009

Author Interview ~ Vivian Arend

It’s Monday, and today we have Vivian Arend here with us to hang out on the couch. Welcome to The Menagerie, Vivian, make yourself comfortable. Let’s get started: Where are you from?

She’s everywhere, she’s everywhere! Well, not really, but sometimes it feels like it. I’ve moved a number of times over the years. Since Jan 05 I’ve lived in Alberta, the Yukon, southern Alberta and now I’m in British Columbia, Canada.

We just came back from holidays and my hubby asked if it felt like we were home as we drove into town. You know what? It didn’t. Too much gypsy blood- I’d love to move every year.

LOL, I was an Air Force brat… I know what you mean. Except, now, I hate to move. When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as a bit of a dare. A friend asked me to join her in NaNoWriMo- the month long writing challenge to complete a 50K story in November 2007. We signed up together and by the end of the first week I was hooked. I wrote a Young Adult fantasy, with elves and humans… and it turned into book one of a three book epic. It was 120K by the end of the month.

I had never written anything fictional before, but it seemed to work. Then in January of 2008 I discovered ebooks and erotic romance. Read a number, enjoyed them immensely, and decided I should try to write one. The first story I completed, Hidden Away, was started in March and finished by middle of April. I had so much fun I thought I should try another, and wrote Wolf Signs. By the end of the summer I had a contract with Samhain for it to be published, and my first book released in March 2009.

I haven’t been able to finish a NaNoWriMo novel yet. *sigh* How awesome for you that you did on your first time out! That’s how it works, you read something, you try to write it, and if you like it, you do it again. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. I know I write, but seeing a book with my name on it up at Books on Board next to a ‘real’ author like Author C Clarke- that was a thrill!

LOL. Maybe it will sink in after your… tenth book. How did you come up with the title?

There’s a connection between one of the heroes, Joshua and Alexia, the heroine, that started with an innocent kiss on the beach as teenagers. The resulting impact was as long lasting as a Tidal Wave. I didn’t do it deliberately but there are lots of water type comments and quotes throughout the story.

I love when the title works so well for you. Most of the time I have to wrack my brain for ideas. What are your current projects?

I have a long list of projects, but most of them are the next book in the series. The book to follow Tidal Wave is called Whirlpool, and so far looks very hawt. I have new stories in my cowboy series, The Six Pack Ranch to complete, with five more boys to settle. Although there’s only four books planned- naughty twins! There’s at least two more books in the Granite Lake series. And I’m planning on submitting a story to Samhain’s ‘Space Opera’ call, so that will be worked on this summer.

WOW, so you have a lot on your plate. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Currently working on ‘Legacy’, a contemporary suspense. By the time you read this interview, I’m sure I’ll be working on something else! But for fun…

She made her way up the stars and he stared after her, admiring the sway of her hips, his body tightening with need. She turned at the top and winked at him. "I knew you'd still be watching me."

Ryan held up his hands in defeat. "What can I say? You've got a great…staircase."

Maxine laughed. One of the many clocks in the house sounded the top of the hour and her laugh died away. She glanced at her watch nervously, grasping the banister so tight he saw her knuckles change color.

"Maxine, what's the matter?" He was on the stairs, racing up them two at a time to pull her back into his arms.

She shook her head and opened her mouth to answer when the phone rang and her face went white. She stared at him like a deer in headlights, panic taking over.

"Are you going to get that?" he asked, pointing to the phone on the writing desk adjacent to the second floor-landing window. "Are you worried it’s the fax machine again? I can find out what number is calling and get them to stop."

She mumbled something so soft and quiet he barely made out the words, but it sounded like an apology. She buried her face against him, her body shaking, whimpering with fear.

The answering machine kicked in.

"…one-nine-seven is not available. Please leave a message."

Following the beep, a stream of foul curses carried over the line, calling Maxine by name and threatening her with horribly crude words. Ryan raced to grab the phone. "Who the hell do you think you are, asshole?"

The line went dead.

Ryan swung on Max. "What the fuck was that all about?"

Her complexion was paler than before, her eyes huge in her face and Ryan swore under his breath at his stupidity. She was scared to death. The last thing she needed was him going apeshit on her.

"Damn it, Max, this has happened before, hasn't it?" He forced himself to speak calmly, quietly.

When she nodded he wrapped his arms around her and held her close until the blood pounding through him slowed enough he could hear normally again. He tugged her down the hall toward her bedroom. While he wasn't sure what else was happening he knew this.

He protected his own.

It took mere seconds to find a bag in her closet shelf and toss it on the bed. She looked at him, a silent question in her eyes. "Pack enough things for a couple days. You're coming home with me," Ryan said firmly.


He held up a hand, restraining his temper with an iron grip. "Max. Trust me, you don't want to argue with me right now. Pack the damn bag and meet me downstairs in five minutes or I'll carry you out of here with nothing but the clothes on your back."

Ryan caressed her cheek to reassure her—hell, to reassure himself—then turned and made his way to the kitchen, pulling out his cell phone to place a few vital calls.

Whatever the fuck was happening, it stopped now.

Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing. Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

I don’t travel –yet— to research them, but the books have come about because of my travel. My hubby and I have visited a lot of places wilderness locations around North America and Europe. It’s very easy when you go somewhere new to look around and start to imagine adventures taking place there. The summer of 2008 we went on a family vacation to the Canadian Maritimes, and I loved the time we spent wandering the beaches and climbing the rocky shoreline. A bit of that helped trigger the idea for Jaffrey’s Cove and the setting for Tidal Wave.

It always amazes me how we pull so many things from around us into our work. Who designed the cover?

Angie Waters. She’s done both my covers for Samhain, and she’s incredible!! I’m hoping to steal her away and make sure she’s on for everything I write for Samhain. I don’t know how the cover artists can go from a single page of information regarding hair colour, height etc and end up with the amazing pieces of art they do!

Well, they have super powers! I swear that’s got to be how it works. LOL How long does it take you to write a book?

I’m a fairly fast writer. Tidal Wave has been my quickest story from start to finish. It took a month to write and polish and then a month to receive word Samhain wanted to publish it. Rocky Mountain Heat was two weeks writing the first draft, then lots of revising and adding on later. My stories that have taken the longest have been about three months time. Life gets in the way occasionally!

You can say that again. Still that’s faster than some of us… So, now for the “nothing to do with writing” questions: Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with hearts?

When I was bored one day in junior high— which was often because I found school rather boring—I decided to teach myself how to write my ‘a’s like they appeared in the text books. Instead of making a lower case a like a circle with a short line on the right side, I make mine as a small oval with a circular top- an incomplete number 8.

I also write/print. Unless I’m being very deliberate in my cursive I find I take the pen off the paper at least twice in every word. It makes my handwriting very unusual and made it very tough to teach my daughter how to write cursive!

Oh, hey, I can write my a’s that way too! I usually only do it when I’m making an effort to make it look “nice”, but you know what I mean. My handwriting is a combination of cursive and print as well… see, you’re not alone. When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Okay, seriously here? I was halfway down the hallway to the kitchen before I realized I had no idea what I looked like. I know I looked in the mirror, but I just didn’t see me. Hmm, this either means I have no vanity or I’m such a wreck I just don’t bother anymore!

LOL, that’s funny. Either way works for me. Are you a morning person or a night person?

Both. I trained as a synchronized swimmer when I was a teen, and we had lots of morning practices. It made me get up early (5:15 am) and then I coached for years. But by nature I’m a night owl.

So basically I get up early and stay up late and have a nap in the afternoon if I get a chance.

Whatever works… I can relate to both of those. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke? If so, which do you prefer?

Oh, the taste test issue!! We actually had one of those booths show up one day and I took the test. Can you taste the difference? First, it has to be from a can, not a dispenser, and then yes, I think you can taste it.

Want to know a funny? I like Diet Coke better than Diet Pepsi, but I like Pepsi better than Coke. And since my hubby asked me to give up diet drinks a few years ago (want to avoid the additives) I drink Pepsi if I drink cola.

Only I’d pick Dr. Pepper over both of them!

Sure… be difficult. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?
I would wish…for someone to come and clean out my craft cupboard so I don’t have to feel guilty about all the things I’m no longer going to finish since I’d much rather be writing!!

I have sewing supplies, crafting supplies and WAY too much scrapbooking paper/pens/tools etc. I really am a ‘jack of all trades’ and can do just about any crafty type skill a bit. And I have the tools to prove it. Just not the time and inclination right now!

If you ever figure that one out let me know… my hubby would probably appreciate it if I cleaned out my craft ROOM. :-D Thanks so much for hanging out with us here on the couch today, Vivian. It was great fun getting to know you.

You can keep up with Vivian at her website and blog.

Tidal Wave by Vivian Arend

Slippery when wet…

Forces of Nature, Book 1

From her first kiss to her first sight of dolphins dancing on the waves, Alexia Colten has always held a special place in her heart for Jaffrey’s Cove. Now that she’s back to help her grandmother settle into a home, she discovers this place has lost none of its remembered magic. In fact, it seems more magical than before—and more erotic.

After she’s gifted with a beautiful, dolphin-etched medallion, she finds herself surrounded by the golden boys of summers past. Her body is filled with longings she can’t explain and dreams of blue lights that turn into lovers.

Joshua Marley and his cousin Anthony are merfolk, a people capable of living beneath the waves as either dolphin or human. Alexia holds the medallion that marks her as the next in line to lead their people—if she can prove she can transform. Working in tandem, they’re sure they can arouse her passion and protect her from those who would use her simply to gain power.

But their strength alone may not be enough to help her face the challenge of her new position…

Warning: This title contains a conniving granny, naked men in the surf and shifters who take fun in the water to new depths. Snorkels not required.

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