Saturday, October 2, 2010

Author Interview: Stephanie Draven

Today I have Stephanie Draven visiting my blog. She is currently on blog tour for her new book Posioned Kisses. My review is HERE and you don't want to miss this book. It was really good!


Now onto the interview and getting to know her a little bit better.

Welcome to Becks Book Picks Stephanie!

Tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a subversive. Not that you'd know it to look at me. Sometimes you wouldn't even know it to talk to me. But when I write, my inner bad girl comes out with a vengeance. I love history, ancient mythology, baby animals, tropical vacations, ethnic food, soap operas, and being married. It helps that Mr. Draven is my own personal romance hero.

How did you come up with the idea to Poisoned Kisses?

In an extremely pedestrian fashion. I sat down with some index cards and listed all the monsters I could remember from Greek mythology. Then I started brainstorming more modern interpretations. If a hydra were a human being, instead of a serpentine monster of the deep, what powers would he have? What vulnerabilities would he have? Once I had that figured out, I started sketching out my hero, Marco Kaisaris. What kind of man would he be if he could shapeshift into the identity of anyone who had ever harmed him? What damage would it do to his soul if he knew his blood was deadly poison? Then I wrote down the themes that I wanted to tackle. Commitment. Identity. Forgiveness. I kept up this methodical approach until I had my hero, my heroine, their conflicts, and the plotline of the book. 

I'm a very craftsmanlike writer that way. I don't wait for inspiration to strike. I really work at it!

What is your favorite part in Poisoned Kisses?

Oh, that's very hard to choose. I did love the scene in which Marco transforms himself into a Congolese man to seduce our heroine. She knows who he really is, but there's something very titillating about the strange within the familiar. I liked flirting with a multi-racial element as well because sometimes the romance genre lacks the diversity I would like to see.

Were the intimate scenes hard to write?

Originally, I found love scenes very hard to write because the act of writing a book, for me, is a very intellectual exercise. The first drafts of all my love scenes were exceedingly clinical. Eventually, I learned that I had to flip a switch inside myself to write these scenes. I had to approach them not with my brain, but with my blood, my heart, the rest of me. The end result, I hope, are love scenes that incorporate much more emotion and sensation.

Is Kyra are realatable character to the reader, do you think?

In some ways, as a nymph of the underworld, Kyra is inherently alien. She's an immortal. She sees the shades of the dead. She's lived for thousands of years and she doesn't cotton to our notions of propriety. But in other ways, Kyra is so soft and vulnerable at her core, I can't help but think most women would identify with her. We've all been afraid of being abandoned. We've all experienced that rush of doubt, wondering if we love someone too much. We've probably all experienced the fear that heartbreak would completely destroy us.

So, even though Kyra is a bad girl heroine, I think most women should be able to relate to her. Did you?  Yes, I found her very realatable. She felt like the heroine that knew what she needed to do, but was giving in for love.

What are you currently reading?

I'm right in the middle of Jeannie Lin's excellent debut novel, BUTTERFLY SWORDS. I'm reading it very slowly and lovingly.

What is your favorite book?

I cannot pick just one, but in glancing up at my bookshelf, I'm going to name Octavia Butler's FLEDGLING because it was a take on vampires that was wonderfully strange. No sparkles involved.

Do you have any writing quirks?

I suppose the fact that I am never DONE editing a novel is quirky. Last night, I dreamed I was correcting proofs of POISONED KISSES. Too late now!

What gets you in the mood to write?

I love to write when I'm on fire with inspiration and ideas. When that doesn't happen, I have to make myself write anyway ;)

Tell us about any other books you have written? Have you used a different name?

I write historical fiction as Stephanie Dray. My debut novel, LILY OF THE NILE: A NOVEL OF CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER is slated to release January 2011 and its the first of a forthcoming trilogy about this fascinating but relatively unknown queen. I'm so proud of that book, and so in love with it. To learn more about it, please stop by and sign up for my newsletter.

Do you have anything else you want to share about yourself or Poisoned Kisses?
I hope people will sign up for my very infrequent newsletters. I'll never spam you and I'm always giving stuff away to members. I also love to hear from readers and read reviews, so if you've read Poisoned Kisses or anything else I've written, know that I'm waiting to hear what you think, even if you hated it ;)

Thank you so much for visiting with us today Stephanie! Now I know you must be dieing to get your hands on this book....sooooo click the picture below and it will happily take you over to Amazon for you to purchase! Oh and a get 2 books in 1!!!
Poisoned Kisses (Silhouette Nocturne)

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