From the time I could hold a pen. Seriously, I have some books that I wrote in grade school, Looking back, I’m pretty impressed with my plot-forming skills! I started writing my first book Wyoming Solace back in the early 1990s but I didn’t take it seriously; it was just a way to relax. When I read through it, and I realized that it was an actual *book* I left my ego at the door and began my quest for a publisher.
Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
The ones that are eluding me now will top this list. Of the ones I’ve completed, Préjà Vu gave me the most grey hair. The hero, Trevor Kearney wasn’t a very likeable guy. I had no control over him either, I just had to deal with the way he was, but I finally ended up falling for him, along with heroine Ryann Phillips. Although he made writing the story a little more difficult, I do enjoy writing when the characters take over.
Q: What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?
I’m a pantser. I usually get a wild hair and start writing, sometimes smack dab in the middle of a book. I’ll write until something else grabs me. Currently I have seven of these WIPs going. I hop back and forth depending on my mood and which character talks the loudest. I must have music. It doesn’t matter what kind, opera, classical, country, hip hop, pop, metal, alternative…you name it, I like it. I went through five sets of earbuds in 2009, let’s hope 2010 is even better.
Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?
Don’t be afraid to rewrite. Sometimes it’s hard to do, because of the emotional involvement in each and every word and phrase, but there are times when you just need to bite the bullet and backspace!
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about e-publishing?
That e-books are somehow inferior to print. There are some great authors and editors in the e-pub world, and with the way the ebook readers like Kindle and Nook are selling, I think this is just the beginning of something really great.
Q: How did you come up with your book titles?
I think titles are very important. How do you sum up your book in a few words? The search for each title is an adventure, Wyoming Solace began as ‘Resurgence”. I changed it when I had to define the word to most people I talked to. My father named Préjà Vu after I spent months of agonizing. I wanted something to show that déjà vu feeling, but convey the fact that the feeling comes before the event. Retreat came to me when I was writing the last chapter, since the word’s dual meaning worked out well. (The heroine runs from her first love, “retreats” to hide from her feelings, and years later returns to the guest ranch for a “retreat”) Fine Print was titled well after the book was complete. The book is about an anal-retentive woman who does everything by the book, and her idea to contract a sperm donor.
Q: What books have most influenced your life?
I’m not sure I have any life-altering books. My mother always had a book in hand when I was growing up, and as number five of seven, I had a huge library of hand-me-down books. The Little House series, Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, and anything written by Roald Dahl. I discovered romances when I picked up an older sister’s copy of Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown. From that day on, I was hooked.
Q: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Sandra Brown. See above I love just about everything she’s written, and I love the fact she combines romance with suspense.
Q: What is on tap for 2010?
My latest book Fine Print from Liquid Silver Books will be released in the first part of the year, date TBA. I have a short story coming out from my alter ego Olivia Brynn in June from Samhain Publishing. After that, I have a plethora of works in progress, I hope at least a few of them will see the light of day within these twelve months.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m on Twitter (way too much) at http://www.twitter.com/AlannaCoca.
Then there’s Myspace http://www.myspace.com/alannacoca and my
Thanks for joining us Alanna. Come back on Saturday when we read a sexy excerpt from Alanna’s Préjà Vu.
Until then, Be Naughty!