I am thrilled to introduce you to one of my best writing buds, Danielle Ravencraft. We have been exchanging emails and posts now for well over a year, through multiple blogs, crisscrossing on our way to fame and fortune! She got the call in January, and hasn't looked back since. I know you will enjoy getting to know her, and reading her work.
Welcome to my world, Danielle. What genres do you write and why? Anything interesting about how you got started?
I write erotic romance with a healthy dose of drama. I got my start in this genre because of a dream I had about two lovers, Ophelia and Trace, and the quarrel between them. Before that dream, I had never written anything erotic. I'm usually one for urban fantasy and YA romance. But that dream kept bugging and eventually I caved and wrote it. My beta readers loved it and encouraged me to get it published, so I perused it. It turned out to be my fist acceptance. J
No wonder. I want one of those dreams. Do you like writing in series, or single?
Every story I write ends up being a series, haha. As a reader, I've always loved series and chronicles. I'd get so addicted to them. Writing a series is a different matter. I love it, but it presents many more challenges than a stand-alone novel does. There's a lot more to plan and you have to be on top of your game to make sure your characters and your world stays consistent through each book. It can be down-right hard at times.
Very smart indeed. Series is where it's at. Tell us about what you did to get "the call."
By “the call”, I assume you mean the acceptance letter. J I didn't do anything special other than write something outside my normal genre at the time. I'm very glad I did. I think it's the smartest move I've made since I started writing. Otherwise I might still be struggling with my urban fantasy. Instead, the same publisher who took my erotic romance also loved my urban fantasy manuscript!
Very smart indeed. You wrote something that was of your heart. Your editor got it. Who is your favorite character you've created? Why?
Gosh, I really love all my characters. We're all best friends. And they are all so different in their strengths and weaknesses. Trace and Ophelia are at the front of my thoughts right now since I've been working on continuing their story for the past few weeks. They really are a cute couple.
Oh good. We get more! Do you find it easier to write the bad boys or the good boys? I'm assuming both are heroic, but which ones are more fun to write?
Definitely the bad boys are more fun. Sometimes I stop mid-sentence and laugh at something they just said or did - or gasp. They make writing more fun. But the good boys can be fun too, just in a more secretive way. *wink*
I'm with you. Bad boys are so fun to write. Love finding out how good they are under that shell. What about the heroines? Do you find it easiest to write the bad girls or the good girls?
The good girls are easier for me to write because I am a (mostly) good girl so it's harder to get into the mindset of a bad girl character. I really like strong, witty or quirky female leads with a touch of sarcasm that makes you laugh. Yeah, I might have just described myself as well…
I'd have to agree with you there, Danielle. We'd get into some trouble if we lived any closer. If you could have a date with one of your characters, which one would it be and why? Where would you go?
Trace would take me to the field museum in Chicago followed by a few drinks and dinner at some really expensive restaurant in the city.
And then? tee hee. If you could go to a desert island with two companions, who would you bring? What would you do there? What would you bring if you could bring anything?
I would bring my beta readers, Charlene and Anastasia. I'd bring an endless supply of margaritas for me and Charlene and a truck-load of Pepsi for Anastasia, and we'd call it a vacation.
LOL. Here I thought you might put Jimmy Thomas in your suitcase too, but I can see you guys would have tons of fun. Pretend you have just sold your 100,000th copy of one of your books. What will you do to celebrate?
Well, that depends on fast they sell. LOL. Probably dinner with my friends and family or something to that extent.
Tell us something about you that most people wouldn't know or guess about you?
I'm a closet nerd. I like gaming and anime and wearing Victorian costumes, but I'm in denial about it. LOL.
Your secret is safe with me. Who are your favorite authors/books?
I love Anne Rice and Orson Scott Card, but I read a ton and my “current obsession” is always changing. The best recent book I've read was “First Grave on the Right” by Darynda Jones. I'm really looking forward to the sequel, “Second Grave on the Left”.
Ohh. Two of my favorites too. Darynda is so funny. Her style does remind me of your writing, IMHO. What are you working on now?
I recently finished writing the sequel to “A Trace of Love”. The sequel is called “A Trace of Passion”. I'm plotting the third installment, titled “A Trace of Hope”. I'm also plotting a new novella that is a paranormal erotic romance called “Orion”.
Can't wait to read them all. So now for the fun stuff. Please give us a tease, an excerpt:
Excerpt for “A Trace of Love”
Ophelia sat in her favorite spot in the entire world; the little bar in the very back of The House of Blues. Usually The House of Blues featured local bands; everything from Soul to Bluegrass. She couldn't say why she loved it there. It wasn't the music or the booze or the way reality seemed to evaporate in the dim lighting. But it was, nonetheless, her heaven.
Today was one of those rare occasions when the venue starred an international band, which meant The House of Blues was packed to the brim. The concert ended and the throngs of fans made their way to the exit. The bartender winked and handed her another beer. He knew Ophelia by name and always let her linger until they locked up.
Ophelia blinked as the lights brightened. Plastic cups, spilled beverages, straws, napkins, glow sticks, promotional fliers and the occasional bra littered the floor. A smile inched across her lips. Molten Silk put on a good show.
Other than the bartender, bouncer, stage crew and broom boy, The House of Blues was empty and eerily silent. The guys worked quickly, ignoring Ophelia as she nursed the last sip of her drink. The worst part of the day approached; the part where she would have to go home to an empty apartment.
Laughter broke the silence as five men walked out on stage, holding bottles of something alcoholic.
“Oi! Is the bar still open?” one of them shouted. The bartender nodded. “Bring us a round over here, mate!”
Ophelia ducked her head, watching the men from the corner of her eye. They were Molten Silk, the band. They looked different in normal lighting, like regular people in ridiculous Goth costumes, but she was positive it was really them. Heat rushed to her face and she looked away.
“I'm goin' for a smoke,” said an unmistakable voice. Ophelia didn't want to turn around
and stare, but she couldn't help peeking over her shoulder. Trace Curtis, the lead singer, headed for the door with a cigarette bobbing between his lips, lighter ready in his hand. She held her breath as he passed by, just inches behind her. She knew him back when he was Mathew Curtis, the heart-throb teen that played guitar for the lunch ladies. She didn't know why Mathew changed his name after his debut album went platinum.
Trace paused at the door. He turned around and glanced at Ophelia. She looked away, hoping he didn't notice her staring. It's not like it matters, she thought. He's just going to keep right on walking out the door.
“Do I know you?”
Ophelia jumped. She turned and came face to face with Trace Curtis. A small bout of panic took her mind. Should she tell him they went to high school together? She doubted it would help. They were just as much strangers in high school as they were in adulthood and it would be best to keep it that way. She shook her head.
He leaned against the bar counter. “Are you sure?”
Ophelia smiled. “I think I would remember if we met before.”
Trace wet his lips. “Have a drink with me?”
She looked at her empty beer bottle. What harm could another beer do? “Sure.”
Grinning, Trace snapped his fingers and ordered two more beers. He took a seat and looked Ophelia over, letting his eyes linger just long enough to make her blush. “I could swear I've seen you before.”
She shrugged. “Maybe you have. I come here every weekend.” But Trace didn't look convinced.
“Oi, Trace! We're going bar hopping, mate! Come on.”
Well, that's the end of that, thought Ophelia.
But Trace didn't move, except to wave his band mates away. “You guys go ahead; I'll meet you back at the hotel later.”
The guys made cat-calls aimed at Ophelia, her cheeks burned scarlet.
“Sorry about them,” Trace mumbled, scowling at his friends as they left. He reached for his beer at the same time Ophelia reached for hers. A tiny shock of static passed between their fingers. Ophelia jumped and glanced at Trace. He scoffed and then moved his fingers so they glided over hers. His skin was warm and callused from years of playing guitar. His pale blue eyes studied her face.
Ophelia bit her lip, suppressing a laugh. Oh, Mathew, you're still just as smooth as ever; touching my hand, but keeping your gaze above my neckline. As if she didn't know what he was after.
Trace removed his hand and cleared his throat. “So, are you from around here?”
She shrugged, trying not to burst into giggles. “Close enough.”
He glanced away, looking first at the stage and then at the door. Ophelia winced. He was probably getting bored and wished he'd joined his friends. She shouldn't have felt hurt. She shouldn't have cared if he left. He was just one guy. But at the same time, he wasn't. He was Mathew, her old high school crush. And she expected him to be the same cocky dick. But he wasn't. He was standing next to her shuffling his feet and blushing at the awkward silence like an average Joe.
At the same time, Trace and Ophelia mumbled what they both thought. “You want to get out of here?”
They blinked at each other and Trace chuckled, his voice as lovely and carefree as a child's. Ophelia laughed and felt herself relax, instantly at ease in Trace's company.
THANK YOU, Danielle. It has been a pleasure having you today. I hope everyone goes out and gets this amazing book from a new author who is one to watch. I'm so proud to consider you my friend.