Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover artist: Joleene Naylor
Length: 7,000 words
Heat rating: PG
Tagline: Be careful what you wish for.
Lucky no longer believes in wishes, hope, or dreams. Cheated by his bookkeeper and his ex-girlfriend, he's resigned himself to losing everything.
Twenty-five years ago curiosity about a small human trapped Diamond, a leprechaun, inside a crystal paperweight. Now she has one day left to grant Lucky his final wish or perish.
Can a chance meeting between a little boy and a leprechaun result in love?
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Salvatore (Lucky) Luciano is 30 years old. He runs O'Roarke's an Irish pub in the small town of Council Falls, IL.
Diamond Tautha is of indeterminate age. She's a leprechaun.
How did you get your start in the industry?
One Christmas Eve a long time ago, in a far away land - no wait, it was a long time ago, but not that far away, just the suburbs of Chicago - a woman sat alone. Well, not completely alone. Her five-year-old son was sleeping in the next room. But her husband and older son were on their way to Arizona to attend a funeral. As a family they'd decided to postpone their Christmas celebrations until hubby and son returned the following week. On top of that this poor woman's parents had recently relocated to Hawaii.
While sitting there alone on Christmas Eve the woman decided to write a novel. Her currently absent hubby had been teasing her for years about all the romances she read, telling her she should write one herself. "How hard can it be?" he asked. "Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl. You can do that, can't you?"
So little realizing the incredible journey she was embarking on she sat at her typewriter (yes, I started writing back in the Dark Ages) and wrote what she thought would be a short, contemporary romance ala Harlequin. When the heroine turned out to be a winged, telepathic alien who stows away on a passing space ship, the woman (me) realized that romance has many flavors other than vanilla.
What websites do you visit daily?
Aside from my email and hanging out on Facebook, other than for research I don't spend much time surfing (do they still call it that?) the Internet. Occasionally I'll visit an author's web page, mostly just to find out what they have coming out. I don't read a lot of blogs, there's just not enough time in the day to write, read all the great books piling up on my shelves, my Kindle and my Nook, and manage to have a real life.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
My first book? You mean the one about the winged, telepathic alien that resides under my bed guarded by killer dust bunnies? Or the one I first published? For the former I'd have to make it less derivative of Star Trek: NG. I didn't realize until years after I'd written it how much I'd been influenced by STNG. As for my first published book, Rawhide Surrender, a western historical romance, I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to make all those changes. I received my rights back and revised, edited and re-issued it electronically under a new title - Her Wild Texas Heart.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the creative process. Building worlds. Developing characters. I can spend hours detailing the flora and fauna of an alien planet, and outlining the social, political, and religious structures of the people who live there. Creating the hero, the heroine, the villain and the secondary characters who'll play out their lives on the stage that I've set is amazing fun. It's like playing God. Unfortunately, while I may be the god of the world I've created, turns out all my characters are atheists. They have a tendency not to listen to my directives, but that's part of what's exciting about writing. I discover what's going to happen next along with my characters.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Anne McCaffrey would be my first choice. Her Dragon Riders of Pern novels are still some of my favorite reading. Unfortunately she's no longer with us, so I'll have to attempt to channel her spirit via my muse.
I've been fortunate over the years to have the help and advice (if not an actual mentorship) of many wonderful romance authors - Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lindsey Longford, Cathy Linz, Melody Thomas, Ann Macela, Karen McCullough, Donna MacMeans, and the list goes on. In gratitude for their kindness I try to help and encourage other writers.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Do be afraid to write crap. Get the story down then edit, revise and polish it until that sow's ear becomes, if not a silk purse, at least a serviceable leather wallet.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Unfortunately the older I get the worse my work ethic becomes. Though I still have tons of stories I want to write (and more occur to me every day) I just don't have the energy I used to have. Where I used to be able to sit and write for hours, now I suffer from bouncing butt syndrome. I thought after my kids were grown and gone I'd have less distractions in my life. Didn't turn out that way.
I don't have a set writing schedule. When a story is hot in my head I'll write for hours. When the story isn't flowing I tend to fritter away the time playing on the computer, hanging out on Facebook or reading.
The only non-negotiable work ethic I have is no matter how long it takes, I finish the damned book.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
I think that bits and pieces of our families, our friends and ourselves all eventually end up in our writing. Each character I create is a composite of myself and other people I know. Creating a character is like those Mix'n'Match flip books we had as kids. I take my hubby's sense of humor, mix it with Hugh Jackman's eyes (and bod), add in a fireman's uniform and go from there.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I've held a number of jobs - store clerk, commercial casualty insurance underwriter, house cleaner, day care worker, video store owner/operator, and college text book buyer. Each of these jobs exposed me to people in different walks of life and added to my understanding and compassion for the human race.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
For someone who doesn't read romance I'd recommend they check out The Sword And The Pen. It has both a contemporary and a historical type setting. I call it my Xena: The Warrior Princess meets Stranger Than Fiction story. The story centers around a slightly neurotic writer and how his ability to bring his fictional creations to life turns his life upside down.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I love reading romance of any flavor, but I'll read just about any kind of fiction with the possible exception of the really esoteric literary stuff. If the story is compelling and the writing is good, I don't care if it's a historical saga, a contemporary thriller or a space epic. I also enjoy self-help books and books that help me research various subjects.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
Since I'll be headed to someplace warm (I'm not picky - Tahiti, Belize, Hawaii, Southern California or Florida will do) with sunshine, sand and surf, I'd pack my swimsuit, t-shirts, shorts, sandals, toiletries, and my Kindle. Oh, and I'd make sure Hubby came along.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I have to say Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's all about family and friends gathering to celebrate all the blessings in their lives. There's good food, good company, and no pressure to purchase impossible, perfect gifts.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I can't remember the last time I was bored. There's always so much to do, to see, to read that there's rarely a time when my mind and body aren't engaged in something. The only time I feel bored is when I'm forced to sit and wait for something or someone and I don't have access to a book, there's no one to talk to, and nothing to look at. But even then I use that time to think about the book I'm working on, develop characters, figure plot points, or do some world building.
My mother always told me, "Only boring people get bored."
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Despite what I said about not getting bored, my motto for real life is: Boring is good. Excitement is vastly overrated. (I save the adventure and excitement, especially the physical kind, for the characters in my books.) So I'd have to pick beige.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olive oil.
I'm always ready for visits with friends and family.
When I'm alone, I love to read.
You'd never be able to tell, but beneath my outwardly cheerful personality I'm just as happy inside.
If I had a halo it would be - definitely askew (those baby horns keep knocking it off kilter) and tarnished.
If I could carry a tune I'd sing duets with my talented hubby.
I can never climb a mountain, because first off I think it's a waste of time and secondly I'm afraid of heights.
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