Hello everyone! Today I'd like to introduce you to contemporary romance author, and long time friend, Dyann Love Barr, who's here today to tell us about her debut Christmas novel, A Perfect Bride For Christmas. It's the first book in the Three Kings Trilogy.
Dyann, you've been studying craft for a long time and have been a great inspiration for me. Would you briefly share your journey with everyone else? When did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.

DYANN: I started writing because I wanted more of the types of stories I liked to read but couldn’t find. At that time, back in 198HMPH, western historical were all the rage. I don’t like anything with Indians, steamboats, or cowboys on the cover. Give me a good Regency. I read a ton of Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer, but I got tired of the super sweet heroines. I wanted a gutsier lady who was ready to take on the hero. Then I read Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Wolf and the Dove. I wanted more. Flame and the Flower came next but after that, I felt her stories lost something. So, I thought, ‘Really, how hard could it be?’ I had no concept of craft and felt frustrated with my first awful attempts.

Several years later, my husband saw an article in our local paper about a writer’s group forming in the area and said I should check it out. I hemmed and hawed, thinking of every excuse in the book why it wouldn’t work. He called my bluff, so I went. I piddled and played at writing until five years ago when I got serious about learning craft, joined an excellent critique group, and learned to take the hits along with praise for my writing.

As an aside, that hubby of yours is an inspiration all to himself, and every author would be lucky to have a fan like him. I have never met a spouse so absolutely dedicated to seeing his partner to succeess. But returning to the interview...

Obviously you write contemporary romance. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?

DYANN: I love a good paranormal with tortured heroes and the women who love them. Shannon K. Butcher and Sherrilyn Kenyon are two of my favorites. J.R. Ward is right up there. Right now I’m trying my hand at paranormal. When I want something else to play with, I’ll dabble in Regency or medieval historicals.

Ah, after my own heart! Maybe that's why we tend to share brainwaves -- we must have similiar brain cells. (Laughing).

This is your first book, how does that make you feel?

DYANN: A Perfect Bride for Christmas is my first book, so—A Perfect Bride for Christmas! I’m excited about this book because the story is one my mother and I tossed around over twenty years ago. Now that she’s gone, I thought it would be a great tribute to her. I also had the privilege of working with Claire Ashgrove and Alicia Dean on The Three Kings Trilogy.

So, now that you've mentioned your mom, there's a special story about A Perfect Bride For Christmas, that I think everyone would love hearing. You know the one I'm talking about. Would you share it with us? I think it adds an additional layer of heartwarming feeling to the story.

DYANN: My inspiration for A Perfect Bride for Christmas came from many tabletop discussions with my mother. She read Harlequins by the bagfuls and the hidden baby was always her favorite storyline. Mom came up with the original concept and wrote notes about the ideas we bandied back and forth. After she died, I asked my father if he knew where she’d kept her notes. It was the only thing I really wanted to remember her by. I was heartbroken when I realized no one knew where she’d kept her scribbles. However, I remembered enough of her original plot, gave it my own twist, and wrote the first chapter as an exercise. The rest is history.

The paranormals were started several years ago when I got tired of the vampires and werewolves. After a while, everything I read was the same. So, I delved into other aspects of the supernatural, held long brainstorming sessions with friends who were intrigued by my ideas, and finally, I researched the hell out of it.

What other things spurr your ideas?

DYANN: My ideas stem from thoughts that make me go—hmmm. It might be something I read or saw on television. What if I took this person, put them in an unusual situation? How would they react?

Let's move right on into A Perfect Bride For Christmas. It's the first book in the collaborative Christmas trilogy, The Three Kings, between you, Alicia Dean, and myself. In it, we meet the youngest King brother, Alex. Tell us about him. What's one thing about Alex that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book?

DYANN: Hmmm. Alex is so self assured. I can see his best friend, Jesse Saurs, taking him down a peg or two. She’d probably steal his clothes while they were skinny dipping. Ten-year-old boys should never tell her she’s nothing but a little kid. Especially one like Jesse. How humiliating to have his older brothers come to his rescue.

In romance, all heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about Alex that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

DYANN: I think it’s the way he falls so irrevocably in love with his children. He’s always been in love with Zoe on some level. Yes, he desires her like crazy, but he really doesn’t understand the true meaning of love until Macy, Michaela, and Mia latch on to his heart. Maybe that doesn’t sound alpha in some people’s books but for me—wow, a man who can love little kids is the bomb.

Those little girls are awful precious. He was kinda doomed from the get go. But I have to agree, his affection for them is exceedingly touching.

How's Alex feel about cats?

DYANN: There are kittens in the story but I can see Alex with a golden retriever. The breed, or the ones I’ve had contact with, are strong, loving, and good with kids.

Well, no hero is complete without his heroine. Give us a preview of the amazing, Zoe. What's her greatest fault?

DYANN: Lack of self esteem. Even when she gets her life together, the old tapes that haunted her past, start to play in her head. It happens to all of us.

Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength Zoe provides to Alex?

DYANN: She becomes his anchor, his touchstone. Alex’s a man who thinks he knows what he wants, but he’s totally clueless.

You're a mom -- if Zoe was your daughter, what advice would you give her upon meeting Alex for the second time?

DYANN: Run, run, run. Girl, he tore your heart to shreds and I don’t care if you think you can handle meeting him again, run.

If we peek in on Alex, Zoe, and the girls, in ten years, what would we see?

DYANN: I can guarantee that Alex and Zoe will have a set of twin boys, a house full of toys, pets, and lots of mayhem. There might be a few squabbles along the way but they will never go to bed angry.

Before we come back to you, let's share this amazing story with everyone else. I feel like I'm sitting on a secret, and it's time to let it out of the bag. So with much ado, here's A Perfect Bride For Christmas, which is already receiving some FANTASTIC reviews:

Alex King wants to follow the family tradition and marry his perfect bride on Christmas Eve. There’s one little hitch—Bianca dumps him at the altar. He wakes up in Vegas with a hangover, a ring on his finger, and in bed with his best friend, Zoe Hillman. She’s overweight and plain, nothing at all like his image of the perfect wife. So begins the shortest Vegas marriage in history.

Zoe loved Alex from the moment he walked through the law firm’s doors. He can charm the panties off any woman, but he’s never tried it with her. The chance to grab for the golden ring is within her reach until everything blows up in her face. Now, five years later she returns to Kansas City with triplets in tow and a brand new look. Catering Alex’ next wedding should prove interesting.


December 2005, Kansas City

Scrooge had it right. Bah, humbug! Christmas sucked long and hard.

Lights twinkled on the tree, reflecting off the windows of the darkened office. The smell of holiday spices wafted from the potpourri dish on Zoe Hillman’s desk, filling the room with false cheer. It was Christmas Eve, and not even the large, make that huge, bonus check lifted her spirits.

“Bah, humbug.” She sniffed, wiped her tears for the umpteenth time before she checked her resignation letter to Cox, Zuckerman, Howe, King, and Dunne. No matter that her heart was shattered, her life over, it wouldn’t do for her last act as Alex King’s personal assistant to be sloppy and unprofessional.

She reached into the candy dish on her desk, absentmindedly unwrapped one of the truffles, and popped it into her mouth. The chocolate melted in a creamy, dark lushness designed to put a Band-Aid on her broken heart, but tonight her drug of choice didn’t work. Candy wrappers littered the floor, along with half a box of used tissues. The clock on her computer read seven PM. Alex would be married and on his way to Las Vegas by now. Bianca Freemont would be his bride. Zoe’s brain whipped up an X rated vision of the wedding night, and she grabbed another tissue to wipe her red nose and puffy eyes.

Her breath hitched, and she hit the SEND key before she could change her mind.

God, she was so stupid.

Ah, that just makes me smile. I know what happens. And everyone should run out right now and find out for themselves as well. Zoe is truely a unique lady, and you've given her amazing strength. Absolutely amazing.

Real quick, before you go, I have a couple other things to ask.

As a writer, what is your greatest strength?

DYANN: I’ve been told the way I can work humor into a story without overdoing it and the ability to summarize a character in just a few phrases.

That's so very true. You have a natural gift for humor without it being over-board, and you have the ability to make an impact with very short, concise, and powerful words.

Since you write so often, how has it changed your life?

DYANN: I still didn’t believe everything was real until I saw my book listed on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. Wow. My reviews have been very positive so far. I had one woman squealing that she knew a ‘real live author’. Talk about strange. I’m all for the live part.

What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?

DYANN: Your best tool is a good critique group. I’m not talking about one where all your critique partners tell how much they love your writing. You need to be prepared to have a little blood spilled. Honesty is paramount. Be prepared to take the hits when someone you respects says your paragraph sucks, or you use a particular word too often. Also, learn the craft of writing. I’m still working on my grammar.

Be fearless and write what you want.

Thanks, Dyann, for not only sharing that tidbit of wisdom but stopping in today and giving up a few moments of your precious time. I know you're busily working on other projects, and every minute is accounted for. Before you run off, tell us where we can find you.


Twitter: writergal2007
Face book: Dyann Love Barr
Website: http://www.dyannbarr.com/

If you have a newsletter, how can we sign up?

DYANN: I don’t have a newsletter as yet but I’m working on it. However, I do blog on Dreamweaver Authors and my website.
Thanks again, Dyann, and keep up the writing!


Labels: , , , , ,

8 Responses so far.

  1. Congratulations on your book, Dyann. It sounds like quite a story, and I adore your first line!

  2. Thank you so much. The first lines are always hard for me, I want the perfect hook. There was an author, and I apologize for not remembering her name, but I'll never forget that first line. "He looked promising from the waist down." Now that's the bomb.

  3. Oh what a good concept. I think any reader can relate to the one that got away. I'm dying to know what the message she sent might be??? Good going this looks so interesting.


  4. Congrats on your first of many books Dyann! I LOVED getting insight to how you came up with the concept. I'm sure your mother is so proud!

  5. Congratulations, Dyann. Your book sounds like a fantastic read and I was truly touched by what you said about your mother. Perhaps, she quietly guided your words since her notes couldn't be found. Through you and now through your story, she's always near.

  6. Ohh Maeve - you have a way with words! Beautiful : ) What a lovely thought.

    I'd like to add my congrats as well Dyann, and here's to many more! I love the sound of your characters and the story certainly grabbed my attention. Fantastic cover, it's one I've been eyeing up on TWRP main catalogue site!

  7. Congratulations, Dyann!! I love the inspiration behind your story. And Kathleen E. Woodiwiss was one of my favs too. My sister even named her daughter Alaina after the heroine in Ashes on the Wind.

  8. Thank you to all who have posted comments. Yes, I have to say my mother gave me the nudge to write. My husband as well. He supports me in every way.
    My next book is a paranormal which was inspired by something I read in the Bible. No, it's not an Inspirational. Instead, it's one of those things that made me say 'what if'.
    Wish me luck!

Post a Comment

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



GoddessFish Promotions

Goddess Fish Partner

Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
For The Latest In Romance Reviews

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance
Blogging About Romance