Welcome everyone! Today I have a treat, an interview with one of our rare treasures, the male romance writer. Derek's studied his craft meticulously, and has a lot of unique insight to share. He's a hoot to talk craft with too! Very enjoyable guy who knows his stuff. In the interest of keeping his professional associations separate from his writing endeavors, I've given him a strong and knightly name :)

So with that said, let's hear what he has to say.

Tell us a little about yourself, Derek – what genre you write in, how long you’ve been writing, what do you do in your non-writing time?

DTD: I am totally drawn to historicals, and have been working on a couple of Scottish historicals set in the 14th century. I have written stuff off and on since grad school, have published a couple of articles in other areas of interest, but have only been at fiction a little over a year. I am a long time musician and martial artist. Married with 4 beautiful daughters.

I hear you write good fight scenes with that martial artist background too. Hint folks, if you have the chance to talk shop with Derek on physical combat, listen up!

How did you come to the decision that you wanted to write? And, how did you determine what genre best fit you?

DTD: Great question. A fiction writer bothered me off with the direction she took her story, and it gnawed on my brain for weeks. I came up with alternative storylines, characters, scenes playing out in my head, etc. I finally wrote it down just to get some relief from it. However, that was like the dam breaking. Now, stuff like that won't leave me alone, no matter how much I write. As far as genre, I like so many, but have read you need to try to stick with one at first. I have some Scottish heritage, and that is a place that calls to me.

I have a new appreciation with Scotland myself, although I've always been a fan of the early British heritage. I must agree, if you're writing about it, it's calling to you. And I think all of us can agree we've read that book. Maybe not that specific one, but one that hits the same authorial nerve.

What steps did you take to get to where you are now, and which do you think was the most important?

DTD: Well, I am the kind of person who, when getting into a new endeavor, tries to learn everything I can about the topic. I have taken a dozen or more online workshops in the past 3 months, and am signed up for a few more. Plus, I have plowed through many of the books on the required reading list for authors. Regular attendance at the two RWA local chapters, involvement with two online chapters, and active participation in a weekly critique group. All those things seem to be whipping me into shape, though not as quickly as I would like. I can probably blame my gender for that. Of course, I continue to read voraciously (average a novel per day) and write a bunch. Not sure about what is most important. Writing is the easy answer, but now that I know more about craft, my writing needs less clean up than it used to.

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

DTD: I love the creative challenge. I have always had a creative mind, and it is a hoot to be able to make something out of nothing but a silly idea in my head. Besides, it beats the heck out of watching my KC Royals get beat, or killing bad guys on xbox.

I think Dyann Love Barr might argue the xbox comment, but I whole-heartedly concur about the Royals! Writing is so much more satisfying. But hey, with the Royals as our model... at least we're prepared for rejections, yes? Poor team. But what can you say... expectations are set. Smirk.

What’s the most challenging thing about being an author?

DTD: Two things. First is balancing all the elements I know that a well written story needs. There are so many things to take into account. The other is to not give in to pedestrian writing and write fresh. Twist cliches and make them new, or to come up with a line that touches people.
In three sentences or less, tell us what you’re currently working on. What makes you love this particular project?

DTD: Scottish Historical Romance set in the 14th century. Our heroine with mixed English/Scottish heritage is fleeing deep into Scotland after her family is killed and her home burned by an unknown English noble. I love this project because I have a kick ass heroine who is a composite of a couple of female martial artists I have trained with over the years. She can definitely hold her own, and you will not read of her skills anywhere else. Oops, that was 4.

Laugh! The sign of a true writer. 150 words or less? Okay... I have room for 300. Your story sounds very fascinating. I'm not sure I've read one with a heroine who's skilled--truly skilled--in hand-to-hand. Give her a deep motivation for revenge...mmm sounds yummy!

Tell us one story related to your writing endeavors. Amuse us, make us cry, make us cringe or make us smirk – your choice.

DTD: My poor critique group. Even though I managed to get both a Bachelor's and Master's degree, I never learned how to write in the way one needs to for this industry. The ladies in my group have showed great patience and kindness, as they take me out to the woodshed for my weekly whipping. However, my participles dangle a bit less often, and I use fewer commas than I did before. Maybe there's hope!

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received about writing and the pursuit of publication?

DTD: Keep writing and don't be afraid to ask, as writers are some of the most generous people around.

Absolutely, and romance writers top that generousity.

What would you advise authors who are working toward publication?

DTD: No clue. I'm not there yet.

Last but not least, is there a place we can keep up with your publication endeavors?

DTD: I write a blog article at least monthly at Bttrfliesz Are Free

Thank you, Derek, for stopping in today. I wish you the utmost success in your endeavors, and I hope you'll pop back in (even in disguise), and let us know how things are progressing.



Labels: ,

4 Responses so far.

  1. Hey Claire, thanks so much for having me today. The site looks great. I hear congrats are in order, as you have not one but two books being released. That plus looking at the WIP widget on the side panel tells me you are crazy busy. Good luck with your releases!

  2. I loved hearing about Derek and how he got his start with novel writing. I'm also completely intrigued by his kick-ass heroine. I may have do some begging to beta read that one. ;)

  3. Hi Derek the Daring! Great interview...I admire your drive and your sense of humor. :-) Yes, the Royals are used to taking beat-downs, but they always show up for the next game. Just like an author, we have to take rejections, then keep writing. (errr....I'm not saying you'll be rejected, I just mean IF you are...well...you know ) Your story sounds quite intriguing...best of luck with it. Hey, Claire. Keep up the good work. Great blog and look at all the projects you've got going. I wish I was half as prolific as you...and half as talented.

  4. Thanks ladies for stopping by. I appreciate your encouragement and support. I would be happy to let you read Denise. It is still a bit of a mess, but I plan on getting back to it after I finish the one I am on.

    Alicia, I can only imagine the amount of rejection that will come my way. It is why I am really focused on craft and getting my writing up to par before launching it onto the unsuspecting public. Having lots of fun in the meantime.

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