There's always a time lag between sending back a signed contract and waiting for the editor's letter detailing the changes she feels will improve the story. I continue work on my current project but I know her letter will turn up and I'll have to redirect my focus. Switching to another set of characters can be hard, getting back into the rhythm and world of the other book is often jarring when my thoughts have been consumed by the present crew.
But it does feel like meeting old friends when I dip into the manuscript and begin to immerse myself in their problems once more. I know these people and I know how they think. My editor's instincts and insights are mostly things I agree with and she rarely wants major changes. Sometimes we have a discussion on Aussie vs US language. For two countries using the same basic language there are a surprisingly large number of words and phrases that differ.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Posted by Sandy Cody
She had been writing since she was fifteen but had mainly been influenced by authors like Austen, the Bronte sisters and Sabatini, but Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteen and nineteenth century and she fell head over heels in love with it.
She devoured Heyer’s books in very quick succession and wanted nothing more than to recreate her own Regency world. History had always been her favorite subject at school and it was just one small step to portray it in her work.
However, despite today’s trend to produce ‘hotter’ novels, she writes ‘traditional’ Regency Romance and closes the door on her characters when they retire. So much emotion can be conveyed by a mere glance or a single word that she doesn’t feel it necessary to leave the metaphorical door open to convey the emotions of the moment. The merest hint is often sufficient to stimulate the reader’s imagination and to go into detail is totally unnecessary.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Posted by Gina Ardito
There's something delectable about Zelda Benjamin. Could it be...the chocolate? Maybe at first glance. But there's more to this lovely Avalon author than yummy goodness. Come along with me and learn just what makes Zelda melt. Leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner of one of her Chocolate books!
Q.: Tell us about your latest book for Avalon, Chocolate Muse.
A.: Chocolate Muse is the third book in my Love by Chocolate Series. The heroine, Maddie, a classically trained pastry chef was introduced in the previous book, Chocolate Magic. When someone mistakenly covers her signature torta di chocolate in soap powder instead of sugar, she’s fired before the review hits the morning paper.
Forced to take a job in a friend's bakery and teach a children's evening class to make ends meet, she vows vengeance on the man responsible for her damaged reputation. But when she realizes that the father of two of her students is her nemesis, the charming food writer Brad Angelo, her anger deflates faster than an overcooked souffle.
Brad, a single father struggling to balance parenting and his syndicated food column, is completely clueless about the trouble he's caused Maddie. He finds her evasive attitude and chocolate talent to be intriguing parts of her allure, but isn't sure he’s ready to create a life that might be messier than melted chocolate when their secrets are slowly revealed.
Q.: Clearly, you have a passion for chocolate. How did it start? Do you have a special background in pastry or desserts?
A.: Unfortunately, I have no special chocolate talents. I love to cook, but baking and working with chocolate are too precise for me. The idea for the first book, Chocolate Secrets came to me when I read about an attempted robbery at the home of a famous French chocolatier. It was believed the intruders were searching for his secret recipe. I guess you can say that article sparked the entire series. I started doing chocolate research by visiting chocolate shops in cities that I visited. When shop owners discovered my interest in chocolate they were more than willing to share their knowledge. I have tasted some really great chocolate and learned a few tips that I share with my readers. I always have an excuse for dessert.
Q.: White chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate?
A.: I’m a chocolaholic who prefers dark chocolate to milk chocolate. I don’t need a reason to indulge, but the health benefits to eating dark chocolate are always an incentive. Friends and fans are always sending me articles about chocolate. I’d like to share some interesting links.
I know the higher the cocoa content the better the benefits, but I can’t eat chocolate over 70% cocoa.
Q.: Are there any other chocolate books in the works?
A.: Chocolate Couture, book 4 is my current work in progress. This will be my last book in the series.
Q.: Tell us about some of your other interests. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A.: When I’m not writing I work as a nurse in a pediatric ER. I love to travel with my family- husband, kids, and grandchildren.
Q.: Sounds like a busy, satisfying life. So, what's next for you?
A.: Writing a series is fun. I’d like to do another series.
Q.: Where can readers find you?
A.: Readers can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
They can also visit my website to see some photos of my favorite vacation spots.
Q.: Anything else you'd like readers to know about you?
A.: I’d like to do a giveaway with this interview. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the first book in the series, Chocolate Secrets. I’ll do a random pick and will contact the winner for details.
Awesome! I know I'm up for some chocolate right about now? How about the rest of you?
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to me today, Zelda. Wishing you lots of dark chocolate and many sales!