As a new author, you have had many changes in your life, Seleste. If you have to describe your journey to publication in three words what would they be? Wow, only three? Frustrating, exhilarating, and fulfilling. Frustrating because it's a long road filled with rejection. Exhilarating because of the constant state of fear/excitement with every project and every email--knowing this could be the one. Fulfilling is pretty self-explanatory, but the satisfaction with having my work out there and people appreciating it is incredible.
I agree with every one of those words. Writing is certainly all those things, especially frustrating. How many years did you write before you were published?
The easy answer is all my life LOL. However, I got serious about my writing in 2007, so a little over three years of really working at it.
That first book would definitely qualify as the rewarding part. How did you celebrate your first contract?
We're kind of boring about those things. We went out to dinner and had drinks (and dessert), but at dinner it hit that I needed a website and business cards and…So we got home and went right back to work.
What no wild Snoopy dancing? You obviously have more control than I do. So speaking of your personality, what is the one thing about you that you feel is the best/worst part of you and what makes you say that?
My stubbornness is probably both the best and worst aspect of me. Without it, I would have given up on this journey (and many other things in life), but it also gets me into a lot of trouble LOL.
Nothing wrong with being stubborn. Heaven knows if you don’t pursue your dreams no one will do it for you. Speaking of personality and writing, music seems to be a big part of your life. What type of music do you listen to? Is it a part of your creative process or do you need quiet when you write?
I love music. On days when I don't get to listen to any, I will be insanely crabby. It's like food for my soul. Generally, I'm a rock and country girl (I have mad love for music that toes the line between--there is a local guy who's CD should be dropping soon and it's very rock-country. I can't wait to pick it up.) though other stuff does sneak in upon occasion. As far as writing goes, I make playlists for all my longer pieces. There are certain songs that speak to me though, so there tends to be a lot of crossover from one playlist to the next. Listening to music while I write helps me tune out the rest of the world--no more dirty dishes or arguing kids--so I can lose myself in the story.
Nice. Who is your favorite among the characters you have written?
There are so many of my characters that I love, both good and bad, so my favorite changes all the time (usually with my mood). Right now though, my fave has to be a new character from the Blood Kissed novel I finished drafting a couple weeks ago. His name is Remy and every time I get to write him I get all giddy inside because he is just so crazy and complex and fabulous. I absolutely adore him as a character.
Wow, hard not to like a character like that. Can you share what is new or coming soon?
There's actually a lot of news on that front. I just had two holiday releases. The Ghost of Vampire Present (second in my Blood Kissed series) from Decadent Publishing picks up about seven or eight months after Of Course I Try and leads up to the aforementioned novel. Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus is another paranormal short that is one of thirteen stories in the 'Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas anthology from Evernight Publishing. It's a sweet and sexy tale of a young woman who'd given up believing in anything. Then at the end of February, my steampunk/alt-history romance Badlands is coming from Carina Press. Needless to say, this year has been a bit of a whirlwind (in the best way possible).
Do you have a blurb and an excerpt to tantalize us? Sure, how about two?
Blurb: Jocelyn has finally found her knight in shining armor in Chad, and ghosts are the last thing on her mind. Even when one shows up in her bedroom on Christmas Eve, Jocelyn's a bit more concerned about the other guests on the agenda. She'd prefer to never see another vampire, and the ghost tells her to expect not one, but three.
When the one from her past shows up even though he's supposed to be dead, she decides she's dreaming and suffers through the night. By the time dawn breaks, she's not so sure anymore.
But if it's not a dream, that means her nightmare is far from over.
Excerpt: My mouth goes dry and my fingers shake as they reach beneath my pillow. Sure, I know her on sight, but she still shouldn't be here. And that means a weapon isn't the stupidest idea ever. But, if I turn my head to the side at all, she disappears as if she’d never been there in the first place. Only when I look straight at her does she have substance, her body catching enough of the moon’s light coming through the window to be visible against the darkness. And apparently with enough solidity that next time she speaks, her hands grip the covers and jerk them right off me.
“I told you to get dressed! Chop, chop.”
For a long minute, I sit there shivering in my nightie and staring at the blankets in her hands. "But...but...you’re dead.” Please don't say vampire. As I think it, I realize she can't be one. Regardless of whatever else they can do, I'm pretty sure vamps can't disappear without moving.
“As a damn doornail. It doesn’t change the fact you messed with the way of things and the time has come for you to face some hard facts.” Her eyes actually twinkle as she smiles. “And I’ve been waiting a lot of years to help you figure all this out. Now, time’s a-wasting. Get up and put on some damn clothes.”
Blurb: Alana stopped believing in Santa Claus and holiday magic a long time ago, and her life hasn't exactly dealt her a hand that's going to change her mind any time soon. Working as one of Santa's elves to barely make ends meet isn't her dream job, but at least the gorgeous Daniel is working behind the camera. And her fellow elf, Brady, is the stuff of holiday movies—charming at every turn.
There's a Christmas miracle in Alana's future, but only if she makes the right choice and remembers how to believe again.
Excerpt: Come on, Allie. You never go out with us.” Jerrica stood in front of the open locker, fluffing her long black waves. “I swear you act like an old woman, sitting at home with your knitting.”
No. I act like someone who almost had her heat shut off last month. “Look, I’m tired.” I kicked my locker shut. “As for the knitting, you didn’t complain when I made you the scarf you wanted. Which you never did pay for like you promised. “
“Whatever. I still say you’re getting old before your time.” Jerri’s hand cupped my shoulder. “Seriously, it’s Christmas, get your party on. The guys are going. I’m sure Dan said something about hoping to see you there.”
Shrugging off her grip, I tugged my boots on, my foot propped on the old wooden bench in the locker room. The paint had chipped off most of it through time and abuse, kind of the same way the shine had worn off my life. “Now I know you’re full of shit. Dan hasn’t given me a second glance—ever.”
“Maybe he would if he saw you in something other than curly shoes and pointed ears. Come on. You’re only going to be young and gorgeous once.”
A snort escaped before I could rein it in. “Yeah, tomorrow I’ll make sure to come to work with my walker and wrinkle cream.”
Those sound really good, Seleste. Anything else you would like to share? I'd like to thank you for having me here today and invite your readers to visit me elsewhere on the internet including:
My website (http://selestedelaney.com/)
I'm active on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203081398)
and Twitter (http://twitter.com/SelestedeLaney) as well and love chatting with people.