Thursday, February 11, 2010

Get To Know Erin Quinn!!!

Ceud mìle fàilte! A hundred thousand welcomes to you, TLN'ers!

Over the last few months we've had hunky Highlanders, dashing dukes, sexy space captains, sizzling shape-shifters, and kick a** cowboys pull at our heart strings and seduced us into readng more. Well, I hope you're hungry, because today I'm adding another hero to the hottie buffet!

Please join me in saying Dia Dhuit to Erin Quinn and her Irish Warriors!

If you've yearned for tales of the Emerald Isle, then get ready to have your fancy tickled. HAUNTING WARRIOR is Erin's latest release and on the shelves in May!

Pull out your secret candy stash, top off your cup, and get ready to fall in love!

1)If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Girl next door moves to the big city, meets the man she is destined for. Spends the next 20 years living happily ever after (when she’s not trying to knock some sense into said man), raising two beautiful children, and working a day job while, against all odds, she pursues her dream to become a famous author, never quitting . . . .even when it seems her dreams will forever remain just outside her reach.

2)Using three words, describe your voice.

Compelling, evocative and unique

3)Newbie to Published Author: How has your writing changed?

Hmmm, great question grasshopper. I think my writing changes with every book. I still have a habit of writing very complex plots—although I’m here to tell you that I don’t know exactly how that happens. It’s not what I start out to do, but now I’m on book five and I’ve come to understand it just is what it is. Every book is a learning experience and writing a compelling romance is a challenge each and every time. People who say there’s nothing to it are either incredibly gifted or not very bright, IMHO. I think creating a believable, compelling relationship is almost as difficult on paper as it is in real life. I’ve gotten better at seeing where my story is weak (at least I hope I have) and better at seeing where it’s strong so I can fix/build on those points. And the more I write, the easier it is to find the RIGHT words to fit my descriptions. I have a better understanding of how to build a scene and I’m finding tools (or methods) that help me construct a novel. I believe I write with more confidence now and that shows in my stories. I’m not afraid to write what I want anymore and for a long time I was. By that I mean, there were points in my career where I was so worried about being marketable that I forgot why I was writing in the first place. I’m able to distance myself from the voice of doubt much better and therefore allow my creativity to come out. I don’t think I answered your question, though. I guess I don’t really know exactly how my writing has changed, only that it has, lol.

4)What's been the best writing/career advice you've ever received?

I have a few bits of advice that really made an impact on me and help me when I’m struggling. Author and writing instructor Bob Mayer says don’t write what you know. Write what you want to know. That was excellent advice because I don’t want to write about the day-to-day drudgery I know. My unique perspective on the world will, of course, be in everything I write, but learning something new and translating that into a story is what really excites me. Another writing instructor (I believe it was Leonard Bishop, but I can’t remember now), said that writing a book is like buying a fixer upper house. If you look at it all at once, you’d be overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done. But if you look at it in bits—a door that needs to be rehung, a wall that needs paint, a floorboard to fix—then you can wrap your head around it and make progress. When I get really stuck I ask myself, am I painting walls I haven’t plastered yet? Moving furniture before the carpet is laid? It helps me keep perspective on the whole thing. On the business end, Jennifer Ashley (who just hit the NYT bestseller list with Pride Mates—woo hoo Jennifer!) told me once that the only thing that sells more books is more books. New authors get wrapped up in the overwhelming task of marketing and it can be like quicksand, sucking you under. The truth is, there is no tried and true marketing tool to sell books . . . .except more books. Having a list that is long enough to keep a reader busy is part and parcel to having a career.

5)Any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors out there?

It’s nothing new, but it is absolutely true. Never quit. If you want to be a writer more than anything and you never let go of that, never stop writing, then you will become your dream. This business is not for the faint of heart. Even after you publish, you’ll still hear no and probably a lot more than you ever imagined. If you only want to be a writer a little bit, my advice, walk away and just indulge yourself in other people’s books. You have to want it bad enough to wipe off the tears and keep going with even more determination than you started with if you’re going to succeed. My career has been a long uphill-both-ways journey. I wanted to quit many, many times. But I could never bring myself to do it. This business has very little security, few perks, and lousy pay unless you make it big. Or, in the tone of positive thinking, until you make it big. If you’re in it for the money, get out. I still have my day job and most of the writers I know still have theirs. Every time I see my name on the cover of a book, every time I get a note from a reader, it’s all so very worth it.

6)Give us a little sneak-peek into your writing process. How do you structure your characters? Charts or spreadsheets? Or do you just wing it?

I used to just wing it, but once I started writing under deadline, that option had to be crossed off the list. I’m not a plotter so all the wonderful plotting methods and tools just plain don’t work for me. My brain doesn’t work that way and it puts me in gridlock. I found that I’d write up the charts and studies and then never look at them again or I get from point A to point B and jump off somewhere new and then the outline becomes irrelevant. What I do rely on is the hero’s journey. It helps ground me on the arc of the story. I may not know what will take place 1/3 of the book through, but I do know how it will impact my characters and what circumstance they will facing. I know if I’m in the initiation stage, the trials and tribulations, or the return. As for my people—getting to know them as I go is what makes it fun for me. I start with a general sketch in my head, but that is subject to change and will undoubtedly change a lot before I’m finished.

7)What inspired you to use Ireland as the backdrop for your books?

Well, my name means Ireland and so I’ve always felt a connection. I come from a long line of mutts—meaning we are such a mixture, who knows what we are—but we have always claimed the Irish as our predominate heritage and I love everything about the people and the culture. The oral tradition of storytelling was very much part of my childhood and though I’m the first writer in the family (that I know of) I am far from the first storyteller.

8) What can Erin Quinn fans look forward to in 2010?

I am so excited about the release of HAUNTING WARRIOR which happens in May of this year. WARRIOR takes the story begun by Danni in HAUNTING BEAUTY and turns it on its ear, filling in some questions left in BEAUTY and bringing into play more of the history of the Book of Fennore. Following WARRIOR later this year or early next will be HAUNITNG DESIRE and then the wrap up book, as yet untitled.

Here’s the cover blurb for HAUNTING WARRIOR:

A past he couldn’t forget.

Rory McGrath's life changed the night his father mysteriously vanished after uncovering the secrets of the ancient Book of Fennore. The trauma turned Rory from an innocent boy into a troubled, cynical man. Leaving Ireland, he shunned his family, his heritage—and the very magic that has defined his people for centuries.

A dream he couldn’t ignore.

Then the dreams begin…dreams of an ethereal beauty whose touch is more real that any he’s known. And in these dreams, she has a message—a calling for Rory to return home to a destiny that will take him beyond the realm of anything he imagined.

A woman he couldn’t resist.

Lured to the castle ruins where his father disappeared, Rory is plunged back in time, and into the body of another man—a man betrothed to the very woman of Rory’s dreams. In possession of the secrets of his past, his family, and his identity, her hold on Rory is inescapable. For she is his doom. His salvation. And his destiny.

Read the first chapter here:

I’ll be very honest with you—When I finished HAUNTING BEAUTY, I didn’t think I’d ever get over Sean Ballagh. He was the perfect man, custom made. I was so in love with him. But Rory MacGrath . . . sigh. Rory is a man who is just trying to find his place in the world. He carries the responsibility of his father’s disappearance on his shoulders and he’s never felt he’s worth a damn. His journey to discovering his inner hero took courage and integrity and I fell head over heels in love with him (sorry, Sean . . . you were meant for Danni anyway :) ) It took a special woman to challenge and encourage Rory and he found that in Saraid. She is a woman who’s had everything she loves endangered or destroyed and she must rely Rory—a man who wears the face of the one who has wreaked disaster on her life—to lead her and her people to safety. She takes a leap of faith and learns that behind the face of her enemy is the heart of her destiny.

I really hope my readers love WARRIOR as much as I loved writing it. Early reviews have called it my best book to date and as a writer, all you can ever hope for is that each book you write is better than the last.

Ready to add another hero to your menu? Here's hoping Cupid gets the memo! I'd like to thank Erin for being here today! For more information on the lovely Erin Quinn, please click on over to her GORGEOUS website:
(FYI- Erin runs monthly contests on her website and will be having a grand prize contest posted soon to celebrate HAUNTING WARRIOR's release!)

THANK YOU, TLN'ers! I'm sending you best wishes for a romance filled weekend! Whether it's chocolates, diamonds, or just a hug, let your special someone know you love them! How about a little
Sam Cooke crooning CUPID to getcha in the mood! Tabhair aire --Stay safe, take care-- and we'll meet ya back here next week!


Karen Michelle Nutt said...

As always, a lovely review, Sarah.

Your books have me intrigued. I love anything Irish. Nice website and I enjoyed your book video, too.

Here's to wishing you the very best.

Erin Quinn said...

Hi Karen, thanks for the warm welcome! I'm honored to be here. I'm having a lot of fun writing my Haunting series and mixing Irish culture and history into my stories. I'm really excited about Haunting Warrior -- Just got a sneak preview of the trailer for the book yesterday and can't wait to "scren" it. :)

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Karen!

I knew you'd be intrigued with Erin's books! I'm glad you popped over to her site. I just love the colors and the huge pic of the book cover! Wowza! lol

Thanks, Erin, for letting me interview you! :) I'm so very excited to have here today!

Kelley said...

Hi Erin,

Your book sounds really good. I love reading about warriors. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the writing process. I think if one thinks of it in small steps then it isn't so daunting. I like to compare it to baking a cake so I appreciated your analogy.

Good luck on your latest release of Haunting Warrior!

Erin Quinn said... baking a cake....only that would make me hungry, lol.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

As one who wings it myself, I appreciated the "old house" analogy. It's definitely overwhelming if you look at the big picture. I just like to say "hmm, where will the character take me today?" but it drives my CP's nuts. It's nice to hear someone else's take on it!

Great interview, Sarah and Erin!


Kaye Manro said...

I love the cover for Warrior. And the book sounds great too. There's nothing like a hunky Irish hero!

Donna Hatch said...

I can't wait to get my hands on your newest book! It sounds fabulous. It was helpful to hear how you don't really plot but are aware of the journey. I have terrible luck plotting but maybe if I keep the turning points along the way in mind,that will help me, too.

Cari Quinn said...

Hi Sarah and Erin...great interview, and I look forward to checking out your work!

Erin Quinn said...

Thanks Kaye and Cari--I hope you like my stories.

Donna and Nicole--Don't you always feel amazed when you get to the end of a book and realize you actually did it. It took me 4 books to realize maybe it wasn't a fluke...

Danielle Thorne said...

Wonderful interview and interesting genre. Best of luck with your books, Erin.

Micole Black said...

Great interview! Amazing book cover!!! You were right Sarah!!!!


Micole Black