Welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm featuring author Denyse Bridger. Sit back and enjoy...you're in for a treat!
Hi, Denyse! (Love the picture, by the way!!) Can you tell us a little about your background?
I have no real background in writing, in the sense of courses, degrees, etc. My “talent” such as it is, mostly stems from love of words and craft, and the diligent process of learning whatever I can from the people I work with. Personally, I’ve always been in love with the creation of stories, and everything that I experience through vision and hearing and makes my imagination create. If I see something that makes me stop and think, then it will inevitably end up in a story at some point, that’s just the way my mind works. Life is an adventure to be lived and experienced, not endured. The Italians use the phrase “Viva la dolce vita!” and they’re right!
What a wonderful attitude! So...tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
My latest published title is also my first major release! It’s in bookstores everywhere now. The book is called “As Fate Decrees” and is a fantasy novel, with a romance backbone/subplot that drives it. It’s based on Greek Mythology, and I call it a time-spanning adventure epic. There’s a page on my website, Non-erotic Books, and it contains links to a Media Kit download, a Video trailer that’s just amazing, podcast interviews on the Extras page, and a link to read the first chapter of the novel.
My current writing project is a title I am submitting to Harlequin for their Presents line. Always my favourite of their imprints, this book is called “The Light Within My Soul” and was inspired by my admiration and respect for Italian singer Patrizio Buanne. I’m lucky, my inspiration is a personal friend who has sanctioned the book, and in giving it his Blessing, has made the project even more rewarding. I suspect this novel will be among my best works, it’s certainly infused with love and passion!
My first title with The Wild Rose Press is now available, as well, and it’s my first “sweet and tender” romance. Up to now it’s been mostly erotica, and the change is one I’m looking forward to, honestly. “Bella Signorina” is a special story, and one I hope readers will find as magical as I did writing it! It’s one of a set of six stories set in Italy, all carrying the titles of romantic Italian love songs!
That's wonderful - so much writing success! How do you go about developing your characters?
Some times the characters have faces by virtue of who inspires them, as is the case with the current novel. My hero is a complex merging of a real person and all of the attributes that I, as a writer, have chosen to give his fictitious counterpart. I find once my characters have “faces” and names, then they begin to develop whatever traits are needed to tell their story. The plot is generally established to some degree when I begin the writing, so I get to know the people in my books and tell the story that is right for them. I find if you have a clear and solid “feel” for who you’re writing about, then the details seem to come with them, and all of it enhances the experience for both writer and ultimately the readers who will give you their time and attention. I seldom have to ever go back and “change” anything about a character to suit the story I’m telling, so it’s a beautiful flow of inspired story mostly.
Music is another great inspiration, and if you find the right “soundtrack” in your mind, and listen to it, then it can add fabulous elements to a story as well.
What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?
I’ve given only one real piece of advice to anyone who’s ever asked me this question, and it’s one word: perseverance. If you believe in your talent, and your work, then you have to be willing to take the time needed to find the right people to not only publish your work, but to work with you on building it into the best work it can be. There’s no place for arrogance in this business, you have to be willing to listen to the editors and publishers, it’s their business to make your book the best it can be. If you start taking criticism of any kind as a personal slight or attack, you’ll never survive the process.
Do not listen to your mother, or your siblings, or your best friend… they don’t want to hurt your feelings with an objective, and wholly honest assessment — these people love you, they won’t tell you things that will shatter your confidence or your dreams. BUT, the real test is in how you handle yourself when faced with the honest assessments of professionals. No work is perfect, and NO writer ever writes a perfect book. Even the one that’s in your hands at the end of it all will never be perfect. Accept that, and the gift of experience that comes from good editors and honest, constructive critique. Compromise is a big part of a smooth working relationship in any field. That, and a willingness to learn and get better.
That is very real, very honest advice, indeed. OK, now what kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
Depending on what I’m writing, my genre choices vary. I love romance, obviously, and fantasy. I seldom read the genre I’m writing in, simply to avoid any inadvertent copying of someone else’s ideas. Fantasy authors: Terry Brooks, Guy Gavriel Kay, CJ Cherryh. Romance: Lucy Monroe, Kim Lawrence, Linda Lael Miller, there are SO many good ones. I like Linda Howard, too. Historical, another of my favourite genres, mostly Western, I love Louis L’Amour, Richard Compton. My tastes are as varied as my writing styles. I adore Sherlock Holmes stories and Anne Perry if I want a Victorian mystery to settle in with, and almost any western romance appeals to me. So, it’s mostly mood and work that dictates what I read and when. My all-time favourite book is actually “Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I also love Nancy Baker’s vampire novels.
When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?
I used to write it all out by hand, and it took years to get to the stage where I sit at the computer and just write. Mind you, there is always a notebook in my handbag, and a pen, and I can write anywhere now. In the middle of a hospital waiting room I started one of the sexiest vampire romances I ever created!
Ooh, great creation story! What about film? What is your favorite movie? Did it inspire your writing in any way?
“Gone With The Wind” is also my favourite movie, along with “Casablanca” — I think both have influenced me in different ways as a writer. The sweeping drama of GWTW is something that no one can watch/read and not be captivated by, it shows on so many levels how lives are connected, and that what we do always has repercussions and often unforeseen prices that we will pay in unexpected ways. “Casablanca” is love found and lost, and the honour that is due to love that respects a sometimes greater good than itself. It shows love as an unselfish and noble emotion. All of these things come into play in some fashion in what I write, whether it’s the obvious theme, or a subtle subplot/sub-theme in a larger picture.
Denyse, thank you so much for being here today. Readers, leave a comment if you'd like, or visit Denyse's webpages to find out more about her and her works.
Thank YOU, Allie!! This was a lot of fun, and the questions are good, they make you think and that’s always fun!