1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a recovering Diet Coke addict who lives on a working farm in the North Georgia Mountains with my husband, and a wide assortment of animals. But don’t let that fool you. I’m a northern girl through and through, and I often get myself in trouble with my uncanny ability to prove that fact at almost every turn.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, even in the dark days when I was the only one reading what I wrote. I went to college to be a writer, but soon after, I got sidetracked by motherhood and other assorted life events. It was after my divorce and remarriage that I found my way back to it. My husband convinced me to chuck the day job and focus on being a writer. I don’t think he realized what he was getting himself into.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired it?
To Katie With Love is a sweet, fluffy, romantic chick lit story about a banker who falls in love with her rich client, then realizes there may be more to him than she originally thought. Although the main characters are totally figments of my imagination, many of the characters in the bank were inspired by my time as a business banker.
4. What do you hope that readers take way with them after reading your book?
I hope people have fun reading the story. I’m a lot like Katie, although I would like to think I’m not that shy quiet girl anymore, I still feel a closeness to her, and hope other people feel it too.
5. I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive… Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
I have the unique ability to work in many different environments, but I think I do my best work at night. There’s something about the blanket of darkness that makes me feel more connected with the alternate reality I’m creating in my head. Also, running water. I have no idea why my best ideas come to me in the shower or driving in the rain. Neither one is conducive to writing, I’m afraid.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Oh gosh, my toughest critic has to be my husband. He doesn’t find me all that amusing nor does he have the stomach for the mushy love stuff, so when I feel the need to bounce ideas off someone, and I foolishly turn to him, his facial expressions often make me second guess my career choices. But then, when I come back to my senses and send the pages to someone who actually does enjoy both romance and humor, I’m reminded of why I do this. I’ve been told I nail the “voice” in the writing, and my dialogue rocks. And that’s pretty nice to hear.
7. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
I’ve been asked this question a lot. I read anything from Shakespeare to Stephen King, Fifty Shades of Grey to Pride and Prejudice, and then I take a sharp left at Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. It really all depends on my mood. Today I’m in the mood for bad fan fiction…ok, so maybe I was in that mood yesterday too.
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love karaoke. It’s just another avenue for me to show off really. And I love to sing. So when I’m not writing or being chased by my demon pigs (another tale for another day) I’m at the local pub singing karaoke with friends.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I’ll give you the same advice my dad gave me, what seems like a million years ago. Writers write. That’s what we do. If you want to be a writer, sit your ass down at a computer, or a notebook, or a damn napkin and start writing. That’s it. Just write something. And don’t give up.
10. What can we expect from you next?
I recently finished Suddenly Sorceress, a paranormal romance. It’s a little steamier, but hilarious (so they tell me) and it has a witch and a sexy magician. You can’t go wrong with that combination. I’m not sure when it will be released, I’m still working out the details, but I’m very excited about it.
11. Do any animals share your life? Please tell us about them.
As I mentioned, I live on a farm so we have a lot of animals, including chickens, ducks (although we recently lost our ducks to some unknown creature in the night) turkeys, and pigs. I also have a few cats and dogs, one of which is a 190 lb lap dog (he’s still growing) named Indiana Jones.
Ok, I’ll play along, but I have to warn you, I’m not very good at making tough choices.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. But only if it’s a White Chocolate Mocha latte from Starbucks.
Sweet or Salty?
Do I really have to choose? Sweet and salty go so well together. I like peanut butter in my chocolate.
Beach or Lake?
Beach…no lake. No…beach. Definitely beach unless it’s a really pretty lake. Then it’s the lake.
Winter or Summer?
Fall or spring. Winter is too cold, and summer is too hot. Fall is my favorite season of all. (Fall is my favorite too!! )
Cats or Dogs?
Do not tell my cats I said this, but definitely dogs.
Zombies or Vampires?
Zombies for a good scare, and vampires for some steamy romance.
Country or City?
I live in the country, and I love it. But I’ve lived in some great cities too, and there’s just nothing like an awesome night on the town in a big city. So I’ll take the country for a home, and the city for a vacation.
Shower or Bath?
That all depends on if I’m in a hurry or not. Shower for a rush…bath for a long soak.
Morning or Evening?
No question…the evening. I am not a morning person.
M&Ms or Skittles?
M&Ms. It’s all about the chocolate.
Trains or Planes?
I’m terrified of flying these days, so I’ll go with trains. But I’ve never taken a long train ride, so I reserve the right to change my mind.
Comedy or Drama?
Comedy. Make me laugh, please. Life is stressful enough without adding more drama.
Title: To Katie With LoveAuthor: Erica Lucke Dean
Age Range: Adult
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: April 29th, 2013
Available Formats: E-Book
Banker Katie James has a serious thing for romance novels. She’d almost rather settle for a fictional boyfriend than risk her heart on a flesh-and-blood man. Besides, the only real guy she’s remotely interested in is her rich, unattainable client, the mysterious Cooper Maxwell.
Looking less like the ultra-conservative man she knows and more like a drop-dead sexy character from one of her books, Cooper crashes Katie’s 29th birthday party. But one too many drinks lands Katie in uncharted territory… Cooper’s bedroom!
Drunk on love, Katie dives headfirst into the relationship only to discover that Cooper is keeping secrets… dangerous ones. As if things couldn’t get worse, her meddling mother makes a surprise visit, digging up a whole new set of problems.
Who would have guessed having an assassin for a boyfriend would be the least of her worries?
-THE BIRTHDAY PARTY-
“Look around, Katie. Somewhere out there is the perfect man for you. You just need to take your nose out of a book long enough to find him.” Vicky’s crimson lips spread in a wide smile, and I resisted the urge to stick my tongue out at her.
“Oh, leave her alone,” Silvia said, peering at Vicky over her leopard-print reading glasses. “It might do you some good to read once in a while. I assume you know how.”
“Very funny.” Vicky rolled her eyes, tossing her flaming hair with a flourish. “You clearly didn’t notice the leaning tower of paperbacks on her nightstand. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many books in one place. They practically block the light coming in her bedroom window.
And that—” She poked my arm with a lacquered fingernail. “—is bordering on pathetic.
You’re just a few cats away from being a cliché.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but she cut me off.
“Come on, Katie, wouldn’t you rather have a flesh and blood man in your bed instead of a dusty old book? There are dozens of guys in here. Don’t you think at least one of them could drag you away from your stupid romance novels for a change? I’ll bet you’ve got a book stashed in your purse right now.” Vicky pointed at the bag I clutched in my lap. “Go ahead, Silvia. Prove me wrong.”
Silvia shook her head and chuckled. “I’m not going to dig through her purse.”
“There’s nothing wrong with reading romance novels,” I whispered, releasing the strangle hold on my bag to shove it behind my back against the booth.
“Oh, sweetie…” Silvia patted my hand. “Vicky isn’t saying there’s something wrong with reading romance novels.”
“No, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” Vicky said, then took a long slurp of her frozen margarita. “And for the record, you don’t just read them. You read them again, and again, and again. Most of the books I saw were held together with tape. Do you ever get anything new, or do you keep reading the same ones over and over?”
“I get new ones… sometimes.”
Vicky had one thing right. I did have a book stashed in my bag, and I should have been home, tucked into bed with it. So what if I had a thing for romance novels? Ok, maybe thing wasn’t strong enough a word. It didn’t quite define the entire scope of my relationship with the paperback romance. Involved would be more accurate.
But despite what my coworkers might think, I wasn’t some un-dateable old maid, spending her nights curled up with six cats while crocheting gaudy afghans in retro-seventies colors and sipping warm milk. I didn’t even own an actual cat.
“If you ask me, you’re wasting the perfect opportunity to find Mr. Right,” Vicky chirped.
What did she know about my Mr. Right? A quick scan of the smoke-filled bar proved my point. Not a single guy in the place even remotely resembled the lead in my nightly fantasy.
Ok, so it wasn’t a very big room, but like Vicky said, the place was packed with a wide assortment of men—like the guy with cheese dip down his front and his buddy, laughing hyena man. As far as I was concerned, not a single one warranted a second glance, certainly not an invitation into my bedroom. Definitely no one worthy of butterflies in my stomach.
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