Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bad Enough - Lara Dien

Please welcome my special guest today, Scarlet Rose author Lara Dien, whose book, Bad Enough, was recently released by The Wild Rose Press.

Tell us a little about yourself, Lara!

About me, hmm? Mostly weird, maybe a little interesting . I live in Orlando, Florida—the not-so-Sunshine-State this summer! I am a voracious reader—I’ll at least try any genre or sub-genre, but my true loves are romantic suspense/romantic thrillers and erotic romance. I started reading at the tender age of two or so—although at that age, I was reading Dr. Seuss and the Berenstain Bears—romance came along much later! I have a couple of college degrees I don’t use, love the idea of travel, but somehow never get around to it, and I make a mean Cosmopolitan..... Aside from writing, I’m in marketing to pay the bills (for now LOL), I’m into ancient religions, mythology, and imagining possibilities. My favorite quote is Tommy Lee Jones’ line from Men in Black: imagine what you’ll know tomorrow. That pretty much sums me up—curious as the proverbial cat.

Can you tell us a little about your book Bad Enough?

Beside the fact that it has the world’s yummiest hero, Rafe Montero? I’m not biased, really! This is not the official blurb, btw—to me that’s like teaching from the handouts .

In Bad Enough, the heroine, Lindy Cooper, is a PI who’s gone to Costa Rica for a much-needed vacation. She’s just solved a big case, turning everyone’s lives upside down—especially hers. She dumps her fiancĂ©, packs her bags, and goes off to spend a week exploring her ‘bad girl’ side.

Rafe follows her. They’ve been running and drinking buddies for several years and they’ve always had this underlying attraction that she-of-the-low-self-esteem wouldn’t have believed if he’d told her and he considered off-limits due to her boyfriend/fiancĂ©. In Costa Rica, though, the heat definitely rises! Hot, hot sex (there’s a waterfall scene ) ratchets the relationship heat up, leaving them with only one real question—what happens when they get back home? Rafe likes bad girls, Lindy wants to be one...but just what does it take to be bad enough?

How did the idea for the plot come about?

You know, I don’t remember. Lindy appears in The Fortuneteller’s Lay (my first release) as a name character only—Miranda makes one reference to her. So I had this random thought about spinning off from that story and .... that was it. Somehow I ended up with this question of what might happen when a woman who’s spent her life living up to other people’s expectations might do once she decided she needed to live up to her own!

I love sale stories (ok I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?

Not nearly as exciting as you think! I’m still working on my first novel—YEARS in the making. Last year, as I was setting my writing goals for the year, in addition to “this year I will finish this book and I mean it!” I included a “check out e-publication” goal—kind of a throwaway goal. Not dismissing e-publishing, but it wasn’t something I’d really thought about—I was going to write romantic suspense and nothing else. And having read a few erotic romances online, I didn’t think I could write hot enough for the genre. Yeah. Underestimating myself just a bit, apparently! Anyway, another publisher was doing a call for submissions and I saw it, said, what the heck, I can probably write that! I wrote it, my guinea pig readers all came back with the same comment—this is hot!—and I submitted it. Got a ‘revise/resubmit’ request. Six months later, got the rejection.

Rhonda Penders, publisher of The Wild Rose Press gave a presentation at my RWA chapter around the same time. After talking to her, I was practically praying for a rejection. A week later, I’d submitted, got the contract offer a few weeks later...via email, not call....and that was it. I have an incredible editor who makes my pretty-good writing REALLY good, and my 3rd book, Hungarian Masquerade is on its way, too.

We are all about the love here, so please share your fave books, movies, TV shows or current fantasy squeeze (it's all in the line of research!)

Impossible! Did I mention the reading voraciously thing? I’ll mention some fav authors, though—and I’m very eclectic! Love Jane Austen, of course, and Georgette Heyer. GH was one of the early Regency Romance authors, although she also wrote contemporary (well, for her) mysteries...witty, funny....I still read Regencies today because of her. Romantic suspense: Karen Rose if you like intense; Roxanne St. Claire—a bit more romantic and less intense than KR; Terri Garey, paranormal; Rachel Gibson, Kelley St. John, Marianne Stillings...a dozen more. What they all have in common, mostly, is they’re compelling storytellers. I can’t buy KR’s latest on a weekday, because I’ll stay up all night to finish it. Erotic romance authors I love include the Wilder Rose authors (of course!), Bella Andre, who is wonderfully steamy and fully romantic...

What are you working on now?

In addition to Dreamwalk (my r/s), I’ve got three erotic romances that I’m about ready to query to my editor. They range in length from around 10,000 words (that’s about a 40-45 page story when all is said and done) to closer to 20,000. Understand these are working titles that will probably bear no resemblance to the final. Art of Seduction is set in an art museum in Italy. Dance with Me is erotic, but a little on the poignant side, as the heroine has just begun to think she can consider another relationship after the death of her husband...and goes to the dance studio where they took lessons....and there’s the dance teacher, who’d loved and wanted her secretly for years....; the last is Soldier Boy, which I hope will be good enough for the Cougar Club at The Wild Rose Press. The heroine falls for a soldier, despite her best plans, because he’s so young...only to realize he’s the best thing that ever happened to her, and age doesn’t mean a thing. And now that I’ve given away my plots, maybe you can help me petition my editor for a contract in a hurry?

How can readers keep up with your writing and books?

90% of the time, my life is insane, however, I do update my blog and website when I have a chance—or a new title on the way. I got woefully behind this summer, since I had two pending at the same time, but you can find me online at my website and blog .


Debra St. John said...

Hi Lara! Great interview. Thanks for telling us about yourself and your projects.

Lara Dien said...

Hi Debra!

Christina, thanks for the interview! And thanks for putting up with me!

I was supposed to remember to put in Hungarian Masquerade's release date (that's the second picture) of November 28, but things suddenly got a little crazy around here and I forgot.


(hmm...my word verification today is 'holdbir'. Do you think that's pronounced "hold beer"?

Catherine Bybee said...

Great interview, Lara. I love when readers become writers. It makes the books so much better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lara and Christina--
Lara, I just started reading Bad Enough yesterday, and I love it so far. You're right...Rafe is an amazing hero. Very hot.

Good luck with selling your new stories--I can't imagine you'll have a problem there.


Judith Leger said...

Great interview, Lara! Rafe does sound Hot!!

Thanks Christina for having her.

April Vine said...

Hi Christina and Lara
Great interview.
Really enjoyed The Fortunetellers Lay, can’t wait to getting around to BE and HM.
Good luck with all your future projects, they sound captivating.

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Lara and Christina. Great interview. It's always great reading about how other authors do things. :)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Lara,
Great interview. As a TWRP author myself I love reading the success stories of fellow TWRP authors

Helen Hardt said...

Hey ladies -- great interview. I read BE and loved it! You mentioned a lot of my favorite authors, Lara, Roxanne St. Clair in particular. Love her.

But why didn't you give us any great cocktails to try? ;)


Lara Dien said...

Becky, glad you're enjoying the story. I won't tell you exactly how I pictured Rafe myself, because I want you to keep your image of "hot" without ruining it for you LOL

Catherine, Margaret, Judith, Shelley--you know what they say. "Write the book you want to read." Or in this case, write about the hero you want to kiss....

April, glad you enjoyed Fortuneteller (since it's my first one, I'll admit to it being my personal favorite.). My favorite things to get are notes or comments from readers (who of course are often people who know me) saying they wish I'd write more about the couple, because they'd like to know more about them--Lindy and Rafe are one of those couples, just as Miranda and Devon are. And with Masquerade, you'll never look at a potted palm the same way again!

Helen...cocktails, hmm? How about a Down-Under Wonder in honor of the hostess?

It's Christmas here, and summer there, so let's take some pomegranate liqueur, and pour about two oz into a champagne glass (preferably a flute). Fill the glass the rest of the way with chilled Aussie sparkling wine, and garnish with an Aussie surfer-boy ...

PS Helen--I'll pass your compliments on to Rocki. She is one of the nicest people you could hope to meet, and deserves every bit of her success. And you should hear her story of getting started!

Christina, thanks for having me here!


Suzanne Brandyn Author said...

Hi Lara,
Enjoyed reading about you and how you tackle your writing. You have so much in the pipeline it is great. And no doubt, I think these others will find a comfortable home.

Christina Phillips said...

oooh Lara, that cocktail sounds wicked!(but I might just change the garnish for - well, a surfer Clive!!!) And now you've got me wondering about that potted palm!!!

Bella Andre said...

Wow, I'm so honored to be listed in that group of other writer's that you enjoy reading! Thanks so much!

And huge congrats on your release! Your book sounds fantastic.
;-) Bella