For Christy Walken, attending a romance reader's convention is sheer torture. When she wins the grand prize—a date with romance cover model, Declan Brand—she ends up with more than just dinner and dancing. She not only loses her heart, she has the video and pictures to prove it.
Christy stared into the decorative mirror across the hallway from Declan Brand’s hotel-room door, contemplating just when it was she’d fallen for him. Despite her determination to remain aloof and disdainful during the day’s photo shoot, she’d watched with increasing envy as the two models had worked with him. He’d thrown himself heart and soul into the poses, treating each woman as if she were the only one he’d ever loved.
Admit it. You know what he wants. The woman in the mirror arched an eyebrow and grinned slyly. You want it, too, or you wouldn’t be here. How could she not want him? Sure, today had been strictly media hype, but after watching him work with the charisma and charm of a Hollywood heartthrob, she finally understood why she and every other woman at the conference lusted for him. Yes, it was corny and cliché, but he wasn’t just another pretty face. He was truly a nice guy. She was amazed at how quickly she’d gone from total disdain of romance novels and everything associated with them to completely taken with Declan, who was the living, breathing embodiment of romance. Even so, all of that was superficial. Christy knew the real reasons she was losing her heart to him, and they had nothing to do with his public image.
She looked down at the plastic room key and the note she clutched in her hand…a tryst with Declan was too deliciously indecent to pass up. Unfolding the note, she read it again. The message, etched in bold, neat handwriting, explained his intentions clearly enough.
Christy, Please join me at 11:30 for an intimate photo session. The two photographers you met today have already set up the room. They’ll be back at midnight. Bring your camera. One of the photographers will use it. Take the sixth-floor private elevator to the Executive Suites Level. This key opens the elevator and my room, The Beachcomber. Let yourself in, and meet me on the balcony. Stay in costume, and bring a sense of buccaneer adventure. I guarantee uninhibited fantasy fulfillment and complete carnal satisfaction by daylight. I hope you’re not shy. Declan
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I am and always have been a card-carrying pantser. I write in scenes, collect them as the novel or short story progresses, and insert the scenes where they fit in the overall plot. I've been known to write the ending before the beginning ever reveals itself to me. Think of how directors shoot movies. They don't start with the first scene, they jump around from location to location, and it all comes together on the editing table, so to speak. That's me. My stories usually spawn from a picture (image of some sort) that creates a scene in my mind, and I go from there. Sometimes a spoken phrase will prompt the story idea. Outlining (plotting) in any form has never worked for me.
What books have most influenced your life?
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, many of Louis L'Amour's westerns, William Shakespeare's plays, Marion Zimmer Bradley'sMists of Avalon, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Gaston Leroux and The Phantom of the Opera, Victor Hugo and Les Misérables, and Alexandre Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo
What hobbies do you actively pursue?
I have three strong interests, but I don't know that I'd call them true 'hobbies'. I have a petrified rock collection that I'm constantly on the look-out to add to. I dabble in wine (reading about, tasting, drinking). I'm obsessed with all things related to Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and La Bohème (as in collecting memorabilia, watching the performances/movies, reading about the performers, listening to the music, etc).
Where do you research for your books?
I have an extensive personal research library of 1000+ books on all sorts of topics that I've collected over the years. I also use the on-line Denver (Colorado) Public Library as well as other on-line libraries. The Library of Congress is a great historical resource. Whenever possible, I travel to the places I write about.
When was your first sale?
I sold my first book to Cobblestone Press in March 2006. The book is Lonely Places. Not only was Lonely Places the first historical Cobblestone contracted, it was one of the launch books during Cobblestone's grand opening month in June 2006. I'm currently writing the sequel to it.
Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
My favorite character is Beau Hyatt from Lonely Places. He's the antihero of the story. He's consumed with guilt over the the death of his wife and that she took the bullet meant for him. Hunting down the man who killed her is Beau's only reason to live. Loneliness is the overriding theme in this story.
Thank you, Amber, for inviting me over for an interview.
Until next time,
Fall in love…faster, harder, deeper with Kaye Spencer romances