I am pleased to welcome Christine Elaine Black as the very first guest on my blog! Christine is also published with The Wild Rose Press, and last Friday she was gracious enough to interview me on her blog. I thought it only fair to offer her the chance to answer her own questions...and here she is!
CEB: Hello everyone. I’m thrilled to be a guest of fellow writer, Brenda Margriet, today. Thanks for having me.
BM: What draws you as a reader to the romance genre?
CEB: I’m drawn to the romance genre as a reader mainly by historical romantic fiction. There’s something about visiting another time and place that once existed but has vanished into the mists of time that fascinates me. I love learning new facts about history, so the genre fulfills those aspects plus I enjoy romance intertwined with a compelling tale.
BM: In your books, 'historical' means waaaayyy back – to the time of the Romans. Most of the historical romances I've read go no further back than the Regency era. It's amazing how romance suits every time and place.
What do you find is the most difficult part of writing a love story?
CEB: The difficult part is to make the reader care about the characters and their issues as much as the writer. We know as the creator of the story that our characters have all the elements to make us fall in love along with them but relaying that on paper is a challenge. It’s easy to get caught up in the story of the hero/heroine and forget touches of thrilling romantic moments that make our readers melt.
BM: Is creating a book title easy for you? Tell us about the process.
CEB: Titles are tricky things. They are designed to capture the attention of a potential reader and convey the essence of the book. My original title for MAXIMUS, book I of the Imperial Desire series was… Maximus. Strong roman men and the women who love them is the central theme of my books. Add the element of desire then I have the final choice for the book and the series.
BM: I really struggle with titles. I even asked for help from the readers of your blog, asking for suggestions for my next book. I encourage anyone reading this to go to Christine's blog and give me a hand – you could win some swag!
On to the next questions - Do your characters love the direction you take for them or do they have other ideas?
CEB: My characters go in all kinds of directions, especially the men. As I write a scene I find them doing and saying things I never imagined. It often works out for the best as my inner muse ultimately guides the story. I trust the process and write as much as I can before reviewing the work to decide if major tweaking is necessary. Maximus surprised me at the end of the book but to reveal more would require what they call a spoiler alert!!
BM: Any tips for writers that you’d love to share?
CEB: Yes. Get some work out there and get some feedback. I joined a few author sites to see what my fellow writers had to say about the industry and receive general feedback. One of the best things about writing today is the huge amount of resources available at our fingertips. I can’t imagine doing this without a computer, a group of online friends and the greatest thing… the online submission process. I must give a shout out to my publisher – The Wild Rose Press - who are a fantastic organization giving many romantic authors the opportunity to publish their work.
BM: I have also enjoyed my experiences with The Wild Rose Press. The advent of e-books has certainly opened the doors for a lot of first time authors.
Where can readers find out more about you?
CEB: They can check out my blog, website and Facebook!
BM: And now for the fun part - tell us about your next book.
CEB: Yay! Coming soon is TAURUS, book II of the Imperial Desire series. The news of a release date from The Wild Rose Press is due any day now. I’m pleased to have the book cover to show you today along with the blurb.
Rebellious and strong-willed, Kalliassa flees a political betrothal arranged by her brother, the emperor of Rome. She runs to the one man capable of preventing the match - her brother's sworn enemy. Unwittingly, she throws her fortunes into the hands of a man pledged to destroy Roman rule.
Taurus, proud Governor of Panua, would do anything to provoke the emperor, even ruin an imperial sister. But Kallie is like no woman he's ever met and she tests his strength of will and his solemn vow to end the reign of her family, forever.
Can true love overcome lust, lies and deceit?
And here is the cover and blurb for Maximus, which is currently available!
Carissa Valeria distrusts the handsome soldier who rescues her reckless son from plunging to an early death. Recalling the man's heartless treatment of her from years ago, she itches to even the score, but her son hails the rescuer as a hero. When he becomes her neighbor, her son's friendship with the soldier threatens to uncover old secrets and place her family and her heart in danger.
Exiled to the countryside by the Roman emperor, Maximus is confounded by the brittle countenance of the woman he's willing to befriend. She's afraid, and he's determined to find out why. But helping Carissa and her son means confronting the guilt of his long-forgotten past and stirring the silenced passion in his heart.
Can Maximus win Carissa before fear and revenge tear them apart forever?
Thanks so much for joining me on my blog, Christine! Best of luck with your writing!