Thursday, August 11, 2011
Q & A Dianne Venetta and a giveaway!
Jennifer's Garden is my debut novel which epitomizes the showdown between a career woman's criteria for the perfect husband and what true love means.
In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother's dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He's the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding. Jackson's everything she never wanted in a man, but as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It's an attraction she cannot deny.
And one that puts her career on the line. Jennifer has some decisions to make, choices that pull her in opposite directions. Her best friend Samantha Rawlings is pulling her toward new horizons yet her traditional mindset resists. And then there's Jackson.
Personally, I'd follow him anywhere.
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
For me it has to be when Jennifer's mother Beatrice visits the garden. It's a tense moment for Jennifer because this was supposed to be the setting for her wedding, but instead, opened the bloom of a new relationship. While her mother knows she has feelings for Jackson, he doesn't and Jennifer's not sure she's ever going to tell him.
But what happens during this scene changes everything. It's beautiful, touching and will make you want your very own Jackson Montgomery.
Years ago the inspiration struck. It was quite unexpected but very insistent. Like every other devoted romance reader, I was consuming books at alarming rates and one day, a story popped into my head and demanded to be written. It was just that simple! And I, being the dutiful-devoted-lover-of-all-books had to comply.
While my debut novel is not the book of this first inspiration, I do hope to publish the original story one day. It's about the mother-daughter relationship and how we must first learn to accept ourselves and our choices before we can begin to accept another's.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
It's definitely true that writers write what they know. At least they start out that way. Who knows where I'll go next but Jennifer's Garden is set in South Miami, home to my childhood. I chose this venue because of the flair and flavor of this tropical city and the fact that my novel centers on an outdoor wedding. An easy fit, right?
The second in this series will be released in October and features South Beach and the city downtown.
5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well this question gave me pause. Would this be my tendency to ignore the laundry machine as it bangs against my office wall during its spin cycle? Or do you mean more along the lines of what odd habits do I have? I guess I would say it's my need to have two computers and three piles going at all times. I'm very visual and if I have a question about some detail in my story, I want to research it right then—without losing sight of my story page.
As to piles, I'm a plotter and have everything organized according to scene. Sex scene, work scene, emotional scene, love scene (yes, not all my sex scenes are love scenes!), family scene, conflict scene, etc.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That there is so much work that goes into that book we read in two days; amazing amounts of time and effort that I never realized until I sat down to write one of my own. Six months is quick, nine months to a year more the norm. Then there's me who took almost ten years to write Jennifer's Garden. Of course that's including two breaks for childbirth and child-rearing, a full-time job before that and more after school activities than two children should have time for! Not to mention a few other manuscripts tucked away in my file drawer for later revision.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
Roxanne St. Clair has been one of my biggest helps in refining my craft. She corralled my thoughts and characters into a manageable space and is largely responsible for turning on the marketing wheels in my brain. Brenda Rickman Vantrease and Eliza Knight helped me with final revisions last year as well as Leda Swann early on.
My local author friends Wynter Daniels, Julie Salvo, Pamela LaBud, Terry Odell, Tammy Strickland and a host of others helped teach me the ins and outs of the writing business as well as provided moral support. It takes a community!
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
Both my kids are voracious readers and love the fact that I write books. They don't like it when I'm on the computer when they want to play (which is why most of my writing occurs during school hours and late at night), but they appreciate what I'm doing, the fact I'm striving toward a goal.
My husband is very supportive. Would love nothing more than to see me succeed and no, I'm sure the hope of early retirement has nothing to do with it. He actually promotes my book everywhere he goes (works in offices filled with women). God love him—as do the ladies!
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
When I'm not writing I'm either gardening or toting kids around. My first job is Mom and they're only young once. Otherwise, I love to travel (with and without the wee ones) and if there's ocean nearby, I'm on board—the airline, not the cruise line. No cruising. I get a bit itchy when I can't see land. And sea sick, if I can't see the horizon.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
As I mentioned, my next novel Lust on the Rocks will be released this October, followed by the third in the series next summer. Still debating on the title, though not the story. Already have that outlined and ready to go. So when the kids go back to school, I get back to writing!
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Readers can find me on Twitter @DianneVenetta and Facebook.com/DianneVenetta. For any gardeners out there, check my garden blog at BloominThyme.com for gardening made fun and easy.
Also, be sure to visit my website at http://www.diannevenetta.com/ for excerpts and sneak peeks into upcoming releases. And giveaways. I love free stuff! Be sure to sign up by email to receive the inside scoop—before anyone else.
You can purchase Jennifer's Garden by clicking here to go to Amazon.
Dianne is giving away to one lucky reader a copy of Jennifer's Garden (ebook or print). All you need to do is post a comment or question and you'll be entered to win the prize!