Sunday, January 10, 2010
Welcome to Gianna Bruno's guest blog
Welcome Ms. Bruno to Love Romances and More. Thank you for joining us.
You're welcome, thanks for having me.
Did you always want to become a writer?
I've written all my life: school essays, bad poetry, complaint letters. Then I discovered this talent for writing letters to the editor of my hometown newspaper (in Vermont) on local politics. Most got picked up and I soon branched out to bigger venues. When I moved to New York, I started pitching to bigger places, made contacts with several editors and began doing freelance work.
Being a very alternative, spiritual type person, I branched out into speculative fiction a few years ago. Urban fantasy is edgy and that led me to writing erotica.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
To me, the most interesting fact is how much you learn from writing. Even the shortest article or piece of flash fiction requires research. The least interesting fact is how much work is required to produce even that short article or fictional piece.
How do you plan to celebrate your first release?
"Hot Chocolate Kiss" is my first piece of published fiction so it's a real milestone. I've seen my name in print many times, but this is the first time my pseudonym is being put out there for all to see. I'm thrilled about the launch party and live chat that Eternal Press sponsors so I can connect with a whole new set of readers, or old readers who have no idea who I really am! I hope they will follow me on my blog, my group, the EP readers group, or on Twitter.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
This was tough since Hot Chocolate Kiss is erotica. My husband was one of the first people who read the story-and he loved it. He's been very supportive. I can't let my kids read it since they're so young, but they've seen the trailer and the cover. My sisters and mom seemed impressed but they are excited about everything I write. We'll see what happens when they read it.
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
Since childhood I've read anything I could get my hands on. Any genre. Fiction, non-fiction. I always have a book or magazine with me and read some published fiction or non-fiction every night. I need to be up on what the trends are.
One of my most favorite pastimes is wandering around in the library and checking out anything that catches my fancy (titles and covers are key for me). Bookstores are a second choice, but I try not to buy too many books since I live in a small apartment.
I learn something from every author I read. What to do, what not to do. I hope to world build like JK Rowling someday. I've been very influenced by authors like EM Forster, Daphne DuMaurier and Margaret Atwood. My non-fiction style is a mix of David Sedaris and Nora Ephron.
I also want to give credit to another Eternal Press author, Andrew Richardson. He writes supernatural horror, which I dislike since it gives me nightmares. But his style and use of myth is flawless-and he's taught me a lot about having the courage to step out of my comfort zone.
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
My characters come alive while I'm writing. So much so, I dream about them and sometimes feel like I am living their lives. When I do field research and fancy I am the character in a place or situation. For a science fiction novel, I rode thrill rides to experience G forces. For a novella I just finished, I toured New England historic towns.
Most of my characters are composites of people I know. It can be tough with villains since I don't know any truly evil individuals.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
Yes, and no. I've gotten over the squeamishness of writing graphic sex scenes. But it always remains a challenge to focus on what the characters are feeling rather than the act itself. Another challenge is to maintain the dignity of all the partners. That can be tough, depending upon the type of story it is.
Sensual or contemporary love scenes are hard because the writer has to pick and choose what they are going to include and it’s more thematic than cinematic.
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writer's block?
Deadlines are my best friend. Without them I wouldn't get anything done. I'm not a procrastinator but I have lots of commitments, plus a family. I've had a few bouts of writer's block where there were no ideas in my head or I just didn't feel like writing.
I give myself permission to take some time off. Reading is a good way to break my block. And I've been known to dream up an entire plot during a long nap.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?
I have no preference. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier has always been one of my favorite books, and though I've enjoyed the one or two sequels written in recent years it never interfered with my passion for the original story. Then again, I wish the Harry Potter series would never end. JK Rowling was smart, though. There is nothing worse than a series that goes on too long.
Most of my fictional pieces are stand alone stories. But editors like series so if there is enough to build a plot around, I'm game. But I refuse to force a story where there is none.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
Honestly, my life is so much more rewarding and fulfilling than any of my characters who all experience heartbreak and difficult trials. I wouldn't want to be any of them. Writing about people in tough situations allows me to indulge in all sorts of adventures while remaining safe and sound.
If you insist on an answer, I would want to go back to Victorian times for a day. More on that later.
What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
They are all favorites. I have to love my characters to make them come alive. They all represent facets of my imagination and allow me to play-act—I once wanted to be an actress. And everyone wants to feel they are a hero or heroine-rising above trouble and prevailing.
Would you like to give another genre a try?
I already write non-fiction, contemporary women's fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction and the erotic subgenres of all the above. I think its time to cut back! Now that I have a pseudonym it sometimes feels like I have a split personality.
The advantage is that if I tire of one genre, I switch to something else.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
My first science fiction novel was the easiest. I just free wrote, with no outline and no internal editor. Revisions were awful though, and I still haven’t sold it.
The hardest book I ever wrote was The Journey because I envisioned something short and it kept going and going. I had to stop and do more and more research and puzzle out the plot twists. My original estimate was that it would be about 15,000 words and it turned out to be more than 30,000. Every sentence was a struggle to complete because I had to portray the use of magic and capture the intricacies of the plot.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you cast?
The Journey, the historical, paranormal, erotic novella I just finished would be superb as a movie. Angelina Jolie would be the best to play Milena, the heroine. Johnny Depp would make a wonderful Thomas, the hero. Meryl Streep for the role of Circe the evil mermaid, and Jack Nicholson as Tertulio.
Hamil, the fairy king, hmm, let me think on that one. He'd have to be beautiful in a feminine way, but very masculine at the same time. Takes a special guy to wear a set of wings and strut around naked. Whoopi Goldberg as Mamou, for sure. Wow, this is fun!
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
Victorian times, both in Britain and the United States. I think I lived back because I'm so fascinated with that time period--the clothes and conventions, the architecture and décor, the literature, the art.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
Instrumental or classical music, if any. Lyrics distract me. Depending upon what I'm writing, John Williams' movie soundtracks or Tchaikovsky gets my creativity going. (I'm a dancer so I'm partial to classics). I love Sarah Brightman and Celine Dion.
Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?
Extreme weather, three witches, two skiers fighting their own demons--and each other…who wins?
Keela Branford’s passion for extreme winter sports, fueled by anger at a cheating soon to be ex-husband, drives her to brave sub-zero wind chills and break a lot of rules--including the one to never ski alone. There are just some battles that have to be fought despite the risks.
Keela doesn't think much of Rick Marston, a ski lift attendant who is brazen enough to question Keela's judgment. And she thinks even less of his invitation for a drink when she comes down from the summit. She's sworn off controlling jocks like her ex, and is determined to exorcise the demon of self-doubt inside her. Will Keela win the battle against The Witches waiting for her on the ski slopes? And will the heat between Keela and the man who gets in the middle rout them for good?
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
Well, Rick and Keela from "Hot Chocolate Kiss" are planning three new seasonal adventures. They will take a hike next spring, Keela wants to try surfing, and they're destined to get lost in the woods next Samhain.
I've already told you about The Journey which I just finished and is now seeking a home.
When the ship carrying Milena's lover disappears, she fears Thomas perished with the rest of the crew. They don't hang witches in Salem anymore but, shunned by the villagers, Milena faces life alone in a town bracing for a war over slavery, yet still rife with an older form of prejudice.
As Milena travels into the Forest and Sea Otherworlds to search for Thomas, she uncovers the terrible truth about what brought his ship down. But on the journey, she also discovers many secrets about her own past.
I'm working on a contemporary erotic story, probably a collection of short vignettes about a couple in the suburbs looking to "reinvent" their relationship. "At Home With Peter and Sandra" is very humorous but it has a serious theme.