How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?
I've been writing since grade school. I've always had an overactive imagination and spent a lot of time in my head visualizing scenes that I eventually wanted to put down on paper. Luckily I had teachers who encouraged writing, as well as good grammar. The first story I remember writing was called The Toy Princess. In this short story a princess is captured by an evil toy and a good toy rescues her. I think the entire story was all of two pages long. After that, I couldn't stop characters from talking to me.
What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Can you describe them to us? What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?
I can't help but think that all characters, even alpha males, are vulnerable in one way or another. Everyone has some deep, sometimes dark, secrets that we lock up. These secrets are a part of character, as well as motivation. Knowing what motivates characters is central to creating great characters and strong stories. When characters stop talking to me, I go back to a storyboard I create for all my stories and review the internal and external conflicts of the characters, their motivation, and the pictures of the "models" who inspired the look of the character. If I look at those pics, review the storyboard, then either take a long drive with the radio off or a long shower, I can usually get the characters to start talking again. But sometimes I just have to leave them alone for a while until they're ready to start talking.
You have some great secondary characters in your books. Will we see spin offs in regards to them in their own story lines? Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter? Thank you! As for spin offs, there's always that chance, but right now I'm working on a series that is specifically designed to be a series. Right now I'm building the town these characters live in, as well as the characters themselves. I'm so into this new series that I'm constantly writing notes on anything I can find to help me remember the ideas that pop into my head when I'm not at my desk. My last set of notes were taken on a paper hand towel from a restaurant. Hey, you've got to get it down while the spark is there.
What do you think is the level of sensuality/heat in your books? What can readers expect from your books with respect to sexual content and sensuality? Lately my stories have been extremely sensual with a heat level that leaves me pretty breathless after I finish a scene. My poor, poor husband. For the time being, this level of sexual intensity is what my readers should expect.
Please tell us about your latest/upcoming release(s). What are they all about? My latest release, Going Down from Decadent Publishing, is a quick but extremely hot story about a woman who has a chance encounter in an elevator with the sexy Navy SEAL who recently moved in to her apartment building. For the first time she's not able to run away from him or her desire for him. Without giving too much of the story away, I'll stop there. But readers should know that chocolate wine, body paints, and a trench coat are involved. Yeow!
What genre do you write in? Is there a genre you haven't tried yet but want to in the future?
What genre do you write in? Is there a genre you haven't tried yet but want to in the future?
I've written in several genres, including contemporary, comedy, and paranormal. I'm just about to finish my first horror erotic romance. This story has been a great challenge and has pushed me to do some of my best writing. I'm a few days from having it finished and sending it off. Readers who love the television show American Horror Story will absolutely love my new book.
What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote? Unfortunately taking the last line out of context sounds strange, so here's the last few lines of Going Down. “That was the doorman.” He grabbed one of the unopened bottles of wine, our glasses, and a tube of red edible paint before sitting down next to me. “He said the power company found the problem and should have it fixed in one hour. I told him I’d pay him a thousand bucks if he could make it two.”
What do you do for fun/relax? Any hobbies? I honestly don't know how to relax. I like to do something all the time. Having fun for me means playing poker with my friends, riding twenty miles on bikes with my hubby, writing, gardening, you name it. My guilty pleasure is watching ghost shows or HGTV on television. I think I've watched enough home improvement shows to knock every single wall out of my house and remodel the hell out of it. Luckily I'm smart enough to leave the demolition tools in the garage.
Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it? As much as I'd love to be cool and say, "Absolutely", I can't. I've read the descriptions of many books that are currently available that had me thinking that I'm not ready for THEM. Honestly, there's some pretty crazy s#$& out there.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why? This is such an easy question for me. Unfortunately the character is in a book that I never finished and probably never will. The character's name is Darcy and she is the co-owner of a home security company. She is send to Scotland to install a security system in the manor of a Scottish hottie. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I'm a huge sucker for a Scottish man. The Scottish accent is one that makes me knees weak. Put a man in a kilt and I'm a goner.
What do you do on a typical writing day? I wish I had a typical writing day, but my days revolve around finding time to be with my husband. Because he works odd hours, I sometimes sleep late, stay up late, or get up early just to spend a few precious minutes with him before he's out the door. Once I'm alone the first thing I do is check my To Do list, then I race for the gym for an hour of torture. After that, I finally sit my butt in a chair and start writing.
Can you please give us an idea on what you are working on for the future? Like I mentioned above, I'm currently working on an erotic horror story, but I've also started a romantic comedy and an extremely cool paranormal. I think the romantic comedy will have most women crying from laughing so hard because they'll be able to relate to my poor heroine's situation(s). My paranormal involves Brian Boru, the last king of Ireland, and a kick ass heroine. And I'm extremely happy to announce the Sassy Seven are at it again!! We're working on another series that is destined to hit the top of the book selling charts. After I finish those stories, the series I'm currently building in my head (and scraps of paper) will be next.
What’s better to write about-perfect characters or flawed ones? And why? Oh, the flawed characters are best. Who wants to read about someone who is perfect? How boring. I'll take the characters who are misfits, emotionally scared, or just a mess any day.
When you have writer's block how do you break free? I can honestly say that I understand why some writers are alcoholics. When facing a block that won't budge, it's easy to turn to a bottle of something and think that the booze is going to help the words flow. I've been there and done that, but learned it's a path that leads to a big, bad ending I want to avoid. Lately, when I can't get over a hump, I call or visit one of my writing friends. Just spending time with them and listening to their current works in progress will get my juices flowing. By the time I get back in the chair to write, I've got the muse back.
Few fun ones:
If you could travel to any time period, where would you and why? Traveling to England just after the fall of Rome is when and where I'd like to be. This is the time of King Author and the Knights of the Roundtable. It's a time for heroes and romance. In this period of time, there's levels of sophistication and civilization, yet there's still an untamed wildness and plenty of mysticism that I find very intriguing.
Hollywood has come calling and is interested in His At Last. You get to pick the actors to play the main characters Leslie and Carter. What book do you choose and who do you choose to play these characters? When I wrote His At Last, I had a very clear picture of the characters. Leslie Brighton was inspired by the beautiful model, Christy Turlington. Christy has an amazing range of expressions, from pure innocence to blazing seductress, that absolutely captured the soul of my heroine. My hero, Carter Lang, has got George Clooney written all over him. Clooney has the sexy, distinguished look I aimed for in this distinguished character.
What is your one favorite foods to enjoy? Oh, honey, I enjoy almost any food. Really. That's why I have to spend an hour of torture at the gym every day. I couldn't put my finger on anything specific that I don't enjoy. I'll take a well-cooked steak, crepes with Nutella, ice cream, dark chocolate, any kind of pasta, pad Thai, you name it. About the only foods I don't enjoy are liver and brussel sprouts.
Any weird cravings when writing? Water and gum. Yes, this does sound weird, I know. But when I write I prefer to have something in my mouth all the time, so the gum is not only a craving, it's a necessity. Water is something I crave all the time. Which explains why I'm always in the bathroom.
Anything else to add? I absolutely LOVE getting e-mail messages and Facebook posts from readers. Honestly. Those messages are like gold to me. They're gold to a lot of writers I know. Feel free to write any time at Brenna.Zinn@BrennaZinn.com.
Here's the blurb from Going Down, Brenna's latest release from Decadent Publishing.
Buy at Decadent Publishing HERE
What does one hunky Navy Seal plus a blizzard equal on Valentine's Day for Michelle Bishop? One hot night in an elevator with nowhere to go and no electricity to get there. Add a holiday gift basket from Valentino's that's full of candles, body paint, and chocolate wine, and going down on an elevator becomes a Valentine experience Michelle will never forget.