Monday, March 3, 2008

[Interview] Dahlia Rose

Dahlia Rose made her debut as an author with the publication of Love and Lights (Mardi Gras Publishing, 2006).

Love and Lights was followed by The Soul Mate's Curse (Star Dust Press, 2007); When Angels Fall (Star Dust Press, 2007); Caribbean Blue (Phaze, 2007) and Velvet, Leather and Roses (Amira Press, 2007) and Paradise Found (Amira Press, 2008).

Dahlia Rose spoke about her writing:

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I decided to be a writer when I was around eleven years old. By then I was already writing short stories and poems at school and a few on my poems won contests.

My mom always used to say I was blessed with a gift and that I could use words and make people want to read more.

Even though I wanted to take it up as a career, I had to put off writing because my kids and family came first. But the love of it always remained in my heart.

How would you describe the writing you are doing now?

I write multi-cultural, contemporary erotica and suspense. That is the only way I can explain it.

I take my characters, whether it is a soldier or a dancer or a werewolf or a vampire, and I set them in this time period.

I love the thought of magic and the what-ifs of life brought into the here-and-now. I mix suspense with romance and love and blend in some spicy erotica.

I try to mix in real life emotionalism into my books because I want the reader to feel the situation my characters are in... to be able to say, "Hey I can feel what [this character] is feeling!"

Have you ever listened to a song that gets to your heart every time you hear it? That’s what I want readers to feel when they look into one of my books.

What motivated you to start writing in this genre?

It was actually not by choice. I started writing one day and the characters and story just ended up in this genre. I found my niche in contemporary erotica/romance. Every time I sit down in front of my laptop to write, my stories just twist into this reality.

I generally don’t write out plots or outlines for a new book. I get up one morning and there is a new idea in my head and it runs from there. Those little characters in my head take over and tell me where they are going to be, not where I should put them. They are very outspoken when they get a voice.

What are your main concerns as a writer?

The work that I am doing is so very important to me and I know a lot of people do not consider romance a very big part of the writing world. But to me and all of us who write it, it is one of the most important things in our lives. We are not just for bored housewives and mothers. That is the biggest misconception out there we have to deal with. We give love a voice.

I am a true romantic at heart. I love the thought of being in love and all the challenges a relationship can face. We all know that it can’t be perfect all the time. And I let my books reflect that. They are not just sweet and happy from one chapter to the next. I try to put up some barriers and walls that my characters have to climb over before they can find true happiness.

I use a lot of my own emotions when I write and I draw on past experiences and conflicts to help me capture what I want to portray in a particular scene.

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

My biggest challenges are trying to balance everything in my life. I have four kids ranging from sixteen to four. From going to soccer practice or Gymboree or football practice plus my own kickboxing classes -- there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Focusing on my writing as a career now has become my goal. I quit my job so I could have more hours in the day to write. In the past, by the time I had a few hours at night to open up my laptop, I was so exhausted I fell asleep. I now have the schedule worked out and everyone in my family is so supportive it is going well.

My kids are great and so is my fiancée. They let mom have her peace and quiet -- so I can write. And when I have promotional items or contest items I need to get done, you can see them all sitting helping me get bookmarks and business cards made up. They all do their part to help and encourage me.

With the promise that when I get on the New York Times bestseller list I buy them a boat. (Laugh.)

Do you write everyday?

I try to at least spend three to six hours a day writing. I like to work on two books simultaneously and get at least two chapters done a day on each book. But there are some days when I tend to procrastinate and end up spending the day in the park with my kids.

The Lover’s Diary sounds intriguing. What is it about?

The Lover’s Diary is my baby. It was the first book that ever got accepted. It looks into the relationship of a pair of lovers who write their thoughts and feeling into the pages of a journal they share. Their love and sexuality is directly tied together. There is nothing they don't share because they are very open and honest. The heroine, however, has been hurt so badly that she has a hard time accepting that this relationship is real. The hero, who loves her deeply, sets out to prove to her he's not going anywhere and this is a forever deal with him.

Paradise Found, on the other hand is a suspense thriller about a stalker who kills his victims to find immortality. It is my first full length novel and it takes you from North Carolina to the lush beauty of Barbados.

Which aspects of the work did you find most difficult?

I would have to say conflict or danger. I get so caught up in the fear or anger of the moment when I create it that sometimes I have to stop and just give myself a breather.

For instance, in Paradise Found, my killer scared the heck out of me when I came to writing his scenes and his victim's fear became my own for a little bit. There were certain parts in The Soul Mate’s Curse that are so sad I felt like crying myself.

Which parts of the novella did you enjoy writing most?

Love scenes. Well, who can blame me?

I think every writer has a fondness for the romance they can create between characters. For me, I love erotica and sensuality, in general, so it is very easy for me to write it in my books.

I wrote The Soul Mate’s Curse book in three weeks, around the Christmas holiday. I did it between shopping and other things. I started the editing process in January of 2007 so that it would be ready for release just before Valentines Day.

It's a Valentines story with a twist, with a werewolf, true love and a curse. How could I go wrong?

What sets the novella apart from the other things you've written?

It's the first book I've written which centres on a werewolf.

I knew I wanted the wolf to be scary, yes… but not like you see in the movies... where they are slimy and disgusting when they change. I wanted him to be actually a wolf and the whole concept of him being cursed to be a wolf and not bitten blended in very well with that idea.

The novella's similarity to my other books is that it is cantered around my belief in soul mates that last a life-time. I believe in happily-ever-after and even if one of my books does not have a happy ending, it will have a love that will last from one life to the next. That's one of my strongest beliefs... that even if a love is lost in this life, it will be found in another life.

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer

You mean besides getting my foot in the door and being published? (Laugh.) I would say being nominated for a few awards in the Romance Erotica Connection awards. I was nominated Best New Author of 2006 for my book, Love and Light, and even though I did not win, I felt good knowing that at least a few people out there read my book and liked it. I did not even know I was nominated until I scheduled a chat with the owner/moderator of the group and she told me. Then a few other authors I know told me the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised.

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