Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Interview with romance author Dianne Venetta

Today's guest is Dianne Venetta to chat with us a bit about Lust on the Rocks, gardening, and don't miss the details for a giveaway she's having (at the end of the interview).

Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children, and part-time Yellow Lab--Cody-body! When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you'll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men. Definitely men.

A girl's gotta have fun, right?

When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in her kids' school garden (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.

Welcome, Dianne. Please tell us about your current release, Lust on the Rocks.
Sam is a feisty lady lawyer with a lifestyle steeped in personal freedom and independence. While family is important to her, she has decided to remain childless and husband-free. Until Vic Marin arrives on scene, that is. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions--one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part. Until he walks away.

There is a sub-plot in the novel involving Sam's younger sister Jessica that pulls Sam and Vic into conflict regarding personal choices and decisions, ones that reach into their relationship and force Sam to re-evaluate what she thought she wanted from life and what she may desire instead. Lust or love? It's time for Sam to choose.

What inspired you to write this book?
It always floored me that women could be equal in every way as men—except when it came to how they conducted their sex lives. I mean, a man is sexually active and he’s called a stud. A woman entertains a few partners and she’s called a slut. It’s crazy!

So I created Samantha Rawlings; my fun-loving, sex-having legal-ace heroine who lives by her own set of rules.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My current project is actually the third in this series (connected by characters) and features an ambitious, competitive young woman trying to find her way in life. She knows what she wants (she thinks) and she’s hell bent on getting it (just not sure how!). As you can see, she’s somewhat fraught by indecision and insecurity.

But there’s a particularly delightful hero waiting to help her wade through the murk of uncertainty and emerge strong and sure with a clear vision of not only what she wants from life, but what she needs. Personally, I’d follow him anywhere!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a child in elementary school, I won a writing contest with a mystery story I wrote. The moral of the story was: he who cries the loudest, is guilty! First place is first place and I’m ever so proud of my accomplishment—as was my mother who encouraged me to no end. But the novel bug didn’t bite until much later….

About fifteen years ago (hard to keep track of all this passing time!) I was inspired to write a novel about mothers and daughters, specifically with regard to the strained relations often found between the two. I found it odd that one of our closest connections can also be our most difficult. Until I viewed it through the lens of lessons to be learned. Then, WHAM! The light shone bright and I realized: if we can figure out and overcome this troublesome blend, we can overcome anything. This first book is yet to be published, but DO look for it in the future!

Do you write full-time?
When I can—absolutely! But sometimes life gets in the way of my writing, things like exercise, dinner prep, household chores, etc. To combat these intrusions upon my writing, I’ve become a slave to a schedule. Not particularly exciting for me as I tend toward the spontaneous by nature, but it’s necessary. And if it increases my productivity, then I’m all for it.

What's your work day like?
On “full-time” days, I wake up, shower, drop kids at school, come home and write. Pick up kids from school, return to my mommy persona, then shift into wife mode for some after dinner conversation with the hubby. With any luck, we’ll move into research mode! (Hey Uncle Sam—can I write that off somehow?)

What do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Now there’s a loaded question. You’re talking to a woman who has elevated multi-tasking to near religious experience! My God—have you ever managed laundry, dinner, and sex in the space of the same hour? It’s titillating to be sure, but challenging to say the least. It’s a way of life.

My New Year’s goals this year are to NOT forget dinner, NOT place folded wrinkled laundry into hubby’s drawers, and NOT miss a day of writing. Possible? *wink-wink* Try challenging.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Mood music? When writing sex scenes or heavily emotional scenes of any nature, I need to get in the “mood.” Odd, isn’t it? Not really when you consider that women are emotional creatures by nature. And living busy lives in busy times, we need a little transition action. Think: foreplay. A woman needs to get worked up for her big scene, her big spill of emotion. Makes sense I as a writer would need the same for the same, right?

Sounds logical to me, so I’m going with it!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The boss of something—anything! I’m still working to overcome this tendency but it does come in handy when working to achieve long-term goals in life. I mean, you’ll get no place without goals, without drive and if you can’t control your direction, how will you ever get there? So long as you mature and don’t try and control your mate—you’re good to go! Trust me, spouses don’t like to be controlled.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Considering that it’s almost spring, I’d love to share a bit about my garden. Not only a healthy source of food and exercise, it provides great stress relief and a sense of accomplishment—things any working mother needs.

We’re totally organic and compost all our leftovers. Makes for great soil amendment. And they payoff is huge. Currently we have sweet onions, scallions, shallots, garlic, carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and sweet peas in ground. Soon will be adding black and red beans, corn, pole beans, squash, zucchini, Hungarian Wax peppers, green peppers and of course, tomatoes. I’m married to an Italian and perfecting the fine art of tomato sauce is another must-do on the list of New Year’s resolutions! How about you? Any gardeners out there?

I'm not a gardener - I can't even keep an air plant alive, sadly. But there must be a lot of this blog's readers who garden. Now's the time to speak up folks!

And while you comment, you'll be entering yourself into a drawing. Dianne will be giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her virtual book tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!


Mary Preston said...

"elevated multi-tasking to near religious experience" that has to be the best thing I have heard today. I burst out laughing, but it hit home.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Dianne today!

MomJane said...

I miss having my kids home and multi-tasking. Didn't think that then, but I sure do now.

Dianne Venetta said...

@marybelle Laughing is good for the soul!

@MomJane They are some great years, aren't they? So long as we remember to "stay in the moment" we can enjoy them to the fullest. :)

Karen H said...

Enjoyed your post today but I live in a world where everyday is Sunday so there's no pressure to multi-task! That's called retirement and I love every minute of it.

I'm interested in the heroine in the third book of this series. Sounds like she is walking on eggshells while bricks fall on her head. You say she is fraught with indecision and insecurity. Those are the characteristics often found in a TSTL heroine. What other characteristics have you given her to save here from the TSTL pit?

Lisa Haselton said...

Quite a fun interview! :)

Gena Robertson said...

Another great interview, Dianne! I have to admit that I'm enjoying not having to multi-task so much now that my kids are grown. The hubs works rotating shifts, so he pretty much takes care of himself since it's hard to know when he'll be eating at home. I'm lovin' life right now!

Can't wait to read Lust on the Rocks!

Gena Robertson

Dianne Venetta said...

@Karen LOL TSTL? Not in my books! No, this gal is young. She's ambitious, just not sure of her place in life, yet. She's determined, but vulnerable. She wants to make her own way in life, wants to be loved and admired for who she is, but isn't sure she's made that "cut" yet -- not at work and not in her personal life.

In other words, she's still striving, still seeking to find her authentic self. :) Better?

@Lisa Appreciate the hospitality!

@Gena One day... But knowing me, I'll always have five things going at once--I don't think my brain can operate any other way!

My husband compares me to a cat -- one minute stretched out on the couch, appearing relaxed and sedate, the next minute *zing* the cat is up and shooting out of the room! hehe He does have a point...

Catherine Lee said...

OMG...I would love to raid your garden...or at least be a friendly, back fence neighbor with whom you might share your bounty! I LOVE fresh from the garden beets, along with so many of your other veggies.

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Deb PelletierC said...

Love the Laundry,dinner and sex in the same hour,LOL.

Dianne Venetta said...

@Catherine "Ogling" neighbors always welcome!

@Renald It's an interesting existence! :)