Monday, April 2, 2018

Interview with romance author E.M. Bannock

My special guest today is E.M. Bannock, member of Romance Writers of America. She’s chatting with me about her new modern western romance, Totally Devoted.

During her virtual book tour, E.M. will be giving away a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

E.M. Bannock was born in 1950 and grew up in the Detroit suburbs. Her love for writing began during high school where she excelled in writing short stories and poetry. Born with the wanderlust, she found herself in Los Angeles, an exciting place to be in the early 70’s, and E.M. experienced all that it had to offer. It was here she met her husband. She has lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where she now lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson and a menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and horses.

Welcome, E.M. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Thank you for having me, Lisa. I’m very excited to be here and hopefully get some new readers. I love sharing my book.

Totally Devoted begins 10 years after the death of the main character’s son and husband. Marie Trousdale, a strong, independent, professional has spent that time working and little else. Her current job, Project Manager for a software company, has her flying around the country in a whirlwind of fuzzy faces and board rooms that all look the same. When her home in southern California gets condemned as part of an urban development plan, she realizes that she’s been stagnant for 10 years and longs for a change.

She decides to move to Oregon and hires Wil Townsend, a local contractor, to build a home for her on the property she inherited from her late husband.

Wil had lived a quite life in rural Oregon up to this point. Right after high school his young wife left him with their infant son. Soon after that, she died, leaving Wil to raise the boy alone. Wil is tough, rugged, and rough around the edges but honest, trustworthy, and devoted to family.

Marie and Wil clash from the start and mix like oil and water. But hidden emotions surface and bring out long forgotten passions.

Marie is determined to change professions so that she can spend more time in Oregon and be with Wil but the profession she chooses puts her at odds with him and his traditional values and puts her own life in danger. Wil must then decide if his love for Marie can save them both.

There is also a subplot involving family drama on Marie’s end which I’m sure some of my readers will be able to identify with. This subplot has some interesting twists.

There’s some pretty steamy sex scenes in the book. I make no apologies for them. They fit for the time and the place. You can always skim over them if you like. But I bet you’ll be coming back for a peek.

The majority of the book takes place in Oregon. A place I’ve lived and love. The places I describe when Marie and Wil are horseback riding are all written from memory of places I’ve ridden in the Oregon mountains. It’s very beautiful there and I hope I’m able to bring that beauty to life to my readers as well.

What inspired you to write this book?
I began this book shortly after the death my sister, Cheryl, from Breast Cancer. In fact, she was the inspiration for the subplot. It was actually kind of therapeutic.

The main plot of the book came to me in a dream, if you can believe that, and the entire outline of the book played out in my head one afternoon in a jet plane on the way to my sister, Annette’s, house. It took a couple of years to write it. I actually started it in 1998. Back then there was no self publishing or eBooks. I typed it out, printed several copies, and sent them to publishers in New York only to be rejected.

The book sat in my computer for years, moving from computer to computer as I upgraded and when an opportunity in 2013 came to self publish, I jumped on it. I learned a lot but with no marketing budget or experience the only thing I got was the personal satisfaction of seeing my book in print.

Through a chain of coincidences, I was introduced to 5 Prince Publishing who took an interest in the book and a chance on me, for which I am very grateful. They worked with me to edit the book and make it even better than before. I am very proud of the finished product and hope I bring entertainment to many readers.

Excerpt from Totally Devoted:
Chapter 7
And like the endless rush of rain flowing from the barn toward the ditch, he opened up to her. He told her the whole sorry tale of falling in love, getting Maggie pregnant, getting married, having Duke, and being abandoned by Maggie. He ended with the phone call from Maggie’s mother and the news of her death.
He said it without emotion. It was almost as if he was describing someone else’s life. His story filled Marie with such sorrow. How could a mother desert her own child? How could she throw away such a precious gift? And poor Wil…to have lived through that pain. No wonder he was so afraid to love again. She wanted to reach out to him and comfort him. She wanted to tell him that she would never hurt him, if he would only give her the chance. Instead, she just sat there, stunned in amazement. The only thing she could say was, “I’m sorry.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now, I’m working on a book called Zoey’s Place. It’s about another strong, independent, professional woman (an attorney) who is in a loving, happy, successful, sexually passionate marriage (some called it kinky). Her beloved husband is suddenly killed while on a business trip, she quits her practice and tries to adjust to a life alone, without her partner, without a sex life, a life without meaning.

After a series of events she decides to open up a spa/brothel for women and uses the varied sexual role-playing escapades she shared with her husband as the basis for the brothel experiences. It’s a success.

Then as if it were planned, things begin to go wrong and it’s up to Zoey to figure out who or what is behind it. I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with a ghost from her legal career past.

I’m still planning on a HEA ending but haven’t figured out how to fit it in and who Zoey will end up with.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing from as far back as I can remember. My father was a great story teller. I guess that inspired me. I was infatuated with poetry at first. There were no computers when I was growing up. I know that gives my age away, but it encouraged me to read and write. I loved romance novels and it was even better if there was a sex scene in it; quite a thrill for a Catholic school girl.

I’ve written on and off my whole life, poems, short stories, a newsletter article now and then, and always held out the idea of writing books and becoming an author. And now I am one.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write full-time. I would love to, but I can’t afford it. I live in a very rural area of Wyoming and you have to do what you can do make a living. My husband and I run a small, very small, construction company. I am also a volunteer and State Certified substitute teacher for our little K-5 elementary school. I can sub for the teacher, the two Para-educators, and/or the cook. We have fourteen students at school this year. I love them all.

We also have horses, chickens, and a garden which require daily care. I write when I can. When I get in a groove I can write for days taking breaks only for food, or care of my family members. I also enjoy reading, watching selected TV, enjoying the beautiful state of Wyoming, and my favorite pastime, spending time with my one and only grandson.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like throwing the reader a curve ball. Just when you think everything is okay, BAM! You never see it coming and you can’t figure out how it will resolve. I like to explore the unexpected and keep the reader turning the page and staying up reading all night to find out.

I also like to keep it real life, whether that means crude talk, sex, hard facts of life, or whatever, I don’t sugar coat. And I like to add a touch of humor. I hate depressing books.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Actually, I wanted to be a cowboy. I even had a cowgirl (skirt instead of chaps) outfit with fringe trim and a cowboy hat. I even had a toy six gun and holster.

My parents were very old world traditional and I was pushed to get married, have children, and be a housewife. Something inside me “No Way” and I’ve been a rebel ever since, even burned a bra or two. I left home at eighteen and never looked back. When you read my books you won’t be able to tell what is written from real experience and what is made up.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope I’ve sparked your interest in Totally Devoted. I think you’ll enjoy the ride. Make sure you have plenty of ice water handy cause it gets pretty hot in some parts.

Keep reading. Every book is a new adventure. And lastly, please, please, please, leave reviews for authors. We thrive on the feedback. I read once where an author uses the names of readers in their future books who leave great reviews. It’s an idea I think I’ll adopt. I’ve already gone through sisters, brothers, and cousins. It also helps in this electronic age of social media. Most people depend on the reviews of others to make their purchases.


Buy links:

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thank you, Lisa, for the opportunity to share my book and my thoughts with you and your readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

5 Prince Publishing CEO Bernadette Soehner said...

Thank you for hosting E.M. Bannock! :)

Barbara Phillips said...

I enjoyed your book. It was one I didn’t want to put down. See you soon.😘

Karen H said...

Hello to another new-to-me author. I enjoyed reading your interview today as well as the excerpt. Sounds like a great book. I'm looking forward to following you on tour.

Cali W. said...

Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

Victoria Alexander said...

I really love the cover, thanks for sharing!

Dale Wilken said...

Sounds great.