Sunday, August 28, 2011

Interview and Contest - Erotic Romance Author, Danielle Ravencraft

Today's guest is MuseItHot Publishing, erotic romance author, Danielle Ravencraft. Danielle's book, A Trace of Love, is her most current release.

Danielle  is giving away one free PDF copy of "A Trace of Love" to a lucky commenter. Please include your name and email address in your comment for a chance to win.

AUTHOR:  Danielle Ravencraft
BOOK TITLE:  A Trace of Love
PUBLISHER:  Muse It Hot Publishing

1. Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I grew up all around the Chicago area, but moved to Wisconsin with my family in 2008. It took a while to adjust to the slow pace of country living. Right now I live smack-dab in the middle of a corn field, some where between the Oberweis dairy farm and the Swiss Valley dairy farm.

I write Contemporary Erotic Romance with a heavy focus on the sensuality and emotional effects of falling in love. That doubt that sometimes makes couples wonder if they’re right for each other comes into play in a lot of my writings. In my opinion, the world already has enough problems and magic to make some good stories with out adding other elements. The contemporary theme allows me to focus on the characters’ personal problems as they fight to be together.

2. Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
The book is titled A Trace of Love and is a short story about a young woman named Ophelia who runs into her old high-school crush seven years after they’ve graduated. He didn’t notice her in high school, but he finds her irresistible now. Ophelia decides to have a little fun with him, but everything backfires as they fall for each other.

3. How long have you been writing?
Oh, I wish I could say I’ve been a writer all my life. In a small way, that’s true. I wrote poetry as a teenager, and I loved any reading or writing assignment given by my English teachers. But the thought of writing fiction professionally didn’t occur to me until 2009. But even then, I didn’t try writing erotica until about eight months ago. Turned out I had a knack for writing steamy scenes. My friends loved it and so did my editor!

4. What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always had fictional characters and stories inside me. I love to read and would devour anything I could get my hands on. I’m positive it was my love for books that carried me to this point. The reason I actually sat down and put pen to paper in 2009 was because I lost my job and was dealing with some heavy emotions that had to come out. Usually when I feel like that, I write a poem. But that time, the words just wouldn’t stop flowing. I realized then that I really wanted to be an author.

A Trace of Love was inspired by a dream that stayed with me long after I woke up. The dream was about Ophelia and her sadness. When I sat down to write A Trace of Love, I had to ask Ophelia why she was so sad. Her answer is what fueled the story.

5. Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
Yes! I would be so lost without my outlines and notes. But I pants a lot, too. For me, an outline is like a map, but how many stops I take on the way to the final destination is up to my characters to decide.

6. What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Always the characters. They come to me at random throughout the day, but mostly while I’m trying to sleep. They whisper tiny ideas into my ear until I get excited and have to write about them. Like Ophelia, I end up having to sit them down and chat with them to get the whole story.

7. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I love all my characters, but I really love the hero, Trace. He’s such a sweetheart. I pity Ophelia and the burden she carries, but I know she’s a strong woman will do the right thing.

8. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing A Trace of Love really wasn’t bad, lol. I had a harder time waiting for my turn with the editor and cover artist, but only because I was so excited to get going.

9. Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
A Trace of Love didn’t require much research. I kept the setting urban and wrote it based on places I’ve been to in the past. The amount of time it takes for me to write the first draft varies from story to story and depends on the length and complexity of the plot. Once the first draft is out of the way, editing and re-writing goes pretty smoothly.

10. What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
Forcing the brain to be creative on cue is a challenge. There are some days when the words flow flawlessly onto the page, but then there are several days where I have to chain myself to my computer and force myself to type one excruciating sentence at a time. I always keep the end result in mind and that motivates me.

11. Describe your writing space.
Oh, it’s clean but cluttered. I actually tore apart my old desk one day because it ran out of space. I made a new one out of a table top and a filing cabinet. My dogs like to lay underneath and tickle my toes while I write.

12. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When you live in the north, what you do for fun depends on the weather. My dogs love to be outside rain, sun, or snow, but their mom is more active when the sun’s out, LOL. I love to people-watch and hang out downtown. I’ll take my dogs for walks around the lake or to the park and then sit in the grass with a cup of coffee. I’m a huge fan of museums, good food and music so I’m pretty much on cloud nine when ever I go to Chicago.

13. What books or authors have influenced your writing?
Oh, I’ve read everything from Dr. Seuss to Charlaine Harris as well as Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the like. I seriously will read anything you give me. All that reading has definitely influenced me. When you read as wide a range as I do, you start to notice which elements work and which don’t.

14. What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
E-books are here to stay. They are the future of the writing industry just as surely as the iPod or Smart Phone. I don’t think traditional print will become obsolete in my life time, but I do think they better get on the digital wagon if they want to stay in business.

15. What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for
A Trace of Love is my debut and is the first of a three-part mini series. I’m currently working on the sequel, A Trace of Passion, which will be followed by A Trace of Hope. I’m also working on a Paranormal Erotic Romance novella called Orion.

16. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Take as many workshops as possible, learn as much as you can and apply it. The writing industry is huge and changes fast. If you can, build up a fan base now. But most of all, don’t lose sight of why you became a writer. Write from the heart and believe in yourself.

17. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Visit my website at Facebook:  Email:
Don’t be shy about emailing me, I love to hear from fans. It might take me a while, but I answer every email.

Blurb for A Trace of Love

Ophelia Martinez has a chance encounter with internationally famous rock-star, Trace Curtis. To Ophelia, Trace will always be the charming boy she met in high school. They share one night together in which Trace falls in love with Ophelia. But Ophelia knows she can’t continue to live in the past, at least not with the secret that haunts her present.

Excerpt for A Trace of Love

Ophelia sat in her favorite spot in the entire world; the little bar in the very back of The House of Blues. Usually The House of Blues featured local bands; everything from Soul to Bluegrass. She couldn’t say why she loved it there. It wasn’t the music or the booze or the way reality seemed to evaporate in the dim lighting. But it was, nonetheless, her heaven.

Today was one of those rare occasions when the venue starred an international band, which meant The House of Blues was packed to the brim. The concert ended and the throngs of fans made their way to the exit. The bartender winked and handed her another beer. He knew Ophelia by name and always let her linger until they locked up.

Ophelia blinked as the lights brightened. Plastic cups, spilled beverages, straws, napkins, glow sticks, promotional fliers and the occasional bra littered the floor. A smile inched across her lips. Molten Silk put on a good show.

Other than the bartender, bouncer, stage crew and broom boy, The House of Blues was empty and eerily silent. The guys worked quickly, ignoring Ophelia as she nursed the last sip of her drink. The worst part of the day approached; the part where she would have to go home to an empty apartment.

Laughter broke the silence as five men walked out on stage, holding bottles of something alcoholic. “Oi! Is the bar still open?” one of them shouted. The bartender nodded. “Bring us a round over here, mate!”

Ophelia ducked her head, watching the men from the corner of her eye. They were Molten Silk, the band. They looked different in normal lighting, like regular people in ridiculous Goth costumes, but she was positive it was really them. Heat rushed to her face and she looked away.

“I’m goin’ for a smoke,” said an unmistakable voice. Ophelia didn’t want to turn around
and stare, but she couldn’t help peeking over her shoulder. Trace Curtis, the lead singer, headed for the door with a cigarette bobbing between his lips, lighter ready in his hand. She held her breath as he passed by, just inches behind her. She knew him back when he was Mathew Curtis, the heart-throb teen that played guitar for the lunch ladies. She didn’t know why Mathew changed his name after his debut album went platinum.

Trace paused at the door. He turned around and glanced at Ophelia. She looked away, hoping he didn’t notice her staring. It’s not like it matters, she thought. He’s just going to keep right on walking out the door.

“Do I know you?”

Ophelia jumped. She turned and came face to face with Trace Curtis. A small bout of panic took her mind. Should she tell him they went to high school together? She doubted it would help. They were just as much strangers in high school as they were in adulthood and it would be best to keep it that way. She shook her head.

He leaned against the bar counter. “Are you sure?”

Ophelia smiled. “I think I would remember if we met before.”

Trace wet his lips. “Have a drink with me?”

She looked at her empty beer bottle. What harm could another beer do? “Sure.”

Grinning, Trace snapped his fingers and ordered two more beers. He took a seat and looked Ophelia over, letting his eyes linger just long enough to make her blush. “I could swear I’ve seen you before.”

She shrugged. “Maybe you have. I come here every weekend.” But Trace didn’t look convinced.

“Oi, Trace! We’re going bar hopping, mate! Come on.”

Well, that’s the end of that, thought Ophelia.

But Trace didn’t move, except to wave his band mates away. “You guys go ahead; I’ll meet you back at the hotel later.”

The guys made cat-calls aimed at Ophelia, her cheeks burned scarlet.

“Sorry about them,” Trace mumbled, scowling at his friends as they left. He reached for his beer at the same time Ophelia reached for hers. A tiny shock of static passed between their fingers. Ophelia jumped and glanced at Trace. He scoffed and then moved his fingers so they glided over hers. His skin was warm and callused from years of playing guitar. His pale blue eyes studied her face.

Ophelia bit her lip, suppressing a laugh. Oh, Mathew, you’re still just as smooth as ever; touching my hand, but keeping your gaze above my neckline. As if she didn’t know what he was after.

Trace removed his hand and cleared his throat. “So, are you from around here?”

She shrugged, trying not to burst into giggles. “Close enough.”

He glanced away, looking first at the stage and then at the door. Ophelia winced. He was probably getting bored and wished he’d joined his friends. She shouldn’t have felt hurt. She shouldn’t have cared if he left. He was just one guy. But at the same time, he wasn’t. He was Mathew, her old high school crush. And she expected him to be the same cocky dick. But he wasn’t. He was standing next to her shuffling his feet and blushing at the awkward silence like an average Joe.

At the same time, Trace and Ophelia mumbled what they both thought. “You want to get out of here?”

They blinked at each other and Trace chuckled, his voice as lovely and carefree as a child’s. Ophelia laughed and felt herself relax, instantly at ease in Trace’s company.

REMEMBER:  Danielle is giving away one free PDF copy of "A Trace of Love" to a lucky commenter. Please include your name and email address in your comment for a chance to win.

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