So, this morning, I pick up this week’s feisty guest author and we’re off to sunny Ochos Rios, Jamaica. We’re lounging on the beach with a plate of fried breadfruit between us. Sun, sand, surf…ouch! What? Well, isn’t that wonderful? She slapped my hand when I tried to take a piece of breadfruit. Now she threatens to do more bodily harm. What? Open a can of Whoop-Ass if I don’t get my own plate?
Whew! Better get to the interview while I’m still able to walk.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m Trish, a writer of dark, diverse, dangerous romance. Fascinating? Hardly. I’d rather think other Jamaicans see me as one of their own whose dreams are coming true because I worked hard.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I used to have 14 pen pals from the former Soviet Union. As a kid, I loved writing letters and receiving them. Where we lived in Detroit, the post office couldn’t figure out who in the world would be getting mail from Russia and Ukraine. One day, the mailman actually held the mail until he saw who it belonged to, which had me laughing. I wasn’t a Communist, just a kid who loved to write. I went on to study Russian in college, but I can only read Cyrillic now. I’ve forgotten most of the language.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
I couldn’t play an instrument, dammit. I did own a keyboard like Nick Rhoades from Duran Duran at one point, but I never took lessons. Man, that would have been awesome. Instead, I read a ton and marveled at how authors transported me to different times or places using only words. I became a newspaper reporter, but writing facts all the time wasn’t nearly as fun as making stuff up.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Gah! Seriously? Um… Susan Ee, the author of Angel Fall would be cool. I’d like hearing how she went about creating her dystopian world where angels arrived to destroy humans. Those are the kind of angel stories I like, where they are not the super sweet beings we all think they are.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?
My iPad is packed with books, which would allow everyone in an airport to avoid my whining. If you think about it, books are perfect company. They give so much, take you to so many cool places. You can ride dragons, or breathe under water. You can marry a rainbow alien and live on his spaceship. There’s no end to the fun a book can provide. I’d never leave my island.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
I always write a brief synopsis of the story in my head. I get down all the plot points I want to hit and then I try to layer in the romance if I see it’s missing. Once I start writing, I’m rather linear. I’ve tried jumping around, but that causes my brain to spasm. I tend to write about three scenes per chapter until the end. Research is tough because it’s the gateway to distraction and procrastination for me. I’ll just make a note where I need to come back and add something, if possible. If I can’t avoid the Internet, I grab quick info from Wikipedia just to fill the void until I can dig deeper or head to the library.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Try writing your story idea out in a few paragraphs. Begin with something happening, real action. Focus on what the character is trying to accomplish in the scene, and then end with a cliffhanger. Now, do the same until you have another scene, and another. Make your characters suffer, keep adding roadblocks until they can’t do anything but succeed or fail. Make them work for their happily ever after.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
“You keep what you kill.” Okay, that’s from The Chronicles of Riddick. Ha! My real philosophy is rather simple: “Go big, or go home.” I’ve chosen writing as my career. There’s no going back for me. This is what I want and where I belong.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
Next up is a novella and two more novels in my Angel Assassins series. I also have a new trilogy I’m working on, and a standalone that’s darker than what I’ve previously written. All are romances.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
If they visit my website (http://www.triciaskinner.com) and sign up for my newsletter, they’ll always be on top of what I’m doing. Plus, I invite readers to influence my work through polls and questions about characters or plot.
Release Date: 6/30/15
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
There’s no danger greater than falling for your enemy…
The Nephilim are bound. Their powers cursed. But half-angel Kasdeja will do anything to free them from Heaven’s tyranny. When Kas is approached by a striking, mysterious woman, she tells him his greatest enemies hold the key to his freedom.
Mariel keeps herself shrouded in secrets, using them to hide her true self. For she is not just employed by the Renegades–enemy fallen angels—she is a double agent, working on the sly for Heaven. Her directive is to seduce the gorgeous Nephilim—despite her insecurity about such sensual acts.
For Mariel is playing a dangerous game, and falling for Kas could only cause trouble; her assignment isn’t just seduction. It’s destruction.