I’m super excited to have this writer here today. I was lucky enough to find and befriend Saranna DeWylde during the Next Best Celler contest at Textnovel, and I’m extremely lucky we’ve stayed pals since. I could list her qualities (one of which happens to be a ridiculously fast and super efficient crit partner who puts me to SHAME) but I’ll let you get to know her through her writing, which is what drew me to her in the first place.
Saranna recently released her uber sexy THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MOUNT OLYMPUS and she’ll be giving away one PDF copy to one lucky comment EVERY TEN COMMENTS! Sweet!
I loved this book in its earliest draft and now – awesome.
Love the cover!
Let’s start out easy! What do you write and is there one genre you wish you could write but don’t?
I write paranormal romance, urban fantasy, contemporary and erotica. I also write a bit of true crime. I used to be a horror author but after my employment as a corrections officer, it sort of changed what I wanted out of my career and what I wanted to put out into the world. I’ve even got a romantic suspense that’s been poking at me to give it some attention.
The second part of the question is harder to answer. I don’t really write in genre, (contrary to labels I slapped on myself in the previous paragraph. *laughs*) I write the story that wants to be told. The one living in my head. So, if I have a hard-boiled cop story in my head, that’s what I write. If I have a historical in my head, I’ll write it. I think anyone can do the same as long as you’re true to the characters and the story that needs/wants to be told.
Um, the correction’s officer part is true and Saranna just sold her memoir about that time in her life. WOOT! Okay, back on subject. Are you a plotter or pantser?
Mostly a pantser. I usually have a general idea of what I want to happen, major plot points in my head when I start. I don’t write it down though, or make a story arc or an *shudders* outline. I do, every so often, write down some GMC statements where I can see them. Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Just to remind myself what drives my characters and that really helps me keep them in character so I don’t have to go back and delete 20K of material because it’s not working.
Can you tell us what made you decide to self-publish Housewives?
It was a tough decision, but everyone who read it as far as agents and editors were concerned told me they thought it was too snarky. But my critique partner and other beta readers loved it. More importantly, *I* loved it. I believe in it. There is so much more to it than the snark and it’s using the gods as they were meant to be used. As an allegory for ourselves and what I like best about romance–in that it shows us redemption and happily ever afters are possible for all of us.
Further, publishing is changing so fast now. It’s shifting with new technology, new ways to get stories to readers and new ways to connect with each other. Platforms, markets, and even product are all in a spin. I wanted to dip my toe in the water and check it out. So far, it’s been great. I got exactly what I wanted for this book as far as character, content, even my cover is exactly what I imagined.
Regardless of whether I’m with a traditional publisher, an epublisher, and indie publisher or publishing myself building a backlist is important.
I had requests for something after I did some promo for my Kensington books that won’t be out until 2012.
So, you add all of that together in a big blender and get the self-publish smoothie.
Smoothies, yum. Okay, even a publishing smoothie is yummy considering so many of my fav authors are putting out titles on their own. So is there one pro and one con you’ve found from your experience self-pubbing?
They’re the same thing. Being responsible for everything myself. It was cool because like I mentioned earlier, I got to produce this product exactly to my specifications and my visions.
But wow, the pressure. There were some things I had trouble with and luckily I have awesome friends who were right there to jump in the fire with me and help me out.
Any advice for those considering the self-pub path?
I’ve only done it with one book so far, but I’ve learned that people do expect more from a self-pub book because of the stigma of being self-pubbed. It’s not as bad as it used to be, there are a lot of good books out there self-pubbed. But don’t let it get to you. Accept it and prove them wrong. Put out the best product you can. Engage an editor, take time with your cover and remember a book isn’t just your creative expression, it’s a product. If you want people to buy it, you have to treat it like a product and you are the brand.
Okay, now some fun stuff:
Who’s your favorite character in Housewives and why?
Thanatos. He’s so modern, kind of cyberpunk. He’s like Death living in The Matrix. He’s one of the most powerful gods, but he wears it so casually. He accepts what he is, a little dark and brooding, (I mean, come on. He’s Death.) but he still has a sense of humor, he’s witty. Hades was the one I thought I’d fall for, but I ended up being stuck on him just a little bit.
Where did the idea for HOUSEWIVES come from?
I was talking shop in chat with a few friends of mine and we were talking about cool titles. I threw that one out there and one of my friends demanded I log off and write it. So I did.
HA! I know that friend. She’s a slave driver. Thank goodness! Tell us a secret about Housewives. Were there any deleted scenes you’d put in the extras category if this were a dvd?
There were not any deleted scenes. Usually, there is something I delete but the words flew hot and fast with this one. I would just sit down in the morning and crank out sometimes three chapters a day and it was surprisingly very clean. Although, I had trouble with Demeter’s chapters. I didn’t like her much and living in her head was hard for me until she learns her lesson.
As I’m a card carrying metal head, it may surprise those of you who know me that this book had its own CD. Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster. Each couple has a song. I don’t write to music anymore, I used to, but I weaned myself away from it. Although, I could hear these songs in my head when I wrote them.
Hera/Hades-Dancing in the Dark
Demeter/Eros- Bad Romance
And if this were a DVD, I’d have an interactive section where you could dress them up like live-action Barbie dolls.
This is always hard, but can you tell us a secret about you?
I, the all powerful Amazon Goddess of Doom, am afraid of cows. I hate them. The neighbor’s bull broke through the electric fence to chase me a 1/2 mile UP-friggin-HILL home. And ever since then, the cows across the street watch me with their big soulful eyes, but inside, I know they’re laughing.
Or they could just be looking for my mini Amazons. They like to feed them Hershey’s kisses. (When my youngest was smaller, she thought if she gave them Hershey’s, she’d get chocolate milk so she’d sneak over and give them some.)
LOL! COWS?!? Hey I can’t say much since I freeze up like Medusa glared at me whenever a spider makes an appearance. Thanks for being a good sport.
“Thanatos!” she cried when she saw her oldest son lounging on her temple steps.
“Hey, Ma.” He stood and endured her hug.
“I thought you were working all week. Wasn’t there a natural disaster in South America?”
“Wouldn’t you know it, it’s so cool. Red Cross showed up and the volunteers saved a bunch of people.”
Nyx hadn’t seen him in what felt like a century. In fact, she almost started counting on her fingers to see if it had been that long. “I suppose you’re hungry. Fig cakes with cream cheese frosting?”
Thanatos patted his flat stomach. “You know me so well.”
“Why are you outside? You could have gone in, you know.” Nyx pushed the door open.
“I didn’t want to startle you. Might fall and break a hip and I’d feel bad.” He shrugged.
“You little shit,” she laughed. He was always teasing her about her age. She was a Titan after all and older than all of the gods. She was one of the last of the old guard; one Zeus was sure wouldn’t try to overthrow his power. He was mistaken about that one, only she didn’t want the power herself. She wanted him to stop treating Hera like crap. Or divorce her. That at least, would be honest.
He smirked back at her. Of her two sons, Thanatos was most like her. She loved her children the same, but she had a special kinship with Thanatos.
“So uh, what’s the deal with Persephone and Hades?” he asked as he followed her inside.
Tartarus on cracker! What was with that girl that these dark types were so stuck on her? Was it because she was blond? Nyx just didn’t get it. Not that she had anything against the girl, but it wasn’t like she was as pretty as Hera. Or as smart as Athena.
“You have been out of the gossip loop for awhile, yeah? They broke up, so to speak.”
“He let her go? Dumbass.” Thanatos shook his head.
“What would you have him do? Sacrifice the world for her?”
“Well, yeah,” Thanatos answered as if that were the only reasonable response.
Nyx couldn’t argue with that, but she tried anyway. “Hades released her from the curse too. He didn’t want her to be unhappy.”
At that, her son was silent for a moment. “So how hard do you think Demeter would smite me if I asked Persephone out?”
“She better not smite you, or I’ll kick her ass up over her shoulders. She has winter, but I’ll drench the world in eternal night if she tries.” Nyx was thoughtful for a moment. “Unless of course you were unreasonably handsy or demanding. Or acted like Zeus. Or—,”
“I get the picture, Ma. By the way, you look great.”
“You’re just saying that because my hair looks like yours now.” She scowled.
“Moonlight and stardust. No one can resist.” He smirked as if it was just his trial to bear, being that attractive.
“Nice deflection. I mean what I said. If you want Persephone, do what you will, but don’t be a dick. Got it?”
“Yeah, Ma. Don’t be a dick. Got it,” he recited dutifully.
“So I have to ask. What’s with you dark and tortured types and this girl?”
“I dunno. She’s hot. It’s not like I want to marry her or anything. It would just be a date. Maybe a kiss.” He considered for a moment. “Maybe something else.”
“That girl is a virgin, Thanatos.” Yes, he was her son and she loved him dearly, but he was one-hundred percent male—thinking with his parts. She had to struggle not to sigh.
“She’s probably got a family of bats living in there after all this time. Don’t you think it would be okay if she—,”
“You know, we so don’t need to have this conversation.” She threw her hands up in defeat. Nyx loved that her boys talked to her, confided in her, but there were some things a mother just didn’t need to know.