Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 28!

The water is getting a little too hot. The sharks heard about all the fun so they've come to party. Jump on out of the water and join me in welcoming today's guest, the lovely Viviane Brentanos!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I think I began to write as soon as I could process thought. Ok – I was too young to hold a pen, let alone say pen – but my imagination was my visionary tool. My first offering was a horror story, worthy of Stephen King. I blame my mother. What two year old wouldn’t be traumatized to wake up and find a 2 foot nylon blonde curled ‘Chucky’ impersonator leering down at them. Cute and sweet my…. To this day, I loathe dolls.
I first put pen to paper when I was 12 and entertained my classmates with lurid tales of teenage romance. Needless to say, my English teacher was not impressed.
I flirted with writing, on and off, until, in 2004, I finally probably because of a boring job in which I had hours to fill}I got my head down and completed my first ms; a whopping 180, 000 word saga.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I suppose I draw my inspiration from my romantic fantasies – something which began when I was 3 and ran off with neighborhood twins, Gary and David. It was downhill from then on as I cried my way through endless crushes: Donny Osmond up until my present male fantasies in the form of Darren Hayes, Russell Crowe and Gerard Butler {so, I am greedy}. These gentlemen have starred in many a lurid dream. I then take fragments of these dreams and fashion a story around them.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Rituals? Just call me Sheldon.{Big Bang Theory}. I am one of these rare creatures who write longhand. I need to feel pen and paper in my hand. I have been known to drive stationers insane in my quest to find just the right quality and feel of paper. As for a pen? If it doesn’t feel right – then I cannot write.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Do I plot or panst?{sounds painful}. Depends on my mood but generally I would go with plotter. An idea will come to me. I will run through the whole story in my head and then sit down and plan it out chapter by chapter. However, I have been known to panst with the best of them.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Believe it or not – and this is when I get shot – I tend not to read romance. I love courtroom dramas, forensic thrillers, anything that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I adore good old-fashioned ‘atmospheric’ novels {think Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca}. If I have to pick an author of women’s contemporary, it would be Jilly Cooper. She was Bridget Jones before Bridget Jones.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

At the moment, I am in the middle of two books. I like to keep one for the bath and one for the dull hours at work. My bath book is Bane by Joe Donnelly, a horror set in a small Scottish town. Wonderful imagery and clever dialogue. I love

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t. When I started along the rocky road to writer stardom {I wish}, I used to fret. The more I worried, the more inspiration eluded me. I have learned, with experience, to let it go. My muse will find me.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Mmm – tricky one. Having a somewhat bi-polar disposition, fun can often elude me but when I am in a manic stage, I love to go out with my friends for an ice-cold beer. Summer time, obviously, beach and swimming are a priority. I adore music in most genres – especially Darren Hayes, Savage Garden and Heavy Metal and I want to be Lady Gaga when I grow up. Oh – and stalking young men on Facebook. {I am joking – or am I?}

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Oh goodness, so many places to see and not enough time or money to visit. I suppose I would have to go with visits of historical and cultural interest. No point dreaming of idyllic beaches and gorgeous Greek islands. I already live on one. I would say Egypt as my first choice. Italy; Rome, Florence, Venice. Paris - although I have been – but a more in-depth trek of all the museums and sites.
New York, Boston, San Francisco, I really cannot chose.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Be brave, believe in yourself and settle in for a long haul. It’s a tough, often soul-destroying trek to being contracted but, if it’s what you really want, go for it. Learn from your mistakes, be prepared to accept criticism but do not sacrifice your voice. Above all, write because it’s what you love to do. Everything else is icing on the cake.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I am not sure about this. I don’t want to scare people off. My friends call me a faffer. I am intolerant of fools but I hate prejudice in any shape or form. I am a strong advocator of animal and gay rights. I hate disloyalty. I love cooking {blame my French mother, reading, dancing and the occasional gin and tonic. My friends say I think I know everything. They are wrong. I know I know I know everything.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Dreamweek came about because of a dream. In this dream, I was a villa representative and one of the guests was a surly but sexy actor bearing more than a faint resemblance to Gerard Butler. The rest, as they say, is history.

Using my experiences as a holiday representative, I set about creating the tale of the young Izzie Stevens. Naturally, my story takes place on a Greek island. Kuros is a figment of my imagination but it is strongly inspired by my own beloved Corfu. While, at times, highly emotional, a strong vein of what I like to call stoic Brit humor runs throughout.

Here is a quick blurb:

Isabella Stevens usually loves her job as holiday rep for the exclusive villa company on the beautiful island of Kuros but that Monday morning, her illustrious guests can all go to hell and take her boss, Kaitlyn with them. At only twenty-three, Isabella Stevens is already tired of life. With the untimely death of, first her parents and subsequently, her grandmother, it seems to her, God is having a good laugh at her expense. Paul, the errant boyfriend, blames Izzie for his unfaithfulness, accusing her of being cold and emotionally immature. After so many years, he claims it’s only normal for him to want to have a physical relationship with her but Izzie was never ready. If he defected to Mel, she can’t blame him. Enter David Wells. He arrives in Kuros to be met by a barrage of gossip seeking press – something Dream assured him would not happen. The stunning beauty of the island and the spectacular Villa Scheria go a long way to soothe his raw nerves. When Izzie finds out Mr. Wells has been assigned to her care, she is more than a little apprehensive. But when David Wells hauls himself out of the pool, Izzie is blown away by his magnetic masculinity. His physical presence invades her senses like no other man ever has – certainly not Paul. The attraction between them is instant, electric. This young, seemingly controlled yet vulnerable young woman fascinates David. He finds he is acting out of character by flirting with her. He wants her but the attraction isn’t purely physical. He wants to ease away the pain and loneliness he senses she has carried with her for so long. Isabella falls head over heels in love but as always with Izzie’s life, fate rears its ugly head and her newfound happiness is threatened by a tragedy.

Thank you so much Viviane. I chuckled the whole way through this. Viviane Brentanos just got her cover for her upcoming Muse publication, Written In Stone. Isn't it beautiful? Congrats Viviane and I wish you much success.


Kissa Starling said...

This is a great interview and I can't wait to read your book. Congratulations from a fellow Red Rose author.

Anny Cook said...

Wow. The excerpt sounds wonderful! Great interview!

MuseItUp Publishing said...

You are 100% right, Viviane, that writers should write because they love what they do. I find that's when the Muse comes naturally, with less stress.

Great interview and here's wishing you continued success with Dreamweek...and Written in Stone.

Kat said...

That's why I write. It's not for the big bucks. LOL

Lin said...

I write because it lets me create the world as I would wish it could be. I also write because my muse pokes away at me until I give in and let her have her way. I just step aside and let her take over. It's kind like what I perceive channeling must be like. I think. Since I don't believe I've ever really channeled, I'm not really sure. It's just a lot of times my Muse has me crank it out so fast I have no idea whant I've written until she's done and I go back and finally read what I just committed to paper.