Today I welcome Dana Ransom to the blog… Let’s start with what genre or genres do you write?
In my 25-years evolving from pen and paper in a notebook to the keyboard saved in the Cloud, there’s not much I haven’t written. I started with Historical Regencies as Lauren Giddings and historical romance, particularly westerns, as Dana Ransom and Rosalyn West then went to contemporaries as Dana Ransom and series romantic suspense under my own name. I’ve also enjoyed vampire and shape-shifter dark paranormals under my name. Then, throw in a couple of horror screenplays. I now have a YA paranormal series out making the publisher rounds. I thrive on variety.
If you are a plotter, how do you handle when your characters decide they don’t like what you have plotted and do their own thing?
Hey, if they’ve got a better idea, let’s hear it! I’ve been surprised by what they’ve come up with before and if I am, the reader will be, too. I like spontaneity to keep things interesting. When ideas take you in an entirely new direction, that’s what makes writing exciting.
What do you think makes a good story?
A unique plot that sucks you in and won’t let go and characters you care about. My favorite element in books of any genre is suspense. And I love characters with a sense of humor.
Whatever became of your very first book?
It’s deservedly buried in a box somewhere. What I didn’t know about writing when I started out I could write a book about. When I started out, I didn’t know any other writers and there were no local groups or Internet loops. There was just the library and an outdated copy of Fiction Writers Market. I was so ignorant about the craft and the industry, it’s amazing that I ever sold the second time I submitted.
What advice would you give to new authors?
Never, Never, Never, Never give up! Churchill said it best. Butt-in-chair and perseverance is what makes or breaks a writer.
Do you have any other books? What do you have planned next?
I’m 55 books strong. The great thing is I’ve gotten the rights back to many of those that have been out of print for decades. I’ve got 7 reissues coming out in the next two years with BelleBooks/ImaJinn Books: four contemporaries written as Dana Ransom coming out in 2014, the first of which just came out last month, and the first three books in my vampire romance “Midnight” series in 2015 along with a re-launch of the entire series. In October, I’ve got the ninth book in my dark paranormal “By Moonlight” series coming out. REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT when bring back shape shifter Max Savoie and NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie as the main characters.
What inspired you to write LOVE’S OWN REWARD?
I was at an RWA conference in New York where I heard whispers about a new contemporary line my publisher Zebra/Kensington was going to start up. I’d been writing historicals for them and was itching to do something new. At our publisher party, I took a chance and stepped out of my usual timidity to approach the company editorial director and express my interest. She and I talked about the premise of the line and I was encouraged to submit. The line was called Lucky In Love and dealt with plots surrounding a sudden good fortune. My book LOVE’S OWN REWARD was third to be released in the series and I wrote three more for the line. My motto: If you don’t ask . . .
How long did it take you to write?
I’d been writing big, honking historicals of 120,000 words packed full of research so a contemporary with 300-some pages seemed like a breeze. I wasn’t working a 9-to-5 at the time and was able to get it from floppy disc (remember those!?) to editor in three weeks. That was the year I had 11 sales and wrote 7 of them. It was a “be careful what you wish for” scenario.
What is your favorite part? (If you’d like to share a little excerpt of that part, you may do so.)
I love an angsty hero. Jess was my kind of guy, strong, opinionated and wary of anything that rocked his world. So what does my heroine do? Send his world spinning:
Jess gave the plastic top of his convenience-store coffee a practiced toss onto the dash. While he sipped the scalding brew, he leaned against the driver’s door and propped one long leg up on the seat. He was used to waiting. Part of his job was waiting—for the right person, for the right moment, for the right story, for the right slant. And here he had it all. Charlene Carter was exactly the kind of item he was known for. For the past two years his features in Metro Magazine covered the gritty and the glittery of the Detroit area. He was respected for his journalistic style. He was feared for his unbending honesty. “Cynicism,” some called it. “Candor” was the term he preferred. His exposés touched on gang violence, political corruption, urban renewal scandals, the nasty and preferably hidden habits of the wealthy and the powerful. So his editor had been understandably surprised by his request to do a story on Charlene Carter. Until Jess explained his angle. Then he could swear he heard the man salivating.
Charlene Carter was the day’s hero. She’d rushed into the fires of hell to affect one rescue and attempt another. A noble act that had paid off handsomely to the tune of five hundred thousand dollars. That was the value Detroit industrialist Benjamin Osgood placed upon the life of his grandson. Apparently Miss Carter agreed. Because she’d accepted the money. And, in doing so, shattered every cherished belief Jess McMasters had held since the fateful day of the crash.
Why are your hero and heroine perfect for each other?
They’re exact opposites who believe in noble causes—they just approach them in very different directions. Watching them come to terms with their own failed dreams through the strength the find in the other is the stuff of romance.
What can you tell us about your world building? What makes your world stand out?
When you’re writing a paranormal, the world building is all about making the impossible believable. With contemporaries, it’s making the familiar unique and realistic. LOVE’S OWN REWARD plays upon the everyday dream of sudden wealth and how it changes (not always in a good way!) one’s life. It makes the ordinary extraordinary with possibilities.
Now for some fun….
What’s your favorite TV show or movie of all time?
The movie L.A. Confidential with Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacy. Dynamite acting, tense, twisty plot, gorgeous and gritty Noir setting. It just doesn’t get any better.
If you could chose a period in history to be born in, what would it be and why?
The Turn of the Century when the world started to spin faster with change and invention. How exciting!
What was the most embarrassing thing your husband/boyfriend/partner/friend ever did to you in public?
A single incident doesn’t come to mind but any time I become the sudden focus of a group and am pressured to come up with something spontaneous my brain goes into lockdown.
What is the one place you have never visited but would love to?
I’d love to go to the British Isles. All that green and great beverages.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could chose any famous person (living or dead), who would you chose to be stranded with you and why?
I could spend days on end plotting with Dean Koontz!
Cake or Chips: CHIPS! It’s all about the salt!
Steak or Veggie Burger: Steak! I’m a carnivore.
Chocolates or Roses: Roses. I love the smell.
Boxers or Briefs or Nothing at all: Depends on the man!
And since I write both, I have to know which you prefer… Vampires or Cowboys: Cowboys. It’s in the swagger and the scent of sun and leather. Oh, baby!
Love’s Own Reward
A half-million dollar reward for pulling a child from a burning car changes everything for Charley Carter. When her selfless heroism pushes the studious research assistant into the limelight, the price of her good fortune is the loss of trust as Charley begins questioning the motives of those dear to her. Do they want her for herself or just for the money?
A jaded journalist known for gritty exposes, Jess McMasters is afraid to believe in good deeds without a catch. So what’s Charlene Carter’s angle? The fact that he can’t find one draws him closer then he should be to the subject of his story. When his pursuit of the truth uncovers his own lies, he realizes the cost for his deception could be his heart.
“Readers will find themselves mesmerized by these magical characters who symbolize hope and redemption. 4+” – Romantic Times
“LOVE’S OWN REWARD is beautifully written, mesmerizing, andemotionally touching – a lesson in redemption and forgiveness. Be prepared for it to engage you, seduce you, break your heart, give you hope, and make you laugh. 4.5!” –Cross My Heart Book Reviews
Nancy Gideon is the award winning author of over 54 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She works full time as a legal assistant, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. She is thrilled to join Belle Books with reissues of her Dana Ransom contemporaries as well as with her “Midnight” vampire romance series written under her own name for the ImaJinn Books imprint. Visit Nancy at http://nancygideon.com or http://nancygideon.blogspot.com.