BIO: Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write, the American West, Victorian England, cowboys, a passion for pirates, Greek Gods, and Ancient Egypt. The other endless love affairs in my life are Italia and Romania, and all their magic, beauty, and dazzling culture. That passion spills into all aspects of my life.
GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Denyse! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?
DENYSE: Thanks so much for having me as your guest, Gracie. It’s wonderful to be here. I really don’t know what to tell you about me. I’m an avid reader, and writing has been something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I started in school with class essays, and discovered I loved creating stories. I got lost in music for a lot of years, but found my way back to the written word after I left school. Oddly, it was one of my English teachers who told me I could have a career as a writer, and I thought she was kidding... that wonderful lady attended my first book launch party back in 2007, brought me flowers and had me sign my book for her. It was an incredible moment.
I got my start with writing as an adult when I was so bored with the stories on one of my favourite TV shows. So, an idea came to me, a full story, and I decided to write it. I’d never heard of fan fiction back then, I was writing it for me. I sent it to the actors in the show, and one of them called me 13 days later. He told me I should consider a career as a writer, too–so I was blown away. I spent the next 20 years writing fan fiction, learning, and finally daring to take a shot at a pro contract. I entered a contest 24 hours before it closed, wrote the story and proofed it in that time–12K words, and a few weeks later I was told I was one of the winners–that’s how it all began back in 2004.
GRACIE: Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre(s) you write in?
DENYSE: No one person, honestly. People I admired were very encouraging of my efforts, so there were a lot of influences. I write in so many genres, too, it would be impossible to nail down even a couple of influences. Writers I read avidly are Conan Doyle, Lara Adrian, Cynthia Garner, Nalini Singh, Lucy Monroe, Opal Carew, Barbara Conelli–to name just a few.
GRACIE: I know it might be difficult to remember the beginnings of your writing journey since you are so prolific and have countless books published in numerous genres, but when did you get The Call and what was your first published book?
DENYSE: My first published book was a sizzling short story called A Safer Haven, which won the Amber Heat Award at Amber Quill Press in the Spring of 2004. I’d entered at the last minute, having written the story in under 24 hours, and I didn’t expect to win, believe me. My sister was doing my email back then, and she called me one morning a couple of weeks after the contest closed, and read me the message that told me I’d won. It was pretty amazing to us all!! And very exciting, of course. I published all of my first titles with AQP, though none of those books remain with them now.
GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?
DENYSE: The extraordinary amount of time you have to invest in building a brand, and a following. Making a public presence that people recognize is hugely important in this business, but it eats up days upon days of time that could be spent writing. Finding a working balance is very difficult.
GRACIE: Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired you’re espionage book Defector.
DENYSE: Oh that one is based on my love of an old television series from the late 80s. I had written a fan fiction of the same name, and it was nominated for a Fan Q Award. I revised and updated the story when Midnight Frost Books did a pitch session, looking for non-romance books, and they liked it, so here we are. It has one of the coolest covers I’ve seen in ages. I love it.
GRACIE: As the lone-wolf, life-long spy in Defector, what do you think is Andrew Dahle’s Achilles’ Heel and how do you go about stomping it?
DENYSE: Andrew’s weakness is his growing awareness that there are cracks developing in his armour. He’s a hard-ass, doesn’t care about anything but the job. Then he gets involved with people who actually like him and befriend him, and he finds himself wanting to be worthy of that trust. He hates it, but he can’t shake it–the cracks have begun, and he’ll have to adjust. I have a few more stories with him, so it could be fun watching him relearn his own strengths and weaknesses.
GRACIE: In your romance Texas Heat, what do you think it is about war veteran Chase Jordan that makes him a perfect match for the determined and enamored Cheyenne MacKenzie and vice versa?
DENYSE: Cheyenne wants to break through Chase’s walls, to make him feel wanted, loved, and needed. Their attraction is burning hot, but their emotional attraction is the real chemistry. Chase has lost half his life to PTSD, and Cheyenne knows more about him than he knows about himself. That scares him and lures him at the same time. It’s her willingness to lead him back to his own life that makes them work. They need each other, Chase to find himself, and Cheyenne to be able to love the one man she truly wants.
GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
DENYSE: That’s a toughie. One is published, and one is pending contract. The one that is published is The Devane Files: Out of Hell – a Victorian era mystery with ties to Jack the Ripper. I love historical fiction, and this one required research and a careful touch. I think it worked out well, though the book never really attracted the attention it should have.
My next novel is Grande Amore–a sensual romance set in the beautiful country of Italia, Roma and Amalfi to be exact. An internationally renowned singer, an injured tourist, and an attack that leaves the heroine in the care of the hero.
GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?
DENYSE: Inspector Michael Devane of Out of Hell and An Unspoken Betrayal. He is deeply flawed, a man of honour, courage, and strength. He’s also an opium addict, and a clairvoyant. Makes him very interesting. After him it would be Austin Standish, from Champagne and Chocolate, one of my latest releases. He’s a gambler, gunfighter, and gentleman all rolled into one.
GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?
DENYSE: I don’t know if they’re wholly unique, really. I think they’re flawed, which makes them accessible to readers, so they can relate. They make mistakes, have fears and do stupid things–just like real people! Maybe that’s part of their charm. But, they are, at the core, people who are strong and determined, and passionate about what they want. Loyalty and trust is key to each of them, heroes and heroines.
GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?
DENYSE: Favourite part of the process is editing. I love to edit. The polishing and fine-tuning, working with a good editor can be more exciting than initially writing the book. I’m not a lover of first drafts. Once that dreaded part is done, then I have fun. J
GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?
DENYSE: I have to outline. I tried the pantster approach and didn’t like not knowing where I was going with a story. So, for novels I have often detailed outlines, with settings, research notes, and even partial scenes written in so I don’t forget things. If it’s a short, I still end up with a page of notes and a general idea of beginning, middle, and end to keep me on track.
GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?
DENYSE: I have no idea. I seem to have a flare for promotional stuff and networking, because I know a lot of amazing people. Maybe I’d do advertising or marketing.
GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.
DENYSE: All of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels that were written by Conan Doyle. It was through reading Holmes that I learned to pay attention to detail and the small little foreshadows in a story. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind is probably my all-time favourite book–it’s epic in that it not only sweeps us up into the Civil War and the suffering it inflicted, but it’s a love story of incredible reach. Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara is also my favourite fantasy novel, it was the first one I read in the genre, and it’s never been topped for me. Also, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series, I love them. Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed, Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. All are sweeping, well plotted and executed stories that live and breathe in a reader’s imagination.
GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?
DENYSE: I’m always working on new things, at the moment, I have a list of things that I want to get working on once I have the current edits and revisions done. I have a new Western, a contemporary with an older couple, a couple of fantasy stories plotted and waiting, a gargoyle novel, and two djinn tales. All in all, I never know if I’ll live long enough to do half of what I want to get done in terms of storytelling.
GRACIE: Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?
DENYSE: Website • Fantasy Pages (general) • Bound by Passion (adult content) • Newsletter • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • LinkedIn • Tumblr • Google+ • Romance and Fantasy Google+ Page • Amazon Author Page • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble • Kobo Books • ARe Romance Books
GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?
DENYSE: The best place is probably on the books page of my website: http://www.denysebridger.com/booksV2.php
GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
DENYSE: Write, read, and learn. When you finish a project, begin another. Accept that there is no such thing as a perfect book, but each one is a learning process. If you spend all your time trying to perfect one book, you will never write another. Also, and this is critical, be gracious and work with a decent editor. Your best friend, your mother, or your husband/wife is going to be enthusiastic and praising. They love you. You need the impartial thoughts and insights of someone who will be constructive, helpful, and above all honest. There are a lot of excellent guides and instructional books out there, written by people who are experts in their field. Take advantage of that, and read those books that pertain to your genres. Learn to address your weaknesses and make them strengths.
GRACIE: Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?
DENYSE: Nothing I can think of at the moment. I think it’s important to find inspiration in everything you see and let your imagination weave beautiful things for your spirit to embrace and share with the world. If you write with positive energy and a desire to create something that makes people smile, I think you will win hearts in all you do. I’m a firm believer in all things coming when they are meant to, so faith really can make miracles happen. If this is your dream, give to it, and it will give back, in wonderful ways.
GRACIE: Denyse, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!
DENYSE: Thanks so much for sharing your time with me, Gracie. It’s been my pleasure.
Blessings and much happiness to you and your readers, always.
A new genre débuts at Naughty Nights Press with this highly charged, erotic Historical Western.
Available from these sellers:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/champagne-and-chocolate-denyse-bridger/1118628043?ean=2940045692625