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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Welcome D. Renee Bagby...

YGR:  Welcome!  Tell us a little about yourself and your books.
I’m a military brat, specifically Air Force. I then turned around and married an Air Force man (but I knew him from high school). I moved a lot as a child and into my adult years. Because of that, I write a lot of ‘fish out of water’ stories. My traveling also allowed me to experience many different cultures, which helps me with my world building. So, I build the worlds and then toss my characters into them and make them deal.

I have two pen names – D. Renee Bagby and Zenobia Renquist. All stories written as D. Renee Bagby are part of my Multiverse, which is a series of seven alternate dimensions that I’ve created. Some of the stories interconnect within their dimension and some cross dimensions. I did it ultimately to give myself a set of rules and boundaries to adhere to so my stories wouldn’t be all over the place. But, as in all things, the best laid plans always get a kink and Zenobia Renquist was born to house those stories that don’t fit into the Multiverse but still insist on being written.

Eris is your newest release.  Can you give us a glimpse into the book?
My latest release is ERIS, named after the heroine, which is what I do for all of my D. Renee Bagby books. It is my first attempt at a ménage and, from the reviews (professional and reader) that I’ve received, I did a good job.

Siren labeled it a mainstream despite being a ménage because I don’t use explicit language. As well, the book is 160k words (508 pgs PDF) and it’s not wall-to-wall sex. I agree with this course of action and feel the need to warn people so they don’t dislike the book before they’ve even given it a chance.

Likewise, I warn people that this is an unorthodox time travel. Unorthodox because the traveling doesn’t start until half way into the book. There is a reason for that. Everyone will just have to read the book to find out why.

ERIS (Eternal Truths Series, Book 1) by D. Renee Bagby
Siren Publishing
Fantasy, Mainstream Ménage (m/f/m), Interracial, Unorthodox Time Travel

Buy Now: 
Read the first chapter: 

Time is on their side and they can be together, assuming the truth doesn't ruin everything first.

Immortals born in the thirteenth century, Lucien Riordan and Ranulf Styr have waited centuries to be reunited with their love. Want for her cemented their friendship through time even as it tore it apart. She changed their lives, made them want better, and they plan to show her that. There’s only one catch—she’s never met them before.

Eris Brue is flattered by Lucien and Ranulf’s attention but they are her bosses. She doesn’t want to get tangled up in an office romance, especially not with two men. Their joint seduction overcomes her resolve and she gives in even though she knows they are keeping secrets that could doom their relationship.

Centuries of planning have finally come to fruition. Lucien and Ranulf have a short amount of time to make Eris love them, because once time has her, everything could come to an end.

YGR:  What inspired you to write the novel?
Eris is my take on what would happen to a black heroine if she fell back through time. I always loved time-swept romance, but there is a decided lack of black heroines in that premise. Understandably so.

But then, that’s my reason for writing in the first place—to see black heroines in the same wacky and fantastical premises as everyone else. Lacking options at the time, I created my own.

YGR:  Is fantasy and interracial the only genre you write?  If so why?
I prefer fantasy simply because I'm a world builder. It's more fun for me to make it all than to have to do research and hope the source I chose isn't being refuted in some other work. From the many compliments I've gotten from readers and reviewers, I can say that world building is something I'm good at.

As for interracials, I stated it above but I started writing to see a black woman as the heroine and, being in an interracial relationship myself, I prefer to write about them. Every relationship type needs a voice in the romance world without exception. I'm adding to the interracial camp.

YGR:  Do you have anything new in the works?
Several things. Always several things. It's impossible for me to work on one story at a time. I tried and failed miserably. At the moment, I'm trying to finish a vampire romance and an alien abduction romance before anything else simply because I entered the first 20 pages of those two stories into a contest. Should they final (it would be nice if they win) they will be read by an editor from a renowned publishing house that may decide to contract them. So, I should have them finished just as a courtesy.

YGR:  What advice would you give unpublished writers?
I'm bouncing back and forth between the advice I give. I have two major things I say to unpubbed authors:

#1 - Read now. You won't have time later. Do as much leisure reading as you can while you are still unpublished. Once you get the call, you have to start promoting and building a name for yourself and working on the next book. Your leisure reading time becomes a precious commodity. Do as much of it as you can while you still have free time.

#2 - Never stop asking yourself 'why'. No matter what genre you write, you should always question everything you write. Not only should you question, you should answer it as well. If you can't answer the question 'why?' while writing a scene, then get rid of it. Why is the hero in such a hurry? Why won't the heroine give him the time of day? Why does this woman keep bugging the heroine? Why? Why? Why? Always ask it and always answer it. The better you know your story and your characters, the better you will convey that knowledge to your readers and bring them more into your world of fiction. You do not have to include all of the answers in the story, but you should at least know them.

YGR:  What is your writing process like?
I have no schedule. I write whenever I can find a spare moment—before bed, two seconds after I wake up, before work, during my breaks at work, after work, when I get home, etc. I bought a smartphone so I could have ready access to my current works-in-progress. It travels all around the house with me just in case I need to write something really quick while waiting for my food to cook. I want a mini (netbook) now just because the keys on my phone are too small when I start typing really fast. Not to mention, I don’t have to do as much just to type a simple single quote.

The length of time it takes me to write a book varies. Most of my stories are already started. As they tend to intertwine, I have bits of them written so I know how the stories come together. I don’t write from point A to point Z. I’ll start with point Z and then jump to point R, maybe visit a little at point B and then go on to point F. Also, I don’t always stick with one story until it’s finished, so I can’t really say how long one book takes. Factor in real life and measuring goes out the window.

YGR:  Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere. I'll be watching a movie and ask myself, "what if I had a character like that?" and then the story evolves. I'll listen to people talking and wonder how their conversation would change if they were dating and one of them was a preternatural. Someone gives me a theme -- maybe something as simple as a song title -- and I'll create an entire story from beginning to end to fit it.

To me, there is a story around every corner and in every place. My only issue is not being able to write them all at once.

YGR:  When you set aside your work in progress for the day, what sort of books do you like to read?
I'm the type of person who has to finish a book in one sitting. No matter what the length of the book, I have to finish in one sitting. If I have to stop mid-book for longer than a potty or food break, I get very grumpy and irritable. Knowing that about myself, I try to make sure I have enough free time to finish the books I start. A normal-sized novel could take me five to eight hours to read straight through (not the world's fastest reader) and I very rarely have that much free time. As a result, I have started reading manga (Japanese comics). They are fast reads since it is a comic and span all genres of fiction. I tend towards the boy's love (BL) and romances more than anything else. I've also started reading Harlequin categories since they are short. That's a two hour read that I can fit into my nutty schedule.

YGR:  What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

My very first Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention, one of my publishers set up an exhibition for a few of her writers at the local dungeon (BDSM club). That was a grand old time. The sire showed us fire flogging and the different apparatuses. The sire also let us feel the different floggers he had. Nothing too intense. Just light so we could get the gist for writing purposes. I now know that I abhor getting hit. I don't find it sexual in any way shape or form and usually want the hurt the person who does it. That's good info to know.

I'm sure that experience will show up in a book or two at some point.

YGR:  Where can we find you on the net?
My website and my blog are the first places that I update about any information concerning my books. I also have a monthly newsletter (sign up is on my website and my blog) whose subscribers get a sneak peek into the stories I haven't contracted yet.

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