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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Welcome Author Vonna Harper

1.     Where do you hail from? What do you love most about your hometown?  I'm from northern California's gold country. Nevada City is full of historic buildings and our family owned property there for over 100 years. Gossip is the land was bought with gold nuggets my great grandfather stole from the mine where he was working. Makes for a good story. I loved being in a small town, still do. Surround me with forest and I'm a happy camper.
2.    As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?  My sister and I were going to own a thoroughbred horse farm and train race horses. We were a little thin on practical matters such as the finances and were afraid of horses but other than that it was a great career plan. I'm not sure dreaming of owning race horses had much to do with writing beyond demonstrating my vivid imagination—and lack of contact with reality.
3.    What do you do for fun?  I love to play in the dirt. Planting, trimming, transplanting, haunting nurseries. Fun is a bit thin these days. Between parenting my parent and caring for my disabled husband, there's a lot of reality. Fortunately, I start each day by walking our dogs and that grounds me.
4.    How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing? Great question. I'm a died in the wool small town hick. I simply don't 'get' cities and feel most at home writing about the wilderness. The sense of connectedness with and timelessness of nature speaks to me and my characters.
5.     Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?  Predator will soon be out from Samhain, yet another example of my love of the wilderness. Its about a man who feels more cougar than human and the unsuspecting woman who becomes his captive. I do love capture themes.  I've turned into an erotica writing machine and write for Aphrodisia, Ellora's Cave, Samhain, and Loose-Id. I have releases coming from all of them, pant, pant. Right now, in response to a friendly nag from my Samhain editor, I'm up to my neck in a shape-shifting ménage.
6.    How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?  Please don't ask me that. I suck at titles. Predator wasn't that hard because that's what my hero is.
7.     Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work? Not that so much as wanting to explore human psychology. The problem with 'ripped from the headlines' stories is that a lot of other writers feel compelled to run with the same themes.
8.    How much of your work is real? How much is fantasy? Oh of course I've participated in ménages with shape shifters, been haunted by Native American spirits, captured by ancient warriors, and time traveled to brothels. And don't forget my reputation as a world record holder in motorcycle cross country races.
9.    Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?  This sad old 8 year old computer. Seriously, the real challenge comes in spring when I want to be outside.
10.What advice would you give to writers just starting out? If you want to be published, approach writing as a business.
11.  Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it? Never have. That probably would be a problem if my mind ever got stuck in the real world. Fortunately its always taking flight.
12. Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life? No favorite author, but I am drawn to tense suspenses by the likes of Tami Hoag. The books that most influenced my life were the ones available to me in the one room schoolhouse I attended. No girl stories for me. I gravitated toward boy adventures.
13. How did you deal with rejection letters? By facing the disappointment head on and then moving beyond that.
14. What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?  Curiosity. Imagination. A comfortable place to sit. And a reliable computer—which I'm soon going to have.
15. Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content? To me it boils down to my comfort level. When I started writing erotica, I felt out of my element. I come from a conservative background and have been married to the same man forever. But the longer I do this, the more comfortable I feel. I've long fantasized about being captured by some virile hunk (no rape) so writing about that theme lets me experience vicariously.
16. Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?  Certainly. Research is a wonderful excuse for not writing. I do most of it online or from nonfiction books. I wrote nine Native American historicals and researching their beliefs and legends was vital.
17. Which is your favorite of the books you have written? Which child do I love best? I probably became most intensely involved in one of those Native American historicals called Soul of the Sacred Earth about the Navajo and Hopi at the time of the Spanish explorations.  I also threw in a Catholic priest so had to educate myself about four separate cultures. Felt as if I was living on Hopi land.
18.What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research? Not weird really but I interviewed the director of the local Dogs For The Deaf facility. Wound up agreeing to foster a puppy until it was old enough to go into training. Well, Farley didn't care whether a person could hear or not and he lived with us for 15 years. We're now owned by our second Deaf reject.
19. Where can we find you on the net? www.VonnaHarper.com. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter. Also, my books are at www.Kensington.com, www.Samhain.com, 


Finally, I hang out at Amazon a lot and sometimes blog at www.Ninc.com/blog

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