Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Terrific Tuesday with Elaine Hopper:)
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thank you for inviting me into your cyber house. I always have a good time on your site.
My first sweet romance in a long time, "Always A Bridesmaid", releases Wednesday March 24, 2010 by The Wild Rose Press at:
Here's the blurb:
Hell has finally frozen over. After nine long years, Breanna Parker has come home to be her sister's maid of honor. Just her luck that the first person she runs into is her ex-fiance, Troy Youngwolf—the man who eloped with her ex-best friend and broke her heart. Now a widowed father and sheriff of their Florida home town, sexy bad boy Troy wants another chance and won't take no for an answer. However, every time Breanna looks at Troy or his little girl, her heart breaks anew. She can hardly wait for her sister to get hitched so she can escape back to her urban family in Ft. Lauderdale. The risk is too high that Troy may discover her most closely held secret, one with the potential to destroy them both…perhaps this time forever.
Just a fun little piece of history about this book - it began as a sequel for one of my spicy romances, but the characters and the story called for it to be sweet. Breanna, the heroine in this story, wasn't about to get intimate with this hero again without a wedding ring on her finger, so I changed the names and the rest of the story spun out.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
One of my spicy romances is a vampire romance. I wanted to learn about vampires so I joined some vampire loops to find out how they think, act, and speak among other research. My critique partner thought I was putting myself into danger and was scared for me, even though I used a pseudonym.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Yes. Events in my life have inspired stories. Also events in my genealogy have inspired books.
Years ago, my oldest child was suspended from school because he hacked into the vice principal's computer and changed his password to "Jack Ass". The VP was furious! I was shaking in my high heels. Everybody else thought it was hilarious. Thus, a romantic comedy was born, inspired by that incident. Unfortunately, the book "Next To Forever" is out of print.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
Some of both. Sometimes I research a lot before beginning a book. Other times, a new idea will come to me in the middle of writing and take me off on a new tangent. Thus I may research as I write.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I've recently realized that my stories are sometimes cathartic. They are often about forgiveness and redemption, about getting and giving second chances, about growing and maturing. Thus, I hope my readers will walk away from my stories with a feeling of hope for a better future, not just about love with a soul mate but love for self, love for others, and love for life.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'm usually a pantser and I think I already answered your second question, above. LOL. Yes, my stories often take on a life of their own. It's more fun for me that way. I know the beginning, the end (usually) but don't always take the straightest route to it.
How long did it take for you to be published?
I started writing my first romance story while I was in college. I graduated with my BS degree in 1988, so I suppose you could say I began around 1987. I didn't get really serious about writing until the mid 1990's and I was published in 1999 by New Concepts Publishing whom I met at an RWA conference in Florida. Thus about five or six years.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
To practice more balance in my life. I was so obsessed with writing, I didn't take time to exercise or take care of myself. One day I woke up and had gained a LOT of weight and felt old before my time.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Today, I used pen and ink. When I get really stuck, I usually do that.
However, I often take my laptop to Borders or the library and write there on it. Sometimes, especially at the ball field during my daughter's ball games, I write on my alpha smart.
I like variety. I don't like to do things the same way all the time.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
I'm not sure who influenced me the most. Some of the writers I like are Sheryl Woods, Merline Lovelace, Holly Jacobs, Stephen King, and Stephen White.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
That's hard. I've conducted so many interviews I've already told everything about me. I have an MBA, am a customer service manager, am a disabled vet with hearing loss, a mom with five children, married 30 years, am a huge cat lover, and am a Trekkie. I hate asparagus, tuna, and sauerkraut. Let's see - my favorite movie is Mulan and I watched it so many times my kids (who were still little at the time) begged me to stop watching it.
What is your favorite Spring Break vacation?
Well, it was really wild. I went on a road trip to Ft. Lauderdale with my girl friends. We met a bunch of rowdy college guys who had a lot of clambakes on the beach. Elvis fell out of love with Mary Ann somebody, a former beauty queen, and fell for me instead.
Oh shoot! That's my favorite Elvis movie about Spring Break.
Honestly, I've never been wild and I don't drink although I used to love to go to the disco and dance 'til the wee hours.
When I was in college I was married with three children so my spring breaks were filled with diapers and Big Bird, so I've got to reach back to high school. One year it was pretty warm in Ohio during Spring Break. My friends and I hung out at Winston Woods (a big park in Cincinnati) on the lake a lot.
Now, if you say summer break, it would have to be boating and water skiing on the Ohio River with my dad when I was a teenager.
Favorite St. Patrick’s Day memory or ritual?
About five years ago, I sprayed green hair color on my hair, glued on my elf ears from the Renaissance Fair, and went to work as a leprechaun. My coworkers and I had a St. Patty's Day lunch as well.
This year, everybody wanted to pinch me on St. Patty's Day. I FORGOT to wear green. I wore an all pink suit. I didn't have a lick of green on. I tried to buy some kind of green cookies or cupcakes that morning to take to my co-workers, but the grocery store I stopped at didn't have any. I'm not big on corned beef so didn't think about making corned beef and cabbage for my family until after we ate. I promised them I will next year, of if they like, sooner.
I’m a March Madness fan. Do you follow the college basketball tournaments? If so, who’s your favorite team?
No, not at all. Is "March Madness" a basketball term? I'm clueless. I'm like my dad - I like to play sports, not watch them, with the exception of watching my kids play a sport. My older daughter loves basketball. That was never my sport, however. That said, occasionally I like to watch baseball, especially when the Cincinnati Reds come to town or I get home to Cincinnati.
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
"Always A Bridesmaid" releases Wednesday March 24, 2010 at The Wild Rose Press at:
"So You Want To Marry My Mom", a paranormal romantic comedy will release the week of July 4, 2010 from Amber Quill Press.
My blog is at:
On Twitter I'm: @elaine_hopper
Thank you for interviewing me and asking me about my books. As always, I've enjoyed chatting with you.
“So this is how the worldly Breanna behaves in her off-duty hours?” Troy righted Breanna, his hands lingering on her arms.
She stepped back, quelling the desire to rub away his prints. She chafed that Sierra was getting a big head start and she was left alone with Troy. “What are you doing in my house? Daddy’s not home.”
“Is that how you greet your boss? Or your old flame?”
Fire smoldered in Troy’s eyes as mischief danced in his voice. Knowing Sierra was way ahead, she sighed. “What do you want? More memos copied? Someone to pour you a coffee?” she said with saccharine sweetness, vowing to return to college and upgrade her career.
“I stop by periodically to make sure everything’s okay. This is my last stop of the day.” He didn’t move to leave. “Everything okay here?”
Was he daring her to make him leave? She scowled. “Only if you call having a crazed sister okay. Or having my boss intrude on my personal space.”
He didn’t blink, just advanced a step. “Is being around me really that bad? You didn’t used to think so.”
Before she realized his intentions, Troy backed her against the wall and crushed close. He captured her lips in a searing kiss that left her weak-kneed and breathless. Soft hands cupped her face, stilling her head. His hips pinned her to the wall so she couldn’t do more than squirm against his solid frame.
How long they kissed in the hall, she didn’t know. She was powerless to break the kiss—as if she’d been starved for it for years. Shirt balled in her hands, she molded her body to his.
He drew back a short distance. “You can kiss me like that and still say you hate me?”