A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Author Spotlight: Isabel Roman, Paranormal Romance

Please welcome Isabel Roman to the Author Spotlight today.
Hello, Isabel. Thank you for joining me today.

Thanks for having me today, Dayana!
How do you decide on your books’ topic?

I decided on my four book paranormal series by looking at what has been done and not doing that. Druids have mostly been done in medieval or ancient stories, I haven’t heard of one taking place in Victorian England and America. ‘Course my four books series was originally a three book series until I felt horrible for poor Isadore and had to give her a story of her own. *G*

Oh, I hear that. Sometimes, I find that secondary characters jump out and beg for their own stories. I have two sequels in the works now because some characters just need to have their own day in the limelight.

HAHA, see how that happens? With other books, I think about what I’m interested in and build a story from there. Sometimes it’s a story in a place I’ve always wanted to write in. Sometimes it’s based on what fits in that time period.

Oh yes, that makes sense, Isabel. I try to write about what I know and what I love. I also like to experiment with different settings and create worlds with descriptive imagery.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?
Deadlines. It’s the one surefire way to keep me focused. There’s nothing like a looming deadline, and by that I mean 2-3 weeks away, to keep me focused and on track.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

What? I’m not that shallow. *G* I’d love to be able to support myself in the manner my day job keeps me supported through writing, but for now, I write to breathe. And for that future of supporting myself.

I definitely agree with you. I am writing for my future as well. I’d like to eventually retire and write. A dream at the moment but dreams are made to come true, aren’t they?

Yup! I’m right there with you. :)

When was the first moment you felt comfortable saying, “I am a writer?”

Is that like the line from the first Mummy movie when Evie says “I…am a librarian.” Then passes out? LOL, sorry, that’s what it sounded like in my head when I read the question. I love that movie and that line always cracks me up. As to the “I…am a writer” bit, I’d say after I got my first review. It had nothing to do with validation on MY part more like on others. I now had a great review in hand, someone I didn’t know who read my first book and LOVED it! I mean what more is there? Sure, I loved it, but a complete and utter stranger? It’s what I wanted and now had. It was after that, that I felt more comfortable in telling people, though I don’t often introduce myself as such. Usually it’s my day-job title that I use, but more people know I’m a writer now than even 6 months ago.

Very well put, Isabel. I’d never thought of it quite that way but reviews do sort of validate your success when they are positive. On the same token, what if that first review was a bad one? Would you have not written again? Or would you have said, “Ahh… It’s just one person’s opinion.”

Well, I don’t think I would’ve brought out the sack and ashes, but it may have been close. Then again, despite that, I think I would’ve kept on anyway. Write to breathe and all.

Where do you write?

At home. Pathetic but true. I have a home office with a great desk, a spiffy new computer, and a great set up that I love. And a soon-to-be bathroom, with luck in three weeks. Though I have written well on trips, I’m most comfortable and get the most done at home.

Why would that be pathetic? LOL Most of us write at home in a makeshift office atmosphere or bedroom corner. But I do take my laptop when I travel because I never know when I might want to work. Also, I am never without a pad of paper. I write longhand as well at times.

I take my laptop, too, cause you just never know when that idea that’s been percolating will become full blown. I really look forward to those moments!

How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

With tedious effort. I hate titling my books, and naming my characters is always a chore.

Ho Boy! Do I have to agree with you. I hate this process as well.

But I do take the time to carefully name them because I want names I like for the type of character I’m building, be they the main hero and heroine, secondary characters, or throwaway walk-through ones. They also have to reflect the country or their family’s country of origin.

Again, great advice. That is why I think it is so ‘tedious’ because a lot of thought go into both titles and naming the characters. You want both to stand out and say something about the story. Make lasting impressions, etc.

What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture:)

Synopsis. I know so very many people who say the same thing but here’s my example and I will willingly bow to anyone with a worse horror story.
The first time I wrote a synopsis to send out with a completed story it took me 12 hours on a Sunday. With no breaks. 12 hours in my chair, pacing around, banging my head on random walls. 12 freakin’ hours!!
It was the single most excruciating thing I’d ever done. I still have nightmares about that Sunday.

Oh my! Not my favorite thing either. So much is riding on a synopsis. You are trying to sell your book, your writing, and your soul here. So much pressure. It’s amazing how much work goes into the fun of sitting down and crafting a story. The only fun in the entire process, honestly, is writing the story, isn’t it? An author learns pretty quickly the real work begins when the story is done:)

YES! I agree, writing the story can be loads of fun.

How long did it take you to get your first project sold? And was the project your first actual completed manuscript?

Yes, it was my first actual completed manuscript though I had an incomplete one before I may never look at again. This one (Murder & Magick) took about 8 months to sell to Ravenous Romance. With revision, with cutting, with changes to the plot. (I’ve since learn to plot each chapter and character arc, so they take me a lot less time to write.)

Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?

No, but I have had people ask that they (their names at least) be put into a book. One even wanted a glorious death in a gunfight. I’ve used aspects of TV characters, movie characters, things I like about a person or a movement of body someone does. But 99% of my characters are fictional.

What TV shows do you watch?

What, you haven’t heard about my NCIS addiction? LOL, I’m very serious about it. If it’s a Tuesday night, don’t bother. I’m watching NCIS. It’s one of maybe um…no actually it’s the only show I’ll make it a point to watch every week and whenever it’s on. Other than that, mainly sci-fi stuff.

Oh, I’ve got a couple of those and actually it is my only time I really sit and relax other than my nightly exercise program of walking or bike riding, LOL. I watch Dark Blue and Bones with a ‘don’t bother me’ aura radiating from me.

Thank you so much for dropping by today, Isabel. Now before you run, I do know that you have a wonderful story titled, Shadow State, coming out this month in the Black Rose Got Wolf Anthologies, which release this month at The Wild Rose Press. Why not tell us a bit about it?

Shadow State is a favorite. I don’t know if it’s the storyline, the characters, the setting, or all three, but I really do love this story. Set in 1934 Germany, just after Hitler’s governmental coup, Night of the Long Knives or Nacht der langen Messer, the Arminius Clan realizes they’re no longer safe in Germany. This is a new war, a new way of looking at enemies, and they know they’re a prime target. Then one of their own is taken by the Nazi’s and experimented upon.

It was a real eye-opener researching medical knowledge in the 1930s. For decades, Germany was the place to study science and medicine, so my heroine, Elsa, is a research doctor at a prestigious Berlin hospital. I learned a lot about my wolves and Nazi experimentation during this time, and used it. I also used the Nazi fascination with the occult, since that’s well documented and easy to add in.

Excerpt: (I debated a humorous part or a sexy part, and of course came down on the side of sexy.)

“Have you decided this is our moment?” she asked.
He pulled away just enough to see the eyebrow raised in amused question. But he could also see how her blue eyes darkened, could feel her breath coming in gasps. Could smell the change in her scent.
Trailing his lips along the back of her neck, he breathed her in. Another growl escaped him, louder and stronger, establishing his dominance over her. When Elsa growled back, his cock hardened further.
Yes, this was his mate.
Nipping her shoulder, Christoph was only slightly surprised when she entwined her fingers with his and moved them slowly up her body. Cupping her breasts through the thin silk of her blouse, he felt the harden peaks push through her clothing. Her entire body shuddered when he pinched her nipples.
“Christoph,” she murmured.
Turning her, he slammed her against the bookcases. Mouth on hers in an instant, he took hold of her hands again, pinning them above her head. She tasted better than he imagined, and when she kissed him back, all thought fled.
He had to have her.
A loud crash jerked what little attention was not on Elsa back to their surroundings. Christoph spun to scan the library, Elsa secured behind him. He saw no one. The faint scent of Peter, however, lingered in the air.
He was going to kill his friend.

Books and Purchase links:

Murder & Magick: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/the-dark-desires-of-the-druids-1-murder-and-magick.php?flypage=0

Sex & Subterfuge: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/the-dark-desires-of-the-druids-2-sex-and-subterfuge.php

Desert & Destiny: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/the-dark-desires-of-the-druids-iii-desert-and-destiny.php

Temptations & Treachery: http://www.ravenousromance.com/fantastica/the-dark-desires-of-the-druids-iv-temptations-and-treachery.php

And my bio: A mostly historic, oftentimes paranormal, definitely racy romance writer with a love of movies. And NCIS.

My website: http://www.isabelroman.com/My blog: http://authorisabelroman.blogspot.com/


  1. Great post Isabel. I know exactly what you mean about that first good review. It just didn't seem real until I got a great one.
    Don't we all wish we were making money. I hope yo do. I wish you the best of luck and many sales in your career. I hope it explodes for you, Isabel.

    Wonderful questions Dayana!

  2. I truly believe that editors sit back, read synopsis's - or is it synopsi? lol... And say between sips of their wine. "Wow, she must have been banging her head against a wall for hours over this one. LOL"

    Ohhhh the process can sometimes stink... but the pay off is reading your work and knowing it makes someone happy.

  3. Dayana, thanks again for having me!

    Mary--I don't know why it was so important, but it really seemed to be until I got that first review, which thankfully was a great one lol!

    Catherine--I have that same image in my head! HAHA, can you imagine. :)

    Thanks both of you for stopping by.

  4. Great interview. Shadow Slate sounds fascinating. The Nazis would certainly want to experiment on warewolves and the danger to anything different back then was very real and deadly.

    Thanks for sharing your writing process with us.

  5. Nice interview Dayana and Isabel.
    I love the 30's time period, so I know this will be a great read.

    I agree about synopsis writing. What makes it so hard is exactly what you said, everything hinges on how good it is and if the editor likes it.

  6. Anna Kathryn, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree, the Nazi's wanted to experiment on pretty much everything and everone.

    I love the 30's time period, so I know this will be a great read. Thanks, Kaye! I like to think I captured the history and place of Berlin. I'd love to hear from you about the story. (Comes out October 16 in print and e-book!)


  7. "Is that like the line from the first Mummy movie when Evie says “I…am a librarian.”"

    Isabel, I snorked my mocha 'cause that's what I thought of too!

    I personally hate outlines and synopsis and anything else that reminds me of a homework assignment...

    Excellent interview, ladies!

  8. Hi, Dayana and Isabel! Great interview! I so want that Got Wolf story!

    The excerpt was fantastic!

  9. Sorry, Dana, didn't mean to make you snort your mocha! Funny how certain lines or phrases sound in your head.

    Susan, given how I know you love your paranormal, I know you'll enjoy this anthology.

  10. Hi Isabel. I enjoyed your interview and your answers. I agree with the synopsis issue. Your description was perfectly sane. Best of luck with your books and the Got Wolf Anthology. Looking forward to reading it.

    Great questions, Dayana.

  11. Your description was perfectly sane.

    Thanks, Mickey! And thanks for stopping by. :)

  12. I love NCIS, too, Isabel. I've known you for a while now and found a lot of the info in your great blog new and interesting facts about you. I know your stories are really great and wish you the best of luck with your writing career. You opened a new genre for me to read. :)

  13. Hi, Paisley! Now see, I didn't know you were an NCIS fan. Learn something new every day. :) I hope you enjoy Shadow State.

  14. Loved the conversational interview!

    Isabel I blog at home, so it's not pathetic to write at home!!! :D

    @Catherine Bybee - hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh!

  15. Isabel and everyone who dropped by,

    Thank you so much. Yikes! my internet crashed for two days and I never made it back in or anywhere else for that matter!

    Isn't Isabel great? Thank you for hanging out here Thursday and thank all of you who constantly drop by and support this blog.



  16. Keira thanks for stopping by. I find it's easiest to write at home, I have everything I may possibly need right here, but the question seemed like I should say something else. Not sure what, but something.

    Dayana, sorry you couldn't join the fun! Thanks so much for hosting me, I really enjoyed my time here.