Today I have the wonderful opportunity to chat with fellow writer, D. Reneé Bagby, fantasy romance author. A reluctant reader (at least to begin with), Reneé has an unusual biography that makes her a colorful character to rival even the best in fiction. I was curious what her writing life was like and couldn’t wait to ask her.
Angela: So, Reneé, lets start with a peek into your studio. What do you do for inspiration while you write?
Reneé: Find a movie with a similar theme (or similar aspects) and put it on repeat. That way I’m always in the mindset of my book even when I look away to take a break. I watched 300 close to three hundred times while writing and editing Serenity. Something about those bare chests just got the juices flowing… oh wait… I mean words flowing. I meant to say words.
Angela: (laughing) I know exactly what you mean. I watch those bare chests on Blue Ray. Although, it has a tendency to distract rather than inspiring me. Speaking of distractions, do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Reneé: I have yet to meet a deadline I’ve set for myself. While I have managed to get things written for contest submissions, I would say having a deadline hinders. I start feeling guilty for not writing as much as I should or can and that guilt causes writers block. Which then means I have to force myself to write. Nothing good ever comes of forcing it. I had to scrap almost 90% of the manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2007 and I had gotten it up to almost 55,000+ words. Mind you, I didn’t scrap the story. I just had to revamp a vast majority of it.
Angela: Interesting how different we writers are in terms of what brings out our best and worst work. On a different note, what do you find to be the most surprising aspect of your life as a
Reneé: Finding out I’m not the only looney in the bin. (laughing) All my life, very few people have truly understood the way I think. It’s been very frustrating. I got published and met an author (Stephanie Burke). And she was as nutty as me. Thinks the same way, too. But I thought, “eh, it’s a fluke”. And then I went to a convention. Talk about the ugly duckling finding out it was a swan. I was finally amongst my own kind. I talked and people understood exactly what I meant and where I was coming from.
Angela: I know exactly what you mean. Fellow writers seem to have no trouble following my strange train of thought or understanding my infatuation with random faces or jobs. But if knowing that you’re not alone was the most surprising factor, what do you find to be the most fun part?
Reneé: Loosing my creations on the unsuspecting populace. (maniacal laughter) … ahem … I mean, reading the end result. No one wants to read my stories more than me. I love going back and reading what I’ve written and it frustrates me when I hit the spot where I stopped. Having a finished product means I can read from beginning to end.
Angela: Interesting. Sometimes I can’t stand to read my own work. I find things I want to change and can’t. So, knowing that you enjoy your own works is great. But what other authors do you enjoy reading? And can you tell us why?
Reneé: Maya Banks. I love her heroes. I swear, if those men were real, that heroine would turn up missing and I’d step in to comfort those poor men and take her place. (laughing) Also, Stephanie Burke. Her sense of humor is uniquely her own and her books are hilarious. She’s even funnier in person. And Bianca D’Arc. She writes like I do. Her plot is just as important to the story as the couple’s relationship. Both are fully developed and the emotions are almost tangible.
I have other authors that I read and enjoy regularly, but I’ll limit it to my most recent faves.
Angela: Great choices. Well, every author has a piece that they’re dying to write but haven’t yet. Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven’t yet?
Reneé: Horror Romance. I’m going to try my hand at it and see how it turns out. I foresee only two hang-ups at this time. A – I’m still trying to figure out how to mix scary and romantic so the plot doesn’t get solved mid-book with a bunch of relationship stuff left to figure out. and B – Horror doesn’t faze me so I’m not a good judge of scary. I’ll be trying to scare myself but that might be bad as I might go too far. It’s like asking me if something is spicy. I spent six years of my childhood in Texas and have been eating hot sauce since I was twelve, thus I say no it’s not spicy at all as the other person runs around screaming for something cold that will kill the pain. Worst case scenario – I succeed and my editor and readers beg me never to write another so they can sleep at night. (evil laugh)
Angela: I’ve considered horror myself. I’ve written “horror” without a strong enough romance plot and had the same concerns you do. I’m definitely going to try it again, though. I want to see it when you do write this one, so keep us informed. Speaking of new works, please tell the readers what the title of your most recent published work is.
Reneé: My most recent is entitled Serenity. It is currently available in ebook and will be in print 27 January. The publisher is Samhain . (Reneé hands me a copy of the blurb, shown below)
Their uneasy alliance could lead to love—if the demon will allow it.
Melchior, King of the Bhresyas, is quickly growing tired of the war between his kind and the humans who view them as demons. He proposes a peace treaty with the most powerful human kingdom. His only stipulation? Once she comes of age, the human queen’s daughter must be his bride.
Serenity has spent her entire life preparing for her role at Melchior’s side. Other women might be frightened, but she embraces her destiny, knowing in her heart that she and Melchior have been twined together by fate.
While he wants cooperation between their two peoples, his union with Serenity cannot and should not lead to love. The more she tries to bring them together, the harder he pushes her away—until she lands in the arms of those who would do her harm.
Love is the answer. But before Melchior admits to his, it may be too late.
(There is even a warning at the bottom:)
Warning: this title contains cursing, a sociopathic heroine, horny males, and copious amounts of gratuitous violence.
Angela: Very cool. I love the warning. Okay, so enough about writing. Here’s an odd question: What is the worst day job you ever had? Why?
Reneé: Video store. OMG!!! I can’t decide which customers ticked me off more and fastest: the people who wanted to argue with me over a late fee for a movie they didn’t even like but felt the need to keep two weeks longer than they should have OR the people who would come in an hour before close Friday night and expect the new releases, which came out Tuesday, to still be on the shelf and waiting for their arrival. That was definitely one of those jobs that would have been great if not for the customers. But, as I’m finding out, pretty much all retail is like that. I shall break free eventually.
Angela: I think most of us have lived the nightmare of working with the public. Sometimes, people amaze us all. But let’s see if you’re strange. If you had one thing that you’d take with you during a house fire or other emergency, other than people or pets, what would it be?
Reneé: Laptop. No contest. All my books are on here. Not to mention, it holds a full inventory of all the books and comics I own so the insurance people can find them for me again. Knowing me, I’d probably open the window to my office and start chucking books in hopes of saving my faves so I wouldn’t have to wait. Mental Note – buy extinguisher for office to facilitate the rescuing of more books.
Angela: (laughing) And that reminds me that I need to backup my laptop. All right, wrapping things up here. Where can we find out more about you and your projects?
Reneé: (points to the list on the blurb sheet)
Website – http://dReneébagby.com and http://zenobiarenquist.com
Blog – http://dReneébagby.blogspot.com/
Yahoo Group – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dReneébagby_multiverse/
MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/kuraimegami and http://www.myspace.com/zenobiarenquist
Angela: Are you running any contests right now?
Reneé: Currently I have two contests running. (Hands me a flyer for the two.)
~ Joiner Contest ~ 5 ways to enter and up to 5 entries per person
· Join my mailing list – http://dReneébagby.com/ContactMe.html
· Join my Yahoo Group – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dReneébagby_multiverse/
· sign up to follow my blog – http://dReneébagby.blogspot.com/
Contest runs from the beginning of each month until the end (EST). Entries are tossed into a lottery and the winner receives a download of Serenity.
Full contest rules – http://dReneébagby.com/Contests_Joiner.html
~ Comments Contest ~
You’ve joined, now say something
· One person can enter up to 6 times each month
· Leave a comment (up to 3 counted) on my blog – http://dReneébagby.blogspot.com/
· Post to my Yahoo Group (up to 3 posts counted) – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dReneébagby_multiverse/
Contest runs from the beginning of each month until the end (EST). Entries are tossed into a lottery and the winner receives a signed print copy of Adrienne.
Full contest rules – http://dReneébagby.com/Contests_Comment.html
Angela: Reneé, thanks so much for your time. I’m sure that the readers can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it myself. Please, stop in anytime.
If anyone has questions for Renee, the floor is open. Please comment to ask her or comment.