Denise is the force behind the Scandalous Victorians. Without her, I wouldn't know my fellow Vics, wouldn't have set my Druids series in the Victorian Era, and probably wouldn't be writting what I am now without the group. I have a lot to thank her for.
Without further ado, Denise--who named her photo on her site 'shit'. How can you not love someone like that?
What made you decide to write Wicked Woman and The Wild One?
This may sound strange, but I didn’t really decide to write either one of those. They just came to me. I think it was November 2002, I was trying to get a completely different manuscript in quick shape to send out the door. The economy was bad and my husband and I were thinking it might be good for me to get some temp work or a part time job. So there I was working on the manuscript between checking out jobs on the internet, and this scene came to me. Out of the blue. Two people talking. I saw them as clear as day, knew their personalities, their relationship, everything.
I tried very, very hard not to write it—I didn’t have time!—but it kept nagging at me. After a couple days I thought maybe if I just put it in a file quick-like, I could get back to the two things I really needed to focus on. But as soon as I wrote that scene, two more popped into my head. So I quick-like wrote those. . .long story short, three weeks later I had the first complete draft of The Wild One.
It came so fast and furious and I was just so insane getting it all down, that my husband was bringing me dinner at the computer. At one point he and my two sons lined up behind me. I asked what they wanted, and they said “We just wanted to see what you look like. We’d forgotten.”
Anyway, when I was close to finished with The Wild One, another scene popped into my head with the father of the main character in that book. By the second week in January, I had the first draft of Wicked Woman too. The holidays that year are a complete blur.
Needless to say I never did get that job.
What else are you working on?
Well I’m back to getting that original manuscript in working shape! It’s tentatively named Heart and Soul, but I’m not particularly happy with that title. It’s historical, with a serial killer in a small-town farm setting, complete with a telepathic relationship between a very tortured hero (who is suspected to be the killer) and a sort of off-kilter heroine. I’m also working on a western which has characters from The Wild One in it and leads to your next question...
What’s your dream story? The one that becomes a New York Times runaway bestseller, the one you hope to one day write?
The book I’m writing now, Westwind, it’s one of my favorite of all my books. I’ve finished it several times, but I just can’t let it go. It was written when I was working on The Wild One and it seemed natural to take those characters, who were already in Colorado, and send them on down to a ranch that I’d already created, with “people” I already “knew”. It was a blast learning how they turned out 10 years later! Now, though, I really want their story known.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes—I love the American Victorian Period—19th century America. I just really love how the country and society (women’s movement, slavery and the end of it, agricultural to industrial society and more) changed and I wish, wish, that we could get more books out about it. So much change, which creates so much great conflict!
Wicked Woman is now out of print, but it’s still available in the kindle edition, and used copies are being sold on E-bay, at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. The Wild One is in print and available new at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and several other sites, as well as in the kindle form.