Web Blog of Connie Vines, author or multi-genre fiction. Awards: H.O.L.T. Medallion (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent), Orange Rose, Award of Excellence--Contemporary Romance; Independent eBook Award, Dream Realm Award. National Book Award and Frankfurt Book Award, nominee--YA Historical Fiction. Blog includes guest bloggers and snippets of WIP.
Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I'm proud to say that I'm a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom to a terrific little boy with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a very mild form of Autism. My hubby works very hard so that I can be here raising our son. It's the hardest job I've ever had but it's my favorite. I started writing to carve out personal time for myself as a way to escape some of the stress in my daily life. Without really knowing where I was headed at the time, I created a contemporary romance with strong fetish/erotic elements. I know it sounds corny but I love "love". I love the underdog, the person who deals with their own brokenness and finds the courage to make their life happen against the odds, whatever those might be. That's why I write romance. I really want the happily-ever-after.
Tell us about your current published work
I'm excited to say that Broken Together was just released by Wild Horse Press on September 14th. Broken Together is the first in a three part series of novels featuring a small town called Rebel Canyon where readers invest in the lives of three close friends. Bryn Baxter is hugely successful professionally but when it comes to relationships, let me just be candid--she's a mess. When her otherwise orderly life falls apart, Bryn gets help from a hired gun, Beck Reynolds. Bryn wants the fairy tale but she doesn't want to have to think about how to make it all work. So Beck takes control...
Do you have any upcoming releases?
Broken Destiny, the second novel in the Rebel Canyon Series, is slated for release in February of 2011 (Wild Horse Press) and Broken Identity, the third novel, is slated for the winter of 2011. I'm also proud to be included in a paranormal romance anthology that will be released in time for this Christmas (Wild Horse Press). And, not to spoil anything but my anthology partners have pulled me to the dark side so my next series might indeed be something paranormal. Imagine that! Thanks for the milk and cookies, guys!
What inspires you to write? Where do you get your ideas?
Broken Together was born on a mountain in Utah. I was hanging out and reading in the lodge at Deer Valley (Utah) while my husband and son were out skiing. I took several books to read for the week since I don't ski and honestly, each one I finished left me flat. By the end of the third day (and the fourth dissatisfying book), I ran to the gift shop, bought a notebook, refilled my hot chocolate and decided I could do better. Hence the Utah setting for the series.
What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
Well, I read and reread the email about fifteen times because I couldn't believe it. Then I made my husband double check it just to make sure. Then I cried and called my best friend, Sheri, who also serves as my first line editor. She hates my spelling and my sense of timing but thank goodness she loves me!
If one of your books became a movie, which one would you like to see up on screen and who do you see playing your characters?
I see my books as movies in my brain so this one's tough. While Broken Together is my first child so to speak and I can easily see Max Martini as the hard-edged Beck Reynolds, I think Broken Destiny is much more suited to the big screen. The man who played Jamie Wallace in my mind when I was writing Broken Destiny was Scott Foley. While there's no question that he could go deep enough into a hard-edged alpha male persona to pull off tough Jamie, I'd love to see if Scott could perfect the day to day softer, less confident Jamie (Rebel's favorite son), especially when my hero has those moments of self doubt. Hey Scott--wanna give it a try?
If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be? I'd own a little German sports car meant for two (the one that's made in Stuttgart) and I'd speed everywhere I went, running the occasional stop sign along the way when no-one else was around (that way no-one would get hurt). You know those stupid stop signs that pop up in places that you can never seem to figure out why? I hate those. And while I'm usually never late anywhere I go, I speed because I'm always worried about being late. I have a nice vehicle now that suits my lifestyle. Given that it's a V6, I certainly don't putter. Let's just say that when I bought it, I purposely didn't go for the German two seater. They'd throw me under the jail...
What is the funniest/most embarrassing/scariest story from one of your books signings or events?
So far, using my real name has been the most frightening. Since I'm active within our church and I'm on the PTO board at my son's school, maybe I should have considered a pen name. I guess I was just too proud. You know what they say about pride...
If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
I'd take any of the founding fathers--Adams, Jefferson, Washington. I love this country and I'm grateful that so many men leveraged everything they had when it mattered most. They lost their lives, their families, their reputations--all for the bet of something better for everyone. Today it seems self-interest and personal gain is king among those who "serve". I miss the real patriots. It would have been fun to help John Adams create the fourth of July holiday.
What so you see for the future of publishing and ebooks?
I love the touch and feel of books and honestly, I never want to live in a world without books in print--banish the thought! In saying that, however, I understand the popularity of ebooks. I just hope that epublishing stays pure. By that, I mean, I hope that authors continue to put their faith and their work in the hands of publishers who have trained proofreaders and editors dedicated to assisting authors in polishing our works of art. This next comment might upset a few folks but spell check and book layout software don't make a novel.
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
It's probably more common than you'd think but it's all the negative stuff in my life that fuels my best writing. My fears, dashed dreams, insecurities, screw-ups, that one failed relationship that you think back on and wonder. Lucky for me I've got years of material to work with!
You come back from the dead as a spirit, what message are you trying to get across?
There's more than this. More than right now. What you do matters. Who are you when no-one's looking matters. What you believe in and fight for and care about on earth stays with you--it all matters.
If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?
I would do away with legal red tape, especially as it pertains to lengthy, drawn out court battles and sentencing for crimes. There'd be no fifteen year continuances if I had my way about it... I'd make adoption a readily accessible and affordable option for all people (more legal red tape here I'm afraid) that wanted to love a child. It saddens me that people have to fly around the world and play political games in foreign countries and spend ungodly sums of money to share love. And, I'd revamp public education so that our teachers were back in a position of authority and our children started to hear the word "no" again in their daily lives. A world without boundaries is a dangerous place to live. I think for a child the word "no" is one of the best, most useful words they can hear, learn and accept.
What are your top 3 favorite paranormal books and movies?
Don't faint but I'm new to the paranormal scene. Right now I'm happy to say that I'm reading the work of my talented colleagues--Jessica Coulter Smith, Linda Palmer, Bonnie Elliott, Tracey Mitchell, Jeanne Oiler, Ashlynn Monroe, and Lila Munro to name a few but honestly, I've just started to explore this genre so I'm playing catch-up. And, since I'm scared of my shadow (and the dark) I'm too chicken to watch any paranormal movies!
What character (s) in any of your books is most like you?
The million dollar question--everyone wants to know if my books are about me. I have Bryn's standoffish quality and loyalty to the people I love, and I share her hair color. I have Casey's longing to be accepted and her heart for wanting the fairy tale. But honestly, Rachel is the one that's starting to get to me. When I first created her, she was someone all together different and to say she's changed as the series has grown would be a huge understatement. Wait until you meet her in book three, then we'll have to talk. Sadly, I don't share the "lifestyle" any of my heroines have!
What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
In Broken Together, I almost maimed my heroine in a bad self-waxing accident but in the end, I decided she'd been through enough. In Broken Destiny, there's a scene where a car wreck would be fitting but I just couldn't bring myself to crash such a cool truck. Again in Broken Destiny there's a scene with a gun that's outrageous--oh wait--I left that one in! Maybe in Broken Identity Rachel can revisit that waxing thing...
When renowned photojournalist Bryn Baxter’s world is nearly destroyed by a mortar attack as she films a documentary in the middle of the Afghan war, her father brings his only child home and smothers her with around the clock protection in the form of a handsome private security escort.
But Beck Reynolds would rather eat dirt than protect another “lost soul”, especially the daughter of his former Commander. Not only does the assignment put a kink in his evening playtime, but despite his every effort, the woman he’s charged to protect hasn’t said a word to him for nearly a month.
It's about how you rebuild...
As Bryn tries to reclaim her life, she throws herself into the dark world of Dominance and submission. A world where, unbeknownst to Bryn, Beck is already an accomplished Master. While Bryn attempts to explore her own sexuality, Beck is forced to save her from one dreadful situation after another, his desire to own Bryn, body, mind and soul growing stronger each day. Little does he know, however, that he’s stirring a hunger in Bryn that she’s denied herself for far too long.
With a soft touch and a wicked approach, Beck is determined to teach Bryn the pleasures of his secret world. But can he save her from herself?