My interviewee today is Canadian author Denysé Bridger. Her latest title is Hide and Secret which will be released on March 3rd, 2011 by Ellora’s Cave. Besides being an author, Denysé is also the creator of the online magazine Sensual Treats.
Sensual Treats Magazine: http://www.sensualtreats.webs.com
Diary of a Mistress: http://www.facebook.com/Diary.of.a.Mistress
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Romance.and.Fantasy
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003LUHE96
Susan Palmquist (SP)-It seems you like all sort of heroes, swashbucklers, vampires, cowboys. Anything these guys have in common and what’s their appeal?
Denysé Bridger (DB)-The thing they all have in common when I write them is that they’re alpha males, adventurous in spirit, and incredibly passionate in nature. I think we idealize our heroes in many ways when we write them–it becomes a little bit of wish-fulfilment at times. I write very flawed heroes yet there is always an element of larger-than-life to them in one way or another. I enjoy that aspect, and you can really play with it and make it appealing when you’re creating pirates, vampires, cowboys in the Old West. I think they appeal because they represent some of the things we seek in our real relationships, the security that goes with feeling safe, the complete acceptance of love and passion. These heroes risk it all for love, and aren’t shy about their passion or their pursuit.
SP-If you could only write in one genre what would it be?
DB-I’d have to say ultimately it would be romance, because that genre lives and breathes in all others to some extent. Plus, love is the human equalizer–it’s the thing that crosses all barriers, be it gender, race, religion–you name it and it had been overcome for the sake of love. We, as human beings, all desire to love and be loved, so romance is where that really comes to life.
SP-You’ve just published your first fantasy novel, As Fate Decrees. Can you tell us about it, how it came about and what was different about writing a fantasy novel to other genres?
DB-As Fate Decrees was ten years in the making for various reasons. The actual writing took about six months, but there was so much reading/research involved when you’re going to use Greek Mythology as your backbone for a story like this. I was lucky and had some wonderful people sending me books that helped, but the hardest part was the waiting! I submitted it to two NY publishers, and each time it was a year before I heard back–one said they loved it but they were concerned about a conflict of interest with other books they were publishing at the time. My second “rejection” came from Tor–and again, it wasn’t much of a rejection, the editor said he loved the book, the heroine, and the story had great strengths, but he was concerned about taking on another “new” author when the roster was so full. In the end I went with Canada’s largest genre publisher, Hades Publications, and the book was accepted. It’s been wonderful working with everyone at EDGE, the Sci-Fi and Fantasy imprint. Great people and they cared about my book, too, and treated it so well.
SP-You live in Nova Scotia, is it an inspiration for your writing?
DB-Honestly, I suspect for some this place would be very inspiring, but for me, not. It’s where I live, and I feel no strong ties to it beyond my mom and my sister. The place that “feels” like home to my heart is Italy, and that’s what inspires me. The beauty, the culture, the language, all of it.
SP-Your books have been published with many companies so you obviously have lots of experience with dealing with contracts and the business side of writing. Any tips you can offer other writers?
DB-Essentially the same thing I always tell people who want to write–it’s not so much talent as perseverance that gets you to a place where you can be a success and have that manuscript accepted and published. You have to be able to tell a story, but you also have to be able to accept the honesty of strangers, not the flattery of family and friends. If you go into this with your ego, you’ll fail. You really do have to be willing to listen and learn every step of the way.
SP-You publish an online magazine called Sensual Treats. How did it get started and tell us what you’ll find there?
DB-It got started when my friend and partner Heather Gardener and I were chatting one day. I sort of tossed out the idea that we should do an online magazine, and it went from there. We’re about to get to work on the tenth issue, 8 regular editions and 2 Valentine specials. ALL of which remain free to anyone who’d like to download them. Our goal is to continue to bring fiction, interviews, and travel features that are of interest to everyone! And always, for free. We charge a relatively nominal fee for advertising, and we’re international in audience, with thousands of downloads every month, so it’s really a win-win for anyone who brings their advertising to us. The archive means you pay for three months, but ultimately it’s forever because the issues are still live beyond the three months–we publish quarterly. We also have a sponsor’s page, and link exchange.
SP-What do you look for in submissions? Is this a paying market?
Our Submission Guidelines page outlines everything that we are willing to look at and accept for publication: http://sensualtreats.webs.com/submissionguidelines.htm – at this point we offer a half-page free of charge to anyone who submits a story–and in the coming year we’re hoping to offer a small monetary payment for any accepted story for the magazine. So, readers and authors if you have a short, romantic story you’d like to submit, please check out the guidelines and let us know!
SP-What’s next for you?
DB-At the moment, I’m working on several new and special books. My first release with Ellora’s Cave is due to be released on March 3rd, and that is very exciting for me. I am presently working on my next big fantasy novel, my first shifter/werewolf book, a Cougar tale, and a new vampire tale. As well as some wonderful contemporary stories – I never seem to run out of ideas, so the time to do all these books is the real challenge!
SP-Any genre you haven’t tried yet?
DB-Science Fiction eludes me, but that’s ok, because I tend to touch on many others that I feel more comfortable with–I like fantasy much more than hardcore sci-fi. I dabble a little with horror from time to time, too.
SP-If you could offer three writing tips what would they be?
DB-1. Know when to accept that your book/story is done and let go of it. I don’t know how many people I know who write and rewrite over and over again–if you continue to tinker with a book in that way, you will never get to the next one, will you?
2. Understand that if an editor takes the time to explain to you why your book isn’t working for them, pay attention and don’t take it personally. You can’t trust to any real degree the opinions of family and friends because they will always want to encourage your dreams and be kind to you. An impartial professional wants to simply help you improve your book. You don’t have to agree, but at least listen.
3. Write the best book you can, and know that it will never be perfect–no one writes a perfect book, no one! Each book is a learning experience, and if you do make a success of it, each book gets stronger than the last and it becomes a journey that you can look at over time. Research well, craft the best story you can, and let it fly. ALWAYS respect your readers and your peers, because without them, the words mean nothing.