I’m a really lucky author! I’ve had the opportunity to co-write with three of my absolute favorite authors. I thought it might be fun to let them turn the tables on me as I reveal the cover of Creature Feature 2, my newest co-writing adventure with Rhys Ford which is coming in October from Dreamspinner Press! I let them all have the opportunity to ask me three random questions. Let’s see what they came up with!
First up, the amazing Mary Calmes. She broke my co-writing cherry. *eyebrow wiggle* Mary and I worked together last year on the first Creature Feature book. She’s an inspiration to me and has taught me so much about being an author. I can’t gush over her enough, but she’ll fuss at me if I gush too much so I’ll stop there. She’s awesome though. Pretty sure you all know that already. Okay, stopping now. Really. Let’s see what Mary wants to know.
Mary: Why wolves and not some other shifter? What drew you to wolves?
Poppy: One word-Pack. I’m fascinating by the concept, and I think it shows in my work. How do a group of people work together to succeed? How does the leadership affect that? What difference does your role in the group make on your life? The whole she-bang keeps my creative energy going!
Mary: Do you think a good alpha is the most important piece for a successful pack?
Poppy: Oh….huh. You know, I never thought about it. *ponders* I think I’ll go to a quote from Lex in Accidental Alpha: A pack is only as strong as its weakest member. I don’t think a pack can really be successful without a strong leader. They don’t have to be the strongest, but they have to be strong. Does that make any sense? It does in my brain! LOL.
Mary: What are your favorite kind of stories to tell?
Poppy: Stories with strong families—either the ones you were born with or the ones you choose for yourself. I think people are just as much pack animals as wolves are and when we surround ourselves with people who build us up, we can go so much further. I try to give that to characters in my books. I think love conquers all, but not necessarily the romantic kind. The kind of love that you are given from friends and family, that’s the love that can overcome any odds. (Lord, I’m such a cheese ball.)
Next up, is the ever fabulous M.J. O’Shea. M.J. and I have talked about writing together…gah, I don’t even know how many times. Unfortunately, we’re both afflicted with sparkly syndrome and get distracted. LOL. Earlier this year, we finally found a story we absolutely couldn’t resist. Coconut Cove is a series that will premier in August, 2014 from Wilde City Press. We’re having WAY too much fun with it! And it’s kinda sparkly in its own way. Wonder if that has anything to do with it? *g*
M.J.: What is your favorite cocktail and what do you think that says about who you are?
Poppy: I see how you are. Go right for the tough questions. Okay, my favorite cocktail is pretty simple. Cranberry juice and vodka. It can be as fancy as a Cosmo but doesn’t have to be. I think it says that I like ‘em strong and tart? Something like that. Heh. I don’t need a lot of frou frou in my cocktails. Heck, I don’t like a lot of that stuff in my life in general.
M.J.: What is the best vacation you ever took and why was it so much fun?
Poppy: I think I have to cheat just a smidge with this one. My favorite trip was to Greece when I was in college. I worked on an archaeological dig for six weeks, and then traveled around the country for another two. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I learned a lot about Ancient History, which is a passion of mine, but it was also the first time I’d ever left the country and I understood just how big the world truly is.
M.J.: If you were a paranormal/fantasy creature, what would you be and why?
Poppy: I know people are going to expect me to say a shifter, but nope. I think I’d be a phoenix. I think it’s partially the Sagittarius in me, but I love to recreate myself and learn new things. It’s one of the reasons being a writer has been such a lifelong dream. I love to learn, and I think whenever you acquire knowledge, it changes you in a really deep way. I’ve also been through some really rough spots in my life and experienced some pretty dreadful health issues, but I’ve always been able to come through everything a stronger, better person. So yeah. A phoenix.
And last, but certainly not least, is the super-cool Rhys Ford. Rhys and I became co-writers by accident. No really. See, Mary Calmes decided she wanted us to write together. Then she told us she wanted to write Creature Feature 2. Then she nagged, er, I mean, persuaded us until we said yes. And I’m really so thankful she did. Rhys is an amazing writer and she’s so damned smart. So let’s see what she wants to know about me, and reveal for the first time the cover art for Creature Feature 2!!
Rhys: What’s your go-to thing to put yourself into the mood for writing?
Poppy: Probably quiet. I don’t do well around lots of noise; I can’t concentrate. If I’m struggling to get into the right mood for a specific scene, I’ll turn on some music for a while. It’s hard to be chipper and happy in a scene when you’re having a bad day, but pop on some Bubblegum Oldies and I can’t help but cheer up. If I’m perky and happy and need a more somber mood, I’ll turn on some classical.
Rhys: How do you feel your world has changed since meeting other authors?
Poppy: Oh…wow. Good question. I think it has really grounded me, kept me centered and focused, in a way that I couldn’t be before I met other authors. The thing is, writing is a lonely job. It’s just you and your characters. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the fuss of it sometimes. If a scene isn’t coming out right, or your edits are so bad the entire page is bleeding red, I’ve found that turning to other authors eases the pain of that struggle. No one understands like another author!
Rhys: If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Poppy: Not a dang thing. I’ve been through some really crappy times, but if I hadn’t been through them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t give this up for anything.
About the author: A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Thanks to his good-for-nothing brother, Andrew Hughes is up to his eyeballs in debt and needs a job fast. When a nursing position opens up in Myerson, Arizona, Andrew has no choice but to take it, despite a warning about how difficult a patient Caleb DiMartino can be. Andrew can deal with a little trouble—but Caleb’s strange family, the armed guards, and the unknown cause of Caleb’s mysterious illness may be beyond his skill set.
Landslide by Mary Calmes
For three years, paranormal courier Frank Corrigan has been working for incubus demon Cael Berith. Cael knows Frank is his mate, but Frank is pretty sure Cael doesn’t even like him, never mind want to spend the rest of his life with him, so their personal relationship is at an impasse. When Frank’s sister, Lindsey, gets bitten by a werewolf she’s sleeping with—and possibly witnesses a murder—Frank rides to her rescue. If he’s lucky, he might just save his love life too.