Tag Archives: Harlequin

Getting to Know – Lori Wilde

loriI would like to introduce someone who probably doesn’t need an introduction to anyone who reads romance.  I met Lori when she came to Des Moines to do her High Concept workshop.  Needless to say, it was very enlightening and entertaining.  Lori is both a talented writer as well as an accomplished speaker and if you get a chance to attend her High Concept workshop, do it.  You won’t regret it.  I hope you enjoy her interview.

Now let’s see what Lori has to say:

VirginiaWhere are you from?

 Lori – I’m a native Texan.

 Virginia – How long have you been writing?

 LoriHmm, I wrote my first short story when I was eight years old, but if you mean when did I get serious about writing?  That was 1990.

 Virginia – What do you write?

Lori – Sexy, humorous contemporary romances with a small town feel and a strong sense of community.

 Virginia – Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.

 Lori – My agent is Jenny Bent of the Bent agency.  I’m currently published with Harlequin and Avon Books.

 Virginia How many books have you published so far?

 Lori – My forty-third book just came up but I have four more in the pipeline waiting for release.

 Virginia – What is your writing day like?

 Lori – It varies.  If its deadline crunch time I might write twenty hours a day.  But in a normal writing day I try to get to the computer first thing in the morning and write for three or four hours.  I take a lunch break, exercise, check e-mail and then I teach my writing classes online.  I average 2 – 3000 words a day on non-crunch days.  The most I’ve ever written in one day is 10,000.

 Virginia Can you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

 Lori – I got my first publisher through a contest win. My agent found me after she read a book of mine that she loved.

 VirginiaDo you have anything that just came out?

 LoriI’m in an anthology with Stephanie Bond and Leslie Kelly called Sand, Sun, Seduction that’s on sale now.


VirginiaWhat are you working on now?

 Lori – I’m in between contracts at Harlequin and Avon, so I’m working on a brand new project.  It’s a romantic suspense.



Sweethearts Knitting Club – Coming soon! 

VirginiaDo you have some words of wisdom for us unpubs?

 Lori – Read, read, read.  Write, write, write.  Never, ever give up.

 My website is  I blog monthly at http://deadlinehellions.

Thanks for taking the time for this interview and we will look for your new releases.  Now is the time for my readers to let me know who they’d like me to interview.  I have several in the pipeline and I am trying to present one a week, so let me know who you’d like to learn more about.

Until next time,




Posted by on August 17, 2009 in Author Interviews


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Introducing: Cheryl St. John

cherylstjohn1If you love a story that touches your heart, you need to read everything Cheryl St. John writes.  Cheryl belongs to the Heartland Writers Group out of Omaha, Nebraska.  I met her too many years ago to admit and have been hooked on her books ever since. 

 Here is out interview –

 Virginia – Where are you from?

 Cheryl – I’m a Midwest girl, born in Iowa, but raised in Nebraska.  I live in a big city, however, so don’t ask me about cows or corn – unless it’s Cornhuskers, and then I’m all over that.  Go Huskers!

 Virginia – How long have your been writing?

 Cheryl – I’ve always written in one form or another.  As a child, I wrote stories, drew the covers, and stapled them into mini-books.  My first rejection came at age fourteen when I submitted a romantic short story to Redbook Magazine.  I still have the form rejection.  I was crushed.

 I wrote long hand off and on after that, occasionally typing a story on my Grandma St. John’s manual typewriter.  For years, I pretty much dedicated myself to my family, and raised my four kids.  I used to read only horror, mystery and mainstream novels, but I read a few Victoria Holt’s I’d received from the book club and found them appealing, yet somewhat unsatisfactory in some way I couldn’t define at the time.

 On a whim one day, while browsing the store shelves, I bought Lisa Gregory’s The Rainbow Season and LaVyrle Spencer’s Hummingbird.  Imagine that out of all the books available, I chose those two classic romances for my first taste of romance!  Needless to say, I was hooked from that day forward.  I devoured everything either of those two authors ever wrote, and went on to Janelle Taylor, Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey, Francine Rivers, and Kathleen Woodiwiss.

 When my youngest daughter went to Kindergarten, I was lost without her.  In retrospect, it was empty nest syndrome, but instead of having another baby, which many women do, I decided it was time to write the novel that would launch me to stardom.

 Yeah, right.  The rest of the process took a little longer.  And I’m still not sure about the stardom part.

 Virginia – What do you write?

 Cheryl – I’ve written several contemporaries, but I love writing historical romance set in the American West or Midwest, and I love cowboys.  I love stories with an underdog, and those in which a character is pretending to be someone he or she is not.

Virginia – Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.

 Cheryl – Harlequin publishes my books.  I’ve written for several lines and worked with a few different editors over the years.  My agent is my intercessor and the left side of my brain, so to speak.  She handles money and contracts and leaves the creative side to me.  She believed in me from the beginning and sold my very first book for me.

 Virginia – How many books have you published so far?

 Cheryl – See, now this is a tough question – because I am so not a numbers person.  I always have to go count when someone asks me this.


The Preacher’s Wife is my thirty-second published book.  I’ve written number thirty-three and it’s scheduled for next year.  I’m working on two more right now.

 Virginia – What is your writing day like?

 Cheryl – It’s changed over the years as my life has changed.  I went from dropping off kids at school to having an empty nest and am now back to dropping off one child-my grandson-at school most mornings.  I get up and feed him and get him ready and drop him off at school.  Sometimes I stop at the grocery store or if it’s Thursday or Friday, I scope out every garage sale in the vicinity on the way back.  It inspires me.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.

 Once home I make a fresh pot of tea – chai is my preference – read through my email, take care of the things that are pressing that day, and then open my Word file.

 I read over what I wrote the day before, edit a little, as I go, and then continue forward.  Many nights after supper and my favorite evening shows, like American Idol and Bones, I go back to my desk and work.  If my brain is too tired to write much past 11 or 12, I do promo work and blog.

 I teach an online class each month, so the night I need to prepare lessons, I’m sometimes up until 2 03.

 Bookmark my workshop:

 Virginia – Can you tell us how you found a publisher and/or agent?

 Cheryl – The really stupid way, I assure you.  I was clueless, unlike the beginning writers today who have the Internet and online communities.  I didn’t even know any other writers to ask about the process.  Looking back on my amateurish manuscript preparation, all the stories with no plot or conflict, and the volume of editors I sent the manuscripts to is a humiliating, yet laughable experience.  I can’t believe I did that!  I wrote in a vacuum for years, reading how-to-books from the library and sending stuff out to everyone in The Writer’s Market.  Those early books are still on a shelf in my basement, along with a few others. And rightly so.

 Virginia – Do you have anything that just came out?


Cheryl – My December Her Montana Man was picked up by Doubleday and Rhapsody Bookclubs in hardcover, and I was excited about that!  It has a stunning cover – one of my all time favorites.


June 2009 is the release of my first Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, and I couldn’t be more pleased with this venture into the inspirational market.  It’s a story I wanted to tell for a long time, and then this wonderful venue opened up for me to leap into.

 Virginia – What are you working on now?

 Cheryl – I’m writing a Love Inspired Historical novella for a two-in-one anthology for Mother’s day of 2010.  And putting together a sequel to The Preacher’s Wife – its Elizabeth’s story.

 Virginia – Do you have some words of wisdom for us unpubs?

 Cheryl – Believe in yourself and your ability.  All the techniques of writing are learnable, so stay open to those, but the gift of storytelling and the desire to write are talents you were born with.  Your talent doesn’t up and desert you when life is difficult or you’re struggling.  Some of my best work was done during times of emotional upheaval.  Let those times be a catharsis for your work.  Stories are about feelings.

 I’ve just launched a brand new website and I’d be delighted for you to drop by and visit.

 Visit me on the web:

 Look who’s blogging:

 Thanks Cheryl for taking the time for this interview and I look forward to seeing you soon!


 Author Alert: If you would like me to post an interview with you on my blog, please comment and let me know.

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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Author Interview


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Getting to Know: Carla Cassidy

Carlacassidy (2)The headline said ‘The Butcher of Crows Creek Strikes Again.’ Allison Clemen’s father had spent the past fifteen years in prison for butchering her mother, sister and brother.  Somehow, she’d survived being knocked on the head and strangled before the killer posed her in her own bed.  Now the nightmare had started over in Crows Creek, Kansas.  Had they convicted the wrong man and was the real killer just waiting to finish the job?

 Carla Cassidy’s newest release titled – Last Gasp. It will keep you breathless with each twist and turn.  If you haven’t yet read Carla’s books, I’d like to introduce you to this multi-published author.  She has been kind enough to grant me this interview.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed visiting with her.

 Virginia – Where are you from?

 Carla I was born in Lawrence, Kansas but spent the first twelve years of my life in the small town of Lansing, Kansas.  At that time, we moved to Kansas City and that’s been my home.

 Virginia – How long have you been writing?

 Carla – I started writing when I was in junior high school, but I didn’t get serious about a career in writing until I’d married and had children.  My first book was published in 1988, so I’ve been doing this for a while.

 Virginia – What do you write?

 Carla – Right now, I’m almost exclusively writing romantic suspense.  It’s a genre I love, but I’ve also written straight romance and a coupe of paranormals.

 Virginia – Tell us a little about your publisher and agent.

 Carla – I write for Harlequin, Silhouette and NAL and my agent is from the Curtis Brown Literary Agency.  I love writing the shorter formats for Harlequin and Silhouette and then exploring longer stories for NAL.

 Virginia – How many books have you published so far?

Carla – To be honest, I’m not sure of the exact number, but I think it’s over a hundred.

 Virginia – What is your writing day like?

 Carla – My writing day starts about fifteen minutes after I roll out of bed.  I make the coffee, then sit down at the computer.  The computer stays on and I work until bedtime with breaks for the usual cleaning and cooking.  My office is my cave and I’m rarely out of it for any length of time.

 Virginia – Do you have anything that just came out?

 Carla – On April 7th, my latest release from NAL hit the stands.  Last Gasp is a romantic suspense novel set in western Kansas.

 Virginia – What are you working on now?

 Carla – At the moment I’m working on a new book for Harlequin Intrigue entitled, Scene of the Crime: Brightwater, Texas.  Next month I have a release from Harlequin Intrigue. Interrogating The Bride is the first of a three book series.

 Virginia – Do you have any words of wisdom for us unpubs?

 Carla – I wish I had the magic secret for getting all writers published, but unfortunately, I don’t. You need to educate yourself, attend conferences, study the markets, join a writers’ group.  Probably the most important thing a writer needs to survive to get published is patience and perseverance.  I know writers far talented than me who never got published because they received a couple of rejection letters and gave up.  So, my advice would be if this is your dream, write, write, write!

 Now go check out Last Gasp.

 Carla Cassidy is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books.  She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband.  Visit her Web site at


 Keep coming back for more great interviews.  Also, follow me as I write my novel with the Write a Novel series of blogs on this site.  Writing can be lonely, let’s do it together.

 Until next time,


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Posted by on July 21, 2009 in Author Interview


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