Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Author Interview: Stella Deleuze

That lovely woman you see to the right is author Stella Deleuze. Today, we're celebrating the release of her newest book, Candlelight Sinner! She was good enough to answer questions I threw at her and now we all get a sneak peek inside her mind. Are you excited? I'm excited!

First of all, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview!

No, thank you. I love your blog. Even though I haven't had time to visit often recently, I know I'll always find something interesting to read. Short, sharp and spot on. :-)

As a sequel to No Wings Attached, was it easier or more difficult to write Candlelight Sinner? Why?

More difficult. It's my first series and I didn't know how difficult it is to write one until I was actually confronted with writing it. The fine line between info-dumping and giving short references to the first book, as well as having to introduce the characters to the new readers without boring the old ones was a challenge. It picks up on the first book's story, yet works as a stand alone novel. I also had quite a gap between the books, which made it a little hard in the beginning to get back into the characters' heads. I always planned to have two, but after I spent so much time editing and polishing No Wings Attached, I just needed a break. When the characters called and my readers asked for the sequel, I began writing it. Despite the small difficulties, I loved the process as it's taking the characters on another level and the paranormal story forward.

Both novels have such great titles. How did you decide on Candlelight Sinner? Were there other titles you considered?

Thank you. Gosh. That's a rather sensitive topic. I love strong titles. No Wings Attached (No Strings Attached), as well as Candlelight Sinner (Candlelight Dinner) took me a while. The actual title of No Wings Attached came to me just before I went to bed; struck me like lightning. So for the sequel I wanted to have a funny word-play again, but it was a painful journey to find it. I went through all sorts of titles, as I want it to reflect on the story, rather than just being pretty on the outside. To find something you could adapt isn't quite as easy as it seems. I'm perfectly happy with the result, though.

"Wish consultant" sounds like a modern language job title for a genie. I love it. Where did the idea for that description come from?

To be honest I didn't think of it until I decided to self-publish. I first had angel of wishes, but it was regularly misunderstood as 'angel' or the book being religious, which it's not. At all. And agents, I suppose, refused it immediately just reading 'angel' as it's overdone. So I had to come up with a solution for that dilemma. Never really thought about the genie-reference if I'm honest, but I quite like that.

What was your favorite part of writing Candlelight Sinner?

Without a doubt the fight-scenes and the witty banter between Celia and Tom and her and her friends. She's like me: a bit on the cheeky side, never really short of a come back. The fights were interesting, because with the exception of a few small episodes in the first book, I never really wrote supernatural/paranormal scenes. I loved it. 

Who is your favorite character from the book? Why?

Sam. Hands down. He's what lets a girl's heart beat faster: he's got the raw sex-appeal, the charisma, the aura of danger around him. He's damn fit and my Beta readers confirmed he's their favourite man, too. Though Tom's rather gorgeous, as well. Both men combined would be the perfect mix.

Are you normally a fan of romantic comedies with a paranormal twist? What inspired No Wings Attached and Candlelight Sinner?

As far as I know there are no real paranormal romantic comedies out there. Most are romantic comedies, which I adore. Yes, I admit being a fan. I used to watch Charmed when I was younger and loved it. I loved Angel, Buffy and anything the like. But that's often referred to as paranormal or fantasy. It's probably what inspired the books. Although more by accident. The original theme is: angel of wishes falls in love (forbidden) with his client and then things get worse... The sequel has developed from the paranormal theme, though it's still not overpowering the romantic comedy/chick lit theme.

How did you find a cover artist? What direction, if any, did you give when it came to cover design?

Oh, one of my pet hates: cover art. I'm very very lucky to have a very very patient friend who created a few covers for No Wings Attached. It went through so many I was almost ready to have a white cover with a black font and nothing else. This book gave me grief. I had an exact idea, but as I don't know anything about cover art, it didn't work out. Candlelight Sinner, on the other hand, was super easy. I simply adore that cover. It's warm, it's strong and it's just amazing. Sessha Batto is amazingly talented and I owe her a lot.
When readers get hooked on your work, what else can we look forward to from Stella Deleuze?

My aim is to write two books this year; one horror thriller and one I'm calling a sob story. Both powerful books that will be completely different to what I've written so far, but certainly stick with a reader for a while. I'm also working on a themed cook book and I'm editing my literary fiction novel, which I will probably release at some point if I can't find a suitable home (agent/publisher) for it. For those who love my writing: fear not, I've plenty of ideas. But be prepared: I love to surprise.

See? She's awesome!

Stella blogs over at Words by Stella Deleuze.

No Wings Attached is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Candlelight Sinner is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

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