Get ready folks, Desiree Holt--erotica author extraordinaire--has provided some insight to her writing habits and her writing career. All I can say is I want to move in with her. Hot doctors, former Army Ranger firearms instructors and she's surrounded by cowboys! Holy smokes! Life is plum boring here in Booger County. It's time to pack my bags, load up my cats, dog, rabbits, chickens, ducks and donkeys and head 'em out to Texas!!
Okay, that might not be possible, but I'm certainly going to be reading her books!
How did you start your writing career?
Almost by accident, at least as far as romance novels are concerned. I’d always read straight mysteries and thrillers and I was sure that was what I’d write when I finally sat down to do it. But although I had a plot and characters and all the necessary pieces, after two months I only had three chapters written. Then I read a romantic suspense that I ordered by mistake and I was off to the races.
Tell us about your latest release.
Soul Dreams was released December 19th. I absolutely loved writing it. It’s a takeoff on Beauty and the Beast and it practically wrote itself. It’s the story of a man nursing his physical wounds and a woman nursing her emotional ones and what finally brings them together. I hated to end the story. I hope everyone will love Blake and Nina as much as I do.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I write during the day, usually late morning until late afternoon. Unless of course I’m on a deadline. Of course, that gets interrupted when the cats want their scheduled snacks. They remind me they come first.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Getting started. I kid you not. I can have the plot, the character profiles, everything I need, but writing that first chapter is a killer. I want to grab the reader but not choke him or her. I want to get the necessary background in but can’t stand an info dump and I try to remind myself I’m not writing a textbook. Then I worry if I made my characters likeable on the first page or turned the reader off. Did I set the stage properly. It’s like preparing a new dish every time and hoping that first bite will please the palate so you finish the whole thing.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
Most of my heroes are based on real people, at least in part. Guys who have left a real impression on me, so I want to put them in a book. I even based one character after my doctor. I signed the cover for him and he has it in his office! Another person who’s been the basis for most of the heroes in my Phoenix agency series is my handgun instructor. He’s a former Army Ranger and just makes you want to drool. Then, of course, I’m surrounded by cowboys so I can take my pick! And many of my heroines are drawn after women I’ve met, some of them even based on parts of me. The problem with that, of course, is then everyone keeps asking when it’s their turn to be in a book. Plots usually show up almost fully formed after I create my characters (I like to say I write relationship stories). However, I have one book that started with nothing but one line that I was determined to build a plot around.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read and watch football. Too bad it’s only on for six months of the year.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
Oh, yeah. I sometimes struggle over my character’s names. I don’t like to use names that are so obviously contrived that people say, I can’t imagine anyone with that name. I don’t like names that sound too fake. And I like them to reflect the personality of the character, so the reader can say, Oh, yeah, I can see her as Riley/Jinx/Corey or him as Cade/Jake/Sam. I also don't like the names to be too perfect because, after all, people aren’t perfect, right? (Except me, of course! LOL!)
Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Frustrating, stressful, rewarding.
Entice us, what future projects are you considering?
I have several series that are doing extremely well that aren’t finished. The Phoenix Agency revolves a round five partners, all ex-military who are into security training and covert ops. Books 6 and 7 are on the list. Night Seekers, my series about a team of shifters hunting the legendary Chupacabra, is only halfway finished. Rawhide, my Cowboy Kink series for The Wild Rose Press, has four more novellas on the drawing board. And I’m working on Aftershock, the sequel to Holt Medallion-winner Joy Ride. Oh, and two more books in my Naked Cowboys series for Samhain.
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?
Hands down Grace Delaney in Rodeo Heat. She’s a woman who, widowed young with two children, buttoned up her life and soldiered on to raise her children. But her life has been empty of romance and relationships. Then she gets dragged to the rodeo by her friend and meets Ben Lovell, hot rodeo rider ten years her junior but years older in living. The attraction is immediate and intense and through the pages of the books he takes her on a journey of sexual awakening and self-realization that changes her life. I so wanted to be Grace while I was writing this.