Today I'm excited to share an interview I did with USA Today's Best Selling Author Serenity Woods. She is a romance author from New Zealand. Keep reading for a fun interview and information on a FREE Finding Love box set.
Nicolette: First, I would like to say how in awe I am of your backlist. You have quite the library to offer readers. When did you start writing and has it always been your path?
Serenity: I've been writing since I was fifteen and wrote six novels before the advent of digital publishing. Those novels were mainly fantasy, but in 2010 I saw a request by Samhain Publishing for submissions for romance novellas for an anthology. I wrote one (Something Blue) which had ten chapters that covered ten hours of a Kiwi wedding, it was accepted, and I never looked back! Unfortunately Samhain have now closed, but I have the rights to all my eight books back, so I'm gradually republishing them.
Nicolette: I first found you with your Finding Love box set, which contains the first in a series novels, plus a bonus. Tell me a little about the characters you love to write about. Do any of them hop from series to series?
Serenity: Oh yes, all the time! Readers love it when characters cross over, so I'm always having those from my Treats series, for example, pop up in other locations. Many of my stories are set in New Zealand, so it's not too far-fetched that some of them would know each other.
Nicolette: Do you mainly use New Zealand as your novel backdrop? What locations inspire you?
Serenity: Yes, I've been setting most of my stories in New Zealand, especially the sub-tropical Northland, as the warm temperatures lend themselves very nicely to hot & sexy stories! But I've also set stories elsewhere in locations that have inspired me - for example, His Christmas Present is partly set in Prague, which is such a beautiful city, and the cold temperatures provided a great contrast to the sizzling Christmases we have here!
Nicolette: Tell me what inspires you as a writer.
Serenity: I think it was W. Somerset Maughm who said, "I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp." And I'm a great believer in that. I'm the main wage earner in my household, so I can't afford to be airy-fairy about the business - I have to earn a wage to pay the bills. I therefore sit at my desk at seven every morning and, in a few chunks throughout the day, just write. However, we all need a bit of inspiration to keep the creative juices flowing. Coffee and chocolate help! And it doesn't hurt when I have to research photos of sexy guys for my book covers, LOL.
Nicolette: If you had one character that you could write about forever, who would it be and why?
Serenity: What a great question! Rusty from Mr. Sinful - the first in my Heartfelt series - would be my choice. This was an early book of mine, and he was such an evocative hero that he's remained the template for most of my guys all the way through. Strong, sexy, honest, truthful, fun, and gorgeous, of course!
Nicolette: I read that your husband is one of your inspirations for your handsome heroes. Does he read your writing? I’m curious as to his reactions to some of the steamy scenes.
Serenity: Yes, he is definitely the inspiration for all the guys I write about! Especially in terms of their sense of humor - occasionally he'll read snippets of my writing online and say hey, I said that! But no, he doesn't read my novels, mainly because he doesn't read much fiction at all - he's a history teacher, and reads biographies and history books. He knows I write the steamy stuff, though. It makes him laugh :-)
Nicolette: Do you have a favorite author that influences you?
Serenity: I love Nora Roberts, but who doesn't?
Nicolette: For those of us who don’t know too much about New Zealand, do you have a favorite custom or food unique to your home?
Serenity: We are a bicultural community here, and Maori culture forms a big part of our lives. You'll see lots of Maori words in my books, and often I refer to Maori customs or beliefs, like in A Rare Treat - the hero, Stuart, has been married before, and when he travels to Cape Reinga with the heroine, he says a final goodbye to late wife there, because that's where Maori believe the souls of the dead leave the island.
Find Serenity Woods at the links below.
Get her free box set Finding Love.
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/serenitywoods
Barnes & Noble Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/serenity-woods