#Published #Author, #Zari Reede, #dog lover, adventurist, sun worshiper, #champagne connoisseur, #Harley rider, nomadic traveler , day dreamer
Race for the Sunby Minette LaurenPublish: Dec 08, 2018Contemporary Romance Paranormal Romance
Cupcakes and Kisses (Hot in Magnolia Book 1)by Minette LaurenPublish: Dec 02, 2019Contemporary Romance
I miss the innocence of being a child. I often walked the railroad trestles to my best friends house, sipping on honeysuckle flowers along the way. The fear of walking alone didn’t exist back then. It was only a short mile or two, but I can’t imagine letting a young child go free like that now. Today I am hyper aware of my surroundings.
I’ve loved writing my whole life, but I didn’t start writing novels until I was twenty-two. I wrote a 100,000-word historical romance that was immediately rejected, and I didn’t send off anything for a long time after that. I wish I hadn’t given up so quickly. I would’ve been published sooner.How did the movie, Gone with the Wind inspire you to pick up a pencil and write? How was your experience of composing a play in one act about the love of Seth and Beth?
I was only in the second grade when I wrote the play for a school project. I was in love with romance even back then. I identified with Margret Mitchell’s strong characters because of my independent mother, aunt and grandmother. The movie is rather adult for a second grader, but I watched it every time it came on television. My parents teased me about the melodramatic story line of my play, but I think they were impressed. That encouraged me to write, though not seriously until much later.What made you decide to co-write with good friend Zoe Tasia? Why did you choose to write under the pen name, Zari Reede?
I was writing Race for the Sun while my sister was in the hospital for months. My friend Zoe asked what I was doing, and I told her I was writing. She was feeling uninspired, so I asked her to do a writing exercise with me. It took a few days of convincing, but Zoe finally played along. That exercise turned into Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy Boots, and we have just published our third novel. We are currently writing our sixth.
Zari came from Zoe’s character name, that we both liked and agreed to use. Freed was a name my sister wanted to use as her pseudonym. Freed, Reede/read. We liked the sound.Why did you choose to write romance? Do you take inspiration for your books from your own love story with your loving husband?
I think everyone secretly longs for a good romance. Even mystery, sci-fi and fantasy stories often have romantic hues. I like to read all genres, but when I write, my heart takes over. Being raised in an all-girl family, we watched chick flicks and read Harlequin Romances to pass the summers.
My hubby is great inspiration for writing the perfect mate. He is a selfless, team player and always puts me first. He loves to take us to exotic places for romantic getaways, and every morning he kisses me before leaving for work.How did you get started with The Soul Watcher Series? What was the inspiration behind "Race for the Sun?"
My sister had Type-1 diabetes. She needed a kidney and was finally hospitalized for a stroke and an infection in her foot. I spent over a year visiting her in the hospital. The situation was grim. It made me think about death and what happens after we die. I imagined the story completely different. Race for the Sun was not the story I intended to write. I think the second book might be closer to my first idea. I’m a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants, so my characters have a mind of their own, and I rarely have any say in it.How was your experience of having a fabulous release party for your books with Book People? How important do you think are such events in order to stay connected with your audience?
I thought seeing myself in USA Today’s HEA column was the best ever, but standing under the marquis with my name in lights at Book People was a true high. We sold out of Sin of the Sister, our Zari Reede book, and there were only a few copies left of Race for the Sun. I think it’s important to celebrate your work. Every book you write should have at least a small celebration with family and friends to make the moment special. Selling those books to readers on your special night is a great way to jumpstart your success.What is one of the most difficult tasks involved with writing Romance? What are some elements you consider when figuring out a book title of a romantic story?
Building likable characters that have enough conflict to keep the reader’s interest. It’s a great idea to enter new works in literary contest or hand them off to beta readers for feedback. We were told that our heroine from Daisy Duke’s wasn’t likeable and that she was flawed. We loved hearing that, because that’s the way we wanted her. People aren’t perfect, and I sometimes like to show that in my/our books.
I think it’s difficult to choose a title, but almost always, the book tells you what it wants to be called. In Race for the Sun, the title is mentioned in the first chapter. The name, Soledad, means lady of solitude, but later in the story the nickname, Sole, is used. Sole/Sun... The book is about two women’s journeys to find themselves.How much do you enjoy Opera? What else do you do on weekends?
I had only seen one Opera before meeting my husband. He has taken me to many since. We keep season tickets in Houston, and he has taken us to Vienna, Calgary, and Santa Fe for amazing performances. I fell in love with opera when I saw Madame Butterfly in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I cried for thirty minutes after the opera was over. It was quite unbecoming, but I was overwhelmed with emotion. I have seen it several times since, without the floodgates opening, but I will never forget that special performance against the backdrop of the setting sun. SantaFe is an open-air theater.
Like my character, Ally, I like to ride my Harley through the hill country, and I snow ski as much as I can during the winter months. My husband is from Athens, Greece, so we travel there at least once a year. We like to explore the world and visit old ruins, castles, museums. On a daily basis, I have an entourage of pets that keep me busy.Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels? How many more books are you planning to add to The Soul Watcher Series?
I’ve never written a series before, so this could be interesting! I have already worked out the titles and storylines in my head. I never have a hard time thinking up what to write. Having the time to write it is my usual problem. Currently, I’m finishing up a humorous romance, which has delayed subsequent books. Losing our house to Hurricane Harvey slowed my writing pace to a crawl. I have three books planned, but I see no limit if fans like the guardian angel stories.Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audiobook?
I have wanted to turn the story into an audiobook for several reasons. One, I have a younger sister with special needs. She can’t read but loves audio books. Two, I love listening to books when I drive or do household chores. People are so busy today, that audiobooks are a great way to catch up on reading. I don’t want those busy readers to miss out on my story.We’ve just started a new year and I’ve seen lots of posts about new years’ resolutions. Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year?
Being a busy author, I have lots of projects that demand my attention, and I have all of those on my list to finish this year. Number one is to always find quality time to spend with my husband. I actually have it in writing!Who inspired the character of Soledad? How did you get the idea to write about the spiritual journey over many lifetimes of Soledad?
I think Soledad is a little bit like me. I believe I’m an old soul, and I’m not sure I always get things right. Life is a learning process and when we do things right, we reap the rewards. Some things in life aren’t fair, and using Soledad’s world, I explain why bad things happen to good people.What was the most challenging experience on your road to becoming an author? What advicedo you have for newbie authors who might encounter the same challenges?
I received a few rejection letters early on, and I let that delay my inspiration to continue those stories. I even quit writing for years at a time. I wish I hadn’t let that discourage me. I would tell new writers to never give up. Rejection can be a good thing, telling you that the project isn’t quite ready. Keep working on the story and it will be ready eventually.Which is the next book you are writing? When do you plan to publish it?
I have a time travel romance coming out next. I should hear from the editor any day now. Zari Reede has a paranormal-mystery-romance ready. We plan to release this year.From where did you hear about AllAuthor? How has your experience with us been?
I heard about AllAuthor through Twitter and other author friends who competed in the cover contest.
The experience has been great. I love the mark-up banners and opportunities to show my cover’s to interested readers.
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