Posted by June Love Aug 8 2013, 12:01 am in Harlequin Desire Release, new releases
Today, I’m honored to host the release of Ruby sister Dani Wade’s HIS BY DESIGN. This is Dani’s first release with Harlequin Desire. One of the perks of hosting a release is getting to read the book. Let me tell you, it is AMAZING. I read the first three chapters and had to force myself to put it down because other duties called. Then, when I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Seriously When I read the end, I looked at the clock and was stunned to see 4:15 a.m. flashing at me. It has been a long time since I’ve stayed up all night reading. I loved that it grabbed me and didn’t let go.
After reading HIS BY DESIGN, I had a few questions for Dani. Before we get to those, here’s a blurb from the book.
He’s her boss. He’ll do what he wants with her
Ziara Divan came from nothing and worked hard to earn her position at Atlanta’s most prestigious bridal fashion house. So when her new boss Sloan Creighton tries to seduce her in a power play, she’s not having it. She won’t climb the corporate ladder right into the boss’s bed…even if he’s irresistible.
Sloan will have his way—in business and in pleasure. He’ll regain control of his father’s company, and he’ll have this woman—not necessarily in that order. But just as his plans fall into place, Ziara’s past threatens to tear them apart at the seams….
ME: Dani, I absolutely loved this story. The characters, the setting, the conflict, the heat…ooh la la. What made you decide on wedding gown designer for your setting? From your vivid description of fabrics and design, I’m wondering what type of design background you have.
DANI: Honestly, none. :) But at the time I was brainstorming this book, my husband had a cousin who interned with a famous designer in New York City. I called to ask her about the design industry and procedures for presenting designs to buyers, and she’s the one who told me there was a wedding gown industry based in Atlanta. I knew Ziara was tactile, sensual, and filled in the details from there.
ME: Wow. I am impressed. I could’ve sworn you were going to say you’d taken some fashion courses. Another area in which you did a fabulous job was characterization. I don’t want get too detailed for obvious spoiler reasons, but Ziara’s conflict tugged at my heartstrings. I wanted to tell her she had no reason to feel ashamed. I felt for her, for what she’d endured and for how far she’d come. Can you give us some insight on what process you used to create your characters?
DANI: I’ve never been a fan of character interviews and such. Over the years, I’ve paired down my character development to 3 things I need before I start writing, the rest I discover as I go.
First, I explore the goals, obstacles, conflicts, and emotional hang-ups of my characters. I don’t care what kind of car they drive YET, I want to dig into their psychy: what do they care about and how does it affect this story?
Then I need (2) a photo (this gives me a visual starting place for picturing them in the scenes, even though it may not be exact), and (3) his and her theme songs. Each of my characters has their own “music” that I listen to in order to slip into their heads. It helps me flesh out their feelings and actions, and reconnect when I have to set the writing aside for things like line edits.
As I said, the rest will flesh out during the actual writing.
ME: I also like to have an image in mind for my characters. I don’t necessarily have theme songs for my characters, but I do listen to a created playlist. I guess in a way, I do choose songs that reflect the emotional aspect of the story.
Being a lover and frequent visitor of Vegas, I loved that aspect of your story. By introducing Patrick, you once again proved you are a master of increasing the stakes. He was the worst possible person for Sloan to involve in his scheme against Vivian. When the story was at the beginning stages, did you know Patrick’s Vegas connection?
DANI: Oddly enough, I’ve never been to Vegas–but it sounds like a really cool place! I knew Patrick would be a costume designer, but I didn’t know where until I saw a segment on a TV show about a hookah lounge in Las Vegas. There’s actually a scene set there that was cut from the final book.
ME: If you ever get the chance, go to Vegas. Not everyone loves it, but you should at least experience it…once. One last question, plotter or pantser?
DANI: Plotter, most definitely. I love to explore the scene possibilities, highs and lows, and how I can wring emotion from my characters — I just do all that at the plotting stage. :) Then I flesh those ideas out during the draft and revision stages. That doesn’t mean the plot never changes, but I just can’t handle the stress of possibly writing myself into a corner and having to cut a chapter or two to fix it!
Congratulations, Dani, on your release! It truly is a wonderful read. I wish for you many, many sales.
Dani Wade astonished her local librarians as a teenager when she carried home ten books every week—and actually read them all. Now she writes her own characters, who clamor for attention in the midst of the chaos that is her life. Residing in the Southern U.S. with a husband, two kids, two dogs and one grumpy cat, she stays busy until she can closet herself away with her characters once more.