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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Interview of Author Chantilly White

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author, Chantilly White.

Latest Book: Cupid's Mistake
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Cupids-Mistake-ebook/dp/B00BL8ER72

BIO:
Romance author Chantilly White grew up in southern California, an only child who spent her days acting out favorite scenes from beloved fairytales and reading everything she could get her hands on. Childhood favorites were soon followed by romance novels, which heavily influenced her beliefs about life and love.

Always a storyteller, Chantilly holds a degree in Creative Writing/English Literature from the University of California at Riverside. Now living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three kids and three crazy cats, she is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and several local and online chapters. She serves as Membership Chair for the Evergreen RWA chapter in Everett, Washington.

Chantilly writes romance in a variety of subgenres, including contemporary, historical, paranormal and sports romance. Look for her books anywhere e-books are sold. To learn more about Chantilly, please visit her website at www.ChantillyWhite.com

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The easiest part of the book for me to write is always the beginning. I love that first rush of a new idea, new characters to get to know, new situations to explore. The possibilities are endless, and it's exciting to unwrap each new detail and walk along the path as the story unfolds.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The middle! Definitely. Since I'm a pantser—someone who writes by the seat of her pants rather than to an outline or structured plot—the beginning always flows with shiny-new-story-enthusiasm, and I usually have a decent idea of how the story will end, but the middle is a big blank canvas. Working out how my characters get from point A to The End takes by far the longest, especially if my idea of that middle section differs substantially from the characters' ideas.

I admit it—I used to scoff a little when other authors would say their characters had taken over and were not cooperating with the stories those authors were writing. Until it happened to me in Pearls of Pleasure, that is! I had already written scenes designed for the middle section of that book and had very solid ideas of how I wanted the story to play out. However, David and Gwen, my hero and heroine, absolutely refused to cooperate. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the scenes to work out the way I wanted, because they flatly refused to do what I wanted them to do.

After a lot of pushing and pulling, cajoling and crying, I finally realized that they were right—I was trying to force scenes and behaviors on them that weren't right for who they were as people, not just as puppets acting out scenes in a book. They had really developed and come alive as I was writing, an absolutely amazing feeling, and the scenes I'd written prior to getting deeply into the book didn't work anymore. Once I let go of those preconceived notions, David and Gwen settled back down and the writing flowed much more smoothly.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character in Cupid's Mistake is Ben. I always fall a little in love with my heroes as I write them, and Ben really pulled at my heartstrings. He's been through a lot, and he checked out of life for a while as he learned to cope with his losses. During that time, he also found his calling. When the story starts, he is finally home again and focused on serious topics--putting his plans into motion, getting his life back together. He's not really looking for fun and games, though he is interested in eventually finding a serious relationship. But he wants to move slowly, take his time. There's no rush. He has his agenda to follow. He's totally unprepared for Allison, who just hits him over the head with her fabulousness, LOL. He underestimates her at first. He takes her for a shallow, flighty party girl, but once he gets to know her, he sees beneath her surface persona to the real woman and falls head over heels. He's a gentle giant, great with kids, and not afraid to express his feelings. I love him.

Q: Do all your heroes and heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, not at all! Both heroes and heroines are very individualized in my mind. I will admit I have a thing for dark-haired heroes with blue eyes, though, so that particular combo shows up frequently in my work, but even if the coloring is similar, the man himself is unique. Some are more muscular than others, different heights, different facial features, skin tones, all those sorts of details. Each one has different quirks. But I think their personalities are what really set them apart, from the alpha firefighter to the loveable geek.

Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I have a really bad snacking habit. Since I struggle with my weight, it's one I continually battle, whether I'm writing or not. When I'm really stuck, though, I gravitate toward peanut M-n-M's. They're easy to pop in my mouth while continuing to write, and I can (somewhat) justify them to myself since they have peanuts, and therefore a small amount of protein! I know, it's a weak argument! But normally I prefer the plain ones, so it's a small step up. . .

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I'm a passionate scrapbooker! I love it. I have three kids and a photographer husband, so I have an endless supply of materials! I'm so far behind in my projects, I have no hope of ever actually completing everything, but it's something that both stimulates my creativity and relaxes me at the same time. Because it's both visual and tactile, it's a very different form of artistic expression from writing. I find they compliment each other very well, though. I have been known to create a scrapbook page or collage of important details from a story or of the characters themselves.

Now that we have Pinterest, which is really just an online scrapbook of gargantuan proportions (and a new obsession of mine), it's even easier to create book-related boards for help with visualizing a particular scene, character or detail. I currently have Pinterest boards for my first three published works, Pearls of Passion, Pearls of Wisdom, and Pearls of Pleasure. There are only a few photos on each board to represent the characters and particular details from each book, but I've had fun sharing them with readers, and readers seem to enjoy seeing those visuals, as well.

Tell us where to find you:
Regular Mail:
P.O. Box 11352, Olympia, WA 98508-1352
Website: http://chantillywhite.com/
Blog: http://authorchantillywhite.blogspot.com/
Announce-only Newsletter: http://chantillywhite.com/contact.html#newsletter
Chantilly's Chatter: http://paper.li/ChantillyWhite/1359237937?utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_sub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChantillyWhite
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/FansofChantillyWhite
Twitter @ChantillyWhite
https://twitter.com/#!/ChantillyWhite
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5779976.Chantilly_White
Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/ChantillyWhite
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chantilly-White/e/B007JDAHPY
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ChantillyWhite/
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/chantillywhite
Romance Books '4' Us: http://www.romancebooks4us.comRomance%20Author%20Chantilly%20White.html

BLURB:
Party-girl Allison Kelly has it all—great friends, a flourishing business, and an active sex life. She's beautiful, busy and blissfully fulfilled, with no time or inclination for a relationship. Sure, she suffers the occasional twinge of loneliness. Who doesn't? But if her latest boy-toy is unavailable, there's always another one at her friend's dating service, Cupid's Cavalry.

Life has been anything but a party for Benjamin Turner. Orphaned at fifteen, widowed at twenty-three, he traveled the world on self-imposed exile, but he couldn't outrun the loneliness eating away his soul. Finally home again, he's dedicated to serious endeavors—ending world hunger, providing clean water—not partying. But he's also ready to give life and love another chance. It's Cupid's Cavalry to the rescue. Maybe.

He's looking for stability. She wants a good time. Will Cupid's arrow find its mark this Valentine's Day, or will their pairing prove to be Cupid's biggest mistake?

EXCERPT:
The woman came in like a whirlwind, rustling the thick green leaves of multiple potted and hanging plants near the front door of the restaurant. Chattering to the maître d' and unwinding a long, bright scarf from around her neck with one hand, she texted speedily with the other, hardly looking at the screen.

That hair. Wild copper curls cascaded almost to her waist, shot through with strands of pure gold. Ben knew her instantly, even before she turned around. The meaning of Sally's smirky grin as she'd sent his mystery date's email confirmation suddenly became clear.

Tall, slim, impossibly sexy in painted-on black jeans and high-heeled boots, she hustled toward his table, her head now bent over the cell phone in her hand, a slight frown marring her perfect complexion. She caught the edge of her full bottom lip between brilliantly white teeth, and he cursed the unwelcome bump in his pulse.

It was Sally's neighbor from New Year's Eve. The Princess.

Great.

*****

Allison navigated the tables without looking up from her phone, sacrificing her usual flair for making an entrance in the interest of closing out her business for the day. She hated running behind.

"I'm so sorry I'm late—" double-damned Orange County traffic "—just give me one moment."

Depositing her coat, scarf and handbag on the chair next to the one she dropped herself into, and finishing up a strongly-worded text to the baker bitch, Allison tossed the phone into her bag, turned emphatically off. She didn't want even a silent vibration interrupting what promised to be a pleasant lunch with a handsome man.

"Whew!" she said, giving her hair a quick fluff. "There."

Turning on her most brilliant smile, she finally looked up. And found herself skewered by a pair of the most intensely-green eyes she'd ever seen. Her breath stopped mid-inhale. The only thought in her head was, "Well, damn it, I'm not ready for you," even as her heart sighed, "There you are," as though the man sitting across from her was the critical missing piece in the puzzle of her life.

Which was just ridiculous. There was nothing missing from her life. Nothing. But. . .

Oh, boy.

The man had half-risen out of his seat, as though he'd intended to pull her chair out for her but hadn't gotten the chance. Wow, he was huge. Had she read that in his profile? She dated a lot of tall men—she preferred them, since she was so tall herself—and it was hard to gauge his full height behind the table, but he might be one of the tallest she'd been out with in a while. Every inch of him radiated a dangerous sort of sophistication. He wasn't Wall Street by any stretch, but he could probably chew up a suit or three for breakfast, then play a round of golf with the fourth.

A little snap of sexual heat sizzled across her pulse points. She resisted licking her lips.

He sat again, those incredible eyes narrowed and glued to hers. There was something familiar about him, something. . . She couldn't put her finger on it. It was probably just his Cupid's Cavalry membership photo tripping her up, but his expression was definitely off. He didn't look remotely happy to see her. Men were always happy to see her.

How odd.


Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for having me, Marianne!

If you enjoyed this little taste of , be sure to check out Chantilly White's website at http://chantillywhite.com/ for buy links, or visit your preferred e-book seller to grab a copy today!

19 comments:

Melissa Keir said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. I agree...sometimes that middle is so challenging. The characters are not cooperating or some new story is pushing in my head. :)

Best of luck with your book!

Melissa

Sandy said...

Great interview! I always enjoy reading about fellow authors. Interesting how there are so many parallels in our lives. Thanks for sharing!!!

Nicole Morgan said...

Fantastic interview! Thanks for sharing with us Chantilly! I love your cover. The colors and font really work well with the title!

And I totally agree with the challenges of getting over certain humps in the hills of story telling. ;)

Cara Marsi said...

Chantilly, I enjoyed getting to know you a little more. I also hate writing the dreaded middle. I love the backgrounds you have for your characters in Cupid's Mistake. Good interview.

Chantilly White said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by today, and thank you, Marianne, for having me!

I wish I knew a way around those middles. If you guys have any tips or tricks for getting through them, please share! :) Sometimes I write out of order to help figure out what needs to happen in that section. I'll write the ending and then work backwards.

Thank you for the compliments on my cover! I really love this one.

Sandy, I agree--I love reading about fellow authors and seeing those parallels. I'm a big believer in finding your tribe. I don't know what I would do without the support and camaraderie of the writer community!

:)
Chantilly

Lace Daltyn said...

Cupid's Mistake sounds great. I'm guessing a few sparks fly in that story. :) Having read Pearls of Pleasure and loved it, I think I need to pick up another Chantilly White story.

Gail Harkins said...

Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing this dynamic bit of your book.You have a keen eye for details -- especially at the emotional level.

Anonymous said...

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Jami Davenport said...

Chantilly, This book sounds fabulous. I'm going to pick it up right now.

Chantilly White said...

Hi, Lace, Gail and Jami! Thanks so much for your comments and for stopping by!

Anon: thanks for the heads up--not sure what might be causing that, but will check it out.

:)
Chantilly

Lavada Dee said...

Wow, great excerpt. I'm behind in reading but am about working on it and Love these Pearl stories.

Lori Lyn said...

Okay, after all that great teasing, I'm going to have to read it especially since I bought it when it first came out! Sounds like it'll be my new Chantilly White favorite. ;)

Tamara Hunter said...

I'm glad I stopped by for the interview. I love reading about other authors' writing processes. I love the excerpt and the cover is amazing!

Chantilly White said...

Hi, Lavada, Lori and Tamara! Thanks! You guys are so sweet. My favorite thing about doing interviews is meeting new people through the comments and seeing friends sprinkled in there, too. Thanks for coming by!

Thanks again to everyone who stopped over, and to Marianne for hosting me. This was a fun interview to do, and I appreciate the opportunity to connect with everyone here.

:)
Chantilly

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Jacquie Rogers said...

Newsflash for Chantilly: even if you're a plotter, the characters don't always cooperate. Consider it a bonus--when your characters actually come alive, that's good writing. :)

Chantilly White said...

[{{{{HUGS}}}}} Jacquie! :)

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