Saturday, November 16, 2013
Interview of Author Dawn Atkins
Latest Book: TWO CAN PLAY
Barnes and Noble
Award-winning contemporary romance author Dawn Atkins has published over two dozen romances since 1998--first for Kensington, then for Harlequin Temptation, Blaze and SuperRomance. She writes spicy romantic comedy and romantic suspense. Critics call her books “fresh, fast-paced, believable, sexy and tender, with surprising twists and turns and plenty of suspense.”
A several-times “best of” finalist with Romantic Times Book Club,” Atkins received the Golden Quill for best sexy romance, among other honors. A former teacher, PR specialist and trade-journal writer/editor, Dawn lives in Arizona with her husband, beloved cat, and their son, a college student.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: The first thing I did when Brenda Chin at Harlequin called to tell me I’d sold to Duets was…HANG UP ON HER! I’m not kidding! Well, first I started to shriek, but I got so excited that I dropped the phone (I was at work) and when I picked it up…dial tone. OMG. I was so embarrassed, but when she called me back, she was laughing. Later, she told me she “ate out on that story” a lot.
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: It’s not the part…it’s the draft. The first two drafts are scary and make me breathless with trepidation and doubt. The easiest draft is the final polish, after I’ve incorporated all my revisions and critiquer notes and feel confident that I know the story cold.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The first draft…because I don’t know the characters very well and I’m fumbling around in the dark, not quite sure my idea will work or I can ever get these two characters together in any kind of meaningful way. I feel like Wile E. Coyote once I get going…I try never to look down.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character is Rena Novo, the main character, the rising star in Real Life Lounge, a cult-like group of employees who work for a popular gaming company. She’s determined, kick-ass, covering her doubts with action, getting past her childhood hurts by being the best Lifer she can be…until she meets Gage Stone, who makes her question everything. Now, if I were a reader, I’d have to say that Gage is my favorite character. He’s yummy and sexy and strong, but sensitive, and he drives a vintage motorcycle. Mmmm.
Q: What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I love to read, watch movies and (good) TV, play casual video games--currently obsessed with Plants vs. Zombies 2 (OMG that’s a great game…and it’s free!), and spend time with friends.
Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: Readers say that I create down-to-earth characters, that my dialogue is strong, and I use humor well. There have been a few raves about my love scenes, too.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Web site: http://www.blogger.com/www.dawnatkins.com
"Woot! Strap yourself in for a fast paced thrill ride with TWO CAN PLAY by Dawn Atkins. I could not put it down! Rena Novo is a refreshingly strong heroine matched perfectly by her handsome counterpart Gage Stone. The heat that ignites between these two while they try to solve their own personal quests positively scorches. This is a do not miss!”—Jenn McKinlay, New York Times bestselling mystery author
Live. Breath. And Believe—to Rena Novo there’s nothing better than being a part of the most popular virtual-reality game—EverLife…until she’s given a Quest to evict her best friend from the society she’s come to love. If she completes the job—she’ll rise to the top, but a sexy recruit is stirring a different kind of passion within her and making her question everything that makes her life complete.
Hunting for his missing sister, investigative reporter Gage Stone goes undercover in the gaming cult that’s taken over his sister’s life. But his biggest obstacle is the sizzling attraction between he and Rena, the extremely hot gamer assigned as his trainer. As their attraction builds, Gage realizes his sister isn’t the only one he can’t leave without. Now he must convince Rena the rhetoric the company’s pushing is just a plot that will culminate in the deaths of hundreds… before she turns him in and gets them all killed.
He wanted her--he was a man with a pulse, for God’s sake, of course he wanted her--but he had to do what was smart.
He dragged his gaze away, cleared his throat and looked around. “You’ve got some pricey stuff in here. God help him, he found himself staring at the bed again.
“I go after what I want,” she said, low and sexy, her eyes glowing hotter than ever.
She smelled sweet…edible. Was it coconut? Maybe just a taste.
“And what is it you want?” he asked, telling her he wanted it, too with a tone that registered in her eyes like the flick of a gauge needle.
She hesitated, stepped back, on guard. “It’s more important what you want, Gage. Why are you here? In Lounge Life?”
His answer counted big, he knew. “I’m a gamer. I needed a job.” What would a true believer say? “I like what’s here. It’s like a family.”
“You don’t have one already?” Her eyes glittered with suspicion.
“Not really.” His sister Beth was all he had and she was missing. That was his real reason to be here.
“Lifers are my family,” Rena said, emotions rippling beneath her words, like muscles under an animal’s pelt.
Their gazes locked and the connection went abruptly personal. He saw a lonely little girl behind her eyes and she, no doubt, caught a flicker of the grim kid he’d been.
The past reeked, but it was gone.
An electric thread sizzled between them. “What I want is right here.” He looked her up and down, wanting in, letting her see that. He liked the spark in her eye, the challenge in her half-smile, not to mention that tight, strong body of hers—everything in the right place and then some. He was pretty sure it was her hair that smelled of coconut. “How about you?”
She moved grabbed his belt and tugged, telling him all he needed to know.
Anything you’d like to add?
Yes, I also have a book out from Harlequin SuperRomance called ADVENTURES IN PARENTHOOD. You can read about it and get buy links at my website. It’s a tender, fun story, I think.