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Saturday, May 10, 2014

An Interview With Award Winning Author Eileen Dreyer



Please welcome our guest for today, Eileen Dreyer, an award winning author of both romance and suspense. Eileen, thank you for coming and answering some questions for RB4U and our readers.

NOTE: For more information about Eileen and her books, visit her author page at: http://www.romancebooks4us.com.
1 - HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WRITING?
I actually began writing when I was ten. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew, and reading every book I could find. And then I learned my first terrible lesson in publishing. When I went into the library, I found out that I had read every Nancy Drew published, and that the next one wouldn't be out for....(gasp!) a year! I was devastated. I mean, a year! And then, the light seriously went on over my head and I thought, “Wait. I can write my own stories. And even better (Publishing lesson #2) I can make them turn out the way I want them to.”
For the next few years, I wrote just for me. Then, in seventh grade, I learned lesson #3. If I wrote exciting stories starring fellow classmates paired off with famous people(like rock stars or actors), every morning there would be someone looking for me to find out what had happened the night before.
I continued to write for myself until I went into nursing school. I had this odd idea that it was an immature pastime. It wasn't until I was married, that my husband talked me into going back to it. He asked why I'd stopped, and I tried to tell him that I was using all my time being a good nurse and wife. And he uttered the most fateful words he has in 40 years of marriage. “Honey, nobody cares how the house looks.” (I have to remind him of that often).
A few years later, I was finding myself standing out on the hospital parking lot of the ER where I worked with friends saying, “There's got to be something better than this.” And one friend challenged us both to publish a book. She was a romance reader and knew we could be a success. I guess I can never resist a challenge. I'm working on my 39th book, and my friend never finished her first.
2 - WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE GENRE(S) YOU WRITER IN...OR IT CHOOSE YOU?
I agree with Jayne Ann Krentz when she calls genres our old mythologies retold. I think that when we tell genre stories, it is to comfort ourselves in reinforcing our belief in something. In mystery/ suspense, it's justice. Not necessarily legal justice, but justice all the same. With romance, it's hope. We women tell each other that we are safe to bring the next generation into the world.
After working in trauma nursing for seventeen years, I needed to remind myself that both of those things can still exist in this world. As long as I worked the ER, I only wrote romance. There were days it was the only way I could have good things happen to good people. Not only that, I've been able to reinforce my beliefs on a woman's role, not only in a relationship, but in her life.
And then, when I retired and was able to write the suspenses I wanted, I was able to make sure that the bad guys got it and the good guys triumphed(okay, and I killed of everybody who annoyed me when I worked).
3 - WHAT IS THE ADVENTUROUS THING YOU’VE EVER DONE TO RESEARCH A BOOK?
That's easy. For my suspense novel WITH A VENGEANCE, I took the training to be a medic on a SWAT team. It was an amazing week. Dressed in camouflage, I joined 35 other people, most of them young paramedics, firefighters and police for a week at an army base in Minnesota in the dead of summer to do team-building, rescue and SWAT team training.
My 45th birthday present to myself was that I survived. There's a lot of stress running into a completely blacked-out building with strobes flashing, gunfire simulation, and AC/DC cranked full volume to simulate sensory overload to try to rescue a downed officer, treating him there on the scene(which included simulated tracheotomies and IVs) and then getting him out. I crawled around on floors, climbed walls, jumped out windows and got gassed and flash-banged.
My proudest moment was when we trained in hostage negotiations, so we could help the negotiators with medical issues. After we did role-playing, the trainer pulled me aside and said that he'd been a negotiator for 30 years, and teaching for 20, and that I should be a hostage negotiator. “Honey,” I said. “I am the mother of teenage children. I AM a hostage negotiator. The only difference is that if I can't get the little buggers to agree with me, I can't shoot them.”
4 - WHAT IS YOUR WRITING ROUTINE? HOW MANY HOURS A DAY TO YOU SPEND WRITING?
My routine doesn't look like a routine to anybody else on the planet. I don't really write outlines. I'm not that linear. My proposals tend to have character thumbnails, the location and conflict and a sticky note in the middle that says “Somehow they find out who the bad guy is” and “Warning: Incidents are liable to change without notice.” I know what the book is in my head, but the minute I try to write it down as an outline, I hit the figurative wall. The only way I find out is to actually write the story in order.
As for doing the actual writing, I'm what we lovingly call a 'binge-and-purge writer'. I work on the scenes in my head for days and then sit down and spill them onto a screen. For a week I'll be found wandering around glaring at everybody and talking to myself. Then, suddenly, I sit down and...purge. It's not unknown for me to write three chapters in a day or two.
I usually get up late in the morning and try to do business during the day, along with research and household stuff. You know, the stuff that has to be done while stores, banks and editorial offices are open. Then I usually break for dinner and some time with my husband, and go back to work after watching The Daily Show. Depending on where I am in the book, I'll work until 3-6 in the morning. I'm a beast about research, but that happens as I'm doing the book, or I'll research the next book while I'm working on the current one. The book I just finished, TWICE TEMPTED, involves astronomy as it was in 1815. I did that research while I was writing the preceding book in the series, ONCE A RAKE. Then I did the more specific research (Where were Caroline and William Herschel during the fall of 1815?) as I wrote and the question came up.
5 - IF YOU COULD MENTOR A BEGINNING WRITER, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR 3 OR 4 KEY POINTS OF ADVICE?
Ooh, there are so many. Here are a few.
Find a writing family, be it organization like RWA or SIC or SFW, a writing class, or just friends you know who write. Writing is not only an isolated occupation, it is one that no one who isn't a writer can understand. I've been married for 40 years to my best friend, and he still has trouble figuring out what I do during the day. In fact, one day he came home and asked what I'd done that day. 'And I was so excited. “I figured out why the bad guy did what he did!”
            He smiled. “What else did you do?”
            I wasn't smiling. “That took me six weeks!!”
            I of course went in to call my critique partner, who answered with, “Great! Let's have a drink!”
Mind you, in my husband's defense, he tracked me down later and apologized. “I said the wrong thing, didn't I?”
No matter how much people love you, they have trouble figuring out how to define the parameters, the worth, the needs of your job. So it's harder to demand what you need to commit to your career. We need other writers to help bolster our commitment.
Two other things it offers. First, networking. Writers are the only ones who are going to share real information about publishing. And I have to tell you that writers are among the most generous people I've ever known, especially romance writers.
Find thee a critic.  Have someone read your work who doesn't love your or rely on you for food. The hardest thing to do is finish your first manuscript. The second is to give it to your first stranger.
Critique partners or critic groups count. Find out what works best for you. Some people like one person, some a group. I've always worked with one person. But get another eye on your work. It saves a lot of time in learning to convey exactly what you mean to. A suggestion along those lines is that when I get a critique, even from an editor(espcially from an editor), I maintain a strict 48 hour Biological Sulk Period, during which I separate myself from the critic so I can call them every name I can think so, whine about how they don't understand me or my brilliance, and generally stomp around the house. Amazingly enough, right at about 48 hours, my brain suddenly goes, “But if I do this, maybe they'll understand it better...” It's okay to be mad that somebody doesn't understand/appreciate/care for what you've written. But you never. EVER. Act out to that person, because the editorial pool is small and memories long.
Criticism. When receiving criticism, whether through a partner, a group, a contest or a teacher, always carefully consider what they're saying. BUT. Always remember that every one of us has a different point of view about writing, fiction, the world, and what is entertaining. It's called our voice. And your voice is no less valuable than anyone else's.
Listen to what they say, but always filter it through what you want to do, how you see the story and characters and conflict. If it doesn't serve your story, then don't use it. I have bought back two of my books because in the end I disagreed too much with the editorial policy of the house. It was very amicable both times. But the name on your book isn't the critique partner's, or the editor's or the teacher's. It's yours. It's your vision, your story, your responsibility. Find out how to balance valid criticism with what you are trying to do.
Publishing. We're fast moving into an age where self-publishing is going to make up the majority of publishing. It's a new age with new rules, opportunities and pitfalls. And one of the biggest pitfall, at least if some of the self-pubs I've read are any indication, is lack of editing.
First, there are people who believe they don't need an editor of any kind. They are wrong. A good editor is a gift from God. I always think of it this way. When we write, we're up to our necks in a swamp. We have no objectivity of scope. The editor is sitting up in the trees pointing and warning, “Alligator....alligator....alligator.” In fact, if there's a problem with my manuscript, the message line from my editor is just “Alligators.”
Never forfeit that gift. Never believe that you can write the perfect, tightest, most powerful book on your own. Every author needs somebody else with publishing experience to evaluate it. Somebody with chops. There are a lot of editors out there. (another benefit of that networking you get with a writer's group. Somebody will know a good editor who is free-lancing).
“But I have a critique group,” you say.
Indeed you do. But none of them are professional editors. Take that next step. Give your work the respect to demand the most from it. And then, and I can't emphasize this enough, build some downtime into your process. Put the manuscript away for one to two months minimum at least once during the editing process. One of the greatest benefits of traditional publishing is that there are gaps built into the process that allow you time and distance from your book at least once, often twice during the publishing process. That time is vital. Let me repeat that. That time is vital. I'm seeing too many people say, “I'll finish the book Tuesday and have it on line Wednesday.” And it's obvious that that is what happened. That final look is like the final tailoring on a designer gown. It reveals your professionalism.
Until now, one of the publisher's jobs was to be the gatekeeper for the reading public. Just the fact that a book had made it through a publisher's submission process lets us know that the book's quality reaches a certain level. Now, anybody and their sister can put a book up. How, then do we as readers choose? Tailoring.
Let me give you an example. I actually buy artwork from Amazon. There are some really excellent young artists who make a name on Amazon before going out into the real market, and I've gotten some great deals. But I've had to page past acres and acres of really bad unicorn paintings and almost good goldfish and amateurish-but-sincere sunsets. The same will now hold true for self-pubbed books. People will learn to be surgical in their selection process. They might use Goodreads or Amazon reviews, or they might check out the first few pages before buying. But I will tell you that if they see a sloppy manuscript(and I'm not just speaking of grammar and punctuation, but storytelling), they won't spend the money. Period. And if they get burned, they won't come back.
So, yeah. Patience is a virtue. The readers will still be out there if you wait a few months, and I guarantee you that you'll put out a better product.
6 - IF I WAS A FIRST TIME READER OF YOUR BOOKS, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND I START WITH AND WHY?
Well, that depends on whether you're interested in suspense or romance. For romance, since I'm writing historical romantic adventure, and for the first time in my life caught in a series, I'd suggest you begin with BARELY A LADY, the first of my Drake's Rakes series that opens the night before the Battle of Waterloo. It introduces the three women who star in the first three books as they meet under the medical tents in Brussels, and tells the story of Olivia Gracechurch, who discovers her estranged husband on the battlefield dressed in an enemy uniform and suffering from amnesia. Nefarious spies are involved, and the Rakes are introduced, a group of aristocratic gentlemen who fight the wars against Britain from inside sitting rooms and gentlemen's clubs.
If you enjoy suspense more, all of my suspenses are available on line, and five of them by print on demand (the details are on my website eileendreyer.com). These are all stand-alone books that star(oddly enough) trauma nurses, most of whom are also forensic nurses, a new sub-specialty in medicine and forensics. One of my sentimental favorites is A MAN TO DIE FOR, in which Casey McDonough faces off with a psychopathic, serial-killing...gynecologist. There is humor(one editor called my suspenses the funniest serial-killer books you'll ever read) (I'm still not sure how to take that), there are chills, there are some home truths about medicine, forensics and people.
ONCE A ROGUE
By
Eileen Dreyer



BLURB

All he wants is her help...
Colonel Ian Ferguson may be a rake, but he’s no traitor. Accused of trying to kill the Duke of Wellington, the disgraced officer is now a fugitive—from the law, the army, and the cunning assassin who hunts him. Wounded and miles from his allies, Ian finds himself at the mercy of an impoverished country wife. The spirited woman is achingly beautiful...and hiding some dangerous secrets of her own.

All she needs is his heart...
She was a child nobody wanted. Now for Lady Sarah Clarke, holding on to her vanished husband’s crumbling farm is her final chance to earn respectability. She knows hiding the devastatingly handsome, yet outlaw, Scotsman in her barn will jeopardize her home—and common sense demands that she turn him in. But a single, delirious kiss soon shatters her resolve...and awakens a passion that neither of them can escape.

EXCERPT

     Sarah might have thought no more of the matter if the men hadn’t ridden up. She was just shoving the chicken coop door closed when she heard horses approaching over the rise from the Pinhay Road. Looking that way, she sighed. Now what?

     Giving up the idea that she would eat anytime soon, she gave the coop a final kick and strode off toward the approaching riders. She was just passing the old dairy when she caught movement out the corner of her eye. A shadow, nothing more, by the back wall. But a big shadow. One that seemed to be sitting on the ground, with long legs and shoulders the size of a Yule log.

     It didn’t even occur to her that it could be anyone but her benefactor. She was about to call to him when the riders crested the hill and she recognized their leader.

     “Oh, no,” she muttered, her heart sinking straight to her half-boots. This was not the time to betray the existence of the man who had saved her pig. She closed her mouth and walked straight past.

     There were six riders in all, four of them dressed in the motley remnants of their old regiments. Foot soldiers, by the way they rode. Not very good ones, if the company they kept was any indication. Ragged, scruffy, and slouching, rifles slung over their shoulders and knives in their boots.

     Sarah might have dismissed them as unimportant if they had been led by anyone but her husband’s cousin, Martin Clarke. She knew better than to think Martin wished her well. Martin wished her to the devil, just as she wished him.

     A thin, middling man with sparse sandy hair and bulging eyes, Martin had the harried, petulant air of an ineffectual law clerk. Sarah knew better. Martin was as ineffectual as the tides.
Just as Sarah knew he would, he trotted past the great front door and toward the outbuildings where he knew he could find her at this time of day. She stood where she was, egg pail in hand, striving for calm. Martin was appearing far too frequently lately.

     Damn you, Boswell, she thought, long since worn past propriety. How could you have left me to face this alone?

     “Martin,” she greeted Boswell’s cousin as he pulled his horse to a skidding halt within feet of her. She felt sorry for the horse, a short-boned bay that bore the scars of Martin’s spurs.

     “Sarah,” Martin snapped in a curiously deep voice.

     He did not bow or tip his hat. Martin knew exactly what she was due and wasn’t about to let her forget it. Sarah wished she had at least had the chance to tidy her hair before facing off with him. She hated feeling at a disadvantage.
     
     “Lady Clarke,” the sixth man said in his booming, jovial voice.

     Sarah’s smile was genuine for the squire, who sat at Martin’s left on an ungainly-looking sorrel mare. “Squire,” she greeted him, walking up to rub the horse’s nose. “You’ve brought our Maizie to call, have you? How are you, my pretty?”

     Pretty was not really a word one should use for Maizie. As sturdy as a stone house, she was all of seventeen hands, with a Roman head and a shambling gait. She was also the best hunter in the district, and of a size to carry Squire’s massive girth.

     Maizie’s arrival was met by a thud and a long, mournful squeal from the pigpen.
The squire laughed with his whole body. “Still in love, is he?”
Sarah grinned back. “Caught him not an hour ago trying to sneak over for a tryst.”

     The squire chuckled. “It’s good someone loves my girl,” he said with an affectionate smack to the horse’s neck. Maizie nuzzled Sarah’s apron and was rewarded with an old fall apple. Willoughby sounded as if he were dying from anguish.

     “Thank you for the ale you sent over, Squire,” Sarah said. “It was much enjoyed. Even the dowager had a small tot after coming in from one of her painting afternoons.”

     “Excellent,” he said with a big smile. “Excellent. Everyone is well here, I hope? Saw Lady Clarke and Mizz Fitchwater out along the Undercliff with their paints and hammers. They looked to be in rude health.”

     Sarah smiled. “They are. I will tell them you asked after them.”

     “This isn’t a social call,” Martin interrupted, shifting in his saddle.

     Sarah kept her smile, even though just the sight of Martin sent her heart skidding around in dread. “To what do I owe the honor then, gentlemen?”

     “Have you seen any strangers around?” the squire asked, leaning forward. “There’s been some theft and vandalism in the area. Stolen chickens and the like.”

     “Oh, that,” Sarah said with a wave of her hand. “Of course. He’s taken my eggs.”

     Martin almost came off his horse. “Who?”

     Shading her eyes with her hand, Sarah smiled up at him. “Who? Don’t you mean what? Unless you name your foxes.”

     That obviously wasn’t the answer he’d been looking for. “Fox? Bah! I’m talking about a man. Probably one of those damned thievin’ soldiers preying on good people.”

     Did he truly not notice how his own men scowled at him? Men who undoubtedly had wandered the roads themselves? Well, Sarah thought, if she had had any intention of acknowledging her surprise visitor, Martin’s words disabused her of the notion. She wouldn’t trust Napoleon himself to her cousin’s care.

     “Not unless your soldier has four feet and had a long bushy tail,” she said, genially. “But I doubt he would fit the uniform.”

     The squire, still patting his Maizie, let out a great guffaw. “We’ll get your fox for you, Lady Clarke,” he promised. “Not great hunt country here. But we do. We do.”

     “Kind of you, Squire. I am certain the girls will be grateful. You know how fatched Mary and Martha can get when their routine is disturbed.”

     “Martha . . .” Martin was getting redder by the minute. “Why haven’t I heard about this? You boarding people here? What would Boswell say?”

     Sarah tilted her head. “I imagine he’d say that he was glad for the eggs every morning for breakfast, Martin.”

     For a second she thought Martin might have a seizure, right there on his gelding. “You’re not going to get away with abusing your privilege much longer, missy,” he snapped. “This land is...”

     “Boswell’s,” she said flatly. “Not yours until we know he won’t come back.”

     “Bah!” Martin huffed. “It’s been almost four months, girl. If he was coming back, he’d be here.”

     Sarah stood very still, grief and guilt swamping even the fear. Instinctively her gaze wandered over to what she called Boswell’s arbor, a little sitting area by the cliff with a lovely view of the ocean. Boswell had loved sitting there, his gaze fixed on the horizon. He had planted all the roses and fitted the latticework overhead.

     His roses, though, were dying. His entire estate was dying, and Sarah was no longer certain she could save it.

     “He will be back, Martin,” she said, throwing as much conviction as she could into her voice. “You’ll see. Men are returning from Belgium all the time. The battle was so terrible it will be months yet before we learn the final toll from Waterloo.”

     It was the squire who brought their attention back with a sharp harrumph.

     Sarah blushed. “My apologies, Squire,” she said. “You did not come here to be annoyed by our petty grievances. As for your question, I have seen no one here.”

     “We’ve also been told to keep an eye out for a big man,” the squire said. “Red hair. Scottish. Don’t know that it’s the same man that’s raiding the henhouses, but you should keep an eye out anyway.”

     Sarah was already shaking her head. After all, she hadn’t seen anything but a shadow. “Wasn’t it a Scot who tried to shoot Wellington? I saw the posters in Lyme Regis. I thought he was dead.”

     The squire shrugged. “We’ve been asked to make sure.”

     “I’m sure you won’t mind if we search the property,” Martin challenged.

     He was already dismounting. Sarah’s heart skidded, and her palms went damp. “Of course not,” she said with a faint wave. “Start with the house. I believe the dowager will be just as delighted to see you as the last time you surprised her.”

     Martin was already on the ground and heading toward the house. With Sarah’s words, he stopped cold. Sarah refused to smile, even though the memory of Lady Clarke’s last harangue still amused her.

     “Just the outbuildings,” he amended, motioning to the men to follow him.

     Sarah was a heartbeat shy of protesting when she heard it. Willoughby. The thudding turned into a great crash and the heartfelt squeals turned into a near-scream of triumph. She turned just in time to jump free as the pig came galloping across the yard, six hundred pounds of unrestrained passion headed straight for Squire’s horse.

     Unfortunately, Martin was standing between Willoughby and his true love. And Sarah sincerely doubted that the pig could see the man in his headlong dash to bliss.
Sarah called out a warning. Martin stood frozen on the spot, as if staring down the specter of death. Howling with laughter, the squire swung Maizie about.

     It was all over in a moment. Squire leapt from Maizie and gave her a good crack on the rump. With a flirtatious toss of the head and a whinny, the mare took off down the lane, Willoughby in hot pursuit. But not before the boar had run right over Martin, leaving him flat in the mud with hoofprints marching straight up his best robin’s egg superfine and white linen. Sarah tried so hard to keep a straight face. The other men weren’t so restrained, slapping legs and laughing at the man who’d brought them as they swung their horses around and charged down the lane after the pig.

     Sarah knew that she was a Christian, because she bent to help Boswell’s unpleasant relation off the ground. “Are you all right, cousin?”

     Bent over and clutching his ribs, Martin yanked his arm out of her grasp. “You did that on purpose, you bitch.”
     
     The squire frowned. “Language, sir. Ladies.”

     Martin waved him off as well. “This is no lady, and you know it, Bovey. Why my cousin demeaned himself enough to marry a by-blow...”

     Sarah laughed. “Why, for her dowry, Martin. You know that. Heavens, all of Dorset knows that.”

     The only thing people didn’t know was the identity of her real father, who set up the trust for her. But then, knowing had been no benefit to her.

     “What Dorset knows,” Squire said, his face red, “is that you’ve done Boswell proud. Even kind to his mother, and I have to tell you, ma’am, that be no easy feat.”

     Sarah spared him another smile. “Why, thank you, Squire. That is kind of you.”

     The squire grew redder. Martin harrumphed.

     “Climb on your horse, Clarke,” Squire said. “It’s time we left Lady Clarke to her work. We certainly haven’t made her day any easier.”

     Martin huffed, but he complied. He was still brushing off his once-pristine attire when the soldiers, bantering like children on a picnic, returned brandishing Willoughby’s lead, the pig following disconsolately behind.

     With a smile for the ragged soldier who’d caught him, Sarah held her hand out for the rope. “Thank you, Mr....”

     The man, lean and lined from sun and hardship, ducked his head. “Greggins, ma’am. Pleasure. Put up a good fight, ’e did.”

     She chuckled. “I know all too well, Mr. Greggins.” Turning, she smiled up at her neighbor. “Thank you, Squire. I am so sorry you had to send Maizie off.”

     The squire grinned at her, showing his gap teeth and twinkling blue eyes. “Aw, she’ll be at the bottom of the lane, right enough. She knows to get out of yon pig’s way.”

     Tipping his low-crowned hat to Sarah, he turned to help Martin to his horse. Sarah waved farewell and tugged a despondent Willoughby back to his pen. She was just pulling the knot tight when she caught sight of that shadow again, this time on her side of the coop. Casting a quick glance to where the squire had just mounted behind the pig-catching soldier Greggins, she bent over Willoughby.

     “I wouldn’t show myself yet if I were you,” she murmured, hoping the shadow heard her. “And if it was you who let Willoughby go a moment ago, I thank you.”

     “A search would have been...problematic,” she heard, and a fresh chill chased down her spine. There was a burr to his voice. A Scot, here on the South Dorset coast. Now, how frequently could she say she’d seen that?

     “You didn’t by any chance recently shoot at someone, did you?” she asked.

     As if he would tell the truth, if he were indeed the assassin.

     “No’ who you think.”

     She should turn around this minute and call for help. Every instinct of decency said so. But Martin was the local magistrate, and Sarah knew how he treated prisoners. Even innocent ones. Squeezing her eyes shut, Sarah listened to the jangle of the troop turning to leave.
Give you good day, Lady Clarke,” the squire said, and waved the parade off down the drive.
Martin didn’t follow right away. “This isn’t over, missy,” he warned. “No thieving by-blow is going to keep me from what is mine. This land belongs to me now, and you know it. By the time you let go, it will be useless.”

     Not unless the shingle strand sinks into the ocean, she thought dourly. The only thing Martin wanted from Fairbourne was hidden coves where boats could land brandy.

     Sarah sighed, her mind made up. She simply could not accommodate Martin in this or anything. Straightening, she squarely faced the dyspeptic man where he stiffly sat his horse. 

     “Fairbourne is Boswell’s,” she said baldly. “Until he returns, I am here to make sure it is handed back into his hands in good heart. Good day, Martin.”

     Martin opened his mouth to argue, and then saw the squire and other men waiting for him. He settled for a final “Bah!” and dug his heels into his horse. They were off in a splatter of mud.
Sarah stood where she was until she could no longer hear them. Then, with a growing feeling of inevitability, she once more climbed past the broken pigpen and approached the shadow at the back of the coop.

     And there he was, a very large red-headed man slumped against the stone wall. He was even more ragged than the men who had ridden with Martin, his clothing tattered and filthy, his hair a rat’s nest, his beard bristling and even darker red than his hair. His eyes were bright, though, and his cheeks flushed. He held his hand to his side, and he was listing badly.

     Sarah crouched down next to him to get a better look, and saw that his shirt was stained brown with old blood. His hands, clutched over his left side, were stained with new blood, which meant that those bright eyes were from more than intelligence. Even so, Sarah couldn’t remember ever seeing a more compelling, powerful man in her life.

     “Hello,” she greeted him, her own hands clenched on her thighs. “I assume I am speaking to the Scotsman for whom everyone is looking.”

     His grin was crooked, and under any other circumstance would have been endearing. “Och, lassie, nothin’ gets past ye.”

     “I thought you were dead.”

     He frowned. “Wait a few minutes,” he managed. “I’ll see what I can do.”

     And then, as gracefully as a sailing vessel slipping under the waves, he sank all the way to his side and lost consciousness.


BIO EILEEN DREYER

Award-winning, best-selling author Eileen Dreyer, known as Kathleen Korbel to her Silhouette readers, has published 22 Silhouette books, 8 medico-forensic suspense for Harper and St. Martin's, and 7 short stories.

Not only does she have twenty years experience in the field of medicine and sixteen in trauma nursing, she trained in forensic nursing and death investigation.
Born and raised in Brentwood, Missouri and a product of Catholic Schools, she lives in St. Louis County with husband Rick and her two children. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the glare of the limelight.
Dreyer won her first publishing award in 1987, being named the best new Contemporary Romance Author by Romantic Times. Since that time she has also garnered not only five other writing awards from Romantic Times, but five RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, which secures her only the fourth place in the Romance Writers of America prestigious Hall of Fame. Since extending her reach to suspense, she has also garnered a coveted Anthony Award nomination for her last paperback, Bad Medicine. She has over three million books in print world wide, and has made regular appearances on the Waldenbook and B.Dalton bestsellers list, and now the USA Today list.
A frequent speaker at conferences, she maintains membership in Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and, just in case things go wrong, Emergency Nurses Association and International Association of Forensic Nurses, for which she is the unofficial mascot.
Eileen is an addicted traveler, having sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world, and admits she sees research as a handy way to salve her insatiable curiosity. She counts film producers, police detectives and Olympic athletes as some of her sources and friends. She's also trained in forensic nursing and death investigation, although she doesn't see herself actively working in the field, unless this writing thing doesn't pan out.

 
 

12 comments:

Pollie the Pug said...

Thank you, Eileen! What great writing advice and such a wonderful interview. I actually snorted my coffee over the negotiating comments with your children. Hope you're at RT 2014. I'd love to meet you.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Thank you for coming today, Eileen. I really enjoyed your advice and your books.

Paris said...

Great interview, ladies!

Loved all of the advice and thankfully wasn't drinking coffee when I read your comment about hostage negotiations and your kids, LOL!

Thanks for leaving the intriguing excerpt. My historical TBR list just got a little longer:)

jean hart stewart said...

Any beginning writer would profit from reading your excellent advice. Thank you for a very thorough interview. I'm well-published, but lack of patience is one of my sins. Always want to push my thorough and excellent editor...

JoAnne Myers said...

Great interview and excerpt. Taking Medic training was wonderful sounding. You really did want to know about this field to write her book. The best for you, and good luck with sales.

Melissa Keir said...

What a pleasure! I loved the interview. Your advice was spot on and I will have to show the comment by your husband about your housework to my husband.

I do agree that raising children is like hostage negotiations. But I also share that teenagers are really just bigger two year olds who demand things now!

All the best!! And thanks again for visiting!

Sandy said...

LOL The scene in your excerpt about the horse and the boar had me laughing. Great humor! It lightened a serious scene.

Eileen, I met you years ago at a MARA meeting (I think), and you were very entertaining then.

Excellent advice for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Ann, for inviting me over today, and thank you everybody for stopping by. I"m so sorry I didn't get here sooner. I had a small family emergency and ended up where wi fi wasn't.
I'm delighted if I helped in any way.

eileendreyer said...

Pollie the Pug--I am indeed going to be at RT. I really hope to meet you. I'll certainly be at the big signing. Stop by and say hi! I'm also doing a couple of panels, and I"m dressing up as Grania the Irish pirate queeen for the Pirates and Scalawags party. I can't wait.

eileendreyer said...

PS. Eileen the techno-idiot seems to also be Anonymous. I posted by mistake before I identified myself. Sigh.

Gemma Juliana said...

I enjoyed reading your interview, Eileen. I was also fixated on Nancy Drew way back when. Those books made me a very happy reader. Thanks for stopping by.

Berengaria Brown said...

The SWAT team medic training sounds awesome. I would so like to do that! Thank you for visiting today, Eileen.
Berengaria

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