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Friday, April 8, 2011

Interview of Author Viviane Brentanos

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Viviane Brentanos.

Latest Book: Written in Stone
Buy Link:

I was born in Reading UK in 1958. My father is English and my mother is French although there is a strong vein of Spanish on my maternal grandmother’s side. I was educated at various schools before completing Sixth Form College at St Peter's Huntingdon. I somehow managed to collect A levels in English, French and History and I subsequently won a place at Sheffield University where I decided to read Classical Civilization. Once there, however, I decided that I had had enough of the academic life; I found the student mentality rather false and having been brought up in student circles, rather boring. Much to my mother's horror, I gave up my studies and went to London to begin a course as a Canine Beautician. In 1984, my first husband and I parted ways amicably and I decided to visit the Ionian island of Corfu to celebrate my new freedom. It proved to be a life-changing decision. I still remember to this day, sitting in a cafĂ©-bar, overlooking the crystal clear azure sea and saying to my friend. "I never want to leave here". I absolutely love the life-style here. I would recommend it to anyone. I remarried and have two children.

But I decided that there was more to me than being a mother and wife {although, I hasten to add, it is a worthy assignment.} I decided to finally get my head down and do what I'd always promised myself; I was going to write. I have been writing romance since my early teens, mostly for my own satisfaction and for my friends but now I really want to work at it. Writing has become my passion. I have always been a "Romantic", often accused of not living in the real world but who wants to do that? I like to call my work Romance with a quirky, humorous Brit twist and I am always striving to make my characters real, characters we can all relate to. I hope you all enjoy my world.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Mmm – Interesting question and one I am not sure I have the answer to. If I remember, I think the first sale I knew of was to my sister. She bought the book to support me. I knew she would never read it because of her beliefs. As a Christian she found it a tad too racy. To be honest, I never really think about sales. A good review, praise from my peers is more important to me. Plus, usually, by the time a book is doing the rounds, I am already immersed with a new w.i.p. A bit like a mum with a new baby.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Another good one. Shall I be totally weird and say the beginning? I just love picking up pen and paper {yes, I am a freak; I write long hand initially} and writing down that opening sentence. I usually have the entire plot mapped out in my head but that first chapter, I just wing it. Whatever comes out of my head, sets the tone and style for the whole story. Again, maybe it’s the excitement of a new work but I usually love my opening chapter.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero? Tell us about your hero.
A: Ok, I would love it if all my books were picked up by Hollywood. It would be great if Old Spielberg could direct or probably best go with Clint Eastwood. He seems to do sensitivity really well. For sake of argument, Written in Stone is picked. Lots of wonderful angst, here, so I need to find an actor who can bring the part of James McIntyre to the big screen.

James, apart from being boy-next-door type dark and handsome, possesses great charm. He is softhearted, a champion of human and animal rights. He is warm, funny – sensitive. He is a man in turmoil, in conflict with his love and his family. He feels guilty because he knows his life choices have disappointed his family. His relationship with Cassie challenges all he thought he knew about himself. He falls in love with her which makes his life hell because he is still in love with another. James is all about wanting to do the right thing and not hurt the people he loves. So, who can I pick? Personality wise, Colin Firth springs to mind but the look isn’t quite right. So, I think I am going to go with…John McAvoy. He has the look, the sensitivity. He is just gorgeous.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: Absolutely not. Variety is the spice of life. In fact, I usually build a male character around someone I admire or fancy the pants off. My first, as yet unpublished, novel was all about Mr. Russell Crowe. The hero is Australian, green eyes, strong, caustic wit but really charming once you get to know him. Daniel for my soon to be released Cold, Cold Heart {MuseITHot Publishing} is inspired by Darren Hayes. Singer/ songwriter, dark-haired, sensitive, wears his heart on his sleeve but possessing underlying strength. David from Dreamweek {Red Rose Publishing} is the delectable, hunky Mr. Gerard Butler. Imagine him in his leather Speedos from 300 and you get the picture. Fragile Dreams – the sequel to Dream. Mmm – this is more difficult because, for once, my character of Michael was inspired by someone I know and I cannot give away the secret. He would be embarrassed. Written in Stone – ok, maybe here, I used Darren Hayes again but then he is my special favourite. My w.i.p, Past Undone, I am going with a certain Mr. Daniel Craig. I also have starring parts lined up for Rafa Nadal and Enrique Iglesias

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: If I had to pick what I believe to be my strongest point, I think I would have to go with my dialogue. I try to keep it authentic, often laced with caustic wit. I am, as my friend will tell you, very sarcastic. Think Chandler from Friends and you will get my drift. I think, generally, we Brits tend to lean towards wit, even in times of emotional stress. We tend to find humour in most situations. It’s part of the British character. Let’s face it, who else could come with a team like Monty Python?

Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: Oh, interesting but easy. I would immediately click on to You Tube, make a play list of Darren Hayes/Savage Garden love songs and then get down and dirty in the surf.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!!/pages/Viviane-Brentanos-Author-of-Womens-contemporary-Romantic-fiction/78109311746

Dumped five days before her wedding, Cassandra Hall decides not to waste the honeymoon. She sets off to London. What was supposed to be her dream week turns into a nightmare time of introspect, self-doubt. Then she meets James, literally falling at his feet in an attempt to save his Afghan hound from colliding head on with the traffic.

James is witty, charming, too good-looking and also--not available. Despite this, Cassie is captivated by him. What follows is a week of fun, companionship and a bonding that Cassie has never experienced.

James, sensing Cassie’s unhappiness, goes out of his way to make up for her jerk of a fiancĂ©’s rejection. He is drawn to her vulnerability--something he finds disturbing, threatening to shatter all he thought he knew about himself. Cassie, he senses, is falling in love with him. He ought to back away but cannot. Cassie bravely makes her true feelings known and when he rejects her, he knows he has broken her heart. He is left confused, guilty because....James has a secret.

Watercolor grey light filtered through the gap in the partially drawn curtains, collecting pinpricks of dust in its shadowy fingers. Despite the warmth of the room, Cassie shivered. So much for the promised Indian summer. Served her right for believing the Channel Four weather girl. Perhaps if Annika—or whatever her name was—spent more time on studying the met office predictions than on her daily wardrobe, she might occasionally get it right.Cassie sniffed. Not that the weather mattered. She wasn’t going anywhere—except perhaps home. Staying in London was a stupid idea.

Glancing at her watch, she winced. Ten a.m.? She’d slept through breakfast and dinner. Her grumbling stomach was proof. For the first time in days, a dreamless slumber had left her strangely calm. She was done reliving that nightmare of a week. Swallowing against a parched throat, she rubbed at gritty eyes. Knees folded under her butt, she shuffled across the bed and reached for the phone. “Okay Martin,” she punched down to reception, “let’s see if this hotel is worth the price you paid. Hello… I would like some coffee sent up, please. Java, naturally and some fresh croissants—French. Yes now! Thank you.” She fell back against the mountain of pillows and giggled. Well Martin did say she had to learn to be more assertive.

Hands folded, her arms behind her head, she stared up at the nymphs and cupids frolicking in Arcadia. Someone’s idea of tasteful art? She wanted to vomit. “Well, Cass.” She wriggled her nose. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so what are you going to do about it?”

Perched on her left shoulder, Miss Self-Doubt whispered gleefully in her ear. “Nothing, you pathetic, weak creature! As always.”

She was right, of course. All Cassie’s life she’d been a doormat, first bending to her mother’s will and then, although he’d been more subtle, to Martin’s.

A faint tapping inside her skull made her sit up.

Miss Kick-Ass shoved Self-Doubt off her perch. “Oh pur-lease!” she hissed. “Get off your cross, you poor excuse of a woman. Take control. You’re young, bright. Tell the world to go and screw itself.”

She liked this new inner voice of reason. Swinging her legs round, she jumped to her feet. “You are so right.”

She wandered over to the dressing table mirror, feet buried in thick cream carpet. Dragging her fingers through turbulent tresses, she frowned. “Oh well, that’s a hundred quid’s worth of extortionist stylist down the drain.” But then she doubted even ten cans of hairspray could have saved her coiffure from the ravages of her mad flight across the rain-battered park. She couldn’t help a glimmer of mean satisfaction from sparking. If her mother could see her now, she’d reach for her happy pills.

A too pale face jumped out at her, making her draw in her breath. Dark smudges betrayed the days of fitful sleep and endless tears. “Damn you, Martin!” Reaching out, she stroked the cheek of this stranger staring back at her. A sigh clawed its way to the back of her throat.  Clenching her fists, Cassie swallowed it away, banishing it, she hoped forever, along with the fresh wave of loneliness lapping at her heart. “I can do this,” she whispered. “I know I can.”

She dressed with meticulous care, as she laid out outfit after outfit on top of the bed. Most she discarded into a crumpled heap, throwing them back into her suitcase. She didn’t have to dress to please Martin any more. Adrenalin kicked in as she reveled in her newfound freedom. Grabbing her much beloved and missed worn and scuffed jeans, she held them against her chest, glad she’d sneaked them in when Martin’s back was turned. He abhorred her in trousers of any shape or size. Well there was no more Martin, and as she wriggled her legs into the skinny jeans, she began to wonder if it was such a bad thing after all. Pulling the ecru polo neck over her head, she decided not. At least she got to wear her worn and cracked tan boots—flat boots.

Next, hair. She gathered her unruly mane back off her face and tamed it into a sleek French plait. It was a look Martin hated. He was more of a catwalk siren man. “Mmm,” Cassie twisted and turned. “Very ‘Town and Country.’” Reaching for her make-up bag, her hand hovered over the expensive array of beauty products. Mouth twisted into a rebellious pout, she tipped the entire contents into the wastepaper bin. Some chambermaid was about to have her day made. “I am no one’s mannequin,” she whispered.

The mirror challenged her. A salon perfect eyebrow arched. “Are you sure about this?”

“Okay so I am not a total masochist.” Rummaging in the basket, she retrieved the mascara.

Five minutes later, she studied her reflection, satisfied. A confident, poised young woman met her stare head on. Cassandra Hall had neither room nor need of men in her life. Placing her fingers against the doppelganger image, she smiled. “Me, myself and I. That’s how it’s going to be.”

The internal phone rang out, and she jumped back into uncertain reality.

“I am so sorry to disturb you, but there is a Mr. McIntyre in reception who wishes to speak to you.”

Cassie froze. Was Martin up to his old tricks again? She wouldn’t put it past him to send someone to check up on her. He treated her like a child. “I don’t know any Mr. McIntyre,” she snapped.

“One moment please.”

She strained to hear the muffled conversation.

“Yes, sir…certainly, sir…Hello? I am sorry, madam, but Mr. McIntyre is most insistent. He wishes me to tell you Madonna is anxious to thank you for saving her life.”

Cassie’s fingers tightened around the receiver, her knuckles white against the oyster pink of her French manicured nails. How had he found her?


Linda Kage said...

Hi, Viviane. Nice to meet you. Your book sounds good, even though I sense a lot of heartbreak in it!!

Viviane Brentanos said...

Thanks, Linda. Oh yes, tons of angst but James, my hero is worth it. Thank you for stopping by.

Diane Scott Lewis said...

Viviane, loved the excerpt. Your writing is always so sharp and funny. I wish you tons of sales.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Thanks, Diane. Your continued support means a lot

Darlene said...

Great interview Viviane. I admire that British wit, even in times of stress - that's why I married a Brit and have never been sorry. His wit (and charm) has got us through so much. I love how you imagine your heroes. I wish you much success.

Viviane Brentanos said...

Thank you Darlene. British men do have a great sense of humour.

Roseanne Dowell said...

This book is on my to buy list. I hope to purchase it soon.

Jenna Storm said...

Love the way you left us dangling with your excerpt! Enjoyed your interview and I now have another book to add to my TBB list.

Cornelia said...

Loved the excerpt. The book sounds wonderful.

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