This is what Irene had to say when I fired off my questionnaire over her way. Enjoy!!
· Tell me Irene, what do you like to write, and why?
As far as genre – almost anything (though rarely historical). When I think about ‘what’ I like to write, the answer always comes back to emotion. I think emotion is the hardest thing to capture in words, the most essential, and the most rewarding when you hit it. No matter what I’m describing in a scene, what I’m really trying to do is connect the reader with my characters at that moment. When I hit a scene where I feel like I’ve accomplished that in the smallest way – that’s what makes it all worthwhile.
When offered your first publishing contract did you
B) Jump out of your seat and run around flailing your arms chanting OMG OMG OMG
C) Pee your pants
D) B & C
E) None of the Above (You’re lying if your answer isn't D :P)
If not A-D , what was your reaction?
HA! You didn’t include “re-read the email ten times.” AFTER that, I am pretty sure I did B – but super quiet because Bones was still asleep in the next room. (Then I ran in and woke him up with the news anyway.)
How important to you are the names of your characters?
In contemporary, they just have to ‘sound’ rightish. Names seem to be way more important in the fantasy I’m working on. I find fantasy to be very symbolic – I agonize over all the names.
What are the occupational hazards of being a writer?
Aside from the dry-eye and carpal tunnel? I blame all my faults on being a writer. Asking nosy questions? Research! Listening to the conversation at the next table? Character study! Zoning out? Plotting! Polishing off that bottle of wine (or being generally grumpy)? Artistic temperament!
Pantser or Plotter? I’ll have you know how proud I am that I just used these terms. Since I’ve just recently learned what they meant. Go me. Always keepin’ up with the author slang.
Pantser. I wish I could say otherwise. An outline would be really useful in lots of places but once I outline I lose interest. By the end of the first or second chapter I generally know where I’m going to wind up. How I’ll get there is a mystery. I ‘plot’ about a chapter at a time in my head. Even then it doesn’t always turn out the way I think it’s going to.
What do you like to write in? (i.e PJ’s and stompeez, a prom dress or perhaps a bathtub?)
Anything comfortable. Most of the time I’m at my desk, sitting cross-legged in an office chair Bones forced me to get (at once point it was an ancient rummage-sale type dining room chair).
Do you feel like a complete dumbo (like I do) when people ask for your autograph? I tend to get stuck on stupid and fumblerooski all my words when someone asks me for mine.
SO AWKWARD! Yes, I always want to ask if they are sure. I have horrible handwriting – too many hours at a keyboard. I don’t worry to much about inscribing the wrong thing because I don’t think anyone can read it. It is super flattering though. I hope I never take that for granted.
· Have you ever been a character in one of your books?
I think all of my characters are some reflection of myself. They are conglomerates of people I like, people I hate, people I see in the supermarket. In Infamous, Jessica is my polar opposite in many ways (my friends rib me about my fashionista heroine), but she’s a writer and she sits cross-legged in her chair to write – just like I do. The imploded avocado in her fridge is also autobiographical. Morgan’s house is a more up-scale model of the home Bones and I built together. Yeah, if you know where to look I’m everywhere in my own books.
· Would you ever play yourself in a movie or TV production of one of your books?
Horror! I’m seriously camera-shy.
· Have you ever gone a little REDRUM after a few days shacked up in the ol’ writing hole?
The closest was when I was adding a scene my editor requested for Infamous. It was a scene I didn’t really want to write - a sex scene where there hadn’t been one. Infamous is in Crimson’s ‘spicy’ line and she wanted me to keep the heat level up. I procrastinated doing it right up the deadline trying to find a way that worked artistically for me. I didn’t want drive-by sex happening at that point in the book. By the time I found the right tone, I had started to develop flu-like symptoms. I forced myself to sit down and write it through. When I typed the last sentence, the ‘flu’ magically cured itself. So, yes. Now you know I am crazy! For the record, I’m glad I added the scene.
Do you do research for your novel? Me... I could totally walk into the Bio Buzz pick up a bong and be like..It’s for research dude! Lol
I have to STOP myself from researching. I’ll spend all day doing that and not writing. It is the perfect excuse to track down odd facts you really have no reason to know.
· Speaking of bongs. Have you ever written anything while high on the weed, drunk on the wine or chill from the pill? I have...I’m on bottle number two.
Not so much. Is that weird? And it’s not from lack of opportunity (should I say that on TV – this is off the record, right????). I also don’t write while listening to music. I do my version of ‘plotting’ under the influence sometime. That’s the part where I sit around staring at my belly button and thinking about the story. I need to be straight, sober, and uninterrupted to actually get words down.
· Do you laugh at yourself ever?
Constantly. I’m a mess –bag-lady fashion sense, klutzy, whacked, and I have a talent for putting my foot in my mouth. I have to laugh so everyone else will be laughing with me and not at me – lol.
· How much of your childhood reflects upon your musings?
Ummm – that is a good question. So far I haven’t written about events specifically from my childhood. None of us live in a vacuum. Like most people, my childhood had it’s dark bits as well as joys and those things obviously contributed to who I am now. I like to think that my entire life has been leading up to this point though, not just my childhood specifically. The choices and decisions I’ve made since then are just as important to who I am. I try not to ‘blame’ things on my past. Those things, good or bad, made me the person I am today. Since I don’t know any other versions of myself, I have to be happy with the one I’ve got.
· How do you like these questions so far? Anything striking your fancy? Ok, moving along…
· How do you feel about being interviewed?
So weirded out that anyone would care to interview me. Flattered. Nervous about what bone-headed thing I’m going to say.
· Are you jealous of other writers?
I’m jealous of their talent sometimes. I’ll read something that really moves me in some way and I’ll just want to delete every word I’ve ever written because I know I’ll never be able to express myself that well. I’ll never have that kind of impact on someone else. I also know a few people who are amazing at revision. I’m jealous of that, to be able to not only see the flaws but how to fix them. I can never be subjective about my own work and that’s a hindrance. I don’t begrudge other writers their successes even if I don’t care for their work. Writing is hard. Kudos to them if they get some recognition for it.
….Okay, I’m jealous of Neil Gaiman. There. I said it.
· Vacation or staycation?
Vacation – no contest. I don’t stop work when I’m at home, so staycation has no meaning to me. I love to travel. I love the feeling of coming home, but you have to leave to do it.
· Fancy Schmancy wedding or a Vegas wedding?
Small wedding with friends and family. Fancy schmancy intimidates me. Vegas and I have a ‘fear and loathing’ relationship that I’m exploring in book right now – definitely not a wedding vibe!
Did you enjoy this interview?
I had a blast. You made me think about some things – thinking is good, right?
Socialite meets soccer dad...
Four years ago it was pure Hollywood - the windswept beach, the whirlwind romance, the run-away marriage. Unfortunately, the ride into the sunset didn't survive the publication of the bride's tell-all book two months after she said 'I Do'.
Reclusive venture capitalist Morgan Riley isn't interested in fame. He prefers a quiet life in the suburbs. For his daughter’s sake, he agrees to give his notorious wife another chance to be part of their family. Even though she's back at home and fulfilling all his late-night fantasies, he can't help wonder if she misses her high-profile lifestyle and famous friends.
Everyone knows Jessica Sinclair. She’s that girl on the cover of all the tabloids. As a Hollywood insider, Jessica has spent her life partying with A-list celebrities, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and living through scandal after scandal. When her estranged husband offers her a second chance at the ‘All American’ lifestyle she can’t pass up a shot at real happiness. Back in suburbia, Jessica spends her nights in sexy role-play hoping Morgan will overlook her deficiencies as a homemaker. She spends her days attending P.T.A. meetings, burning cookies, and asking herself "What would June Cleaver do?" More to the point, what will Morgan do when she winds up back in the tabloids--with his teenage daughter right next to her?
Irene writes modern romance that warms the heart and scorches the sheets. Her current release, Infamous, about a scandal-prone Hollywood socialite who falls for a conservative soccer dad, is available now.
Read full steamy first chapter of Infamous free at www.IrenePreston.com
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/infamous_uk
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/LXuXjY
Come socialize with Irene!