Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Author interview: Renee Knowles

Today is Wednesday...and I have decided to declare Wednesdays "Winning Wednesdays, Word Wizards"! Catchy, huh?

So Wednesdays are going to be Armchair Heroines' official contest and author interview days...

A warm welcome and deafening round of applause for Renee Knowles, our inaugural “Winning Wednesdays Word Wizard”! Renee has graciously agreed to answer some questions for us here at Armchair Heroines and we have one signed copy of her first book, Going Topless, up for grabs. (Contest information at the end of the post).





Thanks for being here, Renee!

First off, tell us a little about Going Topless:

There are three women around which the novel is based. Which one do you most identify with and why?

I would say Susannah. She is vulnerable and full of pain over the death of her husband, but she has a certain strength—a steel spine— that keeps her going. I admire her. And, of course, she meets a sizzling younger man who helps her regain her mojo—who wouldn’t want that?

But I think at the essence of Susannah is a woman who is trying to find herself again. Not as a wife or a sister or a business owner, but just as a woman, plain and simple.


Your descriptions of Amsterdam feel very real to me. Have you been there before?

Yes! I lived in Frankfurt for a year and visited Amsterdam twice during that time. I love the city. It’s such an eclectic mix of romance and history and a new, modern way of living and thinking. One of my favorite places to visit was the Rijksmuseum. They have been undergoing a multi-year renovation, which left their very best pieces of Dutch art on display. The art was moving and spectacular.

I included a scene in the book between Susannah and Hagen set in this museum. I wanted to bring the history and feel of the city into the book in a way that wasn’t obtrusive.


Tell us a little about your road to “published author”:

Writing has always been a passion for me. I’ve written since I was just a child, stories always rolling around in my head :) But I didn’t seriously begin writing novels with the intent to publish until maybe 4-5 years ago. I took classes, read A LOT of books—craft books, writing life books, books in my genre, and I attended conferences.

I would have to say that to have the fortune to be mentored by NYT best-selling author, Eloisa James, whose work I adore, was probably the one catalyst for me to being able to write more marketable work.

And I began exploring more in my writing, and writing what I love to read. I’ve learned that sometimes breaking the rules is a good thing…


What are you working on now?

I have two releases this summer that I’m very excited about! First, in July I have my first release with The Wild Rose Press. Courting Trouble is a sizzling and sensual historical romance. My hero in this work, Anthony, was one of my favorites to write. He is strong, sexy and loyal, yet he also has a tenderness about him, which stole my heart.

Also, in August I have a new erotic contemporary romance series coming from Siren Publishing. Pleasures, Inc. is based around a male escort service where the hottest men fulfill your steamiest fantasies, and they are there for your pleasure only… The first book, Guilty Pleasures, will be out in August.

If your readers want to learn more about these books or read an excerpt, they can visit my website at
www.reneeknowles.com.

And your random question: You have the power to go any distance into the future and, after one year, return to the present with any knowledge you gained but with no physical objects. How far would you go and what knowledge would you bring back with you?

Hmm, really great question, Tiffany! I think I would like to go about 50 years into the future. My reason is there is a lot of global warming “warnings” that focus on that time as being key to the loss of water, polar bears and all sorts of marine life. I would like to know if this really comes to pass and bring back the knowledge to our time, and hopefully this knowledge would help us protect the future of our planet.

Thanks so much, Tiffany, for the interview! You have a great blog here. It has been fun!

Thank you, Renee! Loved Going Topless and I can't wait for Courting Trouble (available July 23rd)! You can read an excerpt and reviews as well as purchase your copy of Going Topless here.


Want to win a signed copy of Renee's book, Going Topless? Post a comment and you will be entered into the random drawing which takes place on June 17th!

63 comments:

Faith said...

Although I have an e-copy of this title, I couldn't pass up a chance to win a print copy, LOL!

And you got to visit Amsterdam! Oh, so green! I haven't been able to travel in years.

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Renee, Congrats on the releases this summer! I love how you went to great lengths to make your setting so realistic. When authors do that it makes the characters seem all that more real and engaging. Good luck.

Cindy
www.cindykgreen.com

Judy said...

Going Topless sounds very interesting. I think I would want to go back in time even further than 50 years, mainly because I am older than 50. I would like to experience another time and place.

Tiffany James said...

Faith,

The print copy we have is even signed by Renee! Cool, huh?

I haven't travelled in years either and I have a serious case of wanderlust. It is all Renee's fault.

Thanks for stopping by AH!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Cindy,

I completely agree! And what I really love about GT is that Renee works the details into the story...you see the characters visit the museum. In fact, you explore it with them!

Thanks for coming by.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Judy,

I'd go back a little further, too. But then I am obsessed with 14th and 15th century Scotland!

Thanks for coming by!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Hiya, Faith!! Thanks for visiting. I totally loved Amsterdam. It was fab.

Btw, for any writers out there, Faith has an awesome writer's loop, check it out at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Avoid_Writers_Hell/

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks for stopping by, Cindy! I agree that it's wonderful to be able to add realism to the setting.

Cindy has a great series of books from TWRP, everyone. There are called NovelTea. You should check them out (cindykgreen.com).

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Judy! Thanks for checking out the interview. I would love to go back to Regency England and meet Jane Austen.

Now that would be fun!

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Debbie Wallace said...

Writing has always been a passion for me. I’ve written since I was just a child, stories always rolling around in my head :) But I didn’t seriously begin writing novels with the intent to publish until maybe 4-5 years ago.

OMG...this is me Renee! LOL Interesting blog.

Debbie

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Renee,
Great interview. Fifty years into the present, huh? I think I'd like to visit the past, but not sure. Good look with those new books this summers.
Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

robynl said...

Renee, Hi and welcome; you are new to me. A signed copy, that is something I can not pass up so enter me please so I can learn about a new author's writings.

Brian said...

Great to read your interview Renee. I'm sure you know I wish you every success with your books. It's great to see how much effort you put into making your characters believable and true to life.

Keep up the good work.

Brian L Porter
Auhtor - A Study in Red - The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper

Tiffany James said...

Debbie,

Thanks for stopping by AH. I have been writing and reading all my life, too. I just started seriously about eight months ago...it is addicting!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Linda,

Thanks for coming by AH. Glad you enjoyed Renee's interview!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

robynl,

Thanks for stopping by AH. What a perfect time to have found Renee! Her book is just right for summer reading.

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Brian,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Glad to see we have some "Armchair Heroes" as well!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Debbie!! Thanks for stopping by, AH! Those stories are still rolling around in my head LOL! I guess that never ends :)

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for giving a shout out!

BTW, everyone, Linda just received the release date for her new book, A` Law of Her Own. It will be out Aug. 27 with TWRP. Check it out!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

robynl.--I'm so glad you came by and entered the contest.

Good luck! And if you are interested in more contests, feel free to sign up for my newsletter at www.reneeknowles.com.

I often have newsletter-only contests :)

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Brian! Thanks for your comments and your support! I appreciate you coming by AH.

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Wonderful interview!

I love the title and description.

Congrats again and good luck with ALL future releases (now and fifty years from now!)

Smiles,
Chiron

Tiffany James said...

Chiron,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Good luck to you in the contest. The winner of Renee's book will be announced on June 17th!

Tiffany

Sandy said...

Renee,
I love to travel, too, and Amsterdam would be one of the places I would like to visit. Your book sounds very interesting.

Sandy

Tiffany James said...

Sandy,

Thanks for visiting AH. I have added Amsterdam to my "must visit" list!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Chiron! Thank for hopping over and saying hi. Your weekly blog always helps me get the week off to a great start!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Sandy,

You've certainly done your share of traveling as well :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Jean said...

great interview, I can't wait to read your books

Susan said...

Hi Renee,
That was a terrific interview. Going Topless sounds wonderful, I would love to win it!

Tiffany James said...

Jean & Susan,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Best of luck with the contest!

Tiffany

Amy S. said...

Great interview! Going Topless sounds great!

Caffey said...

Hi Renee! and Tiffany! I do like the title of the Wednesdays! And would love to be in the contest! With three woman, are there plans to do the stories of the other two heroines? Or are all their stories told in this book? I'm not much of a traveler but Amsterdam is one of many places that I listed I'd love to see. It will go further up the list now. I love historical romancess, so I'm very much looking forward to your future releases too!

I love the name of this blog and thrilled to have found it. I shall enjoy more of it in the coming weeks too.

Pollyanna said...

That was a great interview. I've never been to Amsterdam but would love to travel there one day. Read all your excerpts on Going Topless, Guilty Pleasures and Courting Trouble - yummy!

kimmyl said...

HI Renee, Great interview. I have been wanting to read this book. I absolutely loved the excerpt.

Tiffany James said...

Amy,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Maybe you will be the lucky winner and then you will get your wish! :0)

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Caffey,

Glad you like Wednesday's official title and our humble abode. I would love to see you back here and there are lots of great things on the agenda for summer fun!

I'm going to let Renee address a couple of your questions. After reading Going Topless, I felt like I had closure with all of the characters but would love to see what happens when they return to "normal life". What do you think, Renee?

Hey, Caffey, maybe we can convince Renee to sign a copy of her historical romance, Courting Trouble and do another contest. The release date is July 23rd.

Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Pollyanna,

Thanks for visiting AH. Renee picked some awesome excerpts, didn't she? Good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Kimmyl,

Thanks for stopping by AH - good luck in the contest. If you liked the excerpt, you'll love the book!

Tiffany

Ironeyes said...

Nice informative interview, and congrats with your book releases.

Tiffany James said...

Ironeyes,

Thanks for visiting AH. Glad you enjoyed the interview. Good luck with the contest!

Tiffany

She said...

This is a title I have to read. I love when titles are not run of the mill or ordinary. Congrats on Going Topless and Courting Trouble.

Sheila

Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I lost our fathers in 1970
within 6 months of each other. Our
children didn't get to know their
grandfathers. I'd want to go back
to that year, taking along some of
today's technology and see if we couldn't give them a longer lifetime!

Pat Cochran

blessedheart said...

This sounds like another great story from a very talented author!

Blessings,
Rhonda :0)

Tiffany James said...

Sheila,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Going Topless is a great title, isn't it? I wish I would have thought of Courting Trouble for a title myself!

Good luck with the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Pat,

It is so hard to lose someone we love - let alone two people within such a close time frame!

I lost my grandfather to a heart attack and I often wonder if he could have stayed with us a little longer if it had been a few years forward in time!

Thanks for visiting - good luck with the contest!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Rhonda,

You definitely know your authors! Renee is super-talented and I can't wait for Courting Trouble! Just a few weeks...

Thanks for visiting and good luck!

Tiffany

Tiffany James said...

Debby posted this comment - but for some reason blogger doesn't want to post it so I am doing it for Debby:

"The book sounds great/I am adding it to my list of summer reading. I have one more day left of school and then I think I will read whatever I can get my hands on."

Tiffany James said...

Debby,

Yeah, summer vacation - love it!

Maybe you will win the contest and get your hands on Renee's book!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Jean,

Thanks for stopping by Tiffany's great blog! Hope you enjoy the books!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Susan!

Glad you enjoyed the interview! I have to admit Going Topless is a book of the heart for me :)

Good luck in the contest!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Amy!

Love your avatar! Thanks for checking out my spotlight!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Caffey!

So glad you stopped by! Going Topless does tell the stories of three women--each unique and looking for something different in themselves and their lives. All three stories are resolved in the novel, so there won't be a sequel to this one.

But I am writing a new series for Siren, and plan to follow my first historical romance, Courting Trouble with a sequel :)

Hope you find a way to make it to Amsterdam. It is a beautiful and amazing city.

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Pollyanna!

Glad you stopped by AH! Thanks for the compliments on my excerpts :))

Amsterdam is such a great and diverse city! You would really enjoy it.

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Kimmyl,

Glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Thanks for checking out my spotlight.

Good luck in the contest!!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Ironeyes,

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my interview! Happy Summer reading :)

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Sheila,

Thanks for coming by and commenting!

I did try to make Going Topless pretty diverse. I really enjoyed writing it.

Good luck in the contest :)

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Pat C,

What a poignant message. I lost my father 2 years ago this month, so I can completely understand. It's hard to lose the ones we love.

Thanks for stopping by and posting.

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Oh, Rhonda! What a wonderful compliment! Thanks so much!

Thanks for stopping by.

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Debby!

Summer is such a great reading time! I have quite a TBR pile myself :))

Thanks for checking out my spotlight!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Laurie B said...

Hey Renee,

Going topless looks like a great read.

Laurie

Tiffany James said...

Laurie,

Thanks for stopping by AH. Going Topless is great - good luck in the contest!

Tiffany

Renee Knowles said...

Thanks, Laurie B.!!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Tiffany James said...

Hey, everybody!

I entered Skhye in the contest because she tried to leave a comment but couldn't - the computer was being mean to her!
:0)

Tiffany