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!