This week I was given the amazing opportunity to interview romantic suspense author Dana Marton. An amazing writer, Dana has published 25 novels with under Harlequin Intrigue. Read her interview below to learn how she began writing, her thoughts on epublishing, and so much more!
1. When did you first realize your love for writing?
I started to write poetry as soon as I learned my letters. Haven't learned about punctuation yet, so it was somewhat of a rambling mess about the starry sky. I wrote it on the way home from school. Showed it to my mom. She thought I copied it and when I insisted that I wrote it myself, she grounded me for lying. That didn't put me off writing, though!!! LOL I can be stubborn, I suppose. Finally, my first poem was published when I was in fifth grade, in the largest regional paper--and I got paid for it. I just couldn't believe when the money came in the mail! :-)
2. Which books gave you the inspiration to write your own works early on?
I'm not sure if it was any one book, but definitely romance novels. I love the adventure, the amazing heroes who had principles and true character, the feisty heroines who could more than hold up their own end. I read these books one after the other, and soon new stories were springing to life in my head, which I had to write down. Not that anyone got too excited about it! Selling my first book took 13 years and many, many rejections from editors and agents.
3. Can you describe your first experience getting published?
Getting the call from the editor is not something a writer ever forgets. I picked up the kitchen phone and nearly fainted when an editor from New York introduced herself and told me she wanted to buy my book. My knees were shaking. She was giving me a ton of information about dates and contracts. I had no pen or paper handy, but was too scared to ask her to hold. I was standing by the kitchen counter, dying to sit down, but the chairs were across the kitchen. I was trying to hyperventilate as quietly as I possibly could. After I hung up, I realized that I was on the cordless phone, so I could have gotten a chair and pen and paper. LOL. But I was so frazzled, my brain just stopped working. Then I
danced around the house and called my husband and screamed unintelligibly into the phone. I'm sure he thought the house was on fire.
4. What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of writing amazing romantic suspense novels?
I love painting. I have some of my art work up on my web site. I'm a complete amateur, I know I'll never make a penny off this, and I'm not sure I want to. I love how relaxing painting is. It's the perfect antidote to a day of writing about an armed confrontation with terrorists. :-)
5. What are your thoughts on traditional publishing versus self-publishing through ebooks?
I love both. The more books out there, the better. I've been very happy with my publisher, Harlequin Intrigue, and have published 25 books with them. I can honestly say that my editor's guidance made every one of those books better. They have great distribution that helped me reach readers I might never have reached on my own. I also love the new opportunities that are opening up to authors in self-publishing. My last romantic suspense release, GUARDIAN AGENT, was a direct release, in fact. It has done amazingly well and is climbing the Amazon romantic suspense bestseller list every day. I'm grateful to my wonderful readers beyond words.
6. What methods of self-publicizing have you used (ie. social networking, blogs, etc)?
I post on Facebook and Twitter regularly. I update my web site with new contests and new releases. I recently organized a Kindle giveaway with a few author friends, and created www.prizesforreaders.com. If you already have an e-reader, you can choose a $100 e-book gift certificate. I try to give back to my readers as much as I possibly can. Have I mentioned yet how amazing they are? :-)
7. What advice can you give to aspiring authors in your genre?
#1: Romantic suspense must be fast-paced. Start with action. Start with bullets flying.
#2: The hero must be larger than life. A romantic suspense hero does not only have to be able to win the heroine's heart, but he also has to be able to disarm a nuclear bomb and save the world!
#3: Do your research. Romantic suspense readers are super intelligent and know their stuff. I frequently get letters from military personnel who would definitely take me to task if I fudged any details on weapons or commando tactics.
Dana’s books can be found in book stores and online. Her latest book, GUARDIAN AGENT, is available online with the following sellers:
Amazon (Kindle version)
Barnes & Noble (Nook version)
You can find most of her novels on her Amazon author page by clicking here.
Thank you so much to Dana for contributing to my blog. We all look very forward to seeing what you’ll have for readers next!