RENEE BERNARD is a USA Today Bestselling author, host of her own internet radio talk show “Canned Laughter and Coffee with Renee Bernard” and a really lovely lady.
Huge THANKS to Renee for being the guinea pig for our very first go around of “10 Questions With…!”
When creating the perfect hero and heroine, do you rely solely on your imagination or do you draw inspiration from other sources (family and friends, actors/actresses etc.) or a combination of both?
They mostly seem to fire up inside my head and exist only in my imagination. Afterward I’ll see an actor or actress and think, “Ah! There you are!” But I don’t think I’ve ever pulled too much from the real world…probably because I approach the books like an escape, so I’m aiming for characters that are larger than life or with enough dimensions to make you forget that they reside only on the page. Not saying I’ve achieved that, but it’s a goal.
Which character from your own work would you most like to meet in the real world and why?
Great question. I don’t think I can choose between the guys in the last series and I don’t think you’d let me cheat and say I’d love to get one hour to sit in Rowan West’s study with all of the Jaded Gentlemen. ( I’d sip port and sit with my feet tucked up under me like a cat and I would be in heaven. ) SO if I can’t have them all then..
Ramis. From “Madame’s Deception”. I want him to tell me his secrets so that I can uncover his story and tell it. And perhaps find him a happy ending of his own…
Which character from another authors work would you also like to meet?
Austen’s Mr. Darcy.
If you had to choose between writing a story that would leave your readers LAUGHING out Loud, CRYING from all the intense emotions or with a pressing need for a COLD SHOWER, which response would you prefer?
RB: Whichever one I’m aiming for, that would be the response I’d prefer. Nothing worse than hoping for a slow steamy scene to inspire a cold shower and making someone laugh so hard they hurt themselves. Just saying…
Living and breathing a cast of characters for months/years while writing a story must make it hard to set that character aside when the story is finished. Which character did you most have the trouble with saying “Goodbye” to?
I’m still in the throes with the Jaded. I’m not sure I’ll ever really let go. Readers may be happy to learn that all kinds of novellas and additional books are being outlined and tucked away from the world I created.
A lot of authors are now using social media websites like FACEBOOK and TWITTER to connect with their fans and promote their new and upcoming work. How much of a difference do you believe that these interactions help in engaging new readers/fans to your work?
I hope it helps a lot but what I do know is that I feel much more connected to readers now and have been lucky enough to find friends and not just ‘fans’. That’s pretty amazing. When someone genuinely enjoys the stories and reaches out, I’m thrilled and with social media, it’s been great to have a completed loop of communication with readers; to get to say thank you and to make sure they know what a difference they make with those reviews and emails.
Now that self-publishing is growing in popularity and even established “Print” authors are choosing to release some of their work outside the traditional norm of a publishing house, do you believe that the added level of control given to the author will ultimately see a rise in the quality of the works available or just the quantity?
I think quality has to increase and it will. Readers are already tired of the delights of ‘free’ or ‘it should have been free’ books. It’s not about control, it’s about good writers with good skills and a professional approach realizing that they have multiple avenues to work with. No matter what path opens up, the story still has to be good and carry the day. And readers will begin to understand that you get what you pay for. 😉
Speaking of control…when it comes to the cover art, when a character or couple are portrayed it’s not uncommon for them to be shown as a perfect model of themselves without any of the descriptive flaws found inside the pages of the story. Do you think that readers prefer the more romanticized version or would they rather see a truer version of the characters being portrayed? AND, which would you prefer?
A little truer wouldn’t be such a bad thing but who doesn’t appreciate a bit of eye candy? I want that cover to be beautiful and inspiring and fantastic. Does that limit it to insanely perfect models? NO! I’d love to see more artistic covers and less stock/familiar poses.
The NEWS is always doing stories on pirate and file sharing websites that illegally make copies of music, movies and television freely available online, but they rarely if ever include mention of eBooks in these reports. What are your thoughts on the lack of attention being given to this issue?
RB: When it happens to a big name, it will get more attention. I’m just waiting for the scales to tip…and then those who’ve been fighting the battle all along will finally see some justice and protection, I hope.
Would you care to share something about your latest release or a story that you are working on now?
My last book was “Desire Wears Diamonds”, available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, and I also have the audiobook coming out any day now… so it’s been a lot of fun to finish out the series with this one.
As for future projects, I’m scheming and writing a lot these days and on quite a few very different projects. (Apparently I’m trying to do all three of your options from question #4…maybe all at once.) But I’m finishing up an erotic romance (because someone dared me to write it), a paranormal contemporary, the script for a comic book, and a new historical romance or two. Because I am crazy.
One Woman Think Tank, USA Today Bestselling Author and Host of The Romance Bookmark on Tuesday nights at Readers Entertainment via BlogTalkRadio. Oh!…and Queen of Crazy!
What in the world is a retired Navy chaplain’s daughter doing writing scorching hot historical romances and contemporary romantic comedies? Renee Bernard is applying a great education from traveling all over the world to story telling and doing her best to keep her father proud. Truthfully, her father is her number one fan, even though he hasn’t worked up the courage to crack one of those red hot romances open yet—but nothing stops him from telling everyone else they need to pick up her latest! Love can make even a minister do strange things!
Her debut novel, “A Lady’s Pleasure” won the RT Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Debut Historical in 2006 and she’s never looked back. It’s been one Double-Dog-Dare moment after another but she’s kept her sense of humor (if not her sanity!) Renee currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. (Note an interesting proximity to great wineries!)
Her alter ego, A.R. Crimson, is a wicked writer of erotic modern penny dreadfuls and makes no apologies for it. As Renee Bernard, she continues to write historical romances and more recently paranormal romantic comedies. She has also written a comic book, “Azrael’s Girl”, and continues to explore new genres because so far no one has told her not to…