I am joined today on my blog by recently published author, Barbara DeLeo. Barbara’s novel CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE was published by Entangled Publishing recently, in their Indulgence imprint. Her second novel, LAST CHANCE PROPOSAL is coming out in January, 2013, also in Entangled Indulgence. Barbara answered a few questions for me about her writing journey and process.
What gave you the inspiration to write CONTRACT FOR MARRIAGE?
Thanks so much for having me on the blog today, Maria. The inspiration for Contract for Marriage came from my fascination with the way people can become attached to a particular place. I tried to imagine a situation where two people could be passionately intent on hanging on to a home but could never live there together. I also wanted to explore the idea that people often use each other for their own ends and how that could play out when they’re deeply attracted to each other.
It’s your debut novel, but have you written any novels previously?
I’ve been writing seriously for the past seven years and in that time completed six manuscripts. I’m happy to say that one of those five other manuscripts, Last Chance Proposal will be out this coming January. I’m hoping a couple of the others might be picked up too but the first one I wrote would probably be best used as bedding for our pet rabbit….
Did it take you a long time in your journey to become a published author?
I completed revisions on a number of manuscripts for different editors in thoseseven years but my stories always seemed to be a little out of the box. When my agent suggested we submit my latest manuscript to Entangled Publishing, I was very interested. They’d only just started the Indulgence line and the titles were so fun and fresh that I was more than happy. When my agent called only a couple of weeks later with the offer for Contract for Marriage I was thrilled.
What advice would you give a new author starting out on the road to publication?
Read, read, read and write, write, write. I’m a big believer in learning about things like language and narrative and dialogue and book structure by reading what’s current in your genre. I’ve also come to learn that writing is like exercise, the more you work the muscles, the stronger you become as I writer.
What is your daily writing routine?
When I’m in “adding words mode”, not editing or planning, I aim for about 1200 to 1500 good words a day. I try to sit down at 9am with all my business emails out of the way so I can hit the ground running. I’m quite slow at putting the words on the page but being so careful means I usually don’t have so much editing to do. I work through until 3pm when my four kids come home from school and will have had some breaks in the day for tweeting, facebooking and writing business stuff (and a coffee or three!)
Do you need complete peace and quiet to write, or are you one of those writers who thrives on noise and a busy atmosphere?
I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a mom of four but I just can’t make my brain work when there’s noise. I have author friends who listen to music while they write but not me! You can often find me crouched over my laptop with my bright orange earplugs trying to finish a chapter while all hell breaks loose around me.
I hear you on that one, Barbara. I’m a mother of four too and I’m very similar to you in my reaction to noise. Thanks for coming here today and sharing with us about your work.
Barbara DeLeo on the web:
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.