A quick late-addition commercial note: I’m over at Urban Fantasy Investigations today, talking about the different species of the Sentinels world–and you can enter for the tour prizes!
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to fellow author, Cecilia Dominic. Cecilia is stopping by today as part of her #12DaystoPerfect blog hop in anticipation of the release of her latest book, A Perfect Man. A Perfect Man will be published on May 12 by Samhain.
Cecilia Dominic became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. By day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction that keeps her readers turning pages past bedtime. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each. She has been published in short story and novel-length fiction and currently writes urban fantasy, new adult contemporary, and steampunk for Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Cecilia by visiting her website, her wine blog, on Facebook and by following her on Twitter.
ABOUT A PERFECT MAN: How far will she go to find her perfect man? How far will he go to be one? When Karen Hardeman sets foot on the Foothills University campus, it’s her first step toward proving her abusive ex wrong. Just her luck, her first writing assignment in Intro to Romance sends her in search of the perfect hero—a quest she’s never managed to conquer. Worse, her professor forces her to collaborate with the most overconfident, annoying guy in the class. Seth Sayers is also at Foothills to find new direction—preferably one that takes him far away from the family drama that’s followed him since his father’s death. He didn’t mean to humiliate Karen by rewriting her manuscript from the hero’s point of view. He blames the painkillers the ER doctor gave him after stitching up a wine-induced cut on his hand. As their collaboration progresses, Karen begins to trust Seth with her manuscript, then maybe a little piece of her heart. But Seth’s half-brother resurrects Seth’s suspicions about his father’s death. Until he finds the truth, he can’t be the hero in anyone’s life. Even his own. Warning: Some alcohol consumption. Okay, writer amounts of alcohol consumption.There are also some adult situations, but nothing too explicit. It is a romance-writing class,after all.
And now, let’s hear from Cecilia…
Q & A With Cecilia Dominic
Thank you so much for having me, Suzanne! I always enjoy being on your blog.
Give us the “elevator pitch” for your latest work?
In A Perfect Man, my characters enroll in a genre fiction writing program to get new starts on their lives, but they soon find out real life is stranger than fiction as my hero deals with family drama and my heroine ends up stalked by a megachurch pastor. As they navigate the first semester, which is focused on the romance genre, they have to learn to trust themselves and each other to overcome their respective challenges and do well in the course. The tagline is, “How far will she go to find her perfect man? How far will he go to be one?”
Describe your favorite scene in the book? Why is it your favorite?
The one that makes me laugh still is when my hero has very naughty dreams after having fallen asleep reading a romance novel for class. He finds out it had the same effect on his classmate/roommate. It’s my favorite scene because the guys in the class had different reactions to having to take a romance writing class, but none of them are prepared for their own reactions to the material or how it influences them.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written:
In my second novel Long Shadows, the main character Lonna goes to see her aunt at a hospice facility and have one last conversation with her before she dies. It was hard because of the emotional component – Lonna’s world is already crumbling around her, and she’s losing her last living relative – and because I had to manage the balance between revelation of family secrets with keeping enough mystery amidst all of it. I wrote it, rewrote it after my critique group gave me feedback, and then had to rewrite it by hand to really connect with it after my editor didn’t like it.
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
I’m currently reading 9th Life – The Naming of Legends by Wendy Beck. It’s about a cat shapeshifter and the zookeeper he befriends. The hero can shift into a lynx or a Maine coon. Now if that isn’t your perfect guy, what is? It would be impossible to stay mad at him if he’s all cute and fuzzy and purring on your lap.
Next up, Rosalie Stanton’s Lost Wages of Sin, a paranormal romance from a new-to-me author.
Favorite book when you were a child:
One I read repeatedly is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong, which is the first in her Harper Hall trilogy and part of the Pern series. Why can’t fire lizards be real? I would also read Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series every Christmas.
Your five favorite authors:
Oooh, this is a tough one. Luckily my “keeper” bookshelf is within viewing distance, so I can see the books I’ve kept to read again and again.
There are two authors I have entire shelves for. Anne McCaffrey is my all-time favorite author, especially the Pern series and the Crystal Singer trilogy. She had an amazing imagination and intellect, and her worlds and characters feel like old friends to me at this point.
L.M. Montgomery is my guide for well-rounded characters and strong young women. I love all her books with their quirky characters and charming settings, but my favorites of hers are the Emily books. Emily is an aspiring writer who finds her way through life, love, and publication. In spite of being a redhead, I identify with Emily much more than I did Anne.
Those are my two big favorites. Other authors I admire and who have earned a coveted spot on my bookcase include:
Joshilyn Jackson because her Southern fiction has great humor but also tackles really dark topics. She’s got a voice that just sucks you in.
Ann Patchett. Two words: Bel Canto. Wow.
Anne Rice, whose Vampire Chronicles I liked, but the ones that made it on to my shelf are Cry to Heaven, about a castrato in eighteenth century Italy, and Exit to Eden.
Book you’ve faked reading (Moby Dick is the most frequently given answer!)
Probably something for work. I attempted Moby Dick once but couldn’t get into it.
Book other than your own for which you’re an evangelist:
Paranormal romance author Anise Rae’s books Syphon’s Song and Enchanter’s Echo are beautifully written alternate histories. She does a phenomenal job with her world-building and plot twists. Enchanter’s Echo is the last book I read that gave me a book hangover from staying up way too late to finish it.
Book that changed your life:
I will always be happy I came across Myers & Myers’ Gifts Differing, which is their explanation of the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator and personality types. I have a rare personality type – INFJ – and it helps to know there are more people like me. It also helps me to deal better with other types since I know where communication can be missed and priorities crossed.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is another one of my favorites. It would be a lot of fun to approach that one without any expectations and take the journey for the first time again.
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
This might not be exactly what you’re asking, but it’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this question.
I don’t remember what the book was, probably a Dick Francis mystery. I was lying on my back in bed, and a roach dropped from the ceiling and crawled up the middle of the page I was reading. That book got thrown so hard. It’s one of the hazards of living in the South, especially a few days after the exterminator comes or if it’s raining. Now I have cats, and they see the bugs and warn me.
Favorite book about books or writing:
The two that helped me the most with A Perfect Man were Leigh Michaels’ On Writing Romance, which helped me solidify what I had observed prior to writing the first draft, and Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan’s Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels. I came across that one after I’d written my first draft, and it really helped me with revisions. I’m currently enjoying Tami Cowden et al.’s The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes.
I’m writing the second in a steampunk series. The first, Eros Element, will be out with Samhain in August. And I’m noodling ideas for a sequel to A Perfect Man.
Since we’ve talked so much about books, I’d like to give away a $5 Amazon gift card to one random commenter. All you have to do is tell me what your perfect day would look like.
Want to follow me and my characters on the #12DaystoPerfect blog hop for the chance to win more cool prizes? Join the event on Facebook for daily updates and please consider liking my page while you’re there.
Thanks, Cecilia and congrats on the upcoming release of A Perfect Man. In addition to the $5 Gift Card for one lucky commenter, in association with Cecilia’s #12DaystoPerfect blog hop, there is also a giveaway with some great prizes. In order to enter for your chance to win, you must leave a comment and then enter using the following link: