Paul’s Fantasy Writings today has the privilege of an an interview with author Denise N Wheatley, a specialist in the romance-suspense genre with titles such as The Road To Bliss, Shadow Of A Man and (her latest novel) Wards Of The Women, among many others and more to come. After coming across her brilliant books, I got in touch with Denise and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you live and do the place(s) you’ve lived in appear your writings?
I live in Chicago, the city where I was born and raised. But seldom do I write about it in my work. I’m a west coast girl at heart and oftentimes base my books in Los Angeles, as my stories relates to the entertainment industry. Also, I enjoy creating fictitious towns, which is always fun.
You have now published 7 books, which is a fantastic achievement. Do you still feel as passionately about writing now as you did when you first started?
Thank you! I actually feel more passionately about writing now than ever before. As the industry changes along with readers’ needs and expectations, I continue to study the craft and strive to create new, interesting and intriguing stories that’ll capture their hearts. It can be challenging, but since I enjoy nothing more than writing, and I’m always up for it.
This blogger: That is wonderful and your passion shines through in your books. It is no surprise that your stories get better and better, as you love your craft ever more. That you are willing to challenge yourself to meet readers’ ever greater demands is proof of your love for writing. Please keep it up!
Are you writing a novel at the moment? If so, what is it called and what is it about?
I recently completed a contemporary romance/chick-lit novel titled She Gets What She Wants. It is about a jilted midwestern woman who believes she can conquer Hollywood, so she does. That book will be released next spring. I’m currently working on two holiday novellas. I’ll Be Home For Christmas is a sweet second chance romance that’ll be released in December of this year; and Valentine’s Slay is an enemies-to-lovers sci-fi romance that hits e-shelves in February 2020.
This blogger: You have a prodigious work-rate, Denise! The amount you can write in such a short space of time is immense and very impressive. (I wish I could write half that amount in that time-period.) Again, keep it up!
In one of my blog pieces, I discuss the importance of boredom in the writing process. When you are bored, have you ever come up with a good idea for one of your stories? If so, what was it?
I remember feeling creatively depleted right before I wrote my novel The Road to Bliss. After watching Julia Roberts’s film Notting Hill, I was inspired to pen the book. Whenever I grow bored with the writing process, I’ll engross myself in books and movies, which oftentimes reignites my desire to create.
This blogger: (*laughs*.) Watching movies should have been one of my tips to break that metaphorical brick wall lol.
Your novels are in the dual romantic suspense genre. Forgive my ignorance, but I am not familiar with this genre. What is it and what drew you to it?
Romantic suspense intertwines romance plots with elements of mystery, thriller and/or suspense. While I love all things romance, I also have a passion for true crime. The Investigation Discovery and Hallmark networks are two of my favourite television channels! So, the romantic suspense genre, which is just one of several that I write, allows me to incorporate both components into my work.
In all of your novels, which character is most like you? And why?
My female protagonists are usually most like me because they’re (usually) the more balanced, level-headed characters in the books. But I do possess traits that relate to my secondary characters, who tend to be bold, outspoken and joke-cracking additions.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
I’d tell my younger self to continuously study the craft, be patient with myself, never give up, and just keep going. As long as I’m working hard and creating, the positive results will come.
This blogger: That is excellent advice! No wonder you have written 7 books with 2/3 more on the way at the moment. Your advice is built a fantastic mindset within you. Others should follow your advice.
When you plan your novel, do you plan it in detail? Or do you give yourself a basic framework and let the characters take you in whichever direction they like?
When I begin plotting a novel, I create an outline and try to include as much information as I can from start to finish. But as I write the book, the characters oftentimes take on a life of their own, which can change the entire course of the novel. That’s fine with me, as long as I’m pleased with the end result. (*smiles wryly*.)
How has writing changed you?
Writing has given me a sense of purpose and made my life more meaningful. There’s nothing more fulfilling than finding your passion, then bringing it to fruition. I don’t ever foresee a time in my life when I’m not writing. It truly fuels my soul.
Have your family and friends read your most recent novel, Wards of the Women? If so, what do they think of it and how do you feel when they talk about it with you?
My mother read the book, which is about three well-to-do, troubled suburbanites who end up buying men from a prison to fulfil their every need. I threw in some pretty shocking twists and turns that took her by surprise, and she really enjoyed that.
Moreover, I’m lucky enough to have friends who act as beta readers for my books. One of them told me she absolutely loved the story, and that it had her emotions swaying in every direction while wondering what could go wrong next.
I’m always extremely flattered and appreciative when family and friends want to discuss my writing. I could talk about it all day long lol, so when they indulge me, I’m all ears and very grateful.
This blogger: First, your mother and your friends sound incredibly supportive and generous. I think it is really important to have such a support network around you when writing. (Although, I wish to add here that they are lucky to have someone as charming and as delightful as you in their lives, as well. I am sure you do your fair bit for them too.)
What do you like to do outside of writing?
I love traveling, watching good movies and true crime television. Of course, I like reading and playing tennis, and otherwise… just hanging out with family and friends.
If you could go travelling anywhere in the world for any length of time, where would you go and for how long?
I’d love to spend a month in Africa and experience the cultural and historical richness, along with the magnificent landscapes and stunning nature.
End of Interview
That, I am afraid to say, concludes our interview with author Denise Wheatley. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Denise for her time. It has been a joy getting to know her, and I wish her so much success going forwards with her writings, her family, travels, and other undertakings.
If you enjoy reading contemporary, suspense and paranormal romance, with characters who are strong, colorful and relatable, then you will love Denise’s books. I Wish I Never Met You, When It’s All Said & Done, and Shadow Of A Man, as well as the rest of her books can be purchased on Amazon, with the exception of Wards of Women, which can be bought here.
Lastly, keep up with Denise and be the first to find out when her new books are released via her blog; by following her on Instagram and Twitter; and by liking her on Facebook. Also, view her on Goodreads and Bookbub for more entertaining stories that embody matters of the heart.
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