Friday, May 29, 2009

Interview with Tia Dani

I’d like to welcome our guest today, the writing team, Tia Dani. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Color of Dreams. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

First of all, Kim, we want to thank you so much for inviting us. We’re excited to be here visiting with you and your readers. And, God knows, we need all the therapy we can get.

We’d love to talk a bit about Color of Dreams. Here’s the back cover blurb. What happens when a Wiccan high-priestess and three mischievous nymphs conjure spells on an environmentalist and a jet engine designer? Magic, mayhem, and wild nights of passion.

Justine Tori Cryst is to be initiated into Gaia’s universal coven. Problem is...Justine must conjoin with a perfect soul-mate at the last stroke of midnight on her 29th birthday.

Shaun Kelly can’t believe his luck, or bad luck, when the woman who crushed his heart in college magically returns into his life. But crushed hearts mend. He still loves her. However, the chances of his rekindling their romance are zip because he’s certain Justine is hell-bent on putting the company he works for out of business...permanently.

Unbeknownst to either, Justine’s goddessmother is determined to bring Shaun and Justine back together because – Shaun has exactly what Justine needs to become the mother of the next generation of powerful little wiccas. His gene pool.

Color of Dreams is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

A friend of ours, Theresa Myers thought of it. The name sounded so good that it stuck. We were delighted The Wild Rose Press liked it too.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Although we write in various genres, paranormal has always been our favorite. When this story line bloomed in our minds, we became so excited about it that we put all our other stories on hold until this project was completed.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

A former college friend of Tia’s was surfing the internet for his boss’s wife who wanted to find a particular romance author. When he hit upon Valley of the Sun RW’s website, Tia’s photo appeared. Shocked but pleasantly surprised to find her, he immediately sent off an e-mail. That incident started us playing ‘what if’ and the rest became Color of Dreams.

What are your favorite fantasy research books, and why?

In truth there isn’t any one particular fantasy book that’s our favorite. We used a mixture of books that explore all types of elementals, such as angels, fairies, elves, and mermaids. We also make use of books that teach spells and stay on our good side. LOL

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

All our characters are special to us, but we would have to say Delphina. She gave us an exciting, strong and determined woman to work with. Although, Kamryn, our impish faery, came in a close second. We never knew what that little minx would do next.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and world affect your character development?

Character sheets are important to us, and we get very detailed with them. We write background history for each character, including, family, hobbies, pets, relationships with brothers or sisters. We go through magazines and cut out clothing items our characters would wear. We feel, to be able to write about a character, we need to know everything about them and how they would react in any given situation.

In Color of Dreams, we needed to know a bit about airplanes and airplane engines. We were fortunate to be acquainted with some men who are familiar in that line of work. We spoke with a former military fighter pilot, an airline mechanic, and interviewed a wonderful gentleman who investigates airplane crashes for the government.

Of course we also used the internet. We spent more than two weeks just doing research on Wiccas and Wiccan history.

How do you go about building your world? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

In Color of Dreams we designed Spirit World, where Delphina and her girls reside when not in the Earth world from our imagination. Photographs of scenic places helped visualize the landscape and buildings. We also created a scrap book page of each chapter with important points. It helped us by looking at it whenever we became stuck.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

We discovered that every author we read, from best-selling to first-selling, gives us an insight into writing one way or another. To mention them all would take forever.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

As new authors, we are still experimenting with author promotion. We want to find what works for us the best and what doesn’t. Authors need to get his or her name out there. A nicely designed website is important, along with personal blogs, and other internet sites such as myspace, facebook and twitter. Contests with prizes seem to generate interest. Be creative. Your goal is to draw readers to your site and get them excited about your writing and your books. Another step is to be involved with local and national activities. We just returned from Romantic Times 2009 Convention where we were on the RT Faery Court. That was undoubtedly one of our most thrilling experiences in our writing career. We have several workshops planned and will be offering them at different conferences in the near future.

What do we have to look forward next?

Actually we have several stories in the works. We have, Death Unseen, a paranormal mystery which ends with an unusual hook. Spoonful of Sugar is a sequel to Color of Dreams. It is a comedy where our goddessmother, Delphina, works her magic to help a small town bring together their favorite sheriff and a widowed pharmacist with four small children. In this one, Delphina also discovers a love interest of her own.

Thanks, Tia Dani!

To celebrate her book release, Tia Dani is offering a free ebook of Color of Dreams to one lucky commenter on today's blog. Check back on Monday and see who won. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio: Tia Dani is the published writing team made up of good friends, KrisTia Eaton and Dani Petrone. Together they create endearing and realistic characters, humorous dialogue, and unusual settings. of all...they’re having the time of their lives.

Storytelling has been a passion for Tia ever since childhood when she regularly enthralled the neighborhood children with make-believe fairy tales and wild adventures.

Today, as one half of the Tia Dani writing team, that same passion has given Tia a larger goal - captivate her readers with lively and heart-felt emotional stories so they will come away with a phenomenal revelation. For every story you have ever read. Or ever put to pen, the life you live can be just as wonderful. All you have to do is...Enjoy Life! Besides her stories that are published with The Wild Rose Press, she is published in full length historical romance as well as numerous articles and short stories. Tia is a wife to the perfect husband, a loving mother to a beautiful young lady and schedules her day around two feisty little dachshunds, Lady Diva and Lord Darcy.

Like most all writers, Dani can’t remember a time when she wasn’t plotting out a story in her head. Now while actively pursuing a writing career as the other half of Tia Dani, she still does. Nothing is beyond her imagination when it comes to crafting stories. She is known in her writing circle for her lively wit and great charisma. Always the lover of a good romance, Dani’s goal is for you to step into the shoes of her heroine, fall head-over-heels in love with her hero, and most of all believe in the magic of love. Everyday Dani counts her blessings. She has four amazing children, a wonderful daughter-in-law and three handsome grandsons. Dani shares her life with her husband of thirty years and two well-behaved dogs, Tinker, who could easily be mistaken for a coyote and Rocky, a very sweet, old border collie.

Tia and Dani happily call Arizona home where they play in the sunshine and dance in the twilight of the beautiful Sonoran desert. Both are members of Romance Writers of America, Valley of the Sun Romance Writers, Desert Rose Romance Writers and the Tucson Chapter of RWA. When they aren’t juggling their day jobs, or not cruising the mall for a great sale, yummy chocolate, and sexy shoes, you’ll find them chillin’ pool side, probably with a puppy in their lap, hard at work creating another hot, spicy love story.

Check out author’s website at


Anonymous said...

Good Morning Ladies,
Thanks for blogging with us. What do you find is the biggest challenge to writing as a team? How is it different than writing your books solo? Thanks.

Tia Dani said...

Good morning, Kim. We're thrilled to be here.

What's our biggest challenge?

Scheduling! Scheduling!

Often it's hard for us to organize our week for writing, due to other have-to's. You know, the kind everyone trips, grandma duty, spousal attention, outside activities, writing conferences, etc. Only these distractions are times two. We can't just get up at midnight when an idea strikes and get together.

Another challenge is for the two of us, who have different personalities, to sometimes agree on which turn a story will take. It sometimes can be a long, drawn-out discussion until an agreement can be reached.

Theresa Meyers said...

I saw you both in a picture of the court for RT 2009 Faery Court! What was the best part of the conference for you, and how do you handle things when they want to meet the author and there are two of you? Thanks!

Carol Webb said...

Your book is fantastic. I highly recommend it! I'm sure after everything is said and done and you've worked through to that final page in your book together, you start finishing each other's sentences! :) I can't wait to read more of your paranormal romances!

Cherie Lee said...

Did you have any imput for your beautiful cover design? Do you ever flip a coin to decide an issue for a writing problem? Is one of you better at writing description or dialogue or does it take both of you? How much research will you need to do for your next book? If you could only give one writing tip to a writer, what would it be? Now that's enough questions for now ladies. I don't want to tie up your writing time. After all the NYT best seller list is waiting to add your name to their list! Now, you can see I'm a fan and just wishing you the best of luck.
Cherie Lee

Tia Dani said...

Theresa, What was the best part of the conference for us?

Faery Court was definitely the best. Never have we had so much attention and star power. Now we know what it is like to walk the red carpet. We're counting the days for next year's RT.

How do we handle things when people want to meet the author and there are two of us?

What do you mean two of us? Haven't you heard? We're joined at the hip and speak in unison. GRIN

However, if something does arrive while we're apart, we'll worry about it then.

Thanks for all your great questions.

Tia Dani said...

Carol wrote, "Your book is fantastic. I highly recommend it! ....I can't wait to read more of your paranormal romances!"

Glad to hear you like COLOR OF DREAMS, Carol. It was an awesome book to write. Wait until you read our next fantasy, where Delphina gets involved with another couple and...reignites a former love of her own.

Thanks for being one of our fans. It means a lot.

Tia Dani said...

Cherie Lee asked, "Did you have any imput for your beautiful cover design?

Actually we did. Our cover artist, Tamra Westberry, took some of our suggestions and created our wonderful cover. It was up for a Covey Award.

"Do you ever flip a coin to decide an issue for a writing problem?"

You know, that's not a bad idea. We'll try it next time.

"Is one of you better at writing description or dialogue or does it take both of you?"

Dani's great with description. Tia loves dialogue. Who's better? Who knows...we usually tweak everything together anyway, that's why we manage to keep our Tia Dani voice.

"How much research will you need to do for your next book?"

Not much...ha ha...depends on if Tia will let Dani get away with no research. Tia is a research hog. The sequel to COLOR OF DREAMS already completed the research needed. It's just coming up with Delphina's romantic escapade. She's always unpredictable.

"If you could only give one writing tip to a writer, what would it be?"

Keep writing. Never give up. Ultimately your writing will move to a higher level. Success is yours for the asking.

".... After all the NYT best seller list is waiting to add your name to their list! Now, you can see I'm a fan and just wishing you the best of luck."

Awww. Thanks Cherie. You're a sweetie. When we make NYT's Best Selling list, we'll deliver a bouquet of flowers personally to your door.

Estella said...

I love paranormal stories and Color of Dreams sounds great!

Mary Ricksen said...

What a great premise for a story. It sounds like something that I would really enjoy.
Tamra does the most imaginative covers that I have ever seen. She made you a beautiful cover.
How lucky you are to have this wonderful talent to share. One of you does the imagery another the dialogue. That is just what we all need.Good luck on you new release!! Looking forward to reading it.

Kathryne Kennedy said...

This sounds like a fabulous book, as does the sequel! Can't wait to read them both!

John said...

Hello Ladies. It's wonderful to know that two long time friends can also create together. There must be times when one or both of you must pause to give the other time to catch up or soak in the thoughts of the other. That can be a difficult process in any collaboration. You must have the secret to make it work so well. Surely you both have inputs to each but do you find one of you prefers to work on character development while the other prefers the story line details? Here's to a long and successful allinace. Keep the creative juices flowing.

Tia Dani said...

Estella wrote, "I love paranormal stories and Color of Dreams sounds great!"

Thanks Estella. If you get the book we're sure you'll enjoy reading it as much as we did writing it.
Keep in touch.
Love Tia & Dani

Tia Dani said...

Hi Mary.
Thanks for stopping by to visit. Yes, we are very lucky to have each other.

Tia Dani said...

Thanks Kathryne, Coming from you, that means a lot. You're an awesome writer.

Tia Dani said...

Wow, John. You should think about becoming a writer yourself. Or, are you already one?

You seem to understand a lot what it takes to write a book. Grin're right about our pausing to give the other time to catch up or soak in the thoughts of the other. That happens a lot with us, especially when we're attempting to enhance a character's emotion. We find that if both of us understand it correctly, then so should the reader.

Thanks for taking time to comment on MCTT loop. It's a great to visit.

Hope to hear from you again.
Tia and Dani

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Oh, gosh, I love the story of what inspired Color Of Dreams -- that's such a kick!

I just today saw the RT photo of you two in what look like white chef's hats...what's the scoop on that?

Laurie, wondering if being chefs is a whole OTHER talent

Tia Dani said...

Well, Laurie, every successful, dynamic duo needs an alter-ego, you know, like Batman and Robin?? Don't ask which is which. Too dangerous.

One thing about the photo you mentioned. Dani isn't posing with Tia and the real Chef, Jimmy. That was Kayce Lassiter. Dani went undercover for this incident. She posed as the photographer.

Tia and Dani, having the time of their life doing this loop.

freckles said...

Interesting interview. I never realized the extensive and fascinating process of writing a book. The cover and title are beautiful and inviting. I look forward to a leisurely afternoon romantic read. Thanks for the interview insights and good luck on your continuing endeavors. gl

tim hoffman said...

Great interview! Had no idea of the intensity of research involved, ie; pilots, mechanics,..etc. in the creting of a paranormal romance. Probably a motivating factor to get a guy who normally passes on "chick flicks & sories" to actually open the book. Nice job ladies!