Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview with Linda Poitevin

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Linda Poitevin. 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 A Fairy Tale for Gwyn. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’d love to, thanks! A Fairy Tale for Gwyn is my debut novel, a contemporary romance rated spicy by my publisher. It’s the ultimate modern fairy tale, really – handsome Hollywood leading man sweeps single mom off her feet...who among us hasn’t had that fantasy? Lol! Of course, not even the path to true love is that smooth, so there are definite obstacles to overcome, especially for the heroine, Gwyn, who is of the “once bitten, twice shy” mindset. And readers who have kids will especially appreciate the challenges of trying to fit a relationship into family.

A Fairy Tale for Gwyn is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It just seemed to describe the story so well...Hollywood god, overworked single mom...the kind of fairy tale we grew up on as little girls, but with a more down-to-earth tone.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

In the contemporary romance genre? The story. I just had this idea that wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it down, and it happened to be a contemporary. If you’re asking about writing in the sense of the broader romance genre, however, then I would have to say it’s because I believe so strongly in people and their ability to overcome just about anything in life if they can find someone with whom to share the journey. And I’m a sucker for happily ever after endings!

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

At the time I wrote A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, I was a definite pantser. For me, that meant a lot of shaking of heads by critique partners who kept pointing out the lack of internal conflict...and a lot of revising as a result *sigh*. I still like the pantser approach to a degree, but I’m writing far more complex stories these days (dark paranormal suspense) and find that I need to balance things out with at least a modicum of plotting (just so I don’t wander so far off track that I can’t find my way back again!).

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

Because I set the novel right here where I live, there wasn’t a lot of research required, no. When I am doing research, I balance it about equally between Internet and books. On the net, I try to stick with more academic sites so that I can be fairly certain of the accuracy, and I’m always careful to make sure that I’m able to back up any unusual tidbit that I find through another site.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

Ooh, that would be telling! *blush* Seriously, there was this certain actor/character in a now-defunct TV series that I was totally in lust idea led to another, and...well, suffice it to say there’s rather a lot of me invested in my heroine! *sigh*

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

I loved writing the kids in this book. While none of the incidents are real, the overall personalities were based very much on my own experiences as a mother, and it was huge fun reliving my kids’ earlier years.

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

It varies from story to story. Sometimes my characters are really cooperative and just unfold nicely...other times it’s like conducting an interrogation. I often put myself into a character’s pov and write a monologue type of interview to get a little closer to him/her. Recently I’ve been playing with goal/motivation/conflict charts and that helps a lot with figuring out what drives a character. As for the effect of research, I’d say that’s what inspires a lot of a character’s back story...the more I know about what I’m writing, the more alive a character becomes.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Too many to name! My current favorites are Charlaine Harris (of the Sookie Stackhouse series), J.R. Ward, and Patricia Briggs...their world-building skills are awe-inspiring and drive me to reach for the stars when I’m doing my own writing.

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

Definitely using the Internet. While I wasn’t particularly adept with or interested in technology a couple of years ago, I like to think I’m realistic about trends and opportunities, and I could see that the virtual world was becoming the way of the marketing future. There is no better way in the world to get information out to the most possible people in the shortest possible time – and the romance readers’ and writers’ world on the net is, to quote Nicholas in A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, “Ginormous!”

What do we have to look forward next?

Hopefully a whole series of dark paranormal suspense involving heavenly treason, a pending Apocalypse, and really, really hot angels! Book one is complete and with my agent at this point, so now it’s a matter of patience on my part...but you can bet that when I have news, it will be on both my Website ( and my blog ( – and announced on Facebook if any readers would like to friend me there!

Thanks, Linda!

Thank you for having me! I thoroughly enjoyed getting all this off my chest...and I’m thinking it was not only cheaper but much more fun than therapy!

To celebrate her book release, Linda is offering a free book of A Fairy Tale for Gwyn (in the winner’s choice of print or PDF file) to one lucky commenter on today's blog (please check the blog Monday night to see who won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Linda Poitevin lives with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.

Check out author’s website at Buy


Anonymous said...

Good morning Linda. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your lounge chair is comfortable and that hunky actor will be by any minute with eh chocolate. SIgh. I want to be Gwyn. I've tried the panster route at one time and wandered all over the book. Now I plot. Somewhat. I don't do to detailed because that gives me the flexibility to change things when I need to but I have to know the beginning, the middle, the black moment and how it's going to end. The rest just comes when I need it. Enjoy your day with us.

Linda Andrews said...

Your book sounds great Linda! As a lover of fairy tales, I went to your site to read the excerpt. WOW! What a way to wake up on Friday morning.

darkangelauthor said...

Thanks so much again for having me, Kim. The lounge chair is perfect, and I would personally LOVE to have a certain hunky actor come by...with or without the chocolate! :) As for the plotter vs. pantser route, I'm still waffling over which works better...sigh. Seems no matter how long I'm at this, there's still a significant learning curve involved...which is a good thing, really, because it certainly keeps things fresh and exciting!

darkangelauthor said...

Thanks so much, Linda! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt...and yeah, I'm pretty much a sucker for a fairy tale still, too. There's just something about a good happy-ever-after, isn't there? Sigh... :)

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Estella said...

I enjoy fairy tale stories!
I can relate to the hunky actor fascination.

darkangelauthor said...

Lol, Estella...I think most of us can relate! :) Thanks for coming by to say hello.