Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome, Deb Denson

1: Thank you so much for being here, Deb. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

A. I toyed around with little projects in my teens, like poetry and a children’s book. The real kicker was working on a script for a movie called The Summoning with a friend of mine. I loved working on the back-story of that movie – I realized I had a knack for that detail.

2: What inspired you to write?
A. Another friend asked me if I fantasized. When I answered yes, he asked as a whole story – beginning, middle and end? It was then I began to think about those fantasies as a complete story. Mostly, my inspiration is other authors who excel at spinning good yarns – like Patrick O’Brian and Anya Seaton. I love historical fiction!

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
A. When I really get going I love the way a plot sort of evolves on its own. My first novel began from a personal fantasy about being the only woman on a ship full of men. I look at it now and see that framework, but oh boy, did it take off from there and went directions I never, never expected!

There are sections of the book that are segues. Those are the posers and the areas where I get stuck for inspiration. Sometimes its historical back-story and it’s a struggle not to bore the reader!

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
A. I was a costumer in the theatre for years, and I still dabble in sewing – mostly now for my 5 & 7 year-old nieces. I love gardening, watching movies, reading, and spending time in good conversation with my dear friends.

5: Which authors do you like to read?
A. Patrick O’Brian over and over! Michael Crichton (what a shame is gone). JD Robb, Anya Seaton, JRR Tolkien, Terry Brooks and Barbara Hambly’s early works.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
A. For many years I subscribed to the expectation that my goal as a woman was to marry and have children. This was not an unpleasant prospect by any means, but God had other plans for me. After many years of living alone and wishing it were otherwise, at last I am very proud to say I have embraced my “single-hood” and try to celebrate it every day! I love the romance of being a “spinster’, living with two cats, but my life is my own and I make every effort to live it fully.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
A. Magician’s Spell is a historical, adventure romance set in the 1800s, during the Napoleonic war. Although the title implies it, the book is not about magic, unless of course we are talking about the enchantment surrounding Lady Johanna Cornehl and Captain Harold “Hal” Monroe. Magician, is a privateer commanded by Capt. Monroe. Although he has a history with Johanna’s father, the lord admiral, she is not aware of that when she steps aboard Magician to be transported to England. What begins on that three week trip leads Johanna and Hal through adventures involving treason, the theatre, an illicit affair, and a desperate rescue attempt. Magician remains a constant throughout their exploits and figures prominently in bringing the two together in more than matrimony.

The website is:

My blog is:

Magician’s Spell will be published as an e-book from Red Rose Publishing on March 25, 2010. Their website:

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
A. I just finished reading On Writing by Stephen King, who said the one question he gets asked most is, and I paraphrase, would you write if it weren’t for the money? That question is asked in the last chapter of The First Five Pages (another excellent book I recommend on writing). Of all the questions that need a true soul-searching, honest answer – that is the one. If you say yes – persevere.

On a practical note – concentrate a lot of energy, do a lot of research on your query letter. Each time you get a letter saying: not this time – re-work that letter. Tweak until it gets you on your way! Do not despair.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
A. Oh yes, but usually only a facet of that person. For instance in the second book I have a character who is a clairvoyant. I actually knew a man who was so keen in reading people by what they said or didn’t say, he was suspected to be a mind reader. It was this aspect of his character I loved and used.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?
A. I plowed through all of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books and couldn’t help, but wonder if a headstrong woman was placed aboard those wooden communities comprised mostly of men, what havoc would she bring. Surprisingly, I found I was working out my relationship with my own father through the character of Johanna Cornehl. It was quite eye opening.

11: What are you currently working on?
A. The third book of the series which I have tentatively named Ruse de Guerre. It takes a character from Magician’s Spell, Dr. James Emrys, and develops his romantic attachment. The book’s title reflects tricks used in war to fool the enemy. The lead female character has her own secret she uses to survive, and it certainly gets in the way of her love life! The second book, His Apprentice, is written, but requires editing. It takes the characters of Timothy Ruhl and Emily Petranella from Magician’s Spell and weaves their romance, or attempted romance.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
A. My father was unhappy being anywhere for any long period of time while I was growing up. We lived in Michigan, Panama, California and Indiana, but never for more than five years. (he was buried at sea, so he continues to roam) I am pleased to say I have planted myself in Royal Oak, Michigan, with no plans to relocate. And I love it here!!

Of course, there’s my plan and God’s plan. You just never know.

Magician’s Spell

As Hal ascended the companionway ladder up onto the main deck, he looked up at the afternoon sun. One bell was struck; marking the beginning half hour of the first dogwatch. Satisfied that preparations were well under way for departure on the morning tide, he ordered his launch, crossed the bay and made his way back to Willowood.

Here he was pleased to discover Johanna patiently awaiting his return. She greeted him at the door and escorted him into the great room where she suggested, and he eagerly accepted, indulging in some music. Settling on a piece that equally addressed their skills, Hal led, picking out the opening notes of the fugue, after which Johanna ably followed. Three compositions later, she rose from the bench and stretched.

“We have about two hours before we have to leave.”

“Where are we going?”

Taking her signal, Hal put the instrument into its case and closed the lid.

“To Naomi’s…for dinner. I am sorry, Hal, didn’t I tell you?”

“Yes, you probably did, but in my haste to—”

“—to leave your wife—again.”

Sheepishly, he looked at her and said, “My love, it was your suggestion.”

“So it was. Come, husband, let’s get ready for dinner, shall we?”

Lacing his fingers in the hand she had placed through his arm, he asked, “It’s five fifteen. Do you need so much time to get ready, love?”

She smiled in response. He was delighted to see her sense of humor returned. He escorted her up to the bedroom and closed the door. Taking her in his arms, he held her close for a few minutes, then easing the embrace, he leaned back and kissed her on the forehead.

“Come,” she said. “You can do better.” She sighed and continued, “I am so tired of people treating me like I am going to break. I am made of tougher stuff. Come on, man.”

Johanna reached forward, grabbed him by the front of his shirt and yanked him toward her. Her lips covered his and her hands wandered over his chest and his back.

Hal delighted in the unexpected pleasure of her assault. He agreed that his approach had been tenuous of late, so he let her take the initiative. But, until his apprehension faded, he limited his response to gently returning her kisses.

“Not good enough, sailor,” she reached down and unfastened the front of his breeches. “Get on with it.”

Her boldness transformed his tenderness to hunger. They had only a single interlude since their wedding day. Never had being physically chaste numbered among his expectations for the relationship. Johanna slid her hand inside his breeches, caressing him shamelessly. Her touch was agony, yet he was still uncertain at handling her physically.

In the next moment, his indecision proved moot, for she pushed him onto the bed. Staring up at the ceiling, he felt his breeches and drawers dragged down around his boots. Climbing atop of him, she pushed his shirt up around his neck and then caressed and nibbled, moving from nipple to nipple and back to his lips. While straddling him, she unfastening her bodice and tossed it off into a corner of the room. Her skirt and stays quickly joined it. Taking him by the wrists, she placed his hands on her breasts. She then leaned down and whispered in his ear.

“Am I going to have to do it myself?”

Not waiting for his answer, she tugged her petticoat up around her thighs, and rising to her knees, she reached between the two of them and guided him in place. He groaned.

“Finally, the man says something.”

Her head thrown back, she laughed as she rode him to the peak of pleasure. In the end, she fell across his chest, her hair spilling onto his face.

“Right,” was all he managed to say as he brushed the hair away from his mouth. Facetiously he asked, “Do you think we are going to be late for dinner?”


Franny Armstrong said...

High ho, high ho! Gosh, I love a sailor!
Excellent interview and excerpt gals.

Sincere Hugs
Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl

Franny Armstrong said...

Stephen King's books give me the willies! (I'm a big chicken and can't watch scary movies)

That's amazing that you got to work on a movie, Roseanne. Perhaps someday I will too. You never know.