AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: DANA MARTON
Dana Marton has stopped by to chat …
Dana what is your most current work out?
The only person who can identify the most notorious hit man in the country, Kate Bridges is running for her life. Murphy Dolan is in the Army Reserves, returning from his 2nd tour of duty, only to find a stranger hiding in his house. She’s scared spitless. He’s completely burned-out on violence. Neither of them has any trust left to give.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
My characters do whatever they damn well please. I get no respect from them. They laugh while I plot, then do the exact opposite.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
Before I was published, I wrote a book in just about every genre. Then I found my voice in romantic suspense, and I stuck with it. I LOVE romantic suspense. The perfect balance of romance and action/danger is irresistible. If a guy is willing to bake a cake for me, that’s one thing, but if he’s willing to take a bullet for me, that’s a whole different level of commitment. (As long as he bakes the cake afterwards. I mean, just to be clear, I’m not giving up cake.)
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
At the moment, I’m in love with three men at the same time. (In addition to my husband, who is the only one that’s nonfictional.) Jack, Ethan and Murph (all heroes from my Broslin Creek Series) are pretty amazing guys. I love hanging out with them. Too much of a good thing can be wonderful
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Pretty much all of my characters make me sweat blood. They’re a bunch of sadists that way. I have to pry everything out of them. They definitely make me work for the money. Murph in Deathwatch was a tough nut to crack. I’m pretty sure he’s still holding back some secrets. Luckily, he’s coming back in a second book, so I get to pry into his past once again. He’s handsome and brave, a wounded hero, protective of the heroine. They’re perfect for each other. So I got them to meet, fall for each other, and make out of this world love. The end. Everything’s resolved right? Oh, nooooo. He has depth, he says. He has issues, he says. He’s fresh home from the war. Having sex doesn’t miraculously fix everything. So now I have to write a second book with Murph and Kate. Not that I mind. They make a fantastic couple. It’s not a just for now relationship. It’s forever. If only I can convince them to quit being so darn pig-headed.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well, I could, but then my relatives would hunt me down and kill me. Let’s just avoid all that unpleasantness and say that I don’t base any of my characters on friends and relatives. EVER. I swear. Really. Why do you ask?
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Resisting the Internet.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I sold my first piece of writing when I was in 5th grade.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and reading. Preferably together. Yep. An excess of calories paired with inactivity. Now that I’m typing this, it doesn’t seem to be the smartest thing….
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
Castle. Boardwalk Empire. Game of Thrones. Justified. True Blood. Downton Abbey. Good thing they’re not all on all year long, or I’d never get any writing done.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I have a one-track mind. I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. If I listened to music, I’d be singing, and it’s difficult to sing one set of words while typing another.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
If Chris Hemsworth could fit making DEATHWATCH into his schedule, I’d very much appreciate it.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was standing in the kitchen when the editor called and my knees were shaking! I called my husband as soon as I hung up with the editor. But then I just screamed into the phone, and he thought something terrible has happened. Took me a few seconds to calm down enough to tell him that I got a contract. lol
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
In college. I know! I was a total latecomer to the genre. But I’ve sooo made up for it since J
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Susan Mallery, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, etc. etc.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I left cubicle life behind 10 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made. (Next to marrying my husband.)
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
Just saw The Big Wedding. OMG. LOVED it! I love humor in a story. My all-time favorite is Groundhog Day. The script is simply brilliant.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently working on Deathblow, book 4 in my Amazon bestselling romantic suspense series. Deathwish is next. I can’t wait. I absolutely love this series and the heroes who all work for the same small town police station. I love writing small town stories with larger than life heroes. These men could handle anything, anywhere, but chose to protect the people around them.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Nora Roberts. Might as well shoot for the stars.
How do you pick your characters names?
I’m the worst at this! I usually find names by desperately glancing around my desk until I find a magazine or newspaper, then steal and miss-match names.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I’ve written it both ways. I think every couple’s story is unique. Half the fun of writing is being there and watching it happen. I try not to impose my preconceived ideas on my characters.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I have the hide of a rhinoceros. In the past 10 years, I can think of 2 things that someone said to me that hurt my feelings. Neither had to do with my writing. I LOVE romance. Love reading it, love writing it, love having romance in my real life. If somebody feels differently, oh well. They’re free to like and dislike whatever they want. The best part of being self-employed is that I don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to do what I do. I’m my own boss. Yay!
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark. Smooth. With a surprise twist. Are we still talking about chocolate? Lol I just found a new favorite at a small local shop. Dark chocolate with chunks of marshmallow and roasted almonds. I can’t resist getting some when I go for a walk. Which pretty much negates any calories the walk might have burned. Oh, well. Life is full of compromises.
Ranger or Morelli?
Ranger!!!! I love a good bad-boy. I like it that he doesn’t play by the rules. I like it that he’s mysterious. I like it that he has a definite edge to him, that he’s unpredictable. He is so deliciously fun to fantasize about. The perfect romance hero!