Sunday, May 26, 2013

Interview with Dayna Leigh Cheser

Dayna Leigh Cheser

I met Dayne through one of the Book Tours we had in September 2012 when I reviewed 'Janelle's Time' for her. It is great to have you back Dayne and thank you for agreeing to be part of the blog. 

You can read more about the review here

Author’s Interview Questions
      1.       Are you famous is the general question I get when family and friends introduces me to their friends. It always left me with a pause as quick comebacks filters through my mind but ending up saying something like ….”Oh gee thanks” and give a shy smile, silly I know but the idea unsettles me. (a)Does this happen to you and (b) what do you say?    
No, it doesn’t happen to me as I’m not ‘out there.’  As a major introvert, I seldom leave the house.  That said, I’m something of a celebrity within the family, especially my husband’s family, but beyond that …

      2.       In general do you like to talk about you writing and published books or are you very close-lip about it? If no why?     
As I said, I’m an introvert and don’t get out much so I don’t talk with people, especially strangers.  That said, I can go on for PAGES and PAGES in emails (or interviews – LOL) and the like with someone who shows an interest.  One close friend with whom I email reads about my books and my writing to where I’m sure she’s ready to freak out!  Oh, the long-suffering Claire!

3.       What book/s are you currently writing and what is it about?    
Funny you should ask …  I have 4 books (of the 5-book TIME series, of which Janelle’s Time is the first) in the works at various points in the process.  These are Regency/Victorian romances, with other elements (which vary from book to book).  These books are very different from one another, primarily because I am a ‘pantser’ writer – I never know what will happen next as I’m writing.
Moria’s Time, book 2 of my series is nearing completion.  I’m working the edits now and hope for a spring release.  It continues the Grayson family saga from Janelle’s Time, book 1.  Moria, one of Janelle’s daughters, is the subject of a vision before her birth, as told at the end of Janelle’s Time.  According to the vision, Moria, as a young woman, will travel far from home, and be in great danger, danger not only to herself, but to everyone around her.  Moria’s Time takes you on a journey to the fulfillment of that vision.  Where does she go, and what is the danger?  Does she achieve her long-standing goal of becoming a doctor, which started with her maternal family’s expertise in natural medicine?  Along the way, she meets several real-life historical figures … and, in time, the love of her life.  Moria shares the early years of their life with her twin sister, Adelle, who, as a child, drives Richard and Janelle to distraction with her selfishness and overwhelming quest for attention. 
When Adelle and Moria become young women, their paths diverge and Adelle’s story continues in Adelle’s Time, book 3 of the series.  From a young age, Adelle’s goal in life had been to marry an English Duke and live accordingly.  After a devastating relationship failure, Adelle retreats to an orphanage where she volunteered when she was younger to distract herself by working with the children, something she enjoys, but to also examine her life and figure out what she wants of it.  Understanding from the failed relationship that the daughter of an American farmer has little chance of attracting a Duke, she develops an alter-ego designed to aid her in her quest.  Along the way, she grows up and becomes as remarkable a woman in her own way as her sister.  She finds her soul mate, but is he her Prince Charming or does she outgrow her childish desire to marry a Duke?  I’m hoping for a late 2013 or early 2014 release. 
Book 4, Logan’s Time, may be the best book of the series. The Scots Duke of Muileach, Logan Conor, was a minor character in Janelle’s Time who crashes Richard and Janelle’s wedding with revenge on his mind.  When Janelle’s Time was complete, Logan let me know he wanted his own book.  A spinoff, rather than a sequel, Logan may not be a Grayson, but he has a long-standing relationship with Janelle’s husband, Richard, so the families, Grayson and Conor, get together from time to time.  His appearance in Janelle’s Time created a bit of a stir among reviewers and readers, with one reviewer proclaiming she was ‘in love’ with Logan, so, I’m hopeful that stir continues when his book is released.  Logan’s book begins with the 7-year old Logan secretly watching the birth of his younger brother, Daniel – and his mother’s immediate abandonment of her family within the confines of a blackmail contract she has with her father about her forced marriage to Logan’s father.  A Spring 2014 release is planned. 
So, how do you end a series with 2 separate timelines involving 2 unrelated families?  You have a big wedding.  Logan’s oldest daughter, Clarissa and Janelle’s oldest son, Damian Gerard, baptized at the same time in Janelle’s Time, will marry in the final book of the series, Clarissa’s Time.  While I have ideas about this book, I haven’t put pen to paper yet. 

Janelle’s Time blurb:
“If you love the magic of romance and the romance of magic, this is a book for you.” Ken Weene,
Janelle’s Time is the epic story of the great love between a New Hampshire farmer’s daughter, Janelle LeDuc, and the son of an English Duke, Richard Grayson.
From her father’s death in a logging accident to barely surviving the birth of twin daughters, Janelle’s penchant for getting into ‘situations’ makes it difficult for Richard to protect her.
Unaware of Janelle’s maternal-line powers, the couple accidentally time-travels to 14th century England, meeting Richard’s ancestors, and discovering a startling truth about Richard’s aristocratic family that nearly destroys their relationship.
Logan, the Scots Duke of Muileach, and longtime friend of Richard, crashes the couple’s wedding, bent on revenge for an unfortunate incident from when the Richard and Logan spent time in Paris, but the result of this confrontation surprises everyone.
On their wedding trip to England, they learn about Richard’s childhood friend, Nick, tired of waiting to inherit Statler Hall, has killed his parents. Upon meeting Janelle, Nick decides to kidnap her to replace the wife who’d left him, and to kill Richard and his brother, Sinjin, in the process.
Later, mugged and left for dead, Richard, suffering from amnesia, betrays Janelle who leaves him and returns to NH, unaware she’s pregnant. Richard finally arrives home, recovered; but another blunder sends him into exile until after their son’s birth.
Will their love survive their different backgrounds? Will their marriage endure the many months spent apart? Will the endless obstacles life throws at them spell the end for them? Can this couple learn to love again?

      4.       Why this particular genre?
It’s what I enjoy reading the most.  History and English were my 2 favorite subjects in school.

      5.       What inspire or motivate you to write?
      An inbred NEED to write … my mother and my siblings are/were all writers in various manners.  My mother is the author/co-author of several non-fiction titles, one brother was Assistant City Editor at a local newspaper, another brother has been a copywriter, and my sister edits her church newsletter. 

      6.       What is the writing process like for you?
If by ‘process’ you mean, how do I do it, here’s a typical day for me.
I’m retired so my ‘process’ is different from those who have a job and/or have young children. 
Most days, I’m up by 7:30 AM.  I allow myself a few hours to do this and that – housework, shopping, personal correspondence, that sort of thing.  By noon, at the absolute latest, I’m ‘in the zone’ – doing something writing-related.  My focus now is the edits for Moria’s Time.  Or, I could be doing first draft writing, or self-editing ahead of sending the ms to my editor, or pitching reviewers, or any of the many other aspects of the craft.  I break to fix supper, then often put in more hours in the evening.  I can tell when it’s time to call it a day … the words on the screen start to look like a foreign language!  Sometimes, I’m brain dead by 8 PM, other days, I can keep on trucking to about 11 PM (or times in between), but most nights, I’m in bed by 11:30 PM.  Because my husband, who works as an IT Tech at the local newspaper, is home on the weekends, my schedule then is different, as he comes first.

      7.       What is the best and/ or worst part of being a writer?
The best part is the writing – sitting down to a blank screen and creating a story, or continuing one already started.  It’s not just words, it’s creating the characters and giving them life.  It’s creating a world -in my mind, populated by those characters who go about their lives in such a way that they could easily be real, even if they’re not. 
For example, for Logan’s Time, I searched for days using satellite maps for the perfect location for Logan’s castle, then, in my mind, built the castle, complete with a secret passage that makes Logan’s mother’s defection possible, and so much more. 
The worst part is what used to be done by publishers – marketing and promotion.  This is the worst for introvert writers like myself.

      8.       Any advice for struggling writers?
Write, write, write.  Set yourself a daily goal of X number of pages per day, if you’re writing a first draft, and stick to it.  Write SOMETHING every day.  If you need a break from a big project, take a day and write a short story or two in a completely different genre, but write SOMETHING every day! 
Probably the single most important bit of advice is to find a good, professional editor.  He/she is your very best friend.  Do not depend on family or friends to edit your book for you (unless they happen to be professional editors) because it will show in what you submit to an agent, or to a publisher.  It’s also why self-pubbed books carry the stigma they do – inadequate or unprofessional editing.   Few writers can write a book without an editor!  Put your ego on the shelf and hire an editor!

      9.       What is your favorite genre to read or write?
In one word – romance.  I started as a tween secretly reading (under the covers with a flashlight) my mother’s hidden stash of books – Lolita, Peyton Place, and the like.  But, within the romance genre are dozens of subgenres.  I like historical, of course, but also time travel (I’m a Trekie, too), and other subgenres.  I have a large TBR pile since there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is.
10.   Favorite author?
Bertrice Small, once the Queen of Hot Romances, is the author who most influenced my writing.  Others, such as Lynn Kurland, Diana Gabaldon, early Karen Marie Moning, Jean Auel, Victoria Holt, and more, have also had an influence on my writing.  Right now, my TBR pile includes books from most of these writers.  But, if I like the book blurb, I’ll read other authors.

      11.   Do you have a favorite spot to read and write? Share a photo if you have one.
I don’t think I’ll be sharing a photo of my favorite reading spot.  LOL  I lay on my stomach in bed, with my pillow under my chest and the book propped up against the headboard.  (This works even if you’re sick.)  You can be fully clothed, or you can be in your night wear (all you have to do is reach over, turn out the light and it’s dream time).  You can be under the covers or on top.  I live in Florida, so, most often, I’m on top, and usually in night wear. 
      12.   What did you do before you became a writer?
Over the years, I had many different kinds of jobs, but primarily, I worked in small commercial print shops. I did everything, from order entry through billing, although in the early years, I ran a printing press. 
Later, I was introduced to typesetting.   This was before computers were on everyone’s desk.  At first, I used a glorified typewriter, then graduated to photo-typesetting.  Later, when computers were capable of it, I taught myself Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and, to a lesser extent, the other parts of the Adobe Suite. 
For 10 years, I owned a small commercial print shop in New Hampshire where my primary duties were typesetting and running the 2-color printing press.  My husband and the employees handled the rest of the work.

      13.   Was it a life long dream or triggered recently?
I’ve been reading and writing for most of my life.  In junior high school, I wrote short stories which then were passed around.  My peers asked me constantly when I was going to write another story.  Some of the stories even made their way to teachers (one way or another).  One teacher added short story writing to her curriculum. 

      14.   What do you like to do when not writing?
Spend time with my husband, my best friend. 

      15.   Do you have a bucket/ to-do list and would you share at least two things on it?
      I don’t have a true ‘bucket’ list, although there is one thing I’d really like to do before I get too old to do it – spend a month traveling around England.  Besides being English by heritage, now, my writing centers around locales in New Hampshire (USA - where we used to live), England and Scotland, I’d love to visit England-Scotlan, especially where Logan’s castle is (in my mind).  Oh, to be able to stand where his castle is and look around, seeing what Logan and his community saw every day …
Otherwise, I have a never-ending To Do List.  One item currently on the list is getting Moria’s Time back to my editor for the second round of editing, then sending it to my beta readers.  Another item is working on Adelle’s Time (which I wrote as my NaNo 2012 project).

      16.   What have you done so far on this list?
In hopes that my dream of visiting England-Scotland will actually happen, I bought a political map of the area, then divided England-Scotland into 10 regions.  Then, I started a Table in Word where I can list various points of interest (to me) within each of the 10 regions.  When that’s done, I can then guesstimate how long to stay in each region.  I’ll start with northwest Scotland (fly into Glasgow) and work my way south, ending in London (fly out of Heathrow).  I haven’t had much time to do the research, but just thinking about it …

      17.   Most daring thing or experience you have done you would like to share?

      18.   This or that questions:
       ·         Coffee or Tea – Neither, I primarily drink water
       ·         Sweet or sour – Both, although I avoid added sugar
       ·         Home make meal or takeout – home made, I enjoy cooking
       ·         Winter or summer – Autumn is my favorite season
       ·         Night-owl or Early-Bird – Early-Bird
       ·         Telephone or visits – Neither – I prefer email or on-line chats.  I’ve very hearing impaired, and an  introvert.
       ·         Which social network do you prefer?  I have a presence on 6 sites, but I don’t really have a favorite.
       ·         Blogger or website? Website.  I can do so much more on www.DaynaLCheser than I can on my old blog.
       ·         What does your family say about your career? Supportive or Clueless  Both, actually.  They support me, but they have no clue what it’s like to write a novel and see it published … even the family members who are writers!

And Finally
Moto/wisdom in life you live by. 
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Live and let live

Contact details and buy links of the newest books you would like the readers to know.
Janelle's Time Amazon 

Thanks once again for your willingness to share with me and the readers.

Support the authors work and keep in contact with them. Buy their books, give them a review and tell others about them it is the least you can do. 

Next time on In the Limelight with...

Heather B. Moore
May 29, 2013

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the interview. Nice job with the questions, Lynelle, you led the conversation well, getting the author to delve into many interesting areas, and Dayna, good job with the answers .... including the very looooooooong answers, lol. Hey - you're a writer, right? (wink)