Welcome to the eighty-fourth edition of 10 Questions With. . .
This week we are joined by
***There is a giveaway with this interview. Rachelle Ayala is giving one the chance to win an ebook copy of any of her novels. There will be more information at the end of the interview.***
Before we jump into the questions, can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
Sure. I’ve been indie-publishing since 2012 with my first novel, Michal’s Window, a very imaginative journey into the love life of King David and his first wife, Michal, daughter of Saul. Since then, I switched to contemporary romance and romantic suspense and went on to publish 45 romance novels and 4 nonfiction books.
I love the freedom of writing what inspires me and connecting to readers directly through social media and book tours.
Thanks, Preston, for having me on your site to chat with your readers and show them my latest book, Dog Days of Love, a sweet romance in the Have a Hart series.
1.) What is something that many people might not know about you?
I made musical instruments, the mountain dulcimer, before I began to write in earnest.
2.) What book or book series had a major impact on your life? Why did it have such an impact on you?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon showed that with lots of imagination, an author can invent her own genre: sci-fi, time-travel, historical, romantic, military, and family saga. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning shows how an author can be captured by anything she’s interested in and create a compelling saga by a mixture of strong characters, fantastic world-building, interplay between good and evil, and of course, having them all want the same magical objects.
3.) If you could co-author a novel with any author, who would you want to co-write with and why?
I’m not sure I’d enjoy co-writing since I don’t do well with planning. My writing sprouts wings and takes off in unpredictable directions. It would be hard to coordinate with someone else.
4.) Which one of your characters do you identify with the most?
Choco Sánchez from Claiming Carlos. She’s the big sister who has the most responsibility over her younger siblings, but she also wants to have fun and live her own life. She’s wild and crazy and deeply caring.
5.) Which one of your characters do you wish you were more like?
That’s easy. Someone strong like Linx Colson. That woman is a tough alpha who jumps out of airplanes to fight fires. She’s very distrustful and suspicious and doesn’t give herself and her emotions easily to someone else. Meanwhile, I’m kind of a powderpuff and people sometimes run over me.
6.) Can you tell us the title of your latest release and what it is about?
My latest release is Dog Days of Love, Book #7 Have A Hart Romance. It is an interracial romance between a woman who has life all planned out and a happy-go-lucky man who flies by the seat of his pants. It’s a tale of growing and learning and finding love where you least expect it.
7.) Where did your idea for this story/series come from?
The Hart Family is a family of firefighters. This series is sweet and center around a family full of heroes and do-gooders. Nessa and Dale’s story came from turning a lot of story tropes upside down. Nessa has a doctorate and Dale is a dropout. Nessa is older and more accomplished, but Dale is more fun and carefree. They meet when Dale throws a Frisbee at Nessa’s dogs and then becomes her dogwalker and Boy Friday. It also has elements of interracial romance and acceptance between the two families, as well as some humorous hijinks and pranks.
8). Can you tell us something about the story/series that people might not know?
While writing the story, I got strange thought that some of the characters were like the ones in The Titanic. Dale is Jack, Nessa is Rose, and the Mr. Perfect that Nessa is looking for would be Cal. Of course, my story is not tragic, and in fact is a feel-good story with a happy ending, but it was weird that halfway through the story, I got images from that movie. It made me laugh.
9.) What was your biggest challenge writing this book/series?
The series is a joy to write, since I love this family. I’m on book #7 and working on book #8, so the Hart family feel like my own family to me. The biggest challenge is to make each story shine on its own without it feeling and sounding like the others. I do believe I succeeded. Sure, I have an author’s voice, but the important thing is that all the plots are different and the feels are different. For example Dog Days of Summer is dark and suspenseful, whereas Dog Days of Love is lighthearted, sweet, and feel-good. Valentine Wedding Hound is zany and angsty, while Christmas Lovebirds is sweet and serendipitous. Readers tell me they love how my stories feel and sound different and they get tired of writers who recycle the same story over and over again. This is a big problem to watch out for since I’m writing Book #46 and I need to keep my voice and characters fresh.
10.) Can you share with us a few paragraphs from the book (no major spoilers please)?
Laughter filled the hallway of the apartment complex as Dale raced the two mutts back to Nessa’s doorway. At the last second, he tossed the Frisbee and it hit the door with a smack.
The hyperactive black-and-white dog slammed into the door and grabbed the Frisbee from the more laid-back brown one who preferred to bark, howl, and complain.
Sure enough, the noise they made had doors opening up and down the hallway, and Nessa’s door was no exception.
Nessa stepped out wearing a pale-yellow sundress with lace eyelets, and Dale’s eyes cartwheeled with delight. He let out a wolf-whistle, long and slow enough to tighten her stare into a glare.
“Get them in here and shut them up,” she hissed, grabbing the rat terrier’s collar. “Making all this ruckus.”
Dale simply followed the other dog in and shut the door behind him. “They did a great job listening to me. Both of them did number one and number two. Played catch and fetch and chased a few squirrels. I tired them out, and they should sleep well tonight.”
An older man and woman flanked him, as three pairs of eyes stared at him, unblinking. He bent down and unleashed both dogs. They licked his hand and he scratched their necks.
“You two be good now,” he said, delaying the moment when he had to leave. “Listen to your mommy, and don’t give her any guff.”
“They are good dogs,” Vanessa said. “Thanks for taking Randi and Ronni out. I’m sure they had a good time.”
“Hey, my pleasure.” Dale gave her a wink. “Anytime you want me to take them out, I’m your man.”
11.) Why did you pick those paragraphs to share with us?
They show the humor and personality of Dale Hart and how he breaks the ice all the time, while Nessa is stiffer and more concerned about acting properly and worried what others think about her.
12.) What is the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for one of your books?
Nothing really strange. I don’t write thrillers so I don’t have to get into the dangerous websites. Mostly I look for food, travel, and cultures. For this book, I watched YouTube videos of hairstyling and applying weaves and hair extensions and learned about classification of hair types. Mine is Type 1 and my character, Nessa’s is Type 4.
13.) Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few readers will find?
Mostly references to former characters. Like describing a little girl wearing a green Sherpa hat in a Christmas scene and it’s of course a character from another book. Or minor characters who appeared in previous books. My astute readers pick it up and enjoy it greatly.
14.) What would your autobiography be called and why would you call it that?
Expect the Unexpected. My life is a series of twists and turns. For example, I was a math major in college, and most of my classmates would never have thought I am now a romance author. I’ve also made mountain dulcimers, jewelry, and played various music instruments while also writing computer code in many languages.
15.) A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Anyone got anchovies for my salsa?
Where can people go if they want to learn more about you and the books you have written?
What social media platforms can you be found on?
Mostly Facebook in my reader’s club, but also a new one called Book + Main Bites, where the only content allowed is “book bites” or snippets from my work, like the one I provided above. This is a platform that allows readers to sample “bites” the way Costco lets shoppers nibble on samples.
Also, please subscribe to my newsletter to keep in touch with my work, as well as receive two free ebooks, one sweet and one steamy. http://smarturl.it/RachAyala
***GIVEAWAY: Rachelle Ayala would like to give one person the chance to win an ebook copy of any of her novels. In order to get registered, tell me, in the comment section, what was your favorite part of the interview?
For an extra entry, follow Rachelle Ayala on Facebook. Then let me know in the comment section that you followed her on Facebook.
The giveaway will run until Friday, December 8, 2017. Good luck!***
This week’s interview is sponsored by:
When an Earth-based terrorist group targets Hannaria’s Ambassador, two teenagers become entrapped in the conflict.
Alex Verin is the son of an Earth Independence Party representative and doesn’t want to follow his father’s path of political manipulation and corruption.
Rica Miller is the adopted daughter of an engineer and nurse who later discovers she’s not human but Hannarian.
Alex must decide between his family loyalties and saving the life of an alien he’s been taught to fear and hate while Rica searches for the truth of what happened to her birth parents.