Hello and welcome!
Today I am so happy to have one of my most fave authors whom I had the honour to meet in real life too. A wonderful lady, classy and beautiful inside and out.
Please welcome Deborah Cooke!
I fell in love with Ms. Cooke’s Pyr years and years ago and had the pleasure of having their leader for a chat back in May.
Then I recently discovered the medieval romances published under her alias, Claire Delacroix. When I told her at the book signing that I’ve written off the medieval era totally, she just smiled and told me to try it anyway.
I think she knew… I have to tell you, I fell in love with her characters and can’t get enough of them. I listen to them in audio format, and Saskia Maarleveld‘s voice totally captures the listener and brings the story to vivid life.
Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, #1 Kindle Bestselling, KOBO Bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ Bestselling Author.
Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.
Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the RWA PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and of Novelists Inc.
Deborah thinks a lot about publishing and writing, and also knits too much.
Check out her blog where she posts about her beautiful knitting projects among book news and releases.
Here are my faves.
Do you have a nickname?
What is one word best describes you?
What makes you laugh out loud?
Our dog. She is a bit goofy, but mostly it’s her joy that makes me laugh. It doesn’t hurt that she “talks” back all the time. We have these very funny conversations, mostly when I think she should do something and she disagrees – or when I take too long to get ready for our daily walk and she feels the need to complain about it.
What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Both vanilla and roses are very evocative for me. Vanilla makes me think of fresh baking and all the coziness of a kitchen filled with good conversation. Roses make me think of gardens, summertime and romantic heroines.
Favourite place to spend time in.
Other than my office, which is a little sanctuary and the place where my characters talk to me, I love to spend time in my garden. The weeds always have me outnumbered but it’s quite peaceful to either work out there or just sit. We have a lot of guests – birds, butterflies, bees – and I like to watch them as well. Sometimes in the summer, I merge both and move into the garden to write.
Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
No. I’ll read pretty much anything. It’s not unusual for visitors to the house to find our collection of books “eclectic” (because, yes, we have a lot of print books.) There’s an old saying that a good library should contain something to offend everyone and I like to think ours has achieved that.
Writing! What started it?
I always wrote, probably because there were characters in my imagination who demanded that their stories be told. Some of them are quite persistent. The amazing thing is that no matter how many books I write, the line of characters never gets any shorter.
It took quite a while for me to consider publishing my work, because that’s not why I write. The more important thing to me is to tell the stories, than to think about marketing them. Once I decided to pursue publication, it took about two years of rejection letters for me to sell my first book. Over the years, I learned a lot about marketing and publishing, and now I’m very glad to be indie publishing. It lets me control what is important to me, and not worry so much about other people’s priorities.
If you could choose another career what would it be?
I like to bake, so maybe I’d be a pastry chef. I see those cakes go by on Facebook of dragons curled around wedding cakes and think “hmmmmmm.” One day maybe I’ll give one a try.
Audiobooks! What started them?
I think audiobooks are really interesting, and they’re also a growing market. I held off on having my books produced in audio for the longest time because the process seemed so overwhelming. What accent? Should the narrator be male or female? How should all the characters sound? I was lucky to connect with Brick Shop Audio very early, and have been working steadily with them. They have a lot of experience (and remind me when to breathe) and also have access to a lot of talent. They were the ones to suggest Saskia Maarleveld as a narrator, when I mentioned that there were so many characters in many scenes of my books. She differentiates them all brilliantly so has done all of the Jewels of Kinfairlie medieval romances and is contracted to do all of the True Love Brides medieval romances. They should all be done by the end of the year.
For the Champions of Saint Euphemia, I wanted to have a male narrator, and they suggested Tim Gerard Reynolds. His audition blew me away, and I’m so looking forward to hearing his narrations of these books. The plan is for the first two in the series to be done by the end of the year.
This is part of the new plan. The idea is that going forward, the audio editions of my new books will be available closer to the publication date of the print and digital editions. It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun.
Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
Maybe that love conquers all?
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?
Well, I don’t have a specific audience in mind, beyond people who already like my books, when I sit down to write. I do tend to write long series with many continuing characters, and have heard from readers that they like being able to “move into” the world of any given series and stay there for a while. All of my stories tend to mix action and adventure with the romance, and some of them have a bit of mystery or some paranormal elements as well.
I’ve noticed over the years that my readers are mostly women, although there are men reading Dragonfire, in particular. Their ages vary depending on the sub genre of my work, but some read all of it – which is a very exciting thing! I hope they read my books because they enjoy them.
What is next in your writing?
2016 is going to be a crazy-busy year. I seem to be adding new projects to my plate every time I turn around. A big part of that comes from a transition: this year, I completed my series that had been cut short by publishers. The True Love Brides (almost) finishes the story of the children of Kinfairlie – there are eight of them, and only three had their stories told in the Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy. The True Love Brides told four more, and shut the portals to Fae at Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie. I also finished my Dragonfire series with Firestorm Forever this year, the big finish. It really was a big finish, and ended up taking place over a year, having three romances in it and being twice the length of other Dragonfire novels. In 2014, I also published Abyss, which is Tupperman’s story, because he was the one character in my future-set dystopian romance series who didn’t get his HEA.
So, The Crusader’s Bride, which was published in July and is the first book in my Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances is also the first new project I’ve started in ten years. That’s pretty exciting stuff. Also, digital publishing makes more projects feasible: one of the things I’ve just decided to do is add a fifth story to the Champions series. The Crusader’s Handfast will be Radegunde’s story and will fill in some of the gaps between the books. It’ll also be offered in free instalments to my newsletter subscribers, then available as a whole book next July.
I’m also launching a new contemporary romance series in June 2016, which starts with Simply Irresistible. In addition, my DragonFate paranormal romance series will launch in 2016. The first book is Hot Blooded but I’ve yet to decide whether it will be linked books, linked novellas, or a huge serialization. The format will become clear as I write more of it – then the covers can be done and the release schedule established.
There’s a lot of new work coming, and I’m excited about the year ahead!
I am looking forward to more! Thank you Ms. Cooke for chatting with me.
Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
To keep in touch with Ms. Deborah Cooke and check out all her yummy books, follow the links below and if you chat with her, tell her I said hi 😀
Check out her alias, Claire Delacroix:
One lucky reader, chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, will win a print copy of “The Crusader’s Bride” courtesy of Ms. Cooke. Comments will stay open until 3pm, EST, Monday, November 16, 2015. GOOD LUCK! The giveaway is open to US, UK and CA.
Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!