01 November 2008

Interview Time With Devyn Quinn

Welcome back to Interview Time! Today, we have Devyn Quinn, one of the many successful authors who have started in indie press and done very well in NY. Devyn is currently with Kensington's Aphrodesia line, as well as Samhain and Whispers. I'd like to welcome Devyn to the Lyons' Den and get right into this fascinating author!

If you use a pen name, how did you choose it?

DQ: When I began writing gothics, I had gone with the pen name Caitlyn McKenna, as these were names my mother liked. Later, when I began to write in erotic romance, I chose the name Jeya Jenson, as the combo sounded (to me) lyrical. Later, when I got my first NY contract, my editor wasn’t enamored with either pen name and wanted something that reflected a darker tone. We batted a few names around and Devyn Quinn was born.

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

DQ: I started writing about 20 years ago, off and on. I’ve been pubbed since the early 90’s in small indie/e-press.

How long did it take you to publish your first book, once you started looking for an agent or publisher?

DQ: I have to be honest and say it took me 18 years to get pubbed in NY and settled with a terrific agent.

How long does it take you to write a book?

DQ: Depends on how pressed I am and how close the deadline looms. I wrote Man After Midnight in 33 days, doing nothing but writing day in and day out. My record before that was Embracing Midnight, which I wrote in 7 weeks.

Do you write one book/story at a time or multiples?

DQ: Though I might have ideas for other books brewing in the back of my mind, I only write one at a time. Once it is off my desk, I move to the next contracted work.

What is the most books/stories you've had WIP at the same time? What is the highest number you've actively been writing on at the same time?

DQ: The most stories I’ve had is two and the number I’ve actually written on is just one. I don’t like jumping from book to book. I like to sit down with one, finish it and then move on to the next.

What genres do you write?

DQ: Paranormal romance, gothic fantasy and contemporary.

Are there any genres you'd like to try but haven't?

DQ: I would like to do suspense and mystery.

Are there any genres you'd never consider writing in?

DQ: Comdey, simply because I can not do it well and know my limitations.

What's your writing process? (i.e. pantser/organic writer or plotter or mix? write on the computer? longhand? mix? how many passes? etc.)

DQ: I am a panster, semi-plotter. I go in with a rough idea of where I need the story to go and I simply sit down and write it. I work through a process I call “Logical Progression”, meaning where can the story logically go next without veering off course and becoming silly or unbelievable (even in the fantasy genre I have to believe what I am writing or I can not sell it to the reader). I make one pass at the story and that’s it. Were I to stop and begin to rewrite, I’d hang myself for months polishing to perfection. I’m better when writing from the gut.

What's the strangest thing you've had happen to you at a public appearance? The most disturbing or amusing?

DQ: During a book signing for Flesh and the Devil, I had a ninety-something year old man buy the title, leave, then come back about thirty minutes later and ask me out on a date because “I looked like I could teach him something about sex.”

What authors inspire you? Who are your favorite authors?

DQ: I love Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) and wish I could write half as well. I can’t really pin down a favorite, as I don’t read much fiction. Much of my reading is biography or history, and the authors vary. Right now I am very much enjoying Barbara Walter’s Audition.

If you could choose two authors to be seated between at a signing...or to have your books shelved between in the bookstore, who would they be?

DQ: I think my answers would have to be Nora Roberta and Stephen King, though I don’t know if they would want me there, LOL.

What authors would you most like to meet, past or present? What would you ask them?

DQ: I would love to meet Frank McCourt, as I think he would be so fascinating to talk to. I’d also love to chat with Stephen King, John Grisham and so many others. I’d ask them what they believe the secrets to their success to be.

How many books do you read in the average month? e-Book or print or both?

DQ: Because I have a tendency to pick these huge, thick books, I usually manage 1 or 2 a month. It’s not that I don’t read, it’s that I don’t have enough time to read as much as I would like. I do make it a point to read nightly, even if it is only a few pages. I don’t read e-books at all, as I prefer the feel of paper in my hands. After looking at a computer screen all day I don’t want to read for pleasure off one, especially a tiny one!

What is the funniest or strangest editor/crit request/comment you've encountered?

DQ: During the copy edit of one of my Kynn books, there was a little post it note stuck to page 1 of the edited manuscript. It asked, quite seriously, “Who is Anna and how long has she been pregnant?” Now there wasn’t a hide nor hair of a pregnant Anna in the entire book, but the copy editor sincerely wanted an answer to this detail.

What is your ideal location to write a book, if you had the money to live there or sequester yourself there?

DQ: Anywhere my computer is is the ideal location! When I’m writing, the outside world does not exist.

If you could have a book signing anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?

DQ: I would love to go to Ireland!

What would you like to own/have that would make your writing faster or smoother? (Yes, you can name everything from computer programs to a personal maid here.)

DQ: I want a computer that can read my thoughts and automatically inscribe them into a file.

Introvert or extrovert?

DQ: Introvert.

If you could choose your dream job, besides writing, what would it be?

DQ: Movie producer.

What's your dream car? Your favorite car you've ever owned?

DQ: My dream car is a classic red Mustang. The best car I owned was a 1981 Chevy Cavalier station wagon. The thing ran for 21 years before the transmission went out. I wish I still had it!

The best bumper stickers you've ever seen? The best you've ever personally had on your vehicle?

DQ: The best bumper sticker: NObama 08. It’s right on my car now.

The #1 holiday or birthday gift to purchase for an author is...

DQ: A new IPod!

Your favorite leisure activity or vacation spot?

DQ: Catching up on my television shows!

Have you ever included a real experience of your own in a book? Did anyone who knows you notice it?

DQ: Yep, all the time. Nope. No one has called me on it yet.

Have you ever included someone who irritated you in the book? As what, and what comeuppance did he/she get?

DQ: Yes, and I killed them. Gruesomely.

Where do you get your character names?

DQ: Phonebook or exotic name website.

Where do you get your inspiration for a book? How do you get your ideas?

DQ: Things just come to mind. I don’t know how or why.

What is the best reader or reviewer comment you've ever received?

DQ: One reader called me a “sick and twisted pervert”. I loved it!

What does your family think about your writing? How, if they do, do they support you in your writing endeavors?

DQ: They think writing is a waste of time and I need to get a real job.

Do you have animal companions while you write? How do they help or hinder the process?

DQ: I have 20 cats, 4 ferrets and a dog. Sometimes my ferret Rascal will climb up on my desk and drink my coffee and run across the keyboard. That can get annoying.

What's your favorite part of being a writer?

DQ: Finishing a new manuscript!

What's the thing you wish you could hire someone else to do or wish you didn't have to do as a writer?

DQ: I would love to hire someone to type the book as I dictate it!

Do you use any special software to write? Voice to text? Audio edits? etc.

DQ: Nope. Just my fingers and eyes. Sometimes I even use my brain, though not often.

Do you belong to a crit group or other writing group? How helpful do you find it?

DQ: Nope. I quit crit groups because it got to the point where I was trying to listen to everyone else and their ideas instead of trusting my instinct as a writer. The only person who sees a finished manuscript most times is just my editor. Her opinion is the only one that counts.

What book, if you have written several books, is your favorite and why?

DQ: The Eternity books are my favorites.

Do you prefer to think of yourself as a hero/heroine or villain/villainess and why?

DQ: Definitely the villain. I always think of the darker side.

If you could have one magical power, what would it be and why?

DQ: I want to be invisible. Think of all the things you’d see and hear being invisible.

Give us your backlist... with all publishers...

DQ: Here ya go—

Kensington Books:

Flesh and the Devil, Sins of the Flesh, Sins of the Night, Embracing Midnight, Trio Anthology, Eros Island Anthology


The Keeper of Eternity, The Price of Eternity


Night Whispers Anthology, Vol 2

Tell us about releases you expect within the next year...

DQ: Coming Nov 25th is Embracing Midnight. Man After Midnight and the Dangerous Ties Anthology will be in late March 2009. Then Sexy Beast 7 Anthology later in 09 (TBA) along with another single title, Possession (September 09). There is another anthology, but it is not titled yet, nor do I have a release month. There will possibly also be a third single title toward the end of 09, but I am not sure about scheduling yet. All will be through Kensington Books.

Tell us about the awards you've won...

DQ: Alas, I haven’t won any really major awards, though I was nommed for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Before Night Falls, which is now Sins of the Flesh with Kensington books. I do have several Recommended Reads and other minor notices, though. Maybe I’d win more if I’d enter more contests, but I usually forget and don’t pay attention to those.

Tell us about your current release... blurb... link to purchase is a plus!

DQ: Coming up is Embracing Midnight, on Nov 25th and the synopsis is below:

Sex as a weapon? That was something undercover agent Callie Whitten never thought she’d use, until Iollan Drake crossed her path. A brooding outlaw with smoky hair and copper eyes, his exotic accent and heated touch promise a lot of pleasure.

Dangerous secrets loom as Callie discovers that her not-so-typical investigation into a sex trafficking ring has some perilous twists. One of the Bureau’s most wanted, Drake’s a man with a dark secret—something that could get them both killed once Callie stumbles onto the truth. A truth that not only puts her life in jeopardy but also threatens the security of the free world…

The A51-ASD, a top-secret division of the Bureau, has proof of aliens among the civilian population. Iollan Drake is a ‘living’ vampire, part of a subculture of humans who have merged with an alien species called the Niviane Idesha. Restructured through a genetic mutation, the vampires are gifted with enhanced speed, incredible stamina and the ability to shift energy, and the government has become increasingly terrified of their growing legion. Those hosting the alien symbiont are treated as outcasts, subjected to terrifying tests and put into quarantine.

When Drake breaks the shell of secrecy around his people and tells Callie about his secret life, her world is spun terrifyingly sideways: She discovers a nefarious plan involving the creations of yet a third species: alien-human hybrids with all the strengths of the aliens and none of their weaknesses. Events turn more harrowing when Callie discovers she may be pregnant. As one of the few sires able to reproduce, Iollan’s life is in danger, and Callie is in a fight for her own life, and that of her unborn child.

Forced to rely on each other to stay alive, neither Callie nor Drake can resist the passion sizzling between them. When Drake is captured and almost killed, Callie becomes a rogue warrior bent on protecting her new lover—seeking her revenge on the agency that betrayed them both.

Is now available to preorder through Amazon, B&N and other online bookstores.

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