WATCH OUT: Zenobia Renquist
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Zenobia Renquist. Welcome to Watch Out, it is so great to have you here.
ZR: Thanks for having me.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
ZR: I am Zenobia Renquist, I also write as D. Renee Bagby. I’m an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife. My husband just got stationed in Hawaii, so we left the East Coast in time to miss that freak snowstorm that blew through. Being in Hawaii has been a blast thus far (I’ve been here since mid-October). It’s very relaxing. I plan to have a few books set here, but that’s pretty much a given.
Under both names, I write paranormal fantasies with interracial themes. My passion is world-building though I do sometimes dabble in contemporary. I write both erotic and mainstream, ménage and multiple partners, as well as the usual boy meets girl stories. I love torturing my characters on the way to happily ever after, because I like to make them work for it.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current release?
ZR: My current release, a novella with Changeling Press (ebook only), is the fifth book in the Caveat Emptor series called Forgotten Lover. This book introduces the third couple trying to make love work while caught in the middle of a vampire-mage war.
Blurb: Can Medusa allow herself to love a man who’s supposed to be her enemy?
Captured by mages, Medusa is more upset at her own weakness than the mage’s idea of torture. Once free of them, she plans to slaughter them all. Except, there is one mage that awakens long buried memories of desire from a past best left forgotten. She knows this man to the depths of her soul, but she and Darius are on opposite sides of a war that has raged for centuries. It’s more than her heart at stake if she gives in to her desires.
Buy Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1708
Read the First Chapter Online:
SC: Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
ZR: I’ll read it any way I can get it, to be honest. Paperbacks get me away from my computer, which is a good thing and doesn’t happen that often. However, ebooks (read on my computer since I don’t own an ereader) keep my hands from cramping up since I have to hold my books so I don’t break the spines. I like my books looking new, so broken spines are a huge pet peeve of mine.
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
ZR: The biggest influence is what I feel like writing at the moment. I have several stories started about everything from dragons to vampires to aliens in space, but having the book started doesn’t mean I’ll want to finish it any time soon. I have to be in the mood to write about the topic in order for the story to come out the way I want.
On the other hand, I’ve found that I can be influenced by plot bunnies. Changeling Press is notorious for having plot bunnies just roaming around. One person in the chat loop mentions something random and suddenly everyone wants a story about it. Just when I think there’s no way I’ll come up with a decent plot, I suddenly drop seven thousand words on a story that I didn’t know I wanted to write.
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
ZR: I love cartoons and still watch them. Just recently I got sucked into watching the entire Digimon Tamers 51 episode series all over again. True I skipped like ten episodes but for some strange reason it just sucked me in and I had to finish. I don’t think cartoons have an age limit. With very little prompting, I could be tempted to sit and watch the entirety of Jem and the Holograms or He-man (or both) right this second. And no, I have no kids.
SC: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about erotic authors?
ZR: The biggest misconception is that we live what we write. I WISH! I would love to have a house full of men who live to make me happy, both in and out of bed. That would be a dream come true. Living in the real world with a very jealous, extremely traditional husband means that will never happen. Thus I am dependent on porn for a lot of the multi-partnered sex scenes I write.
SC: Your favourite part about being an author?
ZR: I love hearing from people who enjoyed my characters, got drawn into my stories, and want me to put out more. I also really enjoy meeting other authors and being around like-minded people. For the longest time, I thought I was just an oddball until I met other writers. The proverbial ugly duckling found the other swans. It was very gratifying to know my way of thinking isn’t as strange as I once thought it was.
SC: What are you currently reading?
ZR: Nothing, at the moment. Being published has put me way behind on my to-be-read pile. I started setting aside one day a month so I could binge read. I can usually do three or four novels in one day. As I said before, I just moved to Hawaii. The move made me cancel September’s and October’s reading days. I’m currently under deadline so November’s reading day has already been chopped as well. I’m hoping to restart my reading day schedule in December. What I’ll read is dependent on my mood when the day rolls around.
SC: Currently listening to?
ZR: I’m listening to, while filling out this lovely interview, my husband play Skyrim. It’s supposed to be one hundred and forty to three hundred hours of game play. Did I mention I just moved to Hawaii from the East Coast and my furniture, which includes the desk to go in my office (yup, I have an office), won’t be here until early December? I want my office. I would be in my office now, but I hate sitting on the floor for prolonged periods of time.
SC: The strangest thing that has ever inspired you?
ZR: A few years ago, someone posted to a chat loop a link to an article about Man-A meeting up with Man-B on the internet and making plans for Man-B to EAT Man-A after Man-A had committed suicide. Man-B was arrested after the fact and jailed for desecration of a corpse. For some strange reason, this has inspired me to write a cannibalism, police drama romance. Totally contemporary and totally on the back burner until I have time to research police procedure in regards to this storyline (in other words, track down a cop who won’t mind answering tons of questions that sound extremely suspicious).
SC: Describe your books in 3 words.
ZR: Fantastical. Emotional. Interracial.
SC: If you could step into the shoes of another author who would you pick? Why?
ZR: I would love to be Jayne Ann Krentz. She’s the author I “grew up” reading. I devoured her books all through high school and college. Not only is she one of my all time favorite authors, but she has over one hundred books out and is a New York Times Bestseller. I want to be her when I grow up.
SC: What do you think sets your stories apart from other authors?
ZR: I don’t know if anything sets my books apart. I try to show tangible emotion with in-depth characters and strive to deliver a solid plot. So far as I know, all authors do and want the same. I know I have a strange imagination and think of twists and turns most people find surprising in this over-cliched world, but that’s only because many of my influences come from my love of Japanese society – I read a lot of manga and watch a lot of anime.
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
ZR: What I’m working on now isn’t taste worthy yet, but I have a Christmas novella coming out with Changeling Press on 17 December called Stripping Christmas. It’s part of the White Hot Christmas multi-author series.
Buy Link: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1740
Alex is firmly on the naughty list and she wants Santa to join her.
Alex thought she was going to a job, instead she ends up marrying the heir to the title of Santa Claus. The vows have been said and cannot be taken back, even if Alex isn’t the ideal bride Kris was hoping for to re-energize the powers of the House of Kringle. But, Alex is about to teach him that being a little naughty — or a lot — can go a long way.
Even though the kiss was a simple pressing of lips, Alex felt herself getting all hot and bothered. She normally wouldn’t let a client touch her. That was against the rules, but she was willing to make an exception. In fact, she wanted the kiss to be deeper.
Kris pulled back and smiled down at her.
Alex smiled back. “Damn.”
Several people in the room gasped loudly. Shocked gasps. Even Kris. He stumbled back, tripped over his own feet and fell on his ass, looking at her with an expression of horror.
Alex asked quickly, “What? What?” She looked behind her, thinking she would see a murderer with a knife prepared to stab her in the back. There was nothing there. She looked back at Kris. “What the hell is your problem?”
More people gasped.
Kris took several deep breaths before he said, “You swear.”
“Every damn day.”
He flinched. His ears even drooped. “You are… you cannot… A pure heart would never use such language. The wife of the head of House Kringle should not use such language.” He got to his feet and confronted her with a dark look.
Alex snapped, “What wife? What the hell are you talking about?”
“You said you accept me.”
“That is marriage.”
“No, it isn’t. Marriage is a holy man or a justice of the peace and a piece of legal paper. This is a little make-believe to get you in the mood of the season before I start stripping.” She looked over the crowd. “I wasn’t expecting such a large audience.” She shrugged. “Just means more tips, I guess.”
“Yes. Strippers tend to strip.” She looked down at her dress. “Though I’m going to need some help getting out of this dress.”
Several women in the crowd fell to the ground in faints. Alex didn’t know what their issue was.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
ZR: The best advice I ever received… I have a few:
– There is no better promotion than your next book.
– Writers write.
– Finish the book now, worry about editing later.
– KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid – when it comes to websites.
SC: What is one pet peeve you have when it comes to publishing?
ZR: My one pet peeve about publishing is the waiting. Waiting to hear back from an editor or agent after submitting a query. Waiting longer to hear back after submitting a full. Waiting for a contract. Waiting for edits. Waiting for a cover. Waiting for release day. Waiting for a review. I’m a patient person, but the first two and the last one really fray the nerves. It’s the first opinions of my writing that always have me doubting my ability until I get that acceptance letter or until I hear back from a reader/reviewer about how much they liked my book.
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
ZR: See the above under best advice I ever received and add simply to follow directions. Most editors/agents reject submissions unread simply because the author couldn’t follow the directions on the guidelines page. It’s something so simple and yet many people make the mistake.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It doesn’t matter if the question has been asked five hundred times before and sure you’ll get that person who is grumpy that you asked because it’s been asked five hundred times before, BUT you’ll also get someone who will answer your question. Even if you think the question sounds dumb or you think you should know, ask anyway. You don’t learn anything unless you ask.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
ZR: I’m all over the internet:
Website – http://zenobiarenquist.com/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/dreneebagby
Newsletter – http://ymlp.com/signup.php?id=geusujygmgj
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/zenobiarenquist
Yahoo Group – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dreneebagby_multiverse/
You can read the first chapters of all of my books (under both of my names) at my blog – D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters: http://dreneebagbypresentsfirstchapters.blogspot.com/
Thanks again for hosting me today. Have a happy!