Welcome to Keira’s Corner, where there is always chocolate, and lots and lots of coffee. Thanks so much for having me, Keira!Website - http://ChantillyWhite.com
Keira: You have a story that just came out, entitled Pearls of Pleasure. What is that about?Pearls of Pleasure is the story of a married couple, Gwen and David, working through a very traumatic event in their past. I'm always interested in the ways married couples sustain their relationships and keep their love for each other as tight a bond as when they first fell in love, especially through difficult times. This is an exploration of what happens after the initial "happily ever after," when everything that was perfect gets turned upside down by life, and how they cope with those circumstances.
Keira: What do you wear, to write?
Ahh, well. . . Usually pajamas, if I'm honest. Whatever is most comfortable. I have threatened to start wearing one of my tiaras—I collect them—to signal to family that I'm working and not to be disturbed, but they're not that comfy for long-term wear.
Keira: Is writing your only talent?
I paint a little—a very little—and play the flute and piccolo. I used to dance—ballet, tap, jazz—and was a cheerleader in high school, so I started a cheerleading business when I lived in Wisconsin. I taught cheers and dance to kids from about three years old to junior high age and we performed at community events and high school halftimes. I still miss that business and the kids I got to work with. They were awesome!
Keira: Where in the Hell did you find time to write?
Finding time to write is a daily struggle for me, because I am excellent at wasting time, and I'm lazy. I love to cuddle up on the couch with a great book and not move for hours. With three kids, a husband who travels a lot, and three cats who need constant supervision (they are SO destructive!), it's been even tougher. But I finally had to have a heart-to-heart with myself and delineate what I really want to accomplish. I had to ask myself the serious questions. Did I want to be an author? A published author? Or just play around at writing for the rest of my life. The answer was "published author" so I had to then get serious about my time. I still waste plenty of it, but now that comes after the writing!
Keira: Why are you a writer?
I'm a writer, honestly, because I just can't help it. I've always written, since I could first hold a pencil. I wrote my first two-hundred page novel when I was eight. It's what I love. There's nothing better than tearing my hair out over the just the right phrase, creating the perfect mood in a story. It's hard sometimes, but I wouldn't want to do anything else. Besides, if I didn't write the stories the characters in my head demand, they'd torment me unmercifully. I'd probably wind up in a padded cell, sucking my thumb and talking to myself.
Keira: If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
That's a tough question because I have an excellent mentor already, and several other people who have helped me tremendously over the years. If I could keep them and add someone else to the mix, it would have to be Nora Roberts or JK Rowling. Their work ethic and business savvy is incredible.
Keira: How many hours a day do you dedicate to writing?
I don't set a specific amount of time, other than wishing I could write every day. With my family life, that's not realistic, so I write as often as I can. I've also been using writing sprints for the past year—half an hour of hardcore writing, no stopping, no researching, no staring into space, just fingers moving on keys until the timer goes off. That has really helped me, because if I allow my internal editor to sit on my shoulder, nitpicking everything I do, I wind up editing the same paragraph for hours and making no progress on the book as a whole. By setting a timer, the internal editor gets stuffed in a trunk. There's no time to listen to her carping! I've been able to write up to 1500 words in thirty minutes, and doing that a couple of times a day really boosts the overall word count.
Keira: Do you use a particular writing method?
No!! LOL I tried. I really did. I took all sorts of classes beyond my degree in writing, which didn't deal with the nitty gritty of writing a novel at all. I read every book on plotting, went through all the methods. I made up gorgeous storyboards, very detailed, very thorough. Then ignored them completely when I actually wrote the stories. I'm not a plotter. I wish I was, because it seems like such a clean, linear process, and mine is such a mess. I start in the middle, write scenes out of order, write the end before the beginning, you name it. It does require a lot more revision in the end than a novel that was carefully plotted from the beginning, but I've made peace with it. It's just the way I write. It works for me. Trying to be overly structured took all the fun out of writing, and if a writer isn't having fun, what's the point?
Keira: What advice would you give to an unpublished writer?
Get all the information about the business you can find, decide what you want and go for it.
Publishing has changed so much in the past few years, the landscape is unrecognizable. My original dream was always very specific. New York contract or bust! There's part of me that still wants that, but contracts are tricky right now. Plus, I'm a control freak. Going through New York, you get a lot of great benefits and the chance to work with some really amazing people. But you give up some things to do that, too, including creative control over a great deal of your work. And the waiting. . .
It's a tradeoff. I'm still interested in pursuing New York with the right project for the right publishing house. For now, I'm happy indie publishing my work, but that was not a decision I took lightly. It's important to be honest with yourself about what you want and why. If contest wins and industry awards are important to you, indie publishing is not the way to go. It's a lot of work on the business side—I make my own covers, format my work for publication, find beta readers and editors, upload it to all the retailers, do all the promotion, and had to learn to do each of those things, which did not come naturally to me. Luckily I have a lot of patient friends and colleagues who are always willing to help. It's time consuming, but also satisfying.
Let’s get personal…
Keira: What is your favorite food?
Pizza! And chocolate.
Keira: What is your guilty Pleasure?
My jet tub, full of hot water and yummy bubble bath.
Keira: What is your favorite Smell?
Chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.
Keira: What is your favorite color?
Red. And pink. I can never decide.
Keira: What is your favorite favorite animal?
A great big fluffy cat.
Keira: Can you tell us a secret?
Yes. But no. J
Keira: Do you have pets?
Three insane (and great big fluffy) cats.
Keira: What do you consider a household staple?
Keira: What are you reading?
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant, and it is fabulous.
Keira: Can you share your blurb with us?
Pearls of Pleasure
Gwen Coffey's marriage is collapsing. When her fireman husband, David, nearly died in a blaze that took the lives of his friends, she devoted herself to his long, painful recovery. Three years later, he's healthy and back to work—but now, panic attacks send Gwen spiraling into a dark abyss of terror every time they make love.
His marriage turning to ash around him, David struggles to help his wife. Gwen's pain tears him apart. But despite her attempts to shut him out, he won't give up on her, or their relationship. Desperate, he convinces her to see a therapist.
As Gwen and David strive for a solution, one question burns in their minds—will the doctor's treatment plan save their once fiery passion, or will the flames of Gwen's fear devour their sex life and incinerate the bonds of their marriage?
Twitter - @ChantillyWhite
Pearls of PleasureAmazon
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Pearls of WisdomAmazon
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Pearls of PassionAmazon
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