We are talking today with Denise A. Agnew. Denise, I would first like to thank you
very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for
I was looking around your website and I noticed you have 21 books in print or e-
books. What was the first book you every had published?
My first published work was BEST OF BUDDIES (romantic comedy--Hard Shell Word Factory
How did you get your first book published? How long did it take?
I wrote several books before BEST OF BUDDIES was accepted by Hard Shell. In '92 I
decided I wanted to pursue getting published, though I had been tinkering with writing
since I was 14. I got my first contract in '99.
I noticed while I was looking around your website that you have won alot of awards for
your books, do you have a certain celebration you do with each award?
Actually, no. :) My celebrations depending on what strikes me at the time. It could be a
simple as a nice dinner out, wine, etc. I treated myself to a piece of jewelry once.
Who or what inspired you to begin writing?
I was inspired when I was 14 when a teacher presented an unfinished short story to the
class and said, "finish this." Also, since I was/am an avid reader, it was something I'd
thought about doing for a long time. In high school I had this fabulous creative writing
teacher that inspired me. My ultimate inspiration was and is my husband. He has always
encouraged and believed in me.
Do you have any rituals that you observe when you are writing?
Before I start writing for the day, I try doing a mini meditation. A few minutes to clear the
mind of thoughts that might jumble my creativity. If I'm under stress, this is particularly
Do you plot out your stories in advanced, or are you a "as it comes to me" writer?
For the most part I'm a "by the seat of my pants." I do make up
character charts for the hero and heroine and sometimes the "bad guy." I rarely outline
because it can cause writer's block for me.
Can you give our readers a brief look at your newest book Impetuous?
Sure! IMPETUOUS is book number four in my Special Investigations Agency series. The
Special Investigations Agency is a top secret government agency that deals with terrorism
and also threats of a paranormal nature. The books don't have to be read in any particular
order. There will be several more books in the series. Here's the blurb for Impetuous:
Who knew the SIA could be such a hotbed of romance and intrigue? Certainly not Synna
MacDell. Watching him from afar stirred her primitive needs… Synna is ready to leave the
SIA to fulfill her lifelong dreams. When gorgeous ex-army officer Ian Frasier takes over
the running of Special Investigations Agency, Synna is tempted beyond endurance by his
roguish smile. Leaving the excitement he brings into her life will be a little depressing. A
powerful craving draws them closer to the edge… Ian started his career at SIA ready to
solve any problem and tackle any foe. He fears his overpowering attraction to Synna
could short-circuit his career, but her safety means more to him than any job. There’s a
new menace stalking the SIA, and it wants sexual healing… A weredemon infiltrates their
secure world. Ian and Synna learn the only cure maybe found at a Halloween party where
identities are uncertain and a night of love could either save Synna’s life, or destroy them
Who are some of your favorite authors? What, if any, influence have these authors
had on your writing?
I've got so many favorites it is difficult to list them all. A few are:
Suzanne Brockmann, Christina Skye, Diana Duncan,
Pauline Baird Jones, Cherie Singer, Sarah McCarty, Lee Emory, Jennifer Dunne,Sharon
Garner, Diana Kirk/Pam Hart, Desiree Lindsay, Tami Hoag, Connie Brockway, Sabrina
Jeffries, Bonnie Vanak,Candace Proctor, Linda Howard, Ruth Wind/Barbara Samuels. I'd
say all of these writers have inspired me with their ability to bring situations and
characters into unique life. They know how to capture a sense of place and a sense of true
characterization and sensuality that really sucks me straight into a story and won't let me
Out of all the books you have written, 21 books, which one was the hardest to write?
Oy!! This is a difficult question, because I keep pushing myself, for the most part, to write
more difficult stories all the time. I'd say I have several books that were the most difficult
to write because of the intensive research required to get time periods and other details
correct. Those are COMBUSTION (firefighters), MIDNIGHT ROSE (Jack The Ripper and 1888
London), BRIDGE THROUGH THE MIST (1318 Scotland), LOVE FROM THE ASHES (1906 San
Do you use critique groups? How does this influence your writing?
I have two people critique my work before I send it to my editor. What this does is gives
me perspective. I know that I'm too close to the writing and sometimes can't see my own
errors whether it be plot, characterization, you name it. Getting critiques is critical to
keeping perspective. A writer should never think their work is so good that it couldn't use
a good critique or two before it even gets edited.
What do you think is your greatest achievement in writing?
Letting it all hang out. When I stopped worrying quite so much about what people would
think of my more daring plot lines (such as Jack The Ripper), or the gritty
characterizations of my bad guys, or the hot sex in my erotic romance. That's when my
books started to become more "mine," and I believe I created my voice at that time.
Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?
Never think you know it all. You don't. :) The work never stops. Be willing to promote once
you are published. Realize that yes, you do need to be edited. Poor writing isn't your
voice, it's just poor writing. Overall, dream big and don't be afraid to let it all hang out. At
the same time, realize that being author means always being willing to learn and to
improve. If you stop learning, your success will at some point come to a stop as well.
Is there a downside to your success?
Becoming busier all the time can be a downside if I don't watch it and realize that I need
vacation. I have to take care to keep my life "balance in all things."
Out of all your books that you have published, which do you think is your most
Ah, that question. :) Honestly, I wish I could say. If you hold a gun to my head, I'll say it
is a tie between LOVE FROM THE ASHES and MIDNIGHT ROSE.
Again thank you so much for taking the time to answer these few questions about
your career. If you would like to learn more about Denise and her career, please
check out her web site at http://www.deniseagnew.com