Today, at Coffee Time Romance, we have the opportunity to have with us, romance author, Drue Allen. Good morning, Drue, just relax in our cozy recliner and put on the fuzzy bunny slippers while I pour you a cup of hot coffee or tea, whichever you prefer. You can have as many of the cookies and brownies as you wish; Karenne baked them and they have no calories, really.
I want DOUBLE brownies if they are calorie-free.
Drue, we would love to hear how your morning begins once you wake. With video camera in hand, why not tell us about your day if we were to follow you around.
Turn that camera off! Now stumble with me through the dark to the coffee pot, and don't trip over the cats. I'm up at 5 am - turn the coffee maker on FIRST thing, then do 15 minutes of yoga while the brew percolates. 5:15-7:15 I write. This is actually my most productive time. If I'm under deadline, I have a required word count that I've set, and I need to make over half of it in the morning. I'd like to make it all! Then it's off to the full time job. The rest of the words have to come in the evening, 12 hours later. Weekends I try to edit what I've done during the week.
I want to say that, The Cost of Love was a wonderful story. I absolutely love how you knitted the characters of Lucy and Dean. The dialogue was terrific and the chemistry, and suspense, just enough to keep this reader spellbound as to what would happen next. Your plotting was excellent. For those who have not had the opportunity to read it, can you enlighten the readers a bit about the making of the story?
I knew I wanted to write a story that hinged on bio-terrorism, so I needed a setting that would offer a bit of mystery and a way to lighten my plot--Roswell, New Mexico seemed the perfect spot. Dean is the burned-out veteran who has worked dozens of ops. This situation in Roswell is unlike any he's seen before, but he's seasoned enough to know there will always be new and more terrible scenarios. It's not until he's deeper into the op, until he's dependent on Lucy and her expertise, and realizes they might not make it out, that he begins to understand how much is at risk for him personally. I thoroughly enjoyed the research and the writing.
Did you find it difficult composing the right character for the storyline, or did you already have the certain character in mind?
No problem with Dean or Lucy. It's as if I've met them both. I wonder why that is? As far as Dean, I suppose it's because I do know several men like him--hard working, no nonsense, get in-get it done-get out. I totally dig Dean. Lucy is extremely smart, sexy and competent. But she's also naive, and yes--I've known women like her as well.
The story is quite engaging. Did you feel drawn into the storyline where you could not let it go?
I miss them both! I'd love to bring them back (peripherally) into the sequel.
Can you tell us what we can expect in the future of any works in progress, or future releases, perhaps?
The Edge of Love is set in the northwest U.S. and deals with cyber-terrorism amidst the backdrop of the Olympic National Forest. Jazmine Petite is my kick-ass heroine—I wanted to lead with a female character this time. I like the part on top of the mountain, with the bear and the terrorists after their land-wear gear has stopped working, but I also like the beginning when Cole Bishop first takes Jazmine hostage with a World War II hand grenade. Cole’s a good guy, but he has some problems with meeting etiquette.
Once you finish a story is it difficult for you to let it go?
I don't have problems ENDING, because I usually write the last chapter about half way through the writing process, but I do MISS my characters. I walk around thinking, "There's someone I need to call" then realize it's just those PEOPLE in my book I'm missing.
How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?
The shortest time for a full length book has been 30 days (that hurt my wrists), and the longest has been 6 months.
Do you prefer to start with an outline when you write or just go with the flow?
Outline - ha ha ha ha ha.
What is the hardest part of creating a book? Surviving the editor? Promoting? The last chapter?
Hmmm . . . I suppose I struggle the most between the halfway mark and the end, which is why I go ahead and write the end. It helps me tremendously to write TOWARD something. I'm been fortunate to have wonderful editors. This is my first time to promote, so I'll let you know. And the last chapter, well I've already mentioned that.
You have been chosen to take a thirty day trip to three fabulous spots in the world. Where would the trip start and end, and who would you take with you?
I've always wanted to hike Europe, so let's just do that. And I believe it would take me 30 days to do so. We'll start in Switzerland (better be summertime, since we're hiking), and go as far south as 30 days and our leg and money will take us.
You have the opportunity to either sky-dive, climb Mt. Everest, go on a wild animal adventure to find a rare crocodile, or appear on the Food Network show and prepare your fabulous all time meal, which adventure would you choose?
Well I have wanted to sky-dive, but I want to mountain climb as well--so you're making this difficult. I'm going to choose the sky-diving this time, because it's on my to-do-soon list. My dad was a paratrooper in World War II, so I've always wanted to give it a try. Let's do it!
What is your favorite food, snack or dessert that you could eat all the time?
Chocolate! Did you say those brownies were calorie-free?
You wake up one morning to learn you are an astronaut about to make a journey into space. What planet do you wish to go and see?
I'm going with those guys who have landed in Roswell. As far as what planet they're from, you'll need to read my book.
Drue, I cannot thank you enough for being our guest today. You are a great storyteller. I look forward to your next sensational story and many more.
Thank you so much for the interview. It's been a hoot.