Welcome, today we are talking with Amber Daulton! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.

Can you share a little something about Amber Daulton that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?

I live in western North Carolina, USA, and it’s so beautiful here. A five-hour drive east takes me to the beach, but an hour drive west takes me up the Great Smoky Mountains where I enjoy hikes, picnicking at a waterfall, and visiting historical sites. I love waking up in the morning and the fog is so thick I can barely see ten feet in front of me. At night, the stars are so crisp and clear like a twinkling blanket over the earth.

How long have you been writing? 

I read my first romance book when I was 12 after I snuck a Harlequin paperback out of my mom’s bedroom. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I wanted to create my own story about two people having an adventure and falling in love. I wrote with pencil in a spiral-bound notebook and finished that 200-plus-page story in about six months.

I published my first book when I was 26, and Trevor’s Redemption in the Dangerous Entanglements anthology is now my seventeenth book to date. It’s book 3.5 in my Arresting Onyx series. I have several more manuscripts on my computer waiting to see the light of day. 

What have you found most challenging about it? 

Writer’s block is definitely a challenge. Sometimes I feel brain dead and exhausted, and it’s impossible to create a complete, cohesive sentence. It’s like a huge weight is on my shoulders, and the only thing I can do is step away from the project to find my zone. I usually have to play video games, clean, do house repair projects, or work in the garden to get my creative juices flowing again. I also try to read in the sub-genre I’m writing in to find inspiration. After a few weeks, my creative muse starts flowing, and I can finally get back to work! 

What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?  

It’s all three. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t find it fun, but it’s also a good way to get my emotions out and detox from whatever is going on in my life.

Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?

I try to write everyday, but I don’t have any word count goals. I used to, but it was too stressful, and I always felt like a failure when I didn’t meet those goals.

That stated, I do set personal deadlines in which I try to have chapters done by a certain date, so I can have the entire story completed by another date. Sometimes I make it; sometimes I don’t.

Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job? 

A job, definitely. I’m not rolling in money, but I treat it as a full-time job. 

What inspires you? 

I get story ideas from everything around me. Sometimes I watch a TV show or read a book, and inspiration strikes. The characters keep talking to me in my head, and I can’t think about anything else until I at least write down a basic plot. Ideas often come to me when I’m sleeping, so I keep a notebook in the nightstand, which I’ve put to good use at all hours of the night. My dreams are usually pretty vivid and wild, and it’s a lot of fun twisting a dream into a story. 

Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life. 

 What are your pet peeves?

It’s frustrating when I’m driving and someone cuts in front of me without turning on their turn signal. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that! Not only is `reckless driving dangerous, it’s illegal, but I see cops not using their signal all the time as well.

Give us one thing on your bucket list.

My dream vacation is flying to Athens, staying a week and visiting as many historical sites as I can, then taking a boat to Rome, where I’ll do the same thing there for another week.

What would readers find surprising about you? 

Even though I’m from the Southern US, I don’t have a southern drawl. When people first meet me, they typically think I’m from England or even France (and yes, I’ve been asked to speak French, which I don’t know). I have a smooth, proper accent, but I don’t think it sounds English or French at all. I’ve been getting the “Where are you from?” question since I was in elementary school, and kids can be quite cruel. Luckily, the questions and funny looks have never bothered me. I take sounding different as a matter of pride.

Now that our readers know who Amber Daulton is let’s get down to the business of your book, Ryan’s Temptation, which is part of your romantic suspense series, Arresting Onyx.  Please tell us a little bit about, Ryan’s Temptation.

Sure! I’d love to.

First of all, I never intended to write it, but two secondary characters from the previous books kept pestering me, demanding I give them a story of their own. They harassed me for months, so when I finally succumbed and hashed out some ideas, the plot flowed right out of me. I wrote scene by scene, chapter by chapter, until I wrapped everything up in the epilogue. Then I finally got to writing the story, and I had so much fun. Serves me right for denying what my characters wanted. I should’ve listened to them in the first place.

Want to read the blurb? Here you go:

Wrong place, wrong time. Now she’s running for her life.

Beautician Chanel Leroc can wield a pair of scissors like nobody’s business. After she witnesses a murder and lands on a serial killer’s hit list, she has to figure out how to protect herself—and fast. The killer tracks her down, but her sexy new neighbor, Dr. Ryan Naylor, drives the brute off.

The police dump the pair in a witness protection program, which doesn’t last long. Either the killer has a connection to the police, or he’s far more intelligent than they realize. All Chanel wants to do is get back to her safe life and get to know her neighbor better. Instead, she and Ryan hit the road and try to survive on their own.

How will they stay alive and keep their blooming romance intact with the killer hot on their trail?

You can find Ryan’s Temptation here: https://books2read.com/RyansTemptation

What was your hardest challenge writing this book?

Staying within my allotted word count. I wrote this story for an anthology that had a 50k word cap for each novella, so that was always in the back of my mind. I tend to write long and cut back later, so I was relieved when the final version was only 45k.

What kind of research did you have to do?

Lots of Internet research into serial killers and psychology (for my villain), cosmetology and art history careers (for my heroine), and medical training and hospital jobs (for my hero). I’ve set my series in Denver, Colorado, so I was already familiar with the city due to prior research for my previous books, but I also had to read up on the mountains and ski resorts in the western part of the state.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

Chanel and Ryan have great banter. Their lives are in danger, so they know starting a relationship right now isn’t the best idea, but the sexual tension between them keeps building and burning hotter. With their forced close proximity, emotions finally take over and result into something spectacular that they never expected.

How many books are in your Arresting Onyx series? 

That’s a tricky question. I have four novels (only three are currently published) and two novellas in the series, but I’ve also written a fifth novel that I’m considering removing and using as book 1 in a new spin-off series. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, and honestly, the indecision is driving me a little crazy. 

Do you plan to add more to the series?

Not at this time. If anything, I’m going to focus on the aforementioned spin-off.

Any other works in progress? 

Too many to count, but currently I’m working on a brand new shifter romance series, in which book 1 will be released in late 2023 as part of an anthology.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Make friends with other authors and readers via social media. Don’t be shy. Start a blog even if you aren’t published yet, so you can join blog tours. A tour is a great way to get a free ebook as long as you write a review and post it on your blog. The author’s readers will then come to your blog to read the review. They’ll see YOUR name, and that’s what you want—to get your name out there.

Just keep trying. I know it sounds cliché, but there’s nothing else to do. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. Period. Keep your hopes up and take rejection letters in stride. If a publisher or editor gives you feedback on why he/she rejected your work, put aside your pride and listen to their feedback. It’s hard, I know, but accepting help or criticism usually is.

Final words?

Thank you to all the readers for stopping by today, and thanks to my Coffee Time Romance hosts for having me visit. It’s been fun.

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