Tuesday, October 15, 2013
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Regina Puckett
1. What made you decide to get into writing and what would you be doing if you weren't writing?
Writing is my second job. During the daytime, I work as an account clerk for a local university and only get to wear my writing cape at night. One day it would be nice to be able to write full time, but at least I have a job I enjoy while I'm waiting.
There are too many voices in my head to not to do something with all of their stories.
Besides I enjoy creating something out of nothing and have so much fun forcing characters do what I want them to do. In real life no one ever listens to me or ever behave like I think they should. It's a nice change creating a world where everyone has to do as I say.
2. What authors did you read when you were younger, and what authors inspire you today?
My first love was autobiographies and biographies. I guess I'm just naturally nosey and love seeing why people turned out to be who they are. My first experience with fiction was Gone with the Wind. That story hooked me into reading other genres. Now I'll read anything, but the only books I read over and over again are the books in the Harry Potter series.
3. Do you have anything new in the works and are you willing to give KSR readers a sneak peek?
I'm rewriting a romance I received my rights back on last December, Songs that I Whisper. Sneak peek:
Songs That I Whisper
Seth stopped dead in his tracks.Standing with one foot still on the sidewalk and the other on the wooden floors of Dreams on Canvas, he stood for a full thirty seconds not being able to remember why he was entering the ultra-chic art gallery. The unexpected sight of a set of incredible legs disappearing into a pair of cut-off jeans left him stunned and with his mouth gapping open.
He had no idea shabby shorts could look so good on anyone. A silent war between common sense and admiration kept Seth lodged in place. Half of his brain was shouting for him to stand there staring for as long as he could get away with it, and the other half was telling him that he should go over and let Suzette Warren know he was there for their meeting before she caught him standing in the doorway drooling. Finally deciding that ogling the art gallery owner was probably a bad way to begin a new business relationship, Seth stepped inside and tried to remember all of the good manners his mother had taught him over the years. He had only driven to the tiny town of Murfreesboro because his manager had raved on and on about what a talented artist Suzette Warren was. What a shame that whilst Beverly had been naming all the woman's wonderful attributes she had failed to mention just how gorgeous she looked. At that very moment, while he was busy staring, the raven-haired beauty was slowly backing across the art gallery and making a cute little clicking noise with her tongue.
She appeared to be contemplating whether a painting was in the right position, or if her lanky, blonde helper needed to move it somewhere else. Seth loved the gallery owner's gorgeous hair, and was thoroughly fascinated to watch the long ponytail swish lazily from side to side with each turn of her head. Even with the thick mane pulled up, it was still long enough to reach her waist. Suzette's hair was a fantastic shade of black that glimmered with each turn of her head beneath the gallery's bright overhead lights. The man holding the enormous canvas finally lost all patience and groaned, "Oh come on! Make up your mind already. This thing isn't getting any lighter."
Instead of replying, Suzette continued making the clicking sounds.
It took her a few more seconds before she finally smiled her approval. Her voice had a wonderful, raspy quality, "Bill, you've been helping all of thirty minutes." She made a point of putting a drawn-out emphasis on, "The painting surely can't be that heavy." She softened that with a quick grin, as if used to Bill's whining. She motioned for him to put the painting on the floor, and then held both arms out wide from each side. "It will be perfect here. Its blue tones are a wonderful contrast with the orange sunset on one side and the yellow daffodils on the other."
Bill was making certain the painting wasn't going to slide on the wooden floor and fall, when Suzette finally noticed Seth standing by the front door. When she did turn her full attention on him, Seth was shocked to the very core by her unusual, light blue eyes.
They had such intense intelligent they clearly said she didn't suffer fools gladly, but they also made him think of long walks along the beach and kissing in the moonlight. With a little trouble he remembered that long walks and kissing weren't on the agenda. He needed an artist.
The last thing he needed was to make a complete ass out of himself over a beautiful woman. When Seth didn't say anything, she cleared her throat. Feeling like a twelve year old school boy caught misbehaving in class he hurriedly apologized, "I didn't mean to startle you."
"That's not a problem. I didn't know you were standing over there and waiting for me. I had no idea I left the door unlocked."
She gestured toward the artwork stacked along the walls of the long room. "The gallery's closed today. We're setting up a new exhibit for tomorrow night's show."
Seth moved into the room a few steps more but he wasn't certain if she was going to have time to talk to him, since Suzette didn't look as if she liked being interrupted.
"I didn't mean to interfere with your work schedule, but my manager told me you would be expecting me this morning. I'm Seth Black."
Suzette raised her eyebrows and glanced at her watch.
"I had no idea it was so late." She made a motion for him to come over. "I was so caught up in what I was doing I forgot you were coming today." She turned toward Bill. "You can take a break for a little bit if you want to." But before he could wander off she touched his arm and turned back toward Seth. "This is my office manager and best friend, Bill Fields. When he's not helping me hang paintings and answering the phone he paints the most outstanding abstracts in the world. Remember his name because he will be famous one day."
Bill blushed and tucked a strand of long, blonde hair behind one ear. He studied his feet as if he wished he wasn't the center of attention. Seth liked the tall, lanky man right away. Feeling like a fool, because he was still standing clear on the other side of the room, he strolled over and offered his hand to Bill first.
"It's nice meeting you." Bill returned the handshake like a man relieved to have his workday interrupted. "I'm happy to see you. Suzette has been trying to kill me. If you will excuse me, I'll leave you two to chat."
Seth nodded. "Certainly."
After the introductions were over, Bill sauntered over to a nearby bench and there curled into a tight ball. He placed his head on one hand and threw his other arm over his eyes, as if preparing for a long nap.
Seth turned to Suzette and offered his hand.
When she held hers out, he encompassed it into both of his. She gave him a head to toe scan, and instead of being intimidated by his large, muscled frame, she returned his handshake with a firm and sure grip of her own. When he seemed to hang on to her hand a little too long, she smartly withdrew it.
"Beverly said you're interested in having your portrait painted for your next album cover."
He flashed his famous lopsided grin before saying, "I'm sorry if I keep staring. I swear this isn't the first time I have been allowed out in public by myself, but for some reason I was expecting a little, old, gray-haired lady. Beverly said you had years and years of experience painting portraits. Normally when someone has years and years of experience they have some gray hair to show for it."
Suzette headed toward the other side of the room and motioned for him to follow. "I hope you don't think I'm being rude, but I'm really busy today. Could we talk as I work?"
Suzette stopped at a stack of paintings. Seth followed her. "I don't mind. I can help if you need an extra pair of hands."
"It seems I could use them since my help seems to be taking a nap."
Together they glanced over at Bill. He didn't budge an inch, but could be heard snoring from clear across the room.
She shook her head and turned back to the paintings as if unconcerned. As she sorted, she divided her attention between the paintings and Seth.
"My parents gave me my first art set when I was four. I think I may have painted the walls as much as I did the canvases, but I was only four after all." She met his eyes and smiled. It was clearly infectious for he immediately returned it. She was very charismatic. "I didn't begin painting professionally until I was twelve." Seth loved her hands. They were so delicate without appearing too fragile.
"You waited that long, huh?"
She looked up from her sorting and when she saw he was just joking she chuckled.
"I would have started sooner but my parents were very protective. To be quite honest I threw a temper tantrum until they agreed." She rolled her beautiful sky-blue eyes.
"I was such a brat. Four years ago I purchased this gallery, so I now prefer representing other artists. When I paint now it's mostly for my own pleasure, but every now and then I will take on a project, if it interests me. I told Beverly I wasn't sure if I would do your portrait or not, but, after talking with her, I got the feeling she's a very determined, head-strong lady."
Seth laughed as if that was an understatement. "She has been called that among other things."
Suzette stopped what she was doing long enough to turn and face him. "Beverly doesn't have the market on headstrong. In the end, it will be my decision if I take the commission on your portrait or not."
Seth admired Suzette's confidence.
"I would never dream of pressuring you. I only ask for an opportunity to tell you about my plans for the new album cover, and then you can decide whether to do it or not. Beverly says that you're the best, and I value her knowledge on such matters."
4. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years? I'm on the beach and writing full time.
5. You've written poetry, horror and romance. Why do you choose to utilize different genres rather than write in one specific style?
I used to only write only romance but something in me shifted in 2012. My daydreams began branching out and my ‘what ifs' became more complicated. I hope that means I'm growing as a writer and not that I'm becoming more blood thirsty in my old age.
6. If someone gave you a choice to only write one genre, which would it be and why?
I don't believe I can go back to only writing one genre. What would be the fun in that?
I can either make people fall in love or kill them off in the most devious ways.
7. You set Concealed In My Heart in the 1960's. Why did you choose a setting fifty years ago as opposed to current times?
Eight years ago, when I first released Concealed in My Heart, it was set in current times. It wasn't until I decided to make it into a series that I was forced me to rethink the time period.
When I received my rights back at the end of 2012, I had the opportunity to do a complete makeover. Getting things switched from the current time to the 1960's took every brain cell I had.
Fortunately, I grew up during those times, and my editor had eagle eyes.
She was able to catch the little things I missed.
8. Charity in the novel is a college girl who becomes an actress. Why did you choose show business as the backdrop, so to speak, of the story?
I have always thought it would be grand fun to be an actress or actor.
They get to pretend to be someone else, have people fuss over their hair and makeup and wear pretty clothes.
I knew I could use this backdrop to have my characters go to cool places and meet famous people.
9. Do you think that, had you set the story in modern times, that you would've had to change some outcomes, like Maria's death by high blood pressure?
At the time I was writing this book, this topic was very close to my heart.
Both of my daughters were struggling with high blood pressure during their pregnancies, and as hard as it is to believe, there is still a very real danger from dying from high blood pressure even with all of our modern-day drugs.
So I guess my answer is, no.
10. Were any of the unique characters in Concealed In My Heart based on real people?
There are bits and pieces of everyone I know in my books, but for safety's sake, I'll let my family figure out which character they are.
11. Will you ever write a sequel to the novel so that readers, like myself, will see how Charity's life has progressed?
Book 2-Songs That I Whisper-David and Maria's daughter, Suzette. I hope to have it re-released by the end of 2013.
Book-3-What the Heart Knows-David and Charity's daughter, Emily. It's out as a paperback but I hope to have the rights to it in 2014, so you might want to wait until I can release it as an ebook.
Book-4 Love's Great Plan-David and Charity's son, Coty. It's also out in paperback but I also hope to have my rights back in 2014, so hold on until I can release it as an ebook.
Book 5- Love is a Promise Kept-David and Charity's granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth.
This is already out as a paperback and ebook, so go grab a copy.
In each of these books there's a hint of how David and Charity are doing as they grow older with their family.
12. Since the book is set around a movie shoot, would you ever like to see a film made out of Concealed In My Heart or any other of your stories?
I have always thought it would make a great movie.
It is being made into an audiobook as we speak.
I'm hoping it will be ready for release by early December.
I can't wait to hear how it turns out.
13. Will you be writing and publishing more poetry collections or maybe doing a poetry tour anytime soon?
I'm always writing poetry.
My next book, Here Among The Ruins, will be ready for release by the end of October.
14. You talk about the cattiness of the other actresses towards Charity. Did you never have any personal experiences with bullies?
I don't know of anyone who hasn't faced being bullied at one point in their life.
Some people aren't happy unless they're putting someone else down, but I'm a firm believer that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
15. Thank you for doing the interview! Can you please leave the reader with three things that may surprise them about you?
I love painting abstracts. I will eat cheese on just about anything. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
Find Regina Puckett via the following places online:
Barnes & Noble