16 Jul 2014

Author Interview: Deanna Lynn Sletten

Life is full of surprises...
Claire Martin's life is perfect, or at least she tells herself it is. She owns a successful clothing boutique, has a steady, dependable boyfriend, and a beautiful grown daughter who is about to be married. Sure, Claire's husband of twenty years left her for a younger woman four years ago, but that is all in the past. Now, Claire is looking forward to her daughter's Bahama wedding and spending a week in paradise. The only thing Claire dreads is her ex-husband and his wife will also be on the island. Claire is determined to make the best of it, though. What Claire doesn't realize is ignoring her ex-husband for the week is going to be impossible.
James Martin's life is a mess. His wife of less than four years has made him the most miserable man on earth and now they are in the middle of a messy divorce. He's happy that he can forget her for a week as he goes off to the Bahamas to attend his lovely daughter's wedding. Jim is embarrassed to admit to his daughter and his ex-wife, Claire, that he made the biggest mistake of his life when he left her for another woman, so he makes up a story as to why his new wife didn't come along. When he and Claire are unexpectedly forced upon each other, Jim soon realizes what he's lost and he begins to wonder if he can find a way back into Claire's heart.
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Author Interview
Hi. Thank you so much for hosting me on your site today. Writing is my passion and I appreciate this opportunity to share my novel with your readers.
Deanne, it's a real pleasure having you here!
Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
No, dreams haven't inspired my writing—yet. But you never know when they might. My dreams are usually so disjointed and strange that I don't think I'd want to share them with anyone. My daydreams, however, do inspire all of my writing. I'm almost always running ideas and conversations through my head that usually end up in my books.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
I started writing my first novel years ago in my early 20s when my son was a baby. I'd always had ideas for novels in my head but had never thought about writing them down until two of my college teachers told me I should consider writing as my major. (I was an accounting major.) So, I finally sat down and started writing and before I knew it, I had a full-length novel. I did try obtaining an agent and publisher for years, but no one was interested, so that novel literally sat in a desk drawer for years. I finally self-published it in March of 2012, and it has received many wonderful reviews. By then, I already had three completed novels and I self-published all of them.

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?

I write chick lit because I love a good romance or family drama but I also love reading many other genres. My first foray into chick lit was long before chick lit was even a term. My step-grandmother had hundreds of books and they were all those old historical "bodice ripper" type of romances. I just loved them. Then I moved on to contemporary romances, like Danielle Steel, Lavyrle Spencer, and others from that time period. I also read Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Buchan, and many other authors. I find biographies interesting, too.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Destination Wedding is the story of a divorced couple who go to a romantic tropical island in the Caribbean for their daughter's wedding. Circumstances continue to push them together, causing a lot of drama as well as a bit of humor. It is a fun, yet heartwarming romance that readers tell me they enjoy.

What inspired you to write it?
Last year we went to the Bahamas for our daughter's destination wedding and had an incredible time. That is when I got the idea for this novel. Even though I've been married forever and am not divorced, I thought it would be fun to put these two people on a small island together and see what happens. I was right, it was fun to write.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
That would be fun, but I haven't yet. Most people buy and read my ebooks, so if they are reading it, I would never know. I do receive messages on Facebook and Twitter from readers telling me they are reading one of my books or have just finished one. That is always fun. I love hearing when someone has enjoyed one of my novels.

Who designs your covers?
All my covers are designed by Deborah at Tugboat Design. She actually started her business with my very first cover, and she's designed all of my covers ever since. Now she has a large clientele of authors and has a thriving business. Oh, and did I mention she's my daughter? J

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
I honestly never think of celebrities when I create characters for my novels so I have no idea who should be cast in the roles for "Destination Wedding". Each of my characters is unique to me. I think I'll leave that up to the casting director.

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?

Honestly, I am usually disappointed when my favorite books are turned into movies but I can tell you some of my all-time favorite romance movies. I just love Somewhere in Time, Ghost, My Best Friend's Wedding, Casablanca, and Jane Eyre. There are dozens of others I could add to the list, too.

What were the last two books you read?

I read a lot of books written by indie authors. The last two I read were "Mr. August" by Jan Romes and "Charming the Duke" by Holly Bush. They are two very talented indie authors and I've read almost all of their books.

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Jan Romes. She writes humorous, heartwarming romance novels that are fast-paced and well-written. I wouldn't be surprised if she became a bestselling author in the next year. She's very talented and I just love her books.

Where do you write?
I have my laptop on the dining room table and that is where I usually write. I like it there because in both summer and winter a lot of sunshine comes through the windows in that room. In the summer, I sometimes go out to my patio table to write. I love doing that since our summers up here are so short.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?

It changed a lot. I wanted to be a ballet dancer, an actress, and a model. I did take ballet for about twelve years and I did model as a teenager for a while when I lived in California. In my twenties, writing became my dream and although it took me years to finally follow that dream, I'm finally doing it.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?

Yikes, another movie. I'm not really sure. Hopefully someone who sort of looks like me. Can't imagine who that would be.

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy?
– I rarely drink so anything would make me tipsy.
Shopaholic or shopadon't? – Shopadon't!
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Sky high heels – always!
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Neither – Janet Evanovich.
Cry baby or tough cookie? Definitely tough cookie.
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? OMG – Both!

Deanna's women's fiction novel, Widow, Virgin, Whore, made the top 100 bestselling books on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 2014. Her romance novel, Memories,was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara's Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Deanna Lynn Sletten is a bestselling and award-winning author. She writes women's fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.
Connect with Deanna:
Deanna's blog
Twitter: @DeannaLSletten

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