Today I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with author Poppy Dennison about her latest book and more. Take a look at what I just had to ask her. :-)
Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?
Every book has its own source of inspiration. The Triad series evolved both a conversation I had with a friend. He wanted a gay paranormal romance where one of the main characters had a child. I was so intrigued by the idea. I’d never read about a paranormal kid before! The story developed quickly and really centered on my love for my family.
The Pack Partners series came from real life—my then 1 year old nephew bit my sister *really hard* and it was a big kerfuffle! Once I stopped laughing at them both, I began to wonder what would happen if a paranormal kid bit a human. Could a toddler turn a human into a werewolf? I couldn’t get the idea out of my head and it turned into Accidental Alpha.
What is coming up from you in 2014? Anything you want to tease us with?
I’m a busy bee this year. Belligerent Beta, the sequel to Accidental Alpha is out now. In August, the first book in a new series called Coconut Cove comes out. It’s a collaboration between myself and M.J. O’Shea, and is my first contemporary! Later in the fall, Creature Feature 2 will be released. That one is co-written with Rhys Ford! Then it’s back to the Pack Partners world for the next book in that series!
If you had a reporter follow you around for the day, what would the readers get to see in your
Well, I think a reporter would shake his head at my weird routine! LOL. First thing I do is stumble to the coffee pot then it’s a quick email check while my brain begins to function. I try to get most of my writing done in the morning hours and then I edit and do other work in the afternoons. Since I work from home, and find that I tend to be a bit on the messy side, I do what I call “cleaning Zambonis” every hour. I get up for 10 minutes and clean up my mess! LOL. It helps me keep up with the housework and keeps me from sitting on my bum all day. I’m really pretty boring to be honest.
When you begin your stories, do you go with the flow, or go with an outline?
You know, I don’t think I’ve done the same thing twice. Some stories really demand that I start writing the chapters first and then go back and do a little planning. Others, I have to sit down and really plan the world out before I begin to write. Usually, it’s some combination of the two. I keep little notebooks handy for each world to keep everything straight. I don’t think I’ve ever gone with the flow for an entire book. I do tend to do better with at least a *little* planning.
Is it hard coming up with titles or characters names?
Yes! Character names are a real challenge for me. I have to keep a spreadsheet of names I’ve already used. The hardest part for me is naming the secondary characters. Sometimes the name changes for them half way through the story once I get to know them better. In Creature Feature 2, the book I recently finished, I ended up changing the names of three of the secondary characters at the end! Names are so important. I thought for a while I was weird about naming them, but after speaking with a few other authors, I think a lot of us put a lot of importance on the names. At least it’s not just me who obsesses! LOL
Has there been any character that started off as supporting character, but then developed into a
more prominent character?
Um, all of them? LOL. I love creating a full world for my characters, including all the family and friends who help make them the person they are. Accidental Alpha was supposed to be a stand-alone story, but once I began creating the pack, I realized I had a series on my hands! Readers seemed to respond to Nathan, the omega character in the book as much as I did when writing him. His story wouldn’t leave me alone! I had to figure out what happened to Nathan to make him the omega. I rarely write a story without having a handful of fully developed secondary characters. This is a hazard because then readers want more stories…and I want to write them!
What is the best trick to overcome writer's block?
I have two tricks that seem to work best for me. The first is to always stop writing before I’ve written myself out. What I mean by that is to know at least the next scene for the next day. It helps me dive right back into the world the next morning, and the story flows better when I can get on a roll.
The other trick I use when I’m really stuck is to write something that isn’t part of the manuscript, but is still part of the world. Usually this is some scene from the character’s past. In the case of Nathan in Belligerent Beta, I went back and wrote some scenes of him growing up. Even though those scenes aren’t in the final manuscript, I knew Nathan’s thoughts and feelings. It helped make his character more fully developed-- and broke my heart for him at the same time!
What is the next book you'll write?
Right now, I’m working on the first Coconut Cove book. It’s called “Life’s A Beach”. I’m also knee deep in world building for a new paranormal series I’ll start writing once Coconut Cove and the Pack Partners series are complete! I don’t generally write more than one book at a time; I’m not that great of a multi-tasker. But I do like having the next world ready to go when I send one off to a publisher!
Belligerent Beta by Poppy Dennison
Pack Partners Book Two
Release Date: May 14, 2014
Available at Publisher
As Dan struggles to balance his growing feelings for the young wolf with his responsibilities to his pack, new threats emerge and Nathan’s loyalty is questioned. Not understanding the basics of being a wolf leaves Nathan vulnerable and the pack at risk. Can Dan embrace the true role of a beta so he can protect the man he has grown to love and save his pack?
Poppy Dennison Belligerent Beta Blog Tour
5/14/2014 Wordsmith Wednesday
5/15/2014 Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
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5/21/2014 MM Good Book Reviews
5/24/2014 Coffee Thoughts, The Book Blog
5/27/2014 Love Bytes (Formerly Sid Love)
5/28/2014 The Novel Approach
5/29/2014 Michael Rupured
6/2/2014 Fallen Angel Reviews
6/3/2014 Dawn's Reading Nook
6/5/2014 Joyfully Jay
6/10/2014 Little Read Riding Hood
About the author and where to find her online
A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.
You can find out more about Poppy’s books on her website http://www.poppydennison.com/