Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Thursday, 31 March 2011

VIVIANE BRENTANOS Author of Women's Contemporary Fiction
       'Stories of Life and Love'

First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you for inviting me here. As you have gathered from my Bio, I now reside on the beautiful Ionian island of Corfu. I love my life, here {even with the economic crisis} but I often feel cut off from the writing world in so much as book signings and getting together with other authors is not an option. All hail to the internet.
1] From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write your latest book?
Ah, a great first question. So, this is how it usually goes down. As my family and dear friends will tell you, I am always in love -and usually with unobtainable men but that’s only because Russell Crow/Darren Hayes/ Gerard Butler. Daniel Craig/ Enrique Iglesias/Rafa Nadal haven’t had the pleasure of me yet {if you will excuse the pun}. So what’s the next best thing? I dream about them. I awake, all of a dither and raring to go. Of course, I expand that dream into a workable story but most times I will have the plot all worked out from beginning to end. Dream turns into daydream turns into paper. Naturally, I have to replace myself with a suitable heroine. {just in case hubby actually decided to pay attention to what I am doing in my ‘spare’ time}. Sometimes I end up being extremely jealous of the female character I have created. Well, wouldn’t you?
2]In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character. What do you like best/least about him?
Oh this is tough. Mostly I adore all of my heroes {see above answer to see why} but for the purpose of this interview, I will focus on Mr. James McIntyre from my latest release, Written in Stone. Why do I love James? He is a cutey, definitely inspired by a certain younger Darren Hayes. He is kind, funny, sensitive, most definitely in touch with his feminine side, adores animals, cares passionately about the environment and not afraid to challenge those in power to try and make this world a better place to live in. In love, he is fiercely loyal to friends, family and lover which makes his life extremely difficult as he knows, whichever way he decides to turn, he will end up hurting someone. How could anyone not love him? Most of all, he is ‘silly’. He loves playing pranks. He is so much fun to be with. Perfect- almost but you will need to read Written to find out more.
 3]What do you hope your readers come away with after reading the book?
Right from the start, I wanted Written to be a romance with a difference. I do not believe we should put people in boxes. Love transcends all barriers – or it should. Written in Stone is a story about two people who come together against all odds. I chose not to focus on the sexual element – although I hasten to add it is very much present. – I wanted to show that love should be more of an emotional bonding, a joining of souls and - yes – there can be a soulmate out there for all of us. I hope anyone who reads Written will perhaps take time out to think about how it can be for people who have to fight against society’s rules.
4]What do you enjoy about writing romance?
My answer to this question ties in with the above, I think. I love the ‘romantic’. I chose this word over romance because I am often not happy with the guidelines imposed on we romance writers. I try to steer clear of the stereo-type characters and I certainly do not want to right about the typical Alfa male nor do I believe in this modern day penchant for kick-ass heroines. Sometimes, because of circumstance, it isn’t always easy for women to be kick-ass. I want my stories to reflect real life. I accept the reader desired a happy ending. Hell – I do but let that journey, there, be fraught with very human weaknesses and failures. What I enjoy most about romance is the ability to share emotion and explore the depth of character perhaps not often found in other genres.
5) What do you like best and least about writing?
Mmm – another question which needs thought. I think this goes with my mood. I love it when I wake up inspired to begin a new story. I adore getting to know my characters. The only feeling I can liken it to is that first adrenalin rush one feels at the beginning of a new romance. Sometimes, however, especially in the summer when I begin my seasonal job as Hotel receptionist, I become frustrated because I do not have the time I wish to stay locked in my imaginary world. I hate it when I lose the ‘muse’, when I know what it is I want to say, but the words just don’t come. Oh but the sense of achievement when that last word is put down. Next,  the long road to submission. I am a weird creature, I love sending off queries, the anticipation to see if anyone is interested in your new baby and even if the final answer may be no, one encouraging line from an agent or editor is all good. My pet hate – the synopsis, but isn’t it anyone’s?
I love all the new friends I have made from many different corners of the world.
I hate the petty jealousies and back biting that can sometimes (not too often I am pleased to say) can occur. So what if Mrs Twilight’s prose isn’t perfect? She has brought great joy to many people. Hey, folks, we romance writers are first and foremost in the business of entertainment.
I love receiving reviews. It’s so great to know someone else has appreciated my work.
I hate that people still regard being e published as somehow inferior to print. Wake up and smell the coffee. The revolution is coming.]Promo- do I love or hate it? For the most part I love it. What I hate is not having enough time in the day to do all I want.
6)Do you have a writing routine?
 Am not sure how to answer this one. I think my routine is best described as organised chaos. Before I do anything, I feed my agent and let him out of his cage. Oh, did I mention my agent is a lion head rabbit called Rafa {after Nadal, of course} but if anyone wants to contact him, his professional title is Maximus Rabbitus. Next, a huge cup of filter coffee. If I don’t have that, I kill people. The pc is the first thing that goes on when I get up. I check emails, facebook {although today is the first time in months I have not been on. Too bust answering these questions lol}. I try to catch up on promo events and then I will open my docs to continue with any editing I may have. All the while, however, my fingers are itching to take up my pen and get stuck in on my current w.i.p. And if my family is lucky, I may take a break and actually feed them.
7} Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
Gin helps, I jest, of course. Music, music, music. I love all genres but I am a Heavy Metalist. Of course, my all-time inspiration- Mr. Darren Hayes
8) What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
A nervous breakdown? Only joking (I think). I must add a little plug for my wonderful new publisher, here, MuseItUp and MuseItHot  Publishing. Our glorious Lea is a remarkable woman who cares so much about her authors and this is not a clichéd line. I mean it. Being a part of Muse is like belonging to one big, happy family. Not only did Lea do me the honour of accepting and publishing Written in Stone but , in June 2011, I am proud to announce the release of Cold, Cold Heart. This novel was previously released under the title of Letting Go through Wild Rose Press but I have revised it and it has a brand new gorgeous cover, courtesy of Muse cover goddess, Deliah K Stevens.
As for on-going projects? I recently wraped a story I began last July. I have to say, for reasons known only to him above, I struggled with this one. I think because I stepped a little out of my comfort zone. Past undone is still a romance but it contains elements I do not wish to reveal at this time. At the moment it is on the submission trail.
Another project and one very dear to my heart is my first ever completed ms, Class Act. I completed this in 2004, a mammoth 170,000 words of gibberish but still, I think, with a great story and characters I adore (Russell Crowe is in this one). Of course, the original was so rife with glaring faults, it has remained unpublished but I have taken the bull by the horns and I am giving it a complete makeover – except Russell. He stays. I hope, by doing this, I will find a home for my ‘first born’. As for the future? So many ideas – so little time.
9)What is your culinary speciality?
Oh food, glorious food. How did you know I love food? Okay, I had no choice in this life. My mother is French and she and Grandmother taught me to cook. What is it about the French? They can turn a simple tomato into something exquisite. They can also take any dish from any country and improve on it. My mother’s repertoire is vast and she passed all her knowledge on to me. My friends and family tell me I am a good cook and – ok – I admit I think I am. Be warned. I am not into this nouvelle cuisine stuff of pyramids of strange food drizzled with god knows what. I love classic French cooking. Of course, living in Greece for the past 27 years, I am now pretty good at traditional Greek food. I am so cross that people see Greek cooking as only Moussaka and kebabs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Okay, enough ranting. What is my speciality? Everything {head swells}
10}Any exciting plans for the summer?
Oh here comes summer! Summer in Corfu. Couldn’t be more magical. Lazy days lounging on golden beaches, drinking chilled beer in quaint harbour front cafes with my friends, warm, balmy nights pregnant with the heady scent of oleander, jasmine and orange blossom. Spectacular sunsets, crystal clear waters, evening strolls through the beautiful Venetian town, late dinners and partying, Abundant displays of exotic blooms, streets filled with a cacophony of different languages, open air concerts in the old fort, village festivals of traditional dancing and succulent lamb roasting on the spit, the harmonious choir of bird song, the incessant chatter of cicadas. Bronzed, beautiful bodies. I could go on but you get the picture.......
Sounds heaven - I imagine we would all like to join you!
And here are Viviane's links again:

Come back tomorrow to read a tantalising excerpt
Comp: leave a comment to enter the draw to win a copy of Written in Stone


  1. This book is definitely on my to read list.

  2. enjoyed the interview!

  3. Oh yes, I believe in soul mates. I found mine--it was the gorgeous brown eyes that caught me and still do!! Interesting interview...interesting life. Enjoy.

  4. I have a ton of soulmates, but most of them are women. Even though I'm not lesbian, I can almost understand the reason women migrate to another woman...for the understanding and experience of the same issues in life. I was married to my soulmate, but he decided Jack Daniels was a better match. Now I'm married to my best friend. Great post, Viv. Hugz

  5. Written In Stone a definite "Must read"
    Corfu a "must visit"
    I think you have convinced us!
    Thanks for the interview.
    Christine London