[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Dani, and welcome to the Manga Maniac Café. Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Dani Collins] Twitter-literate overcommitted unbalanced libra seeks to write full time, travel wine country, and eat well #romanceauthor #bigdreamer
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about More Than a Convenient Marriage?
[Dani Collins] Sure. The most important thing for N.American readers to know is that it will be packaged as a 2-in-1 with my first sale book, No Longer Forbidden? which came out in the UK in Jan 2013.
More Than A Convenient Marriage is the second book in a four book series I didn’t consciously plan to write. Nic, the hero of No Longer Forbidden, told his heroine, Rowan, about his sister and two younger brothers. This got me thinking about the lives of his siblings, one of whom is Adara.
Adara grew up wealthy, but her father was abusive and controlling, thus she wound up in a marriage that made her father happy, not her. She and Gideon are sexually compatible, but don’t have any luck starting a family. When her father dies, she decides to look for her brother. She thinks Gideon is having an affair anyway and he thinks the man she’s chasing is a romantic interest. The book opens as they confront each other on possible infidelity and discover there’s actually a LOT they haven’t told each other.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Dani Collins] I kind of answered that above and some of the storyline would be a bit of a spoiler to reveal here. I have a friend who experienced something similar to what Adara experiences with her pregnancy so I knew it was possible and wanted to incorporate it into a story. How’s that for a tease?
As for Gideon, I sometimes struggle with finding the right inner conflict for my heroes. I had to ask myself why Gideon would choose a marriage of convenience if he was already succeeding at making his own fortune. Even more importantly, why would he be so determined to hang onto his marriage when it was crumbling? I found the answer when I realized exactly how self-made he is. He married under a false name, trying to leave his ugly past behind him. A high-profile divorce could reveal all of it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Gideon?
[Dani Collins] Thorough, realistic, protective
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Adara had a theme song, what would it be?
[Dani Collins] It would be something by Adele because Adara’s really strong, but she has a thick thread of heartache in her.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Gideon is never without.
[Dani Collins] condoms, haha. No, a pocketknife. All good sailors keep one handy.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Adara’s bedroom?
[Dani Collins] A camera, a man besides her husband, anything that would remind her of her father.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Gideon’s greatest regret?
[Dani Collins] That he couldn’t save his mother.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Dani Collins] That’s a tough one. I love taking in other’s artistic expression, whether they be paintings, books, poetry, songs, movies, all for filling the well and piquing my curiosity. The news has a certain influence that I draw from. It can be incredibly depressing, but it’s full of conflict. Mostly I just try to write about people I’d like to know in situations that I find interesting in a way that isn’t boring. Fingers crossed that I succeed for some readers.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Dani Collins] Sleep, coffee, silence.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on More Than a Convenient Marriage?
[Dani Collins] I honestly don’t remember a specific distraction, but since The Call, I’ve struggled with writing around the day job and having so many other commitments. Some are writing related that weren’t an issue prior to selling, like blog tours. Other distractions are family related. My daughter is at Uni and my son in high school, so I’m not tripping over toddlers, but I still need to drive to rugby practice and such. Sometimes my husband would really like me to cook. It’s a juggle.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Dani Collins] I loved the first Hunger Games and really wanted that romance to end better. I’m an alpha girl so I’m on Team Gale. Peta didn’t work for me. I’m currently reading The Divorce Party by Jennifer Hayward and loving it.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Dani Collins] I can’t remember not loving to read from nursery rhymes on. I was the kid trying to check out more than my limit at the school library. The first romance I read in high school was called Roots Of Love about a woman who went to Scotland to research her family tree and fell in love with a distant (DISTANT!) cousin. That turned me onto romance.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Dani Collins] The joke lately is that I don’t have a life outside of writing. I go to work and come home and write. On the weekend, I’m at my desk by 7am and right now it’s 7pm and I haven’t left it.
It’s a very poor balance and I’m aiming to change it up by the end of this year. Not that I’ll make drastic changes, but I wound up with an extra deadline in this final quarter of the year and even though it’s an awesome problem to have, it’s really cut into any time I would have spent doing something fun and healthy, like golf. So I don’t have a life outside of writing right now.
Having said all that, if I did, I would love to travel more. I made a point of hitting the beach after work this summer, even for twenty minutes. We live by a lake, so it’s a quick drive. I walk and work out at the gym, do yoga and pilates. I have to or I’d be a cripple since my day job involves sitting at a computer too. I do like to golf and garden and will hopefully get back to that next spring.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Dani Collins] Lots of ways:
My website: http://www.danicollins.com
I have a Pinterest account, but it’s as neglected as my garden. Next year, I promise.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book
About the author
Dani Collins knew she wanted to write romance when she discovered the books in high school. After two decades submitting to every publisher with a transom while holding down a day job and raising a family with her high school sweet heart, The Call came from Mills & Boon (Harlequin Presents) in May of 2012.
More Than A Convenient Marriage? is her third book for Presents. While she loves writing these passionate, glitzy contemporaries, Dani also has The Healer, a digital fantasy romance and Hustled To The Altar, a romantic comedy caper.
US addresses only, please