Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series Denise! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.
A: Thank you for featuring me! My name is Denise K. Rago and my novel, Immortal Obsession, is an adult paranormal romance; a story about an eighteenth century French vampire, his desire for a mortal aristocrat and the consequences of their love affair. This novel moves between eighteen century France and present day Manhattan.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: I have loved reading since childhood and I always wrote poetry and kept personal diaries.
One of my dreams was always to write novels and to publish them as well. Immortal Obsession took three years to complete and was inspired by an otherworldly experience I had in a New York City diner one night almost six years ago, when my path crossed with that of a very beautiful, unusual stranger who sat down at a table behind my husband and I. He was tall with waist-length blond hair and dressed entirely in black. When our eyes met and he said hello, he felt so familiar to me. That weekend, I began writing Immortal Obsession. Clearly this man was the inspiration for my main character, the vampire Christian Du Mauré. This stranger is my muse and he continues to guide me as his role in my writing and my life continues to unfold. His portrait is on my website along with several other characters in the novel.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A: Researching eighteenth century France which happens to be a time period I have always been fascinated by and creating a story that is a page turner. I also took the photograph which became the cover image. It features the angel that is on top of Bethesda Fountain in Central Park in Manhattan. It is one of my favorite places and is integral to the story.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. I have always wanted to work in a museum and actually interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The setting of this museum is where one of the main characters, Amanda Perretti works. We both share a love of art, museums and the French Revolution.
I also mentioned earlier the experience I had in a New York City diner with a man who is my muse and who is also my writing guide. He is the basis for my main character, the vampire Christian Du Mauré, both in his physical appearance and his personality.
I am also very interested in anything metaphysical and Amanda Perretti, the female character, is extremely psychic. In my second book, there is another mortal character who reads Tarot Cards and a vampire who is very much into crystals and all sorts of divination.
Q5. How did you get published?
A. Once Immortal Obsession was finished I spent about a year querying agents. I had one who read the first fifty pages of my novel and decided it was not for her. I asked two women whose opinion I trust about self-publishing, what they thought about it, would they go this route if necessary, and both of them mention the same publishing company to me. I took this as a sign! The company is Createspace, an Amazon owned company. They have been the most incredible group of people to work with: professional, honest, and always there when I need them.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
A. Yes, I did and I have to be honest here because if I can help any author along the way I am happy to do so. Once my novel was finished a friend offered the phone number of a gentlemen who is an author, editor and publisher with decades of experience in the publishing world. I called him and he offered to read the first three chapters of my novel. He liked it and asked to read the entire novel and I paid the fee he requested as I thought having a professional read it was important. A few months later I received a lengthy, and I say lengthy letter back from him, sharing both what he liked about Immortal Obsession and his suggestions for making it a better novel. I took most of his advice and basically rewrote my novel. So, when I say the entire process took three years from start to finish, this is why.
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A. As a self-published author, I am responsible for all forms of marketing and promotion. I wish I had begun earlier to use social media to promote myself and my work. It is so important in terms of getting the word out about my book, creating a voice in the on-line community and growing my business. It is a continual learning process for me.
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. I think most writers hope that a reader will enjoy their novel and like at least one of the characters and if an author is really lucky, the reader will say that they cannot wait for the next book!
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A. Many people assume that because I have always been fascinated with vampires and love writing about them that I am a “dark” or “Goth” person. I am probably the most upbeat, optimistic person that I know and if I had to categorize my style – understated, to say the least.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. Hire professionals – editors, copyeditors, web designers, publicists and collaborate with them. And, be patient.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. There is never a typical day, but I generally exercise each morning, meditate and try to do something “book” related, whether it is writing, marketing, answering interview questions, or blogging. I cannot go a day without doing something related to my writing career.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you?
A. I do most of my writing at my desk facing two windows that look out at a beautiful, huge maple tree. I have a plexi-glass desk protector on my desk which has photos of family and friends, favorite quotes and drawings underneath which also inspire my writing. I also have several crystals and an Amethyst angel on my desk as well. I have been known to burn a scented candle or two.
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?
A. Never, never, never give up. Winston Churchill.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. I would love to share my website link which is http://www.denisekrago.com. Please visit as there are portraits of some of the characters from Immortal Obsession, reviews, interviews and guests posts. Readers can get a clearer sense of who I am and what the buzz is about my novel. I am currently working on the next two novels in this series, which is titled The Enchanted Bloodline Series. I am hoping to have at least one of them completed by this fall.
My Authors.com profile is http://www.authors.com/profile/DeniseRago
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