Interview With Author Tricia Schneider

Today on Monday Musings we’re visiting with author, Tricia Schneider, to talk about her new release, The Pirate’s Lady.

Welcome, Tricia. Please introduce yourself.

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Tricia Schneider is an author of historical, paranormal and gothic romance. Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years as Assistant Manager and bookseller at Waldenbooks. After the store closed, she turned to writing fiction full-time. She has written both short stories and full-length novels published by The Wild Rose Press, including her newest book, The Pirate’s Lady, and her historical paranormal romance series, The Merriweather Witches. Tricia is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in the Pennsylvania coal region with her musician husband, their 4 young children and 3 rescued cats.

Working at a bookstore would be one of my greatest joys and probably my biggest downfall – all my wages would go to buying books. What does your family think of your writing? Have they read your work?

My husband and children all encourage me to keep writing, but then rarely give me the opportunity! I’m envious of those writer friends of mine who have families who cook and clean so they can go write. That doesn’t happen in my house! I’ve been a writer for longer than I’ve been a wife or a mother, so none of them are really impressed. It’s just something that I’ve been doing for as long as they remember. My husband is very selective with his reading and the romance genre isn’t his type of book. Although, I am his favorite author whose books he’s never read!

Yup, same here. None of my boys or my hubby have read my books, but they’re great fans. Where do you write? Describe your writing space.

I’d love to say that I have an office where I can close the door and escape each day to write, but my house isn’t big enough for that. I can’t even claim the closet! No, my writing space is typically the sofa in the living room. I have a laptop that I keep on the end table (next to my craft box!) so it’s easily accessible. Then I can open it whenever I have a few minutes to type. These days, I usually write during my 18 month-old son’s nap time. But, there are times where I write while he’s busy playing with toys or occupied with his siblings.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, are your song choices different with each book?

Most of the time, yes, I do listen to music while I write. If the kids are all playing nicely, I’ll grab my headphones and get to typing as fast as I can because I never know how long that will last. I need the music to distract me from the noise of the kids playing or if my husband turns on the television. My typical writing music is Type O Negative. It’s dark, moody and loud which fits nicely for most of the paranormal stories that I write. Sometimes, I’ll hear a particular song which strikes me as inspirational for a story so I’ll listen to that. Right now, I’m listening to Staind for the paranormal romance I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. I listened to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack for The Pirate’s Lady. That was fun!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I’m an avid reader with an out-of-this-world TBR list that keeps growing faster than I can read. And if that’s not enough, this year I taught myself how to knit. I knit, crochet or cross-stitch while I’m watching TV. I’ve made a few baby blankets and scarves for my kids. I knitted a dress for my 6 year-old daughter and I’m currently working on a sweater for my husband. I also knitted fingerless gloves for myself for when I’m writing in the winter. My house is over 150 years old and drafty. Those gloves keep my hands toasty while I’m typing on the keyboard!

Wow, you did a great job teaching yourself to knit. I taught myself too, but never progressed beyond chair covers and little blankets for my wee dog. I’m also a voracious reader. I think most authors are. What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Almost a Princess by Elizabeth Thornton. It’s a historical romance set in England during the Regency era. This is Book #4 of her Men from Special Branch series.

How long have you been writing and how did you decide to become a writer?

I wrote my first full-length novel when I was 15 years-old. It was during summer vacation and I was bored. I’d had an intensely vivid dream the night before, so I began writing the dream and it quickly turned into a novel. I wrote that story in a week! But, I had nothing else to do back then and it was so much fun! Before that, I’d written several short stories to entertain myself and my little brother. Basically, I’ve been writing for fun since I could pick up a pencil. The thought of publishing my stories never even crossed my mind until I took a creative writing class during my senior year of high school. The teacher had mentioned one of my story assignments to my classmates, recommending that they should read it. Really, I was such a shy kid so I was embarrassed by the attention. Later, he took me aside after class to encourage me to seek publication. He believed with a little more work, I’d be able to get my stories published. That was the beginning for me. I started reading and studying every book I could find about writing fiction.

Good for you! When did you first become published?

During the next few years after high school, I published a few poems in some poetry anthologies and won a few awards and honorable mentions for my work. Then a writer friend told me about a calls for submission for a werewolf romance anthology with The Wild Rose Press. I wrote The Witch and the Wolf and submitted it to the publisher. Although my story wasn’t selected for the anthology, the senior editor liked it so much she contracted it as a regular submission. My first romance book was published in 2010.

That’s wonderful and speaks to your writing talent! Are you a plotter or pantser?

I’ve always seen myself as a pantser, but lately I believe I’ve grown into a combination of the two. A plantster? Whenever I get a story idea, I write down as much as I can, recording every bit of information I have for the novel. It’s never a complete outline, but it’s enough to give me a bit of direction. I fill in the holes while I write and I’m often equally thrilled and appalled by the idea of what happens next? It’s kind of like I’m reading the book as I’m writing it.

Your process sounds very similar to mine. Whatever works, I say. Is it difficult or easy for you to come up with titles and character names?

Titles are not my thing! I have no clue when it comes to titles. I’ve been lucky that most of my published novels have been rather easy to name like The Pirate’s Lady. Simple. Self-explanatory. You already have an idea what the story is about just by reading the title. However, I do have a work-in-progress that is nearly complete and is still untitled. I’ve been working on this particular project for over a year and I still have no name for it. I might have to get help with that one. Character names are much easier for me. Despite the full shelf of baby name books I have in my library/dining room, the names for my characters most often pop up while I’m brainstorming the story. Sort of like the characters tell me their own names. They introduce themselves to me.

Ah, those titles. So important and so hard to nail down. Good luck with that work-in-progress. I hope the perfect title comes to you soon. When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?

I always have a work-in-progress at some stage. Being the kind of writer that doesn’t adhere to a strict outline, sometimes I get to a point in my story where the characters stop talking to me and I just don’t know what happens next. When that occurs, I take a break from that story and move onto something else. I hop from story to story, so I actually have about 3 stories going at the same time. When I finally finish one story, I’m already involved in another story so I don’t really wait in between my writing. I just move on to one I haven’t finished yet.

You’re very lucky that way. I can only focus on one storyline at a time, or I might accidentally end up with crossover characters, haha. Tell us about The Pirate’s Lady.

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Captain Marco Dante was captured and sentenced to hang two years ago, but he escaped before his punishment was carried out. Now he’s come back to the woman whose memory kept him alive those long months in prison. Arianne had been his grand passion, but he failed to see how much she meant to him until it was too late. Can he recapture her heart? Or has he lost her forever?

Arianne never imagined she’d see her notorious pirate lover again. Though her heart sings with joy at his return, she knows he hasn’t come back for her but for the treasure he left behind. She agrees to help him find it, but can her heart withstand one more adventure with him?

Good stuff! We’d love to read an excerpt.

“I have a life here now.”

“There’s nothing for you here. Your place is by my side. In your heart, you know ’tis true.”

She looked away, turning her gaze to the ocean’s waves pounding the beach with hypnotic rhythm. A few moments ago, she sat here, mulling over her life’s misfortunes and attempting to reach a decision about her future.

Her fate.

Arianne shook her head. “I no longer travel your path. You sail without me, my friend.”

She pushed her bare toes into the grainy sand and stood, brushing the remaining sand that clung to her petticoats. In the silence of the crashing waves, she turned and walked away.

Inside, her heart bled. Yet, she deserved no better. Her life led to this heartache. That she walked away from this man now, after all this time only confirmed it.

“Arianne, you’re coming with me.”

His serious tone warned her of his intentions. She spun to face him, unsheathing her sword in time to block his attack. The sound of metal striking metal pierced the moonlit darkness. Her ears rang with the sound.

They stood, neither moving. She stared into his eyes. “You would take me by force?”

“Never by force,” his voice lowered to a growl. “You will come willingly.” And he smiled, that knowing one she hated.

She let out a howl of outrage and swung her sword. He easily blocked. They stepped a deadly dance of striking blades, until again they were trapped by heated gazes.

Her breathing was heavy, labored, filled with excitement. She looked at his lips, wanting to taste them but knowing she dared not. Her will was never strong around him. With one touch she might lose herself and want him again for forever. But that dream would never be achievable with Marco.

With him, she’d always be alone.

“Come with me, Arianne.”

“No.”

She pushed away and again they danced. Her feet moved lightly as she sprang, her petticoats swirling with each movement though she hoped they would not entangle her legs. Her arm swung with lithe movements as she fought. She equaled him with skill and grace. Each time their swords clashed, the noise pierced her soul. That she fought him was a testament to her determination to escape his tyranny over her heart. She could not succumb to him again.

As they battled, a sheen of sweat appeared upon his brow. The exposed skin of his chest glistened in the moonlight. His arms flexed as he swung his sword. His grace, his power, his energy seduced her.

Her heart pounded. Her skin ached to touch his. The heat in her lower regions grew to a fiery inferno. She trembled.

Again, they locked blades.

They stood a moment, staring. His gaze burned into her soul. She licked the salty sweat from her upper lip, and his eyes followed the movement with utter fascination.

He pushed their swords away. With his free hand, he grabbed her shoulder, pulling her tight against his chest. Arianne tilted her head to look into his eyes. The blue depths called to her, like the ocean’s waves licking at her feet. The yearning to go to him was too great. She hadn’t the will to fight.

She does go, right? She must. 🙂 What inspired you to write about these particular characters?

I was driving to the grocery store one day when a scene flashed in my mind. A man and a woman in 18th century clothing battling with swords on a sandy beach by the ocean. The image intrigued me and soon I began asking all sorts of questions about these two people. Why were they fighting? Where were they? Who were they? What were their secrets? By the end of the day, I’d written a brief story idea about Marco and Arianne.

Don’t you love it when a story falls together like that? Is this a stand-alone story or part of a series?

At this point, The Pirate’s Lady is a stand-alone story that I felt compelled to write. I can’t promise I won’t write about one of the secondary characters down the road someday. It could eventually grow into a series, but right now I have no plans for it.

What can we expect from you after this? Which of your projects is next?

I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year. I’m writing a New Adult Paranormal Romance titled Loving Boone. I don’t really have much of a description for it yet since I’m only half-way finished. I can tell you that the hero is a shapeshifter and the heroine is called home from college when trouble arises with her father.

Sounds intriguing. Where can we find you and your books on the internet? Please share your links with us.

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

B&N

Thank you for visiting us today, Tricia. Best of luck with The Pirate’s Lady and all your future writing endeavors.

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