Here is the last of my interviews for now, which occured with Ronda Thompson one of paranormal romance's great authors.
Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Ronda's newest release is Midnight Pleasures which came out in November 2003.
1. When/how did you know you wanted to write?
RT: I think writers are born. I wrote my first poem in the second grade. My mother still has it. I was always scribbling down poems and short stories as I grew up. In high school, I wrote for the school newspaper. I guess I always knew I wanted to be a writer.
2. How long did it take you to become published?
RT: Four years to make my first sale once I began writing seriously, but six to actually see books on the shelves with my name on them.
3. Who are some of your favorite authors?
RT: I have so many favorite authors. I'm an avid reader and have been for years. The authors who got me hooked on romance novels were Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss and Barbara Cartland to name a few. Today I read all genres of romance and my favorite authors are Madeline Baker/Amanda Ashley, Christine Feehan, Claudia Dain, Shannon Drake, Maggie Shayne, Rachel Gibson and the list could go on and on and on.
4. Who do you count as your literary influences?
RT: Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Diana Gabaldon, and again this list could go on and on, too.
5. How do you feel about fans doing fanfic and/or rpg on the web based on your or other author's works?
RT: To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I know some authors don't like having their work copied in any form and I believe copywrite laws protect them if they want to go after someone, but other authors say they feel as if it's an honor to be singled out and to have influenced people so much with their characters that fans want to see their stories continued. I've never seen one of my stories used in fanfic, so that's probably why I don't know how I feel regarding the matter.
6. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
RT: Dedication and persistence is the key. Very few people sell their first novel, or their second or third or fourth. Rejection is hard for anyone to take, and there is a lot of it in this business. Once you make your first sale, there are still very tough issues to deal with. Writers love to write, but few love the business end of writing. My advice is to look at the business end realistically, but at the same, do what most of us have done and just reach for one goal at a time. Write because you love to write.
7. Many authors are doing strictly e-books. Do you think this is just a trend, or does it spell the end of real books?
RT: I don't think we will ever see the end of real books. I hope not anyway. I love to smell a book, touch it, look at the cover, turn the pages. I know environmentally e-books are a better choice and we may be moving toward that due to those concerns, but I hope we don't have to worry about it for a long time.
8. How long does it usually take for you to research a book?
RT: It depends on the book I'm writing. If I set more than one book in the same area and time period, then the research time is basically cut in half. If I'm doing a paranormal where I get to create a world, then that's great. But if I'm doing something that really needs to be historically accurate, I spend probably six months doing research, depending on the project.
9. Do you see yourself writing in the same genre in 10 yrs? If not then what?
RT: Yes, I do. I love romance and know I will always remain true to the genre. I also like Children's literature and could see myself writing for that market.
10. How has being recognized in public affected your daily life or has it?
RT: Well, the great thing and the not so great thing about being a published author is that most people don't know what you look like. It's more of a thrill to say your name and have someone recognize that rather than your face. I'm not famous enough for it to have changed anything really, except maybe the way I feel about myself. I look at all the framed covers on my office wall and it gives me a deep feeling of satisfaction. I know the percentage of authors who submit a book and actually get it published is very small, so I feel very fortunate, and very proud that I had the dedication to see my dream through.
Interviewed by Sarah on 2/3/04.