Interview with Deirdre Martin

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Danny: Deirdre, could you introduce yourself to German readers? Who you are, your likes and dislikes, where you come from etc.

Deirdre: I was born in the state of Georgia, but I was raised in a small town called Northport, about an hour and a half from Manhattan. For the past thirteen years, my husband and I have made our home in upstate New York, in a small town called Ithaca. It’s a university town; Cornell
University is here. We used to live downtown, but two years ago, tired of the sound of our insane next door neighbor yelling at the TV non stop during the summer, we decided to move out into the country. Best decision we ever made.

My husband, Mark Levine, is also a writer. He writes mainly financial self help stuff. We’ve been married sixteen years, and are “parents” to
two magnificent Newfies, Winston and Rocky.

Hobbies: Hiking, biking, reading (lots), mentoring, movies, photography, tai chi,  listening to rock-n-roll really, really loud, and ignoring the phone.

I dislike crowds, prejudice, loud noise, right wing relgious fanatics, and George Bush. I also hate doing book signings and appearances—I’m
very shy!

Danny: Why and how did your career as an author start?

Deirdre: I’ve always written, ever since I was a child. When I graduated from university, I made my living for many years as a freelance journalist,
but I always wrote fiction on the side, as a hobby. Finally, about four years ago, I decided to see if I could make a career switch and try writing fiction full time. So far it’s worked out pretty well!

Danny: Did you have difficulties in the beginning getting your books published? 

Deirdre: Yes, I had the usual problems. First I had to get an agent, and then the book was rejected by lots of publishers who thought a book with a hockey hero wouldn’t sell. Thankfully, my editor at Berkley didn’t agree.

Danny: What did you do when you saw your first book in print for the first time in bookstores?  Did you have a party? Or drink a bottle of Dom Perignon?

Deirdre: The first time I saw BODY CHECK in a bookstore I almost fainted. It was quite surreal, very exciting! My friends and family threw me a small party, which was really nice, since I could share my happiness with those I loved most. That was the best part.

Danny: How long did it take you to write the book? And how did you got the idea for it?

Deirdre: BODY CHECK took me close to a year to write, mainly because I tend to be a perfectionist and I kept revising and revising until my husband finally tore it out of my hands and said “Send it out!”

I got the idea for it because I love hockey, and I wanted to write a hockey hero. I know that sounds pretty boring, but it’s true!

Danny: What inspired you to use Hockey Players as the heroes of your first two books? Are you hockey fan? Will we see more Hockey books?

Deirdre: I’m a huge hockey fan, specifically of the New York Rangers. I love hockey players because they’re really down to earth guys but they’re
also like warriors on a quest  when they’re out there on the ice…they’re questing for the Holy Grail of  Sports, which is the Stanley Cup. Hockey is a very, very exciting sport to watch.

Yes, there will be more hockey books. I will be releasing a novella in 2006 with a hockey player, and my novel  for 2007 will take us back to the world of the New York Blades. The hero of the book I’m working on now is, in fact, an ex hockey player. The book doesn’t have a title yet, but it, too, will be out in 2006.

Danny: How do you do your research for your books and where do you get all the ideas for the plots from? How much time do you spend on research before you start a new book?  Is it a continual process until the book is finished?

Deirdre: I spent as much time on research as I feel I need to to make the books realistic. For BODY CHECK, I spent  a lot of time with the publicist for the New York Rangers so I could get a feel for what that job was like. For FAIR PLAY, I spent some time in restaurants. For TOTAL RUSH, I spent a lot of time with both the Ithaca Fire Department and at a firehouse down in Manhattan. That was hard, because it was after 9/11
and this house had lost a lot of guys in the World Trade Center. It was very emotional.

I usually research first, then, when I feel I have enough material, I begin writing. If I kept researching WHILE writing I’d never finish the book!

Aahhh, not the dreaded “Where do your ideas/plots come from?” question! Writers usually hate this question, and with good reason: it’s extremely difficult to answer. I guess I’d ideas come from my own interests and experiences.

Danny:  Can you describe one of your typical work days for us?  How many hours a day do you average writing?

Deirdre: I usually spend four hours solidly writing. Anything more than that and I tend to be writing pretty badly. My day usually goes like this: get
up at five am, work out at the YMCA from 6am to seven thirty, come home, have breakfast and shower, answer email, and then try to write from 9am until 1pm. I take about an hour for lunch, and then I go back to work, editing what I’ve written in the morning and making notes for what I plan to write the next day

Danny: How do you handle family and your writing career?  Is your family understanding to the time that you have to give your career?  Is it sometimes difficult for you?

Deirdre: I don’t have children, so I’m doing a helluva lot less juggling than most romance writers I know. I stand in awe of anyone who is able to strike a balance between writing and their family. It AMAZES me.

Having said that, I do have to shop, cook, clean, etc., like everyone else.  I try to do my writing first, then attend to all the domestic stuff. Having a clean house is much less important to me than writing.

Danny: When one of your books gets a bad review, how do you handle that? Are you disappointed or do you try to improve yourself in your next book?

Deirdre: Well, of course it hurts to get a bad review, but I’ve learned over time that you can’t really let it get you down, because you can’t please everybody all the time. Some people are going to love what you do, and some people are going to hate it; that’s just the way it goes. If the bad reviews outweighed the good reviews, then it’s possible I would try to “improve” with my next book. But so far, most people seem to like what I’m writing, so for now I’ll just keep writing the way I always have!

Danny: When you finish a book, is this chapter close for you or do the heroes and heroines stay with you in your mind?

Deirdre: They stay in my mind with me for a little while, and then fade, though I do find it interesting when readers write me and tell me they want to know what happens next for them, etc.

Danny: What is your favorite book from the book that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine and why?

Deirdre: I’d have to say FAIR PLAY is my favorite, I love the relationship between Michael Dante and his brother. Michael is also my favorite hero. He’s passionate, funny, loves his family, romantic–all the things you’d want in a guy!

My favorite heroine so far is Gemma from TOTAL RUSH. She’s very gentle, very down to earth, very much her own person, and I like that. I like people who are true to themselves.

Danny: Do your heroes/heroines have living models, like friends, family or a romance book cover model?

Deirdre: Do you mean are my heroes and heroines based on real people? If so, I’d have to say yes and no. All my characters are an amalgam of traits, and all of them I think, whether it’s conscious or not, carry a little piece of me, good or bad.

Danny: What are your favourite authors/books?

Deirdre: When it comes to romance writers, I like Susan Elizabeth Philips and Jennifer Crusie. To me, they are the masters of the craft. In general, I have so many favorite authors it’s hard to name just a few, but I’ll try: I love Fay Weldon, Martin Amis, and Nick Hornby—especially Nick Hornby.  His book “High Fidelity” is one of my all time favourites. I also like the Irish writer, Edna O’Brien.

Danny: Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Deirdre: I’ll give you the synopsis: Free spirit Gemma Dante might be the black sheep of her big Italian family, but when it comes to business, her New Age boutique is the best in the Big Apple. Longing for a love life that's just as successful, Gemma casts a spell to bring her Mr. Right.
But when the cosmic wires get crossed, not one but TWO men enter her life. One's a little too far "off" for even Gemma's tastes. The other's a clean-cut firefighter who's anything but her type...

But the more she gets to know firefighter Sean Kennealy, the more he grows on Gemma. And for his part, Sean doesn't know quite what to make of his pretty neighbor who burns incense and sometimes wears Birkenstocks. He only knows that being near her sparks a fire in him that even the guys at Ladder 29, Engine 31 can't put out...

Danny: What are your future plans? Are you going to continue to write the types of books you write presently or possibly change genre?  If so, what would you cross over to?

Deirdre: I’m under contract to Berkley to write two more romance novels and the novella mentioned earlier, but I would like to branch out a bit, try
writing more mainstream women’s fiction—stories that don’t necessarily have a happy ending!

Having said that, though, I’m sure I’ll ALWAYS write romance. It’s way too much fun to give up.

Danny: Are you already working on a new story? What will it be about?

Deirdre: My new book focuses on Paul van Dorn, whom some readers might remember from FAIR PLAY (He made Michael Dante’s life hell). That’s all I can say at this point.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

© Danny & Deirdre Martin

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Dieses Interview entstand im März 2005 zwischen Danny und Deirdre Martin für:

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