So excited to have author Denyse Cohen here today on the blog!
Without Further Ado.......
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from Brazil and I came to the U.S twelve years ago to learn English. Since then, I’ve gotten married to a wonderful American man, had a beautiful son, and learned to love the U.S as much as I love Brazil. I have a bachelor’s degree in studio arts from CalState-LA and I currently live in South Carolina.
Did you always want to be an author?
I’ve always loved to write and yes I’ve always (secretly) dreamt about being an author. I had notebooks when I was little to write my stories (unfortunately I don’t think any of those survived.) I studied Social Communications in Brazil and I wanted to be a journalist. When I came to the U.S and decided to stay, I turned to another passion of mine: art, because I was self-conscious about pursuing a journalism degree in a language other than my native language.
I have boxes of notebooks too! *grin*
What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?
I think is being able to convert the stories/daydreams from my head into concrete pieces of work that can be shared with other people. It’s an amazing feeling to have someone read one of my stories and see that it has touched them even if in a small way.
Tell us a little about your book.
One Hit Wonder is a contemporary romance with setting in L.A. (most of it, at least.) It’s the story of a woman who feels really lost. (late-bloomers in the house—high fives) When she posts on Facebook her frustration at being laid-off, a long-lost childhood friend offers her a gig to photograph his wannabe rock band on tour.
Inside a rundown Winnebago with the all-male band, her cynicism is only matched by her fear of being taken for a groupie. Despite her own resistance, she falls for the one member who keeps her at a distance. Then John writes a song that reveals his pent-up emotions for her and propels the band to instant stardom.
They head to L.A. where the problems start and Audrey struggles to protect her relationship and find her own professional success, while the band deals with the dangers of fame.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
This is my first book. I started January 2011 and just finished. (seriously, I was hanging on it and doing revisions until the last second of the deadline)
Congrats on the first book!
Where do you get your inspiration?
From everywhere, really. The other day I was in the hair salon and as my hairdresser placed a foil on my bangs and brushed the color in I thought how funny would be if the foil came off and he brushed the color all over my face. I immediately thought what a funny scene for a story!
Do you plot and outline or do you just write? Plotter or Pantser?
Pantser all the way! I wish I was a plotter, I think life is easier for them. *sniff* But inspiration strikes me like summer lightning and I have to sit and write, only getting up when I have the scene down; from there, the story grows organically.
I am such a Pantser too, but I'm rapidly learning the value of a little bit of planning, LOL.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting your first book published?
When I finished the manuscript and first round of edits I started to send queries to agents. I didn’t know much about the process ( and still don’t.) I continued editing and rewriting while waiting for answers. One day, I saw someone mentioning Crimson Romance at my RWC online group, then I found an online interview with the wonderful Jennifer Lawler (Crimson’s Imprint Manager) and decided to give it a try. After about three weeks, I received a critique letter with great suggestions on how to make my story tighter and ready for publication. At that point, I was beyond myself with excitement, the critique letter alone was more than I had bargained for (I couldn’t afford a professional editor to read my book that way.) Every suggestion from the editors at Crimson was worth pursuing and it made a huge difference. I worked ten hours a day for ten days, they liked the changes I’ve made and respected my original vision for the story, and after they re-read the manuscript I was offered the contract. YAY! It's the most fabulous feeling in the world!
What book have you most recently released?
One Hit Wonder is my first book. *ear-to-ear smile*
What was your favorite part of the book?
Hmmm…probably when Audrey realizes that, despite herself, she has fallen in love. She wasn’t very happy about it…lol.
Rate your story in terms steaminess?
I’ll borrow from my editor’s description on Amazon, “Sensuality Level: Behind closed doors.” It made me chuckle. But, to be perfectly accurate, it has some steamy scenes that I—thoroughly—enjoyed writing.
Do you have another book in the works?
Yes, I do. I’ve started to work on a urban fantasy romance. I know nothing about the genre, so I have lots of researching to do. But I want to first write the entire story the way I envisioned without worrying about the “rules.” Sounds like a good plan.
What advice would you give new authors? What have you learned about the business?
I’m actually still looking for advice *laugh* But, one thing I’ve learned in my experience is to have as many beta-readers as you can. There’s just some stuff you can’t see for yourself, like you’re reading the way it’s in your head, not how it’s written on the page. And don’t be afraid to query and query. If people don’t see your work, how can they buy it?
Boxers or Briefs?
Pizza or hamburger?
Beer, Wine, or mixed drink?
What were your first impressions of each other?
Audrey: I was immediately attract to his broad shoulders, expressive eyes, and perfect lips. Not your male-model kind of beauty either, but a rugged look that screamed “I can load a truck with firewood and still make tender love to you in front of the fireplace.” But he gave me the brush-off and I though he was a huge snob.
John: She was breathtaking: amazing body, long wavy hair, amber skin. I was so nervous around her, I felt like a little boy on fifth grade having my first girl crush.
What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Audrey: John is the most caring, warm, and trustworthy person I know. I love that his eyes speak for themselves.
John: Audrey takes absolutely nothing for granted. She’s tough and honest, and she can hold her liquor.
What are your plans for the near future?
John: Make more music, with Audrey by my side.
Audrey: Plans? One thing I’ve learned is that life is unpredictable. My only plan is to take one day at time and never again be scared of what life might bring me.
Where to find you @
Denyse, it was fantastic to get to know you better. I loved your sweet romance! A random winner from comments will get one ebook copy! So don't forget to leave your email when you stop by.
One Hit Wonder
In nearly five months in L.A, she witnessed how much the very dynamics of the city seem to work to keep people away from each other. It could take two hours to drive ten miles because of the mind-blowing traffic. But when she left Ben’s gallery in North Hollywood, not even that could ruin her mood.
i am taking you to dinner tonight, my treat. She texted John as soon as she got in the car. It turned out Edward was right, Ben had asked her to dinner to “discuss further” the terms of his gallery’s representation. Luckily, he had already bought two of her photographs for five hundred dollars each, and invited her to participate in a group show at the end of October. Audrey politely told him she had plans—with her boyfriend, and saw his enthusiasm burn out like the flame of a jar candle covered by a heavy book.
Not long after she started the four-wheeled dance toward the interstate, her phone rang.
“I have good news,” she said.
“Tell me.” John said.
“You’re talking to a represented artist, who’s sold two photographs.”
“I knew you had this one, babe.”
“Thanks. And I’ll be in a group show in October.”
“Cool. What about?”
“Time.” Audrey was so happy the thick mass of cars as she merged onto I-134 East didn’t phase her. “Do you want to go to the Argentinian Place on Green?”
“Oh, babe. Bill is getting into town tonight and we’re all supposed to have this dinner with Tim and Jennifer to talk about the new tour.”
“Jennifer told me only thirty minutes ago. I was about to call you. I didn’t want to interrupt your meeting. Why don’t you come with us?”
“Business dinner? With Bill?”
“I’ll tell you what. I’ve heard we’re eating at the Polo Lounge. Supposedly, Tim loves the chef there. I’ll get us a room and we can celebrate afterwards.”
“At the Beverly Hills Hotel? John, it’s too expensive.” Even as she said it, she felt a surge of excitement tingling her fingers.
“I think the occasion calls for it.”
“Hah, you’re the one on the top charts. We didn’t do anything special when you got signed.”
“Yes, I think we did.”
She blushed and remembered them walking out of a storage closet inconspicuously after a quickie at a bar in Silver Lake. The band and Audrey had made friends with the bartender while living at the Atlantis house. They’d gone there to celebrate and the bartender had let them use a back door to go outside and smoke in peace since the front entrance was always jammed with people. She didn’t smoke, but she had walked out with John, and his eyes changed when she took a drag from his cigarette, still in his fingers.
“You’re so sexy,” he said as she exhaled the smoke. She’d helped his hand between the buttons of her dress, threw his cigarette out, and led him to the—doorless—closet she’d noticed on their way out. From a dark corner of the room, behind a shelf stocked with cleaning supplies, they could hear the waiters walking on the corridor. If any of them had made a left turn instead of right, in search of paper towels or a mop, he or she would had been in for a big surprise. John was motionless, completely taken aback by her initiative. She felt powerful, invincible. When she unbuckled his belt, he pleadingly murmured her name, but she muffled the sound taking his mouth into hers, then knelt down and his entire body quivered