From Mermaid Susan: The Mermaids are delighted to welcome author Tawny Weber to talk about her titles A SEAL’s Seduction, and its equally hot companion, A SEAL’s Surrender, both from Harlequin Blaze.
- Welcome to the lagoon, Tawny! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to embrace the writing life.
Thank you for the lovely welcome! And what a nice lagoon you have here! Can I get a frothy drink in a coconut shell? I’m a fan of froth. 🙂
I love the writing life. But I wasn’t one of those gifted writers born to it, or even one who discovered it in their early years. Growing up, though, while so many friends worshipped actors or rock stars, my pedestals were all saved for authors. I love books. But it wasn’t until my husband asked me what I’d do if I could have any dream career that I even considered writing. Once he’d prodded me in the right direction, I embraced the idea. It took me 4 years and 6 books to get a strong enough handle on the craft, my style and find the right story to sell.
- A SEAL’s Seduction is part of a series. What is already out and WHAT COMES NEXT?
A SEAL’s Seduction and A SEAL’s Surrender are a very sexy pair of Uniformly Hot Blaze novels. A SEAL’s Seduction is Blake’s story – a good boy with a penchant for following the rules. Until he meets a woman who makes them all worth tossing away. He’s debuting on bookshelves this month (2/13). His best friend and fellow SEAL, Cade, will be on the shelves next month (3/13). Unlike Blake, Cade is a lady’s man. He’s got that slick, sleek appeal that makes women swoon. Which becomes a problem when one of the swooning women turns out to be his favorite girl next door.
- One of your recent blog posts discussed the use of theme in your story, and how you consciously used it in planning A SEAL’s Seduction. Can you explain some of that thought process to our readers?
This was actually a different process for me, as I’m not an analytical reader or writer by nature. I’m never strategic and don’t tend to see that big picture that theme usually embodies. But A SEAL’s Seduction was one of those blessing stories. The kind that just arrive in your head, fully formed with the scenes all crystal clear and the characters alive and dancing. Because I could see the story so clearly, the contrasts were just as clear to me. Hot and cold. By simply keeping that contrast in my mind while I wrote, I was able to mirror a lot of the story elements between the first and second halves of the book. In the first, she eats chocolate ice cream, in the second, it’s hot chocolate, for instance. In the opening, Alexia welcome the concept of a hot, exciting relationship. She’s warm and caring, while Blake is hurt and closed off. That switches in the second half of the story, while the setting changes from sunny San Diego to frozen Alaska.
The theme and contrasts aren’t overt or major forces in the story, but they were fascinating to weave into the elements as a supporting thread.
- Most of us know nearly nothing about the world of Navy SEALs. How did you do your research?
My husband is ex-military, so I relied on his expertise and research capabilities a lot. And I spent a lot of time online staring at hunky pictures of military heroes *g*. Yes, that is research!!
- Plotter or pantser?
Plotter! I need a solid direction when I write. A map, if you will. I never know exactly what the scenery or sights will be on the trip, but I have to know the destination, who’s driving the car and where the major stops will be.
And I love plotting boards. The colored sticky notes appeals to my office-supply addiction *g *
- Hot writing. WOW. Do you have a secret weapon for getting women to fan themselves? Discuss.
LOL –well thank you! I’m glad you found it WOW-worthy. I wish I did have a secret weapon! And if I did, I wish I’d always remember to keep it in the same place so I could find it again next time.
But, sadly, no. I write the love scenes the same as I write the humor and the suspense elements of my stories. By focusing on the main characters and trying to stay true to their personalities, their issues and their fantasies. Hopefully, that translates into characters that readers can connect with, ones they empathize with. If a reader can see and feel the story through the characters’ eyes, then they will see and feel the same things that character is going through. Which means if the love scene is hot enough to get the character all worked up, then the reader is on board, too. 🙂
At least, that’s the hope.
- A little about your writing day? What’s the weirdest thing in your writing space? The most important to your writing karma? (thanks to CTRWA’s February newsletter for this idea)
Oh wow, cool question. I love the idea of writing karma.
So, lets, see. My writing day is really the middle of the night. I started writing when my youngest was only 2, which meant my days were very busy and night was the only time I had to focus. Most nights, I start writing around 10pm, after everyone has gone to bed. I keep going until about 3am, unless I’m against the deadline wall or the story is flowing like crazy. Those days are usually the ones that my husband finds me at my desk when he leaves for work in the morning *g
The weirdest thing about my writing space. I’m looking around, but it all looks normal to me LOL. I guess the weirdest would be that my office opens up from two doors – one has a view of the long hallway and loft area above the living room. The other is to my bedroom. And I never shut doors, so there is no such thing as privacy in my writing space.
And oh wow –Writing Karma. I think the most important thing for me, personally, is to remember that beyond any writing or career goals, it’s all about writing the story for the readers. To bring them joy, satisfaction, happiness or just a good time for a few hours. If that intention is in place with every story, then I believe that karma will find a way to return the same joy, satisfaction and happiness in return.
- What is the best writing advice you ever received? The worst?
The best writing advice I ever heard was to write what you love to read. We spend an awful lot of time with a story, we should try to find a way to enjoy every second of it. The worst, I think, was to accept realistic limits. While I’m all for keeping it real, I’m not a fan of limits.
- Are there any teachers, books or courses that helped you refine your craft?
I love Romance Writers of America. I’ve taken so many workshops and classes and met so many amazing writers through that organization. In the beginning of my writing adventures, RWA provided the most instruction opportunities.
- Do you or did you have a life beyond writing? Crafts or hobbies? Do they distract you now or offer a chance to unwind?
What’s this thing of which you speak? Life? Beyond writing? LOL. Actually, I try to keep life pretty balanced. I don’t actually do it well, but I try. My favorite hobby and other life-obsession is scrapbooking. I do card making, too, but the scrapbooking of memories is my favorite thing. I like to have a project going while I write, so when I get stuck on a page or scene, I can leave my desk and go play with paper and embellishments. The act of creating in a different medium, especially such a visual one, always seems to shake loose whatever is stuck. So after a ten, twenty minutes I’m able to go right back to writing with the scene unstuck and my scrapbook project closer to finished.
- Last, but not least, please tell us about your path to publication. Especially for our unpublished readers, how long had you been writing before The Call, and did you ever wonder how it would take for the editors to wake up and see your brilliant talent? (heh heh heh)
Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy romances since her first Harlequin Blaze hit the shelves in 2007. A fan of Johnny Depp, cupcakes and color coordination, she spends a lot of her time shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking and hanging out on Facebook.
Readers can check out Tawny’s books at her website or join her Red Hot Readers Club for goodies like free reads, complete first chapter excerpts, recipes, insider story info and much more. And for a limited time, she has a few open spots on her Street Team!
40 thoughts on “Tawny Weber (aka Hot Sassy Romance Author) dips a toe in the water!”
Hi Tawny: It’s me again. #1 biggest fan! Great interview. Looks like you guys had a fun time doing this….and please, pass one of those frothy drinks this way….trapped inside during a snow storm I think I need it.
Jen, We will certainly have a frothy drink for you, as soon as we shovel the snow! 🙂
Jennifer!!! Hi 🙂 This was such a fun interview – Susan has the best questions! And ya know, maybe we should have hot frothy drinks for you poor dolls stuck in the snow.
Great interview, Susan! Tawny, welcome to the lagoon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your process, Tawny, and am most impressed with your night owl writing habits. When do you sleep?! Best of luck with your releases! They sound fascinating!
Thanks so much, and thanks too for the warm welcome 🙂
LOL – sleep? What’s that? Kidding, I do sleep, but on average only about 6 hours a night during the week because we homeschool. So while I have the power (oh yay, power) to start the schoolday at 10 instead of 8, that still means I’m up and moving by 9. I tend to crash hard when I turn a book in, though. I’ll sleep for half a day, easily.
And thanks SO much for the book luck wishes! I’m hoping readers are equally fascinated 🙂
Loved swimming in the lagoon with you today, Tawny!
Hi Leigh, and thank you 😀
I’m just as excited to see you over at the Quick Six *ggg*
Great interview from my favourite Blaze author! And a trip to a lagoon as well – nice way to spend a Friday afternoon.
Awwww, thanks 🙂 And big happy hugs, Anna! I’m still celebrating your awesome first sale news!!! Here -frothy drink toast!! To fab fun writing, everyone!!!
Hi Tawny and Susan! Susan–I loved your questions, great job! Tawny, so many things I loved reading just now in your interview. My ears always perk up when San Diego is mentioned 🙂 And your road to publication is very inspiring. Mostly I’m impressed by your tenacity and devotion to writing. Thank you so much for swimming in the pond today!
Thank you, Carlene 🙂 I’d love to think I was tenacious and devoted, but most people will tell you it’s more stubborn and obsessed. Either way, it seems to be working *g*
But in this business, in anything in life, really – if we want something we have to believe in it, and in ourselves, enough to keep working at it until we achieve the dream. I’m a big dreamer!
Diana, phew! Thanks! Just what we need in the snowy Northeast – frozen drinks! har har… Tawny was a great interview, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her!
I also received your worst advice. Thankfully, I listened to my voice inside that said, go for it.
It’s rotten advice, isn’t it, Mary Jo!! And, sadly, it’s not advice I’ve heard only once or twice. It’s usually offered with great intentions and an eye toward keeping disappointment at bay, but it’s still so uninspiring 😛
I’m so glad you ignored it, too!!! Always go for it, baby! 🙂
Tawny, thank you. This spoke to me. I never planned to be an historic writer/or fiction writer, but the only way to write is to study, study, study. I am encouraged by your words. It is an amazing journey. Thanks Susan for hosting Tawny.
I’m so excited that you found some inspiration here, Gail 🙂 I’ll credit Susan’s fabulous questions!!!
And isn’t it great that the key to studying and honing our writing skills is usually found in reading (and writing, of course *g*) Talk about the best of all worlds!! I wish you wonderful luck on your journey 🙂
Gail, Tawny was a terrific interview, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Thank you!
Mmm, drinks. I love frothy drinks, especially the kind that require fruit on a stick or a paper umbrella to look complete 😉
And thank you SO much for the congratulations!
Hi Mermaids! Had to laugh at the idea of mermaids meeting two seals – bet it happens all the time! 😉 Tawny, what a great interview. As you know, you’re one of my favorite writers. I love how you get the steam in but the most powerful part of your books is the emotion. That’s why I read romance, much as I do enjoy the naughty bits. I want to go through that emotional journey with the characters and come out the other side. Your books always do that for me! Can’t wait to read the SEAL books. As you know, I’m deep in revisions at the moment, but you’re first off the TBR pile once I’m done! Hopefully next week (can’t wait!). xxx
Awww, Anna 🙂 You know I could just copy and paste your comments right back to you, right?! Because that’s exactly what your stories give to me. So hearing mine return the pleasure means SO much.
I can’t wait for your next release – and for you to finish those revisions so you can dig into your TBR pile before it topples over on you 😉
And ROFL – those SEALs and mermaids, I’ll bet you’re right. Parties, all the time!
Awww, right back atcha! I’ve also got Bandita Nancy Northcott’s wonderful debut RENEGADE waiting for me. Can’t wait to read that one too. When I’m working, though, I can’t read stuff that’s going to keep me awake into the small hours, and that means YOU!!!
Anna, thanks for picking up Renegade. I hope you like it. I finished Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed over the weekend and thought it was wonderful. In a the usual Anna Campbell wrenching sort of way. Great book!
Thank you, Nancy! So glad you enjoyed 7 Nights! xxx
I can’t wait to inhale Nancy’s Renegade, Anna! Its waiting until I turn in my current book (Monday, baby!)
Tawny, I didn’t have a chance during the interview phase to ask you to explain “realistic limits.” As in, the “don’t get your hopes up, no one is buying x nowadays” kind of gentle put down? I see these people as emotional vampires, but it’s still very hard to be brave, and not suck it down.
Mmm, those realistic limits. Yes, there are the ‘don’t get your hopes up’ ones. And the “your publisher will only release X# of titles a year, don’t expect more because it just won’t happen.” Or the ‘category books can’t do this, can’t hit that, are a niche market that readers won’t look at…” etc, etc.
I understand the reasoning behind each suggestion to be realistic. I just don’t accept the limits 🙂 I might not have gotten past some of them yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up LOL
OMG!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE TAWNY WEBER IS IN OUR LAGOON!!!!!!!!!!!! (Okay, actually I can b/c I did the schedule for this month, but still!)
I love, love, love your books, Tawny – thank you so much for stopping by! I read Nice & Naughty this past Xmas and LOVED it. That cat was pretty bad-ass and it was a really fun premise!
I also think it’s important to have other things going on when you write a book b/c it really does help on those dreaded writer block days. My go-to is Zumba class! 😉
Kerri, you are too funny! But isn’t she great? It’s been a great experience to interview and help her with her newest releases.
Awwww, you are so sweet 😀
ROFL – wow!!! Now that’s, well, wow! Thank you, Kerri 😀
Like, wow and thank you times three, even!!! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed Nice & Naughty so much. That cat… she is seriously mine 🙂 Persephone is crazy, I’m telling ya!
I totally agree that having outlets helps with the writing so much. I get more plotting done on the elliptical than I do at my desk. Exercise moves that blood around and stirs up ideas. Or, at least I tell myself that a lot LOL
Hi, Tawny–What a fun post! I just picked up A SEAL’s Seduction and am looking forward to reading it and its companions. I love your books!
Hi Nancy and thank you 😀 I’m so excited to read your debut. It’s my treat on Monday. As soon as I turn this Cosmo book in, I’m curling up and losing myself in Renegade.
We’ve got quite a Romance Bandit showing in the Lagoon today *g* Hopefully the rooster will stay away, though.
Susan, you were RIGHT!! SEALs in the lagoon!!! Tawny, so much fun to read about your process and what makes you “tick.” 😀
Haha, Melanie! I promised you SEALs and then rushed over here to plug a few more in, just for you!
Thanks, Melanie 😀
And LOL – I see the word tick and think time bomb.
That might be fitting, though 😉
Oh hey -these awesome SEAL views are thanks to you? Let me just say you rock, then. Because Susan’s found some FABULOUS views to decorate the Lagoon with.
Hi Tawny and Susan,
What a fun interview. Your books sound amazing, and I can’t wait to pick them up. I love when I find a new author (well, one new to me, anyway). With all these great referrals from fellow mermaids, I’ll have to add you to my TBR pile.
I cracked up when I read about your story board. That’s the main reason I don’t have one. My basement is filled with office supplies. With five kids, it seems all I do is buy school/office supplies, so I need to take it easy. LOL. I did try the index card system and some sticky notes, but it truly just overwhelmed my pantsing side. The tiny plotter in me was going OCD, and the pantser was having a nervous breakdown. 🙂
Fun interview, girls! Thanks for swimming by wiith your SEALS. Mermaids kinda have a thing for them.
Thanks, Kim 🙂 I hope you will check out the books -and that you enjoy them!! I love finding new authors, too.
LOL – well, school supplies are a blessing, right. But like you say, if you’re not a plotter who needs to see that visual representation of the story, it can look like an army of colored sticky notes, all marching in to defeat your imagination! I think one of the greatest gifts writers can find is to discover their own personal writing process, then to use it for all it’s worth. Its sort of like voice – we all have one, it works for us when we embrace it, but when we try to ignore it, we tend to be unhappy. Or maybe thats just me 🙂
Thank you again for the warm welcome, and for enjoying my SEALs here in the lagoon.
Tawny, I added one more pic at about 6PM EST. Feast your eyes! I’ll tell you something, I know a LOT more about SEALs today than I did yesterday! Uh-huh
Susan, you are pure inspiration 😀 Now I want to go write more SEALs!! Or, you know, just stare for awhile 🙂
Thank you SO much for the lovely day!!!
You are very welcome, and thank you for making a snow-sealed day more than bearable. Hot men carry heat, you know. 😉
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