Question of the Week: Crossing Genres

WELCOME BACK to guest author Dani Collins.
Some of you may remember Dani Collins talking about world building and her fantasy romance The Healer on our Wow Wednesday back on March 6th. Dani also writes Modern/Presents for Harlequin Mills & Boon in London. Her first North American release, Proof Of Their Sin, comes out in July. She also self published a romantic comedy, Hustled To The Altar, as an indie title last year and just signed a contract for a pair of erotic romances.

Today she tells us how she wound up with such an eclectic range of genres and why HEA is her only hard limit.

Q: So…smart diversification or simply a short attention span? 

A: A bit of both. I’m quickly distracted by the latest New Thing, which is probably why it took so long for me to find a publishing home. Every time a new subgenre of romance emerged, I was compelled to try my hand.

I spent so many years submitting without results (25, not even joking) that I embraced the bright side. I could write whatever I wanted. So I did. Now I have a ‘backlist’ that has never been seen. With so many options available to authors these days, it seems silly to leave all my unsold work on the hard drive.

Q: What has found its way into the light? Do you have plans for all of them? 

A: Not all. Some are genuinely terrible and don’t deserve to be inflicted upon readers—my regency historical, for instance. I also have a paranormal intrigue with a ghost that really needs to be killed off once and for all.

But I have an erotic romance that has turned into a two-book contract, a pair of linked Single Title Contemporaries with characters I can’t bear to abandon, and a couple of YA projects, one of them a script for an animated film. Don’t even ask when I’ll find time to move forward on most of those. I love, love, love writing for Mills & Boon so they are my priority.

Q: What about your readers? Do you expect your Healer fans to follow you to Harlequin Presents and vice versa? 

A: Expect? Not at all. Hope? Absolutely.

Being a busy working mom myself, I totally respect my readers’ time and choices. We wish we could do it all, read it all, but we can’t. Sometimes it’s easier to stick with what we know we like.

As much as my books appear quite different, they’re all romances with the kind of Happily Ever After that I love. I adore alpha heroes and my heroines tend to have a smart mouth (not sure where that comes from), plus I'm always looking to tug a reader’s heartstrings, so you can always look for that in my books as well.

Q: What can we expect next? 

A: Proof Of Their Sin comes out in July. Technically it’s my second book with Harlequin Mills & Boon. My first, No Longer Forbidden? was released in the UK in January and will be part of a two-for-one promotion this December with a linked book. (Very excited about that!)

Proof Of Their Sin is my first North American mass release, where I’ll be able to find the book in my own grocery store. Super-excited about that! I love Paolo and Lauren and can’t wait to share them.

I’ll be back here in June to offer a giveaway on that one. In the meantime, I have an electronic download of The Healer for one of your visitors leaving me a comment here.

The Healer, By Dani Collins
Champagne Books, March 2013 

You can find buy links for The Healer on Dani’s website or pick up The Healer through Champagne BooksAmazon USAmazon CAKobo, or ARe
A heroic act gone wrong…
Once oppressed by the Shote people, the Kerfs only want peace, but unrest brews as Shotes expand into the Kerf’s hard won territory. Vaun, a Kerf General, is patrolling the border lands when he saves a Kerf captive about to be raped—then discovers she’s not Kerf at all.
Survival in the balance…
Athadia is Alvian, one of the mysterious healers driven out of Kerfdom by Vaun’s ancestors. Vaun’s first touch tells her he’s a Latent, not as strong as a full-blooded Alvian, but a possible mate. If she could bring herself to lie with a man again, even a superstitious half-blood Kerf, she could fulfill her vows and save her dwindling race.
Hope at too high a cost…
Athadia’s touch promises a kind of healing that has eluded Vaun all his life, but he has broken the Shote treaty and started the war he was meant to avert. His King expects him to kill Athadia to restore peace…
He can't.

She identified subtleties in his scent: wood smoke and spices from his meal and something decidedly male and forceful, yet not. The cadence of his breathing changed. Hers did, too. She knew she should put a stop to this, control both her body’s response and his, but she let it happen, intrigued by the unfamiliar sensations.

He murmured an encouragement and used more purpose, more pressure, licking into her mouth until she opened fully to him. He touched his tongue to her own.

She tasted his pleasure and gasped. Hands were to be used for energy exchange. Arm to arm cupping of another Alvian’s elbow was common and in times of great need, full body contact might be necessary to kindle sufficient energy for life-saving purposes, as when she had met Vaun. Tongues and other intimate places on the body were not to be used to channel energy.

But he directed his through every point of contact, inciting a stimulated response from her. As her physical excitement grew, she felt his arousal intensify.

So, readers. Are you willing to follow an author cross-genre? Do you prefer the tried and true? Is it a time thing? Are you averse to gambling your hard-earned cash on an unknown? What do you absolutely demand in a romance? 

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