Contemporary Romance author Tawna Fenske is today’s guest at Book Savvy Babe! Tawna’s newest release is Believe it Or Not, a very cute contemporary romance book that I really enjoyed. I rated this one 4 stars (read my review). Stay tuned after the interview for information about the Giveaway!
TF: You won’t find this on the book jacket, but the way I describe Believe it or Not is, “your typical ‘reluctant fake psychic’ meets ‘jaded owner of a male strip club’ love story. With a twist.”
Violet McGinn doesn’t believe in psychic powers. That’s one thing she has in common with Drew Watson, the infuriatingly hot owner of the bar next door to Miss Moonbeam’s psychic studio. There’s just one problem – Miss Moonbeam is Violet’s mother. And for the next few weeks, Violet must fill mom’s shoes at the psychic studio.
Drew can’t figure out who’s nuttier – Miss Moonbeam, or her gorgeous daughter trying desperately to live the normal, straight-laced life mom never gave her. The one thing he knows for sure is that he doesn’t need another type-A female meddling with his life, career, or heart. So why can’t he get her out of his head?
Before Drew and Violet know what hit them, they discover that while normal may be nice, weird can be wonderful. Even worse, there just might be something to this psychic crap after all…
BSB: There are some colorful characters in Believe it or Not, complete with hippie names. If you lived the psychic/hippie lifestyle, what would your hippie name be and why?
TF: I was born and raised in Oregon, which many consider the nation’s hippie capital. It’s one of the things I find quirky and charming about my home state, particularly in cities like Portland (the setting of Believe it or Not) or Eugene. Suffice it to say, I didn’t have much trouble coming up with names for characters in the book. There’s a scene I had to trim a bit that originally had a lot more kooky names in it, and one of my favorites was Salmonberry. That’s what I’d pick!
BSB: Salmonberry, that’s a great name! Whom did you envision for the main characters Drew and Violet while you were writing? (Whom would you cast to play their parts)?
TF: Throughout the book, I describe Drew as looking like John Cusack. One of my beta readers – who fails to share my lust for John Cusack – chose to pretend he looks like Matthew Fox instead. I was a little surprised to see the picture on the book’s cover bears zero resemblance to my mental picture of Drew, though the picture of Violet is spot on. I always imagined her a little bit like Demi Moore, though she should have violet eyes to match her name.
BSB: I don’t think you could go wrong with either John Cusack or Matthew Fox… It looks like Believe it or Not is a stand-alone title; do you have any plans to write more about other characters from this book?
TF: I have a three-book contract with Sourcebooks for my romantic comedies, though none of the books are linked by anything beyond my name and a few penis jokes. At this point, I don’t have any plans to reuse characters from any of the books, though I’d certainly do it if someone asked. By “someone” I mean “an editor,” and by “asked” I mean “gave me money.” You like how writerspeak works?
BSB: LOL, love the writerspeak Do you have a writing routine, or a certain place, time, or music that you like to have while writing?
TF: I prefer writing in long stretches of time if I can find it. My ideal writing day would start around 8 a.m. and continue at a steady pace until around 5, when I’d start sipping a glass of wine to disable my internal editor and allow me to start writing a whole lot faster. I’m completely incapable of writing without music, and I often make playlists for my different books. Just hearing the songs from Believe it or Not puts me right back in that zone!
BSB: What qualities do you think a good protagonist must have?
TF: Sense of humor, self-awareness, empathy, and an excellent butt.
BSB: I guess that an excellent butt certainly never hurts…How do you keep your writing fresh, or different from what is already out there?
TF: Are you trying to jinx me with this one? I honestly don’t know. I read a lot, and I’m always a little terrified I might start to mimic someone else’s style. At the same time, I think reading is a crucial key to honing your skills as a writer, and as long as I keep my reading list ridiculously diverse, I won’t have too much trouble sounding like anyone else.
Just for fun, I always like to ask my guests to play a little game of Would You Rather. Please have fun with the questions and explain your answers:
BSB: Would You Rather be the clown that distracts the bull, or be the bull rider on the bull?
TF: I write romantic comedy, so of course I’d be the clown. I’d actually like to be the bull so I could throw people around. Then again, I’ve seen that strap they cinch around the bull’s love spuds. Yeowch!
BSB: Would You Rather have superpowers or have Christmas never end?
TF: I’d like to have a superpower that would allow me to have my stocking stuffed every day. Wait, what?
Ha! Way to cheat the answer, LOL! Thanks for the interview Tawna!
About Tawna FenskeA third-generation Oregonian who can peel and eat a banana with her toes, Tawna Fenske has traveled a winding career path from journalist to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek. She’s the author of the popular daily blog “Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing” and a member of Romance Writers of America. You can find Tawna on Twitter at @tawnafenske or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tawnafenske Tawna’s debut novel, Making Waves, was nominated for Best Contemporary Romance in the RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and the Chicago Tribune noted, “Fenske’s wildly inventive plot and wonderfully quirky characters provide the perfect literary antidote to any romance reader’s summer reading doldrums.” Her second romantic comedy, Believe it or Not, hits shelves March 6 from Sourcebooks. Library Journal noted, “Fenske’s sophomore effort (after Making Waves) is another riotous trip down funny bone lane, with a detour to slightly askew goings on and a quick u-ey to out-of-this-world romance. Readers will be enchanted by this bewitching fable from a wickedly wise author.”
Sourcebooks is sponsoring a giveaway of Believe it or Not! 2 winners will receive a print copy of this new release! The contest is open to US/CAN only, and you must be 18 to enter. How to enter: Leave a meaningful comment about the interview (ask a question, answer a would you rather, tell us your hippie name, etc). Once you leave your comment, fill out the rafflecopter for your entry to be counted. Contest will run for 1 week, through Wednesday, March 14 at midnight.