"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Recently, a psychic told Doreen Orsini that her grandmother knew she wrote erotic romances, adding that she could see Doreen’s grandmother waving a paddle and smiling down on Doreen with pride. Not surprising. Back when women hid their erotic romances, Doreen stumbled upon her grandmother’s stash of True Confession magazines in her grandparent’s dusty attic. Creaks and odd breezes that made Doreen’s heart beat faster failed to tear her away from the torrid stories. While she credits those magazines with planting the seed that spawned her passion for erotic romances, she believes hours spent in her grandmother’s spooky attic set her on the path that would lead to her dark paranormal series, The Vampires of Mina’s Cove. Hunting Diana, book one in this series, made the Amazon Bestselling Vampire Romance list while still in pre-orders. Soon after its release, it made BarnesandNoble.com’s Daily Top 10 Bestselling Horrors list. Most recently, it was chosen as a finalist for the FANTASM Best Overall Paranormal Romance.
Doreen Orsini is highly acclaimed by reviewers and fans for intense in-your-face erotic scenes that make readers do the ‘Orsini Cross Legs & Squeeze’, for suspense that captivates them from the first page until the last, and for haunting descriptions that bring her books to life. Between books, she entertains the members of her Yahoo fan group with her comic, kinky “Breaking News” posts about Orsini Fans Gone Wild.
An Interview with Doreen Orsini
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Doreen O.: I was always a bookworm. My mother said I spent more time in a book than outside. At a young age, a friend’s mother was hit by a truck. She had bought my friend a dress then dropped the bag while crossing the street. I fictionalized the event to help me cope with it. Then again, I may have been a bit morbid. Either way, my dad read it and cried. He said that I would someday be an author. I’ve written ever since.
PNR: Could you tell us about your writing routine, how do you balance writing and personal time? What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Doreen O.: I don’t really have a routine. Other than playing mood music, I sit down and write whenever I can. With four kids, writing tends to take place when school is in session or the rest of the family is asleep.
When not writing, I try to spend time with my kids and husband. I love reading romance, of course. During the summer, you will usually find me at the beach. I hibernate all winter!
PNR: What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?
Doreen O.: I absolutely love chatting and meeting readers. There are so many women out there living in completely different countries and environments. Our lives are different yet the same. Another plus about writing is that we get to live out our fantasies. Frustrating? Well, I’d have to say the hurry up and wait aspect of a writer’s life. We pitch a story then hurry to send the submission. After that, we wait and wait for a response. Once published, we hurry to edit our book then wait and wait for the release date. Once the book comes out, we hurry to send out review copies then wait and wait for the reviews.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite and who has most influenced you work? Who or what has been your biggest support?
Doreen O.: Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon are my favorites. I have every book they have written and those due out on pre-order. Christine’s writing has taught me that descriptions and bringing a setting to life can be a work of art. Sherrilyn works magic when it comes to sexual tension and passion. I do try to emulate them by ensuring my settings come to life and my books are passionate. My greatest supporter is and has always been my father. He goes as far as sneaking my bookmarks into books when he shops!
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Doreen O.: I believe good characters help move a plot. If your characters come to life while you are writing and actually take a story on a different path than you’d intended, then your story will come alive. When I write my erotic suspenses, I have no real idea of how they will end. My readers are amazed that I manage to shock them. Sometimes I am just as shocked.
With paranormal romance, world building is crucial. A paranormal world must have some footing in the normal or real world. Without some sense of what the reader considers normal or real, the imaginary world will appear too unreal to be real. Make sense? For example, Hunting Diana opens up with a town meeting in Mina’s Cove. The vampires are baring fangs and roaring. They are also holding their children in their arms and worrying that someone might hear, someone who has no idea vampires live next door. Imaginary holding hands with reality.
PNR: Congratulations on the paperback release of HUNTING DIANA in February 2007 from Triskelion Publishing, it is a favorite of readers and reviewers and is the first title about your Vampire’s of Mina’s Cove; could you tell us where the idea for your unique spin on the Dracula legend came from and a little about your vision for the series?
Doreen O.: The tale of Dracula and Mina has always seemed like a tragic romance to me. I have read the books and watched every movie. Every time, I feel like screaming when Dracula dies. To me, he is the ultimate hero. He loved his wife so much that he ended up cursing God and bringing the curse of vampirism upon himself. When he believed that he found his Elizabeth in Mina, he risked everything to be with her. The Vampire’s of Mina’s Cove series is my way of bringing the two back together. While they are not active participants in the series, Mina’s Cove and the vampires who reside there are proof that Dracula and Mina are together. I felt that the only way the two could end up together was if the angels were moved by Mina’s grief and gave Dracula and his minion a second chance. They couldn’t stay where Van Helsing might find them, so I brought them to the secluded inlets of Lake George, New York.
Each book will deal with one of the male vampires in Mina’s Cove. The possibilities are endless. Book Two, Diego’s Syn, will bring Syn, one of the angels charged with watching over Mina’s Cove, together with Diego, a vampire who is struggling with an addiction to the blood of the cove’s most evil female vampire, Olympia. I’m bringing in PSI vampires, those who live off another’s energy instead of blood, those who will do anything to capture and drain an angel of her divine energy.
PNR: HUNTING DIANA takes place in a contemporary setting; can you tell us about the challenges you face in world building and making it work with the ideas you have in mind for the progression of your characters and the series? Do you write your characters to fit the world you have created or vice versa?
Doreen O.: I don’t feel that it is very challenging. I vacation every summer on Lake George. The area is perfect for Mina’s Cove. When I see the morning mist on the mountains dissipate beneath the sun, houses suddenly appear. Imagine how many homes I can’t see! Nowadays, there are so many ways a vampire can travel without having to worry about sunlight. Limos with blackened windows are considered normal. Private jets can hide anyone for lengthy trips.
As for characters fitting worlds or visa versa, it takes both depending on the scene. When Lucien takes Diana from the bar and brings her to a lakeside park, he wants to sate her hunger and must find a way to shield them from passersby. When he is in the bar, the noise and odors are almost unbearable to him. Since my vampire world is steeped in the real world, and my vampires live rather normal lives during the night, I had an easier time with fitting them into their world.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Doreen O.: I start a book with a scene. That’s usually it. A scene. From that, the plot unfurls in my mind. Eventually, the characters drive the plot. I believe they must be balanced. Without a strong plot, the best characters will bore the reader eventually. If the plot is exceptional, but the characters have not come to life in the reader’s mind, you will undoubtedly lose that reader’s attention. Would you care whether a woman ends up with the hunk if you didn’t feel as if you knew the woman personally? I don’t intentionally set out to balance them. It just happens for me.
PNR: As a reader I was captivated by your hero and heroine, Lucian and Diana; could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Doreen O.: I daydream them to life. I drive while playing certain songs and daydream. Scary. I take a daydreaming nap. Eventually, they are constantly with me. By the time I am ready to write a story, I know my characters personally. The most challenging character for me was Diana. She had a tragic childhood and life as the daughter of a vampire hunter, one the townspeople mocked and she thought delusional; yet she had to enjoy life and believe in her grandmother’s prediction enough to remain a virgin for some unknown soulmate. Not easy when I also wanted her to be a woman who was open and accepting of her own sexual needs. Keeping her in character tended to change my original story idea.
PNR: The interaction between Lucian and Diana is romantic and beyond hotJ How would you describe the sensuality level of your books; do you find it challenging to write the love/sex scenes?
Doreen O.: Most of my books are erotic or skirt the line between sensual and erotic. Writing those hot scenes are my favorite part of writing romance. I just love finding new ways to create sexual tension or passion. Research is fun. Keeping romance in a sex scene is sometimes challenging.
PNR: Why do you feel the vampire is such a popular character in books, movies and television?
Doreen O.: Vampires are the ultimate lover. We grow up watching the faces of their victims go from shock to orgasmic pleasure! They are powerful, sad, lonely creatures who can make us succumb with just a look. They extol tragic men and as women, we are drawn to that. When you read a romance with a human hero, you might think while reading that most men just don’t act like that or look like that unless they are gay or obsessed with their own muscles. When you read a vampire romance, you fully accept the hero because you know that a vampire -- if one truly existed -- would act and look like that. I think women, when they are little and watch Dracula that first time, see the romance and passion. It remains with them. They want a man to risk it all for love.
PNR: Paranormal romance is experiencing an incredible surge in popularity, what do you feel accounts for the sudden interest in the genre? What is it about the paranormal genre that captures your imagination?
Doreen O.: I think that Underworld had a lot to do with that. Also, with Forever Knight off the air and others like it, we need that paranormal hunk. A whole new generation brought up on Charmed has hit the bookstores looking for a hero they know does not exist in the real world. These women are smarter, more savvy, and deal with men in business everyday. They are fully aware of men and their faults. They are the product of television. They want fantasy. The paranormal genre can give us what we know does not exist. It is the ultimate fantasy.
PNR: What is your favorite genre to write? Is there any style or genre of book that you would like to try but haven’t yet?
Doreen O.: Paranormal is my preferred genre to write. While I love erotic romantic suspense and include suspense in all my books, I will always write some form of vampire or angel romance. I’m in the process of starting an erotic thriller trilogy and will let you know how that turns out. Historical romance has always intrigued me, and while I wish I could write one, I don’t believe I have that talent.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months? A sneak peek perhaps?
Doreen O.: My recent trip to the Houston Romantic Times Booklovers convention was very successful. I came back with requests for two trilogies and one potential Secrets novella. I don’t want to give anything away until I’m sure I have a deal and copyright, but one of the trilogies is a paranormal like no other.
PNR: Thank you Doreen, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Doreen O.: Thanks, I’ve had a great time. Readers can go to my website, www.DoreenOrsini.com, for news and excerpts. If they want to join a bunch of great women I fondly call my trollops, they can join us at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/DoreenOrsiniRomancers . For those on MySpace, www.myspace.com/doreenorsini
February 28, 2007
Vampires of Mina Cove: Book 1
How does Frank Nostrum manage to lure the strongest vamps in Mina's Cove into his pen? How does he keep them there until they meet their death beneath dawn's fiery rays? When one of their own kind, one secretly driven by jealousy, declares that his daughter is the lure, the elders of Mina's Cove pass sentence: the hunter's daughter must pay for his crimes with a single kiss, a drop of blood, a hunger denied. Torn between duty and honor, Lucian, the vampire sent to carry out the sentence, sates Diana's hunger while he searches for proof of her innocence. Diana finds herself thrust into the arms and world of a creature she never believed existed. Can she trust him with her knowledge about his brother's death? Mina's Cove has been a haven to the peaceful vampires for nearly a century. Since the angels took pity on Mina and Dracula, blood still holds a strong attraction for these creatures of the night, but only when combined with passion. If Lucian fails to save Diana, the wrath of the angels will doom the vampires of Mina's Cove and all humans within their grasp.
Tanner's Angel takes a tall, sinfully handsome Texan and pits him against a vibrator wielding Manhattenite, an overbearing father, and an Italian stallion for the affections of an angel with dirty wings. Just when Tanner believes he has succeeded in winning his angel, all hell breaks loose, and Tanner's angel falls victim to a plot for revenge. Enter the world of Roselli's Bakery, where life is not as serene as it seems and fantasies come to life, but at too high a price. Will Tanner pay any price to win Angel Roselli's hand and take her home to Texas? Will Angel leave NYC, her father, and Roselli's Bakery when she discovers that Tanner left out why he came to NY looking for a wife?
Featured in this issue:Interviews with: L. A. Banks Margaret L. Carter Nathalie Gray Chris Marie Green F E Heaton Doreen Orsini Jaden Sinclair
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