OK, make yourself comfortable, adjust the artificial gravity and temperature to your own personal liking, get the Nanobots to fetch you your favourite beverage, and let's get started. First of all, curious minds want to know - What do you do for fun when not writing?
DR: Music; I am a singer-songwriter
HL: Cool! And when did you start writing?
DR: In my early 20s
HL: You've been writing a little while then. Tell me, what comes first: the plot or the characters?
DR: Definitely the characters
HL: Oh, I'm so with you there. Now, if someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?
DR: Kate Winslet would probably make a good Selene; I love that nonchalant curl of the lip
HL: Good choice. Have you a favourite actor/actress?
DR: There are so many. But Kareena Kapoor, the Queen of Bollywood, is pretty good.
HL: Another good choice. What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?
DR: That I could elicit response from unexpected areas
HL: Oh I can certainly relate to that! What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?
DR: I try to sustain mechanical continuity to keep the process lubricated.
HL: LOL, I think my nano-bots can relate to that one! :) Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?
DR: It definitely distracts me
HL: Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?
DR: I have an online writing community, with some of whom I exchanged reviews
HL: I think we all need support from our fellow writers, don't we. What is your personal definition of success?
DR: Feedback from intelligent, sensitive readers.
HL: Oh, absolutely. Can't argue with that one! (Do have a piece of cake, the replicator produced them especially for my special guests.) What is your favourite source of inspiration?
DR: Works of other writers, films, photos
HL: I love doing research, and I imagine most other authors do too. What sort of research do you do for your books and what’s your favourite source of information.
DR: Some historical; Google and Yahoo are the best sources
HL: Oh, Google is so useful isn't it Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?
DR: Yes; my characters are fictional composites, containing elements of people I know. Yes; they also contain aspects of my character
HL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
DR: Selene herself, because I would have loved an encounter with her.
HL: Who is your most favorite character of all time from any book?
DE: Anais Nin talking about herself.
HL: Oh dear, the onboard computer's telling me our time is nearly up. Where can readers connect with you?
HL: Oh yes, I know it well, although I don't have time to contribute as much as I would like - I did have my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' featured there in October though. Right, before the shuttle comes to take you back to Earth, is there a question you really, really wish someone would ask, but they never do? If so what would be your reply?
DR :It would be nice if someone I really liked ever asked me if I had a romantic fantasy about her.
HL: Oh I love that answer!Thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog, it’s been a thrill having you here and learning more about you and your writing. I wish you much success now and in the future. Now let's find out a little more about 'Self's Blossom'
This is about a young woman's self-discovery. Selene is a 'success story', having become a top journalist, while retaining her dazzling looks. However, in the past she has had unhappy relationships, and feels she has missed out on hedonistic fun. This she obtains, firstly with a young stranger on a beach, and finally with enigmatic Hudson: tryst is preceded by cultural tourism, and careful sizing up of minds. Afterwards Selene returns to her 'I stand on my own' attitude.
While she is on holiday, her mind is free to ramble, often into Selene's chequered past. Flashback blurs into the present, past-rooted interior monologue into direct observation. The dialogue is sparse. Selene is a cautious, premeditative type, in whom thought, reflection and analysis outweigh direct action.
Selene’s subtle, monitoring mind coolly observes and controls all the events. Maybe she is super-confident, or perhaps has a deep, underlying insecurity. She is many things to many readers.
Extract from Self’s Blossom (Warning, 'Adult' themes)
Six-thirty p.m. in the lounge - the prearranged rendezvous time if things had been normal. Selene was first to arrive. Would Hudson now feel inclined to turn up? Would he be in any state to turn up? She noticed on her way that his key had not been returned to reception. In fact, he arrived at seven, looking incredibly coy, bashful and apologetic - just like Selene felt. He was carrying a gold lacquered gift box. She gave him a nod and a smile, beckoning him to sit down beside her. They kissed tentatively - reticently.
"Oh Selene, I really am sorry I got carried away like that. It was dreadful of me."
Selene patted him on the knee. "Darling, I should be apologising for getting all hysterical like that."
He put the box in front of her. "I went diving, wanted to come to my end in the depths; felt I couldn't live with myself, but I was obviously called to find something. I guess I realised one of my ambitions." He opened the box. In it was an oyster containing a huge pearl. Selene gave him a hug, tearful in her appreciation of his courage. "I've had to reflect an awful lot on my past experiences, you know. I've had to study feminism, and I really feel that if both sides - both sexes open up more, accepting more of each other, then life will be so full and enriching. I know that an awful lot happened between us . . ." he hesitated. "And?" A dreamy glow came over Hudson. "We've got so close, taken plunges together; you were so magnetic in that costume." A lump came to his throat.
Selene was now aquiver with suspense. They were at the point of that final something for which she had yearned so desperately for so long. Selene took the words out of his mouth. " Let's make everything perfect - the absolute right time, the absolute right place, and in the perfect way. Let's take the bridal suite together for our last night here!" The final overt proposition synchronised absolutely with Selene's memory tensions. A split second before her utterance, she had a vision of being at a ceremonial hair shearing before becoming a nun, and then of a mythical white wedding (the reality of which had never come near her). She thought of the flying buttresses of a cathedral, stained glass tinted in the morning sun, angled to the light of daring love, lifting to heaven. Hudson had at last uttered the key word to the elusive combination of the ideal seduction! This just had to have one fragment of impulse and spontaneity in the context of everything else being utterly premeditated. The peak of experience had been rehearsed to the finest detail. True seduction was total theatre. To hell with all those 'ideals' of 'naturalness'! She had seen through them in that turgid forest. The true ideal lay in laced artifice! Here was the final trigger. Ages ago, they had talked away all thought of marriage and domesticity. But Hudson's superb artistry in taking hold of the last remnant of conventionality for the final act of defiance against it. The flouting, the inversion of all the oppressive concomitants of a straight wedding night, was genius. They went into a torrid clinch nearly upsetting one of the tables in the process. "Oh darling," said Selene in a half-whisper, "you've done everything right; let's go!"
* * * *
The suite was, of course, available, and the deposit no problem for Hudson. The labyrinth of corridors in the hotel did not slow them down. Having located the apartment, they rushed back to their separate rooms for their belongings. Selene was the quickest to pack, but had a little delay with the lift. They arrived at the suite door simultaneously. What a scene of luxury for the denouement. Selene now took firm control. "OK Hudson, you go and take a bath while I get ready, and get fully dressed again when you've finished. I've got some special things in store for you!" Now all of Selene's fantasies came flooding in to her. Tonight she was the greatest actress, singer, ballerina, priestess-demagogue. She would dazzle the universe in the visual sphere, and then go on to the realm of touch. Her mastery of the lovely art of dressing and undressing would now be shown to the full.
In a flash, her clothes were off. As she fitted her cap, she got a tingling premonition of what was to come. When one had meditated on the art of love as deeply as she had, one knew that the extra precautions, far from detracting from the experience, could enhance it, by stretching the partner's anticipation. The outfit to replace her casuals was all in order in her expanding suitcase. First, her brief white satin underwear, then a pale blue body stocking, easy to confuse in the half light with a bathing costume, over it her diaphanous slip, then three petticoats - crisp, archaic, Latin and lusciously provocative, sheer white stockings, and then the purple ball gown in all its splendour. She stepped into a pair of white, lacquered high-heels. A touch of eye shadow and lipstick completed a breathtaking work of art. Hudson had seen her in her other gown, in a bikini, and a variety of outer garments. Now he would know all the stages in between, and then beyond, as she would of him. The bath water lapped mutely in the background. "Ready now, darling."
B. 1940, live in London, UK. My romance publications are: Self’s Blossom (novella); Explorations (short story); Further Explorations (short story) – all pub Devine Destinies; My Dream of Madonna/an Ecstatic Rendezvous (2 stories) – XoXo Publishing; Therapy Rapture (short story) due to be published by Devine Destinies. Prickling Counterpoints (poetry & prose) Deadline Books; High Wired On (speculative fiction) JazzClaw Publications. The Musician’s Testament (reflective article) in International Times
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