Erin Quinn is just the average girl next door in Gilbert, Arizona where she lives with her husband, two daughters and three dogs (all of whom have made debuts in her stories--the dogs, that is, not the husband and kids.) In HAUNTING BEAUTY, Danni Smith's little dog is based on Erin's devoted mutt who sleeps at her feet every morning when she writes.
Welcome Erin. Let’s start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was born in Independence, Missouri, home of Harry S. Truman and I grew up all over the place. In my early twenties, I moved to San Diego, California, met my husband and reconnected with my dreams of being a writer through my day job at SDSU. Now I live in the thriving metropolis of Gilbert, Arizona where I still have a dreaded day job, but I’m a wee bit closer to living the dream.
How long did it take for you to get published and what was the journey like?
I sold my first book to the first editor who ever read it. And then I began the journey of hard knocks. It took me 10 years before my second book was released and during that time I learned a lot about myself and the business. I could write a novel and that time period. For the sake of time and space, I’ll just say it was a difficult stage of my life.
Tell us more about your book. What's it about and what inspired you to write it?
My latest release, HAUNTING WARRIOR, comes out in May. HAUNTING WARRIOR is the second book in my HAUNTING series. It’s set in Ireland and Irish history and legend has always fascinated me. The hero, Rory, is a man I couldn’t help but fall in love with and when I put the two together, I had a story that swept me up as I wrote it.
Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?
Total, chaotic pantser.
What kind of background noise do you prefer--music or TV?
Silence. Only silence.
Since you’re writing a series, do you have a favorite book or series?
Too many to even begin to mention.
Musicians often note the musicians who influenced them. What authors have influenced you and your work?
Stephen King was a huge influence on me and my writing. As a young adult, I lived on King and Harlequin—so basically as horrifying and sweet a mixture as possible. Did I mention I’m a bit nuts?
When you're not writing, do you have any hobbies or interests?
Currently, I have no life. I write, I work, I do the wife thing, I do the mom thing and then I start over at the beginning.
Any current projects you're excited about and can share with our readers?
HAUNTING WARRIOR is my next book out and I’m VERY excited about it. Here’s the blurb:
A past he couldn’t forget.
Rory McGrath’s life changed the night his father mysteriously vanished after uncovering the secrets of the ancient Book of Fennore. The trauma turned Rory from an innocent boy into a troubled, cynical man. Leaving Ireland, he shunned his family, his heritage—and the very magic that has defined his people for centuries.
A dream he couldn’t ignore.
Then the dreams begin…dreams of an ethereal beauty whose touch is more real that any he’s known. And in these dreams, she has a message—a calling for Rory to return home to a destiny that will take him beyond the realm of anything he imagined.
A woman he couldn’t resist.
Lured to the castle ruins where his father disappeared, Rory is plunged back in time, and into the body of another man—a man betrothed to the very woman of Rory’s dreams. In possession of the secrets of his past, his family, and his identity, her hold on Rory is inescapable. For she is his doom. His salvation. And his destiny.
Do you consider yourself eccentric as a writer? Is there something you must have or do before writing?
Time. I must have time and I never have enough of it. The only thing I really want before I start writing is my Starbucks vanilla latte (nonfat, sugar free if anyone is delivering). But I don’t always get it.
Most people see writers as hermits, closed off in a room, clacking away at the keyboard until the final page is typed. Do you consider yourself this disciplined as a writer?
Yep, that would be more [accurate]. Usually wearing jammies and slippers while I do it.
They say you can learn a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your work area look like?
Depending on if I’m starting, in the middle, or finishing a book, it might look nice and neat or like a tornado went through.
What do you consider your guilty pleasure?
Above mentioned lattes. I’m a total addict.
Can you tell us a bit about the workshop you’ll be doing for the Desert Rose Conference?
The workshop is Practice What you Pitch and it is just that—a practice session. I’ll be giving some tried and true tips and then randomly selected participants will have a chance to practice what they’re going to say in the editor/agent sessions. I’ve done this workshop in the past and it’s amazing how many great things come out of this workshop. People walk away with a clearer idea of their story, what the wow factor is, and how to present it.
Is there anything we didn't cover that you'd like to mention?
I think we covered it! Thanks for the great questions, Terri!
Thank you for joing us today, Erin. It’s been a pleasure.
Learn more about Erin Quinn at her website http://www.erinquinn.info/