ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Monday, 15 October 2012

What is a Contract for Marriage? Join Barbara DeLeo today as she answers my questions about writing for Entangled Publishing.

Hello my friends. Today I am chatting with romance author Barbara DeLeo about her newest release, Contract for Marriage.

Denise: Barbara, lovely to meet you.  Thanks for stopping by here at L’Aussie Writing on your tour to let the world know that you have a new novel released. Contract for Marriage sounds a riveting read.
Barbara: Hi Denise! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks since the release of my debut novel, Contract for Marriage, so it’s lovely to stop in for a chat. I’m a New Zealander so just across the pond from you, but am currently on a three month trip to Greece and Cyprus with my family. Today I’m in a tiny village on the west coast of Cyprus and it’s gorgeous.
Denise: I'm so jealous! I've not made it to Greece yet! But tell us a little about your writing journey thus far. How many books have you previously published or do you have in the works? Tell us about being picked up by Entangled Publishing.
Barbara: I’ve been writing seriously for the past seven years and in that time completed six manuscripts. I’ve always written romance but in the last few years targeted category length stories specifically.
I completed revisions on a number of manuscripts for different editors but my stories always seemed to be a little out of the box. When my agent suggested we submit my latest manuscript to Entangled Publishing, I was very interested. They’d only just started the Indulgence line and the titles were so fun and fresh that I was more than happy. When my agent called only a couple of weeks later with the offer for Contract for Marriage I was thrilled. I’ve since sold another book to the Indulgence line. “Last Chance Proposal” is out in January.
Denise: Why category romance? For readers who might not be familiar with these books, what do you think their appeal is?
Barbara: Category romance is generally defined as a romance between 40,000 and 80,000 words in which the primary focus is on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. Someone once described category romance as a hit of rich dark chocolate while a Single Title romance was a three-course meal. I love a three-course meal as much as anyone but I also love my indulgent quick treats and that’s the way I like to think of my category romances. In terms of craft, they are an intense, tightly written story which needs to have full character development, a satisfying story and a happily ever after in one neat package, so they are an exciting challenge to write.
 Denise: I see you love to travel and also that you set your stories in exotic destinations. Did any of your travel experiences turn up in Contract for Marriage?
Barbara: My husband’s family is from Greece and Cyprus (hence the current trip with him, his parents and our four children now!) and we lived and travelled in Europe when we were in our twenties. I love different sights and sounds and smells, so try to layer these into my stories. Contract for Marriage is set in New Zealand but Christo has Greek heritage so I was able to weave in some of my experiences with the Greek culture. While I’m in Europe now I’m taking photos and notes for some settings in future books.
Denise: Both your hero and heroine, Christo and Ruby, sound like very strong characters. How did you find the balance with their strengths? How did you play one against the other?
Barbara: What a great question! I love strong characters, strong alpha males because they know exactly want they want and will do whatever it takes to get it —including moving any obstacle to get the woman they desire— but I believe a strong hero also needs a strong heroine. When each of the characters is challenged by the other we not only get lots of spark, but lots of passion and emotion too.
In Contract for Marriage, Christo and Ruby are not only strong in their belief that they each should have the house, they’re also very strong in their desire to fight for someone they love. For Christo, it’s getting the house for his mother who has lived there for forty years, for Ruby, it’s acquiring a legacy for her baby. I think the fact that both their goals are such honorable ones, readers are prepared to see some fire and conflict between the two. The fact that they’re required to share the house until they can sort their issues out leads to all sorts of interesting shenanigans!
Thanks so much for hosting me today, Denise.
You can find Barbara at:


Read Chapter One of Contract for Marriage free!


 Bio
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and now lives her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

Degrees in English and Psychology, and a career as an English teacher, fuelled Barbara’s passion for people and stories, and a number of years living in Europe gave her a love for romantic settings.

Discovering she was having her second set of twins in two years, Barbara knew she must be paying penance for being disorganized in a previous life and was determined to get it right this time. It’s amazing what being housebound with four preschoolers will do for the imagination and she decided it was time to follow her writing dream. Funnily enough, those first manuscripts had not a single child in them.

Married to her winemaker hero, Barbara’s happiest when she’s getting to know her latest cast of characters. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, but now without a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.










  • Barbara would love to gift a copy of Contract for Marriage to one lucky commenter, so please comment before leaving. You never know...




39 comments:

  1. It is a pleasure to host you today Barbara. I wish you happy holidays in Cyprus, lucky thing, then great sales for Contract for Marriage.

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  2. Thanks so much for having me, Denise!

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  3. Congratulations on the publication of your novel, Barbara. I hope you're having a wonderful time in Cyprus. And thanks to Denise for bringing us such an interesting interview. x

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    1. Thanks so much, Joanne, it's certainly exciting! I'm having an amazing time in Cyprus. Today we went to the Paphos mosaics which are amazing floor mosaics depicting Greek mythology. A farmer accidentally dug them up when he was ploughing his fields in the sixties! Incredible.

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  4. I envy you getting to spend some quality time in Greece. I love Greece. I spent some time in Crete a few years ago and I shall never forget it. Congrats on getting your book pubbed.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Maria. I am SO lucky to be doing this. We've saved and planned for years and it's incredible to finally be here. I've heard Crete is beautiful and would love to go some time. Thanks so much for the congrats!

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  5. I would love to win a copy, thanks for the chance, much love Amanda <3

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  6. Thanks for explaining the category romance/single title differences, Barbara.

    Contract for Marriage sounds fun. I grew up around Greek people so your hero having Greek heritage was interesting to me.

    That's lovely that you're in Greece and Cypros right now too! I hope you're having fun with your family out there. It's a gorgeous place.

    Jai

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    1. Lovely to see you here, Jai! I just love the Greek culture for its rich heritage and amazing culture, not to mention the incredible food. We're having such an amazing time that the kids don't want to go home {:o/ Glad you found the category/ST explanation useful.

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  7. Barbara, that's cool your travels have enriched your writing.

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    1. Hey, Alex! Travel sure does enrich my writing. Whether it's food, or a scene, or even the types of trees in a garden, I love to feel a setting in a story and if the author's been there I find their descriptions all the more authentic.

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  8. I'd love to visit those parts of the world some day. I love having strong characters too - it's fun to play the strengths against each other. :)

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    1. Jemi! So lovely to see you here. Yes, I'm the same with strong characters. I love to make the sparks fly.

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  9. Nice to "meet" you Barbara! I'm envious of all your travel but your books sounds interesting

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    1. Lovely to "meet" you too, Heather. I do feel so lucky to be doing this trip. We've been saving and planning a very long time for it.

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  10. With all your traveling to exotic places I'm sure your books are rich with culture. Someday I hope to get to see Greece.

    Lovely to meet you Barbara :)

    ........dhole

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in, Donna. I do love to have interesting settings in my books. The one I'm writing at the moment is set in L.A and I was lucky enough to be there in August. I was the crazy lady taking photographs of different food in the aisles of the supermarket...Do go to Greece if you ever get the chance. It's beautiful.

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  11. Thanks Denise and Barbara for this fantastic interview. It's one of the best I've ever read. Seriously! We were in Greece three years ago for a month -- ah, such beauty! I'm got Barbara's book on my TBR. I hope she rocks the charts.

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    1. Awwww, Kitty, what a lovely thing to say. I do have the tendency to write a lot....Yay for you being in Greece! I bet you had an amazing time. It's going through such hard times at the moment but still has the beautiful Greek spirit. I do hope you enjoy Contract for Marriage!

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  12. Barbara: Happy to meet you. While I'm not a fan of romance, but this interview has me interested in your latest one, so I'm checking it out!

    Thanks, Sis, for hosting her. I always enjoy your sprightly interviews. This is one of the best!

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    1. Hi Ann, I'm so pleased that this interview has you interested in checking out a romance, and especially pleased that it's Contract for Marriage!! Thanks so much for dropping in.

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  13. Wonderful interview! I like that Barbara has given her alpha male a strong heroine, too.

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    1. Talli, it's so nice to see you here. Yes, no simpering heroines in my stories, I like them to know what they want and be prepared to fight for it. Thanks for popping in.

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  14. OMG, a chapter in Australia. Totally threw me for a loop! *shakes head*

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  15. Love the premise, love the idea, love everything. Excited to read it.

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    1. Thanks, Tarrah! I hope you enjoy it!!

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  16. Barbara's life sounds like a fun adventure what with travelling and houseful of kids.

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    1. Fun and adventure are two good descriptions, J.L, but maybe mad and noisy are better! No, you're absolutely right, it is a fun adventure and I'm so very lucky to be able to do it. Must admit I'm starting to look forward to the kids being back in school and me having my regular writing day back.Only two more weeks and I'll be home. Thanks so much for dropping in today.

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  17. Do you think there is any significant difference between authors writing romance from the United States and those from Down Under? Or is romance the same around the world? Is there an attitude difference toward this genre in other parts of the world?

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    1. That's a great question WKonsunshine! In my experience there's very little difference. North American publishers (who have traditionally been the ones interested in publishing) have become more and more open to Downunder settings and colloquialisms. Also, in the time I've been writing, Australian publishers have taken a much greater interest in Romance as a genre. Companies like Hachette, Allen and Unwin and now Penguin are really seeking out Australian authors which probably means downunder readers are starting to fall in love with the genre too. It's a great time to be writing romance.

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  18. It sounds like you've been to some fascinating places!

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    1. I have, Golden Eagle. Off to a castle and an ancient Greek Temple tomorrow. I never get sick of it but my computer's starting to complain about the number of photos I've taken and saved on it {:o/

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  19. What a great interview, and I loved hearing about your experience with Entangled!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview, Candilynn and it was my pleasure being able to talk about Entangled.

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    2. Candilynn, you're the winner of the Contract for Marriage giveaway! Please email me at barb(AT)barbaradeleo(DOT)com and I'll get it to you!

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  20. Gotta love a hit of rich dark chocolate ;)
    Loved the interview!

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    1. So lovely to see you here, Lynda! I'm a HUGE fan of rich, dark chocolate, too, literal or otherwise {;o) So glad you enjoyed the interview.

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  21. Candilynn, you're the winner of the Contract for Marriage giveaway! Please email me at barb(AT)barbaradeleo(DOT)com and I'll get it to you! Thanks so much to everyone for their lovely posts, and to Denise for being such a fabulous hostess. I hope to see you all again soon!

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