|Denise N. Wheatley
"From sweet to spicy to suspenseful"
Favorite Food: French fries
Favorite Movie: Beaches (One of my many faves)
Favorite TV Show: Insecure
Favorite Author: Terry McMillan
Favorite Song: Closer to My Dreams by Goapele
Favorite Book: SHE’S COME UNDONE by Wally Lamb
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
** What made you become a writer?
I have always been passionate about books and reading, and have enjoyed storytelling for as long as I can remember. I’d write little short stories and poems during elementary and high school, then decided to major in English during my freshman year of college. Once I graduated, I thought about the one thing that made me happy. It was writing. So I decided to pursue it seriously as a career.
** I am sure you have been asked this before. Why romance?
I have always loved love and happily-ever-afters, even as a child. Growing up, I’d sneak and read my mother’s romance novels. Those books brought me so much joy. The escapism, the drama, that fuzzy feeling you get when your lead characters finally connect…those elements really drew me in. So writing romance was a natural progression.
** Describe a typical day for Denise.
A typical day for me usually involves writing. On those days, I spend the mornings taking care of administrative work, managing my social media accounts and updating my blog. That helps me to warm up before I begin writing. During the afternoons and evenings, I try to write in 500-1,000 word increments, taking a break in between to rest my eyes, refresh my mind and work on other things I need to get done. I strive to write 2,500 to 3,000 words a day. But if I don’t reach that goal, I don’t beat myself up. As long as I’m getting words in, I’m happy.
** What is the most difficult part of the writing process?
I would say that editing is the most difficult part of the process for me. I love the act of writing. It’s fun and liberating, and I can be as creative as I want. But once the book has been written and it’s time to go back in and edit, that’s when the fun stops and the hard part begins. Plus I tend to be a perfectionist, so I edit slowly in hopes of catching every grammatical error, plot hole, inconsistency etc. That can be challenging, especially when you’ve got deadlines to meet.
** What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I love reading, of course, especially romance novels. I also enjoy watching true crime television, traveling, watching/playing tennis, and trying out new restaurants.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
** How long have you been published and what is the name of your first book?
I’ve been published since 2004. That’s when my first book, I WISH I NEVER MET YOU, was released by Simon & Schuster. The book is filled with uncensored confessions of a vivid but nameless, faceless heroine who chronicles her dating calamities through a series of outrageous vignettes. Ebony Magazine called it, “A hilarious and sassy novel comprised of a series of vignettes from an unforgettable heroine.” That novel will always hold a special place in my heart.
** Tell us a bit about COLD CASE TRUE CRIME.
COLD CASE TRUE CRIME is about a true crime blogger named Samantha Vincent who begins investigating a friend’s suspicious death after his case goes cold. While the police department shows no interest in solving the murder, Samantha talks Detective Gregory Harris into secretly joining in on her investigation. But when Samantha becomes a target, she and the detective realize that someone doesn’t want the case cracked. It becomes a race against time to catch the killer before Samantha loses her life.
** What inspired you to write this book?
My love of true crime was definitely the inspiration behind COLD CASE TRUE CRIME. I’ve seen so many stories where people have gone missing or turned up dead, with no explanation as to where they are or how they passed away. I find myself trying to solve the cases on my own, running interrogation questions through my head and figuring out what evidence I’d look to collect. So writing thrillers has become a great outlet for me. I’d say I’m definitely living vicariously through my characters.
** What is next for Denise?
I’ll be releasing Book 2 in my Fearless Fairytale series, SHE GETS WHAT SHE DESERVES, in September, and CHRISTMAS IN FULL BLOOM in October via Tule Publishing. My next Harlequin Intrigue novel, BAYOU CHRISTMAS DISAPPEARANCE, comes out in December. Then next year I’ll be releasing four books. I am so looking forward to sharing my new work with readers!
ABOUT THE READERS
** If there was one thing you could tell your readers about Denise, what would it be?
I would tell readers that my goal in writing books is to deliver heartfelt, entertaining stories will leave them thinking about the characters long after the final chapter. I know how much joy books have brought to me. I can only hope to do the same for my readers.
** What advice would you give an aspiring author?
I would tell aspiring authors who are looking to write a book to just start. Start the book. Get the words down, and then keep going. Push all fears and doubts out of your mind, believe you can do it, and write. You’ll never know how far you can go until you finish the book and put it out into the world. But you just have to start.
** How can readers reach you?
Thanks, Denise, for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us!