When He Was Bad (Coconut Cove #3) by Poppy Dennison
Cover Art: Reese Dante
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Poppy Dennison here today on tour for her new story When He Was Bad. Welcome, Poppy.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Poppy Dennison
How much of yourself goes into a character?
PD: I think quite a bit of the author goes into the character. I know that for me, I tend to feel the emotions my characters are feeling. When Levi was worried, I was worried. When he was happy, I was happy! It’s really hard for me to write a happy scene when I’m in a bad mood. It’s makes diving into the worlds I create even more amazing because I really do lose myself in my imagination. I have such a cool job. 🙂
Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?
PD: I do think there’s a fine line when using my personal experiences as an author. Authenticity for characters is really important. I always have to remember that I’m telling someone else’s story. I love to pull from things that have happened to me and think about how my character would have reacted. It makes me really think more in depth about a character. How would Whitney react to someone cutting in line at the coffee shop? I made a snarky comment, but Whit probably would have found a way to “accidentally” spill his coffee on them later!
Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
PD: You know, that’s a bit of a tricky question. I’ve been reading romance for years, so in that way, yes. But I used to love reading romantic suspense and mystery stories (Mary Higgins Clark jumps to mind!). I’ve never written in that subgenre though and have no plans to. Never really thought about it until you asked!
Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?
PD: Absolutely. Sometimes it’s just not the right moment for the story. Or should that be “write” moment? I have quite a few stories that I’ve put aside as I wasn’t in the headspace to get the tone right. I’ve pulled out old stories sometimes years later and finished them.
Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
PD: HEA all the way! The only sort of exception is an ongoing series, but I still prefer an ending that is much closer to HEA than HFN.
Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
PD: Absolutely! I’ve read romance since I was a teenager and as an adult it’s about the only fiction I read. (I read a lot of history, mythology, biography, etc too.)
How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
PD: I’m a huge fan of ebooks. I love the instant gratification of it. (I’m spoiled, I’ll admit it.) I also love the option to get books in paperback when I really love them. One of my favorite things to do at events is get authors to sign their books that I’ve really loved. I have an entire bookcase full of them. That said, since I do have a limited amount of space (like everyone else) I like being able to get the book in ebook first. I don’t see ebooks going away anytime soon.
How do you choose your covers? (curious on my part)
This is actually a bit funny. Usually, I work with an artist I’m close to (A.J. Corza or Reese Dante) and they’re amazing artists who who work with me to get the right look for a title. I also have a couple author friends who give “final” approval for my covers because sometimes I’m not the best judge. Reese Dante did the covers for Coconut Cove and she was so great taking some generic notes from M.J. O’Shea and I and making them into a cohesive cover. I absolutely love her work.
Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?
I think Mind Magic, my first published novel, will always be my favorite for sentimental reasons. I didn’t know I could be a published author, so going through the process with that book and watching its success was a life changing event for me.
What’s next for you as an author?
Next up for me is Growing Pains, the next title in my Bartlett Boys series. It’s the story of cousin Kale and the cop he falls in love with.
What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?
PD: Almost every story I’ve written has started with a wild scene that I’ve imagined and that scene is always in the story! I have really crazy dreams and a wicked imagination so it helps. I have an entire folder full of “story starters” that are just random bits of scenes that pop into my head. I don’t know where they live, but a lot of times they find a home in an upcoming project.
Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it? Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.
PD: Alas, no. I’m a morning person and do most of my writing before most people get up for the day. Now, I have written a story that, as Amy Lane says, had me “riding the dragon”. That’s when your fingers are flying on the keyboard and the words are just coming out of you with no thought, no plan, just writing. You just hold on and try to keep up. Those have been some of my favorite scenes, and one of them appeared in a book with absolutely no edits needed. (Okay, a couple commas because commas….why?But no words were changed. LOL )
If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
PD: Someplace quiet (as I’m typing this, there is someone using a leaf blower outside my window. The dirty looks I’m sending his way are EPIC.) But seriously, I’m not one of those writers who listens to music when they write or whatever. I like me, my computer, and silence. I don’t want any distractions. I sometimes wear noise cancelling headphones with ambient noise to help. So whatever place looks like that. 🙂
With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To wide our knowledge? Why do you write?
PD: I’d love to have a noble reason for writing, but the truth of the matter is, I write because I have to. I don’t have a choice. When I don’t write, I get really out of sorts: sad, mad, cranky, the works. When I’m not actually writing, I’m world building. There’s always some sort of creative work going on in my imagination. That said, it is really good for me to write happy ever afters when there’s so much stress and anxiety in the world around me. I’m really thankful when I can lose myself in my worlds and make people happy. It’s an amazing feeling.
Coconut Cove: Book Three
Lights, camera… wardrobe?
Coconut Cove is television’s newest hot sensation. The glitzy teen drama set in the beach lover’s paradise of Key West is the talk of every gossip rag eager for dirt and hookup news on the hot young actors—like Levi Phillips, who plays the show’s resident bad boy.
Levi’s attraction to costume designer Whit heads into high romance when Whit orders Levi out of his clothes—in an attempt to save Levi from heat exhaustion, of course.
Sassy Whit knows just how to dress, and undress, Levi, and soon the sexy duo are steaming it up offscreen, which is no surprise to their friends and castmates.
But love in the public eye is complicated, and rumors pose challenges that can threaten careers and love….
About the Author:
Add two parts sass and one part sweet and you have Poppy Dennison to a T—sweet tea that is. Raised by a gaggle of Southern women who love reading and have backbones of steel, Poppy was brought up to see the best in people but always speak her mind. Mix it all together, like Grandma’s famous cobbler, and you get a sassy, Southern lady with a quick wit and loads of charm, who will soften any blow with “Bless your heart.”
Her books reflect her small town roots, are filled with all the comforts of home, and come with side dish of spicy, because that’s the way she likes it.