Thursday, July 21, 2011

Twenty-Eight And A Half Wishes! -and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Oh! Lucky Lucky me!!

I just finished a really fun
new book!

And by "really fun", 
I mean
kind of fun!

an amazing woman whom I came to 
know through her blog,
is the author who penned this 
wonderful book!

Like me, Denise is a mom of children
of both the homegrown, 
and the international variety!

I had the opportunity to
interview Denise about her new book.
I fell in love with the main character,
Rose Gardner.
And I wanted to find out a bit more about her.

Denise let me in on a little secret.
You see.....well.....
just watch this and you will see.

So, grab a cup of coffee,
or a glass of sweet tea,
and get to know Denise and Rose a little bit.

Goosegirl: So, how did you "meet" Rose and where did her story come from?

Denise: The story idea came to me first. My son had bought his first car and I went with him to the DMV to get license plates. It was a hot and humid summer day and the room was stuffy and crowded, thus lots of cranky customers. As any writer knows, a good story needs conflict so I told my son that having a character who worked at the DMV would be awesome. My son thought I was nuts, but the idea stuck with me.

I’d just written a heavy, dark urban fantasy/paranormal thriller (Chosen which will be released in September) and I needed to write something lighter and more fun. Chosen had a little boy who saw visions of the future so I thought “What if I take that same idea but make it lighter?” So Rose’s crazy, mundane visions were born.  But Rose herself still didn’t exist. At that point, she was a nebulous woman who worked in a DMV and had visions.

It was when I decided her mother would be overbearing and abusive that Rose came to me.  Once that piece fell into place (and this all occurred in one afternoon. It rarely works this way but Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes was like a lightning strike all the way around) I sat down to write. Twenty-Eight is first person so Rose stuck herself in my head and told her story. She just poured out.

If I could be friends with any of the characters I’ve created, Rose is the one I’d want to live next door to. She’s sweet and funny and has the most fantastic outlook on life. I LOVE that she’s been repressed all those years, but ultimately takes responsibility of her own behavior. I love that she could have easily fallen into a victim mentality but chose to pick herself up and change her own future.

I know what you’re thinking. “Uh, didn’t you create this character?” And while I did, the characters all become very real to me and tell me how they react to situations. I think that’s why readers tell me that my characters seem so real. It’s because they are. In my head.

Did you ever have a time where you came up with a list of "wishes" like Rose?

Denise: Yes, although I never wrote them down. After my husband died five years ago, I realized that life is short and there may not be a tomorrow. If I wanted to do these things, I needed to do them NOW.  The biggest one on my list was to complete a novel. I did that in December 2009 when I participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  But I will say, my own personal realization spurred Rose’s in the story. And when she’s walking in the park and faces “the undeniable proof of my mortality” I’d had the same experience a few years earlier.

Goosegirl: I was sad to leave Rose when the book ended. I felt like I was just getting to know someone who I thought would be a fun friend. Will Rose be back?

 Denise: Rose will definitely be back. I love her too much to not experience her life more. I have three more books plotted. I started on the second Rose book but put it on hold to edit the second book of the Chosen trilogy, Hunted, which I plan to release in November. I hope to have the second Rose Gardner Mystery, tentatively titled Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons, published by next summer.  Rose will struggle with her long distance relationship with Joe while her sister Violet encourages her to not limit herself to her first relationship. I may switch the plot around a bit with the mystery, so I hate to say too much about it but will say that Mildred, the president of the Busybody Club, will be a more prominent character.

Goosegirl: Do you see yourself in Rose, or is she modeled after someone you know?

 Denise:  I think Rose is more like me than any of my other characters; however, I think she’s sweeter than I am. I have a bit more snark. ;)  She’s also not modeled after anyone. I know some authors do that, but I’d be worried I’d offend someone if they found out. Plus, like I mentioned above, each character I write is real to me. They live in my head so I think I’d find it limiting to base them on someone.

Goosegirl: Is 28 1/2 wishes your first book or do you have others?

Denise: Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is my fifth completed book. It was the third book I wrote. I wrote it last July and finished the first draft in 30 days. It was an incredible rush. Rose took control and told me her story. I heard her voice in my head and even started talking in a southern accent, because that’s how I heard her. I drove my kids nuts.

I have two more books coming out in the fall, Chosen and Hunted, and a completed young adult novel about an alternate universe that is still making the agent querying rounds. The first book, that NaNoWriMo book will never see the light of day. I’ve promised to haunt my children if they ever release it after I die.

Goosegirl: So Denise, Rose's neighbor Joe is quite the conundrum! Do you have a "Joe" in your life?

Denise: Ha! No, no Joe. I wish. ;) But I wouldn’t mind have a Joe living next door. In fact, out of all the male characters I’ve created, Joe would be the guy I picked out for me. 

Goosegirl:  Denise, thank you so much for chatting with me! And thank you for letting me read your book. I know I have told you this several times, but I loved it!
I can't wait for the next Rose Gardner book to come out!

You are going to want to read this book!
And Denise has graciously offered
a book to one of my followers!!!

She is offering the winner
their choice of a signed paper book
or an Ebook! 

If the winner chooses the paper
book, she will sign it and send it directly to you!

So, to enter, please leave a comment
and make sure you leave an email address so 
I can contact the winner.
The winner will be randomly chosen
and anounced Thursday, July 28th!
And if you don't want to wait to win
you can get your copy at these places.

Amazon: Kindle ebook
Barnes and Noble: Nook ebook  

Smashwords: ebook

Amazon:  print

Barnes and Noble: print
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Denise as much as I did.


Buckster said...

Wow Thank you for sharing this with me Sivje. It was really nice to get to know about Denise and WoW!
I was thinking how young she looked and then I hear she is writing books, is a mom, and the final piece, a widow like me.
Denise, I lost my husband December of 2005. When did you?
I'm sorry for your loss. Sivje and Don sang and played for me as a tribute to Brad at his Celebration of Life.
It still seems like he is just gone on a long trip sometimes.
It is nice to see you are writing and blooming no matter what life hands out. May God watch over and keep you and your children.
I wish you all the best and am very excited to read your books. I will be looking for them. I love mysteries and even alternate Universes. I own all the Stargate SG1's and Stargate Atlantis DVD's.=D
I am missing you Sivje. Hope all is well in your life and keep sewing. I am. Ha Ha
I love your website girlfriend, and thanks again for the spotlight on Denise.
God is good, all the time.
Cheryl Heward

Margi said...

Thank you for turning me onto a new to me author. I am totally intrigued by this interview to read all of Denise's books now!

Kristy said...

I'm always looking for something new to read! I'll have to check out Denise's stuff on my kindle!

C.C. Almon - my journey as a Christ follower, wife, mamma, and fibromyalgia fighter said...

This definitely sounds like something I'd like to read.

All Things Beautiful said...

Sounds like a fun read. It has been a while since I've read something just for fun.

Denise Grover Swank said...

Cheryl, I lost my husband in March of 2006. He died from burn injuries from a single engine plane crash. It sounds like we lost our husbands within months of each other. I'm so sorry for your loss.

If you read Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, I hope you enjoy it!

Denise Grover Swank said...

Margi-- Thank you! Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes just came out last week but my paranormal thriller/urban fantasy CHOSEN, the first book of a trilogy comes out in September. Here's a link to the books that will be coming out in the near future:

Denise Grover Swank said...

Kristy, thanks for checking me out--err-- I mean my books. ;)

Denise Grover Swank said...

C.C., I hope you enjoy it if you read it! I had so much fun writing this book!

Denise Grover Swank said...

All Things Beautiful- if you decide to read Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, I'd be honored that my book would be the one to break your reading dry spell!

Sandy said...

This sounds like a great summer (well-anytime, really!) read! I really enjoyed the interview, and look forward to reading the book!
Hopefully I'll be reading one I win, but if not...I'll read it anyway ;)

Denise Grover Swank said...

Sandy, thanks for reading the interview and for wanting to read my book!

Debby said...

I'd like to read this book.
A cute video.

Marika said...

It was so much fun learning a little bit about Denise, and I would love to "meet" Rose and Joe!

Marilyn Martino said...

You girls both rock! Love the you-tube spot and the interview both! Do I see another another writer/interviewer--? Yes, I see TWO! This book sounds so intreging. I hope I win!
Congrats on the published book (s) :)

Marilyn Martino said...

Hey there! My main e-mail right now is
Have an awesome day!

Dolores said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this and for the chance to win the book. I would love to read it - in hardcover.

Ann Marie said...

I would LOVE to win a copy of Denise's book - I've got it on my "list" to read. I would definitely want the hand-signed hard copy - BOOKS are meant to be loved and treasured and dog-eared from reading and re-reading! And tear stains too!

Thanks for the opportunity Sivje!

Hettie Lynn said...

This sounds like a WONDERFUL book and I would love to read it. I hope I'm not too late to enter.

Buckster said...

Wow Denise. Thank you for taking the time to write a note to me. I am so sorry about your loss also. I just read something today that was really a sweet thought to me:
"Don't cry because it's over,
Smile because it happened."
Isn't that neat?
Brought a smile to my face the moment I read it.
I want to thank you for choosing me to get your book. I am honored and grateful.
I absolutely love and adore all, 'ALL', my books and cherish them all too. I know I will enjoy yours, and I look forward to getting it. If I ever downsize my home, I will have to figure out how to keep all my precious books.
You home school don't you? I got to do that with my now adult children for 10 years, and I loved every minute of it; even the frustrating times. We just had to stop at those times, pray, and get a restart. Ha Ha. It always worked too.
I hope we can actually talk sometime. I would like to know more about you. And, for that matter get to know you better. I think we are most likely kindred spirits. :0)
I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month. . .

Buckster said...

I would love it if you would respond back to me.
My email is: