Spotlight, Cast & Author Interview: Risque Romance Vol. 1 by Mandi Konesni

Book Blurb & Info

Mia was perfectly happy with her boring mid-twenties life, thank you very much. So she didn't have many friends, or a man. Maybe her job kind of sucked, and hobbies hadn't caught up with her yet. There was still plenty of time, at least that's what she told herself each night before tucking into her lonely bed. Then tall, dark, and sinful Erik blazed into her life, showing her all that she was missing...and more. After finally experiencing real bliss, could she truly let him go?

Tired of living a solitary existence for centuries, Dieri Bastiz sought peace from the Romani that had cursed him so long ago. The same ones that he'd hunted until he'd sated his thirst for vengeance. When Mirela appears into his path like a bird in flight, he finds the spark his life had been missing for so long. Yet all is not as it seems at this quiet faire. Can monsters truly be redeemed, or does loyalty reign?

What would you risk, to have it all?

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Two couples, two quirks of fate that can bring them together or tear them apart.

What would you risk to have it all?

Author Interview

Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
I think I put a little bit of me in every character. It's hard not to, when you know yourself the most of anyone. Certain traits and little things, your experience kind of tends to sneak in whether you try to keep it out or not. It helps to be able to get inside the character's head, and to really think about how they'd react to certain things or situations. Knowing that you identify with even just a small part of the character helps make them feel more “real” to me, and makes them easier to write.

Have you ever written a character with an actor in mind?
Oh, totally. Since my writing to me feels like a movie, I have to have a vision in order to continue watching. So I've always associated different actors, actresses, models, and even musicians into the roles as I visualize them. Truly, thinking of your favorite celebrity crush acting out your writing with you tends to get the muses running ahead sometimes, and really makes it easier to write a whole lot faster! :)

Have you ever written fan-fiction?
I have! I actually got my start in roleplaying, and I'm still an active roleplayer. I've met so many amazing people that way, including friends I'd never have found otherwise. It's amazing to find a best friend that enjoys the same hobbies you do, it makes you feel like you finally fit in. Roleplaying and fan fiction gives you a bit of a  break from the stress of writing your own pages, and lets you fall into a world that is already created... you just have to interact with it. My favorite is Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters. My first character was an original creation set in Kenyon's world. The biggest compliment I've ever received is to have fans ask where my character is in the books. That's an ultimate honor to me, and a sign that I've done my author-idol justice.

What does your family think of your writing?
Oh this is an interesting one. They're all insanely proud, like families are. Some will read them and just pretend it isn't their loved one's mind that it came from. My mom refuses to read them at all. She says she just can't stomach reading smut that her baby wrote. They're so supportive though, and tell all their friends to support me too. It's nice to know that no matter what I do, my family will always be proud of me. That leaves a lot of avenues to get into trouble.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?
Fans and admirers? What are those mysterious creatures? Truthfully, I love to talk to people online. Not so much in person, but online is awesome. If someone comments on my author page or asks a question, I'm thrilled and will usually answer back and then carry on a full conversation. I'm the type of person that hides by the wall in person and tries to blend into the curtains, but online, I'm everyone's friend and trying to carry on a dozen conversations at once. I love meeting new authors and readers, and getting to talk with everyone. I don't have a team of people pretending to speak for me... when you talk to me, you get the 100% unfiltered, slightly smutty, quirky “me”. I apologize in advance for the naughty random things I say and do when I'm tired. Please don't judge me.

What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
Like most people, I think my biggest is "I'm okay." I suffer from depression and anxiety. It can be daunting at times. I'm the type that doesn't want to bring my friends down, or I'm acutely aware that they're going through worse. My go-to lie is always that I'm okay, and then I try to be the shoulder for others to lean on. It's part of the reason that I dove into writing so long ago. Sometimes no matter how you're feeling, building a new world and immersing yourself in it is better than therapy.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. Forget the time, forget worrying about what is proper and not. Don't weigh yourself down with negatives. Every bestseller started with a single word. Write one word, and then another. Keep going until you've poured your soul into those words. That's when you know you've created something that you can be proud of. Find like minded people. I joined http://www.literarysocial.com to post my work for critiques, and it's been helpful with forcing me to analyze what I'm doing with a more critical eye. Use a percentage calculator or some way to "track" yourself. It may not seem like much, but watching those numbers rise is such a huge motivation.

Author Info

Mandi resides in Ohio, where she shares her workspace with an ornery bassle pup. In addition to writing, she runs an online storefront, a roleplaying website, and is a 3rd Degree High Priestess. She's an avid reader and blogger, who adores music. Whenever there is a concert in town, you can bet she's taking the night off and cheering on her favorite bands. She can easily be bribed with peanut butter M&Ms, gemstones, hot lead singers, and gargoyles.

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