Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | By: HiDee

An Interview with Rena Koontz

Today, The Write Way Café would like to welcome Crimson Romance author Rena Koontz.

How long have you been writing?
I think I’ve been “writing” all my life. I used to leave long notes for my mother on the elementary school paper with the two wide lines and the dotted line in the center – remember those? When I was a teenager, I received a one-year diary as a Christmas present but I ran out of pages in May because I wrote so much. I wised up and got a job as a newspaper reporter. They paid me to write!

How long did it take you to write Love's Secret Fire?
About one year from beginning to end but I kept going back to revise it as I received feedback from beta readers and contest entries. My first chapter was actually Chapter Three in the original draft.

What did you draw from to write the book?

This book is loosely based on a real-life arson case I covered as a reporter in PA. I was assigned to ride along with a fire captain one night – the fire and police were patrolling the streets and alleys trying to catch the arsonist. So we crept down back alleys and side streets with the headlights off hoping to come upon him. It was scary and memorable. I’m glad that night wasn’t the night he was caught.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Some of the characters are based on real people, especially Jimmy, Bud and Chester who were three of my favorites in the Beaver Falls Fire Department. Hence the name of my fictitious city, Benton Falls. Readers will find an insight into the relationship between twins when they read about my heroine and her twin brother. There is a lot of me and my twin brother, Ron, on the pages.

Do you face any blocks while writing, and if so, how do you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
Some days the words just flow and others, I find myself straightening the papers on my desk, playing with the dog – he’s always right by my side – and generally doing anything but writing. But every day I sit at the computer and type something. That action sometimes opens the floodgates. Other times, it screams delete.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I think the biggest surprise has been people, especially a few husbands of my friends, who read my book. I expected my girlfriends to read it but not their spouses and I’m beyond flattered that they did. I’m honored. Even better, they liked it.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world, your characters?
I’ve learned so many things along this path to becoming published and I’m still learning. I knew nothing about writing the proper query, writing POV or getting published. I wrote my first book in single-space – I learned that’s a no-no. I’ve still got a lot to learn.

What are some of your favorite books and why?

I lean toward the suspense. I’m a John Grisham, James Patterson fan because I love the workings of a courtroom and as a reporter who covered lots of trials, I’ve been to the inner sanctum. I am a Brenda Novak and Suzanne Brockmann fan because their women are strong. And when all else fails, I pick up my dog-eared copy of “The Flame and the Flower” because the love in that book is so intense.

What are you working on now?

I recently finished another romantic suspense that I hope to publish. It’s about a woman who witnesses a murder and runs from the shooter, who is mob-connected. She runs into the arms of a police officer. I have the utmost respect for police, fire and law enforcement officers and I hope my books can pay tribute to them. This story also is loosely based on a real-life case.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
My high school aptitude test showed I should pursue a career as a skilled mechanic.

For more information about Rena, please visit:
Website:  http://www.renakoontz.com/

Blog:  http://renakoontz.wordpress.com/renas-ramblings/
Love's Secret Fire is available from Apple iBooks, Amazon, B&N, and other e-retailers. 

7 comments:

HiDee said...

Rena, thanks for stopping by today! I enjoyed your interview.

Rena Koontz said...

My pleasure, HiDee. Thanks for the opportunity.

Lynn said...

Very interesting to read about you and your writing, Rena.

Rena Koontz said...

I'm laughing, Lynn -- I don't think I'm very interesting at all! But thank you!

Angela Adams said...

Rena, good luck with your book and best wishes for 2013!

Rena Koontz said...

Thank you, Angela. I appreciate your good wishes.

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