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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Q&A Interview with Tawna Fenske, Author of Making Waves

Today I welcome Author Tawna Fenske.  You can get a good sense of her humor from her interview answers. :-)

Q1.  I'm always interested to discover the story behind the story. Where did the inspiration for Making Waves come from?
TF: The story started brewing in my brain on a sailing trip around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, though at that point it was the equivalent of, “wow, men on boats are kinda hot.” The plot didn’t come together in my mind until the economy tanked and tons of people around me started getting laid off. I began mulling the crazy lengths people might go to if they were unfairly sacked by a shady employer. A high seas diamond heist organized by the four most unlikely pirates on the planet seemed like a good start.

Q2. What inspired you to write romantic comedy?
TF: I come from a family of hysterical people who are always cracking jokes and laughing, so you’d think it might have occurred to me earlier to try writing comedy. Hey, I never claimed to be the sharpest meatball in the pot. I started off writing women’s action/adventure several years ago, sold a book to Harlequin/Silhouette’s Bombshell line, and wrote two follow-ups that hadn’t made it to contract when I got “the un-call” from my editor saying the line was being canceled a month before my scheduled debut. It was my 32nd birthday. And the day my cat died. Oh, and the same day my employer threatened to fire me if I kept disobeying the hosiery policy (I did, they didn’t). As all this stuff was hitting me, I thought, “it’s actually kinda funny.” Realizing I could find the humor in something like that got me started finding the humor in my writing, too.

Q3.  Do your work career/hobbies/interests influence your writing (maybe your dogs)?
TF: Everything around me is a source of inspiration, but I sometimes have to look for it. I’m a natural introvert, so I’m vigilant about dragging my lazy self out of the house to experience something besides the squish of the chair under my butt. There was a period where I tried to do the full-time writer thing, but I realized pretty quickly that my brain shrivels up like castrated sheep testicle when I don’t have regular human interaction. I now work part-time in marketing/PR where there’s plenty of day-to-day silliness to inspire me.

Q4.  Did you do any "hands on" or other unusual research for Making Waves?
TF: Are you asking if the Strip Battleship scene has been fully researched and tested? A lady never tells (so of course!)

Q5.  Do you have a favorite mentor or author that you have learned from?
TF: Too many to count! If I narrow it down just to my genre, my favorite romantic comedy authors are Jennifer Crusie, Lani Diane Rich, and Kristan Higgins. All are hysterically funny, but in completely different ways.

Making WavesQ6.  If you were to start your writing career over, what would you do first?
TF: There were a lot of stumbling blocks on my road to publication, from that first ill-fated book deal I mentioned, to an early agent relationship that didn’t work out. Tough as those experiences were at the time, I wouldn’t do things any differently. Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way to really appreciate the good stuff when it comes along.

Q7.  What is your most or least (you pick) favorite aspect of promoting?
TF: In some ways, I’m lucky that my day-job for the last 12+ years has been in marketing/public relations. It makes me fairly well-equipped to handle the promotional aspects of being an author, but the downside is that I let myself get too consumed by it – sometimes at the expense of actual writing.

Q8.  What do you hope your readers get out of your books?
TF: At least five or six good, hard belly laughs and the occasional inappropriate tingly sensation.

Q9.  I think you could have fun with this:  if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie what would it be?
TF: I’m drawing a complete and utter blank on this one (blame it on the double deadline I’m up against right now). I will say that I’m a big fan of reading any fortune I get and adding the words “in bed” at the end. You know, “You will find great prosperity and happiness…in bed.” That sort of thing. It really never stops being funny to me.

Q10.  If you could have readers finish a sentence what would it be? 
TF: The last time I laughed really hard, it was because…

Thank you so much for sharing at my blog.


She always wanted to belong… Just not to a dysfunctional pirate crew…
Juli has trouble fitting in, though she’d prefer to keep the reasons to herself. But when she mistakenly stows away on a ship of misfit corporate castoffs, her own secrets become the least of her concerns…

He knows plotting a diamond heist may be considered unusual behavior…
But Alex isn’t feeling very normal when his unscrupulous boss kicks him to the curb. Meeting Juli doesn’t do much to restore normalcy to Alex’s life either, but it sure is exhilarating!

As Alex and Juli bare their secrets—and a whole lot more—they find that while normal is nice, weird can be wonderful…

Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek. An avid globetrotter with a fondness for the sea, she shares her heroine’s violent allergy to seasickness medication (though, sadly, has never stowed away on a pirate ship).Tawna is the author of the popular daily blog “Don’t Pet Me, I’m Writing” and lives in Central Oregon, where she is working on her next novel, Believe It or Not, in stores March 2012. For more information, please visit or follower her on Twitter @tawnafenske

Check out my review and the giveaway for a chance to win this fun, fun book!

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