Interview with Summer Devon

Jen: Please join us in welcoming Summer Devon to Book Talk. Summer, please share a short bio with us.
Summer: Here’s my latest official bio: Summer Devon is the alter ego Kate Rothwell who invented Summer’s name in the middle of a nasty blizzard whilst talking to her sister who longed to visit some friends in Devon, England, so the name Summer Devon is all about desire. Kate/Summer lives in Connecticut, and also writes gaslight historicals under her own name.

Jen: Tell us about Taken Unaware and where it’s available.
Summer: It’s an ebook and it’s available October 7 at Samhain. As Summer, I have books available with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain and Total-e-bound. My next release will be a novella in an EC/Simon and Shuster book this January.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Summer: I’d been writing for years for newspapers and magazines and then discovered how much more fun it was to not have to check the facts and spell names the way other people wanted them spelled. I liked reading fiction more—makes sense I’d like writing it more too. I started writing fiction full-time in 2001. I was a stay at home mom with small children then, so I didn’t really do anything full time.

I got my first call in 2004. Hilary Sares at Kensington sent me an email asking for a full manuscript—I’d sent her a partial. A couple of hours later, Kate Duffy called and said they wanted to buy the book. I said, “no you don’t, you just want me to send the full.” I tried to argue with her for about five minutes before I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors. Those historical books, Somebody Wonderful and Somebody To Love were published under my name Kate Rothwell and were part of the Kensington debut series.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Summer: If I’m writing near my family, earphones with wordless music–I especially like movie scores. Otherwise, I’m fine. I prefer working on a computer or alphasmart, but will use paper if I must.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Summer: Every time I claim to have one, I immediately stop following it. But I do try to write at least 1500 words a day. It’s my job and I write even when the muse is out to lunch or, worse, on a month-long cruise.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Summer: My biggest challenge is dealing with all the stuff that isn’t the writing. Promo, getting published, staying published. That’s the part of the job I don’t love. The most fun I have is when I give myself permission to start plotting something new or when I successfully figure out a plot problem. I have to be careful because that’s so entertaining, it’s all I do if I could.

Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Summer: Not really, which is a shame. I love the woot! Yay! Of course I often eat chocolate on sale or release days, but I don’t think that counts. I use chocolate to celebrate the appearance of the sun after a few days of rain, or the mail being delivered before 5 p.m.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write?

Summer: I wish I could write a decent mystery. So far, I’ve written a cruddy one. My favorite books to write are historical and paranormal romances.

Jen: Do you write under any other names?
Summer: I’ve written under my real name, Kate Rothwell, and a long ago, I wrote a couple of things as Caitlyn Archer. Summer Devon is the name I use for the books that are not historicals and are a tad bit (or a whole lot) sexier.

Jen: Where do you draw your inspiration?

Summer: Not my own life! I usually say “The corner of Bainbridge and Quaker lanes” because I plot out books when I take my dog for a walk. Plans just jump into my head and that’s the corner where I seem to have the most “aha! That’s what should happen” moments.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Summer: Most of my favorite new authors these days are ebook writers because I love the immediate gratification of reading an excerpt and then buying! When it comes to romance, I like Samantha Winston, K.G. MacAbee. I also love historical writers like Edith Layton, Judith Ivory, Loretta Chase. Right now I’m about to read Bonnie Dee’s latest Rock Hard. I love Dee’s stuff. But I read all sorts of books: mysteries, Terry Pratchett (he’s a genre all by himself), non-fiction. I think I read about 8 books a week.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Summer: I have kids. Do people with kids get free time? Well, okay, I count time hanging with them as free time especially now that they’re older.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Summer: I have a few submissions out there and my agent is reading a full manuscript of a historical we’ll send out soon, I hope.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Summer: I tweet, I Facebook, I MySpace – those are my hobbies, I guess–blathering online and reading other people’s blogs. My blog is I have formal webpages for Kate Rothwell and Summer Devon and but they’re pretty outdated.

Jen: Do you have anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Summer: Are you guys getting tired of paranormals? (I love writing them so I hope not)

Jen: Summer, thank you for letting us take a peek into your life. And readers, it’s contest time. Summer is offering a random reader their choice of ebook from her Summer Devon backlist. So, answer her question or ask her one and you’ll be entered in the drawing. The contest will run until Friday, October 10 at 5:00 pm PDT.