Thursday, January 10, 2008

Anna Campbell Interviews Bronwyn Jameson

I am delighted to introduce fabulous writer, wonderful person and 2006 TRIPLE RITA finalist Bronwyn Jameson to the lair. In 2000, Bron was the first Aussie bought for Harlequin's Silhouette Desire line and she's been a shining star there ever since, regularly appearing on the Waldenbooks bestseller lists. If you haven't read her romances, you're missing out on a real treat. They're beautifully written, sensual, sexy, passionate and feature breathtaking heroes. What's not to like?

Bron, lovely to have you here. First of all, can we go back to basics? Can you please tell us something about your journey as a writer?

Thanks for inviting me, Anna. It's a pleasure and a privilege. How did I get here? Courtesy of a mid-life crisis of sorts. I was approaching a landmark birthday, and the "I'm going to write a book someday" started to niggle away at me. I thought if I didn't start soon, I might never finish that one book. As with most things I do, I procrastinated for months. I read how-tos, joined Romance Writers of Australia, read and read and read. Luckily I didn't have internet to glom or I might never have started. But I did and I fell in love from day one. Writing romance, where had you been all my life? Five years later I received the call from Leslie Wainger at Silhouette books. I'd never actually submitted anything to Silhouette Desire but fell into the right place courtesy of a contest final.

Your new book VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM sounds great, really passionate and dramatic. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

This is the part where I whimper because I'm so BAD at blurbing my own book. You’d best cut me off if I can’t condense it into “a little bit”. VOWS -- my working title was "Perrini's Boardroom Bride" -- is a reunion romance about workplace colleagues, and secret lovers, who married too quickly and for the wrong reasons. Ten years later Ric Perrini and Kimberley Blackstone are reunited after a tragic plane crash sends shock waves through the diamond company where they met. Kim had sworn never to return while her father was alive. Now he's dead and Perrini wants her back, at Blackstone's and in his bed. But can she trust his motives? Does he want her, the woman, or does he want the power she wields as the Blackstone heiress? So, there's passion, drama, intense emotion, a struggle for power in the boardroom, a family feud, and rumours of a scandalous affair that's about to rip this family even further apart.

You've worked on a couple of continuity series for Harlequin where a number of authors come together to write linked books. Can you tell us some of the rewards and challenges of working this way? Can you give us some insight into how you go about creating a continuity series?

This is the fourth continuity series I've worked on and the most challenging by far. The first three were editor-led -- the editors came up with the series concepts and storylines and invited the authors to participate. The editors wrote the series bible.

This series, DIAMONDS DOWN UNDER, is author-led. We came up with the concept, the characters, the storylines, and put together a proposal which Melissa Jeglinski, the Desire senior editor, loved. We wrote the (lengthy) bible, which is the source document to ensure we get all the details right from book to book. It contains character sketches, family tree, backstory, settings, locations, company structure, contents of a will, plane crash logistics, timelines, and detailed synopses of the six stories. In other words, this was a lot of work which makes the reward of finishing a series we’re proud of all the more sweet.

The series sounds fantastic! Can you give us some insight into how you put a book together? Are you a pantser or a plotter? How does your working day pan out?

I am most definitely a plotter. Before I start writing, I've already written a detailed synopsis which I expand into an outline. I spend A LOT of time pre-writing and jotting down scene ideas and snippets of dialogue. When I write it's pretty much a final draft. I'm not saying I write one-time perfect; I edit as I go. I guess my outline with all those snippets and scene ideas incorporated is something of a first draft.

As for my working day: I'm a slow starter. I do email and home stuff first thing while I'm still waking up. I try to start writing mid-morning but often it's more like midday. I work through to dinner. If I have to, I'll do some more at night but usually 6-8 hours is enough to finish my brain off for the day. A glass of wine at dinner completes the job.

You write the most marvelous sensual tension. Honestly, it's edge of the seat (and steaming up windows) stuff. A lot of people who visit the Banditas are writers. Can you give us any hints as to how you build the heat between your couple?

Gosh, thank you. That's just the loveliest compliment coming from you! So, this is the part I don't plan, but I guess it’s a direct result of my own love of the intense, delicious, seething underbelly of sex ten. My best tutors, I think, were historical romance authors who aren't afraid of lush, evocative, sensual language.

It has to be there from first meeting, in the eye contact, the impact of first touch, the snap of dialogue, but in a covert and intriguing way. It's not all T&A. From there it needs to build scene by scene, a function of the pull of primal attraction versus the push of whatever conflict prevents them acting on it. I think the secret is in the build. If you go all-out from the start, where is there to go? Something you do so well, Ms. Campbell.

Why, thank you, Ms. Jameson! Something that's struck me is that Australians seem to do really well internationally in the romance industry. Why do you think this is?

Interesting question. Hmm. think many of us start out independently (not as part of a chapter or critique group) and so we develop a strong voice -- or don't lose our strong voice -- by being told "you can't do this" or "you can't write like that". We're probably a bit fearless in the storylines we tackle, for the same reason. Also, I'm told we do the alpha male particularly well; I'm not sure why that is, but I do know that it stands us in good stead with editors everywhere.

What are you working on now?

A new series for 2009 which starts with an unintentional sister swap, a case of mistaken identity with two brothers, and miscellaneous twists involving identity, which (needless to say) is the overall theme. A large part is set in England and so I get to include a society wedding, a country house party, polo, Bond Street shopping, a weekend in Paris, and all manner of things that I find quintessentially British. Including a titled hero with a delicious James-Bond voice. It's definitely not as intense as my last two books. I'm able to have some fun with these characters and situations. I'm having a ball.

Bron, sounds like the usual delicious romance you dish up to your ever-hungry readers! Particularly love the idea of the James Bond voice. Sort of you had me at hello!

Bron has really reached into her treasure chest and put together a fabulous Aussie prize pack. One lucky commenter will win not only VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM, but also THE PRINCE'S OUTBACK BRIDE by Marion Lennox, CONTRACTED: WIFE FOR HIS BED by Carol Marinelli and PINK TIM TAMS!!! Seriously, this is booty worth celebrating. Get commenting, people! Good luck!


flchen1 said...

Welcome, Bronwyn!!

flchen1 said...

What a great interview, Anna and Bronwyn! I keep seeing your books everywhere, and now I've got to go read some! I generally find the mini-series so appealing, and it's especially good when the authors really tie the stories together well! Thanks for giving us some insight into how you do it! And yes, building that tension and desire in the H/H is really an art!

Congrats on your successes, and looking forward to much more! :)

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora!!! One big fat GR for you! Congratulations! Definitely check out Bron's books, they're fabulous. I've been a fan for ages so it was such a treat to be able to interview her on the Banditas site.

Annie West said...

Hi Bron, how lovely to see you here. Thanks, Anna for the interview. You both did a terrific job.

Bron, you know I'm a fan, and I'd just like to reiterate Anna's comments about the terrific sensual tension in your stories. Tsss! Smoking hot.

I'm looking forward to this new series. The English setting will be interesting, society wedding, polo and so on. Can't wait!


Sandie Hudson said...

Anna and Bron what a wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing with us. Anna thanks for letting us know about the interview.

flchen1 said...

Woohoo! At least it isn't raining at the moment--maybe the GR will enjoy some dry weather today... please?

And I'll definitely go get some of Bron's books--I do love well-written sensual tension :)

Anna Campbell said...

Sandie, you're most welcome. Thanks for popping by. I think Bron's one of the best in the business so anything she has to say is worth hearing. Do you have any writing questions you want to ask her? She's going to be popping in a few times during the visit to answer comments and it's a chance to pick up a few useful hints. I love her description of how she writes sensual tension.

Annie, lovely as ever to see you!

Aunty Cindy said...

Congrats on the GR, flchen!

Welcome to the lair, Bron! And great interview!

LOVE that sexual tension and I do think it's a bit trickier in contemp. than historical. At least that's my story as a contemp. writer and I'm sticking to it! :-P

Bron, I really admire anyone who can tell such a GREAT emotional, well-plotted, satisfying story in that tight word count, like you and the other Desire authors. Any words of wisdom on packing the most punch into the fewest number of words?


p226 said...

I share something with Bronwyn in the way she "designs" a story up front. I do that. Now, I've never done it on the scale of a novel. But in the trade articles I've written, I've followed the same path. I'm an outliner. Like her, my first draft is very nearly the finished product. What my first editor doesn't see is all the time that went into designing the outline and building points and content into it.

But that's all childsplay to the stuff you guys write. The scope is so much smaller for me. I can't imagine what one of my outlines would look like for an entire book.

Bronwyn, how big are your outlines? Dozens of pages?

Another question... If you're plotting in outline format, how do you handle temporal shifts. Flashes backwards and forwards in time. I ask because, to me, outlines are very linear. You go from point A to point Z. If you're incorporating flashbacks or forwards, how do you deal with that in the planning process?

I hope I'm making sense.

It's 1:45 AM here, and I JUST walked in the door from work. 14 hour yesterday, 17 today, probably another 12-16 tomorrow.

Y ou mIIghT bee ablllle to teellll fro m my tipinGGG that I'M bbanging myyyyy heaD AGAINST THE KKKKKKeyBoard.

Jane said...

The "Diamonds Down Under" series sounds enticing. I saw on the site that there are six books scheduled. Is there a possibility that the series will continue after the six books?

Anna Campbell said...

Bron, one of the things I'd love to know is what the RITA experience was like in 2006 when you were nominated no less than three times in one category. How did you feel when they told you?

Helen said...

What a lovely interview Bronwyn and Anna

Congrats flchen1 on the GR he is sure to enjoy himself with you.

These books sound delicious and you certainly put a lot of effort into the bible to get the facts correct between the writers. I will be looking for these when I am shopping tomorrow.

Oh by the way Ladies those pink Tim Tams are to die for yum yum.

Have Fun

Keziah Hill said...

Love your books Bron. Looking forward to DDU

Dianna Love Snell said...

Great interview Anna.

Bron - I remember listening to the crowd a they announced you 3 times at the 2006 RITAs. Your name was on everyone's tongue that year and the first time I'd heard of you (hadn't read a lot of Desire before then). Triple finaling was quite a statement about how you engage the reader. That was reason enough for me to pick up your books and find out for myself how talented you are. Your 2009 series sounds terrific.

Congratulations on your success - well deserved.


Anonymous said...

What a delight, I’m not sure if Romance readers are allowed to be groupies. When it comes the Bronwyn and Anna I come close.

Thankyou Bronwyn I’ve often wondered if there was a time when you didn’t write, you seem such a natural to me. I might add that comment also applies to Anna, but she didn’t answer the questions. I’ll confess to believing you capable polishing off a novel from concept to ready for publishing in 3 hours. Your work reads that way to me.

I’ve read most of your novels and find them fascinating (I said I’m something of a groupie) – there are a few old ones I’m still tracking down, I believe I have to find 13 before I can pass opinions with authority. Looking forward to your next write and to reading the other five Diamonds.

Thank you Bronwyn – don’t worry I don’t seek your photo for my room just the books.

Anna, I’m still trying to negotiate a signed ‘Untouched.’ I have this theory the full three set all signed with somehow rub off and have me grow smarter. ---- If you could let me know when you have your next promotion (I promise not to make a scene). I may even tell you what I overheard my Father saying about you, but not here in the public forum.

Thanks all for the post, guys. --- Eric

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Well I cannot wait to get your books, yet another author to add to my growing list of auto buys. Loved the interview as always ladies.
How is GR looking now? Is all his green gone and all his feathers grown back?

Caren Crane said...

Ah, Fedora has snagged the Golden Rooster!! Take care of him, for he's been through a lot lately. *G*

Bronwyn, welcome! You are definitely among friends and fans here. I can't wait for your latest. It sounds intriguing. But honestly, how can you live with yourself after dangling the promise of pink Tim Tams in front of Tim Tam-deprived Banditas?!

Cruel, cruel Aussie writers! I think that is the reason you down under types are such great writers. You are not afraid to torment a character - like me! *g*

Bron, I loved your comment about historicals informing the sexual tension of your contemporaries. Historicals are my fave reads, but I cannot write them! I have found, though, that the lush language they can use is something I envy. Our contemp heroes simply can't get away with it. But when you have uber-alpha heroes (esp. with James Bond voices), you certainly can get away with more than if they need to be sensitive. At least, that is what I keep telling myself! *g*

Thank you so much for guesting with us. Like Helen, my TBR pile is listing dangerously, yet how can I resist a Bronwyn Jameson?

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, congrats on the GR, flchen1!

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom, Bronwyn, and for letting the rest of us "mid-lifer's" know it's never to late to start that book!

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, congrats on the GR, flchen1!

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom, Bronwyn, and for letting the rest of us "mid-lifer's" know it's never to late to start that book!

Amy Andrews said...

Hi Bron. Big waves.
Luv ya work.
Hope to see you at the Val Ball again this year? Where else do I get to hang out with triple RITA finalists?

Deb Marlowe said...

Pink Tim Tams?! Holy cow. Those chocolate ones you had in Dallas were killer, Anna.

I enjoyed your interview Bronwyn! Thanks Anna! I am sometimes envious of plotters, but one thing I have learned is that we have to respect our own process!

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Bronwyn! I confess I've never read your books, so I will remedy that situation immediately! They sound wonderful.

BTW, I have a sister named Bronwyn! Just one more reason to pick up your books! ;)

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. I love your books Bronwyn.

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Bronwyn! Your books sound wonderful - more additions to my growing TBR pile *g*

Thanks for the great interview, ladies :-)

Sandii Manning said...

Fantastic interview. Thanks Anna, really enjoyed it.
I'm really looking forward to reading more of your work Bronwyn. Can't wait.
Congratulations on your continued success and hard work!

Cassondra said...

Bronwyn, welcome to the lair!

Anna, great interview as always. You have the coolest friends! I'm going to attempt to stand beside you in San Fran so maybe some of your cool will rub off a bit and I'll look like I'm part of the "in" crowd with the lovely accents.

Bronwyn I'm trying your way of writing. Before I've been mostly a pantser, but it's driving me insane writing monster books and finding holes in the middle--all that work--gone because I didn't plan ahead and missed some bit of motivation or plot. I want to be more of a plotter, in particular with the character motivations and such, but I'm getting stuck and the characters don't want to cooperate much, so I've a ways to go on that.

I admire your ability to plot in so detailed a manner. Once I figure out how to get the girls in the basement to let me do that I'll be a faster writer I think. Now, working with the story bible and all around what others want....that's another lesson for down the road.

Kudos to you. I was one of those ooooing and aaaahing at your triple final. Thanks for stopping by and letting us in on your secrets.

Cassondra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassondra said...

OOps. Double post. Sorry. Thunderstorms....DSL is coming and going.

brownone said...

Congrats on the GR flchen1! I guess he had a very short vacation!

Great interview Bronwyn and Anna! The books sound interesting and I love a good series! I think I'll be checking it out.

anne said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview! Your books are always a joy to read.

petite said...

Welcome Brownwyn. I loved this interview which was fascinating and your books are unique and special.

terrio said...

Great interview. I've not read your books but I really want to know how you resolved the issue of whether he wants her for her or for her power and inheritance. Talk about conflict!

I'm very interested in hearing your answers to all of these questions and I envy you your process. I think I need to outline more though for me outlining just means grabbing a note book and writing the scenes out in order listing what I want each scene to accomplish, what sort of happens and maybe a line or two of dialog.

Amazing on that three-time RITA thing. What an accomplishment.

Anna Campbell said...

AC, that's one of the reasons I admire people who can write a good category romance so much. That they can tell a compelling story and pack so much emotion into that tiny space. Now that's writing skill! I tried and believe me, it's not a skill I have!

P226, what a fascinating insight into your work processes. I'm looking forward to what Bron has to say. I'm a pantser not a plotter so I'm no use to you! ;-)

Dianna, lovely to see you back again. We had such a great day when you visited. Hope you're going to honor us with your presence again. One of the things I love about the RITAs is that often they let me know about authors I haven't tried yet. To give you two examples of writers I really like I discovered through the awards, Liz Fielding and Patricia Gaffney. Hey, you'd feel fairly fondly about old RITA too, wouldn't you? ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Eric, thank you for those lovely comments. I certainly agree with you that Bron makes it all seem so effortless but I'm sure someone famous like Steinbeck or Hemingway said that hard writing = easy reading. Sadly, you won't be able to get the three set until late this year. I've got two speaking gigs organised on the Sunshine Coast in Feb. Susan and I are recapping our dark historical talk at Nambour Library on 6th Feb and I'm going solo (not sure what I'll talk about - probably how I got published in romance) at Maroochydore Library on 21st Feb. I'll put a notice up on the ROMAUS loop in plenty of time!

Dianna, the GR was just starting to look like his old self when he left me. Hope those US types are treating him right ;-)

Deb, as always lovely to see you. Actually one of the advantages of waiting so long to sell (believe me, at the time it felt like there was NO advantage at all) is that I had worked out my process through all that trial and error. Mostly error ;-)

Gannon, another Bronwyn here (GH winner Bronwyn Clark) told me that Bronwyn was actually a really unusual name in the States. Is that right? And definitely check out Bron J's books. They're beautifully written and wonderful reads.

Cassondra, clearly it's a while since we encountered one another if you're putting the words 'cool' and 'Anna Campbell' together! We must remedy this lack immediately!

Maureen said...

It was a great interview and the book sounds wonderful to me because I love reunion stories.

Cherie J said...

Welcome Bronwyn! Enjoyed the interview. Vows and A Vengeful Groom sounds great. Got to look for it on my next trip to the bookstore which I am hoping will be soon. Just something about being able to touch the books as opposed to just ordering online that makes it so much more fun.

Laura J. said...

Great interview and the series your working on sounds great!

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Bronwyn!

I am a big fan of Bronwyn's books! Fabulous interview!

I haven't had the pink Tim Tams before and until a year ago I had never even heard of them.

Anna Campbell said...

Cherie, I so agree with you on touching flesh and blood books compared to ordering on line. These days, however, I seem to do a lot of online ordering just because I can get the range I want. Over Christmas, I had a couple of really fun visits to big bookshops in Sydney and Brisbane and it was wonderful just to wander the shelves waiting for inspiration to strike. Mind you, my Visa card is now looking really sick ;-)

Nancy said...

flchen1, congrats on snagging the rooster! I agree with you. It's a great interview.

Bronwyn, I love series. I also tend to buy authors whose work I don't know if they're included with authors whose books I like. This one sounds intriguing.

I'm a plotter with heavy pantser deviations. *g*

Nicola Marsh said...

Great interview, Bron and Anna :)

I love hearing how other authors write and learning how you plot is fascinating, Bron.

tetewa said...

Looking forward to The Diamonds Down Under series and enoyed the interview today!

Joan said...

Welcome to the lair, Bronwyn!

I can so identify with your impetus to begin your writing career. Mine came eight years ago with the passing of my mother and the inspiration of the song by Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance." I wanted more, I knew there WAS more inside of me.

As to landmark birthdays? I'm ahem, having one this year and now it's not looking so gloomy. My friend agreed to go to Ireland with me! Step dancing with happiness!

Anna Campbell said...


I've been trying to contact Bron about the blog to let her know what a lovely conversation we had going here. Turns out she's been called away by an unavoidable personal situation (nothing bad, just unavoidable, which I'm sure we can all relate to). She asked me to say how sorry she was that she hasn't been able to call in and she'll try and get in to answer people over the weekend.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to respond to her interview. She's really grateful and looks forward to answering when she gets the chance.

Real life, huh? Just can't escape it sometimes - although a good romance novel sure helps!

Sue said...

Great interview with Bron.
You both use fnatastic alpha heroes and create all that
'intense, delicious, seething underbelly of sex' that we all crave,

Anna Campbell said...

Sue, thanks for calling in and thanks for the nice comments! Yes, I adore Bron's seething underbelly comment. You can see why her stories sizzle with sexual tension, can't you?

Christine Wells said...

Hi Bron! Coming woefully late to the party on a borrowed computer. Welcome to the lair! So wonderful to have you as a guest. Thanks for a great interview, Anna.

I LOVE the sound of your new series, Bron, especially the English high society settings and James Bond voice. But then I'm a real Anglophile so that would come as no surprise to anyone. Can't wait to read it. And looking forward to some great Aussie stories in Diamonds Down Under, too. Thanks again for joining us today!

Lily said...

Bronwyn... great prize and I have to say I love it that you are blogging here!

Nathalie said...

I really find your newest book enticing, and it is in my TBR list for sure!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Anna, I think the GR will be okay as long as P226 don't get him again. I heard he is still jumping at loud noises. Those jets coming in and taking off just about did him in.

C. Gwynn said...

Bronwyn I enjoy your books! Thanks for the great contest and interview.

Anonymous said...

Anna, 21st at Maroochydore – it’s a date – ‘She’ said she will come too. See you’re famous. ---- I’ll try and have her address all the screams of ‘bullsh’t’ at me.

I’ll more than likely have some Canadians staying here. I’ll bring them and make them buy (if you have both novels on sale; Canadians tourists always want to throw their money around.).

Topic: appeal to readers (and there plans for their grandchildren). Explain what a published writer does. ie How a novel takes shape, to plan and write? How and how long a novel takes in the selling? Then switch to author promoting; being out and about. --- Followed by the pressures of finding a balance between being back into the cupboard to write and out and about to promote. – I think I’ve been saying to explain that you run a small business engaged in the sale of intellectual property. (Costume jewellery – Treasure for the masses) ---- What would I know; I’m just a clueless guy. --- Seriously if I can help with numbers for Nambour too, I do, do requests (if ‘she’ or ‘them’ don’t have me chained down).

Take Bronwyn to Maroochydore with you (Everyone knows she has stakes of money, it’s buried all through her garden. She could bring her Yacht and park in the harbour out the front, for the nibbles) --- Eric

catslady said...

What a great interview. I hope to read you soon after reading this post.

Caren Crane said...

Anna, "Bronwyn" is definitely unusual here in the US. I had never met one until I ran into some at RWA conferences!

I am dead curious about the pink Tim Tams. I think it may become an obsession!

AND remember everyone, if you're ordering books, you can click on most any book cover on Romance Bandits and order whatever your heart desires through Amazon with a few clicks. So easy! So horribly addictive...*eg*

doglady said...

Late to the party! We are under tornado warnings here. Gotta love the South! Congrats on the GR fichen1 ! Take good care of him. Great interview Anna and Bronwyn and I love the name Bronwyn! Your books sound HOT and I love HOT! I am fascinated by anyone who can plot out the entire book before writing. I wish I could. My problem is that my characters hijack me! I too admire you ladies that right these tight, sensually tense stories in such a short word count and keep us turning the pages. That is an art!

jo robertson said...

Wow, Anna, great interview! Thanks for joining us in the Lair, Bronwyn. Sorry I'm late to the party.

Excellent information, especially on the sexual tension building.

Ann M. said...

I loved the book and can't wait to read more of the series. Great interview.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, hunker down and stay safe! Don't want anything happening to our favourite opera singer romance writer!

Thanks so much to everyone who came today to comment on Bron's interview. It's been a great day. And don't forget to check back to see who won that wonderful booty! Now I must go off and try the pink Tim Tams, purely as a precaution. Don't want any prizes going out that aren't up to scratch ;-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Well, I'm so late to the party, it's tomorrow here in the states. :> But I have a question for Anna. How come you didn't tell me there were PINK Tim-Tams. OMGosh the regular ones are divine! What flavor are the pink ones?

Okay, now that I have that obsessive thought out of the way, I'll wave your way and say Hi to Bronwyn! Welcome to the lair and thanks for the wonderful insight into your process.

I've only known one Brownwyn ever, here in the States. Lovely person, so you're in good company. :>

Thanks, Anna, as always for getting such cool people to come to the Lair. More book buying for me, I see....

bec_s said...

Great interview!
I love when you published successful types give up hopeful (hardworking) sponges some hints to soak up. Thanks!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I'm so old-fashioned, I've only ever tried the classic ones which were those instruments of sin I shared with you in Dallas. The pink ones sound amazing. Hmm, wonder if I'm eligible to win! Are they strawberry flavoured? Raspberry? Coconut?

Bronwyn Jameson said...

I'm here, finally!!!, and SO sorry to have been absent for my first appearance on Romance Bandits. :-) It's one of those long stories which I won't go into, except to say I would have been here yesterday (with bells, whistles and all) if I could. Now I am back on line, I want to say THANK YOU to the banditas for having me and for the warm welcome. Now, I need to scroll back to the top of the comments and afford them the attention they deserve!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Fedora, hi there! I, too, love a series which is tightly bound together with a thread, or threads, that run from book to book in addition to the complete story which forms the basis of each book. That's what we aimed for with Diamonds Down Under; we think we did a grand job with the multiple threads, and just hope the readers agree.

Anna, thanks for the lovely intro and welcome. You are a gem!


Bronwyn Jameson said...

Annie, hi and back at you with regards sensual tension. Your books I love for that same reason. And the new series -- it is SO much fun to research and write. I'm loving it!

Hi Sandie, and thank you for popping in and saying hello.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi Cindy. Yr comment re what's packed into short word counts is true -- and thank you! -- but in return I am in awe of authors who can weave their magic over plot, sub-plot (often more than one), fully fleshed and realised secondaries, a gorgeous central romance (and sometimes secondary one, to boot), theme, motif, timeline, etc, etc, etc, and keep it all together and cohesive in a single title.

Tips for packing the most punch: larger-than-life characters who jump off the page, vivid settings, intense and emotional conflict -- all the usual suspects. *g* In addition: jumping straight into the action, at the start of the book and in each scene. Getting out of scenes at the ideal time, leaving the reader hooked and drooling for more. Keep attention on the romance, the central couple, their conflict in every scene. Drama, emotion, tension. They're my three key words (aside from character and conflict, the givens.)

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi there, P226 (I feel funny typing that, but I can't see yr name) my fellow outliner.

how big are your outlines? Dozens of pages?

Oh, yes. Depending how many of those dialogue exchanges and scene snippets I've prewritten, they can be 30-50 pages single spaced...or more. And it's an eternally active document, because I'm always thinking fo bits and pieces for "later" in the book. I jot them down on notepaper on on my alphie before I forget, then add them all into the outline in a batch every few days or so.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Next question (and can I just say how much I'm loving the questions already?)

how do you handle temporal shifts. Flashes backwards and forwards in time. I ask because, to me, outlines are very linear.

Absolutely, and my books are linear as well. That's the way I write, the kind of stories I write, usually over a tight timespan. BUT a lot of backstory precedes page one, chapter one and is important (nay, crucial) to character, conflict and motivation. Initially I write the backstory in a linear fashion as part of the detailed synopsis. In another file, I list the backstory points which will need revealing during the book. I don't plan when or where or how they'll be incorporated into the story. When I'm writing, when it feels right, in they go. I crosscheck the list, but usually they're all there. Part of the unplanned stuff!

And wow on those work hours -- sounds like an author on deadline! *g*

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi Jane. No extension beyond six books at this stage, but if the series does well then there is the possibility of another series...maybe a spin-off. Although I'd hate to be trying to get us all coordinated to plan another series around current deadlines!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Ah, Anna, the totally surreal RITA experience (did that really happen??? LOL) I received the phone call from the then-President of RWA, Gayle Wilson, and I'm pretty sure I remember her needing to stop me talking (aka interrupting, squealing, etc) to tell me I was a triple-finalist.

That was just icing; I was completely stoked to be a RITA finalist with one book -- any book!!! To have all 3 of my Princes of the Outback final was almost too much of a good thing. I only entered all 3 because I didn't want to (and couldn't) play favourites. Then I had to sit on the news until the release time when I was able to call my editor and writing mates and family.

The whole experience: surreal, wonderful, exciting. Everything I'd imagined in the mumble-mumble years of entering without going close to finalling. My advice to authors who get those horrid bottom-half scores (as I'd done several times): don't give up; keep believing in your books; keep entering. Your time, too, will come.

Anna Campbell said...

Bron, lovely to see you! As you can see, your fans have been out in force! Thanks for sharing the RITA experience. The triple thing still blows my mind! Well deserved but what an amazing accolade.

Amy Andrews said...

Pink Tim Tams have pink icing in the middle and it tastes like Pink Quik. That probably doesn't help the majority of you. Not sure if you have them same thing in the US or what it's called. But it comes in a tin and is powdered and you add it to milk and sitr it in and you get strawberry milk (also can get choc, banana, caramel etc).

Not as good as the classic ones but very nice still. And the money goes towards Breast Cancer research so a good cause also ;-)

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Thanks Keziah and Helen. I agree on the pink Tim Tams, BTW. Very yum!

Dianna, thank you!!! And I do recall hearing your name at that particular RITA ceremony!

A novel in 3 hrs? Eric, you are such a hoot! But thank you for the high praise; having readers seek out my backlist always makes me a very happy writer (see big smile in photo.)

Okay, and now I have to show my ignorance by asking who (or what?) is GR? Obviously I havcen't been paying attention. But thank you, Diana (the hardworking mom), for adding me to the TBR list.

And Caren, I am not cruel, honestly I am not. I am all about sharing the pink Tim Tams, one packet at a time.

Caren, I would so love to write a monstrously rakish duke. I agree that contemporary heroes cannot always get away with as much...except in some category romance where the alpha heroes are the contemporary equivalent (the corporate pirate, the entitled tycoon, the supremely arrogant European.)

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hey, Gillian. You are SO right -- it is never too late!

Amy, no Valentine's Ball for me this year (unfortunately) but will see you at conference, for sure, for sure.

Deb, ALL Tim Tams are divine. It is a proven fact of nature. Re the process: I wish I could just dive in and blaze away when an idea strikes me. I long to be a flimmer...but I'm not. Gotta respect that process.

Crystal, Beth, Gannon -- thank you. Gannon, can I ask where in the world you are? I only ask because Bronwyn, I believe, is an unusual name in America. So uncommon that I read a comment on a snarky blog wondering why I'd picked such a ridiculous pen-name. Had to laugh.

Hey, Sandii. Waving across the ocean.

Cassandra, there is quite a group of Anna's cool Aussie friends coming across to SF. You can part of a very cool crowd. *g* And there will, I'm sure, be Tim Tams.
Tinker with your process if it helps, try some different approaches is the old isn't working, do some bending and shaping, and you will come up with something that works best for you...or for THIS book. Because even for me, Ms Plotter, I have to adapt my approach when a storyline isn't working. "Back to the drawing board" is heard often in my writing office. All the best!

Oh, and you mentioned working with a series bible and with others' ideas -- yes, that can be something of a challenge. Takes another mental readjustment, but I've liked each one of these projects because they've stretched me to write stories and conflicts and situations I would never have chosen myself. The challenge is in making it work for you!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Thanks Anne, Petite, Brownone (which is like Bronwyn :-)) Do check out the series. I know I'm (slightly!) biased but I think it's worth the checking out!

Hi, Terrio. Thanks for the compliment re the conflict in VOWS. If you read the book, I'd love to hear if the resolution worked for you.

for me outlining just means grabbing a note book and writing the scenes out in order listing what I want each scene to accomplish

That is the basis of my outline, and I add to it as I go and it grows and grows and grows. As I said, I'm adding what are draft elements of the scenes into the document. Mostly so I can find all the pieces in the one place (instead of on a hundred scraps of paper where I initially jotted them down.)

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Maureen, Cherie, Jennifer, Laura, Lily, Nathalie -- thank you for dropping in and saying such lovely things about my books. Do let me know what you think after you've read VOWS.

I also tend to buy authors whose work I don't know if they're included with authors whose books I like.

Nancy, from an author's point of view this is one of the GREAT advantages of continuity series. I'm so grateful to have participated in series with some brilliant authors and this introduced their fans to my work.

I'm a plotter with heavy pantser deviations.

Love this, Nancy. I reckon the majority of authors are neither one end or other of the plotter-pantser continuum, but somewhere in between.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi, Nic. Yes!!! I love reading about other authors' processes -- it's always fascinating to see how others approach their work.

Hey, tetewa, hope you enjoy Diamonds Down Under.

Joan, I don't know the song but the title has me intrigued. I am jotting it down as we speak. And a trip to Ireland? You lucky, lucky thing. I am quite green :-) with jealousy.

I'm for bed now but will be back tomorrow.

Anna Campbell said...

Bron, the GR is a once-glittering but now slightly tarnished bird who goes to live for the day with whoever posts first. Unfortunately not everyone has treated him with the respect he deserves - are you listening, P226? He still screams if I mention combat boots to him! Although at least the combat boots covered up the flaking black nail polish Cassondra inflicted on the poor chicken.

Am really enjoying your answers! And to think about the Pink Tim Tams! I must seek them out for research purposes!

Cassondra said...

You know, after skimming ALL the comments, and seeing poor Bronwyn's confusion about the GR--and Anna's answer--STILL no one person has pointed out the GR stands for Golden Rooster.

I honestly can't remember who got it started, or HOW exactly it took on such a life of its own, but after the first appearance, the next Bandita/honorary bandita to post first grabbed the poor bird and RAN with it, and it hasn't stopped since. Each of us adds our own touches of course--P226 wants to cook him, I gave him a bit of a goth look with the OPI Russian Navy blue-black toenail polish--and though Anna makes to care for him, I believe the GR is MOST AFRAID of our dear Anna Campbell--she locks him in a shed out back with Joanie T's gladiators. Talk about your trauma!

Anna Campbell said...

Yeah, C, but usually at least one gladiator is on other duties OUTSIDE the shed ;-)

Pam, Doglady, came up with the golden rooster! I think we therefore owe her a huge debt of gratitude.

And he only pretends to be afraid at my place! Come on! I'm a puddytat!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Back again and even after looking at all my reply comments one after another, I feel compelled to continue. :-)

Christine, hellooo. You beat me here, even on yr borrowed computer. I'm about to move onto your next post which caught my eye. One day, soon I hope, I will catch up here at Bandits...and maybe even make a grab for that poor rooster. Who I shall treat with all due respect.

I, too, am an Anglophile, BTW, and am now wondering why I took so long to set one of my own books there. I think I have already mentioned how much fun I'm having with this new series!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Eric, I would love to unearth some of that buried money and come see Anna Campbell in Maroochydore. The Sunshine Coast is such a beautiful part of the world. Unfortunately I've forgotten where that money is buried! :-)

Caren, thanks for the tip re clicking on the book cover for a direct link to Amazon. Just another of the services provided here in the lair, I gather.

Hi catslady and doglady. :-)

I am fascinated by anyone who can plot out the entire book before writing. I wish I could. My problem is that my characters hijack me!

I should point out here that my stories DO take diversions. While I have the outline/rough draft, I'm always open to new and better and more interesting paths that occur as I'm writing. And the outline is a dynamic document; I'm always adding new ideas. I don't take any detour, however, just for the scenery. Has to be best for the story, especially when I'm writing to such a short word count.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Pam (doglady?), I don't think of my books as HOT-hot, not with the explosion of more overtly hot erotic romance. Mine are more the slow burn with more focus on building the fire. Or to use another analogy: I recall the Desire senior editor saying once that the books are more about the chase than the catch.

Can I also ask...isn't it early for tornados?

Jo and Jeanne you aren't late. I'm late!!! And Jeanne, you're right. We Bronwyns are a nice lot. :-)

Hi Ann and Bec. I'm still a sponge -- do we ever stop learning? (I hope not!) -- so I'm happy to help the sponging process in any small way.

p226 said...


Thank you very much for the response!

Your methodology makes sense to me.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Have to enter into the great Tim Tam debate. While I agree with Amy that the classics are, well, classic, I have a fondness for the chewy caramel ones. The pink ones also have the slightly chewy centre (the pink part) which adds another textural dimension to the Tim Tam experience. IMHO. And pink Quik, Amy? Really?? Not sure I got the same taste experience, but then taste (in anything) is such an individual thing. Gotta love that!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Cassondra, thanks adding to the explanation about poor old GR. I have a theory that he's loving every minute of attention (he is male, right?)

P226, glad it makes sense to someone other than myself. You must be a woman of exemplary intelligence. *g*


Anna Campbell said...

Bron, shame on you! Especially as you live on a farm. What sex do you expect a ROOSTER to be???!!!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Anna, the "male" comment was a poor attempt at snidery, I'm afraid. Living in a house full of males, I am used to their predilection for attention.


(Oh, and I have refrained from using the popular synonym for rooster. You should be proud of me. :-))