Ednah Walters – Mine Until Dawn

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My latest book, Mine Until Dawn, is a chick lit contemporary romance with elements of suspense.

What would you do if your high school crush walks back into your life, accuses your mother of stealing his family heirloom and propositions you like some street walker? Art historian, Jade Fitzgerald does what any normal, well-adjusted woman would do. She threatens to sue him then sets out to prove him wrong.

Unfortunately, that means staying glued to his side, fighting the attraction between them and the tiny voice in the back of her head telling her to accept his bold proposal. After all, a night with him might just make her fulfill a few fantasies. The problem is fighting off a demented art collector hell bent on acquiring Vince’s missing heirloom and Jade can throw a wrench in a woman’s plans.

Together, Vince and Jade must learn to look beyond their insecurity, trust each other and embrace their growing feelings. Defeating their common enemy is just an added bonus.

Tell us something about yourself.

Oh boy. I’m boring. Really. I’m a stay-at-home mother of five although I got my PhD in chemistry. Making the choice to be a stay-at-home mother wasn’t easy. Let’s just say between DH’s job, lack of job openings and my little munchkins, I had to make a tough choice. Anyway, I was going nuts staying at home (kudos to women who do it, or combine outside home careers and raising children), so I decided to write. Actually, I like to say I taught myself how to write fiction. The transition from technical papers to fiction was…interesting.

I wrote everything from picture books and early chapter books to multicultural books. Of course most of them never made it to an acquisition editor’s desk and are still taking up space on my computer’s RAM. However, when you love something, you just keep chugging along. Plus, my children really loved those children stories and I had hoped other kids would. When not spending time with my family or writing, I’m at the gym. Yeah, I’m a gym nut—I’ve got to be to keep up with five munchkins, six if you count my DH. On the flip side, after five c-sections and fifty approaching, there’s not much you can do about certain parts of your body.

I live in a picturesque valley in northern Utah, where nothing much happens unless YOU make it happen.

What inspired you to write this book?

Frustration. Really, I’m serious. I wasn’t inspired, I was compelled to write it and free myself from soul-consuming, writer’s-block-inducing frustration My agent was busy submitting my first book to publishers and all we kept getting were rejections. I poured all my dissatisfaction with the publishing industry into the book. It had a bit of cursing before my agent told me to delete…delete…delete.

How did you choose the title?

The moment Vince propositioned Jade, I knew the title had to have Until Dawn in it. I toyed with Hers Until Dawn…His Until Dawn, but Mine Until Dawn just seemed perfect and less restrictive.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Every obstacle out there. Too sensual. Too chicklit. At least three editors from big houses showed interest then turned it down because romantic suspense wasn’t selling. After that, I decided to use a local start-up indie press.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I loved to read, but after I had my first two kids and was struggling with being a stay-at-home mother after college, I needed something to give me balance. So I started to write.

First, I wrote picture books then early chapter books, which I read to my children. They loved them, the sweet darlings. From there, I moved to novels. I like to think of myself as a work-in-progress as a writer. I’m still learning the trade and trying to get better with each book.

Do you have any writing rituals?

No. With five kids, their schoolwork, after school activities and daily care, my family is my first priority, so I write around their schedule. I can do it at the park, on the bleachers while watching them swim, in the ski lodge while they ski. When I can’t plug in my laptop, I scribble on a piece of paper.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I suck at names. Some are names of people I know or taken from the local directory. Recently, I’ve taken to looking through my children’s swim meet heat list and randomly selecting interesting names. I know, totally pathetic.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned a lot about Mayan culture since the stolen artifact in the book is Mayan. I also did a lot of research about art history and investigative journalism.

After publishing Slow Burn, I became better at formatting.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

Use my editor, who worked on the first Fitzgerald book, Slow Burn and my YA books.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I’m a book whore with no distinct taste. I mean I read everything—from Tom Clancy and Mario Puzo to Jude Deveraux’s historical and Nora Roberts/ Dobb’s detective series. My favorite books have always been romance with elements of suspense. Then I recently discovered paranormal romance, the works of J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, L. A. Banks and Nalini Singh. One of these days, I might even write an adult paranormal. Why do I read everything? A nice plot and time (remember the five children), are all I need then I’m on like the Energizer battery.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I’m working on my YA book, the third in the Guardian Legacy series, and I’m revising the third Fitzgerald book, Baron’s story. If you read Slow Burn, you probably met Baron Fitzgerald. He’s the hottie who owns a gallery. In Mine Until Dawn, Vince pays his gallery a visit. I finished three adult romance before I started submitting them to editors. After the third book, there will be a long break before I publish anything else because I’ll have to write it.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Writing is supposed to be fun, not a chore, so write from your heart and don’t worry about what genre is hot. Both Mine until Dawn and Slow Burn have suspense when most editors from big houses kept telling me romantic suspense was no longer popular. I didn’t care. My characters were talking to me, so I typed away. With e-publishing, we don’t have editors and agents as gate-keepers anymore. You have a story to tell, go ahead and write it.
Second, find a critique group. I’ve never joined a local group, so all my groups are online and they are wonderful. Don’t feel self-conscious about sharing your work with other people. I was like that once but overcame it. You want feedback and you want it from people who’ve either published or been around quite a bit, so make sure you join a group that has some published authors.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My stories have characters with issues anyone can identify with—the annoying family members or strong family support, body-issues (heroines), previous bad relationships, daddy issues, death-in-the-family-and-can’t-let-go issues. In a nutshell, anyone who likes imperfect heroes and heroines they can identify with is my perfect reader. The sensual level is higher than most romantic suspense, so if you like sensual love scenes, you’re in too.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

(both YA and adult) http://www.ednahwalters.com/
(adult romance) http://enwalters.blogspot.com/
(YA fantasy) http://ednahwalters.blogspot.com/