Daryl Devore (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.
Beverley: How important are settings to a story?Daryl: To me – settings are very important – just under characters. Think of the difference between -
A dark, January evening, snow falling, wind howling and a lonely farmhouse with a light shining from one window.
A billionaire's super yacht sailing on the Caribbean with the sun shining, music blaring and bikini clad women dancing on the deck.
Both of those settings could have a similar plot line running through – a budding romance or sinister murder mystery, but there is a different feel to each and the story would reflect that.
Beverley: When you think of settings what do you think of? (locales, houses, rooms, weather)
Daryl: I'd say locale is the first thing I think about. In book 1 of the Two Hearts One Love trilogy – What Happens in Bangkok - I set it in Bangkok, Thailand. I used the exoticness of that locale – the people, the names and the food.
Beverley: Do settings contribute to the mood of the story? (romance/ conflict/tension) If yes – how?
Daryl: Yes. Definitely. Some settings seem to ooze romance (a Caribbean beach at sunset), others instill fear (a post-apocalyptic prison). My guess is because we all have an impression of what it should be like and we put that impression onto the scene. In the horrors of a post-apocalyptic prison, a passionate romance can still be written, but it'd be a challenge to overcome the feeling of the setting.
Beverley: Do you have any examples of the great use of settings in books you’ve read?
Daryl: Part of the reason I love Agatha Christie mysteries is when I read them I settle into that era. The mansions, the clothes, the dialect; all of it wraps you into the book.
Beverley: How do you use settings in your books? Or do you?
Daryl: I love changing the settings of each of my stories. I like taking my readers on a world tour. In my first books, I used contemporary New York City, Chicago, Miami, Indonesia, Alaska, Detroit and then shifted to medieval England.
In this trilogy, the reader is taken to Bangkok, Thailand, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Goa, India, Paris, France and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Beverley: Can you share an example from one of your books?
Daryl: The crowded plaza was filled with people milling about, johns talking to prostitutes, food vendors hawking their meals, booths where you could buy knock-off anything, and people holding large drinking cups, begging for money. A mother holding a baby stuck the cup out, holding it in front of a group of men. They walked around her. A young boy, Darien guessed he was about three, dressed in a Spiderman shirt and dirty green shorts, held out a cup and danced. People walked around him, ignoring him. A rotund businessman bumped into the child, knocking him down. The man did not stop or even acknowledge the existence of the little beggar. Darien gripped Erika's hand and pulled her toward the boy. Before he got there, the child popped up onto his feet and continued to beg.
The boy grinned, pointing at Erika. "Pre-e lae-e."
Darien looked at Erika. "Yes, she is a pre-e lae-e." He reached into his wallet and pulled out a small bill and dropped it into the boy's cup.
The boy tilted the cup, peered inside, then grinned. "Korb kun krup."
Darien nodded. "Mai bpen rai."
Erika leaned closer. "You speak Thai?"
"Just enough to get around."
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Daryl: Writing towards being published – 5 or 6 yrs – I think.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Daryl: There is an evolution going on in what genre I write. I have 2 pen names. This one, Daryl Devoré, is an erotic romance writer – except that's not what I am any more. People often confuse erotic with fetish or alternate lifestyle and that's not what I write about. I write super-hot romances where the sex scenes are detailed, but not pornographic. My other pen name, Victoria Adams, writes sweet contemporary and NA contemporary romances.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Daryl: Nobody. I've been writing since I was little. My stories got longer as I got older. The benefit of being an only child – there is the time and the silence to let creativity flow.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Daryl: Nothing. I sat down and started typing. Honestly, it was a simple as that.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Daryl: No idea. I think my muse sits around somewhere in the back of my head and then decides it's time to write. For What happens in Bangkok, I was in the car, riding down to NC to visit my daughter. I picked up my laptop and wrote 3 chapters of a book that I didn't even know I was going to write and that book morphed into a trilogy. It actually tried to be 4 books, but I put my foot down.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Daryl: My self-confidence taking a dip. It can do that at the drop of a hat and it takes a bit for me to get it back. What causes my self-confidence to dip – oh, just about anything. But mainly, edits. I feel like an idiot after I get them. My pride really gets up and in my head I "fight" with the editor on every suggestion. And an unfair review can crush me for a while. I take a lot of yoga to help me get past the muse blocks. There is a yoga saying – get rid of whatever doesn't serve you. An unfair review doesn't serve me, so I meditate on making the irritation of it dispel into the ether.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Daryl: It changes every day. I could make pancakes tomorrow then have yogurt and granola the next day.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Daryl: It changes every day. I could make pancakes tomorrow then have yogurt and granola the next day.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Daryl: In a chair – laptop on lap – by a window overlooking the side fields.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Daryl: Road Runner. No idea why. I just find him hilarious. Beep. Beep.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Daryl: Queen Elizabeth. I'd loved to get her to sit back, take her crown off, put her feet up, hand her a beer and then just chat. I'd ask her all sorts of things like – have you ever had take-out pizza? And then I'd order one.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Daryl: Winter – snuggle down with a good book, next to the woodstove. Summer – go putz around in my garden. It's one of my happy places.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Daryl: The edits of book 3 in the trilogy arrived the other day. Notice I am writing this interview and not working on edits. They really do throw me for a loop. Also, I have a Christmas short that is at the publishers and am waiting on those edits any day now. I expect both of those books to be released in December.
If I do get down to writing there is an erotic medieval fantasy – dragon included - that needs to get finished. And a time travel romance that needs rewriting. I went a bit off course and it needs to be reined back in.
Two Hearts ~ One Love Trilogy
Blurb - Book 1 – What Happens in BangkokTo save Darien's life his brother asks, "Can you walk in high heels?"
Erika Bailey, owner/manager of a drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand has happily settled into all aspects of her new life, except for her lack of a love life. When a new diva auditions, Erika is bewildered over her instant attraction to the blond God, Apollo.
Darien Scott is on vacation after a world tour and mistakenly figures the safest place to be is at The Black Dragon with the head of a Triad. When the club is hit, Darien is the only person to get out alive. Now he's running from the police and a Triad. Mistake number 1.
Disguised as a drag queen, he's hired by Erika, but falls hard for his new boss, then struggles with not coming clean with her. Mistake number 2.
Can he fix his mistakes and find a life filled with love or is he headed straight for mistake number 3?
Blurb - Book 2 – Darien's Desire You loved What Happens in Bangkok and want to know what happens next….It's complicated is not only her relationship status, but the definition of Erika Bailey's life. She loves managing her drag queen club in Bangkok, Thailand, but her rock star boyfriend resides in North Carolina. And to top it off, her father threatens she must stay away from Darien or lose the Pink Flamingo. Does she protect her club or her love?
Darien Scott, Grammy award winning international superstar, wants nothing more than to wake up in the arms of Erika, the woman he loves, but contractual obligations force him to exotic video shoots and an isolated movie set with one of Hollywood's sexiest stars.
With the feeding frenzy of social media trending every aspect of Darien's life—real or not—it's hard for Erika to know the truth. Will she be able to see through the lies and trust Darien? Or will evidence from damaging Internet rumors condemn their relationship?
Blurb - Book 3 – Title not released yet.Concerned for his fiancée, Erika Bailey’s safety, rock star Darien Scott races to Bangkok to protect her, only to discover his brother is missing. Fearing the worse, he contacts his nemesis, Gan, and makes a repulsive deal that will free his brother and protect Erika’s club, The Pink Flamingo. Or so he thought. When a python and Gan are involved, things go sour, and Darien sinks into a deep depression.
Erika is disheartened by the betrayal of her parents. Her father's destruction of her club, and the humiliation of her mother’s drunken behavior have her feeling down, but those are the least of her worries. She has a wedding to plan, but won’t. Having been betrayed too often, she’s scared to trust Darien.
How can Erika prove to herself and Darien that she loves and trusts him? Simple. All she has to do is jump out of a plane.
Excerpt from What Happens in Bangkok
He pointed at the food vendors. "Do you want to get a snack before we hit the club?"Erika glanced at the various booths. "Which one? The smells from each are just mouth-watering."
"Easy choice. That one." Darien pointed. "The lady's wearing purple. You love purple, so we get food from there."
An elderly lady, wearing a purple silk Thai dress, smiled a toothless grin. With broken Thai, he ordered. Turning to Erika, he pointed at the row of soda cans. "Drink?"
"Diet Coke, please."
The lady scooped sticky rice into two takeout containers, then sliced pieces of roast meat, from the chicken hanging by the side of the booth. The pieces dropped onto the containers of rice. She pointed at the sauces. Darien nodded and she plopped a few Thai chilies and ginger on the top of the chicken. Erika pulled out her wallet.
Darien placed his hand on her arm. "No, I get to pay for something. This I can afford. Seats three rows from the front at the National Theatre, not so much. Chicken and rice from a food vendor, I got this." He handed over a few bahts, refused the change, and accepted the containers, chopsticks and drinks. "Korb kun ka."
The elderly lady smiled and bowed.
Darien held out one of the containers. "Want to find a spot to sit or wander around the plaza?"
"Let's play tourist. Check out the souvenirs. See the sights."
"Wow, you really have been locked in the club for too long. See this." He waved his chopsticks in the air. "This is the outside world. It's very large. Some of it's ugly, but a lot is nice. Like this chicken." He shoveled some into his mouth.
Savoring the food, neither spoke as they walked among the booths. One would stop, point at something and laugh, then move on. They paused by a busker on a unicycle juggling flaming batons.
Erika leaned close. He caught the scent of her perfume above the smells of the food and crowd.
Buy Links:eXtasy Books
Amazon - Paperback
Barnes and Noble
You can find Daryl at:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Daryl-Devore/280168402052520
Twitter - http://twitter.com/daryldevore
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/107866370365154406917
GoodReads Author Page - http://www.goodreads.com/DarylDevore
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TJ1354
LinkedIn - ca.linkedin.com/pub/daryl-devore/58/b42/792/
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Daryl%20Devore
Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview and more discussion of settings.