Amanda Usen

Read more about Amanda Usen.

Interview By: Night Owl Romance

Date: January 29, 2015

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Current Release: Impulse Control

What's your book about?

IMPULSE CONTROL is the first book in the Men Of The Zodiac Series. My hero is an adventurous Aries who can't resist a challenge. He's the star of a survival reality TV show, and the heroine is the star of a cooking and homemaking show. They are total opposites, but each has a compelling reason to participate when they are forced to collaborate on a crossover series. Susannah wants a ratings boost so she can continue providing for her young son. Russ wants contributions to a charity near and dear to his heart. Once they get together - in the wilderness snow - competitive sparks begin to fly!

What should readers expect from you titles?

Sexy tension and snappy dialogue. I like to write characters that challenge each other yet can't resist the urge to get a little bit too close, then closer, then...yes. That!

What's next for you as an author?

I'm filling the well! Entering a fallow period? Doing yoga, cooking, baking, snuggling my gangly children, and pondering a next tattoo while new characters rise through my subconscious. I wonder which song they'll pick to ride? Feel free to make suggestions for songs to help break my characters' hearts!

What is your favorite way to procrastinate?

I read, of course! Although writers don't call it procrastination, we call it "research." Valuable, necessary, well-filling research! The other way I procrastinate is by staring at my computer screen, but I call that "working." It just doesn't look like it!

Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?

My publishers and THEIR villages actually get the book to market. However, I have to give my husband the credit for everything from inspiring my heroes to prying my laptop from my clawed hands and carrying me to bed when I've lost all perspective on how much time needs to be spent working. He's also the guy who feeds me and our three kids. Basically, every story I write is a love story because of him. I do NOT take that for granted. (Except when I do. And then I grovel like a pro!)

What's a writing day like for you?

Full of glamour! I sit up in bed and put on socks, shoes, and pull a fleecy over my pajamas because I live in Buffalo, and I hate being cold. I stumble downstairs to where my husband has set up the coffee for my poor addicted self and pour the water through the machine and stare until it's done. Sometimes I answer e-mails and regret it because my brain isn't online yet. I start writing when the coffee is done. One by one the kids get up and force me away from the screen to make their breakfasts and lunches and kiss them goodbye. I watch them get on their buses (because otherwise I will fear they have been abducted by aliens or worse), and then I start writing again. I work until about two pm, when I begin rushing around like a madwoman, cleaning up the breakfast dishes, trying to pretend I've been doing laundry, and getting dressed, before my husband comes home and busts me in my pajamas in the middle of a house hurricane writing a hot sex scene again. I often fail, which is why I mention him in every book acknowledgment.

Do you feel music has inspired your writing?

Definitely! I get an ear worm and listen to that song over and over while writing a book. Taylor Swift's "Love Story" helped me write LUSCIOUS. Eminem's "Lose Yourself" helped me write INTO THE FIRE, and the Nashville Cast's "The Best Songs Come From Broken Hearts" (featuring Connie Britton - love her!) helped me write IMPULSE CONTROL. I connect with the emotion in a song and ride it like a rainbow pegasus unicorn until we get wherever we are going. And then I hop back on when we have to loop back for revisions. Without music, I'd only have my own emotions to ride, and no one wants to go THERE with me all the time. Especially ME!

Wrapping Up:

Readers, you rock. Thank you so much for reading my books. I know how many other ways you could be spending your time, and I appreciate every moment you spend with my characters, every second you spend writing reviews, and every minute you spend hungry for my sexy chefs or the Wild Man. I'm right there with you! XOXO