Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Sure, here's my official sounding bio:
Celine Chatillon is the alter ego of multi-published contemporary romance novelist, Cynthianna Appel. Celine finds writing erotica a very pleasant departure from her day job as a small press manuscript reader and freelance copyeditor. Her novel releases with Liquid Silver Books include Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door and the upcoming Hanging with a Time Surfer. Her erotic-romance tales with eXtasy Books include the sf-comedy-erotic-romance Brandi Whyne and Her Incredibly Erotic Adventures, Gifts Well-Timed, and Yes, Virginia Here Comes Santa Claus. She has two titles with Mojocastle Press-Heavenly Bodies and Santa's Big Little Helper.
Writing light-hearted contemporary romances/romantic-comedies as Cynthianna Appel, she has published several short stories and novels including The Fixer-Uppers, Country Boy, City Girl and Hurricane Alley.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Hmm. this is a toughie! I think I'll go with Shelby in my time-travel erotic-romance Hanging with a Time Surfer. Shelby gets to travel with Quentin, a sexy time traveler-and she learns a lot about herself and her sexuality along the way. She gets a second chance at love, and she grabs life by the horns and goes with it. Yeah, Shelby is one cool chick, and boy, does she ever have a good time!
What's your favorite genre to read?
Science Fiction. I enjoy a good space saga or time travel. But I also like the read historical fiction, too. I enjoy reading just about any well-written tale.
Who or what influences you when you write?
The who? The cat! He jumps on my desk a lot and tries to distract me from what I'm doing. :) The what? The market-what seems to be selling-is the biggest influence nowadays. I tend to write with a mind as to where I'm going to be able to sell the piece once I've finished it.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Answer way too much email! Honestly, I'm an email addict, and I need help. :) It depends on what my deadline is, but I do try to do a little creative writing per day, whether it be a page, a scene, a chapter or an entire short story.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Scream a lot. :) I find that putting the "blocked" piece away for a time and working on something else will usually "unblock" me later when I go back to work on it.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I've written a vampire novella to be included in the Liquid Silver Books anthology Of Flesh and Blood. It's a prequel of sorts to my first LSB release Help! I'm Falling for the Vampire Next Door. This story is entitled Blood Betrayal and it's a dark love-triangle of sorts between Vladimir, a vampire, Sofia, a very sexually liberated woman, and Leo, a sick, twisted villain who has plans to use them both for his own evil gains. I had a lot of fun writing it. :)
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I'm finishing up a novel now that's a fantasy-romantic-comedy that involves a group of science fiction fans. It's called Loving Who and I've started a My Space page for it already at http://myspace.com/lovingwho
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
In five years, I hope to see myself alive, happy and much, much thinner. :) I hope in five years that I'm publishing regularly and that I've got a good agent who can help with the business side of publishing.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
A perfect hero is one who loves unconditionally, perseveres with the heroine through good times and bad, and who cherishes and respects her always-even on her bad hair days!
What do you do for inspiration?
I read a lot and watch movies. There's always something out there that will catch your eye and make you start thinking, "What if.?"
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Hard science-fiction with no romantic subplot, no "happily ever after" ending. I may get there yet.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Type as in genre? Hmm, good question! I've tried just about everything but writing cozy mysteries. Perhaps I shall attempt one of those someday.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I'll say they're more helpful than hindering. Writers need structure-and a deadline gives me something to shoot for when I begin a project. They keep you on a steady pace, and let you know when you need to really get cracking.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
My mom told me that I needed to keep writing. She doesn't quite understand the business side of it, but she's always said I needed to do something that made me happy.
What would you like to tell your readers?
That I'm a really nice person. Honest. I'm not raving lunatic. I'm not a sex fiend. I just have an over-active imagination. :)
What is the best advice you have ever received?
About writing, you mean? :)
The best advice is "Never give up!" It's a tough business, but if you give up, you'll never succeed. How you term "success" will also, in large measure, determine how happy you are with your writing career, so go easy on yourself.
The worst advice? Hmm, to "Throw in the towel." Many well-meaning people will tell you that you can't make it in writing and to simply give up before you've really begun. I've done that at various times in my life-simply stopped writing to please others-and I became extremely unhappy each time. Writers should never take this kind of advice on peril of their mental health!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I've written both ways, but I've discovered that I'm mostly a "pantser" and I like to sit down with the characters I've had brewing in my head for a while and just let them free on the page. I let them loose from my head and make them tell me their story.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have belonged to critique groups in the past, but I've gotten so busy lately that I can't keep up with the work required to belong to one. They can be a big help, giving you insight into what the reader sees in your work and not what you think you're communicating to them. But I've found they can also be a hindrance, especially if the other members aren't quite at the same level of writing/submission that you are, and they give not-so-sound advice.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first "paid for" published work happened in junior high school. It was a poem that won the Ohio Bicentennial Poetry Contest. I got the whopping sum of $2 and a certificate! My first published full-length novel was The Fixer-Uppers (under my pen name Cynthianna Appel) and it was first published in 2001. It was re-released this spring from Moonlit Romance (http://www.moonlitromance.com/fixeruppers.html) . My first stand-alone erotic-romance title was the novella, Yes Virginia.Here Comes Santa Claus and it was released at Christmas 2005.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Readers can contact me via email at email@example.com I welcome your comments and questions!
My web site is www.celinechatillon.com (My alter-ego's web site is www.cynthianna.com ) My My Space site is http://myspace.com/celinechatillon My blog is at http://celinesdreams.blogspot.com My erotic-romance e-newsletter sign is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celinesdreams My monthly e-newsletter that tells you everything I'm up to is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cindyappelnewsletter
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
If they're into contemporary romance, feel free to check out my titles at www.cynthianna.com and to join my monthly (more regular) e-newsletter at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cindyappelnewsletter
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King