Writer Wednesday: Meet J. Arlene Culiner!

jill-culiner2baWelcome to Writer Wednesday, that glorious day of the week where we shine the spotlight on a fellow author. We’re so glad you popped in to share it with us.

Today our mini interview features J. Arlene Culiner, author of quirky characters, great romance, and engaging stories! What’s better than that?

Enjoy getting to know J. Arlene and her writing better, and please, leave some love in the comments!

Creative WritingWhat inspires you to write?

I love stories. I love telling them, hearing them. I love being a fly on the wall and watching other people’s stories unfold. And I love thoughts that begin with, “What if…”

sunset in heart handsWhich type of romance do you love most, and why?

I love romances that are realistic with older characters. I also like rebellious heroes and heroines, the ones who don’t have big fortunes or flashy cars and designer clothes but do things they’re passionate about. And of course the romances I really appreciate have to be well written.

Gobekli Tepe (Pot-belly Hill) is an archaeological siteName one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

I learned a lot about archaeology, of course, and I discovered that some very important sites are being deliberately destroyed, covered over by cement and buildings, all in the name of profit.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

I’ve crossed much of Europe on foot — most of the time on my own — and I worked as a translator in Turkey, just like the heroine of my latest release, The Turkish Affair.

Fireworks DisplayWhat one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

Know that writing and trying to find a publisher or an agent can be heartbreaking. Therefore, you have to take care of yourself, congratulating yourself when you’ve achieved a goal, no matter how small: meeting your word count goal; finishing a story; writing one scene beautifully; sending out queries. Give yourself presents, even little ones like a good cup of coffee and feel proud.

turkishaffairA Bit About The Turkish Affair

Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu:

A top-notch Washington journalist before a liaison with the wrong man implicated her in scandal, Anne Pierson has been hiding in backwoods Turkey and working as a translator. She’s determined to keep her past a secret, to avoid personal relationships. But after meeting Renaud Townsend, her discreet little world is turned upside down.

Archaeologist Renaud Townsend is troubled by Anne Pierson’s refusal to talk about her past, but instinct tells him he can rely on her. Or is it only desire speaking? A lusty love affair for the duration of the summer dig is a very appealing idea.

When Anne’s bad reputation links her to stolen artifacts and murder, the budding romance with Renaud comes to a halt. If they learn to trust one another, her name can be cleared. But is there still enough intensity to give love a second chance?

Published by Crimson Romance

Find The Turkish Affair here:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books

TypewriterA Bit About J. Arlene:

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to public dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She works as an actress, a photographer, a contemporary artist, a musician, writes mysteries, history books and perfectly believable romances. Her heroines are funny and gutsy; her heroes, dashingly lovable; and all are (proudly) over the age of forty.

Want to connect further with J. Arlene?

Website | Anecdotes Blog | J. Arlene’s Blog | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks so much for being here today, J. Arlene – I’m glad you could be a part of Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday: Meet Kathleen Duhamel!

DuhamelPut on those party hats! It’s #WriterWednesday!

Today we get to learn about Kathleen Duhamel, writer of romance featuring older characters with youthful personalities, and fellow member of the Virginia Romance Writers. Hooray!

She gives us insights into her own writing life, and shares about her new novel, Deeper, which debuts March 20th.

Excited? I am! Here we go… 🙂

What inspires you to write?

deepblueI am motivated by the people in my life. In particular, my husband of 15 years, Tom, whose devotion and commitment to my writing career have made it possible.

I’m inspired by my BFF Diane, who makes the world a better place every day. She was the prototype for the character of Denise Hrivnak in my Deep Blue novels.

Mostly, I’m inspired by love itself.

Tom and I recently attended the wedding of a couple we know who’ve been through a long and circuitous journey to matrimony, and I was reminded once again of what a hopeful event a wedding can be. We go into marriage knowing there’s a 50 per cent chance it will fail, but we’re still winning to take an emotional risk for love.

Which type of romance do you love most, and why?

I write and love contemporary romance, and my work features older characters with youthful personalities. I enjoy writing about present-day situations (and I’m far too lazy to do the research needed for historical romance).

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

FameOne of my characters works for an organization whose mission is to end childhood hunger. I learned that there are at least 16 million children who go to bed hungry every night in the United States. Personally, I find this situation inexcusable in a country that has so many resources. It’s shameful.

Name two things people don’t know about you:

I live in Virginia now, but I spent 30 years in Colorado where I hiked, biked, fished, camped and snowshoed. Someday I hope to return.

I began my career as a newspaper reporter and editor. That past work experience probably has shaped my writing style more than anything else. My writing is pretty straightforward. I try not to bury my readers with lengthy descriptions that stop the flow of the story.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when first starting out?

sunset in heart handsThe same piece of advice someone recently told me: “Trust your gift.” Don’t give up, no matter what.

What’s your favorite romance novel of all time, and why?

Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann.

Even though it was written about 50 years ago, the themes explored by the author are still relevant today: marriage vs. independence, the high personal cost of fame and the temptation of drugs.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00070]A Bit on Deeper, Kathleen’s novel debuting March 20th:

Secrets of the past seldom stay buried forever…

Now married to the love of her life, landscape artist Claire Martin’s peaceful world is rocked by an unexpected revelation that crushes her dreams of the future and causes her to question everything she thought she knew about her famous husband, legendary singer Robert Silver of the band Deep Blue.

Although Robert is now clean and sober, and embarking on a new opportunity with his musical partner Art Hoffman, the consequences of one night long ago fracture his family and threaten his marriage to the woman who loves him like no one else.

Will love survive, or will career pressures, family turmoil and the ever-present specter of the paparazzi destroy their new life together?

Find Deeper on Amazon

A Bit About Kathleen:

writingKathleen Duhamel wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has never stopped writing. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses.

A native of Texas, she spent most of her adult life in Colorado before relocating to Virginia in 2014, where she lives with her husband, a standard poodle and a geriatric cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art and pop culture. Please visit her at .

Want to connect further with Kathleen?

Website: https://kathleenduhamel.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kathleen.duhamel
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kathleenduhamel

Thank you so much for stopping by today, Kathleen! We loved having you here.