Hi Dara and welcome. I am so glad you could join us here at
RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thank you, Brooke. I'm a big fan of RJ and am thrilled to talk to you. Right now I'm working on several projects - a long short story for The Wild Rose Press titled, BRIDE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, which is a romantic comedy about a couple on a game show that is a cross between SURVIVOR and BRIDEZILLA. I'm just finishing that one up. I'm also about a third of the way through a full-length contemporary romance titled SECRETS OF THE COMMUNE about two women in a wealthy neighborhood. Of course, I've got several manuscripts I'm shopping around and one I've just finished the edits on for The Wild Rose Press.
When working towards a deadline, are you usually ahead of schedule, right on schedule, or telling yourself you work best under pressure as the clock strikes midnight?
I'm usually ahead of the game. When an editor sends me my work back for edits, I usually turn it back to them in record time. When I start, I don't stop until it's done. On a full-length manuscript, that could be an all-nighter. But I can't sleep knowing I have edits waiting.
You’re pounding away the keyboard, and it is time for a break. How do you spend the time? Walking around? Checking email? Something else?
I'm terrible about playing Scrabble on my computer to procrastinate when I've reached a creative impasse. I check my email when I need a short break from work or I find things that need to be done around my house. With two kids, two cats and a husband, there's always something to do. I've recently started blogging and I write on the blog to open up the creative channels. I call it "Slave to Romance." http://www.daraedmondson.blogspot.com/
You’re ready to begin a new project. What is the first thing you do? Name your characters? Plot and plan? Or just jump in and let the creative processes take over?
I usually plot and plan. The title comes to me fairly quickly and only one of my titles has been changed by an editor. Once I begin, the details rush at me so quickly I have to write them down fast so I don't forget. I have an idea file with about five story ideas at any given time.
A writer with many rejections under her belt comes crying to you. “Help me! Help me!” she pleads. “I’ve just been told I’ll never be good enough to be published. I am gonna quit!” What do you say to her?
I tell her I was once there. I got a particularly stinging critique when I first started out and I was ready to throw in the towel. A newly published author from my RWA chapter, Catherine Kean, convinced me not to give up. I'd share that with her and convince her to go to workshops and take classes and hone her gift.
I bet you have a lot of great stories from your days as owner of a tanning and nail salon! What was the craziest question you were ever asked…the one that still makes you roll your eyes in amazement today?
I was actually interviewed by a tanning magazine years ago and they asked me the very same thing. There was a rumor circulating that if you stayed in a tanning bed too long, your insides would cook as if you were in a microwave oven. A few folks asked me if that were possible, which always made me laugh. Recently, I saw it on an Urban Legends TV show.
Who are the spoiled kitties? Do they like you best?
Tinker, a striped tabby is my baby. She follows me everywhere and comes when I call her like a dog would. Bloo, a Russian Blue is totally in love with my husband, who is unfortunately quite allergic.
If you were transported back in time to the Middle Ages, which modern convenience or item would you choose to take with you (bearing in mind the lack of such things as electricity)? Which one would you miss the most?
Without a doubt - air conditioning. Living in Florida, I got a taste of a total lack of AC when we had no power for a week after Hurricane Charley. That experience definitively answered that question for me!
How did you and your husband meet? Was it actually at your salon? What was it about him that made you know he was “the one”?
It really was at my tanning salon. He was in the midst of a divorce and showed me his wedding ring tan line and asked if I could get rid of it for him. It took three years, but I gave him that tan line back! He says he was immediately smitten but it took me a little longer. He would hang out for hours after he tanned and we'd discuss politics, life and everything else. Before long I was head over heels in love. He fought it for a while since he wanted nothing to do with marriage after his first bad experience, but we've been very happy for the last seventeen years. I knew he was the one because when I was with him, it felt like home - still does.
What was the most romantic gift you’ve ever received? What about the best one you’ve ever given?
The first Valentine’s Day after we married, my husband hired a limousine to take us to the ballet and then to dinner. Inside the car were roses and champagne. It was an evening I'll always remember. I have a more practical nature, but I once gave him black silk boxers with lips prints all over them. I told him after he put them on he'd get his real gift! Can't say any more about that;-)
How do you describe Dara Edmondson? How does Dara Edmondson’s husband describe her?
I'd describe myself as creative, practical, controlling, determined and passionate about the things I care about. My husband is quite the charmer and always tells me I'm the smartest person he knows and the sexiest woman alive - huge ego boosters for me, even though I know he's full of it! He'd agree with the controlling part.
The Holiday Season has begun! Thanksgiving set it off! Did you cook the feast this year? Go shopping with the crowds the day after? What is your favorite part of this time of year?
We went to my in-law's house but I brought the desserts. For the first time I got up before dawn and did the whole Black Friday thing. Normally I have all my shopping done by then but it's been a busy year and I started late. I'm Jewish and my husband is Christian so we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Our kids really make out! The family time and the parties we go to with all our friends are the highlight of the season for me.
What screensaver do you have on your computer at the moment?
I have a snowy scene that I think was taken in Central Park in NYC. I do miss the snow for about five minutes every year!
Are you a wristwatch person or a clock person…or neither?
I have tons of clocks - definitely a clock person. My cuckoo hangs right near my computer desk. The tick-tock sounds of clocks are somehow comforting. I only wear a watch when I have to.
And lastly, no interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
Actually it changes depending on my mood and the time of the month. Right now it's chocolate chip cookies - the soft kind.
I’m a huge clock-person, too. Just love them! Thank you, Dara, for spending time with us at RomanceJunkies. It has been a lot of fun! Continued success with your books!