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D. Renee Bagby 

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D. ReneƩ Bagby is an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife. The last born of three Capricorns and the only daughter, Renee was exposed to many countries and cultures as her family traveled around the world due to military relocations. She is used to being a fish-out-of-water and subjects her characters to the same with the worlds she creates as backdrops for her stories.

When not caught up in her fantasy worlds, ReneƩ can be found residing in Hawaii with her husband and two cats. She splits her non-writing time between reading comics and manga, watching anime, knitting chain maille and hanging out with family and friends.

Q: What motivated you to start writing?

A: Two things. First, I needed to keep track of the stories in my head. I come up with stories to entertain myself whenever I get bored. I did that a lot when I was younger, but after a while, I started to forget. The best way to remember was to write them down. The second reason was because I couldn't find interracial romances featuring a black heroine in a fantasy setting. Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to write my own.

Q: What's your writing schedule like?

A: I have no schedule. I write whenever I can find a spare moment--before bed, two seconds after I wake up, before work, during my breaks at work, after work, when I get home, etc. I bought a Smartphone so I could have ready access to my current works-in-progress and so I wouldn't have to transcribe my written notes to my computer. For all of my major writing I have my Netbook and it travels all around my house with me as well as out and about in my purse. If I get stuck in a waiting room for too long, I just whip out the mini and start writing.

Q: What comes first--the plot or the characters?

A: Definitely the characters. Actually, most of the time the argument comes first. I'll be standing (or sitting) some place and out of the blue some irate woman will yell something at a man or vice versa. All of this is in my head, of course. From there, it's a domino effect. I just have to know what they are arguing about and then who they are and how they met and how they will end up together. Answering all of those questions generally leads to a plot.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career to this point?

A: The chance to meet like-minded individuals is the biggest highlight for me. Up until I met other writers, I thought I was the odd one out. The way I think is weird for most mundanes, and people don't always get where I'm coming from. I've met several people with whom I can have the most off-the-wall conversations, and no one gets lost or needs explanations. We actually bounce off of each other and come up with even weirder off-the-wall topics.

Q: What is your favorite animal, real or mythical, and why?

A: My favorites of all time, real or mythical, are dragons. More specifically, Asian dragons. I love serpentine dragons. I think they are gorgeous and majestic. I love the implied power and wisdom.

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

A: Unlike most writers, I didn't know I wanted to be a writer as a kid. My passion was television and movies. I actually hated to read until the fourth grade, when a reading contest changed my mind. The rules were simple--everyone who read a certain number of books or over would receive a gold medal. I wanted that gold medal more than anything, and so I started reading. Well, I got my gold medal and a love of YA romances. A few years down the road, I graduated to mainstream romances, and then I spent my last few years of college trying to write my own.

Q: What do you think is romantic? What does the word romance mean to you?

A: Being romantic is being thoughtful. It's not about the money spent, or the elaborateness of the present, or what you'll get in return. Being romantic, to me, means a person, man or woman, does something with the intention of seeing their significant other happy and nothing else--no reward. Romance is a contradiction. It's spontaneous and planned all at once. From a genre standpoint, it's knowing that after all of the crap and hard times, there's a happy ending waiting for you. In life, romance is being content with the one you love.

Q: Your book is about to be sent into the reader world. What is one word that describes how you feel?

A: Anxious. I thought the feeling would go away after the first book, but no such luck. If anything, it's a little worse with each new release. My constant worry is that this will be the book that disappoints my readers and leads them to drop me forever. I love my stories and I want others to love them as well. I know not every story I write will be beloved by those who like my work. Every author has that one book a fan read because it was by that author, but they weren't impressed. Heck, even I have those with my favorite authors. It's to be expected and I know that. I'm just hoping I don't lose a reader because of it.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being an author?

A: Besides seeing my name on the cover of a book that I wrote, I'd say the most rewarding part about being a writer is hearing from people who have read my books and liked them. I love fan mail. It's great motivation and wonderful pick-me-up when reality rears its ugly head, and I get writer's block.

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