Violette Woods

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Violette Woods grew up in a house full of books, cats, and interesting people, and she strives to maintain that status. The first romance novel she ever read was Barbara Cartland's No Heart is Free. She remembers getting in a great deal of trouble for reading it, probably because she was two and a half years old at the time. Knowing it must be good if the adults wanted to keep it all to themselves, she's been fascinated with romantic fiction ever since.

Violette also loves Victorian-era novels, fantasy and science fiction, golden-age mysteries, and cozies – the kind of mysteries that feature cats, teacups, and occasionally recipes. She dreams of being summoned into a drawing room by a brilliant detective with a mustache, and asked if she has been wondering why he's called everyone there today.

Violette and her husband, a professional operatic tenor, live in California's beautiful and eccentric Bay Area with a revolving selection of eclectic roommates and fascinating cats.

Q: Who was your biggest inspiration?

A: At the beginning of one of her early books, the great author Rita Mae Brown wrote a short statement: "This is my book. If you don't like it, write one of your own." Until that point, it hadn't occurred to me that 'real' people wrote books – I thought of authors as being like movie actors. Later, I learned that I had two uncles who had written books, and I began to understand that even someone like me could write. That my dreams of being a writer could, in fact, become the reality of being a writer.

Q: What type of protagonist do you enjoy creating?

A: All my heroines have some facet of me in them – whether it's a sarcastic wit, a generous figure, or just uncontrollably curly red hair. My heroes are often amalgamations of men I've known and, occasionally, loved. I really enjoy putting the seed of someone I've known into a character, and watch them grow and flower into a personality – often someone very different from their inspiration!

Q: Are you disciplined about how often / where you write, or more relaxed waiting for inspiration to strike?

A: Far too relaxed, unfortunately! But I'm working on improving. Writing is a job – it takes discipline, dedication, and time. If you're not writing every day, something's wrong.

Q: Is all your work autobiographical?

A: A lady doesn't kiss and tell! Just kidding – some of it is, but most of it is definitely not. Some of it may also be wish fulfillment.

Q: What is your best writing fuel? Coffee, tea, soda, rot-gut whiskey?

A: Coffee, definitely. I do a lot of writing in coffee shops – the nice indie ones with wi-fi and comfy seats that will let you plug in your laptop for hours for the price of a latte and a pastry. These places are a haven for writers. Thankfully, San Francisco and the Bay Area are chock-full of indie coffee houses, some of which roast their own beans.

Q: What is your writing space like?

A: Well, when I'm not writing in coffee shops (see above), I have a small home office that I use. But sometimes I just like to recline on the couch with my feet up and let my fingers fly.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Seeing love all around me. Young couples in the first rush of love; old couples that have been together so long they've started to look alike. People with pets they adore; people with families they cherish. Love is a great inspiration, and it's the main reason I write romance – so I can create more love in the world.

Q: What's your favorite dinosaur? These things are important.

A: I'm a fan of the brontosaurus, mostly because they've decided he may not have existed. Huge, plant-eating fictional dinosaurs need love too!

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