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Spotlight on Dani Collins. The Maid's Spanish Secret Aug

We have author Dani Collins this week under our spotlight. She also has a new book out this month, The Maid's Spanish Secret.  

Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author Dani Collins thrives on giving readers emotional, compelling, heart-soaring romance with some laughter and heat thrown in, just like real life. Mostly she writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Presents and Tule’s Montana Born, but her backlist of fifty books also includes self-published erotic romance, romantic comedy, and even an epic medieval fantasy. When she’s not writing—just kidding, she’s always writing. Look for Dani’s latest Presents, Untouched Until Her Ultra-Rich Husband and the Maid's Spanish Secret, out now!

Dani Collins on the web:

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1) Do you think someone can be a writer even if they don't feel emotions strongly?

I believe anyone can be a writer. However, I also believe that passion of some kind is needed in order to pursue writing. If you’re not driven by strong feelings or strong opinions, you’ll probably struggle to even sit down and try to write, let alone do the long, hard work of editing and polishing.

Of course, it depends on the type of writing, too. If the author is writing a more dispassionate story, perhaps a spy thriller where the main character has a very disassociated personality, then a lack of strong emotions on the writer's part might not be as much of a drawback as it would when writing romance.

2) Who are some of your author friends and how do they help you become a better writer?

Great question! I've been lucky enough to meet several of the Harlequin Presents authors at conference and I’ve written multi-author trilogies and quartets with Jennifer Hayward, Maya Blake, Tara Pammi, RachelThomas and Caitlin Crews, to name a few.

Jennifer Hayward happens to be Canadian, so we often check in with each other on uniquely Canadian publishing questions like taxes or public lending rights. We live on opposite ends of the country, however, and I live so rural that I don’t see other writers in person much at all.

As for how they help me write better, all of my author friends, especially the ones writing for Harlequin presents, are incredibly good. Reading their work can be a daunting, actually. I wind up worrying that my own work doesn’t measure up. They set a very high bar and that's how they provoke me into striving to write better.

They’re also incredibly generous with advice. I don't personally like to work with a critique partner so I don't often ask for advice with a plot problem or character arc, but I will ask career-related questions, like where to get a good website designer, or what to do when author copies go astray. (Or where to find a good VA who will help with scheduling blog posts! Hi Nas! I want to say we first met through Melanie Milburne in Sydney?) 

Nas: Yes, Melanie Milburne introduced us back in 2015 at the Romance Writer's of Australia Conference! At the time I was already working with Melanie for three years. I met Melanie in Anaheim, California at the National Conference in 2012. I love working with romance authors and have enjoyed working with you.Thank you so much for having faith in me.

3) Do you want each book to stand on its own? Or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?

Short answer--both. As a reader I like to check in with characters I've read about and know that they're living their happily ever after. As an author, I often find myself doing the same thing. After I've spent weeks and months with the character, building their world, I love checking back in with them.

Having said that, there is a delightful simplicity in writing a standalone story. My June book, Untouched Until Her Ultra-Rich Husband, does not link with any of my other books. The upside is not having to work within the constraints of a world I’ve already created.

My August book, however, The Maid's Spanish Secret, connects to one of my earlier books. Cesar from The Consequence He Must Claim, had a brother, Rico. Readers asked me if Rico would get his own book and I was finally able to make that happen with this one. Then, because I had mentioned they had a sister, I felt compelled to give Pia her own story which comes out in November of this year, Bound By Their Nine-Month Scandal.

Linked books are a lot of work, however, and there is a lot of room for error. A reader caught a mistake in my recent duet where the sex of a baby changed between the two epilogues. So, yeah, that’s where a standalones has an advantage.

4) Tell us a bit about your book…

The heroine, Poppy, is Canadian. After she is robbed while traveling in Spain, she takes a job as a maid in Rico's mother’s villa and develops a crush on Rico. Rico is engaged, but the day his engagement is called off, they have a brief fling. She’s on her way back to Canada and he considers following her, but the very next day, his fiancée returns and claims she’s pregnant and they must marry after all. However, when his bride dies, he learns the baby wasn’t his…

When the story opens, Rico's sister-in-law confronts him about a post on social media that suggests he might have a child by a maid who worked for his mother. He fetches Poppy and their daughter back to Spain, but Poppy’s upbringing leaves her conflicted about relying on Rico for the rest of her life.

The Maid's Spanish Secret (Secret Heirs of Billionaires)

“You will come to Spain. You will marry me…”

For sweet maid Poppy Harris, her one and only passionate experience was scorching and absolutely forbidden. She shouldn’t have succumbed to Spanish aristocrat Rico Montero’s tantalizing seduction, but his touch was all consuming…and had a nine-month consequence! Poppy believes they could never be anything more. Until Rico appears on her doorstep demanding his hidden daughter—and determined to make Poppy his wife!

Enjoy this intensely dramatic marriage of convenience!

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  1. Sounds like a compelling story. Good luck to Dani! Valerie

  2. The book sounds good, lovely interview.

    1. thank you Christine! I appreciate your visiting with me here. :)

  3. I also enjoy revisiting, both in reading stories and writing them.

    I also love hidden baby stories. Shoot, I'm just a baby junkie period.

    1. Ha! My whole family is like "Mom, there's a baby over there." They know I love to goo over them. Babies are the best--when you don't have to get up with them yourself in the middle of the night ;)

  4. As a reader I really like a standalone as well as a series. In a series you get to really know all the characters but a standalone is good also.

  5. I'm addicted to reading, so I enjoy both series, as well as stand alones. The real trick is in writing a book that's part of a series that can also work as a stand alone... the best of both worlds!

    Good luck with your new book! I think we're all suckers for the hidden baby trope. Especially if the story ends in a happy-ever-after.

  6. Sounds like a great read.

    Hi, Nas.

  7. What an interesting interview. Having author friends to ask professional questions to is definitely important and helpful!

    Sounds like a great book. Best of luck to Dani!

  8. Sounds like an excellent read! Great interview! All the best!


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