I would like to thank the wonderfully talented author Imogen Wells for taking the time to answer all my crazy questions and share a little about herself and her writing. Read my author interview with Imogen now to get to know her a little better and be sure to check back soon for my review of her amazing book, Poisoned Pawn!
When did you first start writing?
As a child I always enjoyed writing, as well as reading, of course. It wasn’t until I was studying for my degree around six years ago, having entered back into the wonderful world of reading again, that I began writing my first novel. I wrote the famous words ‘the end’ of my first book during the first Covid lock down of 2020.
Why did you start writing?
Aside from always having a love of reading, I had a story inside my head that needed to be told. I took a chance, and I’m very happy I did. Although it seems to have opened a door for more stories and characters to invade my mind.
What or who inspires your writing?
My characters do. They are the guides and I’m purely the vessel for their story to be told.
Is writing a therapeutic process for you? How does your writing help you?
Yes, absolutely. I find it extremely therapeutic. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it allows me to channel my emotions into my words.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Blurbs! Without a doubt writing and summing up the synopsis of a book that is generally around the 100k mark is incredibly difficult. It is a fine balance to give enough to hook the reader with but also keep them guessing.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am irrevocably and without doubt a pantser. I tried to plot or—slightly more accurately—push the characters of my second book in a direction they didn’t want to go. This resulted in a rebellion and forced me to rewrite the first 40k. Lesson learnt, and now I let them lead me.
What comes first for you – the plot of the characters – and why?
The characters always. I have the bare minimum of a plot, more the idea of one, and the rest comes as I write.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
They develop naturally over the course of the story, reacting to situations they, invariably, find themselves in, and I get to know them as my reader would.
How do you use social media as an author?
I have the usual Facebook author profile and reader group along with Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Bookbub and a few others that I don’t use as much. I also have a newsletter. Social media is the top platform for sharing releases, teasers etc. It is also a fantastic way for me as an author to connect with my readers.
How do you handle writer’s block?
There are times when I have tried to write through it, which doesn’t always work. Most often, I’ll step away from my laptop and do something else. Maybe reading or watching TV.
How do you process and deal with a negative book review?
Negative reviews are hard. It is never nice to read that someone didn’t like your work, but when I started writing, I knew not everyone would enjoy my books and that’s okay. Constructive criticism is a tool and should be used to improve and hone your craft.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
I’d tell them just to focus on getting the words on the page first. The way to the end is at the beginning. And don’t worry about your process. Everyone is different. There is no wrong or right way.
What is your favorite part of publishing? What is your least favorite part?
It would have to be reading reviews, seeing how much my words meant to a reader. I also love the tease of a new release. Building the suspense and sharing those little snippets. As for my least favourite part, I’m not sure there is one. Not for me anyway.
What do you think is the most important part of publishing after you finish writing your manuscript?
There are two areas I think it is important to have help with: your cover and editing. Your cover, despite the idiom of not judging a book by its cover, is the first thing your readers will see/use to determine whether they want to read it or not. The other is a good editor.
Did you choose to write romance or did it choose you?
I think it chose me.
Which book is your favorite that you have published so far?
That’s like asking a mother who her favourite child is. I love each of them for their differences.
Are any of your books part of a series or are they all standalones?
I have a trilogy and a duet, but the others are standalones. However, all but one of my books—Embers of You, an American set small town romance and part of the Silverbell Shore series—are set in the same world. This means characters from previous books make an appearance quite often.
Do you base your characters on real people?
No, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are likely elements of people I’ve met in real life.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
I think I relate to each of them in some way or another. They say to write what you know, so inevitably some elements of my stories are based on my own life experiences or emotions. Being able to relate to characters in any story is what makes the story.
How much research do you need for your books?
Research is incredibly important, so I endeavour to do as much research as possible, particularly on subjects I don’t know much about or have no experience with. Google is my best friend.
What was the hardest scene to write, and why?
The dark romance genre in which I wrote is synonymous with emotional and traumatic scenes. For my debut novel there were some flashback scenes of domestic violence and rape, and in subsequent books there are scenes/descriptions of childhood abuse including sexual abuse. They were incredibly difficult to write, but they are a part of my characters. They represent reality for some, and I’d like to think, although difficult, they give hope to anyone affected by those things.
If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
This is tricky because it depends on who and at what point in their story lol. I think what I really want to say is thank you. Thanks for choosing me to tell your story.
What is your favorite quote from one of your books?
Again with the choosing just one lol. This is so hard. Okay, if I have to give you just one, then it has to be the devil, Aidan Kavanagh, in Whiskey & Lace.
They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but Hell hasn’t seen the full force of the devil when he loses his queen.
What tropes are in each book?
They vary from book to book, but overall tropes include enemies to lovers, mafia/organized crime, suspense, touch & die vibes, Dub-con/CNC, MF and MFM, alpha males and kick arse females.
What is your favorite trope to write?
Hands down, enemies to lovers. I love the angst, the banter, the tension that all builds to the moment when they give in to their desires.
How long did it take you to write each book? If one book took longer to write, why?
My first book took me just six weeks, but as a rule it takes between two to three months. Embers of You took longer because it was out of my comfort zone being set in the US. Which is strange considering the number of books I’ve read set in the states.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
My ideal reader is someone who enjoys the darker side of life. Who enjoys an action-packed plot with a healthy side of spice. If you like alpha males, who sometimes fall first but always fall hard and tough badass females who can give as good as they get with no third act break up, then you’ll enjoy my books.
Are your books wide or only in Amazon?
Currently, all my books are in Kindle Unlimited, but that will change in January 2024. I will slowly be moving them wide, starting with my Triple R Security series. I will also begin selling direct with the launch of my new website and store where you’ll be able to purchase signed paperbacks, eBooks (only those not in KU) and also merchandise.
Tell us a little about each book or a little about a new release?
My latest release is Poisoned Pawn and follows the story of Star and Carter. Star was kidnapped and sold into a child sex ring as a child, so she has some demons. The biggest is her proclivities regarding sex. As for Carter, he is a give no f*cks hitman hired to kill her. When the two of them meet, the sparks fly. This book had me delving into tropes I’d not written before, such as primal and praise kinks.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
I actually don’t need much, and quite often work with my husband in Teams meetings for work or with my kids in and out. My must have is a notebook. As a pantser who writes each chapter in order, I need a notebook for when those moments of inspiration or flashes of a scene at a later point come. This most often happens when I’m in the shower, which has me rushing to get out while desperately trying to hold on to the thought.
What is your favorite writing snack or drink?
Tea. I’m a true Brit and can’t function without a cuppa. But I’m partial to a Costa Latte. Yum. Don’t really have a favourite snack to munch when I’m writing.
If you could spend a day with another author, whom would you choose and why?
Ooh, that’s hard. I can’t possibly pick one, so first it would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite fantasy epics. I read it as a teen and several times since, and each time I learn something new or find something I missed before. My second would be Martina Cole. I have read pretty much everything she has written. She is a huge inspiration for me.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
I’d love to say I celebrate in style, but honestly, I just breathe and take some me time before starting on edits. In the new year, I plan to start celebrating my accomplishments more.
How many hours a day do you write?
I don’t have a set number of hours, but I do try to write each day no matter how little because every word counts. It’s not always possible though because as well as being an author, I’m a proofreader, a mum and I work a part time job.
What are your favorite or most helpful author resources?
One of my top resources—every author that writes spice should have it—is a book called Naughty Words for Nice Writers. Some of the pages are well worn. Another of my must haves is The Emotion Thesaurus. There are several books in the series, and they are an invaluable resource for any writer.
Be sure to follow Imogen for all the fun bookish things and book news. Find out about her books and her upcoming releases. And be sure to check back for my review of her fantastic book, Poisoned Pawn!
Reader Group: http://bit.ly/AuthorIWRG
Bookbub link: http://bit.ly/AuthorIWBB