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Dee Lloyd

When Dee Lloyd was thirteen years old she told a reporter for the Timmins Daily Press that she wanted to be a writer. The road since has meandered through some fascinating territory, but the writing has been a constant. She's worked in record stores, at cosmetic counters and for a City tax department, but for the past twenty years she has devoted most of her energy to teaching Creative Writing to adults and adolescents.

Dee is addicted to cruising tropical waters in the winter as often as she can and loves the clear lake waters that surround her island cottage in Central Ontario. She is fascinated by the interactions between men and women of all ages and cultures and by the resilience that people display in the face of devastating troubles.

After years of reading all kinds of mysteries, Dee gradually found herself choosing stories with a higher romance content. Her own stories moved in the same direction. Recently, she realized that she was a natural to write romantic suspense novels. After all, she met her husband in what could have been the opening scene of a romance novel. Dee was auditioning for the singing lead in a college musical comedy that he had written. Naturally, she got the part . . . and the man.

Now that she is focusing her attention on her writing, these days Dee's main distractions are, aside from her husband, her two grown daughters and six grandchildren.

Dee has been a member of the Romance Writers of America since 1990, of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers since attending a great conference there in 1992, and of the Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA since 1998.



Interview

Q: Tell us a little about your life outside of writing.
A:
I was brought up in Timmins, a Northern Ontario mining town and suspect that accounts for my love of dramatic scenery, strong men and independent women. It also taught me nothing is impossible with determination and hard work. I always wanted to be a writer. I tried many other careers - ranging from selling in a music store to teaching creative writing Ėbefore I was able to arrange my life ten years ago to be able to write full time. Since then I have had five Romantic Suspense novels published.

I am married to Terry Sheils, award-winning author of horror, mystery, and fantasy. Iíve always said, "Writing is as essential as breathing in our house." We share the house with one of our six grandchildren, a ladylike Golden Retriever and a little cat named Slayer.

My favorite pastimes are reading, writing, cooking, cruising warm Caribbean waters in the winter and relaxing on our little island in Ontarioís cottage country in the summer. I enjoy speaking at Romance and Mystery conferences and coordinating my Library In Your Hand workshops in which authors introduce readers to the pleasures of reading novels on their own handheld readers, PDAs and Pocket PCs.

The last few years, I find I read more on my handheld than I do paper books. Of course, I love both.

Q: What made you start writing and when did you start?
A:
Iíve always been a voracious reader and, from time to time, I get annoyed at a direction an author takes a story. About ten years ago, I asked myself why I didnít put my money where my mouth was and give novel writing a try. I havenít looked back since Awe-struck published IN THE RUNNING.

Q: What are your two favorite books of all time, and why?
A:
That is so hard to decide. For years, I would have said PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen. I guess this was the first romance novel that really moved me. Then I began to read mysteries and loved all the Dorothy L Sayers novels and Mary Stewartís. My very favorite contemporary romance novels were written by Jennifer Cruisie. Her early Temptation novels can make me laugh out loud. Iíve re-read MANHUNTING a dozen times. Every time I do, I have to read paragraphs aloud to Terry to explain what Iím chuckling at. I bet he could quote most of the novel himself by now.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A:
Letís see. As soon as they are released, I automatically buy books by Megan Sybil Baker (aka Linnea Sinclair), Elise Dee Beraru, Kate Douglas, Irene (Tina) Estep, Michele Bardsley, and , of course, Terry Sheils. Terryís I donít have to buy.

Q: What type of books do you write? Is there a reason you write (for instance) historical romance rather than science fiction?
A:
I choose to write Contemporary Romantic Suspense because it suits my ridiculous optimism. For years, I read mysteries. I guess that's because in a mystery novel, even though its world is ugly and violent and full of danger, the villain is always caught. In life, in spite of the fact that I know shallow relationships, abandonment, betrayal, even abuse are too prevalent, I believe that real generosity of spirit and deep, abiding love do exist. I refuse to believe that my own marriage was just a lucky fluke. It must be possible for other people to find that kind of happiness. Combining those two concepts in Romantic Suspense seems to be right for me

Q: What one thing do you like the most about being a writer, and why? What do you like the least?
A:
I love seeing a character who begins as a mere wisp of an idea take form and breathe. Iíve always been able to lose myself in reading a book but the total absorption that happens when you are writing a story is absolutely addictive. What I donít like is how the book takes over my life completely.

Q: If you include love scenes in your books, are they difficult for you to write? How do you decide whether to include a love scene at that point in the book, and if so, how explicit to make it?
A:
Love scenes are not difficult to write when it is obvious that the characters need to make love. If the hero and heroine have not reached the point in their relationship when they can no longer resist each other, the love scene will seem stiff and contrived. As far as the level of explicit description is concerned, some love scenes demand more explicit description than others. If the lovers find they can make physical love easily it is not always necessary to write in as much detail.

Q: Out of all the characters you've created, which is your favorite, and why?
A:
I think Bart who appears in all three of the Dangerous Waters novels. He is strong, intense, dangerous and has a wicked sense of humor. Now, his lovemaking is full of passion and laughter. I like that combination.

Q: Do you write related books, such as series that revisit characters and/or settings you've written about in previous books? As a reader, do you read other authors' series?
A:
I read and write only series novels which stand completely alone. Characters may appear in several novels but the stories are not intertwined. I become annoyed when I read a book only to find that all the important threads are not tied up in the conclusion.

Q: What traits do you like or dislike in a hero or heroine?
A:
I really donít like a heroine who is a perpetual victim. I like to begin a romantic suspense with a strong, appealing heroine who normally has a firm grip on the direction of her life. Suddenly, something unexpected wrenches control away from her. Her familiar world becomes unpredictable and strange. She is in danger and suspicious of everyone. The hero comes to her aid. Her aid, I say, not to her rescue. She must still have some part in saving herself. He is, of course, marvelously attractive, strong, capable and sexy.

Q: What's your current writing project? How did you come up with the idea?
A:
Iíve had a lot of fun with the ghosts in GHOST OF A CHANCE and UNQUIET SPIRITS but now Iím playing around with quite a different kind of story. The thought occurred to me when I was lying on a hard hospital bed with a huge cylindrical camera taking pictures of my heart.(Itís functioning fine, thanks.) What if the radioactive substance theyíd pumped into me triggered some electrical impulse in my brain that would allow me to hear other peopleís thoughts? Perhaps this ability would last only as long as the radioactive material was in my system. The possibilities are intriguing, arenít they?

I am also playing with a story idea for Bronwyn from IN THE RUNNING. Her decision between the sheriff who is her own age and a much younger man.