Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Dani Collins, author of Proof of Their Sin, The Maid’s Spanish Secret, and her latest Harlequin Presents, Untouched Until Her Ultra-Rich Husband.
Where does Dani get her inspiration? How is Canada part of her inspiration? Read on and see...
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~ All pictures (except for the 1st) are supplied by today’s guest with their assurance of usage rights.
Write What You Know – except if you’re Canadian?
I took a long time to publish (twenty-five years. True.) In that time, I wrote many, many manuscripts, but only once wrote a Canadian heroine. I waited until last year to write my first Canadian hero. (It hasn’t sold, but stay tuned. I hope it will!)
I’m not sure what my prejudice is. I’m very proud to be Canadian. Some of the most common writing advice I hear is, “Write what you know,” so you’d think my native land would have inspired every book, but I balk at writing anything too close to home. In fact, within my home, if family happens to walk into my office, the first thing I say is, “Don’t look at my words.” I never want to hear what people close to me think of my books.
Fun fact: I don’t even like people to see my grocery list, I’m that sensitive about feedback on my writing. What are they going to say? “Why do you need apples?” I don’t know, but I don’t like it.
When I write, I prefer to disconnect from my real life as much as possible. That’s why I love the world of Harlequin Presents. I can set my stories across the world in places I’ve never seen full of people from far-flung places. I guess you could say, I find it easier to write what I don’t know. Even when I write small town romance, I prefer to set it in Montana or Washington State rather than my own backyard of Southern B.C.
Having said that, since selling my first book in 2012, I’ve managed to write a handful of Canadian heroines. My first was Lauren from Montreal in Proof of their Sin. I’d never been back east so I asked my brother-in-law if there was a wine region in Quebec. He said, “Quebec is maple syrup, Dan.” So my heroine inherited her grandmother’s estate full of sugar maples.
My next Canadian heroine, Natalie in Seduced into the Greek’s World, was also from Montreal, but I sent her to Paris for a work event for most of the book. Maybe in my mind Canada isn’t exotic? I don’t know what my problem is, but several books went by before I wrote another Canadian.
Consequence of His Revenge came out in 2018. It featured my one Canadian heroine from before I published. In fact, I wrote the first draft of that story when the Vancouver Olympics were announced. Not when they happened in 2010, but five or six years before. That heroine, Cami, was from Whistler—finally I was writing closer to home! Of course, she gets whisked off to Sicily, but still.
This August, another Canadian heroine will come out in The Maid’s Spanish Secret. Originally, I was going to make Poppy from Winnipeg, where my sister lives. At least I’ve visited that beautiful city! But I wanted Poppy to be from a place that was very tiny and rural and given to harsh Canadian winters where the Northern Lights occasionally make an appearance. So she’s from Saskatchewan. Where I’ve never been.
In 2020, yet another Canadian heroine will show up. Cassiopeia lives and works at a hot spring resort. I could have set it in the real-life spa my husband and I visited in Vernon, since it was the inspiration for her workplace. Or I could have set it in Banff, which my husband and I visited last year when I met my editor there. But no, being me, I had to set it near Jasper—which I visited as a child and can’t remember at all.
|Sparkling Hills Spa, Vernon BC|
Obviously, I need help. Do you consider Canada an exotic location? When you come across a Canadian protagonist, what distinctly ‘Canadian’ characteristics do you tend to see in them?
Leave a comment and I’ll randomly draw one lucky name on June 7th to win a digital Advance Reader Copy of my next Canadian heroine, Poppy in The Maid’s Spanish Secret.
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Dani’s latest Harlequin Presents, Untouched Until Her Ultra-Rich Husband, features a Chinese-American hero and a Venezuelan heroine. The story takes place in Singapore, Paris, Africa, New York and Italy. She doesn’t know why Canada isn’t on the list, but this sexy, marriage-of-convenience romance goes on sale Jun 1st. Start reading here.
Buy Links for Untouched Until Her Ultra-Rich Husband:
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. She lives in Christina Lake, BC with her high school sweetheart husband who occasionally coaxes her out of her attic office to visit their grown children.
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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Dani’s News: danicollins.com/news
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Dani-Collins/e/B009RC6AAG