Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Virna DePaul

Today I want to Welcome the awesome Virna DePaul... Hi Virna!! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Danielle, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog!  When thinking of a topic for today, I thought I’d focus on an important aspect of writing: meeting new people, whether they’re fictional or not.

Writers often give considerable thought to the names of their fictional characters.  How it sounds, what it means, whether beginning letters are repeated with other names, and whether the writer’s history has left the name with a bad connotation.  In addition, writers might try to find the name that “fits” the character’s background and back story.  A character’s name is basically a “short cut” or “clue” to who the character truly is. 

When it comes to meeting readers, writers often develop relationships through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  They’ll come to know readers/friends/followers by their handles.  Occasionally, we get to meet readers at conferences or other events, learn more about them as individuals, and make the type of connections you just can’t get online.  Some of these connections remain casual, but others become the base for something deeper.

Whether it’s a fictional character or a real online friend, writers develop their craft by opening themselves to a variety of people, places, and situations.  This includes being willing to explore the intricacies of both the hero and villain alike.  For example, as I work on the first book of my romantic suspense series for HQN, I’ve found my villain growing in complexity.  When I can truly feel a moment of compassion or sympathy for my villain, I know I’m finally beginning to dig deep enough into his or her character. 

I’ve never been a writer whose characters “talk” to me.  Beyond the names and characteristics I give them, they remain more like tools than friends.  But if I can do my job well enough, give them form and heart and soul so readers think of them as “real” and care about their struggles, it’s at that point they are actually given breath. 

I’m going to New York this week for the RWA National Conference.  I’ll be spending lots of time with my fictional characters, old friends, and hopefully new friends alike.  I love that my writing has given me the chance to meet people like Danielle and those friendships in turn provide me the opportunity to introduce more readers to my characters.  It’s a wonderful circle!

Virna will be giving away  a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter. Are you looking forward to any upcoming conferences or which author are you most looking for to meeting? 

Good Luck!!!

Bio: Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor who writes paranormal romantic suspense for Berkley (Para-Ops Novels), and contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romanic Suspense and HQN.


United by fate. Bound by desire.

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn – humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA – still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.


Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.

Thank you so much Virna for stopping by and I look forward to having you stop by again soon. Hopefully I will get the chance to meet you soon since we chat so much and have a great time in NYC!!


  1. I have never been to a conference but hope to go to one within the next year or so. I do have some social anxiety, panic attacks caused by being crowded, but if I can work through this, I would love to meet some of my favorite authors.
    GFC follower: June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  2. I have never been to a conference or even a book signing. Although I would really like to. Your book sounds very interesting and I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway
    Debbie Bussie. Dpbussie. GFC follower. @okmom43.

  3. I cannot wait for AAD *big grin*. I am very excited to meet Larissa Ione and see Jennifer and Stella again this year. Oh and Denise Robbins, JA Saare, Burns and on and on!

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  4. Not entering the giveaway, just wanted to say this was a great guest post. : )

  5. Great post! Already been to Lori Foster's get together this year. Will be at it next year. Hope to make it to AAD in NOLA next year, but not sure at this point.

  6. I am looking forward to going to Readers and Ritas in November and meeting Gena Showalter and Ann Aguirre, both of whom have helped fill my book cases and totally empty my wallet!
    Love this post as always like to find out more about how authors view and come to create their fictional characters, especially like the fact you consider your characters as tools where as we the readers come to know them as treasure friends!


  7. I've never been to a conference, but I'll have to keep my eyes open for any that come close to home, because everyone who goes to one with authors seems to love it.

    I'd most like to meet Charlaine Harris to discuss how she really feels about the liberties Alan Ball has taken with her series.

  8. I have never been to a conference but would love to some day! This book looks great! Thanks for a great post today!


  9. I've never been to a book conference, but would probably really enjoy a more smaller event.

    A couple of author's I would love to meet are Sarah McCarty, Joey W Hill and Sharon Ashwood.

    cathy m
    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  10. I would love to go to a conference, but alas. I would be happy to meet any & all.( I can see security throwing me out at some point.)


  11. I have not been to any conferences.There are never anywhere near here. But I recently found out that Kelley Armstrong will be here in October and I'd love to be able to go to her signing.

  12. Thx for the post. I'd love to go to the author signing this week as I live in NYC but I'm afraid it will be so crazy crowded. There are so many authors I'd love to meet like laurell Hamilton, Jacqueline frank, Kelsey Cole, gens showalter to name a few.

  13. I've never been to any conferences. I'd love to attend one!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. I am going to AAD in Philly and I can't wait. It will be my first ever con and I am super excited. I am a little nervous to meet everyone because I am really shy at first but I can't wait.

  15. I am hoping to go to RAW this year. I really want to meet Lorelei James in person. There are so many others I would love to meet. I might just become a professional fangirl so I can meet all of my favorites!

  16. I have never been to a conference or met an author! I'd love to do both tho. I am dying to read this book, it looks just fantastic.

    follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  17. I would love to attend a conference. They sound like a lot of fun.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  18. The other day a friend of mine wrote on my facebook wall that I "had" to read you. You made quite the impression on her.

  19. I've been to signings but never a conference. A whole roomful of authors? Wow!

    ironss [at] gmail [dot] com

  20. I'd love to meet Brandon Sanderson, who is the author of Elantris, my all time favourite book. The book is fantasy but it has a nice bit of romance included.

  21. I know it's a long way off, but I'm counting the days 'til RWA 2012...because it's going to be near Los Angeles! *chair dance*

  22. I'm joining the club here - never been to a conference or signing. May get to one next year as my birthday present from the hubs. It would be so cool to meet some of these great authors.


  23. I've seen so many great reviews for this book! It is on my list. Thanks for the give away and great site you have here :)

  24. Hi Virna!

    I wish I was in NY today for the big book signing thats for sure.
    At the beginning of June I attended the Lori Foster Reader/Writer conference. My friend and I drove down from Canada. 7hr drive but sooooooo worth it.

    I got to meet Nalini! I got to meet a whole bunch of authors from Turquoise Morning Press - Keri Ford, Margaret Ethridge, Madison J Edwards, Renee Vincent and and bunch more! I had such a good time. I can't wait for the next conference and I have my eye out for another conference within driving distance.

    As for author I am most looking forward to meeting??? That would be in August at the Fergus Highland Games. I will meet Diana Gabaldon!! I can't wait!

    Best to you,
    another_look_book_reviews at hotmail dot ca

  25. I really want to go to the Lori Foster Reader/Author get together but have had plans the past couple of years. Fingers crossed for next year!

  26. I am not going to any conferences, but I have been to a book fest where I met Roxanne St. Claire.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  27. Never been to a conference, it would be an awesome experience. Maybe one day!

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  28. I have never been to a conference but I would love it I

  29. Have not ever been but I think would be fun. As for authors to meet... that's really hard decision on the list are Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nora Roberts, and Debbie Macomber.

    pams00 @

  30. ive never been to a conference but id love to go to one in the future. I have so many favorite authors that id like to meet, just to name a few: lora leigh, diana palmer, christine feehan, dililah devlin...and the list goes on! id love to go just to meet new authors too! :)

  31. I have never been to a conference, but it would be very cool to go and meet all of my favorite authors! Have fun!


  32. I've never been to a conference but would love to go. I would love to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Lynsay Sands, Jennifer Ashley, and Jo Beverley.