Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Guest Blog Post: Danica St. Como

Hi Everyone,

Today I am proud to have Danica St. Como on my blog. Please make her feel welcome.

At a recent writers’ conference, the discussion came up during an after hours gathering: where do writers find inspiration? Where does one go for that special idea that grows into a novel?

Not to put too fine a point on it, everywhere! The newbie writer who asked the question scoffed at first, but she finally realized I was serious. Others authors began to chime in.

This sounds so trite, but it’s true: keep a notebook with you at all times (electronic or paper, whatever works for you). I carry a notebook everywhere, even when I’m watching the tellie. Something as simple as a single word or a phrase can get the brain cells charged up. A picture. A smell—the odor of a Peppermint Pattie became the trigger for a kidnap victim in my latest book.

Blog Tour for Danica St. Como
We live on a farm. Although the neighbors hay the fields for me when they can, my job is to keep the fields mowed so we can run field trials for sighthounds (the Greyhound-type family of swift running dogs). Mowing, while satisfying when one sees the end result, doesn’t require lots of brain power. However, it does free the mind to wander. Through the process of spending hours on the tractor, a single story idea grew into a trilogy, which then morphed into six books, and is currently at nine (Book Five is with my editor, Book Six is being whipped into shape).

When I crank up the computers in the morning (PC and laptop), the first thing I do is click on the news, then take a quick look at everything that pops up—and I do mean everything. I check all the news feeds. If something interests me, I copy it to a document and save it. I keep a list of novel notes which includes such news items, so I remember why I saved it. I’m not a huge television junkie, but I do watch NCIS and NCIS:LA, as well as both History channels, and the Discovery Channel. I don’t watch reality shows, but I do watch the other stuff. I check out shows about the Secret Service and the FBI. I watch the Military Channel. (I write erotic romance with an edge of suspense—most of my books usually center around former military or law enforcement characters.) Through all this, I jot down notes.

When I see or hear an interesting name, I write it down, then do searches to discover the origin and ethnicity of that name. I begin to flesh out characters, based on those names. I might see a recipe which intrigues me—that also goes into my character-building file. I have a “stable” of vehicles that I assign to my people. Driving down the road, I see a Volkswagen Beetle. Voila! One of my characters may play Punch Buggy.

My daughter manages two retail stores, and comes home with the most outrageous stories about her customers. Baddabing! New character traits are added to my list. Are you antsy because you’re stuck in line at the grocery store? Pull out your notebook (hey, cops do it all the time), write down your impressions of people, children, what’s weird in the produce aisle. what’s on sale.

At the end of our discussion, our newbie was slack jawed when she realized the world around her was teaming with ideas, just waiting for her to weave them into her stories.

What’s in your world?

Blade Dance
By: Danica St. Como | Other books by Danica St. Como
Published By: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
ISBN # 9781613334867
Word Count: 21000
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)


About the book

Pissed off, crabby, and contemplating getting a guard dog, Wallis Gardner is goddamned tired of being laid up with a gunshot wound while her men—blond, blue-eyed Austin Cooper and dark-haired, grizzly bear Michael Gallo—finish the job they’d all been working on with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

An anonymous tip sends her partners on a futile chase, leaving Wallis to deal with the massive cast on her leg and the creepy new tenant in the small cottage at the edge of her property. When Austin and Michael return, the welcome home party leaves them all exhausted but satisfied before a call comes in with yet another missing girl.

Unprotected, Wallis finds herself dancing at the end of a killer’s blade. But with life and love on the line, this is one dance she intends to lead.

An excerpt from the book

hey’re back. My boys are back. They…are…baaack! If it wasn’t for the cast, Wallis would be doing an energetic Snoopy Dance of happiness.

The last assignment had been the first time their team had been dispatched, short one member. She was honest enough with herself to admit she missed her specialty, which was pouring through evidence. Missed the adrenaline kick when her theories panned out. Missed working within the tight, cohesive unit formed by the three partners as they worked major crime scenes. She’d been stuck at the house, feeling useless, awkward—and oh, so lonely.

Wallis leaned on the kitchen counter, elbows on the cool tile, mug of fresh, hot coffee cradled in her hands. She gazed through the multi-paned windows over the sink, enjoyed the color-drenched patch of relentless wildflowers that struggled for survival at the back edge of the lawn. Engrossed in her reverie, she yipped when a pair of strong arms grabbed her around the waist.

Austin nuzzled the back of her neck.

“Yuck, cowboy, I spilled my coffee. And your hair is still wet. You’re dripping on me.”

“Sorry, darlin’, I couldn’t bear to spend another single minute away from you.”

She twisted in his arms, kissed him. “That’s the best excuse I’ve ever heard. You’re forgiven.”

He took her face in his big hands, returned her kiss with enthusiasm.

She leaned into him. “Mmm, baby, I missed you, missed you, missed you.” She inhaled, deeply. “And you smell so good.”

“Definitely better than I smelled before. I missed you, too. You left me alone with Gallows-Boy. You know how cranky he can be, especially when he’s tired.”

“It wasn’t like I did it on purpose, y’know.” She tapped against the cast with her fingernails.

Austin snorted. “Like getting shot in the line of duty is a good enough excuse for leaving me with him.”

However, his interest in her closeness was immediately evident beneath the towel wrapped around his waist.

Her eyebrow arched then she smiled. “Wow, you did miss me.”

Danica St. Como Author Bio:

A Jersey girl born and bred, for the past nine years Danica St. Como has written at her farm in central upstate New York, surrounded by any number of Whippets—both under desk and underfoot—as well as a malevolent treadmill that stares at her from across the room. She puts her pen to paper, in a manner of speaking, under several romance sub-genres: contemporary, MFM  and MMF ménage a trois, MM pairings, erotic historical, paranormal -- all hot, all steamy, and all sexually explicit.

St. Como is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Central New York Romance Writers chapter of the RWA. Readers can contact her at 

Danica St. Como Author Links:

1 comment:

Danica St. Como said...

Another thing I tell up-and-coming writers: read, read, and keep reading. For the longest time I didn't allow myself the opportunity to read for pleasure -- I didn't have time, after all, I was writing. Don't make that mistake! Read everything you can get your hands on. Go outside your preferred genre, read mainstream as well. For instance, what do shape-shifters have in common with Marine snipers? Victorian romance vs. the FBI? Not a thing. But after I read a chapter, a few chapters, maybe an entire novel, the creative juices are flowing again, maybe something in another author's timing clicks in, and I return to the keyboard.
Read, read, and read!