WhitneyDineenWhitney Dineen is a retired Ford model who writes romantic comedies and middle reader fiction. Her first romantic comedy, She Sins at Midnight, won a silver medal in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Award. She has two young daughters, five chickens named after Barbie princesses and weeder’s hands.

Time to chat with Whitney!

Is your recent book part of a series?

Mimi Plus Two is book 2 in The Mimi Chronicles. In The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, Mimi is hell bent on finding Mr. Right and winds up with two remarkable specimens to choose from. In Mimi Plus Two, she marries into the aristocracy, gets pregnant and falls spectacularly into postpartum hell.

MimiReinventionDo you feel your current book is your favorite?

I love Mimi Plus Two. Mimi is my soul sister. I can definitely relate to her pregnancy and postpartum issues, as I suffered from both with my gestations. However, I do like to rely on the “funny” when writing. Postpartum is a serious issue, but I am first and foremost a romantic comedy author, heavy on the comedy.


Mimi Plus Two, has caused some controversy and very mixed reactions with readers. Can you tell us about that?

Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. Readers fell in love with Mimi in The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, where Mimi battled her inferiority complex, searched for the love of her life and joined Weight Watchers. In Mimi Plus Two, Mimi gets married, is pregnant and dreaming of her happily-ever-after when she gets hit with an extreme case of postpartum depression. About 25% of my readership is livid with the storyline.

All I can say, look folks, crap happens. Mimi is a fully dimensional character living a life like the rest of us, riddled with bumps and bruises. If you’re looking for a pure fairy tale, pass this book up, it’s not for you. Mimi Plus Two is still a humor novel and there’s plenty of it, but it gets a bit deeper than the first book. If you love Mimi and don’t want to read this book, fear not. Mini Mimis will be out in the Spring of 2017 and it’s straight comedy. As a veteran of severe postpartum depression I can only say that I’m really disappointed by the criticism of the storyline. I set out to make people more aware are a real issue in hopes of opening their eyes and creating tolerance. I had hoped to reach more of you with this message.

Do you have complete control over your characters or do they ever control you?

The truth is I’m their bitch. I do what they tell me. If I name them wrong, they let me know. If I don’t write their dialogue correctly, they wake me at 3 in the a.m. to fix it. They OWN me.

What genre have you never written and would like to try?

I currently have a fantasy novel trying to write itself. I’m all, “Not now! I don’t have the time!! OMG, wait until summer break with the kid’s is over!!!” It’s not listening and I may be forced to get up at 4 a.m. through the summer to get it out. I am not pleased at the thought.

What do you think the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

I think a lot of people think indie authors are writers who couldn’t make it with a big house. This is simply not the truth. Many authors choose to be indie because they want to control their content and not have it watered down or changed to the point it doesn’t resemble their original idea. They also want to produce books quicker and more often than the mainstream publishing houses will let them. Often times, unless you’re a huge name, indie authors make way more money than their “legit published” counterparts.

She Sins Cover OnlyWhat are some of the crazy things people have said upon learning that you’re an author? How have you responded?

I think the most ludicrous thing people have said is, “It must be nice to have the time to write a book!” Like time is the only ingredient necessary in penning 80K plus words into a workable and marketable tome. Like I don’t get up at 4 in the a.m. when I’m writing so I still have time to be a fulltime mother, gardener, wife, housekeeper and laundress. While my instincts are to react violently, I usually just smile and answer, “Yeah, I’m lucky like that.”

Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

Yes I do. Write what you love, write what you feel and don’t edit yourself. Let your freak flag fly and shoot for the stars! Don’t worry about what your mother, father, Aunt Betty, or third grade teacher will think when they read your words. That kind of censorship is the kiss of death to creativity.

Is it important for you to know the end of the book you write? The title?

I never even know what the next sentence is in the book I’m working on yet alone the ending. Truthfully, my books author themselves and I’m their secretary taking dictation. It’s a wonderful and weird process that I don’t question. I see a lot of my life and self in my characters so I know I have value beyond my typing skills, but man, I’m always surprised but what flies through my fingers onto the computer screen.

What is your most favorite comfort food? Least fave?

French fries, hands down! I love shoestring, steak fries and waffle cut. I adore them all! I hate snails. Actually, I loathe them. The mere thought of them gags me.

If you could have one skill you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would be a kick ass, auditorium-filling, diva singer, the likes of which Aretha Franklin would envy. I would have heart, soul and lungs that never quit. I would be the female equivalent of Freddie Mercury and would belt out Preacher Man and I Will Survive without my children begging and pleading with me to stop.

If you are a TV watcher, what are the names of your favorite shows?

I have not been a dedicated television watcher since my kids were born; having said that, I get sick once a year and take to my bed in high drama and binge watch some show or another. I tackled every episode of House of Cards on Netflix in March and now have an extremely heightened fear of politicians and Robin Wright. Seriously, I would cross the street if she was coming toward me.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I have this charming little disorder called Misophonia, which essentially makes me super, duper, über, insanely sensitive to sound. Therefore, I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is someone chewing nuts within a mile of me.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

My children laughing causes me no end of joy.

What is the most valuable class you took in school?

Clearly typing. I have yet to use Logic, Rhetoric and Persuasion, Religious Quests or Trig. History has come in handy a bit and Film Criticism allowed me to live in L.A. for 18 years and have something to talk about at industry parties, but typing? Typing is where it’s at!

Have you ever walked out of a movie?

Yup. I walked out of Minions. What the heck is with those little, yellow talking phalluses. I do not get the draw to save my life.

Do you have guilty pleasures?

Um, yes. My favorite would be whipped cream sprayed directly out of the can into my mouth. I also really love mini colored marshmallows in some kind of horrid jello salad. Ooh and Peppermint Schnapps in hot chocolate.

I hear you some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?

OMG, yes! I’m pregnant again!! I am so totally and completely kidding. I’ve been pregnant 6 times to have 2 live births. My girls were born when I was 40 and 42. During my second c-section, I had my tubes tied. So if I ever, EVER, wind up pregnant again, heads will roll!!! I guess that makes my exciting news my tubal ligation.

If you were to advertise your book as a bumper sticker, what would it say?

Pregnancy, Postpartum & Aliens

         The Trifecta of Nuts




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Gerri Bowen lives in beautiful south central Pennsylvania with her family, many cats and three dogs. She writes paranormal/fantasy with humor, and her stories can be historical or contemporary, but usually always with characters from her wild-blooded world. Gerri is always appreciative when people read her books, and jumps for joy when someone leaves a lovely review.

What is your latest book?



Is your recent book part of a series?

 Yes, it’s book one in THE LOVE IN GETTIS SERIES. And Gettis is short for Gettysburg. Book one is a Time Travel from 800’s western Ireland to modern day Gettysburg.

What are the special challenges in writing a series?

 Remembering all the people that pop in and out, what they look like, and so on. With my Wild-Blooded world and all the characters in that world, I had to write it all down with explanations. It’s on my website, but more importantly, I have a glossary in front of my latest book, ESCAPE TO GETTIS…AND LOVE. I’ve heard back that it’s a great reference.

What are the greatest challenges in writing short stories?

 For me, it’s writing a believable romance in 10,000 words. A couple meet and are attracted to the other, have problems with the other, problems resolved, words of love expressed from both a happy ending and no room for sex. All in 10,000 words.

How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?

 I started out writing historical romance. Those manuscripts are packed away, and will remain so. I discovered that as I wrote, humor crept in, and then fantasy and paranormal. So I’m happy writing stores with humor…the impossible…and love.

Are your characters ever based on people you know?

 They may be, but not consciously. I do use characteristics of some people I’ve come across, but not an entire character.

If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?

 Escape into my world.

What else have you written?

 Many short stores in anthologies. I have an anthology of my own with some of my short stories that make up a family story, the Wilde’s and their friends. It’s Regency, ON THE WILD SIDE.

My first novel was FOR LOVE OF GWYNNETH. Historical set in England in 1135.

AUDREY’S LOVE. A Time Travel to 1068 England, and also a murder mystery.

LOVE’S BLOOD. Historical set in Wales/England. Vikings included.

My current release features two characters from LOVE’S BLOOD.


How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Always. I’m usually very pleased.


What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

I enjoy thinking about the story and the characters, what they get into, what they need to achieve, that sort of thing.

The least? Trying to write it down before I forget all those lovely nuggets.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

 I prefer to write them in order although every now and then I’ll need to write a scene down and then I’ll save it for later in the book.


Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?

 No, only the title. If I have an ending in mind, and I usually do, it’s never the one I end up with.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

 I edit a bit as I begin a new writing session since that helps me get into the mood of the scene, but I save most of the editing for when I know I finished with the book.

After working for a very long time on a novel, many authors get to a point where they lose their objectivity and feel unable to judge their own work. Has this ever happened to you? If so, what have you done about it?

 Yes, always. When it’s complete, I’ll ask if people to read it and let me know if its crap, needs more work, does it make sense or if it’s fine.

What are some of the crazy things people have said to you upon learning you are an author? How have you responded?

Can you give me a free book?

I just look at them and tell them they can buy one. I guess I’m getting grumpier as I get older.

How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?

Very important. It’s how I think about them and picture them.

Authors, especially Indies, are constantly trying to understand why some authors sell very while their talented fellow authors have a hard time of it. It’s an ongoing conundrum. What do you make of it all?

I wish I understood. With one book, AUDREY’S LOVE, I had all these great reviews coming in from people I didn’t know. My publisher at that time didn’t know either. I’ve never experienced that level of gushiness with any other of my books.

Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

Don’t rush it. Sit on it. Let it simmer. If you send it out, the next day you’ll think of a great line or scene to add. So sit on it, start another book and when you’re sure it’s ready, send it out to be edited.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?

 I was first published with Highland Press, they gave me my start. My first short story was BLUE MOON REUNION in the BLUE MOON ENCHANTMENT ANTHOLOGY. All the stories were based on what happens in a blue moon. The book won an award. I submitted other short stories that were published and then novels to Highland Press. I finally decided I wanted to self publish. I just didn’t know how. At one of my chapter meetings Judi Fennel spoke, and that’s when I decided I’d just do it. So I did it.

Blue_Moon_ReuionPlease, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

I enjoy Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve made some good friends on there and also discovered some great books. No time for anything else, really.

My least favorite part of social media is the author who pleads/DM’s me to read their book. I don’t have time to read what is already on my Kindle as it is. I do actually add books to my want to read list, but not if people keep pushing it in my face. We all have books. We all want people to read and like our books. You can’t force that.

Do you have any grammatical pet peeves to share?

Only the rules I always, always forget.

What do you like best about the books you read? What do you like least?

The story. I want to read a good story. I want to know more about the characters in the story. If it’s humorous, so much the better.

The least? I already know about sex, so I really don’t need another description. Unless it’s funny, then I’ll read the scene. Otherwise I skip right over them. If I’ve skipped over half the book I don’t buy that author again. I also dislike when things don’t make sense, as in someone going down to investigate a noise when they know a killer is after them, but the author thinks they have to do this because they need it to happen to make the rest of the story work.

Do you have any secrets for effective time management?

My chapter has this thing called 50 words in 50 days. It gets you in the habit of writing at least fifty words a day. After a while, it’s double what you did the day before and then before you know it, you’re writing in the thousands a week. I do this every day and it’s the only thing I do remotely relating to time management.


Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?

Born to write. Can’t help but write and always have from elementary school on.

Do you dread writing a synopsis for your novel as much as most writers do? Do you think writing a synopsis is inherently evil? Why?

I hate them. I can write them much, much later, but not when my latest book is still fresh.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

Ignore them because anyone can put up a review, even if they haven’t read the book.

Many authors do giveaways; have you found them a successful way to promote your book?

To be truthful, I’ve never had a giveaway. Since most of my books are $.99, I’d say that is a giveaway.

Are you an early bird writer or night owl? And do you have any must haves like coffee, chocolates, wine, music or something else?

I like to start writing in the morning before duty calls me away. I must have coffee and music.

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

I believe it’s very important, and I do shy away from covers that look garish, show evidence of torture and half-clothed people.

A lot of authors are frustrated by readers who don’t understand how important reviews are? What would you say to a reader who doesn’t think his or her review matters?

They matter. Reviews do matter. But I think they know that already.

Do you know anyone who has ever received any auto DM on Twitter (with a link) who was happy about it?

 Never discussed that with anyone, but I would doubt it.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

Pennsylvania, outside of Hanover. I moved here from Maryland almost ten years ago. I love it here.

Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?

 A car. I used to love to fly, but not anymore. Boats sink. I’d ride a train if I had to.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

 A play table with two chairs. It was a Christmas present and I was nine.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

 Trustworthy, honesty, good sense of humor.

What makes you angry?

 Cruelty to people, animals.

What music soothes your soul?


What was the most valuable class you ever took in school? Why?

 Art. I learned to trust myself.

If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite shows with us?

 NCIS, Bones, Big Bang Theory and Grimm.

If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?

 Bookcases for all my books.

What’s your favorite film of all times?

 It used to be Make Mine Mink. Now it’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel For The Elderly And The Beautiful.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When someone deliberately misunderstands another person.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

Smile at people, with a real smile. Tell the people we love that we love them. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Looking at trees. Really.



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