Dellani Oakes

Making People Fall in Love One Couple at a Time

It’s Trivial, But It’s All About Me! Fantastic Blog Hop Summer Splash

fantastic blog hop busI was born in a crossfire hurricane—Not really, I just like that line. Actually, I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and it was pretty calm. I have no lack of things to tell about myself, so I decided to do another trivia page for this round of the Fantastic Blog Hop.

Where do you find inspiration for your books?

I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes, it’s a word or phrase I hear. Other times, it’s a song lyric. More often than not, a sentence pops into my head and demands to be written down. Another follows and another until I have a story.

What inspired your next book?

My next book is Conduct Unbecoming. It’s a Teague (The Ninja Tattoo) McMurtry novel. A friend of mine fell in love with Teague and begged me to write another book. “Only I want to be in it and I want to kiss Teague!” Challenge accepted. I wrote Aileen in, gave her a chance to kiss Teague (and punch him). I hadn’t expected the character to be such a major player as she turned into. I hope she likes how the story turned out. I had fun with it.

Conduct Unbecoming will be out October 3, 2014.

You write some steamy love scenes. Do people ever think that you’re some kind of sex fiend who’s had a really exciting life?

Fairly often. People don’t accost murder mystery authors and ask them how many people they’ve killed, but they will ask romance authors, “Have you really done that? You must have a great sex life!” It’s imagination, folks!

What would you be if you weren’t an author?

I can’t live without music and books. If I weren’t writing books, I’d definitely be making music.

A lot of your characters are career or former military. Have you ever been in the service?

I have not, though I have many friends and family members who have. I like the military characters because they have skills that the average person doesn’t. Characters, like Teague (The Ninja Tattoo) and Frank (Bad Fall) are self-possessed, confident, unflappable and willing to risk themselves for others. They take protecting the people they care about to another level. They are able to follow through with the promise to keep them safe.

Many of your characters come from large families. Is your family as extensive as theirs?

Not really. I am one of 14 grandchildren on one side and one of 8 on the other. My immediate family consists of me and my older sister. I like the dynamic of the big families. They hold one another dear, embrace eccentricities and don’t take themselves or anyone else too seriously. It also gives me a wealth of minor characters to draw on.

If you had to pick a favorite character, who would it be?

Oh, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child! I love all my characters, though there are some who are more dear to my heart. Teague (Ninja Tattoo) is one that I’m very fond of. I also love Bobby (Under the Western Sky), but I can’t forget Wil (Lone Wolf) or Manuel (Indian Summer) and his well appointed pants!

The funny thing is, although these guys are totally awesome, my favorite character would have to be Cullen Fellowes. Cullen is a rock star. He’s front man for a band called Sardonic. He’s been a minor character in at least 11 books. I’ve lost track. He’s funny, outgoing, endearing and embarrassing. He dares life to let him down, and it doesn’t.

Cullen has never asked for his own book. He’s content being involved with the others. He doesn’t want to take over or make himself the main character, he just likes to hang out, make music and hit on pretty women. (He also likes embarrassing them).

What’s your take on romance novels where the main conflict is between the main characters?

I’m so glad I asked myself this question! I hate them. A little arguing goes a long way. I like my characters to get along and enjoy one anther’s company. If they’re fighting, they aren’t falling in love and having hot love scenes! Not only that, I feel that the conflict should come from outside their relationship. They get stronger because they battled adversity together. I think it makes for a much more interesting and entertaining story dynamic.

Are any of your characters like you?

Not really. I think my ladies encompass characteristics I wish I had. They are strong, fearless, fiercely devoted to their men and don’t take shit from anyone. Though I do share some of these same traits, I can’t pick up a gun and shoot the bad guy. I don’t know martial arts. I’ve never used a sword and I don’t dance well. My girls to all of the above, and much more.

The main character, Gabriella, In Indian Summer is 15. She gets herself in and out of a lot of scrapes. Do you really think a 15 year old girl could do what she does?

Absolutely! Gabriella is undaunted, loyal, resourceful and intelligent. She’s loosely based on my own daughter who, at 15, would have done everything Gabriella did and more. Whenever I got to a point where I wondered if Gabriella was believable, I would apply the WWKD principle (What Would Kathryn Do)?

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