Rad-Reader:  Was there some kind of inspiration behind Jenna & Rob or just a story that you came up with?

Renee:  When Entangled took on Natalie's story (HOLD ME HARDER) my editor, Brenda, asked if I had a series in mind.  I had written HMH as a standalone and the word "series" stopped me in my tracks. But the wheels started turning about who from the wedding party might have a good story in them and Jenna came to mind immediately. I just needed to find her a partner.

Rad-Reader:  Was there any special season for a Dude Ranch or was that something you came up with as you started writing?

Renee:  Originally, I wrote the first novella in the series for a specific call about cowboys. I'm a city girl, and horses don't much like me, but as a kid, I spent several summer vacations in Bend, Oregon. Let's just say the young men working the barns at places like Black Butte made a very positive impression on me. I definitely channeled those memories for this series.

Rad-Reader:  The beginning of the book when Jenna and Rob were together the first time and it did not go so well.  Did you come up with that or was that something someone told you about or overheard?  And you thought it would be good in a story.

Renee:  I made it up, but when I was looking for a way to show just how self-certain Jenna was, even as a teen, and it wasn't hard to dredge up my inexperienced-teenager-eagerness in a situation like that (the memories are so angsty).  Luckily, I never had the direct experience that Jenna and Rob did.

Rad-Reader:  At the beginning, you also have a moment between Rob and Jenna in his room, which kept Jenna off balance, I felt, was that your intention?

Renee:  Yes. In her mind, he's the same old Rob, but, of course, that isn't quite the case. I view it as the "We're not in Kansas anymore" moment for both of them, but neither knows what to make of that knowledge.

Rad-Reader:  Was having Stephen, Jenna’s brother get in trouble like he did always part of your story or did you have the feeling to add that part?

Renee:  Once I got into the development of Jenna's backstory, Stephen shuffled into the story. Writing the early drafts, I was worried about the scenes involving him would take over the story. Instead, they opened up terrific opportunities for Rob. In writing terms, I am not a "plotter." I tend to let my subconscious mind run with these things and deal with them on revision. In this case, it seemed to work out well, giving Jenna some depth and giving Rob a chance to be the hero she didn't know she needed.

Rad-Reader:  That night with the two of them in the hotel the first time, was it your intention to make Rob feel like he did years earlier with Jenna?

Renee:  Definitely. She's the one person who can throw him off his game.

Rad-Reader:  When in your stories do you know when to add or bring in the scenes or scene like the one when Rob ties Jenna’s hands?

Renee:  I like to let that develop organically, especially in a story where BDSM elements aren't central to the main storyline. In DHB it's more of a playful kink, but at that moment, when trust has become the central focus of their relationship, it felt like the best way to explore their feelings, through deed rather than word.

Rad-Reader:  When your writing your books do you use an outline or do you just write and then make changes?

Renee:  I tell myself I'm a pantser, but in reality, I'm a "plotser." I don't outline in the traditional sense, but once I have a solid idea, solid basic characters, and a story arc with maybe some scenes written, then I have to do some planning. There is always key plot turns I've ignored or left out, and I need to fill those back in. And in doing that, I end up with better-developed characters. It's kind of a holistic approach for me.

Rad-Reader:  Was there ever a time when you thought to have Marianna and Rob get together?

Renee:  Ah! Interesting question. I played initially with different characters getting their story, and I did poke at Rob and Marianna, but they never felt like a good romantic fit. I love her, though. Maybe someday she'll get her own story.

Rad-Reader:  Do you write the characters all together like Rob’s character and Jenna and put them together or just everything together?  Letting it flow where it will?

Renee:  I almost always start stories with characters. Sometimes I see a prompt that piques my interest, but then people start popping into my head, waving and yelling "HEY! I wanna be in this one!" But in Romance, the characters have to challenge and fulfill each others' needs, so mine almost always do need altering along the way.

Just as a behind-the-scenes look at my process: Once I determined Jenna was going to be the main character, I needed a foil for her, and once I decided that would be Rob, I had to tweak her character to be a better foil for him. As a twin, I wanted Rob to be reserved like Natalie (from book 1), and in the early drafts of book 1, Jenna was kind of ditzy, on the comedic side, which would not have fit with Rob's character. So both of them got shaped and molded, filled out and deepened as the writing of the story progressed, and those characterizations had to then be hinted at back in HOLD ME HARDER.

Rad-Reader:  Do you get to chose your own storyline or is it chosen for you and then you write around that?

Renee:  I choose my own. I have learned the hard way that I'm terrible at writing to someone else's well-developed idea. I definitely need the organic sprout from my brain. I'm fine with prompts, but even writing to a trope is a challenge at times. I often find the tropes in my stories after the writing is done, not the other way around. It's not very efficient.

Rad-Reader:  Did you always have the rein in mind as something you wanted to use in the story or did that come about as you were writing Rob’s character?

Renee:  Rob wandered through HOLD ME HARDER with a rein in hand (I had no idea why at the time) so I took it and ran with it in his story. He was always going to be a horse-mad suburban boy so I guess it seemed natural to have him use the tools he's familiar with.

Rad-Reader:  Do you find your response from readers as wanting more scenes like the one Rob and Jenna when he finally takes her to the room, or do they think that it is usually the right amount for the book?

Renee:  Haha, to answer that I'd have to admit I read the reviews. I usually worry that my intimate scenes go on too long or there are too many of them, but I understand that my idea of what feels right doesn't always align with what a reader wants or expects. I do rely on my awesome critique partners and editor to let me know if I'm over- or under-shooting the mark, but I always take readers at their word, whatever their feelings. Naturally, I always hope not to disappoint them.

Rad-Reader:  Did you find any of the characters more challenging to come up with as the story went along?

Renee:  Jenna was a challenge from the beginning. There's a fine line when writing a character as brash as she is, and I was all over the place with her at different points in polishing this story.

Rad-Reader:  Did you plan at the beginning of writing this book, how Rob’s job was going to work out or did it just come to you?

Renee:  Not to give away the ending, but the one thing I always know about writing romance is there WILL be a Happily Ever After. Sometimes sacrifices must be made.

Rad-Reader:  Did you do anything special for yourself when you received your first royalty check?

Renee:  Ha, no. My first check was for a story in an anthology so it was cup-of-coffee sized. Honestly, my biggest thrill comes when I make that final finishing touch on the story and it goes out in the world for people to read--and hopefully enjoy.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Jenna:  Kat Denning

Rob:  Trevor Donovan

Renee:  As a visual reader myself, I love to be able to imagine the story world in my own head, so I usually let readers imagine the characters as they see them. But I will say, your suggestions floored me as being quite in line with my imagination. I'd be fiiiiiine with those choices.

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your couple or your book as a whole?

“Body Say – Demi Lovato”

Renee:  I normally like to have a small playlist to go along with my stories, but I didn't have one with DON'T HOLD BACK. You hit the bullseye on the song, though. I love that choice. (And if Demi wanted to branch into acting, she could be a pretty perfect Jenna, too.)
Rad-Reader: Funny you should say that about Demi, I thought the same thing too. Me, Char putting my two cents in. LOL ;)

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite color?

Renee:  Green, in almost every shade.

Rad-Reader:  Where do you and your family like to travel to for a getaway?  Mountains, beach, desert or out of the country (the USA or to the USA)

Renee:  We aren't, beach vacationers, but just about anything else goes. We have family in Italy, so we travel to Europe whenever we get the chance, and we have a cabin in the mountains here at home for a peace-and-quiet getaway. We are a skiing family, so we jump at the chance of a ski vacation, too. In fact, my next book is partly set at Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia, my favorite ski resort of all.

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite food?

Renee:  I love to cook, but I'm kind of a picky eater, which means I don’t eat a lot of the stuff I make. When my partner isn't going to be home for dinner, I'm happy with Beechers cheese, rosemary crackers, and Castelvetrano olives.

Rad-Reader:  Favorite genre to read?

Renee:  I'm omnivorous. My Kindle would tell you romance, but I adore a well-written book in just about any genre, especially historical fiction.

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Renee:  I'm in the late-stage revision process of my first novel-length release for Entangled, which begins as a super-steamy fling during a ski trip to Whistler (including a scene involving a sex toy and a semi-public setting I'm rather partial to. *grins*)

I don't have the release date yet, but I'll post it in my newsletter, on my website, and on my Facebook page just as soon as I get the word.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books? Links

Renee:  Thank you for asking! DON'T HOLD BACK is available at these outlets...
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2JKQYmb
For Amazon UK/Canada/Australia click the "OR BUY FROM" tab at Entangled's

Buy links for HOLD ME HARDER, Book 1 in the series, can be found here: https://entangledpublishing.com/hold-me-harder.html

And my short story Through Glass a Stranger can be found in the kINKED Anthology, edited by Cori Vidae. All the buy links are here at Pen&Kink Publishing’s book page: http://www.penandkinkpub.com/home/books/anthologies/kinked/

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web? Links

Renee:  Come on by reneedominick.com.  And if anyone wants to indulge, there’s a free, oh-so-hot New Year's Eve story featuring Rob's sister Chloe and her fiancĂ©, Dave over there.

I also try to keep readers updated on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/reneedominickauthor and on Twitter, @renee_dominick

Thank you—and your readers!—for having me, Char. It’s been super fun to share some of the backgrounds of Rob and Jenna finally getting their HEA.

It was a breeze working with you, thank you.  I know Pat has enjoyed your books and had fun getting his questions answered.  His fanboy is now showing for sure.  Come back when you have another book coming out and use our Shout Out: An Author's Place page for you are now part of our Rad-Reader Misfits.

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