Today I’d like to welcome Seleste deLaney, the author of the tremendously fun contemporary romance Gaming for Keeps (read my review here).
Marlene: Welcome Seleste! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Seleste: Hi! Let’s see… I’m a former lab rat turned high school science teacher turned stay-at-home-mom turned author. It’s quite the pedigree, but I assure you there’s a marginally logical progression from one career to the next. I’m in the process of moving to the Detroit metro area with my two crazy kids and two very loyal attention hounds (er…my dogs. The kids are attention hounds too but in a different way.)
Marlene: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Seleste: I’m a…a…an in-betweener? I call what I do road-mapping. I know where I start and where I’m going to end and I plot a couple sights to see along the way, but I wing how I get from one to the next and sometimes what order they happen. Every once in a while I veer completely off the map too. Luckily that happens less now since my editors like me to stick to the synopses I give them.
A typical day? (We’ll go with pre-summer-vacay since typical is about to fly out the window.) Mornings are generally for taking the kids to school, working out, running errands and doing business-y stuff like emails and whatnot. Afternoons I either do blog posts/interviews or try to get some words in. Once I pick up the kids, it’s a wash as to whether or not I get work done until their bedtime. Generally my most productive writing hours are after the two of them are in bed and quiet. I like to turn off most of the lights and disappear into my laptop.
Seleste: Firefly. Whedon is my god and if I could afford to make another movie happen, I’d hand him the multi-million dollar check personally.
Marlene: Are you a gamer? What do you play?
Seleste: I played EverQuest and EQ2 for quite a few years. It became like a drug for me though and I had to quit. I heard about a game (Bioshock Infinite) at a convention (Up in the Aether) recently though that makes me want to start playing again. I’m just terrified that it will eat into my writing time. 🙁
Marlene: ConDamned reminded me of a lot of cons I’ve been to. Was it modeled on any particular experience of yours?
Seleste: Not really. One of the things I didn’t want to do was make it a specific con (that I hadn’t ever attended) and end up getting things wrong. So it’s bits and pieces of my experiences at ConFusion, FanExpo (in Canada), and even RT (the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention). I mushed it all up, shook it like a martini, poured and hoped for the best.
Marlene: Would you like to introduce us to your hero and heroine in Gaming for Keeps?
Seleste: Penelope (Megara) is almost a quintessential geek girl. She’s a computer guru who works at a college library, a book lover, and a gamer. Her luck with men has been shoddy at best and her last boyfriend has been screwing up her gaming life since they split. She’s gunshy to say the least.
Cal (Lohonas) is geek, but he’s also an incredibly sexy spy for an organization called TRAIT (they take all the “rejects” from the FBI, CIA, etc). He’s a gamer (which is how they first “meet”) and also heavily into cosplay since he likes to “disappear” at cons.
Marlene: And what’s your favorite scene from the book? And why?
Seleste: There is a shower scene that was added in edits that I love. The exchange between the characters is so fun, and the situation so real that I giggled every time I worked on it. It’s the drama, sexy, and silly all rolled up into one scene.
Marlene: Will there be more books in this series? What is next on your schedule?
Seleste: I have more for the people of TRAIT in the works and will share news as soon as I can! As far as other books, the second in my steampunk series (Clockwork Mafia) just came out at the end of April. And I have a new book in Entangled’s Brazen line (Seducing the Enemy) as well as the next book in my urban fantasy series (Kiss of Life) coming before the end of the year for sure.
Marlene: What was the first book that made you love reading?
Seleste: The very first book I remember devouring over and over again (my parents had to buy me a new, hardcover, copy as a kid because I ruined the previous one) was The Velveteen Rabbit. To this day, it’s a favorite of mine and I’ll occasionally snuggle up with it. I think it was the combination of tragic beauty and magic that drew me in and kept me coming back for more.
Seleste: Oh wow. This is a tough one. Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan is one that was sort of like that, but I’d read The Uglies and enjoyed it, so that’s not a horribly fair answer. I will say that the cover for Eclipse always snagged my attention and made me pick it up, but I ended up buying the Twilight books more to see what all the fuss was about and never actually ended up reading Eclipse.
Marlene: Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn’t know to ask.
Seleste: I actually had to go to Twitter for this, so I’m going to answer all the questions they presented.
- What color panties are you wearing? White with tiny black leopard prints.
- What is directly to your left? A wall. After rearranging my office to sell the house, a blank wall is all I’ve got 🙁
- Dream cosplay? If I could get a group together for it, I’d love to do steampunk versions of all the bad girls from Batman. I know it’s been done, but I love it every time I see it.
- If someone wrote a fanfic with your characters, what characters do you think the author would pair up? Not from this series, but I’m pretty sure there’s probably Remy fanfic out there somewhere, and if he’s not with EVERYONE in it, I’d be horribly disappointed 😉
- Can I have a video of you singing “Gitchee Gitchee Goo” on Youtube? No. In fact, hell no. Unless someone clandestinely films that while I’m at a con and being silly. Then I might have to kill them.
- Can you swallow an entire…bottle of water without putting it down? 😉 I see what you did there. And the answer is yes. Apparently there will now be a test of this at RT next year.
- Something about corsets…? Okay, I have mad love for corsets, but my normal daily uniform is jeans and a t-shirt, preferably with some sort of character on it. (Today, it’s an Avengers one.)
Marlene: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Seleste: Definitely night owl. I prefer people don’t talk to me or even look at me funny in the morning. I was at that convention I mentioned earlier and had a 10:30 panel on Saturday. I had…imbibed late into the night on Friday. One of the girls I’d been hanging out with (who had imbibed less) saw me on my way to the panel in the morning and basically said hi. I had to check myself otherwise I might have snarled at her. From now on, I’m putting in a “no panels before noon” request when I sign up for cons.
Seleste started on her career path as a young child. Stories of talking animals soon gave way to a love of superheroes and science fiction. Her first foray into the world of romance came at age twelve when she envisioned a sweeping epic love story of two people thrust together and torn apart again and again by fate. As she recalls, the plan was for them to admit their love on his deathbed. But, as is often the case with pre-teen girls, a story of that depth gave way to other pursuits, and sadly it is completely lost other than vague memories.After that, she occupied herself with short stories for a while, and then poetry until after she had earned a degree in chemistry, spent time as a high school teacher, and became a mother of two. Then she delved into writing fiction once more.
She never lost her love of the fantastic, and her stories now always reach into other realms. The worlds and people she creates occupy as much of her time as the real world, and she is most fortunate to have a family that understands her idiosyncrasies and loves her anyway.