Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interview with Denise Golinowski

Today I’m interviewing a good friend and fellow James River Writer.  A brief history: Denise is one of the first James River Writers I came to know several years ago.  I remember it well; a fresh-faced (well, I wish) young (not so much anymore) writer who was still trying to finish his first novel wandered into the Writers Wednesday event here in Midlothian’s Capital Alehouse.   I was a bit nervous; sometimes I’m the most introverted extrovert (or is it the other way around?) that I know of.  Besides, I really wasn’t an author yet, and I didn’t expect the august company into which I was innocently gallumping to react all that well to a guy who didn’t have his own ISBN.  They did, though; not only was I eagerly welcomed by Katharine Herndon, but I also then ended up spending much of the night enjoying conversation with Denise and some of her friends.  Since then I’ve bumped into Denise many times, nearly always at events that provide writers an opportunity to improve their knowledge of the craft. 

Shorter version: I’m really glad to be able to interview Denise Golinowski today.  So, on to the good stuff.

Denise's latest work, COLLECTOR'S ITEM, is a paranormal romance and is currently available for Kindle at

Please tell us a little bit about your book. 
COLLECTOR'S ITEM is a paranormal romance enovella set in an alternative present day New York City. Shapeshifters have only been "out of the closet" for about twenty years and society is still adjusting. The Marant Clan, werejaguars, have been leading the effort to bring shapeshifters into the open and achieving the successful passage of the Paranormal Rights Act. However, as we know efforts to reform the world are not without a cost nor without opponents. The Collectors are an underground hunt club that has been existence for centuries, hunting paranormals as the Ultimate Big Game and their depredations were part of the motivation for the shapeshifter community to seek protections through public recognition and legal rights. KT Marant's life has already been horribly impacted by the social fear and bias against shapeshifters, and in COLLECTOR'S ITEM she suspects it's happening again with the disappearance of her aunt. Along the way, she enlists the help of another shapeshifter with his own agenda. Together, they take aim at a high-powered business man long suspected of involvement in the Collectors. What happens next could cost KT more than she suspected.

What is the book’s genre? 
Sorry to be repeating myself here, but it's a paranormal romance.

Is this the only genre in which you write?
No. I also write fantasy. My other enovella, also published by The Wild Rose Press is entitled: The Festival of The Flowers: The Courtesan and the Scholar. However, Romance always seems to sneak into my writing. I believe my professional tagline: "Fantasy With A Kiss of Romance" says it all.

What is it about these genres that interests you?
 I enjoy writing fantasy because it gives me the freedom to mix and mingle components of cultures and worlds. From being able to have shapeshifters working to become accepted in public in an alternate contemporary world to having a siren/courtesan push the limitations of an impoverished scholar in a Rennaissance-type world.

How did you come up with this latest plot? 
Collector's Item was a definite "what if" plot. What if Shapeshifters came out of the closet. Now this has been an integral part of Urban Fantasy for a while, but I wanted to write a story closer to the original emergence. Attemptng to show a bit of how challenging such an earth-shaking shift (no pun intended) of world paradigm might feel or look.

What is your writing routine like?
I try to write every night. I'm definitely a night owl. I have a group of writing friends who are always willing to join me in writing sprints on AIM. Writing sprints are timed writing periods. We get into a chat room, chat for a little bit and then buckle down off-line to write for a designated period of time. When the time is up, we come back to the chat room, report on our results, what went well, what didn't, and also share information about the profession of writing as well as our friendships.

What is the most rewarding thing about having finished this latest book?   
For me, the most rewarding thing was that I had completed that crucial SECOND book. Getting the first book written and sold is a milestone, don't get me wrong. I'm eternally grateful to The Wild Rose Press for giving The Festival a home. But the next hurdle for a writer trying to make a career out of their craft is to prove you can follow up. While I chose to move to a different genre, I think that selling the Second Book helps to solidify my dedication and professionalism.

What’s next in the writing queue?
I have another contemporary paranormal, ACES DOWN, set in the same world as COLLECTOR'S ITEM and also a second untitled book involving the Marant Clan—this one based around KT Marant's older brother.

Alpha were-jaguar, Katarina "KT" Marant is trained to protect the pride so when her aunt disappears, KT naturally takes up the hunt. Her suspicion settles on the Collectors, humans who view shapeshifters as the ultimate big game.

Peyton Massey can't believe he's got to blow his cover to rescue a shapeshifter "princess." Even harder to believe is that she wants to stage her own kidnapping in order to catch the leader of the Collectors and find her aunt.

Everything goes sideways when KT is kidnapped for real and by someone she never suspected. Will Peyton find her before time runs out? Or will she become a true Collector's Item?

Denise Golinowski has always been a writer. A hopeful romantic, she gravitated to fantasy and romance.  Collector's Item is her second enovella with The Wild Rose Press. Her first enovella, The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, was published by The Wild Rose Press in September, 2010.  She has also had a number of short stories published, both in the Chesterfield Writers Anthologies and in several online publications.  Denise is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Virginia Romance Writers, and James River Writers.  Through these organizations and the support of two fantastic critique groups, RichWriters and Writers Endeavor, she continues to hone her craft.

Denise lives with her uber-supportive husband and one devoted lap-kitty. She is currently working on more contemporary paranormal and fantasy stories.  You can find her on Facebook at Denise Golinowski/Author.

How can we buy your book? 
COLLECTOR'S ITEM book is currently available only on the Kindle – My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, is actively involved in the Kindle KDP program. My book will become available EVERYWHERE on May 17th.

And now, some fun questions:
  1. Favorite author? Just ONE! If you insist, I would say Marion Zimmer Bradley. THE MISTS OF AVALON was a revelation for me and I dreamed of writing something suitable for her Sword & Sorceress Anthology series. Sadly, she passed before I could even try. (And TOSK adds: a great choice, of course.  MZB is also one of my all-time favorites)
  2. Favorite character in a book you’ve read? Jumping genres, I find myself thinking of Honor Harrington, the main character in David Weber's series of the same name. In an epic space opera, Honor is a woman proving herself more than equal to the task of leadership in the space military.
  3. Favorite vacation?  Anywhere I don't have to lift a finger other than to turn the page of my book.
  4. Coffee or tea?  Coffee, hands down, bottoms up.
  5. Favorite color?  Fluctuates depending on mood, but most often red.
  6. Favorite dessert?  Most anything chocolate, though I'm more a chips kinda gal. Salty and savory as opposed to sweet.


  1. Thank you, Stephen, for having me visit with you here at TOSK. It was fun and I've enjoyed all your interviews. Denise Golinowski

  2. Cool interview! Learned some stuff about you, Girl!!

    1. Thank you for dropping in to visit with me and Stephen, Shann. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.