September 12, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Book Feature – Hong Kong Treasure by D. Dominik Wickles #AuthorInterview
Hong Kong Treasure
by D. Dominik Wickles
Deshi Han, a martial arts actor and director, thinks a serious relationship would hamper his career. On a charity trip to the typhoon ravaged Philippines he agrees to take a young American woman back to Hong Kong to rest and regain her memory.
Once back in Hong Kong, Deshi reluctantly allows the woman he names Annie, to accompany him on the movie sets and on his trips across China. Despite his attempts to remain aloof with Annie, a romance develops between them.
Meanwhile, Annie is troubled by nightmares which allude to a danger lurking from her past and someone on Deshi’s crew is trying to sabotage their budding romance. As Deshi is forced repeatedly to disrupt his work schedule to protect Annie, it serves to confirm his belief that careers and relationships don’t mix.
But when it looks like Deshi will lose Annie, and he risks everything to save her, will it be too late?
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
About two seconds after I learned to read. I became an insatiable reader and bi-weekly trips to the local library kept me in mysteries and adventure books. Before long my head started filling with my own stories, especially when I discovered romances.
How many books have you written?
On and off I’ve written many short stories. It wasn’t until my sons were in high school and then college that I wrote my first full-length novel. Hong Kong Treasure was published in March of 2015. Just recently, I have finished my second novel and hope to get it published soon.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
My first book takes place in Hong Kong and China so there was quite a bit of research to do. All told, it took about three years to write, Hong Kong Treasure. My second book takes place in Philadelphia so it only took about two years to write.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Everything gives me ideas for books, TV, news stories, people I see, places I go, etc. There’s an un-exhaustible supply of ideas all around us.
Who are your favorite authors?
I read mostly mysteries and romances so I enjoy reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Agatha Christie, Laura Joh Rowland, Victoria Thompson, G. A. McKevett, Gayle Callen, Nancy Martin’s Little Black Book of Murder series, Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, Jennifer Crusie, Shannon Drake…I could go on and on.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find editing my manuscripts challenging. It never seems to end. The creative me spits out a story with hardly any effort. Then the editing me takes over and dissects the story line by line while the creative side complains that it’s taking too long.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is by a sunny window. I know windows can be very distracting however; I like to be connected to nature even if I’m indoors working hard.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
I do a pretty complete character bio before I even begin to write and I have to create at least a basic outline of the book so I know the ‘bones’ of the story. I’m a planner and list maker in my everyday life and I bring that into my writing. It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s what works for me.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
It varies, but I strive to write five pages a day while I’m writing first and second drafts. When I’m editing, I go by chapters or characters.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
To me, the hardest thing is trying to write down the story as fast as it plays out in my head.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Thinking of stories is easy for me. I have stories for my next three books in my head already.
Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?
Yes, I sometimes look through magazines and a catalog for images, but it’s often hard to find exactly what I know my characters look like. I wish I could draw faces and then I’d be able to include a pencil sketch with the character bio.
Are your characters based on people you know?
Not really. I may use a characteristic or mannerism of someone I know but that’s all.
Do you use your experiences in your books?
Some of my experiences make their way or at least influence my books but not major issues such as being in a typhoon (Hong Kong Treasure) or being stalked (2nd book).
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Luckily, I’ve never experienced writer’s block but I’ve become stuck at a story point and it can take a couple days for me to work it out before continuing. When that happens I go for walks, wash dishes, clean the house any activity where I can free my creative brain.
What do you think makes a good story?
Romance, humor, a little mystery or suspense, great characters and a happy ending.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing exhausts my creative brain but energizes my physical being. Does that make sense?
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
I felt ecstatic when a publishing house considered my first book good enough to publish. I was floating on cloud nine for a couple months and I truly felt I was a writer.
What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?
My friends and family have always supported my writing and every little accomplishment along the way. I’m not the only writer in my extended family.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I like to go camping, hiking, build & decorate dollhouses, garden, yoga and shop for clothes & antiques. Oh, and of course read!
Do you like music or silence when your write?
I prefer silence to write but sometimes certain music can help set the mood for what’s happening in the story. For instance, listening to a love song sung in Elvis’ silky voice definitely, puts me in the mood for romance writing.
Do you outline or do you just write?
I definitely outline. I also create a timeline with color coded markers to show me the development of each character and plot line.
Do you prefer pen and paper or computer?
I write out a complete first draft with pen and paper then I type it into my laptop to edit.
Do you write as routine or do you write when you feel like it?
I try to write as a routine but often life gets in the way. When my sons were still in school, I’d write while making dinner, at soccer practices or while they were doing their homework – basically, whenever I could squeeze in some time.
What do you love best about your current book?
I love the characters, Elizabeth and Nick. They are lively, passionate and at odds with each other.
What is your next project?
I plan to write a story that takes place in a small town in North Carolina and involves a woman restoring an old house into a bed & breakfast and the construction worker she hires to help.
Meet Diane Wickles
D. Dominik Wickles is the pseudonym for Romance author, Diane T. Wickles. Diane has always been overly curious and loves to try new things. Some of her interests have included studying martial arts, getting her degree in Criminal Justice, ice skating, traveling and of course, writing stories. Her career path has taken her from bank teller to probation officer to computer instructor to library clerk to author.
She has explored many genres including horror, humor and mystery publishing several short pieces on various online magazines. Diane’s books always have a happy ending but the road to that point is rife with mystery and danger. She is a member of Pennwriters and is active in two local writing groups.
At her home in sunny North Carolina, she talks to her cat, reads 2-3 books at a time, constantly searches for new vegan recipes and creates her characters. In her spare time, she loves camping and building dollhouses.
Contact her at: email@example.com
Social Media Links:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ ddominikwickles
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ddominikwickles
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ dianetwickles