In today's Featured Friday, we're welcoming EPIC member/EPPIE winner, Vivien Dean! Sit back and learn a little about her...
Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? How has your personality shaped what you do?
Introvert, most definitely. I have always needed the solitude that’s necessary for me to recharge in this overstimulating world we live in. When I was a kid, I would hide under covered tables with a flashlight to read. As an adult, I retreat to my bedroom when I need that isolation. Books became a natural outlet. I started writing at an early age. I had to get so-called “real” jobs as an adult, but after I moved to the UK to get married, I found myself suddenly out of the public workforce for the first time since I was sixteen. I went back to writing as a pastime, only to see it morph into a publishing career after a couple years. It’s worked out perfectly.
What’s the last book you couldn’t put down?
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. I picked it at random off my Kindle during a recent flight and absolutely devoured it. The world-building was fantastic, the characters vivid, and best of all, it’s the first in a series so as soon as I have enough time to read the next book in one sitting—because history has shown me I won’t be able to stop—I’m devouring that one, too.
What’s the most beautiful place on earth you’ve ever seen?
The Highlands in Scotland, hands down. I first saw them in 2002, then later when I lived in the UK, my husband took me to Scotland again because I had such fabulous memories. It’s cold, and historically, life has always been rather harsh there, but the landscapes were the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen. It’s not spoiled by civilization, and there are mountain ranges rising above the glens that take your breath away.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it?
I just finished binging “Glow” on Netflix. Superficially, it’s the story of a somewhat difficult actress in the 80s, played by Alison Brie, who gets cast in the first women’s wrestling TV show, but really, it’s so much more. It’s got a large ensemble, and there are some great performances. I’m not a wrestling fan, but I was in high school in the 80s so I absolutely had to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. It was funny and smart and had some surprisingly real emotional moments.
What’s the most unexpected conversation you ever had with a complete stranger?
A few years ago, I slipped away from my table at the RT book signing to go be a fangirl (because I was a reader long before I was an author). When I stopped at one author’s table, someone I’d never met but had read and loved one of her books, she stopped in the middle of signing the book I was buying to stare at my nametag. She then asked me if I’d written a series of books about lawyers in San Francisco. I had. She then proceeded to go on and on about how great they were and how much she’d loved them, which left me completely gobsmacked. I floated for days after that.
About Vivien: Vivien Dean is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.
Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.
Website/social media links:
With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.
Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.
Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father.
But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.