On July 27th, 2019 I had the honor of interviewing author Rita Delude. Not only was it her release day for her newest YA novel, “Bubble Gum Love”, it was also her birthday. What an awesome way to celebrate a release. She was kind enough to lend me an hour to talk about her work and we ended up having a lot of engagement from fans and authors alike. I learned a lot from this talented woman and it was really fun.
J. V. Stanley: Let’s give a warm welcome to Rita Delude, author of “Bubble Gum Love”, which released yesterday! She has taken time out of her day (her birthday, no less) to chat with us about her new releases as well as getting down and personal. Let the shenanigans begin!
Rita Delude: Thank you
Kimberly Lee: Whoohoo! Happy release day AND birthday!🎉🎉🎉
Rita Delude: What would you like to know about me, Julie?
Author John Watson Happy birthday, Rita. Can you tell us where your story ideas come from?
Rita Delude: The answer Author John Watson is below.
Kimberly Lee: Rita I have read all of your books. I have 2 favorites, Caught in the Middle and Bubble Gum Love. What is your favorite book you wrote?
Rita Delude: My favorite book I wrote is usually the last book I wrote, which in my case is Sister’s Revenge. But I love Caught in the Middle because it represents real married life to me.
Kimberly Lee: I definitely got that too on Caught. Can’t wait for Sister’s Revenge!
Erin Lee: #babyblues
Kimberly Lee: Erin Lee Author yep…that one too and Kaleidoscope
J. V. Stanley: Thank you so much for being here this morning, let’s start with your new release, why did you pick Bubble Gum as your ice cream flavor?
Rita Delude: My story ideas come from my many years of experience and the experiences of my four children and my four siblings mostly.
Callie Carmen: Rita, you’ve been successfully writing adult fiction for some time now. Was it difficult to switch to a young adult? And if so why?
Rita Delude: It wasn’t hard to switch to YA because I’ve been surrounded by kids my whole life having four of my own, plus siblings, plus I was a teacher for many years. And for some reason, I have very clear memories of my childhood. Very happy memories for the most part.
Shelby West Hello! Do you have any plans for your birthday?
Rita Delude: For my birthday, I’m going to one of my son’s home for swimming, a barbeque, and birthday cake. I picked Bubble Gum as my ice cream flavor because I wanted to do a YA book and kids like gum and especially bubble gum, so I thought that fit. Amanda, the protagonist is a constant bubble gum chewer.
J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude tells us more about the characters, what are they like? Do you have any snippets you could share?
Rita Delude: Amanda and Seth have been friends since they were six. They live next door to each other. However, going into their junior year of high school. Things are changing for them. They are wondering if there’s something more happening–maybe love. Then Cory moves into town. He’s a handsome Asian in a very white, small town in NH that is very welcoming to him. Seth is jealous. Sparks fly. I’ll BRB with a snippet.
Erin Lee Author Welcome! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Lorah Jaiyn Happy Birthday, Rita! ❤
Callie Carmen What are you working on now?
Rita Delude: I just finished a suspenseful horror adult story called Sister’s Revenge. My first reader says it is his favorite. I’m beginning Adam’s Anguish, which will release on December 15. It is the sequel to Baby Blues, which is set in Escape, CO and is a novella. A love story.
Kimberly Lee: I can’t wait for them!
Erin Lee: Did YOU ever make the first move?
Rita Delude: Yes.
Kimberly Lee: I can’t tell you how much I love that.
Erin Lee: LOL!!!! I know a mother who would say this.
Callie Carmen: I’m sure you never embarrassed your children like that when they were growing up. Lol. Did you?
J. V. Stanley: How many books do you have published now? What inspired you to start writing? *edited* Wow that was worded wrong (I blame my phone) it was supposed to read How many books do you have under your belt?
Erin Lee: Julie Stanley this is fun – ty for doing these
J. V. Stanley: Oh I’m loving these! It’s so much fun!
Rita Delude: I’ve got four novellas and two novels now and about 12 published short stories. I taught writing at a community college for almost 18 years, but never had the time to write fiction because I also was a newspaper and magazine journalist at the time, so when I retired, my daughter encouraged me to write fiction. She inspires me to write. I wasn’t sure what you meant by that belt question until you clarified. Thanks.
J. V. Stanley: So writing has always been a big part of your life albeit in different mediums. What was the best experience you’ve had while teaching?
Erin Lee Author Julie Stanley great questions!
Rita Delude: The best experience I’ve had while teaching is having students come back to me after graduating and tell me they’ve used what they’ve learned in real life. I love that.
Kimberly Lee: Love this!
Callie Carmen: Forgive if this was asked already. How did you come up with the title Bubble Gum Love. Lol, I first wrote Bubble Gum Wars. Maybe a sequel.
Erin Lee: Authors needed to use their ice cream flavor in the title so that probably helped – wars is cool!!
Rita Delude: I picked Bubble Gum as my ice cream; everyone in the series had to choose an ice cream. It’s National Ice Cream Month in July. I picked that because it is something kids can relate to and I added love because I wanted everyone to know it was a romance. I doubt that there will be an exact sequel to BGL, but I’m in other Shop Series books that will be coming up and in at least one, these characters will come back–perhaps two.
Callie Carmen: Awesome.
Shelby West I am addicted to bubble gum/chewing gum, is there anything you are addicted to? Can’t live without?
Rita Delude: I’m crazy about dark chocolate but have really tried to steer clear of it since December of last year because once I start, I want the whole bag.
Erin Lee: Wow – what flavor gum? Watermelon here
Shelby West: Erin, peppermint, Wrigley’s Doublemint. I buy it by the case. ha!
J. V. Stanley: Do you have any writing quirks, like things you do before you sit down to write or something you absolutely have to have?
Rita Delude: I have to have absolute quiet. I know some people need background music or noise. I need no interruptions or sound. I get a coffee mug full of water and sometimes a snack like fruit or nuts and get comfortable and write until my characters take over and write the words for me.
Erin Lee: Rita Delude I didn’t know you needed quiet too! #Twins
Rita Delude: Erin Lee Author Not surprised.
Erin Lee: Maybe we should just merge into the same exact person and call it quits LOL
Rita Delude: If there’s music with lyrics, I end up typing the lyrics. If instrumental, I end up daydreaming.
Erin Lee: YES!!!! Same
Kimberly Lee: You two are so cute lol
Shelby West: These are interesting facts.
J. V. Stanley: What would you say makes a successful writer?
Rita Delude: I’d say hard work. Learning from mistakes and being willing to take constructive criticism from editors and readers and improving your writing based on that. I don’t mean a writer has to cave to every suggestion readers make, but they should understand that if a reader is confused by something, then maybe clarification is needed or if an editor suggests that a writer adds more of a sense of place, the writer should take a careful look at that and perhaps add some more description of where the events are happening. Plus a writer needs to read a lot.
Shelby West: Great answer.
Kimberly Lee: Love it!
J. V. Stanley: That is excellent advice.
Shelby West: Do you have a favorite child? (just kidding).
J. V. Stanley: How about a favorite character and why?
Erin Lee: oh I promise she does 😉
Rita Delude: Julie Stanley In Bubble Gum Love, my favorite character is a minor one, Tara, friend to Amanda, who is a drama queen, whose parents are going through a divorce. She’s a bit overweight, she’s funny, she’s spunky. I love her. My all-time favorite character is Wanda Sterling from my Catch.net and Caught in the Middle novels–she’s very much the same as Tara except that she’s an adult.
Erin Lee:Wanda is mine too.
Kimberly Lee: Love Wanda…I am partial to Cory and Seth though too😉
Rita Delude: This releases on August 2. A Paranormal romance 18+ read. Dracula steals Emilia from her fiance and takes her to his castle. She fights him, but may later succumb to his seduction.
Erin Lee: “Dracula’s Choice” Rita Delude
Emilia a betrothed virgin crosses paths with the Prince of Darkness.
He lusts after her and has the wealth and power to acquire what he craves.
Yet Vlad wants her to desire him as much as he does her.
Lives change when Emilia understands why she’s Dracula’s Choice.
Shelby West: I really enjoyed this story and the cover is everything.
J. V. Stanley: Oohhh that sounds pretty steamy!
Erin Lee: #WhenWandaGoesWild This book is up your ally.
J. V. Stanley: One clicking this one!
Erin Lee: Thank you.
J. V. Stanley: Do you or have you ever hid any Easter eggs in your stories?
Rita Delude: Is “Easter Egg” a term I’m supposed to know? I don’t.
Erin Lee: Not sure either – she may mean references to other books?
Rita Delude: I leave references to other books many times. In fact, in most books, I do.
Erin Lee: Yep you are pro at that.
J. V. Stanley: Easter eggs like inside jokes That only a select few readers would get.
Erin Lee: Learned something new – thanks!
Shelby West: As a reader, I learned something new, too. Awesome.
Rita Delude: Oh, sometimes, I have inside jokes that family will get. A character may say, “I’m sick, sick, sick of it.” A saying, I often repeated to my children when I was frustrated. Yes, I drop Easter eggs often.
Erin Lee: Shelby West I’m doing an Easter egg hunt in Inklings now – pure coolness
Kimberly Lee: Yes!
Erin Lee: Wow’za why not? this will be cool and tribe will get it.
Rita Delude: Love this. Easter egg hunts for every book would be fun.
Erin Lee: We need to do a ci easter egg hunt at easter.
J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude that’s awesome and a CI Easter Egg Hunt? That would be fun!
Kimberly Lee: I’m in!
Rita Delude: For readers here who don’t know, CI is Crazy Ink Publishing. I’m an exclusive author with Crazy Ink Publishing and love it.
J. V. Stanley: Tell us more about your upcoming releases? Do you have anything new planned?
Rita Delude: Dracula’s Choice was a fun story to write but took a lot of research into the world of Dracula and the clothing and the lifestyles of the period. I learned a lot and enjoyed that.
Erin Lee: The research books are so much harder but always end up being my favorites.
Rita Delude: Yes, I enjoying learning from the writing. And I do the work it takes because I want the read to be authentic for the reader.
J. V. Stanley: I love it when authors really dive into their stories and do their research. Was there any part that was particularly difficult to write?
Erin Lee: It’s also helped me to discover new genres I NEVER would have given a chance.
Rita Delude: Before Dracula’s Choice I had only written two short stories involving vampires, so I felt for the book I needed to do more research before doing a whole book, but all of my books are relationship stories, so once the research was done, the writing came fairly easily because then it was a matter of establishing and developing the evolving relationship between Dracula and Emilia, who he swept away from her fiance to come live with him.
J. V. Stanley: One last question before we wrap up. What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading your books and stories?
Rita Delude: I’d like my readers to walk away feeling they’ve experienced a satisfying read. Maybe not necessarily always a HEA ending, but a story that’s complete, makes sense, and feels right in that the characters have developed and grown throughout the story by virtue of what they’ve experienced. If they feel that, then I’ve done my job. If they walk away wanting to read more of my work, I’m thrilled.
Erin Lee: You achieve that every time.
J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and congratulations again on your release!
Rita Delude: Julie Stanley thank you so much for having me here and generously sharing your time and your friends with me. Thanks for the happy birthday wishes. Have a wonderful weekend.
Kimberly Lee: Happy release day and birthday day!
Shelby West: Awww, man, the interview is over. It was a great session. But Rita Deludewould you ever consider co-writing with another author? My dream is for you and MW Brown (Mia Brown) to write together. What ye think, Erin? 😁
J. V. Stanley: I’d love to work with Rita and Erin! #lifegoals
Shelby West: That would be awesome.
Bubble Gum Love
A YA Romance
Although Amanda loves it, she recognizes that life is much more complicated than ice cream and bubble gum.
She and Seth are a pair and have been forever. Along comes newcomer, Cory, who doesn’t act or look like them. Will he shake up their world? Cory wants only to finally be accepted by his peers. Seth longs for the courage to grab the one thing that he desperately wants.
And what does Amanda wish for besides ice cream and bubble gum? She craves what they all want—a special someone to love.