About J. Arlene Culiner:
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone’s dismay, she protects all living creatures — especially spiders and snakes — and her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve.
In her perfectly realistic contemporary romances, heroines are funny, and heroes are dashingly lovable. All are proudly over the age of forty.
What inspires you to write?
Stories. I love hearing good stories, telling stories and making people laugh, entertaining people with words or just presenting a new point of view, one that gets people thinking.
Tell us about your writing process.
I know my characters before I start writing, I know the basic storyline. Now the hard part begins: getting the story down, creating a landscape, a whole world, then shaping the sentences, making paragraphs sing and dialogue lively. And then of course, I write, and re-write, and re-write again.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No. I have them in my head. I know how they would react, I can see them in a given situation — and that, of course, is normal since they’re part of me.
What advice would you give other writers?
To polish every phrase. To never be discouraged. To strive for originality. To challenge yourself, never get too comfortable, and never be smug.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I publish my books through publishers. For me, this is a validation of their worth — but this is just a personal feeling and not a criticism of those who have self-published. Perhaps I’m also rather lazy. As a self-publisher, there would be so much extra work: finding an editor, a good cover, getting an ISBN, doing all that promotion. Frankly, I’d rather be writing than doing all that.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have no idea. I’m not savvy enough about business, markets and marketing to answer this. I just have my little dream world and I’m pleased as punch to have the opportunities to publish my books now, work with different editors and publishers.
What genres do you write?: Romance, but I also write mystery and creative non-fiction under another name.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print