Toni Blake

Toni Blake
In Your Wildest Dreams

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
February 21, 2006

Q.    Who is Toni Blake?

A.    I've been writing for most of my life and started pursuing publication seriously in the mid 1990s. Although I dabbled in literary fiction for a while, when I discovered how smart and funny and emotional the romance genre had become, I knew that was the market I wanted to target. I sold my first romance to Kensington in 1998 and since then have written for them, Harlequin, Warner Books, Penguin, and currently Avon.

Q.    What inspired you to write In Your Wildest Dream?

A.    Actually, you can learn all about this on my website at on the IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS page. The short version is that while at a publisher party in New Orleans, I stumbled upon the "red room" that appears at the beginning and the end of the book and knew I had to use it in a novel and that a seduction had to take place there. The rest of the story grew from there. There's a picture of the red room at my website, too.

Q.    How did you come about the title?

A.    Actually, my editing team suggested the title.

Q.    How did you come about Stephanie's character?

A.    Given the situation that Stephanie was thrusting herself into, it only made for more drama to make her the prim type. As for her bravery, which leads to getting herself into trouble more than once, I attribute that to the circumstances - that people often do extraordinary things to find a missing loved one.

Q.    How did you come about Jake's character?

A.    Jake's character was, for me, the core of the story. I can't really say how I thought of him - for me, much about writing is organic - but I knew I wanted him to be a "tortured hero" with a lot of loss to combat, and I also knew that would clash with how much he cared, reluctantly, about keeping people safe and watching over them.

Q.    How did you come about the idea for Tina's situation?

A.    Well, when I started formulating the story, I only knew she was missing. But I also knew she had to be *somewhere,* so my job was to figure out where.

Q.    How did you come about the idea surrounding Shondra's situation?

A.    I wanted to hint at Jake's softer side early in the book, wanted to show his reluctant but caring nature. Shondra's story grew from there.

Q.    How many books have you written?

A.    I've had ten books published, and I've written many more, some of which I might revisit someday.

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    I've already turned in my next book, a super sexy romance called SWEPT AWAY. It'll be released from Avon in trade paperback in September 2006. It's the story of Kat Spencer, a wealthy young woman set to marry a man she doesn't love. When Kat takes a few days to relax on a private island off the coast of Florida, she couldn't be more surprised when FBI agent Brock Denton washes up onto the beach after An undercover mission gone bad on a passing yacht. The kicker is - these two have a past. She tried to seduce him ten years earlier and he turned her down. Now the tables are turned - they end up stranded on the island and this time *he's* set on seduction. The book's a lot of fun and I hope readers will enjoy it. A little more light-hearted than my previous single title contemporaries, but it also possesses a lot of serious issues and a lot of heart.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading In Your Wildest Dream?

A.    That even the deepest wound can be healed by the power of love.