Interview with Everly Drummond and Dr. Ivan Rusilko, co-authors of The Winemaker’s Dinner: Appetizers

Posted August 30, 2012 by Literati Lovers in Author Interviews, Authors / 1 Comment

Everly’s responses are in bold purple, while Dr. Rusilko’s are bold black.

~ Thank you so much for participating in this interview.  The Lovers are getting into the swing of interviewing with a bang seeing as how we are with two authors instead of just one.  So, let’s all get some stretches in, hop on the big comfy bed, and chat.   Why don’t we start off slow.  Would you like a drink?

With a name like Winemakers… come on!  If comes in a black velvet bag with a velvet glove on it and says Mollydoooker – my favorite wine on earth – then hell yeah!

~ Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Well the book somewhat did… but all and all I love to laugh, play and love. The order sometimes gets muddled though.

~ What’s your favorite genre of book to read?

I apparently traded in medical text books for anatomy books of a different kind. But any genre that has a solid story line with a few twists works for me.
I have a soft spot for YA

~ Do you have any favorite books/authors?

C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters and The Four Loves.
 Several, but most notably Jane Austen and Christopher Moore.

~ What book are you currently reading?

The Four Loves for the second time. It’s mentally stimulating and I love that.

~ You’re doing well so far. Turn ‘round and we’ll rub your backs while we chat. Hope you don’t mind. We’re a little handsy.  How did you two get together to write the story?  Was it difficult to write with two writers?

After contacting Ivan on Facebook, it took a while to get into it, but once we started, it was surprisingly easy for us to write together. We corresponded all through email, but we somehow managed to find a groove that worked for both of us.
It has its ups and downs and agreements and arguments but the process has been fantastic thus far and I don’t see it straying from its current path.

~ What was your writing process like?

Hundreds of emails and a lot of nostalgic reminiscing.
We wrote entirely through a series of emails… thousands and thousands of emails.

~ What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing the books to life?

For me it was figuring out which road to travel down… which story to tell or not. 😉 Three books means there are a lot of stories to dredge up!
The biggest challenge was bringing together two very different perspectives and finding a solid middle ground. Luckily, there wasn’t much Ivan and I didn’t agree on, and once we found our story, the writing was the easy part.

~ Dr. Rusilko, was it difficult to write about yourself and be objective?

In terms of experience, no. I wrote from the heart and the mind but when it came to description Everly ran with that one!

~ What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

My favorite part to write was by far the ending. It’s always special when something you write can evoke that much emotion.
Honestly my favorite part is the acknowledgment in the back of the book for many, many reasons. But as far as scenes from the book the cabin “Hallelujah” or the pre airport tryst “Closer”. Both were emotion at its most raw but presented very differently.

~ Who or what inspires you to sit and write?

My readers! I love the messages I get from people. I had a woman a while back email me and tell me that my book brought the passion back to her marriage. Its stories like that that inspire me to keep writing.
Life. All authors draw from personal experience to create their tales. I am lucky enough to do it in a more of a direct and personal way. Lucky me… or unlucky… I haven’t decided!

~ Fabio is the most well known book cover model who also wrote a few romance novels. Have you ever read his books or were you at all inspired by Fabio to conquer a market normally dominated by women writers?

Actually I respect the hell out of him for many reasons not involving writing or modeling. He was (or fell into) a great business opportunity and parlayed it to stardom. Well done!
I’ve never read any of his books, and to be honest, I never really found him all that attractive. I thought it would be nice to give readers a real life romance hero and who better than the sexy Dr. Ivan?

~ It must be a daunting transition to come from somewhat humble beginnings only to find yourself in the limelight in many aspects of your life. What does Dr. Rusilko miss the most from his earlier years before fame and success?

I wouldn’t have it any other way. The values I learned bailing hay, milking cows and shoveling shit are the reason I am here today. Thankful is the only word I could use to describe myself right now. I miss… peace of mind. That is what everyone runs away from to get jobs to try and find.

~ We’ve gotten those knots out now.  Why don’t you lay back and rest your heads on these pillows?  There we go….How did you come up with Jaden’s character? Dr. Rusilko, is she what you’d want to find in a partner?

Jaden’s character was easy to write. When I asked Ivan if he had any preferences for a girl’s name, he said he wanted something unique, so we decided to hold a little contest. Readers submitted names and Ivan picked the one he liked best.
Here we go. Now it’s getting good. Jaden is the collaboration, a montage if you will, of the beauty I experienced in all of my past romantic teachers rolled into one perfect goddess that I hope to someday find. Plus I am a sucker for aromas and bright eyes… guilty!

~ Is this book a secret love note to someone special? We wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

Hahaha WOW! You went there!! Fiction versus reality right?  Admitting to such a claim, if it were true, would thus ruin the secret of said love note, would it not? That would be a surprise party without the surprise.

~ Everyone wants to know, did the *Turtle Watching* happen?

C’mon!  It’s Miami Beach!  And for those of you who have had the pleasure of being on its beaches during a warm breezy night know that it’s the perfect place to spot a turtle here and there. Haven’t seen any yet but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop looking.

~ There is an awesomely, swoon worthy heart scene in the novel. What is the silliest thing you’ve ever done for a lover to show your affection?

I am extremely shy in terms of courting an unknown and unfamiliar romance. Yes, I admit it. But once the stage has been set and the romance solidified I am one crazy in love idiot. There may have been a costume or two in my past. But that could incriminate me if I were to divulge any further – so these lips are sealed.

~ Please just note that there were some very funny scenes in your book too.  The case of the M.I.A. panties?  One of the Lovers is plagued with that problem.  Not saying which one. We’ll let you guess. But don’t.

Missing panties… FYI panties never vanish 😉

~ The descriptions of Dr. Rusilko in the book are spot on with what someone would see if they looked at photos or videos on the internet. In fact, we feel we know you (the real Dr. Rusilko) so well, that we could go into your home and easily find your flatware (We took an apple and t-shirt, by the way. Hope you don’t mind). Were there any portions of yourself that you didn’t want to be fictionalized and included in the novel?

Nope. I can honestly and confidently say my life is an open book and not cliché. Well I hope it isn’t cliché! Also I didn’t write descriptions so I don’t want to hear I am an ego maniac haha. Thank you again, Everly!  😉

~ What does your family think about the book? Did they help you at all with the writing process?

My family has been so supportive. They better because they are in the books! But in all seriousness they are exactly as described and my saving grace in a world of sin.

~ Is the Rusilko family also accurately described as well as you are, Dr. Rusilko? How do they feel about being included in erotica?

Spot on. I went easy on my dad and sister. They are handfuls but in a really good way! They were happy and I really enjoyed hearing their response to the descriptions of the situations that they remembered so well.

~ On that erotica subject…the *ehem* love scenes…was that a 50/50 collaboration? 25/75? Purely taken from experience? 😉

The entire book was a collaboration between the two of us although it was mostly based on his input about his real life experiences.
It honestly started as romance and when we got news that or publisher wanted erotica the gloves came off and we got to it. It is amazing how liberating it can be writing such literature. Very groovy.

~ We think you need a snack. We’ll play a game: Guess the Flavor.  Close your eyes and try to figure out what the food is while we chat.  Speaking of food, what is your favorite meal for seduction? Care to share the recipe?

I want everyone reading this to buy a bottle of Velvet Glove by Mollydooker and the finest milk chocolate you can find. Turn some Marvin Gaye on “Sexual Healing”.  Now light a candle and shut the lights off – make sure it’s a lavender, cinnamon or vanilla candle. Fill your glass half way and let the wine sit for 5 minutes. Swirl the glass and then take a sip swishing it around your mouth and then swallow. Now take a piece of chocolate and mash it around your mouth. I am talking in between your teeth, under your tongue against the insides of your cheeks. Now then, take another sip of wine and swish.
I’ll wait while you excuse yourself for a few minutes. 😉
(Whoops!  Almost got lost in that last paragraph but controlled myself.)

~ Going off the wine theme that is the basis of your novel, please imagine that your novel is a glass of wine. Describe the flavors.

LAVANDER, CINNAMIN, VANILLA having an orgy on my tongue -> that’s all I need!

~ In the book, we find that Dr. Rusilko is a talented cook himself. What was the most disastrous recipe that you cooked for a friend or family member?

Mofongo. Never try to make it healthy. It defeats the purpose and angers an entire nationality.

~ Another game. We love playing with you two. Would you rather:
Sing or dance? Sing horribly (but amazing if you like Joe Cocker!)
Be on the beach or in the mountains? Situation haha… Mountains
Be on top or on the bottom? Behind
Be a fish or a bird? Flying fish
Give up your favorite food or sex for a year? Drink (didn’t drink alcohol for one year!)
Have multiple orgasms or simultaneous ones? I want her to have multiple… require one simultaneous/session

~ Do you have any outtakes you’d like to share?

Let’s revisit this post book 3 😉

~ Okay. This may be a hard one (TWSS).  What is one message that you want readers to take from The Winemaker’s Dinner? 

Love… Is… Beautiful…
Love, above all else, is the most important thing in a person’s life.

~ What can we expect from this dynamic duo in the future?

Entrées and Desserts of curse. We aren’t rude hosts… we keep our guests well feed and happy.
Definitely and second and third book in the TWD series. Beyond that? Anything is possible.

~ Thank you so much. We had a great time. You can lay here more with us.  We’ve also got some cucumber water to sip.

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