The Write Path

Hi guys

My series The Write Path asks authors to examine their writing journey. If you want to guest blog, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page so I may send you guidelines.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Carmen

THe Write Path

 

Celia Breslin
Originally posted October 2014

1. What is your book about?

Celia Breslin

Short answer: vampires, love, and mayhem. Lots of mayhem. 🙂

Destiny is the third installment in the Tranquilli Bloodline series.

In Haven, the first book, Carina’s vampire family resurfaces in her life, bringing with them a slew of enemies to upset her carefully crafted world. Her fated mate shows up, too. That’s a big plus in Carina’s book–if only Team Evil would leave them alone for two seconds, so they could have some sexy fun time…

In the next installment, a short story prequel titled Vampire Code, we get up close and personal with Jonas, one of Carina’s vampire family members. He’s none too happy when a vampire attacks Carina. His retribution is swift and brutal.

In Destiny, the second full-length novel in the series, Carina’s archnemesis shows up, kidnaps two of her best friends and blackmails Carina to do his bidding…or her friends bite it. Pun intended. Meanwhile, Carina’s fated soul mate is out of town and acting odd. With her friends in mortal peril and her relationship on the rocks, Carina must make some tough choices…

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Carina and Alexander are a fun pair.

Dance club owner Carina is a strong, snarky, 20-something heroine with a heart as big as the San Francisco Bay. She loves her family and her fated mate with a ferocity that makes her willing to do whatever it takes to protect them.

Alexander is sexy, sexy, sexy. He’s also a kickass musician. But it’s his love and loyalty to Carina that makes him the most appealing.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

My series explores the themes of Love and Home.

Haven, defined, means “a place of safety or refuge.” Carina creates a home for herself with her best friends. And with her friend and business partner Adrian, she builds Haven, a dance club in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. Her club is a safe space where *everyone* – regardless of race, religion, sexual preference – is welcome. In Destiny, Carina and Adrian open Club Destiny, creating a new place where all preternatural creatures (and humans in-the-know) are welcome to relax, unwind, and, of course, dance, dance, dance.

Love of family, friends, and soul mates is explored in the series, along with the question – just how far will you go to protect your loved ones? When you read the series, you’ll see just what my characters do to keep each other safe. 😉

4. What do you think was it about your book that made it so easy to attract your editor?

My series is character-driven, and my characters are a fun bunch. I think they have good curb appeal. I introduce some new characters in Destiny that I think readers will enjoy (spoiler: they’re not vampires). I know I had a ton of fun meeting them myself!

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

Nope. I’m good. I consulted Carina and Alexander on this one, too. Carina said, “I’ll skin you alive if you mess with Destiny, Celia.” Alexander shot me his smokin’ hot, sexy grin, complete with fangs, and added, “What she said.”

Contact Celia here:

http://www.celiabreslin.com/blog/
http://www.twitter.com/CeliaBreslin
https://www.facebook.com/CeliaBreslinAuthor
http://www.goodreads.com/CeliaBreslin

Bio

Celia Breslin

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for vampires and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find her exercising, reading a good book or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies.

Destiny blurb

In HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.

Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed.

Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.

 

Elizabeth Fountain
Originally posted September 2014

1. What is your book about?

Elizabeth Fountain

You, Jane is about a lot of things: the power of storytelling, the importance of facing your demons, of making conscious choices, and of knowing how to accept love when it’s offered. I think ultimately it’s about how we all have the power to write our own happy endings, if we are fearless enough to use it.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Jane is funny, smart, talented, and deeply flawed. She’s facing the end of her 30’s with questions like “is there anyone out there for me?” and “can I find what I’m supposed to do?” and “will I fulfill my purpose in life?” and “did I feed my cat already?” In other words, she’s all of us. She has a special power – the stories she writes in a trance come true, in ways she can’t control. But we all have special powers that get the best of us at times, don’t we? Jane is at a crossroads in her life: she’ll either take charge of it, or drink herself into oblivion. She’s not completely sure which is the best path, but she’s fully engaged in the dilemma.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

A recent review on Long and Short Reviews called You, Jane a book that makes you think. I loved that, because those are the books I like to read. I love stories that show me something different, puzzling, intriguing, and ultimately, perhaps, unanswerable.

4. What do you think was it about your book that attracted your editor?

When I first submitted the manuscript of You, Jane to my editor for consideration, I truly thought it had a 50/50 shot of becoming a workable story. It was still a bit of a mess, but it held something that kept me from giving up on it. So, I thought “why not?” If she’d said no, it wouldn’t have shocked me. After the “yes” came several rounds of substantial revisions, each version made better by my editor’s honest and thoughtful input. Editorial comments are routine; editorial compliments still thrill me, because if the person who sees all my mistakes still loves the book, that’s saying something. And my editor for You, Jane paid me a terrific compliment: she asked eagerly for my next manuscript.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

There are some mechanical things I would fix – tightening up some time sequences, for example. But the funny thing is, I didn’t really know what this story was about until it came time to write up the marketing stuff. That’s when the theme of writing your own happy ending came to me, and as I re-read You, Jane, I realized that’s what it was about all along. My fear of time travel would be that if I went back in time “knowing” the theme, I’d somehow muck it up. You know, like those Star Trek episodes when the crew had to be very, very careful not to change even a detail of the past, because it would change the future, but of course just the crew being in the past had already changed it, so they might wink out of existence at any moment. But then, if they didn’t exist, they wouldn’t have gone back to the past and changed it, and… well, you get the idea.

So no, no time travel for me.

~*~
Website: http://lizfountain.wordpress.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethFountainAuthor
You, Jane on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/You-Jane-Elizabeth-Fountain-ebook/dp/B00KPLKNKG/
You, Jane from the publisher, BURST! – http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_product=330&controller=product

 

Keith Wayne McCoy
Originally posted September 2014

1. What is your book about?

Keith Wayne McCoy

My debut novel “The Travelers” was released by Champagne/BURST in February. It is basically a mainstream novel with a supernatural background. The very beginning, Prelude, describes a planet somewhere in the Pegasus Constellation 5 decades earlier in which a mother with two small children attempt to escape a fallen planet. Despite the obvious technological advantage her people have, residents are starving and finding sustenance for their children via stellar transportation to other worlds. Starving, the three board a ship.

In 2004, on our planet, Guy Turner, a black filmmaker, has an encounter with the now elderly mother and is drawn into a supernatural mystery involving James and Jess Bennett, a World War II GI and his British war bride who encountered the same woman on the luxury liner QUEEN MARY in 1947 but are now divorced. They had left Southampton with only each other but arrive in New York as a family. A hectic attempt is made to bring the old woman and the Bennetts together again one last time. Only 10% of the novel takes place on another planet and 90% takes place on the liner and an ancestral home in southern Illinois.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main character?

Jess Bennett is an enigma from the beginning. She became a raging alcoholic after the deaths of the children she and her husband were entrusted to raise as their own. Jim moves to California while Jess remains in southern Illinois. I have found that both men and women readers are attracted to the character of Jess. She is a mystery and the veil of secrecy surrounding her evidently interests readers.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

I hope that as an author, I have brought forth the powerful bond of parenting and the language of grief all humans share through this novel. Guy is depressed and teetering dangerously close to a nervous breakdown and to his chagrin finds that he has more in common with Jess than Jim.

4. What do you think was it about your book that made it so easy to attract your editor?

My first editor with Champagne was Monica Brit and she also served on the acquisitions team. She told me the book haunted her for days. If a reader is solely interested in a science fiction tale, they will be disappointed as “The Travelers” is a character study of normal human beings facing supernatural forces. My former college writing mentor told me after reading the MS that if it were a movie, “It would be a David Lynch version of the film “Ordinary People”.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

If I were able to change aspects of the novel, I would have lengthened the reunion between the old woman and the Bennetts. Also, Guy thanks Jess upon meeting her the first time that he appreciated her flying out for the documentary about QUEEN MARY but later, he realizes she had never flown as she was scared to death. I would have made her reply that she had taken a train in the beginning.

Thanks again, Carmen for the opportunity to visit with your readers. It was a pleasure.

Media links:

www.keithwaynemccoy.com
Amazon

 

Olga Godim
Originally posted September 2014

1. What is your book about?

Olga Godim

My recent novel Eagle En Garde is about a young mercenary officer Darin in the imaginary country of Talaria. The plot follows Darin during one tumultuous summer of his life, and all his troubles are connected to the fanatical sect of Cleaners.

For several decades, Darin’s country has been surrounded by a magic-resistant spell. The king and many others wish to break the spell and invite magic back, but the Cleaners resist.
Darin doesn’t participate in the disputes. He is a soldier, not a philosopher. Then he accidentally overhears the Cleaners’ hidden agenda to destroy all magic workers in Talaria, including witches and elves, and his orderly life turns upside down. His sweetheart is a witch, his daughter is a half-elf, and he has many elven friends. He can’t allow the Cleaners’ scheme to succeed, can’t allow innocents to suffer. But what could he do, alone against a horde of zealots? His only choice lies in trickery and deceit to outsmart his enemies. And the anti-magic spell on the border suddenly becomes his only ally.

Originally, this book was conceived as part of the series, book #2 of Darin’s adventure, but book #1 has never materialized. For a long time, I thought about #1 as more of a back story, but now I started thinking that maybe it could become a full-length novel, a prequel. I just have to write it.

I talked to Darin about it, and he agreed. In Eagle En Garde, he is already an officer, a lieutenant of the mercenary company Eagles, commanding a hundred men. He is only twenty four, the youngest lieutenant in his company’s history. I asked him when he was promoted, and he told me his fascinating and poignant story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was nineteen when I made lieutenant, but I don’t talk about it often. It’s not a pretty tale. I mutinied. My mutiny saved ninety of my comrades and killed eight of them.
I was still a soldier of the Eagles at the time. Our phalange was under contract to deal with the pirates who harassed coastal villages. The pirates learned about our contract and prepared a trap. First, they ambushed us, and seven of our men, including our lieutenant, were gravely wounded. We left them with a healer in the foothills of the mountains, in a camp, and pursued the pirates into the caves, but that was a trap too. The pirates collapsed the entrance to the caves, so we couldn’t get out.

We wandered the caves for several days and almost lost hope. Ninety of us, hungry, thirsty and terrified. Our supply of oil for the torches was almost gone. Then I found a possible way out. It was blocked by another, older landslide. After we pushed all those rocks out, we could free ourselves. But there was a catch: our camp with the wounded was directly beneath that blockade. I could see it through the gaps.
I told our highest ranking officer, the sub-lieutenant, but he refused to act. He said he couldn’t give the order and condemn our wounded to a certain death. But I knew if we didn’t get out soon, all of us would die in those caves. Or start eating each other. Ninety vs. eight is a clear math, especially for a military leader, but only an officer could give that order. So I said: “If you’re afraid to face the consequences, I refuse to obey you. I’ll assume the command and give the order.” I was already on track for promotion, and our guys trusted me. He stepped aside and let me command the mission, but it was a mutiny on my part, and it resulted in all the wounded killed…by us, by the avalanche we created when we pushed those rocks out.

We got out and destroyed the pirates, but everyone knew what happened. I felt responsible. Eight people died because of me, seven wounded and the healer. I had to pay the price. I returned home with everyone else and told the Captain. Mutiny is punished severely by any military organization, and I knew what I faced. The Captain ordered me flogged – 40 lashes. It’s the harshest punishment under the Eagles’ Code and it’s almost never used. Many of the men were unhappy about it; they considered me a hero, but I wasn’t one. A hero sacrifices his own life. I sacrificed the wounded. I deserved retribution.

After the punishment, while I still stood in front of all my friends, with my back bloody from the whip, the captain promoted me. He said I had the courage to make the right decision, the decision that should’ve been made by an officer. The only problem was: I didn’t have the rights to make it. So he assigned me those rights retroactively.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I think his story deserves to be told.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main character?

I don’t know what might attract the readers but I know what I like about Darin. I think of him as an all-around good guy. He is a troubleshooter, smart, courageous, and loyal, plus he is kind to all those less fortunate than he is. I would like to have him on my side if I was ever in big trouble.

Recently, there has been a fad in fiction to make the protagonists flawed. Some are recovering alcoholics or drug users. Others have trust issues or harbor secret vengeance plans. Multiple varieties of ‘noble’ flaws unfold in recent books (never greed or pettiness, have you noticed?), but I don’t side with such writers. I think that all those flaws, especially substance abuse, camouflage a weakness in a character, a metaphorical hole or cracks in the soul.

Darin’s soul doesn’t have holes. It’s beautiful and undamaged. That’s what is called integrity. Some readers might say he is too perfect, but again, I disagree. I’d want him as a leader of my defense force. I’d never want him as a husband. He wouldn’t compromise lightly nor can he be manipulated. He is not an easy man to live with. He is a hero, a champion, not a compliant family guy. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t pair him up with anyone in this novel or the next one. Farther down the road, he might find his match but not yet. I guess he is too busy saving lives to dive into a romantic entanglement.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

This is an interesting question. When I started writing this series of books I didn’t intend to convey any message or preach or anything. I just wanted to tell stories, to entertain the readers with my heroes’ adventures. My novels are all high fantasy, so what kind of a message could there be for modern readers, right? But my characters express my world view. They think a bit like me. I suppose it’s inevitable, if a writer is true to herself. Now, when I look at the novels I have written, some published, some not, and some only in the first draft stage, I see a message coalescing, and it has to do with my disbelief in bureaucracy and my mistrust of people with power. What I say in each novel is: “Don’t accept unconditionally what the authorities, secular or religious, tell you. Think first. Doubt. Ask questions. Make your own decisions.” I guess my skeptical nature shows in my fiction, whether I wished it or not.

4. What do you think was it about your book that made it so easy to attract your editor?

An editor should feel an affinity with the writer’s style and story. It’s a matter of personal taste. I suppose my editor Nikki Andrews from Champagne Books liked what she read. She accepted two of my novels. Almost Adept was published in January 2014, and Eagle En Garde was released in May 2014. Both novels are set in the same world but tell stories of different characters. Working on them with Nikki was educational and a pleasure.

I’ve had a different experience with an editor too, not so positive. Before I signed on with Champagne, I had a contract with another publisher for Almost Adept, but the editor assigned to the story hated my protagonist. She couldn’t even read the manuscript to its conclusion. She sent it back to me, demanding that I change the story and the protagonist. I refused, and my contract was canceled.

Of course I was upset at the time, but now, looking back, I don’t regret the choices I made then. We were not a good fit, that editor and I, which is mandatory for a successful editing job. Moreover, her passionate rejection of my protagonist was actually a good sign. She detested my heroine as if she was alive. My story inspired strong emotions – a cause for celebration for any writer.

I was much luckier with Nikki and Champagne, but the main thing is to write to the best of your abilities, to revise your story several times before sending it to any editor.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

If I could design this book and the entire series about Darin from scratch, with the knowledge and experience I have now, I would probably try to infuse it with humor. I don’t think I was ready for humor when Darin’s adventures first came to me.
Humor is the hardest thing to achieve in fantasy. There are few examples, the most successful being Terry Pratchett, although in his case it’s more satire than humor. I wasn’t even sure I could write humor until recently.

Olga Godim

This April, I published a collection of short stories in the urban fantasy genre, Squirrel of Magic, where every story has an element of humor. The readers seem to like this book. All the stories in the collection are united by the same protagonists, a young modern witch Darya and her familiar, squirrel Beatrice. Together they kick butts of the bad guys and help friends in trouble. Their escapades include, among others, disarming a bomb, thwarting a bank heist, and finding a stolen fashion show. Of course there is humor in those stories. How could I write about a telepathic squirrel assisting her crime-fighting witch without a giggle or two?

Media links:

Website: ​http://olgagodim.wordpress.com
GoodReads: ​https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6471587.Olga_Godim
BookLikes: ​http://olgagodim.booklikes.com/
Wattpad: ​http://www.wattpad.com/user/olga_godim

 

Julie Eberhart Painter
Originally posted September 2014

1. What is your book, Kill Fee, about?

Author interview

 

The mystery unfolds, starting with feisty bridge players, many older and more brave as they age. They have nothing to lose.

Although it’s a murder mystery, the underlying pulse is “What do people do in a pinch, and how do they handle their ambitions and far-reaching goals?”

Always in the background are the suspects, villainous Dorian and the avaricious relatives with agendas that have nothing to do with bridge.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Ishmael Merlin Dickey is a poet with an overwhelming desire for fame—and a little drinking problem. He wants to be the next Derek Walcott, the Caribbean Pulitzer Prize winner for Omeros, his epic poem. Ishmael has no lid on his desire to make himself famous, and latches on to the action any way he can.

The McNishes, two very old sisters and bridge partners in the game the heroine, Penny, runs, are the busybody gossips. They can make anything worse. When Penny’s uncle dies during the opening scene, they’re the first to tell the police he was murdered. The man was in his eighties.

The comic relief, as if this bunch needed any, is Penny’s Indian Hill Mynah bird, Bilgewater, the foul-mouthed fowl. He spent his formative years in a waterfront bar where he learned the expletives he uses to shock Penny’s visitors, especially Don, her new boyfriend and attorney.

Everybody loves Bilgie; he’s over the top. All my characters are colorful. Women can relate to Penny. “Pretty” Penny is deemed to be “too pretty,” but she’s a smart and determined sleuth.

Although it’s well animated, readers who don’t play bridge might not “get” the specifics of the duplicate game, where the object is to play the hand better than other pairs with your chosen partner.

Kill Fee is not a Tickets to the Devil kind of book, about duplicate tournaments. I doubt anyone would read the book for that information. This story is about a group of conflicted adults who sometimes resort to nefarious behaviors.

When Penny attends an environmental conference of magazine editors to sell her story, we see her away from the bridge table and plunged into a more serious situation when another body drops. The two deaths are linked, but the reader must pay attention at the beginning to figure that out. In my writers’ critique group only one person out of ten immediately picked up on the clue to the motive.

Author interview

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

Reviewers like a good time, and the book was well liked. The publisher, Champagne Books, awarded it Best Book for 2011 in April of 2012. My Medium Rare novella was a runner up at Champagne Books in April in the humor category.

The message develops naturally. The old folks think Penny is a tart, but they will come to respect her and race to her aid by the end of the book. One could say part of the message is about fair play and starting over.

4. What do you think was it about your book that convinced your editor to publish it?

In a few words, it’s funny.

For me, I loved this character, Penny. When I wrote the first draft, I sent it up to Atlanta to a very good friend, my former duplicate bridge partner. We met in 1967 during her frisky years. She was beautiful and daring. I thought of her as my Little Iodine (from the old comic strip). As a divorcee, she did all the things that I didn’t have the starch or the freedom to do.

After reading the book, she phoned me here in Florida, where the book takes place in contemporary time.

​“Julie, I just love Penny!”
​“You’d better,” I responded. “She’s you.”

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

This book would never have taken so long if I had written it today. It was my first mystery. While my husband scuba-dived around St. Lucia, where Derek Walcott lived before becoming a Harvard professor, I sat on the porch at the topmost cabin of the Anse Chastenet and began to write. I must have rewritten the book fifteen times, especially after I developed the sequel, Medium Rare. That book brings with it Penny, Don and Bilgewater, but the other characters from Kill Fee are background as Penny meets new challenges when her friend, the psychic associated with the local hospice where Penny volunteers is stabbed to death with her own knitting needles.

 

Contact

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/813977.Julie_Eberhart_Painter

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http://twitter.com/julieepainter

https://www.facebook.com/julieeberhart.painter

 

Carol McPhee
Originally posted September 2014

1. What is your book about?

Alaskan Magic tells the story of fifty-something socialite Amanda Bennington who faces a crisis in her life when her husband ditches her for a much younger model. To counter her difficulties adjusting to a more spartan life, her father encourages her to visit her mother’s sister who lives in the wilds of Alaska tending wounded animals. Complications from a raven and other wildlife in the boondocks are minor compared to the bush pilot and natives that stumble into Amanda’s new environment.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

My readers seem to enjoy the depth of my characters and the unexpected twists in their lives before achieving a happy-ever-after status. I prefer strong heroes evenly matched with strong heroines. I also like to present in them the same powerful perseverence it takes to finish a novel.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

I never start out to deliver a message. Sheer entertainment is my goal and when readers take the time to tell me of their enjoyment, I’m completely in heaven. Often readers let me know of parts that resonate with them and sometimes the section is not planned to stand out. Readers interpret their own meanings dependent on their life experiences.

4. What do you think was it about your book that made it so easy to attract your editor to publish it?

I’ve had no problem attracting editors to any of my 15 or so novels, so I must be doing something right. All I know is that to lose oneself in acts of creativity for hours every day is an unbelievable blessing.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

If I could travel back in time I wouldn’t change anything about the writing of Alaskan Magic. I’m a seat of the pants writer and it always amazes me when characters and plot fall together to produce a storyline that works well.

Interested? You can find out more about Carol and her books on her website carolmcphee.webs.com

Other books by Carol McPhee:
Something About That Lady – contemporary romance
Undercover Trouble – romantic suspense
A Spirited Liaison – touch of paranormal
A Structured Affair – romantic suspense
Shadowed Pursuit – romantic suspense
Be Still, My Heart! – contemporary romance
Means To An End – romantic suspense
Jeweled Seduction – romantic suspense
None So Blind – contemporary romance
Natural Persuasion – romantic suspense
Natural Obsession – contemporary romance
Retreat To Danger – romantic suspense

 

Holly Hunt
Originally posted August 2014

1. What is your book about?

Holly Hunt

Tyrant of Tarsit is a story wherein a woman – a regular, everyday woman – is dragged into a plot involving the invasion of a kingdom, the suppression of magic and the chaos of treason. Mayhem and a 200-year romance feature heavily in this short novella. There’s something for everyone.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

I like to think that readers like my characters because they can see a little bit of themselves in them. From the dark and brooding hero to the woman not afraid to give everything a go, to the people who make up the worlds of all my stories. Everyone gets a chance to be a someone.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

I have only ever set out to write one story with a message, and that doorstop of a book was so twisted no one else could understand it! Tarsit has, I believe, two things that can be taken away from it. The first is that you should treat every setback as an opportunity. The other is that some people are never as black-and-white as they seem. In both cases, it will take a little bit of examination to see the truth of the matter.

4. What do you think was it about your book that made it so easy to convince your editor to publish it?

The cute romance between Lauren and Malcolm, the Spy’s bitter betrayal, the action… I think they have a lot to do with it. Juicy, ey?

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

I think I would have made the book longer, and taken the time to properly explain its place in the universe first introduced in Scale & Feather (even though Tarsit mainly takes place about 600 years before Feather – There are more stories from that universe coming, when I get back to it, I promise!) Tarsit and Arnhid are the first of the Southern States, which isn’t really explained in the novella.

Thanks for having me!

web/blog: http://rhythempoets.wordpress.com/
twitter: @hollyhuntauthor
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Holly-Hunt/111905542194012
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Tyrant-Of-Tarsit-Dark-Heroes-ebook/dp/B00C4NU46G

 

Jane Dougherty
Originally posted August 2014

1. What is your book about?

Green Woman
The Dark Citadel is the first volume of The Green Woman series. There are three main volumes, all three available as of today, and so far six spin-off stories. The world of the Green Woman is a post-apocalyptic world where the human survivors huddle inside the protective crystal dome of Providence. It isn’t a futuristic story, not techy at all, and closer to allegory than an attempt at ultra-realism. In this future, after generations of post-nuclear darkness, the citizens of Providence have fallen back on the great human stand-by—religion. With no opposition, the Elders have created a theocracy, which has changed subtly from strict to downright evil. The only dissent is from the Ignorants, the underclass who believe in the old stories of a utopia, a sort of Garden of Eden, and the Green Woman, the keeper of the Memory of the world, who will make the Garden grow in its ruins. The story of The Green Woman is the story of the reawakening of humanity, a great starting over, and the fight to put evil back in its place, the Pit.

The Dark Citadel is the first episode, showing the nature of the Elders’ regime and introducing the central character—Deborah, the Green Woman’s daughter. Slowly, the green magic is wakening to rebuild the broken earth. Deborah’s mother fled Providence when Deborah was a small child, when she began to have visions of things the Elders would rather keep lost and dead. Deborah’s forced betrothal to the public executioner’s warped son is the catalyst that sends her on the hazardous journey to join her mother, who is reaching the end of her strength, and pick up the task of making those visions live again.

In the course of her journey through the arid wasteland that surrounds Providence, Deborah meets Jonah and learns about friendship, loyalty, and love. She develops from a bitter and angry schoolgirl to a young woman ready to take up her responsibilities, whatever they turn out to be.

The Green Woman is basically about the very ordinary nature of evil, and how it can be overcome by very ordinary love. There are two main types of evil that beset humanity: the flamboyant, biblical, demonic evil that we all find easy to understand and point the finger at; and the ordinary evil perpetrated by ordinary people on their fellow human beings. Deborah’s role is to show the people of Providence where these two types of evil meet, and to offer them something different.

Green Woman
2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Deborah is not an immediately appealing character. She is opinionated, careless with her friends’ feelings, and bitter. In her defence, it has to be said she has a lot to be bitter about, and if she wasn’t headstrong and opinionated she wouldn’t have had the nerve to speak out against what she considers unjust. My son told me how much he liked the character of Deborah. “She’s a real bitch,” he said, “but it’s what keeps her going.” By the end of the story she has matured enough to be more than a bitch, and to channel her anger and energy into creating something wonderful.

One beta reader worried that I would alienate readers with some of Deborah’s behaviour, but I didn’t want her to be a plaster saint. Yes, she does plough ahead regardless of the consequences for other people, but that’s because she is a driven character, not because she doesn’t care. She often feels remorse and regret, but something is always pushing her on to what she firmly believes is her destiny, even though she doesn’t know exactly what it is.

Of the other characters, my favourite has to be Jonah. He isn’t the classic hero—a strong, silent, smouldering hunk—he’s a runaway, used to living on his wits in an inhospitable world. He has no savoir faire with girls, he’s wild and unkempt and he does seems to know exactly how to ruffle Deborah’s feathers. Jonah’s great strength is his heart. It’s bigger than anything else in the story and runs as a thread through the entire series.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

When I made my first stumbling steps on what has turned out to be a very long journey, I had a single idea about this story. I was going to create a society full of all the things I hate most—religious bigotry, misogyny, repression, cruelty, conformism, ignorance—and let the people who suffer the most in this ugly regime show the way to something better. The Dark Citadel starts in a cruel and dismal dystopia, and I wanted a girl, one of Providence’s most unesteemed inhabitants, to be the first to reach out to a utopia.

If I want readers to take anything away from this story it’s that for a world to be a good place to live in it needs compassion, courage and love, and all of us, even adolescents, have to stand up for what we believe to be right.

What most reviewers have picked up on is the setting for the story. Perhaps because it is incredibly clear in my own mind, to the extent that I know the street patterns of some of the neighbourhoods and dozens of characters who don’t even get a mention in the stories. It might be their invisible presence populating the story that makes it striking to so many readers.

From Kate Wrath’s review:

‘This book is beautifully rooted in mythology, borrowing symbolism and power from a spattering of ancient stories, all twisted into a modern legend. Somehow a huge variety of things– centaurs, demons, post-nuclear potatoes– are all brought together into a picture that makes sense.’

From John Collick’s review:

‘The author has created a massive tapestry for the backdrop to The Dark Citadel – imagine a painting by Hieronymous Bosch designed by George Orwell and set in North Korea.’

Green Woman
4. What was it about your book that made it so easy to attract your editor?

I attracted a publisher very quickly through luck (whether good or bad is debatable). I found an acquiring editor who loved the story of The Dark Citadel for what makes it different from much of what is written for YA—the language, which doesn’t pull any punches, and the relative complexity of the ideas and plot. Unfortunately, she left the publisher before my book had finished the editing stages, and those differences that had attracted her seemed more like problems to her successor. I had such an unhappy experience with this publisher, like fitting a square peg into a round hole, that I was offered my rights back five months after publication.

One problem is that The Green Woman series is classed as YA. Much YA writing uses simple sentence structure and reasonably straightforward plot, partly because the category is assumed to include readers I would consider children. For me, Young Adult means a reader who has adult reading ability and is capable of understanding adult emotions, even if they might not be old enough to have had time to experience many of them. I write for anyone who falls into that category, not children. I prefer much richer language than is usual, and I don’t believe in making things easy emotionally just because thirteen-year-olds might be reading it.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

The disastrous episode with my former publisher did have a more positive side. It introduced me to an editor who really loved what I write and who has followed me through thick and thin to critique and make suggestions on everything I’ve published so far. The second bonus was that getting my rights back and republishing allowed me to overhaul the text in the light of how the world develops in the later parts of the trilogy and the layers I added in the spin-off stories. It was as though I was discovering this world the more I wrote about it. The opportunity to go back and change details in the social order as well as the characterisations has been invaluable.

When you create a world, you have to have worked out its technology, social structure and beliefs, history and background as well as the geography of the place. The deeper the writer digs into the world, the more she will discover about it. Sometimes there will be some minor detail in the first book that doesn’t at all fit in with the society as it has developed by the end of the third book. For example, through dint of writing about them repeatedly, I got to know how the military functioned in Providence, its hierarchy of soldiers and militia. In the first book there’s a scene that I originally wrote with the militia using spears, through laziness really, because it made what happens in the scene easier to describe. By the time I had reached the second volume of the story it was obviously a cranky idea to have these thugs of policemen using spears, so when I revised The Dark Citadel I rewrote that scene and reorganised all the references to soldiers and militia to make it coherent.

Green Woman
Here are Jane’ links:

Blog: http://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MJDougherty33
Amazon author pages:
http://tinyurl.com/nholyft
http://tinyurl.com/m9xhyb6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6953978.Jane_Dougherty

 

Haley Whitehall
Originally posted August 2014

1. What is Wild and Tender Care about?

Wild and Tender Care is my first historical western romance. It takes place in Colorado Territory in 1870. Dr. William Steere is a half-breed and is finding a hard time starting his own medical practice because of all the racial prejudice against Indians. He meets Ida Page at the Independence Day picnic and immediately has feelings for the fiery redhead. Ida is a former shady lady turned laundress. She reformed but the good Christians won’t let her forget her sordid past. Will the town let the two outcasts have their happy ending?

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Both of my main characters have had a rough childhood and have more or less learned to be independent and look out for themselves. Underdogs always appeal to me but may not appeal to everyone.

Dr. Steere is an alpha male who is also charming and caring. Alpha males have always been a favorite with romance readers and I hope they will also like seeing his softer side. Ida is a strong-willed woman. Writers always put themselves into their characters, but she has more of my qualities than most. She has taken her tough lot in life without becoming bitter and just keeps fighting for her respect and place in society. I like a feisty heroine who makes the hero chase her.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

My message developed naturally as I wrote this book. I never really set out to tell a story with a specific theme or message in mind. The characters seem to find those out on their own. My message is do not give up on love. There is someone out there for everyone and the right someone will accept your past, faults and all.

4. What was it about your book that made you so determined it should be published?

I thought the message in Wild and Tender Care is one that many people need to hear. I was also tired of reading about strong alpha males who seem more like jerks than heroes in a romance novel. Dr. Steere is my kind of alpha. He is equally strong and caring. I think more romances need to show the tender side of alpha males.

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

There are a few passages which are still a little awkward. After several rounds of editing all the words seem to blend together and it is only after the book is published when I see the remaining flaws. I would like one more editing pass to clean it up, but really I am very pleased with this story and how it turned out.

Buy Links:
Liquid Silver Books ~ Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes and Noble ~ ARe

 

Haley Whitehall

 

Author Bio:
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at haleywhitehall.com.

Other Historical Romance Titles:

Midnight Caller (Moonlight Romance, Book 1)
Midnight Heat (Moonlight Romance, Book 2)
Midnight Kiss (Moonlight Romance, Book 3)
Soldier in Her Lap

Where to find Haley Whitehall:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HaleyWhitehall
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LightonHistory
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752677.Haley_Whitehall
Blog: http://haleywhitehall.com/blog/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/
Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/HaleyWhitehall

 

Mary Buckham
Originally posted August 2014

1. What is your book about?

Maru BuckhamINVISIBLE FEARS is the fourth full-length novel in the Invisible Recruits Urban Fantasy series and the first in that series focusing on Kelly McAllister, a former kindergarten teacher turned covert agent to fight preternaturals. She also has an ability that has always set her apart—she can turn invisible. Which sounds fun, but is everything but, especially in this story.

Kelly’s the nice girl-next-door who always sees the glass half-full and she’s leading her first mission deep into the heart of equatorial Africa. She’s to find a rare item that is the key to understanding and stopping a dangerous threat to humans and preternaturals alike. She’s also looking for answers to how her beloved older sister died in this part of the world while doing relief work, a quest that opens up more questions than answers and puts her official mission at risk almost immediately. Danger is around every corner as Kelly struggles to complete her mission, protect innocent children under her care, and stay alive. Then there’s a hunky wolf Shifter who’s causing her all sorts of other complications.

2. What do you think attracts readers to your main characters?

Kelly is that kind, compassionate, genuinely good person we’d all like to be, or think of ourselves as being, pushed to the brink physically, mentally and emotionally. Some see her optimism as naïve and dangerous, especially in her role as a fighter against preternatural threats. Others see her in ways she’d never see herself. I think what attracts readers to her is her journey of self-discovery that’s as much a part of the story as surviving the external threats she faces.

3. What message do you hope the reader takes away from your book?

My book titles tend to reflect the themes of my stories. So in INVISIBLE FEARS Kelly must face a whole gamut of fears—external and internal. Attacks by a Smere goblin, a kidnapping by a sinister preternatural mercenary leader, slogging through the jungle, as well as learning the truth behind her sister’s death and her own hidden background. Facing the type of hurdles she has to face is not easy and doing so while struggling to remain true to who Kelly thinks she is, adds a whole other layer of complications for her.

4. What is it about your book that made you so determined it should be published?

Writing the first 3 novels and 2 novellas in the series focused on Alex Noziak, a witch/shaman with a wicked attitude and hell-for-leather approach to life. Writing about nice-girl Kelly was a 180% turn around to really get into her skin while seeing her through her fellow IR (Invisible Recruit) teammates and through her own world view. Just because she was a good girl did not mean she didn’t have issues and challenges, and it certainly made it interesting to put her into situations that would have stopped battle-hardened warriors, and see how she approached them. Because so many of my readers enjoyed Alex, switching to a new character, even one they recognized, was a huge risk for me as a writer and for the sake of the series. So far though the feedback has been very positive. Proving good girls don’t finish last!

5. Comparing the ideas you had before writing the book with the finished product, would you change anything if you could travel back in time?

This book was originally written for a major publisher as the 3rd book in a 5 book series they’d contracted with me for a few years back. But the month before it was due for release the publisher stopped publishing these kinds of stories so Kelly’s story was set aside. When I revitalized the series with a preternatural/paranormal element last year I took book 2 in the series and revealed elements of that character and her own challenges in 3 novels and 2 novellas. I’ll be doing the same with Kelly and each of the remaining primary Invisible Recruit characters. So 5 Invisible Recruit operatives, three novels each and as many novellas as I have time to write creates a huge story world and story arc to juggle.

In INVISIBLE FEARS, even though the core story concepts – Kelly, former kindergarten teacher turned operative and set in Africa – remained from the original finished draft, so much of the story was rewritten that it’d be hard to see what remains of that original story. As for traveling back in time I’m very, very glad now that these books were not published by the big NY publishing House because I’m having way too much fun writing and releasing them in a manner that allows readers to get them in their hands sooner rather than later. Which means the next novella about Kelly was released in July and the next novel—INVISIBLE SECRETS—will be in September.

 About Mary

Mary Buckham USA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham writes non-fiction; the Amazon best selling WRITING ACTIVE SETTING series (in e-format and now in book form); as well as fiction – Urban Fantasy w/attitude. Love romance, danger & kick-ass heroines? Find it in her Invisible Recruits series: www.MaryBuckham.com or www.InvisibleRecruits.com.

Intrigued? Grab your copy of INVISIBLE FEARS here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1l9LcHe
B&N: http://bit.ly/1lDNIbX
Kobo: http://bit.ly/SV8kkK

 

Ruth Andrew
Originally posted August 2014

HOPE AND HAPPY ENDINGS

Ruth Andrew

1. What made you want to be a writer?
I can’t remember not wanting to write. My first short story, ‘Geometry from the Standpoint of a Spider’ was written when I was in high school. It was the way I worked out problems, but also the way I celebrated joy, and I loved geometry. This story was about a spider named Suzie who wove complicated webs in triangles, arcs and circles. By the time I reached college I knew that writing essays, humor and short fiction came easy for me.

As the years went by (college, marriage, children) I published short stories, essays, humor pieces and interviews in newspapers and magazines with large circulations. Marketing was also easy. I couldn’t imagine not selling anything I ever wrote and had the clippings to prove it. I even had one reprint article under my belt.

But one day life intervened, and I allowed a sad divorce to flatten me. The week I packed up my home office for a move to a small apartment I received two pivotal letters, one from an Avon editor asking me to write a library-edition teen romance, and another from an editor at Good Housekeeping, asking me to edit a short story I’d written. Suddenly editors were coming to me, even sending me Christmas cards that I had pinned to my bulletin board. I’d dreamed of this happening. But who can respond to writing requests when a grenade just blew up in your life? It took years for me to cross paths with those letters again. I abandoned an essential part of myself without even realizing it. Working, remarrying, and keeping my little family together were all I could manage.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?
Writing about problems in the past had helped me understand them. Except that now it no longer worked. I decided I needed to write something longer, like a novel, to write myself out of the deep pit of despair into which I’d sunk. After all, every job I’d ever had involved making order out of chaos, and I wanted order back in my life. When my energy returned I drafted out a novel with a knot in the middle, similar to the knot I could not unravel in my own life. I’d asked my protagonist to work out this problem, since I had been unable to myself. What was I thinking? No matter how many craft classes I took on plotting, deep POV, synopsis, character development or dialogue, no matter how many writing conferences I attended, how many critique groups I joined or how many agents asked for my unfinished novel, nothing worked. I stalled, quit writing, and told my writing friends and agents waiting for my novel that plotting was my nemesis. I couldn’t do it. And like we all hear from our mentors, if we think we can’t do something, we can’t.

At this point the short stories and essays I wrote no longer gave me joy, and humor wasn’t even on my radar. Even being newly published in a number of anthologies did little to re-light my writing fire. I wondered what the hell had happened. Writing had let me down. For me, wanting to write again proved to be the most difficult part of writing.

3. Can you share a moment where YOU suddenly saw the light?
My aha moment came while reading Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe. It concerns the main character, Mia, who held my heart throughout this story. Near the end of the novel Mia was helping to unearth long-hidden water colors by a woman fly-fishing journalist. The painting was of a small brook trout caught by an elaborate dry fly with a hook firmly in its mouth. I will never forget the moment I read this line: The fish was rolling to its side, as though relinquishing the long fight. The words pierced my heart like an arrow.

In my mind I pictured the trout thrashing about in the midst of bubbles, being pulled into a net, exhausted, and relieved to give up the long struggle. Tears sprang to my eyes. I wanted that relief for myself and for the character I’d created for my unfinished novel. I’d given her a knot she could not unravel any more than I could unravel the knot in my own life.

It’s OK to give up. Sometimes it’s the only thing to do. Reading this line over and over, I knew that I had just programmed myself to let go of the knot in my own life and rework the knot in my novel as the responsibility of another character to resolve. It seemed so simple. As soon as I did that the words and ideas began to flow again, after far too long a time. Just let go. Friends we trust give us this advice. But it isn’t their knot, and it doesn’t always work. For me this did. And I have saved these words at the cellular level.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?
I have admired the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald since college. I’d love to have written this line from Gatsby, where Nick describes Daisy’s friend, Jordan: She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage. Simple words, but I have loved people like this for years. The words rang true for me on many levels. Whenever I read Fitzgerald his descriptions hit a nerve.

5. Describe your ideal reader.
I want to write cozy romances with characters who succeed in spite of insurmountable odds. Years ago a writer friend told me that a good book informs, a great book entertains, and a superior book changes you. I keep those words pinned to the bulletin board in my office and read them every day. I want to give readers hope in the midst of chaos. Hope is what I am all about as a writer.

 

You can read more about Ruth Andrew at her blog, www.beeconcise.com, or her website, http://ruthandrew.com. She is finishing her novel, Benson’s Cove, & hopes it will be a series.

 

Dorothy Callahan
Originally posted August 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I think it’s one of those things that people naturally gravitate to in their childhoods – some ride stunt bikes, some learn slight-of-hand, and those who are driven to do what the voices in our heads tell us to become writers. By middle-school, I was already writing poems and short stories. By fifteen, I wrote my first novel, a fantasy heavily inspired by my idol, Piers Anthony. Personally, no matter where I go or what I do, I identify with being an author. When my first book got published, I had never been prouder to say, “Hi, I’m Dorothy Callahan. I’m an author.”

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

For me, I’m a pantser, and sometimes the hardest thing is getting my characters to play nice and do what I want them to do. For instance, the story I’m working on right now has two characters who HATE each other, but I know they’ll be together by the end. I wanted them to have their first kiss in this chapter. I intended it. They are still antagonistic. She just shoved him away from her. I can’t win.

The weaknesses are definitely trying to self-market. I’m generally shy and reserved, so finding the drive to get gung-ho about selling my stories is a hat I haven’t yet learned to wear.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

I’m sure I’ve had many over the years – each aha moment is a series of steps, always going up, up, until I look back and see how far I’ve come, but the top is still eons away. Writing is a craft, and crafts morph and change. (Look at ebooks from 5 years ago.) I’ve taken wonderful classes, from Deb Dixon to Margie Lawson to Mary Buckham, and each instructor pushes me, makes me focus and grow. I think every author who has followed the traditional steps to publication has experienced this.

The moment I saw the light was the email saying, “I’d like to buy your manuscript.” My husband had just come up to my computer, saw me staring at the screen saying, “Oh, my God, Oh, my God,” about twenty times, then the floodgates opened. I started leaping around, crying like a little girl, jumping into his arms and saying I need to call every single person I knew in the next fifteen minutes. I don’t remember much after that.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I am totally enamored with Deborah Cooke’s Dragonfire series and Mary Buckham’s Invisible Recruit series. Brenda Novak is skilled in this arena, as well. I admire authors who can take a group of people, make them flesh-and-blood real to the reader, and then give each one his/her own story. (I started a dragon series about the same time as Ms. Cooke, but they are totally different stories. Plus, hers are published. Mine are in the perpetual edit phase.)

5. Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is one who likes action mixed in with the romance. Even as a teen, my first novel had a giant battle scene in it. I’m still growing a fan base, so I don’t feel qualified to say “who I write for.” I can say that I am always thrilled to hear how my story has affected someone: what they liked, didn’t like, what I could change. I love feedback. In my twenties, my best friend would call every few days, ready for me to read what I’d written thus far. It was so rewarding to hear her shock, gasps, concern, laughter etc, as the story played out.

I guess one thing that will almost always show up in my books are animals, either real or fantasy. My characters love pets, mostly because I’ve had them my whole life. I have two published books right now that are set in a humane society. I thought it would be fun to write a “shelter series,” with the common setting being an animal shelter, but I’ve only partially explored that one.

 

Thank you so much for the opportunity to join your blog. Anyone interested in more can find me at www.dorothycallahan.com, Dorothy Callahan Author on Facebook, or Dorothy Callahan @Callahanauthor on Twitter. Want to chat? Email me at dorothycallahanauthor[[@]]gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

Why not check out my books?

Taming the Stallion:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00AWWONEA

Loving out of Time:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00CJJVI9M

Third Eye’s a Charm:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKVF00Q

A Decade for Darius:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00KETDW16

 

Laurie Gifford Adams
Originally posted July 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I don’t think anything made me “want” to be a writer – I just always felt like I was one. I do know that any time I read a really great book when I was a kid, it would inspire me to write. Then, even into adulthood, that has happened. I guess reading the work and words of others encourages me to share my own. I LOVE telling stories.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

Fleshing out the idea is the hardest part of the writing process for me. I tend to be a pantser. I plan what I think the book is going to be about and how I think the plot is going to flow, but every book I’ve written (except for the non-fiction Internet safety book) has taken a curve and gone in a whole different direction than I’d planned. I have to let the story go where it’s meant to go, though. It just feels more natural that way. Often the characters surprise me. They’ll say something so totally unexpected and I just have to sit back and laugh. I want to say, “Hey, I’m creating you. You can’t tell me what to do.” But they do anyway.

Do I have weaknesses? I think all writers do. My weakness is identifying too much with the characters. This definitely has an effect on the first draft. Fortunately, I have critique partners who spot those things that don’t quite ring true, and I have to go in and fix them. I’m sure I have many more weaknesses, but I hope my strengths outnumber the weaknesses.

I’m also not as good at promotion as I should be. I’ve always been a people pleaser personality, so if I think something might annoy people, I avoid it. I do love interacting and engaging with people, though, so social media is a great way to do that.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

I have MANY “a-ha” moments when I’m in the midst of a project. Like most writers, I live the story in my head when I’m doing other things in my life, and as a result, I’m constantly mulling over the characters’ motivations for doing and saying what they do. Like most people, it’s often when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep or driving (so I can’t write) that the “a-ha” moments happen.

Also, I read and re-read my manuscript so many times throughout the process. I used to worry on the first draft that I wasn’t “bulking it up” enough, then, especially with Over the Edge, I realized the way my mind works. I always see more that needs to go in when I’m going through the manuscript in a condensed time frame at the end. At that point, those characters and their lives are so ingrained in my mind, that I can suddenly see that I had Dylan respond to his younger brother in a way that isn’t consistent with his character. So, now, I try to set aside several hours after I think I’m done just to read straight through again, looking for inconsistencies, weak areas, confusing dialogue, etc.

Other “a-ha” moments come as a result of reader expectations. When my critique partners or beta readers say, “Well, I thought this – or that – was going to happen,” I always stop and consider if that’s an important idea to explore. Many times I’ve changed or added scenes based on their expectations. This really makes it fun for me.

One more kind of “a-ha” moment was when I finally learned that if I get “blocked,” I needed to just come up and start writing anyway. Even if it takes me ten minutes to write one sentence, and even if that sentence is going to get deleted later, it’s progress. It helps me continue when I feel like I don’t know what to write next.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I absolutely LOVE LaVyrle Spencer’s writing. Her heartwarming stories about regular people, in regular lives with regular struggles, are keepers, and I’ve read most of them multiple (and I mean multiple) times. There’s nothing pompous about her style. I went into mourning when she announced she was retiring. What a loss in my life!
I also really like Diane Chamberlain’s books. Her characters are also very realistic with problems, fortunately, most of us wouldn’t ever have to face. But she deals with these situations beautifully.
For really well-known authors, Sandra Brown is a favorite.
When it comes to YA or middle grade authors, I’m all over the place. I don’t care who wrote it as long as it’s a great story. I’m not a fantasy reader, though, so I never got on the JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins bandwagons. I read some of their books just to see what my students were reading, but I’m more interested in realistic fiction.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is someone who loves a good story and wants to root for the character and his/her struggles. The reader realizes life isn’t all good, and that to appreciate the good we have to deal with the negative, too. I’ve been writing for the younger teen group because I hope to capture the reluctant readers.

My first book, Finding Atticus, was specifically written for my students because they were always complaining about what they didn’t like about the books we read in school. One of their biggest pet peeves was the characters or animals dying in the books. They like being on the edge of their seats with concern, but they also want everything to work out in the end. Who doesn’t want that? Why wouldn’t we want to feel GOOD when we put a book down? Even if there are tears (which my readers always tell me I’m good at pulling out of them), they’re good tears, not tears of sadness. (Well, okay, I do have to sprinkle in a little of that, too, so the characters’ lives don’t seem unrealistically perfect.)

I think I deliver real characters with real issues. I always hope readers will come away with their own “a-ha” moment when they get the point(s) I’m trying to make. I guess that will always be the teacher side of me. My books entertain, but they also teach a “lesson.”

A little about me. I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes of western New York. After graduating from Keuka College, I moved to Connecticut and married Jim, who is from there. I taught middle school English for 26 years and LOVED it. Those kids were definitely an inspiration for my writing. I got my Masters degree from the University of Connecticut at Storrs (Go, Huskies!) I also freelance write for the Reiman Publications magazines and for Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, a tourism promotion office for Ontario County, NY.

Jim and I have two kids, Carrie Beth and Nick and I LOVE my animals, too, so I always, always have a dog in my life, and right now that’s Mollie. I love to ride horses, so now I have Sasha, a palomino, and Lacey, an appaloosa. I also have a grandkitty named Scooter. Jim and I moved back to the Finger Lakes in 2011 and love living back in this area. Connecticut was good to me, but I love being “home” again.

When I wrote that about Sasha above, it reminded me of this. When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a palomino. Except for a couple of years, I always had horses or ponies, but never a palomino. They seemed out of reach, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming about owning one. I even made up stories as a kid when I’d tell my friends I was sure I was getting a palomino for my birthday or Christmas. The closest I got was a little chestnut pony. In my late forties, I finally made my dream come true when I bought Sasha. My point is, don’t ever give up on your dreams. Make them happen if there’s any way possible. After my horse died in 1997, I waited 13 years before I got Sasha, because I was determined I would own a palomino. I could have bought any number of horses in between, but I had a dream, and I stuck with it.

It’s the same way with my writing. I always dreamed of having people eager to have my books come out, and now that it’s here, it seems pretty surreal. There were lots of times in the past 30 years when I let my writing slide because I was busy with other things, but I never let it go completely because I had this goal I was pursuing, and now I’m enjoying every minute of it! It’s an awesome feeling.

My next goal: to make a best seller’s list. And I’m determined to get there.

I have three books out right now:

Laurie Adams
FINDING ATTICUS – an older middle grades novel that has also found a vast audience among adults, which I think is pretty cool…

Laurie Adams
www.RUinDanger.net – is an Internet and technology safety guide co-written with a former undercover cop (He approached me to co-write the book with him because he saw the need to educate kids and their parents)…

Laurie Adams
…and my newest is the YA novel, OVER THE EDGE. The issues I tackle in this novel are near and dear to my heart, so this story is very special to me. I feel like the story doesn’t only entertain, but it also has the potential to change someone’s life. (Long story with that.)

Where to find me or how to contact me:

My web page is www.lauriegiffordadams.com
Facebook is Laurie Gifford Adams – Author
Twitter: Laurie G Adams
I can be contacted through my website, and I LOVE to hear from people. I respond to everything – and I mean everything. I hope to hear from some (or ALL) of you!

 

Tricia Drammeh
Originally posted July 2014

Tricia Drammeh1. What made you want to be a writer?

I decided to be a writer because I love reading so much. I love to escape into a fantasy world, and since I’ve been making up stories in my head for as long as I could remember, it seemed like a good idea to finally write them down.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

The toughest part about the art of writing is sitting down and doing it. My greatest weakness is my tendency to procrastinate, especially when the words aren’t flowing the way I’d like them to.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

Well, my aha moment goes back to my previous answer. I sometimes went for weeks without writing a single word and blamed my lack of productivity on writer’s block. The resulting guilt and self-loathing made it even harder to get back to the keyboard. Though I’ve read advice from other authors who tell writers to write no matter what, I never believed it was possible. How can I write if I’m not in the zone? A few weeks ago, I was discussing the cycle of writer’s guilt with a friend of mine, and we came up with the idea of a 200-word-per-day writing challenge. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve found that once I complete my requisite 200 words, I’m usually in the mood to keep writing. I have a sense of accomplishment each and every day, and don’t have to struggle with guilt.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I admire so many authors, but Anne Rice and JK Rowling come to mind first. They have very different styles, but are both masters in the genres they’re known for.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

This is a really tough question. Since I tend to skip from genre to genre, it’s hard to choose a specific type of reader. I can say that in most of my books, I rely heavily on humor, though I wouldn’t consider myself a comedic author. So, I guess my ideal reader would have to have a good sense of humor.

Author Bio:
Tricia Drammeh is a wife, a mother of four children, and an author. She lives in New Hampshire with her family. When she isn’t writing, she can be found devouring books, chasing cats, and consuming vast amounts of coffee.

Links:
Website: www.triciadrammeh.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTriciaDrammeh
Twitter: twitter.com/TriciaDrammeh
Amazon: Amazon.com: Better than Perfect eBook: Tricia Drammeh: Kindle Store

Patricia Kabu
Originally posted July 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

After reading a whole lot of books, which is a whole lot, I realized that there are no romance books which were sited in Africa, especially Ghana, my country. So I want to write something about my beautiful country.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

The toughest part of writing is when you get stuck trying to add a special moment in the story, but nothing comes to mind. Hmm, it’s frustrating still, but you have to wait. Something will come up.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

My aha moment was when I saw a beautiful moment between a couple on campus. I remember every minute of that moment. It made me realize I could write beautiful words from what I see around me.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I admire most writers, especially any writer who is able to hold my imagination. I wish to be more like them, if possible.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

I want my ideal reader to be someone who keeps an open mind about life. Who enjoys reading romance books.
I realized that to be able to write more, you have to write about all that happens in your life. It usually helps.

To get in touch:
My Facebook account is Patricia Kabu
My Twitter account is PatriciaKabu

Alyssa Renae White
Originally posted July 2014

Hello! I am Alyssa Renae White and I am an aspiring author. I have completed a few pieces of writing and I am in the process of working on the edits and rewrites, that is if my A.D.D. does not kick in and send me off in other directions. Ever since I was little I had a passion for artwork of all forms, but I never got into reading – though I did like to write. A few years ago I set myself a New Year’s Resolution (that I kept), I was going to read more. Easter of that year I got the book that started it all: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke. That set me running in high gear – my book addiction started. Once I worked with reading for a while, I was inspired to start working on my own writing. While I took a few creative writing classes, I never perused anything. Now my plate is full with writing, art, and completing my master’s degree in Elementary Education.

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I had always been a creative person and enjoyed making up stories to go along with the characters I created. After going on a reading binge I decided to try my hand at it and got addicted to the idea of being able to create what is bubbling in my mind with something other than visual art.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

Many authors will tell you, the worst thing to happen to an author is to get the dreaded *block*. This block is something that stops you from creating, and I have experienced it in visual art and in writing. The writer’s block is probably the hardest thing for me to get through when it comes to writing. Another thing that I struggle with is getting the idea out of my mind and into print. There are so many things that I want to share with the world, things that are running through my mind, but somehow they get sidetracked when they are traveling from my brain to my fingers – I blame my elbows, it is always the elbows.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

In the month of November 2013, I decided to join NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) for the first time. I was terrified to do this because I had never shared much of my writing with others, and in some cases when I had it did not turn out how I hoped. Once I managed to narrow down my ideas I blew through 10,000 words in one short sitting. I was blown away by this achievement and that was the moment that I realized that I could do anything that I put my mind too. Anything I wanted to achieve my writing dream.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

Oh my goodness, this is a tough one. There are so many great authors out there that have inspired me in my dreams of writing. I honestly could not choose particular authors or styles that I admire – but if you check out my goodreads page, it is easy to see the kind of books that I am drawn to. I am a very avid reader of Cozy Mystery and Historical Fiction/Romance and I was blessed to be able to meet some of the authors whose writing I adore.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

When I started out I wanted to write to please others – but after some serious analysis I realized that I want to write for myself. When I sit down to work on a piece of writing, I write it with the ideas and desires that *I* would want to read in my writing. As the song goes “you can’t please everyone, but you got to please yourself” and that is what I live by. If I am happy that is all that matters – no matter what situation I am faced with.

 

Contact:

DeviantArt: http://ladyghostduchess.deviantart.com/

Battlenet: arw#1468

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LadyGhostDuchess

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARWhite84

Twitter: Alyssa_R_White

Jules Court
Originally posted July 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. I remember starting school already knowing my alphabet; I’d forced my older sister to teach me what she was learning. I was also a born storyteller and a bit of a tyrant. I’d demand that my friends act out with our Barbie Dolls these elaborate scenarios I created, and Heaven help anyone who went off script. No ad-libbing in my productions.

Throughout my childhood, I scribbled stories, and even had a brief flirtation with poetry in high school (the angst was great in this one). So, when it came time to pick colleges, I informed my parents that I would be attending a certain pricy liberal arts college and majoring in Creative Writing. They weren’t having it. Instead, I attended a large state university on a partial scholarship and majored in something more “practical”. (Full disclosure- I mostly majored in Beer and Boys.)

After college, I joined the working world and my writing dream just kind of drifted away. I laughed at my childhood delusions about being a writer. I lived in the real world now. That probably would have been it for writing and me, if I hadn’t made a spectacularly terrible life decision.

I went to law school.

It was a soul-sucking, self-esteem crushing pit of despair. I turned to reading to escape. But not reading my casebooks like I should have, no, I discovered Romance novels. My prior concept of the genre was: all bodice ripping, all the time. But, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Plus, romances contained two things I desperately needed: hope and a guaranteed happy ending. They kick-started my dormant imagination. Soon, when I was supposed to be briefing cases for class, I was pounding away at my own romance novel, instead.

I did graduate from law school (and, surprisingly, not at the bottom of the class), and I even passed the Bar. But I knew, I wasn’t a lawyer. I was a writer.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

Facing the blank page. I like editing, I like tinkering, but I hate that blasted blank page. It leaves too much room for doubt to slither in. That little voice in the back of my head whispering that I suck, that I’m not really a writer, that everything I write is trash. Whenever I’m unsure of where my story is going, I feel like I’ll never have another idea. That’s it. We had a good run, but it’s over.

Once I make it through that first draft, it’s still not all golden words dripping from my pen. I have good and bad days, but at least I know I can finish a story. My advice to new writers is never abandon a story. You have to prove to yourself that you can finish something, even when a new, shiny idea that you haven’t screwed up yet is beckoning. Resist and keep wrestling with the pig you’ve got.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

Recently, I picked up a story I’d relegated to the bowels of my computer, because I thought it was an embarrassment. But, reading it with fresh eyes made me realize two things: 1) Yeah, it wasn’t great, but it could be fixed, and 2) (more importantly) I couldn’t tell the difference in the writing between what was written on a day each word was chipped out of my brain with a pick axe, and what was written on a day the words flowed like honey, and little birds twittered about and braided my hair, while a unicorn farted rainbows. So on a difficult writing day, keep going. It’s not as bad you think; it’s just your perception.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I’m a huge fan of Dorothy Parker. I’m always pushing The Portable Dorothy Parker on people, because it contains her short stories as well as her poetry and reviews. She’s mostly remembered for her wit now, but her short stories are masterpieces of tight, sharp writing. You could cut yourself on her prose.

Within the Romance genre, I’m an unabashed Meljean Brook fangirl. She writes some the smartest, tightest plotted paranormal/steampunk books out there, and she still manages to put a satisfying and deeply characterized romance into each one. Also, Courtney Milan writes some seriously intelligent, well-crafted Historical Romances.

5. Describe your ideal reader. Who do you write for?

This probably makes me sound more egotistical than Tony Stark, but I’m writing for me. I write (or try to write) the books I want to read. My ideal reader likes romance books with heroines who have a spine and heroes who aren’t abusive jerks but are actual nice guys- not fedora wearing, friend-zone whiners, but men who like and respect women.

A big thank you to Carmen for giving me the space to spout off my many opinions. I’ve got a Contemporary Romance entitled Rescuing Love available from Bookstrand Publishing at www.bookstrand.com/rescuing-love and Amazon. You can also check me out at www.julescourt.com.

 

BLURB


Recently fired attorney, Becca Lynch, only came home to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to strap on a bridesmaid dress and accompany an old friend down the aisle. Just one week of pretending that her life’s great and she’s not secretly falling apart.

A complication of the male variety is the last thing she wants. But a blistering encounter with a handsome stranger in the employee bathroom of her hometown bar might be just what she needs.

As a rescue swimmer for the United States Coast Guard, Alex Petrov doesn’t think twice about jumping from a helicopter into raging seas if lives are at stake, but off the clock, he prefers calmer waters.

Hooking up with a stranger, who turns out to be his roommate’s sister, just isn’t something he does. Until Becca.

But passion doesn’t worry about bad timing, and love can prove a more uncontrollable force than any ocean wave.

Cora Maxine
Originally posted June 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I love to write. That’s one thing that got me through writing my first full-length novel, Choices: Make Me Paranormal. I knew that even if no one bought a copy, I had fun writing it and wouldn’t regret the time spent. I’ve been creating stories for several years, but it was only in the past couple years that I got serious about putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

​Waiting for reviews. An author can go crazy waiting to see what readers think about their finished product. I obsess over what readers are going to think and check for reviews several times a day after publishing.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

The moment I realized that it doesn’t take years to write a novel. I worked as a freelance writer for almost 8 years and it’s nothing for me to turn out a few thousand words per day. I knew if I could put just half of that time into fiction, I could write a novel every couple months.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

H.P. Mallory is the biggest inspiration in the writing world for me. She started as an indie author and got picked up by a big publisher; it’s the story that all writers dream of. Also, she was one of the first urban fantasy authors I read. She’s inspired me in so many ways.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is someone just like me – female in her 30s who loves the paranormal. When I write a novel, I’m writing something that know I would want to read, something with paranormal elements and sexy male characters.

Links:

www.coramaxine.com
www.facebook.com/coramaxine
www.twitter.com/cora_maxine
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6541045.Cora_Maxine

Author Bio:

Cora MaxineCora Maxine lives in Western North Carolina and uses the towns around her as inspiration for her urban fantasy novels. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading, baking, and spending time with her amazing boyfriend and houseful of pets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew W. Harrill
Originally posted June 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

Matthew HarrillThat’s actually a quite difficult question. I don’t necessarily consider myself a writer as such, more someone who has a job but has written a few stories. I have a way of storytelling that people seem to be agreeable with. My first novel, ‘The Focus Stone’ (available on www.lulu.com) was the extension of a short story that just never finished. I’m quite creative naturally, and I have read a LOT of fantasy books, enjoying the larger series (I love being immersed in a world). I also have a brain awash with so many pointless random facts. It looks like I was always destined to put pen to paper.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

Spelling, grammar, uncertainty as to whether the audience will suspend their disbelief and buy into the story. For me with Hellbounce, the most difficult part initially was proceeding with a much smaller word count per chapter. My Epic Fantasy series ‘The Tome of Law’ had chapters ten thousand words long. My goal, as set by my mentor David Farland (www.davidfarland.net) was to go between 2-2500 words per chapter, about 12 pages of text in standard editing format (12pt courier, double spaced lines etc etc – it helps give you an idea of what will be showing on the final pages). Initially, I was stumped, but having a word count in mind actually helps one focus on what is important, and as such I have found that my story flows a lot better, the hooks are easier to place. I have heard thus far from many different people that once they get started, they can’t put Hellbounce down. You can’t ask for more than that.

Matthew Harrill
3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

The moment of epiphany:

No, but the idea is fun!

Dave

Quoting “Harrill, Matt” :

Dave,

I was just wondering, have you ever come across a story whereby hell
is literally freezing over? I was wondering if the concept of the
inhabitants of hell coming back up to earth for help because they
are under attack from something that is taking that cliché literally
and trying to destroy the realm had ever been used before. I thought
it could make quite a story.

Matt

That’s where it all started, with a simple email and a unique selling point that became the book below:

Hellbounce
4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I have a bizarre and varied list of people I count as influences on what I have written. Obviously David Farland has been crucial in my development as a writer. He has always been there for me to bounce ideas off of, and as a writing guru of great magnitude, he has helped me make many right choices regarding style and content. I admire his books greatly. They are so easy to read. I am also a massive H P Lovecraft fan, and initially I wanted to create something Lovecraft-esque for Hellbounce. However it evolved into something that I can only describe as quintessentially ‘me’. Oddly, I do count the fictional author Hank Moody (from the TV series ‘Californication’) as an influence. Writing can be that fun.

Is there a line I wish I had come up with? The funny thing is when my publisher asked for teaser quotes, and I had my editor go through my story, she came back with some absolute gems, even to the point that I did not believe I had written them. I think I’m happy with my own creations:

Matthew Harrill

5. Describe your ideal reader.

I think somebody who is prepared to think out of the box, is prepared for a surprise, a bit of a shock, a smidgeon of romance would be my ideal reader. I never started out writing this series with a target audience in mind. There is so much science to writing: marketing, audience research etc. I had an idea and I did my best to get it down on paper. There is no way I am the finished article, so in my opinion things can only get better with every book that is out there. My next book, Hellborne: The ARC Chronicles Part 2 is in editing and will be out soon, so anybody that has read book 1 won’t have long to wait. Book 3 – Hellbeast – is in my research phase. I go into great detail compiling notes, maps, scenes etc. I write each scene as if I am there, visualising it. I have been told my story has a movielike quality. It’s not text to me. It’s screen already.

I hope to keep everybody involved when my website, blog and mailing list all go live, hopefully within the next couple of weeks at www.matthewharrill.com. Anybody interested in Hellbounce can find it on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/B00KNLZO4S/. I find myself privileged to be surrounded with an excellent team as I undertake this journey. Faith Bartow my publisher, Rebecca Cartee my editor, Clarissa Yeo my cover artist and Michael Lowndes my marketing advisor are all top people. This is a team effort. I’m just the point man!

Kathryn E. Jones
Originally posted June 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

When I first became serious about being a writer, I was pregnant with my first daughter. Before that, I’d taken creative writing classes but never felt like I was really that great at writing. I never had a teacher that said, “You have a future in writing,” or anything like that, and so when the thought first came to me that I’d like to try writing, there wasn’t really any previous slaps on the back to get me going. To be honest, I had morning, afternoon and evening sickness and was just trying to fill in the long hours of being sick on the couch. When it occurred to me that I might write, it was merely an idea to do something fun and perhaps, fill in a bit of the daily gaps.

After writing my first story, “Weebles Wobble” (which is pretty terrifying, I can tell you), I decided that I liked writing and would one day be a success. It took 8 long years following that first story to break into print.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

The toughest part about writing is getting up and doing it. Getting started. I always have excuses, but I’ve learned through the years to ignore them and get to work; because writing IS work.

And yes, I have weaknesses in writing. I think we all do. In the beginning, I struggled big time with voice and basic sentence structure; now I push myself to add more setting to an otherwise empty world. I love dialogue and do well at it. Coming up with a captivating setting is another story. But I continue to work on it.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

Years ago, when I was writing a short story entitled, “The Awakening of George Mahooney,” I suddenly realized the story was coming to me as if I was merely the transcriber of something very real. It was like George was standing next to me telling his story. It was incredible then and still is. I still get goose bumps every time I think or talk about it. I have had many of these experiences since that first story, and every time it’s as if I am merely listening and writing down what I hear. At times like these, when I’m not correcting every line as I go, or looking at the paragraph I’ve just written; when I’m truly listening, the writing comes the easiest.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

My favorite line from Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender.” I love this, because as a writer giving up is never an option, even when you don’t feel like writing. Writing is a job, but it’s more than a job; it’s a career.

It’s something I do daily, something that keeps me breathing and moving forward in life. If this sounds sappy, so be it. I don’t know who I’d be if I could not write.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is someone who is open to new ideas; someone who wants to improve his/her life and isn’t afraid to act on their belief that they can do so. I primarily write Christian fiction, but I have also written Christian and Business nonfiction (for writers). I am currently working on my second cozy mystery, so, even in this, I find that open readers are the best readers.

I try to reflect the positivity I share in the Christian works I write. It isn’t enough to write a book to help others, it’s important to me that I live what I have written. And that means that I am out there when it comes to book signings, blogging about writing, and so forth. It isn’t enough for me to be a great writer, I want to be there for those who are trying to be more in their own life.

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Want to find out more?

http://www.ariverofstones.com
http://www.ideacreationspress.com
http://amazon.com/author/joneskathryn
http://www.goodreads.com/KaJones
http://www.twitter.com/kakido
http://www.pinterest.com/kakido
http://www.facebook.com/kathrynelizabethjones.author

Marie Dry
Originally posted June 2014


1. What made you want to be a writer?

I made up stories even before I could read, and I couldn’t wait to go to school to learn to read. I wrote my first little story at seven and then from about age thirteen I have always been working on some new story. For me it’s not a question of wanting to be a writer, but more that I have no choice. The characters in my head demand that I write their story.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

The toughest part for most writers is the self doubt. Is it a good idea, will the readers and editor like your character, will you be able to write the story and do it justice? Moving on from questions like that plaguing me is the hardest. Luckily, the characters in my head would never allow me to give up on them.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

I had several since I started to seriously work on my craft. The courses I took with Mary Buckham really helped me take a step forward. She gives examples of writing that works and doesn’t work, and seeing what doesn’t made a light go up for me. Especially in her course on the twelve steps to intimacy. The concept of show don’t tell was another aha moment. It took me long time not to simply replace telling with better telling.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I have always been a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and have read her since I was in high school. When I read a Hunger like no other by Kresley Cole I was depressed for a whole week because that book was so good.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

I have been an avid romance reader since I was a little girl and see myself as the average romance reader. And that is who I am writing for. I make time to read to stay up to date with what is happening in the world of romance.

Any final words?

Yes, thank you for hosting. I really enjoyed our chat.

You can visit Marie’s website at www.mariedry.com.

Her book is out June 21, so why not check out and pre-order Alien Mine now?

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Laura Welling
Originally posted June 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

I have been writing as long as I can remember! It started when I was four and wrote my first book, about spies. It filled an entire notebook with mostly pictures. I also taught myself to type around then, because I decided my handwriting was too babyish. When I was in kindergarten I typed out a long story about dinosaurs, which the vice principal made me read to the whole school. I was so terrified I could barely see through the tears to read it, but I have never been scared of public speaking since.

The point of this is that it wasn’t a conscious decision: it’s something I’ve been doing for my entire life. I can’t imagine not being a writer.

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

At this stage in my life, making the time. I have a full-time job, a four year old, and a farm. I have learned though that if you wait for the time, it will never come. You have to make it. Taking a workshop with Kerri Nelson inspired me – she has a bunch of kids, and a job, and writes a huge number of books every year. The key is to learn to get something done in fifteen minutes or less, and find those gaps. If you wait for a solid day, it will never happen.

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

Not a particular one, but this is generally how my brain works if I’m trying to solve a problem, writing or otherwise. I’ll throw myself into it – total immersion in the problem. Then I find the trick is to go do something unrelated: go for a walk, take a long shower, take a day off. My subconscious will often pop the answer up for me and it’s as if I always knew it. This is very helpful for plotting, for example.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

This is a very long list of writers indeed. Most recently, some of my favorite authors are Ilona Andrews and Kristin Cashore. Incredible world-building, and a lyrical writing style on both counts.

5. Describe your ideal reader. 

I write for myself! I think you have to. If you try to please other people…well, you’d have to be a mind reader. If I write to please myself, chances are, some other people will like it too.

About the book:

TALENT TO BURN by LAURA WELLING

imagePassion burns. Betrayal scars.

Cat Wilson grew up a misfit among misfits. She couldn’t read minds, see the future, or start fires like the other Talented kids inside the shadowy Grey Institute. Finally she ran, leaving her beloved brother, Eric, behind. She’s been running ever since.

When she learns that Eric has escaped, leaving deadly fires in his wake, Cat is torn between fear for her brother, and unwanted attraction to the messenger, a charming, Talented ex-con who lives for the next adrenaline rush.

Jamie Murphy is sure his group of outcast Talents can help Eric—if they can get to him before the cops or the Institute, and before he kills again. Cat’s aversion to Talented bad boys is like a wall of ice, but to his surprise, he doesn’t have to use an ounce of his own unique gift to find a way through it.

Yet locating Eric is only the beginning. In the battle to pull him back from the brink, Cat must find the courage to unlock a fearsome Talent of her own. And pray the psychic backdraft doesn’t destroy everyone she loves.

About the author:

When’s she’s not writing, Laura Welling wears a lot of other hats: mother, farmer, and software engineer. She’s Australian but lives in the United States on a horse farm, which she shares with her family, an over-sized dog, and various horses, cats and chickens. She is a compulsive reader of all genre fiction, who started reading before the age of two, and never stopped. She wrote her first “book” when she was five—a spy story, which has since been joined in a bottom drawer by various other early attempts.
This book was inspired by some of her favorite stories: Anne McCaffrey’s science fiction novels, Marvel’s X-Men comics, and The X-Files television series.

Blog/website: http://laurawelling.com
BUY THE BOOK: Samhain | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

 

 

 

Julie LaVoie
Originally posted May 2014

1. What made you want to be a writer?

The compliments. Ha! Kidding. No, actually, I’m not. Since the very first book I wrote in first grade (where I told the world that my little brother liked to kiss me when he danced with me) to my eleventh grade research paper on STDs, my teachers ranted and raved about my “natural” writing ability. They said it had a fresh tone and that I was going to do something wonderful with it in the future. To date, my writing talent has been used for school absence excuses and emails to my son’s football coach, but I’m not giving up just yet. I still have half a century before I croak (fingers crossed).

2. What is the toughest part about writing?

All the rules. Sometimes I wish you could just write what’s in your heart and that publishers will eat it up. But I’ve learned the hard way that telling is a no no. Filtering is a no no. Too many gerunds are a no no. Then there’s the word duplication and the clichés, and many more rules I haven’t even learned yet! (Oh, and don’t forget about the overuse of exclamation points!!) But alas, publishers are a picky people. They want polished, succinct writing. For me, the rules take the fun out of writing. When faced with this sticky conundrum a writer must evaluate whether they’re writing for themself or for an audience. If it’s for them, they can fill their pages with every cliché imaginable. No one will ever see it. But if they’re writing for others, then they’re going to have to suck it up, learn the rules, and implement them. Ahem. As I am currently doing with the help of my very knowledgeable writing partner, who shall remain nameless (her initials are CF ;)).

3. Have you experienced an aha moment, a piece of advice or a moment where something fell into place?

Oh dear. I can’t say I’ve had an aha moment where I’ve seen the light, per se. Wouldn’t that be lovely? What I do experience quite often actually comes from my gut. At least that’s where I like to tell people it comes from. You’d all think me zany if I said it was from my writing fairy who whispers in my ear. What I’m talking about is trusting my instincts. I don’t plot out my books. Or use timelines or grids of any sort. I know how I want it to start and how I want it to end. Who I want to fall in love with who, and then I start writing. My characters take me down this way and that, things falling into place that I never could have planned if I tried. For example, just yesterday I had a character dropping a jar of mayonnaise after being surprised. This was my attempt at painting a picture for the reader. Well, what do you know, later in the scene I needed her to fall onto a knife. And I thought, “Hey, I’ve got greasy mayonnaise on the floor. How perfect for her to slip on and fall.” Completely unplanned, yet worked out chillingly perfect. That’s my writing fairy-er-gut for you. So I’m not sure if I answered this question correctly or not, but the point I think I was trying to make was even if you don’t have a particular aha moment, trust your writing and trust yourself.

4. Whose style do you admire, or is there a line you wish you’d come up with?

I hate this question. If I had a writing weakness it would be my lack of reading what’s currently out there. Since having my three boys I just don’t have the time to read. When I was younger, I read and read and read. During summer breaks, I don’t even think I left my bedroom, just laid in my bed reading (does it count if the window was open?). My favorite genre was historical romance and I ate up Victoria Holt books. As I grew older I opted more for the thriller suspense-type novels by Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Tami Hoag, James Patterson, and even Dean Koontz. But lately, the only books I read are from my writing partner and any other beta reads that come my way. So if I had to base my answer on past authors I’ve read, I’d have to say Victoria Holt, just because it was her writing style that captivated me enough to keep me housed up in my bedroom from morning to night. Not to mention the tea and crumpets phase she inspired. Oh, Earl Grey, how I love you.

5. Describe your ideal reader.

My ideal reader would be in the sixteen to thirtyish age range. My love scenes are curtained enough to be appropriate for younger readers, but the content is definitely mature enough for an older reader to appreciate, and even relate to. However, that’s just for my current project, a YA dystopian. I also have a paranormal romance on the back burner and a handful of children’s books. One could diagnose me as having “Writer’s ADHD.” But I do believe my favorite age to write for is the teenage/young adult audience so let’s stick with that answer.

Carmen, thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog. I fully enjoyed it and hope you ask me back again.

You can visit Julie at http://juliemlavoie.wordpress.com

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