Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

Author Interviews

Author Interview: Karin Welss

The Basics
Michaela August, Karin Welss
Brand: House of the Rose
Genre(s): historical fantasy, vampire, historical romance
Publisher(s): Awe-Struck eBooks

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • (1) Never pay a publisher–money should always flow towards the author.
  • (2) Always meet your deadlines.
  • (3)Don’t take bad reviews personally (this last piece of advice is the hardest to follow, in my opinion).

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Receiving a favorable book review is the best method, I think, but also the hardest to predict. But there’s just something about getting good word-of-mouth…. The most effective advertising method so far has been a Web banner advertising free opening chapters to my books.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • That an ineffective agent is worse than no agent at all. It’s a terrible dilemma when you finally get a legitimate agent to represent your writing–most of the big publishing houses these days refuse to consider unagented material–but my co-author and I also ended up waiting for two years while our novel sat on an editor’s desk because our newbie, timid agent was afraid to call him in case he might get mad at her. As soon as we found out why things were taking so long, we severed our relationship with this agent, but it was still two years of lost time.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • At the moment, I’m reading Thorn Moon, a friend’s unpublished novel manuscript. She’s a wonderful writer, it’s a terrific story, and I sincerely hope a publisher leaps at the chance to publish her YA fantasy.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Publishing format is unimportant to me–I choose my books by author and subject. Some authors are only published in paper, other only in ebook format.
  • Actually, at the moment, I’m doing most of my “reading” by listening to audiobooks, since I can do that in the car or at work, and thus save my free time at home for wrestling with my current novel-in-progress.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Only three? (Renee Note: Everyone always ask that. :P) That’s a really difficult one! I have a whole trove of books, both on my shelves and on my computer, that I’ll pull out as comfort reads. Here are the three favorite books I’ve re-read most recently:
  • A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold (unabridged audiobook, but I also own the hardback book)
  • Island of Ghosts, by Gillian Bradshaw (probably my favorite historical novel of all time)
  • Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon (the unabridged audiobook version, narrated by Davina Porter, though I also own the hardback book)

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I’ve been writing ever since I could remember, because there have always been stories moving through my head like movies. Learning how to read and write gave me a way to put some of the stories away for safekeeping, and free up space in my brain for new stories. My mother recently gave me a box of my childhood papers that included my very first novel, Alek the Lone Wolf, a Jack London pastiche written in the second grade.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Re-read a favorite book, and obsess about how I’ll never measure up to my writing idols. Then I bake a few cakes or try out a new ice cream recipe, go for a massage, and satisfy my inner twelve-year-old by watching anime until I’m ready to start writing another story.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • It’s not so much a conversation as it is channel-surfing through the 360 channels of entertainment in my head. *g* As I move through my day, I’ll get bits of dialogue here, a quick visual snippet there, and once in a while, something more, a whole scene or an entire conversation, that I can build a story around.
  • Once I settle on a story and characters, then my mind is tuned to that channel most of the time, and I can “see” and “hear” the next bits while I’m walking, or driving, or waiting for the software at work to chug through some task. So, my characters do talk to me, in a sense, but it’s not a conversation as much as me eavesdropping on them interacting.
  • (Renee Note: I’m not alone!! *cues up Michael Jackson music*)

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Most recent novel:
The Shattered Crown by Michaela August
(House of the Rose: Book Five)

In the gripping conclusion to the House of the Rose series, the revelation of an ancient conspiracy explodes into war between the House’s vampire protectors and an exiled goddess.

Awe-Struck E-Books, Inc., Published: 2008
ISBN: 9781587496646

First solo novel:
Twist of Honor by Karin Welss

Awe-Struck E-Books, Inc., Published: 2007

It’s the spring of 1666, and Kit Fitzgeorge, a disabled mercenary soldier, finds himself in desperate straits, unable to earn an honorable living but unwilling to beg charity. To provide for his young daughter, he agrees to kidnap the young, wealthy, and widowed Countess of Cranbourne and deliver her into a forced marriage with an impoverished nobleman.
While waiting for the perfect opportunity to abduct the Countess, he becomes dangerously attracted to her, and finds himself forced to choose between his daughter’s welfare and an impossible love.

ISBN-10: 1587496429

Learn More

– Website: http://www.michaela-august.com
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Karin-Welss/628319234
– Blog/Newsletter: http://sharibet.livejournal.com (mostly my travel journals and anime/manga reviews)
(Renee Note: She does anime/manga reviews too. Kindred spirit!!)

Thanks, Karin!!

Join me next week for Marie Rochelle.

Author Interview: Marie-Nicole Ryan

The Basics
Marie-Nicole Ryan
Brand: Believe in the dream… Beware the danger.
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense, Mystery/Suspense
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Believe in your dream. Don’t give up. Write every day. I don’t have anything new to offer, but those three things are vital for every writer.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I like doing interviews, but nothing beats writing a dynamite book. That’s the best advertisement. I love having a web site and keeping it up-to-date, and I love creating promotional items like bookmarks and brochures. I really enjoy book signings which come may way because I’m able to meet readers. There’s something really special about readers—beyond the fact they might buy one of my books. Whether they’re seeking to learn more about themselves or the world or just want to escape the harsh realities of our world, readers are seekers and capable of looking beyond the here and now.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • You are your own worst enemy. This can take innumerable forms—as many as there are writers. Whether it’s not believing in yourself, limiting yourself or acting like a witch in a public forum. My personal fault is limiting myself and thinking my writing sucks at least once a day.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I’m working my way through Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries. I just downloaded books 5 and 6 to my Kindle.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Since I purchased a Kindle, I’m firmly in the ebook camp. I always look for the ebook format and seldom buy print books unless they’re by a friend or fellow MCRW member.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Now that I’m a writer, I don’t have time to read any book over and over, but I do have authors that I read everything I can get my hot little hands on. But I couldn’t begin to limit the list to three. But going back to when I was a reader, the books I read over and over were Gone With the Wind, Forever Amber, and Green Darkness. I also loved Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg Series. I don’t think it’s in print any longer, but I purchased the books individually on the Internet.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • The quick and easy answer is: reading. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life. I read across genres: biographies, mainstream, romance, and mysteries. It’s no wonder the first manuscript I actually created was so cross-genre it almost defied description: women’s fiction/paranormal romantic suspense.
  • That was the easy answer, but why I started writing well into my mature years—although some would argue whether or not I am truly mature—was a TV show: La Femme Nikita. That show pulled in a lot of women because of the dark, brooding anti-hero Michael. I started writing fan fiction and the response I received on the LFN story boards re-awakened my desire to write my own stories. Back in the heyday of Rosemary Rogers and Katherine Woodiwiss, I started my own erotic epic but never completed it. I started with a short story—about what happened between a couple of scenes on the show. Then I wrote a humorous role reversal short story, before I launched into a 95k word opus.
  • I was fortunate to meet online a former Silhouette Desire author who was also writing the absolute best LFN fan fiction I’d ever read. She encouraged my efforts and critiqued my first partial manuscript and remains a friend to this day. She also encouraged me to join RWA which I did in 1999.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I start a new one or go back to one I’ve already started but set aside. Oh, and I take a deep breath of relief.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I have to say that I really start to “hear” dialogue, and when that happens, the writing goes so much faster. In other words, they talk to me. I guess that sounds either a bit woo-woo or worse cliché, but I really do start to hear them (the hero and heroine) talk to each other.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

HOLDING HER OWN

(Romantic Suspense)
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1-60504-285-5

BLURB:
Pretending to be newlyweds is a dangerous game…particularly if you’re falling in love.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Caitlin Chaney believes in doing things strictly by the book. It’s the only way to prove she’s earned her rank despite her father’s position in the federal government. Just her luck, she’s been teamed with an agent who’s known for following his instincts, not the rules. To her way of thinking, Agent Jake LeFevre is a screw up and bound to trash her operation—and career.

Jake is used to running undercover ops his way, and he’s not too happy with his new boss—an accountant, no less, whose undercover experience is limited at best. He needs a partner who can hold her own, not a prima donna.

At first the sparks that fly between them aren’t the good kind. From the very beginning, their cover as madly-in-love newlyweds at a New Orleans casino is tested to the max. But as they work together to find a missing whistleblower in a money-laundering scheme, their admiration grows to respect—and something more.

Then Jake discovers the casino CFO is someone he loved as a teenager. If the woman recognizes him, things could go sideways, and fast—and in a way that could leave their bodies—and hearts—in pieces.

Warning, this title contains the following: hot nekkid sex, an evil voodoo priestess, grisly remains in the bayou, graphic language and violence.

~ Coming Soon ~

I’m thrilled to announce that my erotic western historical romance, SEDUCING THE SHERIFF, will be released December 15, 2009, by Samhain Publishing. I don’t have cover art or an ISBN, but when the big day comes, you’ll be able to buy it by clicking on my author page at Samhain.

Here’s a preliminary blurb:

This gal’s determined to brand the stubborn, hot-blooded sheriff as her own. And she’s not taking “no” for an answer.

Starlight Tyler returns home to Kenton Valley, Texas. A woman on the run from her mother, a Pinkerton, and a wealthy man she doesn’t love, she needs a husband fast. And who better than her long lost love, Cordero Tate?

Sheriff Cord Tate is bent on rounding up the gang of outlaws responsible for the death of his wife and unborn child. The leader of the gang is none other than Star Tyler’s half-brother. Haunted by the loss of his first wife and child, he’s determined never to marry again, much less make love to another woman and risk impregnating her.

Star’s stubborn and means to get her man, but one moonless night, her past catches up with her. She’s kidnapped and forced to the altar by the same wealthy man she ran away from in the first place. Will Cord find her in time, or will he wash his hands of her and say, “Good riddance”?

Learn More
– Website http://marienicoleryan.com
– Blog/Newsletter Marie Blogs About Writing, Shades of Suspense, Lovin’ the Lawman
– Yahoo Group Marie-NicoleRyanNews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Thanks, Marie-Nicole!!

Join me next week for Karin Welss.

Author Interview: Jody Wallace

The Basics
Jody Wallace (also writes as Ellie Marvel)
Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, Red Sage Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) It’s a lot harder than it looks.
  • 2) It’s worth it.
  • 3) Unless it’s not.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Keep my website up to date, swap author interviews with Renee and others, use my secret mental powers of persuasion to convince readers to buy my book (so far I have had the least success with #3)

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • 1) The online romance reading and writing community is too small for you to go around behaving like an ass.
  • 2) If you think what you’re about to do is sort of asinine, don’t do it. The only thing you are going to change is your reputation…for the worse.
  • 3) If you have doubts about a publisher or agent or think something they did is sort of asinine (eg unprofessional), don’t sign with them.
  • (Renee Note – This is all good advice. :D)

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock. Next up, Once a Princess by Sherwood Smith

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Ebooks. I have a Sony reader and no room in my house for more paper products. Well, maybe some toilet paper. Which reminds me, I need to con somebody else into going to the grocery store again.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Walking Across Egypt, Clyde Edgerton
  • With This Ring, Carla Kelly
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Series, Charlaine Harris

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I’m such a liar hermit, it seemed like a natural fit.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Find beta readers for it.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • No. My characters are fictional, my muse is my work ethic, and I am the boss. Of my writing, anyway.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST
Samhain Publishing
Ebook ISBN: 1605040703
Paperback ISBN: 9781605042916

Blurb:

No magic for two weeks? What’s a fairy to do? Go to Vegas, of course!

Princess Talista of the fairy clan Serendipity has been sent, like all young fairies, to a remote forest in humanspace for mandatory survival training. But headstrong Tali’s got different ideas about where to spend two weeks without magic. What better place than Las Vegas to learn to live like humans, a true test of survival?

Tali might not blend, but she’d like to be shaken and stirred with stage magician Jake Story. Their attraction is instant and electric…and Tali senses there’s more to Jake’s show than flashy tricks.

Jake always knew he was different, even before he developed an unusual flair for hypnotism. He has no trouble mesmerizing the luscious Tali during act three, but the lights that appear around them when they kiss weren’t part of the program.

When the authorities from Tali’s homeland track the missing princess to Vegas, Jake and Tali end up on the run. In between magic experiments, evil gnomes and astonishing sex, Tali learns what it really means to be human—by falling in lust, followed closely by love.

But Tali’s not human. And Jake doesn’t believe in fairies. The truth will either bind them together—or tear the fairy realm apart.

Warning, this title contains the following: Intoxicating sex, misuse of magic, gorgeous cross-dressers and flesh-eating gnomes.


~ Coming Soon ~

Alas, I’m between contracts at the moment. Trying desperately to remedy that!

(Renee Note – You and me both!)

Learn More
– Website : http://www.jodywallace.com
– Twitter : http://twitter.com/jodywallace
– Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/jodywallace
– Blog : http://blog.jodywallace.com (shared with Meankitty)
– Yahoo Group : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jodywallace/ (intermittent newsletter)

Thanks, Jody!!!

Join me next week for Marie-Nicole Ryan.

Author Interview: Lena Matthews

The Basics
Lena Matthews
Genre(s): Erotic Contemporary, I/R, M/M, Ménage, BDSM
Publisher(s): Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, Loose Id

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) Get a critique partner and make sure this person is someone who can tell you when you need make a change in your manuscript. You may not make that change, but you at least need to hear it. 2) Don’t take it personal. Not everyone is going to like what you write and it’s not a criticism of you or your talent. 3) Thoroughly research any publisher before you sign a contract. This is a business after all and you need to protect yourself and your interests.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • My yahoo group, because it enables me to keep in contact with my readers.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Just because Linda Howard does it, it doesn’t mean I can do it too.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • ePistols at Dawn by ZA Maxfield

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • My preference is for a good book and I’ll read it in whatever format it’s in.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Only three? That’s hard, so I’m just going to name three on my keeper bookshelf. One on One by Tabitha King, Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton, Night Magic by Charlotte Vale-Allen

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • Misplaced cocky pride. I read a couple of really bad books and thought I could do better. I wasn’t necessarily right about that, but by then it was too late and I was writing.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Turn off my computer and try to remind my children who their mother is.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • Both

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Double Dare just released from Ellora’s Cave and is the last book in the Naughty Games series.

ISBN 9781419923616

Paige Reyes is going to kill Shane Oxley if it’s the last thing she does. Not only did the cold-hearted blackmailer force her to attend his thirtieth birthday party, he used her love for her brother to do it, giving her just one more reason to dislike him. Not that she needed it.

No matter how justified Paige’s reasons are for avoiding him, Shane refuses to be without her for another second. Thanks to a risky game of Double Dare three years ago, Shane made the biggest mistake of his life and lost Paige in the process. Now all he wants is an opportunity to make it right again.

The birthday surprise is on Paige though. If Shane only has one chance with her, then he’s going to do everything he can to change her heart. The gloves are off and everything is fair game.


~ Coming Soon ~

I’m currently working on my third story in the Bad Boys series, Something to Talk About. It is an interracial, BBW story about Minta and Wyatt. This will be submitted to Loose Id, but there is no release date as of yet.

Learn More

– Website: www.lenamatthews.com

– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=1543231553

– Blog/Newsletter http://lenamatthews.com/newsletterfiles/july09.htm

– Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lenamatthews/

Thanks, Lena!!

Join me next week for an interview with Jody Wallace.

Author Interview: Carol North

The Basics
Carol North
Brand: Escape Into a Story by Carol North
Genre(s): Contemporary with elements of the paranormal and science fiction
Publisher(s): Class Act Books and Red Rose Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Have patience. From childhood, I wanted to become a writer. I also wanted to be married and have children, so my dreams of writing were pushed to the back of my brain, while diapers, cooking, and cleaning dominated my life. Occasionally, I’d meditate on how it would feel to be a writer. One day, my dream emerged fully formed into my life.
  • 2. Don’t let other people discourage your dreams. When my brother and mother found out I was returning to school to study writing, they told me I was a fool and would be homeless if I continued toward my goal. I never did receive a degree in creative writing. No, it wasn’t because of family pressure. I quit school after the first semester because I was hired as the managing editor of a regional, monthly magazine.
  • 3. Learn technique. IMHO, this is what separates the published from the unpublished. I worked full-time as a freelance tech and biz writer for 20 years before getting serious about writing novels. During that time I wrote stories and belonged to a critiquing group. Each short story I wrote concentrated on a different aspect of technique. For example, one story was told in gothic tone, another played with dialogue, and a third was designed to elicit a strong emotional response from the reader. When finally I had time to write novels, all I needed was to put together the various elements of technique I’d been practicing for years.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Ads and postings on review sites bring a lot of traffic to my site. I’ve had the best results from Bitten-By-Books and Fallen Angel Reviews. Another effective method is taking part in group marketing campaigns, particularly the IWOF Authors group Spring and Fall promotions. One of most fun ways is by creating relationships on networking groups, particularly on Sweet and Sensual Romances.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Friends have told me horror stories about none too honest epublishers. That’s one of the many reasons I appreciate my current publishers, who are honorable and professional.

For the Readers

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Ebooks. I live in Savannah, Georgia. My home is only 20 minutes from the ocean. It’s my idea of heaven to sit in a beach chair, tickled by an ocean breeze, and read from my eReader.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • 1. To see and “feel” a setting, I reread John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
  • 2. When in the mood for romance, I reread Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
  • 3. For a cathartic scare, I reread Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I don’t think I was inspired to be a writer. My career path seems to have been predetermined. I recall being about five years old and declaring “I’m gonna be a writer when I grow up.”

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Sigh with relief and take a bubble bath.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • “Yes” to both. I’ve embarrassed myself many times when people saw me talking to them, so now I carry a recorder and pull it out when the muse strikes. Sometimes I remember to turn on the recorder. (Renee Note – I’d carry a recorder but I don’t like the sound of my own voice.)

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Eternally His
publisher: Class Act Books
ISBN: 978-1-935048-26-8 (eBook)
ISBN: 1-935048-26-0 (Print; available in Aug. ’09)
blurb:
All Erica Peterson wants to do is pay off the mortgage on her bridal salon when a ghost appears in the salon. The disturbance the ghost causes attracts police detective Grant Stewart. Suspecting Erica is hiding something, he investigates her private life.

The ghost, who is wearing a Victorian-era wedding gown, has a history of violent encounters with owners of the building. She vows to stay until she has fulfilled her soul’s purpose.

Erica, her staff, her clientele, and Grant suffer ghostly encounters. Erica is on the verge of losing everything: the salon, Grant, and the two-year-old child who has stolen her heart, To save all, she must travel through time to prevent a tragedy taking place both in 1894 and in present time.

Eternally His is the story of a love so deep, so powerful it transcends time and space, spans a century, and dramatically alters the lives of the lovers and those around them.


~ Coming Soon ~

Love’s Reflection is a contemporary romance. Release dates are November 1 in eBook and December 1 in Print

Love’s Reflection
publisher: Class Act Books
ISBN: Not yet available
blurb:
Alpha is every man’s fantasy woman. She’s beautiful, anatomically perfect, low-maintenance, and pure. She’s a robot created by Dr. Cort Hirsch in the image of Zoe Parker, the film superstar who rejected him.

Cort envisions Alpha as the “mother” of the race of dutiful service robots he plans to manufacture. When Alpha refuses to clean the bathroom until Cort provides waterproof gloves to protect her hands, Cort thinks there may be a few flaws in her design. Perhaps he uploaded too much feminine literature to her database.

The threesome is brought together after Alpha is photographed by a tabloid during a shopping trip, and thought to be Zoe. The robot is sacrificed when Zoe receives death threats. Cort’s passion is consummated, but by which female.

buy link: Not available yet

Learn More
– Website: http://carolnorth.com
– Blog/Newsletter: http://cnorth.wordpress.com

Thanks, Carol!

Join me next week for Lena Matthews’ interview!

Author Interview: Leah Braemel

The Basics
Leah Braemel
Brand: Passionate…Provocative…Decadent
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • It’s probably been said a million times, but read, read, read. Especially recent work, the books the editors are buying now, not ten years ago. Then, put your butt in your chair and your hands on your keyboard and write, write, write. The third piece of advice? Writing is art, but it’s also a business, so always act professional both in person and especially online – something you put ‘out there’ on the internet can come back to haunt you later, so think twice before you hit send.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I’m still finding my way in the marketing side – I always thought it was “all about the story”, but oh, my, it’s so much more once that contract is signed. I think at the moment since I don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising, guest blogging is my favorite because it’s an inexpensive way of getting your name out there, getting exposed to people who might not otherwise have heard of you. Although it can be time consuming and tiring to continually try to come up with something original for each blog post. I’m trying my hand at hosting a “Birthday Bash” on my blog this month where I’ve invited other authors to guest blog on my blog while I’m holding contests. It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it, and I’m thrilled at how generous other authors are at offering to guest blog and hold contests of their own.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • I’ve been really lucky in my career so far, so I’ll have to borrow something from horror stories I’ve heard from others – just keep hanging in there, keep writing forward if you’re blocked, keep sending in submissions if you get a rejection.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I usually have several books on the go at any time. I just finished Ann Aguirre’s Blue Diablo – and that’s another one I’ll probably be reading again very soon, as well as Victoria Dahl’s Talk Me Down. Now I’ve started Jaci Burton’s Riding Wild which I’m really enjoying, though I’m trying to learn from it as well.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Lately I’ve been buying more ebooks. I have a Sony Reader and I really like the ability it gives me to enlarge the font. I’m at ‘that age’ where the print on paperbacks is getting that much fuzzier despite my reading glasses. I also like how I can stick the Sony in my purse and take it with me when I’m driving my boys to appointments and I have to sit around waiting. Much handier than trying to tote books around. However, there’s nothing like a good paperback when I want to crawl into the tub and read. (I’ve been told I could put my reader in a baggie, but I don’t trust my luck, LOL) It gets expensive because if I really like the book, I’ll buy it in both formats so I can choose which I want to read.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Probably Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Flame and the Flower – that was one of the first romances I read as an adult and there’s something about it that makes me grab it from the shelf every now and then. (I made the mistake of getting rid of my copy about six years ago when we moved, and then immediately regretted it and went out and bought another copy.) I also love the Lord of the Rings – but I have to confess that when I read The Two Towers and Return of the King, I skip over the parts where Frodo and Sam are heading to Mordor. I prefer reading about the rest of the fellowship’s journey – Pippin and Merry’s trials, and Aragorn of course. The third one? Deidre Knight’s Butterfly Tattoo has just muscled its way onto my read-them-over-and-over shelf because I love how Deidre manages to make me cry whenever I read it, how she can make me feel the depth of despair her characters feel. I love books that can get so deep into my emotions.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • Although I’ve always written stories for myself, I never really thought of myself as ‘a writer’, that always seemed such a dramatic thing to say. I’ve just always had stories running through my head. I don’t think it was something that ‘inspired’ me, I just can’t stop ‘not writing’.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • After I’ve finished obsessing about how many mistakes I may have made on that one? I usually take a day or two and read all the books that have piled up on my TBR list, but then the little voices in my head start plotting the next story and usually within a couple days I’m back at the computer outlining.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I talk to my characters – or if I’m really lucky, they talk to me. When I have a really good handle on a character, I lie in bed asking them questions about problems that are bugging me about their storyline. (oh, boy, I can imagine a psychiatrist would have a field day with me) On occasion, I get to know a character so well, I feel like they’re real people. My muse? Well, she’s a fickle wench and too flaky for me to rely upon. (Renee Note – Seems we have a lot in common. 😛)

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

My latest release is the second in the Hauberk Protection series. The hero, Sam Watson, was a secondary character in the first in the series, Private Property. Sam’s a former FBI agent who owns an up-and-coming protection agency – bodyguards, private investigators – so he’s ticked off when he’s forced to accept bodyguards because someone’s stalking him.

Personal Protection
Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60504-526-9

Sam Watson excels at keeping other people safe. Now a stalker is targeting him, but so what? A few doctored photos and a couple threatening phone calls are no big deal. He can watch his own back. Then again, the view from behind the sexy spitfire assigned to protect him isn’t so bad…
Rosalinda Ramos has managed to keep her attraction to Hauberk Security’s owner tightly under wraps. It’s just as well he doesn’t know. One slip—in the bedroom or on the job—will cost her her heart and her career, so she’s got only one thing on her mind. Protect Sam, whether he wants it or not.

The stakes—and the heat—rise exponentially when she discovers Sam belongs to an exclusive sex club—one she must investigate for potential suspects. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a world that pushes her boundaries.

Sam delights in leading Rosie deep into his sexual shadows—until they go one game too far. Making him wonder if he can allow the woman he loves to take a bullet for him.

Learn More
– Website: http://www.LeahBraemel.com
– MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/leahbraemel
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/leah.braemel
– Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeahBraemel
– Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2847878.Leah_Braemel
– Blog: http://leahbraemel.blogspot.com
– Newsletter: you can sign up for my newsletter on my website.

Thanks, Leah!!

Join me next week for Carol North.

Guest Blog: Delilah’s Reader Challenge

Presenting a guest blog from a fellow PASIC (published author special interest chapter of RWA) member, Delilah Marvelle. She posted about what happened to her series and I just had to give her blog space to help in some small way.

——

When I was in high school, I had a dream. I was going to be the next Stephen King. Heh. Yeah. Stay with me. Please. I knew my ideas were fabulous and I knew all it would take is for an editor to look at it and they would offer me up the moon and the stars and best of all, a contract. I had my girlfriends read everything I wrote. And they kept telling me, “This is fabulous! It’s SO funny! Hilarious!” Seeing it really wasn’t supposed to BE funny, I immediately changed course realizing I actually had a better handle on being funny than scary. I also figured adding a romance into it would even make it better since that is what I loved to read.

I then entered college as an English major. I was going to be teacher and write during the summers. Even then I was a smart girl who knew I wasn’t going to make jack and that I needed a job to support the “creative” one. Throughout all of college I wrote historical romances. One right after another. And kept submitting. And submitting. And submitting. And kept getting rejected and rejected and rejected. In the meantime, I got married. I had two kids. I joined RWA. I got critique partners. I did honed and honed and honed the crap out of my writing. And kept writing and getting rejected. I eventually racked up over 200 rejections and had written over 40 books in those 11 years of trying to get published.

When I finally sold my first historical romance, MISTRESS OF PLEASURE, and my second book, LORD OF PLEASURE, I was beside myself. It didn’t feel real. To FINALLY arrive at a destination I had been traveling toward for 11 long years seemed like a mirage. Which fortunately, I quickly snapped out of. Because after all, most of my friends are all published and unpublished writers and the stories they all have told me throughout the years made me realize I had to fight with fists up for myself every step of the way. I knew publishers did little to no promotion for their authors, so I spearheaded my own promo, ready to be more than just an author. And even though I was budgeting very well and spending countless hours networking and promoting on websites and blogs, doing tons for free, I still ended up spending $7,000 on my first book. Which was way more than my advance. But hey, every business starts in the red. Right?

Then the reviews started coming in about my series set in 1830 London England about a school that educates men on the topic of love and seduction. People loved it! Wow. It got nominated for awards. Wow. Readers are e-mailing me raving. Wow. Readers from France, Austria, Poland, South Africa and from all over the U.S and the world. Wow. It just kept getting better and better. I was beginning to feel as if every penny I spent was all worth it (even though my family and I weren’t going on any vacations and were eating out of cans). Because all that mattered was that my publisher loved me and my readers loved my series.

Come contract time, I’m ready for whatever they wanna throw at me. Or so I thought. Mistress of Pleasure, though completely sold out and unavailable anywhere (unless it’s a used copy, some going for a ridiculous amount of $40.00), hadn’t done as well as my publisher had hoped. So without waiting for the second book to come out to see if the series was even worth saving, I get a rejection from my own editor citing lack of sales.

I have to say this rejection felt more personal than any of the other two hundred and some rejections I’d received. Because it was no longer “Your book isn’t good enough” it became “Your sales aren’t good enough.” Since when is an author supposed to be a market guru AND a fabulous writer? Eck.

I love this series. The men in it make me laugh and it broke my heart to think that my readers will never get a chance to read about Lord Brayton, my glorious male virgin. The only alpha virgin I’ve ever written about. Then I realized something, why I am letting a publisher decide what is worth holding on to? Shouldn’t that be a reader’s job?

Ah. Herein lies the purpose of my post. I am challenging everyone, be they readers or writers to help me do something that’s never been done before. Save a series from a death sentence given by a publisher. Can it be done? Who knows. But I eat challenges for breakfast and I hope you do to. Please join me in saving my series. Come August 4th, tell everyone you know (yes, even you’re 72 year old grandfather) to buy the book, Lord of Pleasure. In doing so, you’ll have a chance to win one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards. How? Check out my website for details at www.DelilahMarvelle.com.

That said, thank you for all the support and love everyone has already shown me by allowing me to blog about this. Feel free to post and repost this to everyone under the moon and the stars. To all you readers out there, thank you for supporting us writers. To all you writers out there, don’t ever give up on your writing. The moment you do, you give up on yourself. Which is why I’m not giving up on my series.

Cheers and much love,
Delilah Marvelle

Author Interview: Cynthia Eden

The Basics
Cynthia Eden
Brand: Sexy paranormal romance, dark suspense
Genre(s): paranormal romance and romantic suspense
Publisher(s): Kensington Brava and Grand Central Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Never give up. Rejections hurt, ignore the pain and just keep writing.
  • 2. Learn the industry. Learn everything that you can about the publishers out there–and what they are buying.
  • 3. Don’t be afraid to take risks with your story. Write the story you want, do not follow the trends.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I really like to send promotional items (like posters and bookmarks) directly to booksellers. I’ve had a very good response to the posters I’ve sent out, and I’ll be sure to do more of those mailings in the future.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Not everyone will love your stories. Not everyone will even *like* your stories. Sometimes, you’ll get rejection letters that don’t even have your name spelled right on them–doesn’t matter. If you believe in your work, you just keep writing.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Not reading a book right now, but I am eagerly awaiting the next Christine Feehan release (Hidden Currents).

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Both work for me, but I’ve got to say, I’d love to get an eReader soon! Would sure make my life easier!

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Dream Man by Linda Howard, Rendezvous by Amanda Quick, and Cinderman by Anne Stuart. (Renee Note – I LOVE RENDEZVOUS!!)

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I just like to make things up. Is that so wrong? I feel like I spend most of my time day dreaming, so it just makes sense to write the stories down!

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Rest! Actually, when I finish the rough draft, I like to spend a few days gorging myself on romance books. I don’t usually read romances while I write, but as soon as I’m done–reading fest!

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I don’t talk to them, but, sometimes, I talk about them way too much!

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

My last release was IMMORTAL DANGER, a paranormal romance with a vamp heroine and a rather…powerful (won’t give the spoiler away!) hero. My heroine’s motto was “Once bitten, twice the bitch.” I loved her motto.

Title: Immortal Danger

ISBN: 0758226063

Blurb: BEING BULLET PROOF SUCKS–LITERALLY

Once, Maya Black was a kick-ass cop patrolling the streets of L.A. She still keeps the city safe, but nowadays her bad guys of choice include demons, werewolves, and assorted nocturnal scum. Something Maya knows a thing or two about. She’s a vampire–and not thrilled about it. Payback meet bitch.

Adam Brody hopes Maya is as dangerous as they say she is. He needs her to help rescue his niece Cammie from a ruthless band of vamps, and he’s willing to pay–in blood. Trusting her is another matter. Adam has never met a vampire who doesn’t lie. Then again, he’s never met anyone like Maya, who fills him with a desperate need that ignites into explosive, no-holds-barred encounters…

~ Coming Soon ~

My next release is MIDNIGHT’S MASTER, the third book in my Midnight trilogy, and the book will be out–next Tuesday (June 30)! (Now I get to do my nervous release dance.)

Title: MIDNIGHT’S MASTER

ISBN: 0758234260

Blurb: In a world of shadows, desire conquers all…

Tall, dark, and formidable, Niol Lapen is the last demon on earth most people would ask for a favor, yet the sexy little reporter who wanders into his club dares to do exactly that. Holly Storm already knows too much about his kind, and Niol has no wish to help her get in deeper over her head. But working alongside her may be the only way to stop a killer, even as it ignites a primal desire unlike anything he’s known.

Holly has seen firsthand what Niol is capable of, but that doesn’t frighten her nearly as much as her body’s instinctive reaction to him, or the wild, fierce passion that would tempt her to follow him through hell itself. Something evil and relentless is prowling the streets of Atlanta. And as Holly’s search leads her into danger that even Niol could never have predicted, she’ll uncover a secret that could rip her world apart.

Learn More

– Website: http://www.cynthiaeden.com

– MySpace/Bebo/Facebook/Grouply/Shelfari et al: http://www.myspace.com/cynthiaeden.com, http://www.facebook.com/cynthiaeden, http://www.twitter.com/cynthiaeden

– Blog/Newsletter: http://www.cynthiaeden.com/blog

Thanks so much for your interview, Cynthia!

Join me next week for Leah Braemel’s interview.

Author Interview: Kimberly Nee

The Basics
Kimberly Nee
Genre(s): Historical Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, The Wild Rose Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • The most important thing I would give is to read. Read a lot in your genre, but read outside of it as well. It’s a good way to keep up with how your particular genre might be changing, or what editors/agents might be looking for.
  • Second, write every day. Even if, in the back of your mind, you know you’re just going to edit it out later on. Shut down that inner editor and just put words on paper. It’s amazing how silencing the inner editor can make the creativity flow.
  • The third piece of advice I’d give it to develop a thick skin. Rejections are a huge part of this business, and they hurt, but it isn’t personal. Bad reviews hurt, but it isn’t personal. I think every new author needs to print that out and hang it above their computer: It isn’t personal.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I like to do chats, where I can interact to a certain extent with readers and potential readers. I find contests tend to attract a lot of attention as well, so I like to do them when I have a new release.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Not everyone is going to like everything you write. No one wants a bad review, but they happen, and though it might sting a little, it’s nothing personal. Someone, somewhere, is going to hate the characters, or hate the story, or the ending. But, I’ve learned that, for every person who doesn’t like something about the story, there is someone out there who will love it.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Right now, I’m reading No Choice But Seduction by Johanna Lindsey and I’m waiting for the new Stephanie Plum novel from Janet Evanovich to be released.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Print definitely. I don’t have a Kindle (yet) and I already spend so much time on my laptop that the last thing I want to do is read a book on it. Besides, I can’t take it out by the pool, which is a great place for reading while the kids are splashing around! 🙂

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany tops my list. I read it at least once a year. Gone With the Wind is a close second, and The Catcher in the Rye would round out the list.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • There wasn’t any one inspiration. It’s just something I’ve always done. But what inspired me to write historical romance was Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. I’ve always been a history nerd, and reading that book showed me I could combine it with writing. And that was it, I’ve been writing historical romances ever since.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I print it out, chapter by chapter as I write, and put it aside. It basically gets ignored for a few weeks to give my eyes and brain a chance to forget the story. That way, when I begin revisions, it’s like I’m reading it for the first time. The longer it sits, the easier the mistakes are to find and fix.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I talk to my characters, out loud, especially when they are giving me a problem. My muse and I don’t always get along so well, so there are times when I talk to her, and other times when I give her the silent treatment.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Eden’s Pass

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN – 1-59998-914-X

Love can blow even a true pirate off course.

Finn Eden will do anything to escape a life of slavery on a Barbados sugar plantation. Even risk her life disguised as a cabin boy aboard a pirate ship, putting up with the drunken captain’s slovenly habits. Then her patience nets her an unexpected opportunity: A ship of her own. Half the profits. And freedom. Too bad the captain conveniently left out a small detail; there’s a price on his head.

Captain Inigo Sebastiano is a ruthless pirate with a years-long score to settle with the man who raped and murdered his wife. The truce he’s struck with the fiery Finn is uneasy in more ways than one, but his unsettling reaction to his new cabin “boy” is explained when he uncovers her true identity. Ever the gentleman pirate, he’ll help his lovely new bedmate keep her secret. For now. When the time is right, it’s a secret he’ll use to his advantage.

But the spitfire in his bed rekindles something in his heart he thought had died. As Inigo closes in on his quarry, he begins to wonder if Finn’s freedom—and her trust—is a sacrifice he’s willing to make.

Warning: this book may lead to fantasies containing gorgeous pirates with sexy accents.

This book can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and My Bookstore and More

Learn More
Website: www.kimberlynee.com
Blog: www.kimberlynee.blogspot.com
MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kimberlynee
Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kimberlynee/

Thanks, Kimberly!

Join me next week for Kelcy Jones’s interview.

Author Interview: K. J. Gillenwater

The Basics
K. J. Gillenwater
Genre(s): Paranormal/Suspense Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) Don’t stop writing! Finish something…a short story, an essay, or a whole book.
  • 2) Turn off your internal editor. Your own mind will tell you your writing is terrible, your story ridiculous. You need to learn to turn off that editor inside your head and keep writing.
  • 3) Write what you enjoy. Don’t follow trends. Don’t try to please some nameless audience. Writer a story that pleases YOU first, and there will be others that love it, too.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I think word-of-mouth advertising is the strongest kind of advertising out there. In fact, I just ordered a new book to read on the advice of a friend of mine. It was a kind of book I never would’ve picked up on my own.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Just because you get a publishing contract doesn’t mean you’ll sell. You could be with the best publisher in the world and make only a handful of sales. A good book doesn’t always equal a lot of readership. It takes time, and usually several books, to build an audience.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I have several books on my nightstand. I’m the kind of reader who skips from one book to another, sometimes taking a long time to finish a book. Right now I’m in the middle of reading “Magic or Madness” a YA book, “Behind the Red Door” an historical romance by Jackie Barbosa, and “Duma Key” by Stephen King.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I would LOVE to read books in electronic format, but right now I don’t have an ereader. One of these days I’m going to reward myself with one. I’m the kind of person who reads in bed…and it’s really difficult holding up some clunky hardback book, or even a heavy paperback for comfortable reading. I think an ereader is totally my kind of thing.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Mine would all be classics. “Jane Eyre” I’ve read several times as well as “Pride & Prejudice” and a few others by Jane Austen. Mostly, though, I don’t revisit a lot of books I’ve read in the past and enjoyed because I’m all about the surprise, and once I know where a plot is headed, it’s not as much fun to read it a second time. Some other beloved books are: “Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” I also very much enjoyed reading “Like Water for Chocolate” in the original Spanish back when I was in grad school.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I’ve always liked words and writing. From a very young age I was a good speller and had a grasp of the language. I had a pretty good imagination, so I found the freedom in creating my own worlds to be a lot of fun. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember a time that I didn’t think about being a writer.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Think about the next one!

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • Nah, I’m pretty ‘regular.’ Just a normal, workaday girl. What I do is spin stories in my head when I’m driving or in the shower. I just take a situation and think about where I can go with it or what kinds of characters would fit into that story. I play the ‘what if’ game with myself and see where it goes.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

THE NINTH CURSE

Samhain Publishing.
ISBN: 978-1-60504-502-3

Blurb:
His blood for a cure. It’s a cruel and deadly bargain…

Nine curses. Nine weeks to live. Joel Hatcher has inherited more than a family legacy. It’s a time bomb that’s ticking down to the inevitable: his own death. But the curse won’t die with him. Unless he can find a way to break the cycle, his younger brother becomes the next victim.

In the throes of the third curse, the Painful Pox, Joel makes a last-ditch decision to seek the help of a young spiritualist.

One look into Joel’s suffering eyes, and “Madame Eugenie” finds herself torn between doing the right thing and fulfilling her most secret wish—bring her husband Adam back from the dead. Joel’s cursed blood is the missing ingredient in her resurrection rituals, and Adam’s spirit whispers seductively that there’s only one way to get it: steal it.

As Gen and Joel unearth his family’s past to track down a cure, they come closer to each other, and to a horrible truth. To live, Joel must lose everything. Including the woman he has grown to love.

~ Coming Soon ~

Currently, I’m working on a series of science fiction suspense books about a Navy linguist. That’s about all I’m ready to say there. My plans are to write 3 books. Right now, I’m in the middle of book number 1.

Learn More
– Website – http://www.kjgillenwater.com
– Blog/Newsletter – http://kjgillenwaterblog.blogspot.com

Thanks, KJ!

Join me next week for Kimberley Nee.

Author Interview: Pat McDermott

The Basics
Pat McDermott
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi
Publisher(s): Red Rose Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • First and most important, educate yourself. Take classes or workshops, never stop reading, and read a wide variety of books. Don’t be afraid other authors will influence your personal style. No one can do that but you. Whether you read for pleasure or research, you’ll not only learn what makes good writing, you’ll also find new ideas that will lead to dozens of other new ideas. Second, don’t become discouraged by armchair writers and critics. You are the one with the grand vision of the story you’re trying to tell, and that’s too personal to let others talk it down or say no one’s ever done what you’re doing before. Third, if you do become discouraged, don’t stop writing. Persevere in your quest to become a published author.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Blogs, online interviews, and other internet venues that allow interaction with readers and other authors. I enjoy my Facebook page.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Publishing Houses Close Down.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I’m bouncing between research and fun – “Blue Whales” and “Unseen World/Paranormal Research” for research, and an anthology called “The Enchanted Faerie” for fun.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Until I learn more about ebooks, I’d rather read a print book. I love browsing second hand bookstores and libraries when I don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t have an ebook reader—yet. I’ve been reading some great ebooks on my laptop, not too bad once you get the hang of it.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • I seldom read a book again. There are too many too read! But I did read the first three books of Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series twice.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • Hearing and reading fairy tales and poetry as a child. Falling under the spell of a story made me want to be a magician who could create similar spells for others. I had some great teachers who taught the nuts and bolts of writing well enough to make it a “can-do” passion for me. A Band of Roses is my first full length novel, though I’ve been writing short stories forever. One of my tales received an honorable mention for children’s fiction. That award gave me the boost I needed to finish A Band of Roses.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Wallow in being brain dead for at least a week! My novels take years to write, and I need to reboot to clear out all the cookies and history.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I don’t believe in muses. Sitting around waiting for an idea to pop into my head isn’t my thing. I like being in the driver’s seat. It’s been my experience that when you do the work that writing involves, ideas will flow even if you’re in a lull for a while. My characters and I do have occasional conversations, but I don’t talk to them as much as I daydream about scenes, imagining how the gang would react to various events. Like, what would Talty do if she met President Obama?

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

When I was a little girl, my aunts entertained me with all sorts of Irish legends and assured me that we were descended from Irish royalty. (Isn’t everyone who’s Irish?) From one of their trips to Ireland, they brought me a copper statue of High King Brian Boru, and I wanted to know more about him than I already did. Everything I read said how sad it was that Brian didn’t survive Clontarf, as Ireland would be a very different place today. So, I started thinking . . . what if he had survived?

Title: A Band of Roses
Genre: Historical Fantasy – Action/Adventure
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60435-292-4
Release Date: February 2009
Format: Electronic

BLURB
Irish kings still rule the Emerald Isle—and a princess is in trouble . . .
Ancient Irish traditions remain strong in a world where High King Brian Boru survived the Battle of Clontarf and established a dynasty that rules Ireland to this day. When greed for oil prompts England’s Regent to claim an Irish island in the North Atlantic, Irish Crown Princess Talty becomes a pawn in a murderous plot to seize the throne of England. From Japan to California to an eleventh century Ireland preparing for the Battle of Clontarf, Talty must hide her true identity, though she can’t hide her ingrained training as a member of the Fianna: the warriors who guard the Kingdom of Ireland. She brings home a discovery worth more than any oil well, yet all she wants is to return to her family and Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves and cannot have—or so she thinks. Neil has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan works with MI6 to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home.


~ Coming Soon ~

Title: Fiery Roses
Genre: Historical Fantasy – Action/Adventure
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
ISBN: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Format: Electronic

BLURB

In the thrilling sequel to A Band of Roses, the discovery of gas off the coast of Ireland ensnares Irish Crown Princess Talty Boru and her devoted champion, Neil Boru, in a web of blackmail and murder. Intent on convincing County Mayo’s residents to allow a pipeline to cross their pristine boglands, an arsonist is setting homes and land ablaze. One of his fires sends Talty and Neil to an ancient world at the mercy of a waking volcano. While they struggle to outwit a tyrant with a shocking secret, King Brian locks horns with a ruthless tycoon who will stop at nothing to become a high roller in the oil and gas game. The resulting conflict proves fatal for the Boru clan, whose members once again close ranks to thwart the latest threat to the kingdom they are sworn to protect.

Learn More
– Website http://patmcdermott.net
– Blog/Newsletter http://patmcdermott.net/blog/blog.html
– Facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Pat-McDermott/1384076385
– Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/o1518312963

Thanks, Pat!

Join me next week for an interview with Melissa Lopez.

Author Interview: Pam Champagne

The Basics
Pam Champagne
Brand(s): Where passion and Danger Collide
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Paranormal and Erotica
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, The Wild Rose Press and Siren Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • First and foremost read recently published books in your genre. There’s no better way to discover what an agent or editor is looking for. Second, write, write, and write some more. Third, explore various critique groups and join one. Although, it’s scary for an aspiring author to put their work in front of others, there’s something special about seeing your work through others’ eyes.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I try all avenues. Doing author interviews is my favorite.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • I discovered writing a book is the easy part of the publishing business. Selling it is an entirely new venture. (Renee note – No joke!)

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Dawn Keepers, the second book in The Final Prophecy, by Jessica Andersen. This series is fantastic.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I like print books (hiding my head in shame), but only because I’m of the old school. I do read e-books. Soon, I plan to make the leap and buy an e-book reader so I can hold it as if it were a book. Reading a novel on the computer isn’t much fun.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers and Gypsy Love by Shirlee Busbee. These classics remain my favorites even though I read them years ago. The characters came alive on the page and have stayed in my mind. I’m a Stephen King fan so I’ll add the unedited, uncut version of The Stand as my third choice. Stephen’s unique way with words inspires me to improve my writing with each book.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • The idea of writing a novel occurred to me when I’d read a story I thought should be told in a different light. Also, I have so many tales to tell.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I generally relax and do nothing until characters start using my head as a playground and my muse nudges me to get back to work.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I don’t talk to my characters, but they jabber inside my brain. They tell me who they want to be and what their story line should be. Like egotistical actors, they get ticked off if I don’t give them the role they want to play. If this happens, my writing can be blocked.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Dance for Me
Siren Publishing
Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 1-60601-326-2

BLURB

Lara Stevens, a Boston detective has her hands full investigating a series of bizarre serial murders. She also has to deal with Reino Larkin, a man twelve years her junior. With several exotic dancers murdered, Lara goes undercover as a stripper at the club where the victims danced.

When Reino discovers his murdered friend had been an exotic dancer, he becomes a regular where she danced. Determined to find her murderer, night after night he sits in the club searching for clues. When Lara, the cool detective he’d spoken with at the BPD struts onto the stage, wearing a smile and little else, the heat rises and with it his protective instincts.

The lust in his eyes as he watches her on stage gets her juices flowing. Can Lara keep her professional kick ass attitude when all she wants is Reino?

~ Coming Soon ~

Hands-on-Research has been contracted with Siren Publishing for their ménage line. I don’t have a release date or a cover yet. I have several works in progress. Walk the Line is a dark romantic suspense involving a heroine with a gambling addiction, a hero with post traumatic stress syndrome, and a serial killer hell-bent on killing women who frequent casinos. I’m also working on a cowboy trilogy about three rodeo riders.

Learn More
– Website – www.pamchampagne.net

– MySpace/Bebo/Facebook/Grouply/Shelfari et al

http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3865822065

– Blog/Newsletter – pamchampagnenews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Thanks, Pam!!

Join me next week for an interview with Pat McDermott.

Author Interview: Alisha Rai

The Basics
Alisha Rai
Genre(s): Contemporary, Paranormal
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) I say this all the time: finish your book. It’s one of the most tempting things, to just stop when you hit a wall or give up after the first chapter. You can’t sell a book that isn’t finished.
  • 2) Get an (honest) critique partner, preferably one who isn’t related to you, who will give it to you straight.
  • 3) Relates to number two: don’t freak out over constructive criticism :). If you have an honest critique partner whom you trust, ideally, he/she won’t gush over every word you write. Take the good with the bad, forget that this manuscript is your baby, and consider your partner’s opinion with an objective eye.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • This :). I like blogging, but am a bit intimidated about starting my own. Maybe someday. In the meantime, guest blogs are fun.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected. The editor/agent doesn’t hate you, honest. A lot of publishing is pure timing and luck.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I just discovered Gena Showalter. I powered through Lords of the Underworld and am currently munching my way through the Atlantis series. Don’t you just love discovering a new-to-you author who has an impressive backlist? It’s wonderful!

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Hmm, tough. Some of my favorite authors are only out in print right now, so I have very little choice with them. Plus, nothing beats a print book in the tub.
  • On the other hand, the instant gratification of an e-book can’t be beat. Click, buy, read? Very seductive. Since I read really fast, it’s also convenient to have the ability to carry all your books inside of something you carry anyway. I read my ebooks on my laptop or my palm (can’t afford the Sony yet, sigh). Last week when I went on vacation, I could just sit on the airplane with the Treo in my hand instead of having to lug around three or four books in my bag. My shoulder was very happy. I have a feeling as more publishing houses discover ebooks, I’ll probably be abandoning print all together.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • 1) J.R. Ward Lover Fill-in-the-Blank. Since it’s a series, I can count it as one giant book, right? Love Butch and Zsadist’s stories the most though.
  • 2) Linda Howard After the Night. I don’t know if it’s the bathroom scene or the fact that this was my first introduction to sensual romance, but I cannot give this book away. Even if the hero is alpha to the point that he can be a little jerky.
  • 3) Shannon McKenna Behind Closed Doors. Actually, I love everything Shannon McKenna writes, but this was the book that introduced me to her.
  • I could give a whole laundry list of favorite authors/books: Kresley Cole, Sarah McCarty, Lora Leigh, Angela Knight…how long do we have here?

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I don’t know if there was any one thing, but I’ve spent most of my life writing and most of my adult life writing romances. About two years ago I finally said to myself, “Self, this is it. You are going to finish this book and try to sell it.”
  • So I did.
  • And I got rejected left and right.
  • So I regrouped, saw what I had done “wrong” and tried to write a whole new book. And here I am. There, you have the cliff notes, highly edited version of my career :).

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Um, I edit it again. I’m one of those people who is never satisfied with what I’ve written. I consider it finished only when all of the edits are done and it’s in the publisher’s hands.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I don’t think I have a muse. I do talk to my characters though, and I daydream scenes constantly. Usually at traffic stops, much to the dismay of other drivers, I’m sure.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Glutton for Pleasure

Samhain Publishing
ISBN 978-1-60504-470-5

They’re craving something sweet. She likes it spicy.

Devi Malik knows how to heat things up. She does it every night as head chef in her family’s Indian restaurant. Her love life, though, is stuck in the subzero freezer. Now, with a chance to fulfill a secret fantasy with her long-time crush and his brother, it’s time to put her desire on the front two burners.

For Marcus Callahan, a love-’em-and-leave-’em attitude isn’t only a necessary evil of their kink. It’s a protective device. Lately, though, his brother Jace has been making noises about craving something more.

Jace’s dissatisfaction with their lifestyle grows with every glimpse of sweet little Devi. Yet Marcus is too haunted by the pain of their shared past to give love a chance.

Despite their reputation for vanishing with the dawn, they discover one night with Devi isn’t nearly enough. And Devi finds herself falling in love with two very different men.

It’ll take more than explosive sex to light up the shadows surrounding the Callahan brothers’ secrets. But Devi’s never been afraid of the dark…

Warning: This title contains two sizzling men for the price of one, ménage a trois, oral sex, anal sex, fun toys, great food, and creative uses for syrup and dressing rooms.

Learn More
Website – http://www.alisharai.com

Thanks, Alisha!

Join me next week for an interview with Pam Champagne.

Author Interview: James Boyle

The Basics
James Boyle
Genre(s): Dark Fantasy
Publisher(s): iUniverse

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Never give up. This is a difficult set of skills to learn (I’m still learning myself). It may take 20-30 years to become an overnight success.
  • 2. Read everything you can get your hands on. Don’t read only for entertainment, read to watch how the author writes. How does he/she handle a particular situation? How do they put their story together? How do they create living dialogue?
  • 3. Write something everyday—even if it’s simply a line saying “I have triple pneumonia and am too sick to write.”–write it down. Make writing a habit.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I like to hang flyers on bulletin boards around the towns and cities I am in. It’s relatively low cost, (I can design and print them on my pc) and can bring my novel and its cover immediate exposure to a wide audience. I particularly like senior centers, colleges, and supermarkets. (Renee note: I need to try this. I’ve tacked up some business cards at my post office but need to do some more stuff in more places.)

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • That in a country where more than 200,000 books are published every year, it is a difficult challenge to get anyone to shell out their hard-earned money for your book. Particularly if they have no connection to you. Why should they?

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I am kind of all over the place. I am re-reading John Barth’s “Sabbatical” just to wallow in admiration for his skill. He nearly has three narrators in the same paragraph and pulls it off! I have also just begun Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series and find her narrative voice very entertaining.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Definitely print. Ebooks don’t have the “new book” smell. (Renee note: Ah ha! I knew there was a reason I loved visiting the book store. That’s it!)

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • It by Stephen King—I love his depiction of the culture of school-age children, separate, but just as valid and dynamic as that of the adults around them.
  • Ghost Story by Peter Straub—just a very good horror tale.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald—it’s a classic for a reason.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • When I was young I read Treasure Island and was fascinated with the romance of the swashbuckling pirate and wanted to read everything I could get my hands on, which wasn’t much. It occurred to me then, that if I wanted to read another pirate story, I would have to write it myself. Nevertheless, I still have only written one pirate story, which wasn’t very good.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Usually try to catch up on things I’d neglected while finishing the work, like cleaning the house. It’s hard to explain sometimes. It’s like I’ve just broken up after a long relationship; there’s a hole in my consciousness. I kind of wander around for a while until I’m able to refocus on something else. (Renee Note: I usually clean my house but no hole to fill just needs doing and my reason for avoiding it just got finished. :P)

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I don’t talk to them as much as become them—all my characters, good, bad and minor.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Ni’il: The Awakening

iUniverse
ISBN: 987-1-4401-0867-9

Blurb: The Police Chief of an isolated town on the Oregon coast battles a supernatural force determined to destroy him and his community. It will take all his wits and some new-found power for him to defeat the Ni’il.


~ Coming Soon ~

Ni’il: The War Within

iUniverse
projected release, December 2009

Blurb: Dan Connor and Stephanie return from their battle with the Ni’il, only to find a new person of power in their town. He claims to be a Catholic priest named Fr. Gregoire and says he can bring the power of the Church into the fight against the pagan force. As their town becomes increasingly divided between believers and non-believers, Dan and Stephanie realize they now have two enemies to face. Fr. Gregoire and the Ni’il.

Because the Ni’il is still out there, waiting.

Learn More

Website – http://www.jamesboylewrites.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#profile.php?id=15011817668&ref=profile

Polkadot Banner – http://www.polkadotbanner.com/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=339&Itemid=33

Yahoo Group – IWOFA

Thanks, James!

Join me next week for an interview with Alisha Rai.

Topic: No More…?

Some of you may have noticed I’ve missed a few new release announcements. You could call it missing them. You could also call it skipping them. I’ve also missed a few Wednesday Hauls and a LOT of manga reviews. I have not however missed any movie reviews. I love to gab about movies and my blog is the perfect forum.

I’m the type of personality who will take on more and more until I can’t handle it all unless I sacrifice something else. Lately that sacrifice has been my time towards writing. It seems every time I get on my computer, I’m updating or revamping or checking something and not writing. That is one of the reasons I want a mini without an internet connection. Then I can totally focus on writing without “shiny” things on my laptop distracting me.

So, I’ve decided to sacrifice something else a lot more expendable than my writing. This blog will no longer host new release announcements. I love my publishers and want to support them, which is why I’ll still forward the new release announcements to my yahoo groups (and some friends’ yahoo groups so long as they let me). But I’ll no longer take that extra ten to fifteen minutes to post them on my blog. While that does seem like a small amount of time, it is just enough time to break my train of thought and yank me out of a book.

Wednesday Haul is changing because I no longer get manga at my comic shop. Something is up with Diamond Distribution where they are not shipping out manga to the comic shops and I fell waaaaaaay behind (that was the dead air all those weeks). So, I’ve started pre-ordering my manga fix from BAMM. I get the benefit of the member discount without paying for it because I’m military (AAFES site referral).

I also have a very shiny (extremely… I’ve been very tempted) new cataloging system that even comes with a UPC scanner, which will make it fast, that has been begging me to use it. I’ve been very good and sacrificed doing that until now. My book and manga collection has grown to such a point that I really need to have some sort of catalog so I know what I have (and can buy more without worry of repeats :P). Also handy for insurance purposes.

Once I input my collection into the system, I’ll then upload said catalog to my site and update it once a month or something. That means no more having Wednesday Haul posts. Actually I’m only canning those posts because I have a big bag of manga (catching up on all that I missed) that I got and haven’t wanted to input. Yup, color me lazy.

Finally the author interviews. I have interviews scheduled through mid-November. I’m hoping to fill up the slots through the end of the year. After that, I think I’ll stop. I’ve got a good bunch and they are fun to read, but having to send out reminders and do follow-ups on missing information, et al is too time-consuming.

As well, the interviews were supposed to be a promotional method to get more people to my blog and to my website since the interviewee would link to my blog and send their followers my way. I’m not sure if it helped or not.

This all amounts to time and how I use it. I admit I don’t manage time well, but that’s because something always pops up (my husband for instance — man needs a hobby). I write stuff down and plan stuff out and stuff still comes out of nowhere like mushrooms at night. So it’s time to start cutting back on the superfluous.

Not to mention, it’s going in to summer and that means movies practically every week and conventions every month. Movies means review posts and conventions means preparing promo and lots of traveling. Most of my time-sink activities get started in winter because I have more free time. Well, it’s time to end them.

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