Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michael Pennington is here!

1).  Tell us your latest news?  I’m nearly done with the sequel to Zhena, my first novel.  It will be titled Dohch.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?  I’ve always had ideas for stories but as a Naval Submarine Officer, I never had time to put them on paper.  With my current job, I travel a great deal so I spend a lot of time in airports and hotels.  I decided to put the free time to good use.

3).  What books have most influenced your life most?  I have always been a fan of two genre’s, fantasy and espionage.  In espionage, some of my favorites have been the Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne series.

4).  What are your current projects?  I have been working on Dohch for about four months and hope to have it completed by Christmas.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  One of my main goals whenever I write is to always make the story somewhat believable.  I never want the reader to stop and say, “Oh come on that would never happen.”   For a spy novel, this can be difficult but I think I’ve achieved it both in Zhena and Dohch.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? For espionage, I prefer Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.  I particularly enjoy the way Clancy will always give a background on each character as they’re introduced.  That way you truly get a feel for who they are and what their motivations are.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?  I have always had an active imagination.  I’m also someone who doesn’t like to idle.  When I found myself sitting in hotel rooms without much to do, I decided to try it and see if I enjoyed it.  I was surprised with how much pleasure it gave me.  While I can’t say I found writing easy, it was definitely not as hard as I thought it could be.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?  That mainly depends on my travel and work schedule.  The more I travel and the more free time I have when I’m home, the faster I get things done.  Zhena took about six months.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?   It varies wildly.  When I’m on the road, I generally spend a few hours each evening working after dinner.  When I’m home, I try to work for an hour or so after I put my son to bed.
10).  Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?  Not really.  As a technical person, I want to make sure my work is accurate and believable.  My characters have been accused of being a little too logical and straightforward which is true of my own personality.
11).  What do you want to know about the future?  As the father of a three year old, I’d like to know what the future holds for the environment, the economy, and politics.  Basically, I want to make sure he grows up in a world where he can achieve his own definition of success.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?  I’m definitely a night person.  Being in the military, I’ve had to get up early for years but I’ve never enjoyed it. 
13).  Do you like thunderstorms? I would have to say no.  I’ve spent more than one cold night driving a submarine on the surface through a cold driving rain.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc? The best way to contact me is through my facebook page. 
15).  Anything you would like to add? If you want to enjoy an exciting spy thriller set in modern times with aspects of the cold war or if you simply like strong female lead characters, pick up a copy of Zhena.  I’ve been told by many people who never read a spy novel before that they were very surprised by how much they enjoyed it.  My main character is continuously trying to balance the incredible events or her spy life with the everyday events of her family.  I’ve received numerous excellent reviews and hope to make the entire series a trilogy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today We Welcome Kelly Abell

1).  Tell us your latest news?
I have a book that was released by Hearts On Fire Books in August 2009.  It is a paranormal romance for young adults.  The title is Haunted Destiny and it is a chilling tale of trapped ghosts, evil spirits, and the only girl who can see them.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote short stories back in high school but I seriously began writing novels in the late ‘90s.  I was having a conversation with one of my employees one day about wanting to write a book.  We were discussing one book in particular that I wanted to buy on writing.  The next day that employee brought me a Barnes and Noble gift card and told me to buy that book and start writing.  I was speechless.  So I wouldn’t let him down that is exactly what I did.  The rest is history! 

3).  What are your current projects?
I am currently working on a romantic thriller under the working title Captured In Lies.  It is the sequel to my first novel Sealed In Lies.  It’s going to be a blast!

4).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I can usually come up with great beginnings and endings but it’s that flabby middle that snags me every time.  I am not much of an outliner so I find myself getting a little stuck in the middle of the book and sometimes the characters want to “hijack the bus”, but I usually get around it by doing short chapter outlines until I make it to the end.

5). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Nora Roberts.  I think her characters are so real and so deep.  I have participated in discussions on various forums where readers talk about her characters like they are real people.  They get mad at them and hate them.  It’s really cool.  I want my characters to be that real to my readers.

6).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
This is a fun question.  When I was in high school I would sit in my room for hours and write stories.  I wrote a series of stories about some teens that went to West Side High School.  Hmmm… maybe I should resurrect that series and wipe the dust off!
7).  How long does it take you to write a book?
Usually about 6 months.  If I’m really focused and can write every day for a few hours I could get it done sooner than that, but with my day job, the distraction of two teenagers and a husband it usually takes longer.

8).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually write for an hour or so every evening.  With two teenagers involved in sports and drama it limits my time.  I usually try to get some good solid time in on Sundays.
9).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
I am definitely a morning person.  I get a lot of ideas around 4 a.m. and wake up to the notebook I keep beside my bed.  If I didn’t work a day job I would probably write from 5 or 6 in the morning straight through till noon.
10).  Do you like thunderstorms?
I love thunderstorms.  I’ve always liked them.  They are so humbling aren’t they?  We really are small creatures in the scheme of things.  Having lived through two hurricanes you learn to really respect nature.
11).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc?
You can reach me on my website www.kellyabellbooks.com
You can purchase my books through my website or these fine locations:

12).  Anything you would like to add?
Thank you so much for having me here today.  I really like to interact with my readers so please stop by my website, read my Writing Tips for Writers Blog, and be sure to sign my guestbook while you’re there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Please Welcome Darren Michaels

Hi Darren,

1).  Tell us your latest news?
I am excited to announce that my book will soon be available in adult book stores around the country!  Major chains such as Fascinations, Castle Megastore and some of the Adam & Eve stores are already carrying my book, and more stores are ordering as we speak.  I am so happy to have written a book with such cross over appeal that it fits books both mainstream book stores and also adult book stores as well.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?
I actually wrote my first story almost on a dare.  I was dating someone who called me one night after reading a new book she had just purchased.  She wanted to read this hot, steamy scene to me and so I went to her house.  I was really surprised at what she read to me; it was far more rough than I had pictured it being.  I guess I had an image of a knight on a white horse rescuing a princess and making love to her in a field of daisies.  Warped, I know.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  But I was also intrigued and thought that could Write something similar.  She of course did not believe me, so we made a bet (I wont say what it was  ;-)   A week later I turned in my homework and thus the story begins…..

3).  Tell us a little about Flipside Erotica, how did you come up with the idea to write your story in such a different way?
As a creative exercise I wanted to see if I could write a story from the other point of view, so I gave it a shot.  When I was done, I was pretty happy with the results.  I started showing it to some female friends of mine, and no one believed that I had written it.  I figured that was a good sign.

4).  We see many more Romance/Erotica writers that are women than men.  How has your experience been as a man writing in this genre?
I think it is a huge marketing advantage to be a male writer in a female dominated genre.  Assuming my work is good enough, I think it would help it stand out even more since I have a different outlook on this topic.  Also, it lends an entirely different twist to author appearances and book signings.  Being a reasonably attractive guy who writes deliciously erotic stories seems to be quite a turn on for some of my “fans”  It also helps me do more “research” for more stories in future books  J

5).  Darren, you write half the book from the woman’s viewpoint, what was it like to look at things from our side?
I seem to be able to click into that part of my brain fairly easily.  I am a total sappy romantic at heart, so I try to use that mindset when writing from the female perspective.  When I started out, I wrote from the man’s point of view and then “translated it”  to the other perspective.  Now I can easily flip back and forth or even start on the female side and write the whole story  and then translate it to the male side.

6). What was the biggest challenge in writing your stories?
Trying to make sure I am not too repetitive with my verbiage or scenes.  Since half of the stories are true, I write them as they happened.  At times I find that I do follow a certain routine in a sexual encounter, so I need to mix things up on the pages and in the bedroom.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Just now, doing this interview  J   Seriously though I have been writing these types of stories for a long time.  I wrote an erotic poem for my high school english teacher…she was hot.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?
Once I decided to get serious about it I had already complied a fair amount of stories, so it only took about 8 months to compile, edit and finish out stories to have a book completed.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
At the moment I have the luxury of writing only when I feel like it.  I have only self imposed deadlines since I am self published.  I do want to have book 2 ready early next year, so I am trying to be in a writing mood more often these days.

10) What other projects are you currently working on?
At the moment my main writing focus is Volume 2 of Flipside Erotica

11).  What do you want to know about the future?
If I will be killed by a love crazed stalker I my sleep.  And if I will make enough money to retire and fly fish the world.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
Night person…definitely a night person  The only good thing about morning is that it is over by lunchtime.
13).  Do you like thunderstorms?
No…I love thunderstorms.  Especially here in AZ where we have really cool Monsoon thunderstorms with phenomenal lighting storms.  Very cool.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter,
Please sign up as a friend and fan on Facebook and follow me on twitter at twitter.com/flipsideerotica.  I always love to hear from people via email at Darren@flipside-erotica.com or through my website contact page www.flipside-erotica.com

15).  Anything you would like to add?
This interview was fun and I hope it shed a little light on the guy behind the book.  I appreciate the opportunity you have provided me by adding me to your website and “exposing me” to your readers.  ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Today's Author is Pierre Roustan

1) Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

Some say I’m a strange sort—such as the members of my family. They consider me a hoot. A pleasure. Entertainment. Personally, I’m just an old-fashioned guy who loves books, both reading and writing. I also like pizza. A lot.

I was born in the lovely city of Chicago where some of my favorite sounds are the car horns and that sweet saxophone out in the street playing to the drummer beat of those upside-down pails. I have a brother and sister, a mother and father, three aunts, three uncles, a grandmother, a great big batch of cousins, four daughters, one son and a partridge in a pear tree. We’re all one big happy family (only we’re spread out all over the U.S.).

I have a B.A. in Creative Writing and have fallen in love with the written word a million times over ever since I was ten.

2) Give us a sneak peak into your current release

Try and picture the frightening combination of Ellen Ripley from “Aliens”, Sarah Connor from “Terminator” and Selene from “Underworld”, and you’ll see the heroine of the novel THE CAIN LETTERS in full force: her name is Alexandra Glade, merciless vampire hunter, and the seeker of a strange, mysterious book that could reveal the truth about the origin of vampirism.

Problem is—she’s not the only one after the book. Another problem—once she finds it, everyone will be after her. The secrets she will discover will unlock the most terrifying choice she will have to make. Against all logic, surprisingly, to save mankind, she must protect her worst enemy: a vampire named Cain. The same Cain written in the Bible, vile brother of Abel. The original vampire in existence.

3) Tell us about your writing process.  Do you outline or just start writing?

I’m a strange morphing creature when it comes to my writing process. I’ll give you the general ‘outline’ (ironic I mention that word) of how I write:

One) I grab as many snacks as possible and also be sure to include a 24-liter of pop or juice.

Two) I play some music—all kinds of music.

Three) I start doing research while eating and drinking and listening to my music.

Four) I plot. And plot. And plot.

Five) Once I finish plotting…I write.

Six) Taking breaks in between writing includes sending fun e-mails, browsing through Facebook, playing Pogo games or internet poker, watching funny YouTube videos or perusing writer/editor/agent blogs.

The fact is: I deviate a lot from my process. It’s an evolving, morphing creature, my writing process is. Strange, I am. Yoda, I am not. The Jedi, I love, yes.

4) What genre is your favorite to write?  Read? 

I’m only beginning to discover that it doesn’t matter what genre I write or read. The more I write and read, the more genres I write and read. They’re directly proportional.

5) Favorite authors?

I have several: Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov. They’re not only my favorites—they’re my inspirations.

6) Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to tackle in the future?

I remember picking up one of those pop-up books—you know, for kids, and they’re so cool. But what was really cool about it was that it was written by Stephen King. Stephen King! Beautiful short story along the lines of an R.L. Stine Goosebumps book. Who would’ve thought King could write a children’s book?

So, likewise, I’d love to tackle a children’s book. Maybe middle-grade.

7) What's planned next for your writing career?

The sky’s the limit, I’ve noticed. I’m currently working on book 3 of the REVENANTS OF ANARCHY series. THE CAIN LETTERS is book 1. Book 2, CHIMERA FALLS, will be released in May of next year. The final book of the series will be Book 4. Watch out for the series!

Other than that, let’s see—I have a werewolf thriller I’m planning, a psychological thriller, another urban fantasy with a touch of sci-fi, a paranormal drama, a psychological horror novel, and a historical horror novel.

My schedule’s packed.

8) Do you work well with deadlines?  Or do they stall your writing process?

I was lucky enough to warm up to the concept of deadlines, working a couple years ago as a caption editor for a few TV networks. I had 30-minute shows that needed to be captioned in at least 5 hours before sending them in (and I had to be dead-on accurate, too, and given how some people don’t know how to speak English correctly, that was always a challenge).

So, no, not at all—deadlines don’t bother me.

9) When did you first start writing?

Somewhere around 8 years old. I think.

10) What influenced you to submit your work for publication?

Hope. Just plain hope. I had it in my heart already that simply writing a book was an accomplishment by itself. The moment I wrote the last words on that last page, I felt beautiful. Only the desire to have others read it, to share my work—that spurred me to keep trying with the submissions. Most importantly, though, it kept me writing.

11) What gets you in the writing mood?  Music, reading, etc.

Usually the darkness does. I write at night (fitting given my genre and what I write about!). While sitting in the dark with the computer screen glaring at me, I also listen to some mood music—sometimes contemporary, other times classical. Hard rock hits the nose right on the button, too.

12) Do you belong to a critique group?  If so, how has this helped your writing, would you recommend it to others?  If not, would you consider joining, if not, why do you like to work alone?

13) What is the best way for readers to contact you?

I’d love to hear from readers all kinds of ways—616-608-0227 is my number, my e-mail address is roustan@hotmail.com, you can see me on Facebook, http://facebook.com/proustan. My main character Alexandra Glade has her own MySpace, http://myspace.com/Alexandra_Glade! I’m also on Twitter under the name “Starwise”. I do have a blog at the address http://writingandreading.today.com. My official author web site is http://pierreroustan.spaces.live.com.

14) Any advice you want to give aspiring writers?

Don’t write what’s popular or what’s in. Be out. Be an outsider, live on the edge, write something fresh. Write what you love. Never, ever, ever give up. Most authors write a ton of work before an agent or editor notices just ONE project. And all it takes is ONE project to be noticed. So even after two or three or four tries in getting your foot in the door, do NOT give up. Use common sense when you’re thinking about that—seriously, eventually that door’s going to open, because you got your foot stuck in it so many times! Just keep trying. Soon that door will have to open. You’ve pried it enough already.

Most important thing: believe in your writing. And yourself.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Today's Featured Author is Laura Hogg

Welcome Laura!

1) First, could you start by telling us what you are currently working on for publication and/or about your current release?
I have several things out and coming out, but the immediate one is Emma the Outlaw, to be released with Eirelander Publishing in November. It’s a Western Romance. Here’s a little about it:

Emma is led to the hanging platform to be put to death. Her father was framed for a serious crime, and she does this to save him from execution.
She looks around and sees her husband on a horse, guns blazing. In a whirlwind rescue, she hops on the back of his horse, and they’re off. Racing for the hills, she realizes that they will spend the rest of their lives as outlaws, but doing good deeds.
They capture a wanted man and leave him at the doorstep of the sheriff’s office. The true villain approaches Emma but is killed before she can prove her innocence. The sheriff finds Emma and her husband and orders them at gunpoint to raise their hands. He says he’s going to take them in. Instead they offer him a deal: they will capture the bad guys behind the scenes and allow him to take all the credit. He agrees.
Emma and her husband walk away happily and plan their next adventure, how to capture the guy on the picture the sheriff handed them. Ahead for them lies a life of excitement and passionate love.

2) Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Let’s see. I’ve been married for twenty years, and my daughter is in college, a writer herself. I'm a quiet person, but I’ve been in rock bands (I play two instruments). Currently, I work in a private little reading school, tutoring, and both my husband and I are into health and fitness. Colorado is a wonderful state to live in, and inspires many of my stories. Emma the Outlaw is set there. And cats. I'm a major cat person. Currently, Cookie and Chewy reside with us. Cookie has no tail, and she does such funny tricks, I'm thinking about filming her and putting her on You Tube. That would be a way to get a lot of hits, and I could put my book cover in the background. J (Well, I try to be funny, but it doesn’t always work.)

3) Favorite authors?
I have so many library cards and read a stack of books, usually five to ten at a time. Hmm, let me pick a book out of the tall pile, I'm reading a Jude Devereaux, and of course history books. Right now, it’s the 1920s I'm researching. I have short stories out set in that era, and friends have suggested I write a novel set then.  A few of my author friends are really talented, and I have enjoyed their work immensely. For example, Sandy Marshall, Linda LaRoque, Dawn Chartier, J. A. Saare, Diana Rubino, and others.

4) Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to tackle in the future?
Sci-fi. My novel Romeo vs. Juliet touches upon that. I’ve done some research and am currently trying to learn more.

5) What's planned next for your writing career?
I have several things under contract but not yet released, and a few works, mostly historical romance that I'm polishing, oh, and a modern-day, sci-fi embellished novel as well as a screenplay.

6) When did you first start writing?
When I was seven, I wrote a stack of poetry that I kept above our piano. In high school and beyond, it was rock songs. In college and beyond, novels. I didn’t have the guts to submit until I was in my thirties. I'm naturally quite shy but have learned to hide it. Writing also makes you tougher because not everyone believes as I do that we should treat others with kindness.

7) What influenced you to submit your work for publication?
It was finally time to dare to take the plunge. All those French novels I read in college as a French major got me to thinking more creatively, I guess, that and the guitar I carried around.

8) What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/editpicture.php#/profile.php?id=626483435&ref=profile
My paranormal blog, Travel the Ages:

9) Any advice you want to give aspiring writers?
Don’t let others get you down. Keep writing and working hard at it, and think positive. It will happen.

10)  Anything else you’d like us to know?
I answered a few things below. Thanks for the interview! If anyone who writes paranormals would like to be a guest at my blog, please let me know. -Laura

 More questions…

Where are you from?
Kentucky, but I'm currently in Colorado.

What is your strangest habit?
Well, I like to research and make lists. For example, I recently found the names of colors for every letter of the alphabet and printed out my list.

What is your heritage?
I'm a mutt. My mom’s mom was half-Cherokee. Grandpa half Sicilian. On my dad’s side, his mother was full-blooded Iraqi, and his father German/English/French. My paternal grandmother spoke Aramaic before English.

Have you ever cried during a movie? Yes. The Passion of the Christ.

If yes, which one and why? See it yourself, and I won’t even have to answer that.

What is one thing scientists should invent? A food replicater so no one ever goes hungry.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Lex Valentine and Happy Halloween Everyone

Today our very special guest is author Lex Valentine because it's her birthday!  Hope it's a great one!

1).  Tell us your latest news?

October is a busy month for me. It’s my birthday on Halloween so I’ve got two contests going where readers can win an autographed copy of each of my print books! (Info on the news page at my website.) I’m also being interviewed a couple of places, and am guest blogging in a couple of places. I have three releases this month: Rousing Caine, a M/M ghost story in the Love Me Dead anthology from MLR Press, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Hellhound, a dark tale in the Weirdly 3 anthology from Wild Child Publishing, and the print version of Fire Season!

The print book is especially exciting because Fire Season was recently nominated for a Rainbow Award and its hero, Holden Antaeus, won The Romance Studio’s Summer Hero contest.   

2).  When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. However, this journey to being a published author began just over a year ago when this amazing author named Jennifer Leeland began commenting on my blog Sunlight Sucks. She thought I was good enough to be subbing my work to publishers. She said it so much I started to think maybe I could try this… so I did. I started subbing manuscripts in late August 2008 and got my first contract October 30, 2008.

3).  What are your current projects?

I’m working on Book 4 of the Tales of the Darkworld series. Ride the Lightning is Emily and Vahid’s story. Anyone who read Fire Season knows there was something brewing between those two secondary characters during the retreat. Now, you get to find out exactly what happened between them. I also have a couple of sequels planned for last year’s free Christmas story Christmas Hookup. One is a M/M short story called Christmas Catch. The other short story is M/F, entitled Christmas in Hell. I’m also contemplating a short Antaeus Christmas story, a freebie, and I’m about to polish the first 1K words of Bad Choices, a WIP I entered in Loose Id’s Hook contest. I just made the Top Twenty so I need to be ready in case I make it to the Top Ten.

4).  Tell us a little about all the other projects you have in the works. I understand you are also an artist.

I do book covers, website graphics, and book trailers on the side. Working in Photoshop is relaxing and lets my brain sort of drift from idea to idea as I work so I think a lot about my stories when I’m creating graphics. At the moment, I need to finish trailers for Renee Wildes’ Lycan Tides, Mina Carter’s Playing With Fyre, and put one together for Rousing Caine. I’m also working on a website for author Tess MacKall. Tess has a very southern, sultry way of writing so I had to make sure I captured that in her website graphics.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to write! LOL I’m the sole IT person at work so I get called at night and on the weekends a lot and I don’t get to take much vacation time. I think I have more than 180 hours on the books. LOL And it’s hard to shift gears and get in the mood to write when you’re exhausted.

As far as the craft itself goes, I’m not perfect but I’m told I write very clean. I do know that I tell more than I show so I almost always have to run a self-edit over a manuscript before it can be sent to a publisher. I’m also the queen of dropped words. I leave out a lot of the smaller words. My brain goes faster than my fingers.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s truly hard to choose just one author as my favorite. I like so many authors for so many different reasons. I can say that I am especially addicted to Julia Quinn’s work. The sexual tension, the humor, the emotion she weaves into each story never fails to capture me. I love a perfectly written Regency and she just does it for me. Hits all my hot buttons and then some.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think I ever came to that realization. I think it was just always in me to write. I don’t remember ever consciously sitting down and saying, “This is what I want to do.” It’s always just been something I did from the time I was very young. I started making up little stories and poems in probably 2nd or 3rd grade.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends on real life truthfully. It seems like each of my stories has taken a different length of time to complete for different reasons. For a novel length manuscript, I try to give myself 6 weeks to complete it. I’ve been known to do a 7-10K short in a day. A 20-30K novella is generally 2-4 weeks.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I’m not disciplined in the sense that I write X number of words daily or weekly. My writing “schedule” is dictated by my deadlines and the job that pays my bills. I can be very single minded, focused and well, driven, when I’m on deadline. I’ve been known to stay chained to my desk for three days, only getting up for food, drink, or a potty break… while turning out 7-10K a day.  Normally, though, I write on the weekends and sometimes a little after work or during lunch breaks. The bulk of my writing is done in Word Wars on the weekend with a group of Cobblestone authors. They let me in before I even got a contract from Cobb. LOL
10).  I understand you work in an interesting place?
I work at the largest privately owned cemetery in my county, which is interesting to me but not to everyone. A lot of people are frightened by the cemetery and uneasy being around the dead. I love the history. Our main mausoleum was built in 1911 so it’s almost 100 years old and it’s a gorgeous structure inside and out made with granites and marbles from all over the world.
11).  What do you want to know about the future?
I’d like to know that my daughter will be okay and have a good life. I’m not much to dwell on what’s far in the future and out of my control.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
By nature I’m nocturnal, but I’ve had to learn to function well in the morning because I work 7:30am-5 pm.
13).  Do you like thunderstorms?
I like cooler weather. I’m from NoCal so I’m not a fan of the heat. Storms, rain, wind, lightning, etc don’t bother me at all and I love watching the elements when they are severe. Mother Nature can be breathtaking.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter,
Email works well. Also comments on my personal blog at sunlightsucks.com or the blog on my author website at lexvalentine.com. I don’t get on Twitter as much as I used to. Probably burned myself out by starting up an account for Lex that is separate from my personal Twitter account that I’ve had for a couple of years now. LOL
15).  Anything you would like to add?
I hope everyone has a great Halloween! Have a drink for me. It IS my birthday after all! Thanks for having me here today! It’s been a lot of fun.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Please Help Us Welcome B.J. McCall

1) First, could you start by telling us what you are currently working on for publication and/or about your current release?

In October I will have two paranormal ebooks released. Embrace Forever is a futuristic tale about Jastra, a condemned female who is sentenced to life as a sex slave on the vampire prison planet of Draco, and her vampire master, Dauthus.
Embrace Forever will be published by Ellora’s Cave. Heartfire is the futuristic love story between a vampire who saves a shape-shifter, female dragon from the auction block. Changeling Press is the publisher of Heartfire.

December brings a Christmas werewolf tale titled Canine Call. The ebook will be part of the multi-author, short paranormal series, Holiday Howlz published by Changeling Press.

2) Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

Born in West Virginia, I live on the beautiful Central Coast of California. I’m an avid reader of all genres and have recently taken up the hobby of stargazing. I love the Central Coast’s mild weather and enjoy taking long walks. Daily I walk to the shore, looking for dolphins, whales, otters and sea lions.

I am multi-published in paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary genres, both in ebook and print. I currently write for four publishers: Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press, Red Sage and Cobblestone Press.

3) Give us a sneak peak into your current release

My most recent release was Dark Obsession, the third story in my sci-fi Cosmic Cops series. Cosmic Cops is the nickname for the Galactic Enforcement Agency and the officers of the GEA don’t like it, but they have to live with it. The three stories in the series are about different members of the GEA.

Book One, Dark Ecstasy is Captain Isabet Renard’s story and Book Two, Dark Pleasures is about Lt. Sada Prentiss.

In Dark Obsession my Cosmic Cop is Captain Riva Vix.

Paradise Resort on Solis 6 is neutral terrain for Cosmic Cop, Riva Vix and professional thief, Landis Eden. For Riva, Landis is a dark obsession and she has one hard and fast rule, Landis can’t operate in her territory, Ryel.

Landis loves Riva and he wants more than a few stolen hours in Paradise. When the Galactic Intelligence Agency offers Landis a full pardon if he will steal a formula, Landis jumps at the chance to end his life of crime. But freedom comes with a perilous price. The operation is covert and the target is in Ryel.

All three books are available from Changeling Press and Fictionwise.

4) Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline or just start writing?

Often, I write a synopsis, but sometimes I just start writing to get the scene or the first chapter down while the idea is fresh. I may not get back to the story for days or weeks, but the genesis for the story is there.

I try to write daily and at times I will have several works-in-progress. Deadlines do dictate my writing schedule.

5) What genre is your favorite to write? Read?

I really enjoy writing paranormal and sci-fi with heroes and heroines who are vampires, werewolves, angels and warriors. I’ve often mixed paranormal and sci-fi together, creating vampire planets, shape-shifter warriors and celestial warriors.

I also love cop stories and have written both contemporary and futuristic cop heroes/heroines.

6) Favorite authors?

I enjoy a variety of genres and authors. I read Anne Stuart, Linda Howard, Janet Evanovich, and Tami Hoag. Has anyone not read at least one Nora Roberts?

Recent authors on the national scene and two of my very favorites are Angela Knight and Kate Douglas. Both are wonderful writers.

I read Michael Creighton, James Patterson, Vince Flynn and Dan Brown.

A dear friend, Emily Brightwell writes Victorian murder mysteries. I love all her books.

7) Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to tackle in the future?

I’ve dipped my toe into magic in Knight’s Emerald and into urban fantasy, Earthly Pleasures, Jewels of the Nile I. The genres are exciting and I plan to write more warrior stories. I love the classic clash between good and evil.

8) What influenced you to submit your work for publication?

I had always wanted to write, but receiving a phone call from a high school friend inspired me. I hadn’t spoken to my friend in some time and her call telling me she’d written a romance novel and was soon to be published challenged me to starting writing the first chapter. After finishing that unpublished book, I was hooked.
I was rejected many times and sold my first story, Undercover Love, to Secrets, published by Red Sage. Ever so often I have an editor reject a story, but I revise and resubmit. Writing demands perseverance.

9) What gets you in the writing mood? Music, reading, etc.

Reading a good book inspires me to pick up my laptop and get back to work.

I love to write when it’s quiet and there aren’t any distractions. I do my best work when I am alone and the TV, etc. is off. I think my desire for quiet evolved from habits began in my early days of writing. I had a day job and I got up at 4AM to write for two to three hours before going to work. Over the years I have learned to cope with noise, but I love having the house to myself.

10) Any advice you want to give aspiring writers?

Just do it! If you want to write you must get the ideas out of your head and onto the page. Write a complete story, length does not matter, but write the beginning, the middle and an ending. Don’t stop at two or three chapters. Finish the book and you will learn from the experience.

Take classes, get critique partners, and enter contests. You need people to tell you what doesn’t work in your manuscript.

I like having my books reviewed and I appreciate the criticism as well as the praise.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today We Welcome Sydney Somers to Mistress Bella

1).  Tell us your latest news?

A few ago, the first book in my Pendragon Gargoyles series, Primal Hunger, released from Samhain Publishing. Since the blurb does the best job of summing up what it’s about, here it is:

When the sun goes down, passion is unleashed. 

Kennedy Beaumont loves her bartending job, even if her spirited nature sometimes gets her in trouble. Like threatening to hose down one of Pendragon’s co-owners. When it comes to Tristan, she could use a good hosing down, herself—maybe it’ll help her stop casting him as the star in her wickedest dreams. Since he goes out of his way to avoid her, it ought to be easy to put him out of her head—until he reluctantly offers her a ride home.

Gargoyle shape-shifter Tristan Callaghan hasn’t had time for anything other than recovering the mystical dagger that was used to permanently lock his brother in a prison of stone. The cat inside him should have stopped craving Kennedy’s touch long ago, but now that she’s sitting next to him in his car, his very human need for her is sharper than ever.

The distraction is costly. In a split second, Kennedy finds herself thrust into a dangerous, millennia-old hunt for Excalibur. A hunt that marks her for death—and leaves Tristan with a painful choice—sacrifice his family, his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve long had a love of writing, but didn’t get really serious about it until my first son was born seven years ago. Until then I’d spent months on end rewriting the first five chapters of my first book. We won’t talk about just how months that was. J But it’s strange how it took having less “me” time after he was born to make me really grab a hold of my dream of being published with both hands.

3). What books have most influenced your life most?

To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely one that has stayed with me a long time. In the romance world, I’d have to say a lot of Judith McNaught’s books made an impression in my early days of romance reading. I knew I’d loved writing before that, but not too long after my mother gave me Perfect to read, I decided that it was writing romance that made me happiest. Not too long after that I powered through Karen Robards backlist and realized how much I love suspense woven into a story, which I usually find ways to incorporate into most of my books.

4).  What are your current projects?

At the moment I’m working on the next books in my Pendragon Gargoyles and Shadow Destroyer series, and trying really hard not to give in yet to the covert operators series that has been brewing in the back of my head for months.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Um, all of it? Writing in general is hard. Really hard, and it doesn’t get ant easier. I remember reading about how you have to really love it when I first started out, absorbing any article on writing I could get my hands on. But I never remember anyone saying, it’s always going to be this hard. Thankfully there are lots of really awesome days where the words just flow effortlessly and I’m so grateful that I get to spend my days writing, that the hard stuff isn’t so bad.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Does anyone really have “a” favorite author? LOL One of mine would be Kresley Cole because she always tells a highly entertaining story. I know every time I pick up one of her books, I’m in for a good time. Another favorite is Tara Janzen. One of the things about her writing is how easily she takes you right into a character’s head. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is another one because her books always make me laugh.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I remember loving writing very early on and was particularly proud of the first suspense/mystery story I wrote in elementary school, Jenny and the Glowing Green Mittens. Guess I was a fan of the paranormal even earlier on than I realized. J In high school I started writing my first novel, a young adult book about a group of teens and a murderer in the south Pacific. Never quite got around to finishing that one as I started thinking about journalism as a career. But it didn’t take me long to realize that straight fact reporting didn’t give me the creative high I got from building my own worlds and putting my characters through the wringer. J   

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?

Novellas tend to take me one to two months when I’m on schedule (and having a baby can really throw that out of whack) and longer ones can take me 2-4 months or so.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Having three kids and a husband who keeps me on my toes, I’ve learned to be really flexible when it comes to my writing time. I used to write only at nights, but once my boys started school (which means really early mornings) and the baby came along (which means up a lot at night) I can’t stay up as late working as I used to. I tend to work in an hour of writing in the morning and another after lunch. Then a couple more when the kids are in bed. It’s the most balanced schedule I’ve been able to work out, even though there are plenty of days when it doesn’t work out that way at all.
10).  Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or
dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
Not really, though when I’m writing by hand, you can always tell the days the words are coming fast and furious by how it gets increasingly harder to read when I’m typing it all up later.
11). What do you want to know about the future?
How far into the future are we talking? J I’d like to know that my kids are going to be healthy and happy. Thinking a lot further ahead, I’d love to know when the human race will start colonizing the universe and exploring space.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
Mostly a morning person. I don’t require four cups of coffee before I feel half awake anyway. Though a morning without peanut butter can seriously screw with my head. J
13).  Do you like thunderstorms?
Definitely. Especially when I’m at our family’s summer camp on the river. Nothing like sitting out on the covered porch at night, watching the rain come down in drenching sheets with flashes of lightning streaking across the sky and booming thunder.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc?
E-mail is usually the best to get in touch with me directly (sydney@sydneysomers.com) though I’m also on Myspace http://www.myspace.com/sydneysomers and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sydneysomers . The best place to find out more information about my books would definitely be my website. http://www.sydneysomers.com
15).  Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for taking the time to interview me, Sky. It’s been fun. 

Thank you for sharing with us Sydney!  I'm sure everyone enjoyed it, and I love your book cover, it's exceptionally cool!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And here's... April Dawn

1).  Tell us your latest news?

Crushing Desire, my first historical novel is being released through Breathless Press. Expected release date Dec/2009. Bound by Love should be released soon after that.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?

Well, I’ve had stories in my head as long as I can remember, but I started writing romance when I was about fifteen. It was hard to get romance novels at that age because I had to sneak them from my sister, who snuck them from who knows where. When my supply ran low, I would make up my own stories on my computer.  It was a sort of placation for my romance novel starved mind I guess.

3).  What books have most influenced your life?

Well, I love Stephen King’s On Writing. He is very funny, and that was probably the only book on writing I have ever been eager and actually able to finish. I also love Little Women. That book inspired my love of historical romance as much as the novels I read as a girl.

4).  What are your current projects?

I am currently working on a number of novels. I have a pirate novel which is complete, and I’m looking for an agent to represent it. Also, I have a pair of novels about two sisters whose lives split in very different directions which I am close to completing.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing… I have learned a lot about editing, and while I am grateful for any opportunity to learn and improve my writing, I have a terrible time with the length of the repetitive editing process. You edit it for yourself, then you alter it with your critique partners and personal readers, then you revise it for your editors. It is a lengthy, though extremely important, process.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

While I love many of the romance writers available today, I have to return to Stephen King. He has shown a great handle on flow, humor, and plot. Three things which are essential to a story.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well, I’ve always written. I get rather morose if I go too long without writing. The stories and characters are a part of me. I have had two novels completed for nearly five years now, both of which had been read only by one or two friends that asked to read them. I decided to share my writing about five months ago. I polished my manuscripts, and sent them off to publishers. Now that my first two novels are being published, I hope that you will all enjoy sharing the characters’ lives as much as I enjoyed it.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?

I wrote Crushing Desire for National Novel Writing Month, but there are novels that I have had on the back burner for years now. It depends on how much I work on the particular story.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I spend a lot of time working when I am inspired, and a lot of time on twitter when I am not inspired. I always have to make time for my son, who is one year old, and of course, my hubby gets some alone time after my son goes off to bed.
10).  Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
I can write just as well with my left as I can with my right because I’m ambidextrous. Of course, I have terrible handwriting so that isn’t saying much.

11).  What do you want to know about the future?
Which will finally win: Pepsi, or Coke? I’m telling you, it keeps me up at night.

12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m a morning person. Most of my best work is done in the quiet before my husband and son are up for the day and asking for breakfast and a diaper change consecutively.
13) Do you like thunderstorms?
I like them as long as I’m not in them. The lightening, from a distance, can be truly beautiful as it shoots across the sky.

14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc?
Well, there are a number of ways that readers can get me. I have an email address aprildawnbooks@ymail.com Join my website for exclusives, and email blasts. http://aprildawnbooks.com You can also join me on twitter, myspace, or facebook by searching for aprildawnbooks. I have a number of other profiles on sites like goodreads.com, an excellent site for readers and authors alike.
 Here's a Link to April's trailer Here is the link for the trailer for Crushing Desire. Thanks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHwRZPCUgP0

15).  Anything you would like to add?
2459 + 3345 = 5804
Thanks, I’ve been dying to do that.