Monday, July 27, 2009

Interview with author Evie Alexis

Welcome author, Evie Alexis!

First, could you tell us what you are currently working on for publication or about your current release?

While working on several other projects, I am waiting for the release of my romantic comedy, Obsessive, Compulsive and Published! The date of ebook publication is set for December 2009. The paperback version releases a few weeks after.

Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

Born and bred New York City gal, I still live in the state, not so near the vicinity. When not writing, I teach English to young boys and girls, not to mention doing my best to raise two strapping young boys. I’m an avid reader, chocolate enthusiast and disciplined exerciser.

Give us a sneak peek into the book?

Obsessive, Compulsive and Published! is best described as a humorous romantic work. A continuation of its predecessor, The Obsessive Compulsive Romance Novelist, this novel continues recording the adventures of Erika Seals as she tries to lead a relatively normal life with her disorder. She believes herself more than victorious when an agent with an unusual name offers her representation services. While traveling the road to publication, Erika unravels a few mysteries presented through the pages of her manuscript, but her own personal dealings present even greater challenges. Her arch-nemesis is thrust back into her life, she learns she has to vacate her residence, and the love of her life, Elliot Beck, just may write a better romance novel than she does. Everything leads to a set of hilarious mishaps and sometimes setbacks for the poor, confused heroine.

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

I actually do both. The words jump into the page as I type (or draft in the back of a napkin) but I tend to outline what I want to happen in each chapter. Sometimes a perfect ending or scene pops into my mind and I type it into my rough draft anyway, leaving tons of space in between the current scene and the upcoming one.

What genre is your favorite to write? Read?

Chick-lit remains my all time favorite. Though it does have romantic themes, I like the challenge of women overcoming obstacles, not always in the context of a romantic relationship.

Do you have any favorite authors?

I enjoy ALL of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte’s works. As far as modern writers go, Phillip Yancey is an amazing Christian writer. I also enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s work.

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

Maybe a Christian themed work.

What's planned next for your writing career?

I have three works of fiction I want to get out there, all in different stages of the writing process. I have completed a young adult, multicultural work. I am working to get that published. Another novel I have, more somber, more mature in nature, is about halfway completed. But my favorite work is the next book to The Obsessive-Compulsive series. I’m five chapters into it, and in mind it is all but completed.

Do you work well with deadlines?

I don’t have the pressure of too many deadlines, but I do work well with them. Helps me pace myself.

When did you first start writing?

Since I knew I could! I remember writing a story for my brothers when I was five. It was a picture book and had a plot and tragic ending. I took creative writing electives in high school, and in college, writing was my minor. I have been writing professionally for two years now.

What influenced you to submit your work for publication?

I had an idea for a story, typed it up in a matter of five months, and was ready to share it with the world. Well, the world wasn’t ready for the story, and in all honesty, the story isn’t ready of the world, but of course I couldn’t understand that at the time while receiving negative feedback. I then shifted my focus to writing online, fun little pieces for hungry (and highly encouraging) readers who didn’t mind passive voice dependency and comma abuse. That is how Erika and the OCD stories first began. The readers loved my work, and it caught the eye of the editor for Stonehedge Publishing. That opened the door to other places, and the rest is still evolving.

Do you belong to a critique group? If so-how does this help you? If not-would you ever consider joining one-if not- why do you think you work better alone?

I belonged to two critique groups at one time. They really were eye openers to my writing. Sometimes you think “this is the best thing I’ve ever written”…and then you have someone look it over, slice and splice it. Critique groups are not for the weak-hearted.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

They can visit my site - I have my contact info there - or reach me through my blog. I’m flexible.

Any advice you want to give to aspiring writers?

Never give up. I never thought I’d be at this end of the writing spectrum, and there is still so much to do. I like writing; it’s as simple as that. Even if I wasn’t published, I would still continue to write. One way or another, my handiwork would be evident to others.

Anything you wish to add?

Just want to thank the people who encourage and strengthen me. Huge thanks to my readers, and though I know some of them, I’d like to know them all. J

Interview with author Kimberley Troutte

Can you share a short bio with us?

In my previous lives I have been an accountant, substitute teacher, caterer, financial analyst for a major defense contractor, aerobics instructor, real-estate broker, freelance writer, homework corrector and caregiver to all the creatures my kids/hubby/dog drag in. I live with my husband of twenty plus years, two sons, one dog and three snakes in Southern California.

Tell us about your new release Catch Me in Castile from Samhain Publishing.

This novel is a Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense.

Here is the blurb:

Seeing dead people is bad enough. Loving him could make her one of them.

When the mother of all panic attacks prompts Erin Carter’s boss to pass her over for promotion, her mind doesn’t just crack. It explodes like an egg in a microwave, shattering her career along with the company car she crashes into the office building.

The death grip she’s kept on her sanity slipping, she takes a friend’s advice and flees to Spain. There she finds comfort in the healing arms of surgeon Santiago Botello—until a fifteenth-century ghost warns her that being with Santiago is dangerous, possibly even lethal.

Santiago has his hands full protecting his sister from a dark curse and his family from a very modern-day psychotic killer. The last thing he needs added to his plate is a neurotic American. Yet something about Erin tugs at his heart so hard he wants to wrap her in his arms and never let go. No matter the risk.

Erin’s attraction to Santiago makes her the killer’s next target. Survival means she must face her greatest fear, solve an ancient murder mystery—and hang on tight to the one man she’s fallen crazy in love with.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In my heart-of-hearts? Forever. But for many years I wasn’t courageous enough to call myself a writer. Not out loud anyway. I wrote poems, short-stories and dreamed big dreams, but didn’t DO anything about it. I was scared. What if I turned out to be the writing version of William Hung from American Idol She-Banging myself into infamy? How could I live with myself if my one true dream…(gasp)…failed?

Then one summer my entire life changed—I became a mom. I realized that I wanted my boys to dream big dreams too, but more than that, I wanted them to fight for those dreams. Mom needed to grow a backbone. So I threw my hat into the ring and fought hard. I went to conferences, took classes, read, read, read, wrote, learned, improved, wrote some more. It hasn’t been easy, but the journey has made me stronger and a better writer. Shoot, it’s made me a better mom, too.

How long does it take you to write a book?

CATCH ME IN CASTILE is my 20-year book. No kidding. It was my first venture into fiction and I have rewritten it more times than I can count. But again, I was learning how to say I AM A WRITER out loud. And growing a backbone. Those things take time. Plus over the twenty years the story morphed completely. I changed characters, genres (I thought it was a straight Historical when I first started it, silly me), POVs, tenses, dialogue, settings, um, did I leave anything out?

I wrote SOUL STEALER in less than a year.

What do you want to know about the future?

Nothing. I like to keep the future a mystery. If I had even a glimpse of what’s to come, I might do something stupid—take a wrong turn, stumble, jump when I should wait, sit down when I should leap—and the whole future would be down the toilet. No way. I trust that I will be where I am supposed to be in the next five years, ten, twenty, and that I’ll be writing.

Are experiences in your books based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well, SOUL STEALER is about the bargain a young woman makes with Death. I am a healthy person, but who hasn’t pondered what they’d trade to live longer?

CATCH ME IN CASTILE is not based on anyone I know, but it features a woman with Anxiety Disorder who worries she is truly losing her mind. Again, who hasn’t worried about losing their minds? Wait…just me?

Both of these stories come from the “what-if” side of my brain. What if you met Death face-to-face and he was unbelievably H-O-T?

What if you thought you were losing your mind and then you started seeing a 15th Century ghost from Queen Isabella’s Court in Spain? What if the only person who could help you was a Spanish doctor who didn’t believe you? Oh, and he was H-O-T.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am a race-to-get-it-down as quickly as I can first-drafter. Then I go back and weave in more details. Again and again. I do several drafts and change lost of stuff before it’s done. I’m starting to think this isn’t the greatest approach in the world. But then again, it is thrilling. It’s like jumping on a runaway train. I generally know where the train is going, but sometimes it jumps the track and heads in a completely different direction.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

To dig deep, get to know my characters really well, then trust them. While I was writing CATCH ME I came to a screeching halt about 85% through. I couldn’t figure out why. I did some free-writing, letting the characters talk to one another and suddenly realized that one of them had a secret. She’d done something really, really horrible that I didn’t know about. (Okay, I know, looney bin time, right? Now you understand the worried about losing my mind thing.) This new piece of information became the turning point that drove the story.

What is planned for your writing in the future?

I am working on a sequel to CATCH ME IN CASTILE plus a children’s fiction novel, or three.

Do you have support from your friends and family? Or do you write in the closet?

I used to write in the closet (see answer to #3), but my family has always supported me. My sons are my beta readers for the children’s fiction. My husband doesn’t read romance (he’s a real man’s-man I tell ya), but he has always supported me, lifted me back up when the inevitable rejections flattened me, and has now read his first romance—SOUL STEALER.

Not everyone understands what a writer goes through, but my friends have always been there for me, never doubting, always getting my back.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep going. You will never get there if you quit. Newbie writers get published all the time, why not you? BUT…there’s always a but and here comes mine…you have to do your part. Read, read, read. Learn what works and why. Take classes. Join writer’s groups. But most of all write. Practice makes perfect, or at least, better. Understand that the first book you sell might be the third one you write. It’s the practice makes better thing. And don’t give up. Rejections cut like a knife so slather on the healing balm of family and friends—those people who have faith in you and encourage you to keep going. The best advice of all: Don’t forget WHY you write. Look deep into yourself and figure out what it is that makes you want to do this crazy head banging against the wall. What’s in it for YOU? For me, it’s pure joy. When those characters come to life, beat all the odds, find everlasting love AND tell me stuff I didn’t now? Man, it’s my dark-chocolate bliss. I eat that stuff up.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

My website, or blog or email

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you so much for having me here and for reading. If you spend some of your hard earned time and money on my books, please drop me a line. I adore hearing from readers. It’s the whipped cream on my dark-chocolate bliss.

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

I sneak in as much writing as possible when my sons are at school or during the late-late hours. I print my newly written chapters out and read them while I’m on the elliptical machine at the YMCA (while trying not to fall off), or at the park where my boys are playing, or in the car while I’m waiting for school to let out. I write every day except Sunday.

Anything you would like to comment about?

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Interview with author Viola Russell

Mistress Bella: Welcom Viola, I'm so glad you agreed to this interview. I'm sure your fans and new readers will be happy to learn more about you. First, could you tell us what you are currently working on for publication or about your current release?

Viola Russell: My current release is “Buried Truths” with Sapphire Blue Publishing. It is a romance set in post-Katrina New Orleans. I also am working on two other projects.

MB: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

Viola: I live in New Orleans with my dog. By day, I’m a high school English teacher. By night, I’m a budding writer. I say “budding,” but I’ve written most of my life. I’ve only recently been published.

MB: Give us a sneak peek into your book Buried Truths?

Viola: In “Buried Truths,” Heather Flanagan Kerry is shopping in a bookstore when a young woman named Sarah Cleveland asks Heather if she ever had a child and gave it up. Sarah explains that Heather has eyes just like Sarah’s husband, Ezra, who is adopted. Heather, now a professional woman, denies it, but she goes home and calls her high school love, Dr. Wesley Chou. He is now an oncologist. They meet but do not stay together. Later, Ezra and Sarah bring their infant daughter to Wesley. The child has leukemia, and Wesley contacts Heather as a potential donor. Wesley and Heather must decide if their love can withstand the passage of time, their own son’s anger, and the condemnation of society.

MB: Tell us about your writing process? Do you outline or just start writing?

Viola: My problem in the past used to be that I didn’t outline. I’d start writing and just keep moving. The problem is that I sometimes neglected the finer points of plot, character, etc. The story was good but not organized. Now, I’m making a more conscious attempt to outline and take voluminous notes. I write monologues in the voice of my characters and complete hours of research before I really get into individual scenes. I also write “facts” about characters, like what they like to eat or drink. If the novel is a period piece, I spend hours in the library. If the novel deals with an issue or illness, I research on those topics. For example, I researched leukemia and its treatment before I wrote about the disease in “Buried Truths.”

MB: What genre is your favorite to write? Read?

Viola: I’m not sure I subscribe to the concept of genre. I didn’t see myself as a romance writer, but I loved writing “Buried Truths.” I love writing mysteries, because to make a mystery successful, a writer has to devise an intricate plot. I also love period fiction—historical fiction, espionage fiction, and historical romance.

MB: Do you have any favorite authors?

Viola: I enjoy many different types of writers. Some of them are classic. Some are more modern. Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, William Faulkner. I also love modern writers like James Lee Burke, Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, C. S. Harris, Mary Higgins Clark, Rexanne Becnel, A. S. Byatt, Sena Nasland, Tracy Chevalier.

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

Viola: As I’ve said, I’ve written most of my life. I need to revise a mystery I’ve completed, but I also am working on a romance/thriller set in WWII.

MB: What's planned next for your writing career?

Viola: I have to write while I work, so I take one day at a time. I’d love to publish the mystery once it is revised. I need to complete the WWII piece because that’s a Valentine to my mom and her generation. I wish she’d lived to see all that’s happening for me. I’m excited about the WWII manuscript because I have to incorporate romance and suspense.

MB: Do you work well with deadlines?

Viola: I find that I do. When I was editing “Buried Truths” with my wonderful editor, Tina Gerow, I learned that set deadlines force me to work. For that matter, I was the same in college. My best papers were written right before the due date.

MB: When did you first start writing?

Viola: I was about eight. I’d read “Black Beauty” and knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote a story with animal characters. My mom liked it. Then, I read “Little Women” and wrote a different type of story.

MB: What influenced you to submit your work for publication?

Viola: --My local RWA chapter, SOLA, sent out an e-mail saying that SBP was looking for manuscripts. I submitted by manuscript, and it was accepted.

MB: Do you belong to a critique group? If so-how does this help you? If not-would you ever consider joining one-if not- why do you think you work better alone?

Viola: I belong to a workshop group that’s more like a class. I like workshops/critique groups when they are very structured and organized. Those types of groups only work when the group is very structured.

MB: What is the best way for readers to contact you?

Viola: Readers can leave a message on my website at I also am on MySpace at www.myspace/violaruss and on Facebook at www.facebook/violrussell.

MB: Any advice you want to give to aspiring writers?

Viola: Develop a thick skin. You will be rejected. Work on your craft. Join professional organizations. Take classes or workshops. See if they help.

MB: Anything you wish to add?

Viola: I want to thank Mistress Bella for allowing me this opportunity to write my thoughts. I also would love to thank the folks at Sapphire Blue for publishing a manuscript that was near and dear to my heart.

Please visit Viola Russell's site

Go to Sapphire Blue Publishing to purchase Buried Truths

Thank you so much Viola for stopping by for this interview. We will be on the look out for more books you publish. Stop by again:-)

Mistress Bella

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Interview with Cate Masters

Please help me welcome Cate Masters for our author interview today!

Mistress Bella: Welcome Cate! Would you start by sharing a short bio with us?

Cate: Happy to! Cate Masters’ novels, novellas and short fiction appear at The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Wild Child Publishing/ Freya’s Bower and Shadowfire Press. Linked to her web site at, readers can find her flash and short stories published with The Battered Suitcase, A Long Story Short, Dark Sky Magazine, Cezanne’s Carrot, The Harrow, Flesh from Ashes, Quality Women’s Fiction, Phase, and The Writer’s online edition. In 2005, Pennwriters awarded her second place in its annual Short Story contest. Her freelance articles have appeared in The Sentinel, Carlisle. She currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, Benji the dog and their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow.

MB: Please tell us about your new release and where we can purchase it.

Cate: On July 15, my short contemporary, Going with Gravity, will be available from The Wild Rose Press:

I’d read a news article about a plane losing its fuselage mid-flight, and it managed to land with no injuries. Such intense drama made me wonder: Hmm, who could I put on that plane, in that situation? To add to the tension, I devised two polar opposite personalities: an uptight career woman and a live-by-the-seat-of-his-shorts surfer. Set in a paradise I’ve always wished I could visit – Hawaii. (I love that writing allows me to visit cool places vicariously through my characters!)

Here’s a link to the story blurb and excerpt:

Here's the link to the tailer to the book:

MB: Where do you find inspiration?

Cate: Inspiration’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? I like Neil Gaiman’s explanation of where he gets his ideas – a little shop downtown. :) But sometimes, when I’m lucky, stories will formulate in my head of their own accord, and it’s my job to simply write. And then, of course, the most important part: revise. That’s where the real story shines through.

MB: Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to someday?

Cate: I have been experimenting quite a bit lately, and tried my hand at fantasy, dark fantasy (or paranormal), contemporary, historical and an erotic romance novella. Each presents its own challenges and opportunities. I love gritty urban fantasy, and have a few stories yet to develop in that genre.

MB: What is your writing routine? Do you write everyday or when the motivation hits you?

Cate: I honestly write as often as possible, which is now everyday. While my kids were little, I’d go weeks without writing, though stories still swirled around in my head. Now they’re grown and I can focus, finally, to the detriment of my domestic duties!

MB: When did you first start writing?

Cate: I had a rather isolated childhood, and loved our home’s country setting—surrounded by forest, deer and wild animals always in view. It felt like a living poem, so at about age ten, I first began to describe it in poetry. Then I wrote for the school newspapers. I’d dreamed of being a journalist, but life, as they say, had other plans. When I turned to fiction, it was a perfect fit for my overactive imagination.

MB: Who or what motivated you to submit your first story for publication?

Cate: It’s always been my dream, but for many years I didn’t send out my work. I submitted to literary magazines in my thirties – I hadn’t yet written a novel. When epresses appeared, I found greater success. The past few years, in particular, I made a whirlwind of submissions to both epresses and webzines, and had fifteen acceptances in about a year and a half. It’s been a blast!

MB: How many times were you rejected before finally getting that acceptance letter?

Cate: I stopped counting! For awhile, I kept a file of all the rejections (back when written submissions were required). I’d read of people who found inspiration in them, but honestly, they depressed me. So a few years ago, I had my own little Bonfire of the Vanities and literally burned them. It felt great!

MB: Is there a publisher you haven't been published with that you would like to submit to in the future?

Cate: Like every writer, I’d love to get that dream contract with a big-name publishing house (any would do, I’m not particular!). Only because a large advance would allow me to quit my day job and fully focus on writing.

MB: What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

Cate: I’m terrible at picking favorites. I love so many types: literary, mainstream, romance, fantasy, historical. Honestly, if it’s well written and the story’s engaging, that’s what matters most to me. So that’s what I aim to give readers with my own stories.

MB: What is the easiest aspect of writing for you? The hardest?

Cate: The story ideas come to me faster than I can set them to paper sometimes. The challenge, for me, is accurately getting on paper the vivid movielike story playing in my head. I want the reader to see as much detail and feel as much emotion as I do.

MB: What do you have planned next for your writing career?

Cate: To keep writing as much as possible, and perfecting my craft.

MB: What is the best way for readers to contact you?

Cate: I’d love to hear from readers! Cate.masters AT is the best addy. And please visit my web site,, and blog,, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter though I’m just learning to tweet! But on August 5, Love Romance Novels will hold a romance author chat day, which Twitter users can follow at #askromancewriter. I’ll be there, and I hope you will too!

MB: Any advice for aspiring writers out there?

Cate: Absolutely. First, learn the craft, and keep writing as much as you can. Second, find a good critique partner (or two!). Circulate your stories, and don’t let rejection get you down. Many bestselling novels went through hundreds of rejections before publication (read Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul to find out just how many!). If a publisher rejects your story, take any criticism as positive: they cared enough to let you know what needed work. Resubmit as soon as you revise. Writing is equal parts perspiration and perseverance. Follow your bliss!

MB: Any last words or comments?

Cate: Thanks so much for having me as a guest! It’s been a pleasure.

Thanks so much Cate for stopping by, we look forward to your new release and wish you all the best of luck with your writing:-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michelle Miles

Our special guest today is Michelle Miles. She would like to start the interview off by including a brief bio of herself.

Michelle Miles first found her spark for writing when she was a teenager and looking for a way to escape the doldrums of her junior high English class. She writes contemporary hot romance as well as has a time travel action/adventure two-book series. She is currently writing fantasy and futuristic novels. Michelle is a member of Romance Writers of America and is a native Texan residing in Fort Worth. In her spare time, she enjoys watching hockey, reading, adding to her shoe collection and drinking coffee.Michelle’s latest book, TAKE ME I’M YOURS is available now from Cobblestone Press.

MB: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Michelle: First, thanks for much for having me! I’m thrilled to be interviewed here. I’ve always had an interest in books, but I was in junior high when I first start writing my stories down on paper. My then-best friend and I wrote and illustrated our own Indiana Jones adventures. Starring the two of us, of course. And then later I dabbled in fan-fiction writing Star Trek and Star Wars stories. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to that stuff. The first “real” story I wrote was in my Freshman English class about a princess, her evil uncle, the Duke, and the love who would save her from the Duke’s tyranny. I’m relieved to say that story is lost and gone forever because it was just awful. Then, later, I wrote my first “full length” novel. About 250 pages, handwritten, on notebook paper. Filled front and back. A science fiction story set in space and very reminiscent of Star Wars.

MB: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Michelle: I have two works-in-progress at the moment. I’m in the revision stage of one which is a fantasy story about a female gladiator and her assassin lover. It’s based on Ancient Rome with lots of conspiracies going on. I’m hoping to find an agent for that. The second one is a futuristic with a heroine who is a smuggler and her former lover who’s a secret agent. They’re on the hunt of a mysterious tablet that turns out to be a map that leads them to something that’s not exactly a treasure.

MB: How long does it take you to write a book

Michelle: It depends on how gung-ho I get. LOL I drafted the gladiator book in about two months and it’s currently at 80,000 words. I’m now revising it and trying to clean up the plot and make sure it’s perfect before I start submitting. I’ve been known to crank out a 50k word novella in about six weeks before, though.

MB: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Michelle: I’m trying to get better, more consistent habits. My new goal if I’m writing new material is 1,000 words a day. That’s when I’m determined and it’s hard for me to do that sometimes. If I’m revising, I try to get a chapter a day done.
But, really, I’m a sporadic writer. I wish I could write every day but sometimes life-stuff gets in the way. Plus I volunteer for a lot more than I should and my time has to be devoted to some things that involve writing, but not writing. If that makes sense. Now with it being summer and the kid home all the time, it makes it difficult for me to write at night. I kinda like hanging out with him and Man during the evening and find myself ignoring the computer more and more.

MB: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Michelle: I’m not sure I have one. For my fantasy worlds, I draw out maps on graph paper. Is that a quirk? :) Depending on the mood of the story, I either need complete and utter silence to write or I need some fast-paced, blood-pumping music to keep me writing. I find movie soundtracks work well for that.

MB: What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Michelle: I’m a cat lover. They’re so low maintenance (as opposed to dogs). Plus my cat hangs out with me in my office while I write. Sometimes he parks himself on my feet. It’s great in the winter!

MB: What is your strangest habit?

Michelle: I tend to fidget a lot. And I can’t talk without my hands. If they were suddenly gone, I’d probably be mute. :D

MB: What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

Michelle: I have a million of them actually. ;) I like to quote movies, so I use lines from various places. One of my favorites though is, “Keep on keeping on.” I actually liberated that from someone else.

MB: What is your favorite animal?

Michelle: White tigers. They’re so cool.

MB: What do you want to know about the future?

Michelle: Nothing. I like to be surprised.

MB: What is your heritage?

Michelle: I’m a Native Texan and proud of it. I was born in Dallas and raised in Mesquite but now a Fort Worth resident. I’ve been here for over ten years and love it.

MB: Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Michelle: Oh, gosh, yes. Even though I hate admitting it. I think the list is way too long, but a few of them are The English Patient¸ Gone With The Wind, An Affair To Remember and I’ve been known to shed a tear at Disney movies, too.

MB: What is the best way for readers to contact you?

Michelle: You can contact me via email at, visit by website at http://www.michellemiles.netand sign up for my monthly newsletter.

MB: Any advice for aspiring writers?

Michelle: Never give up. Keep writing, no matter what. Educate yourself on the industry as much as possible. Join a writing group – either local or online – and find a critique partner you can trust. They will be invaluable to you.

MB: Anything you would like to add to this interview or comment about?

Michelle: Thanks for having me!

No, thank you Michelle for joining us and giving us a little insight to your writing and your life. Hope you will stop by often keeping us informed of your latest releases (we'll review them for you:-) )

Can't wait to read Take Me I'm Yours.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Interview with Erotica author, Darren Michaels

Tonight our special guest is Darren Michaels

Darren has written a book title Flipside-Erotica. He tells 12 stories in the male POV and then turns around and tells the same 12 stories in the females perspective. He has said some of these stories are based on real-life experiences and some are purely fictional, and some are incidents that happened, but he added to them.

1). First, could you tell us what you are currently working on forpublication or about your current release? I am currently working on Vol. 2 of Flipside Erotica--Both Sides of the Story

2). Could you please tell us a little about yourself? I live in Phoenix, and currently have a day job but would love to be a full time writer. This is my first book, but I have been getting some great responses, so I think I am onto something with this idea. I am adding friends on Facebook every day, and have a distributor for adult book stores that is very excited about my book, and doing well with it already. My website is a work in process; I want to add audiobooks for each story for download.

3). Give us a sneak peek into the book? (mentioned above)I get ideas for the stories for my book from my own life, and each story has a measure of true to it. Sometimes they are all true, sometimes it is just the character I based the story around is the only real part. I write both the male and female perspective of each story, and have a few people who review the work for "accuracy" on the female side. The average story is about 7 pages long; and half of the stories in the book are true.

4). Tell us about your writing process? Do you outline or just startwriting? I typically write an entire story in one sitting, and then review and revise a little after letting it sit for a day or two. Since some of the stories are true encounters, I write while the details are very fresh in my mind. If the story is a fabrication, then I can sort of write in in pieces and spread the writing out over a few days.

5). What genre is your favorite to write? Read? So far I have written only this book in the erotica genre, but would like to expand if I had more time. I read lots of different categories. I like everything from Carlos Castaneda to Malcolm Gladwell.

6). Do you have any favorite authors?
I do not have anyone that I specifically follow, but read as much as I can focusing mostly on informational vs. entertainment

7). Is there a genre you haven't written, but would love to tackle in thefuture? I have a great idea (i think) for a series of books that would be fictional adventure with some sex thrown in for good measure. Given the time, I would definitely pursue this.

8). What's planned next for your writing career? I want to be able to write full time and free my schedule to do as I please each and every day. I would travel a lot more so do more "research" for stories. :-)

9). Do you work well with deadlines? yes, I do not mind having a little pressure

10). When did you first start writing? I wrote my first erotic story about 10 years ago, basically on a bet. I was dating someone who read a steamy scene to me from a book she had just bought. She didn't think I could do it, so I tried to prove her wrong. I did pretty well for my first try and thus the story (of my writing career) began.

11). What influenced you to submit your work for publication? As I began collecting stories and finally gained the courage to show people, I received a lot of encouragement to compile a book.

12). Do you belong to a critique group? If so-how does this help you? Ifnot-would you ever consider joining one-if not- why do you think you workbetter alone? I have my own group of people to proof read and be sure I am representing the female side correctly and believeably. I think you would have to have people to bounce ideas off of. My group are avid readers of this genre, but not writers themselves.

13). What is the best way for readers to contact you? Through my facebook page or on my website at on the contact page.

14). Any advice you want to give to aspiring writers? Go for it! Be diligent, disciplined, and get a critique group to keep you on track. And if you need help, ask someone!

15). Anything you wish to add?Since this book seems to be an almost completely new approach to this genre, I hope it is well recieved. The idea is to show that:

--Men have no idea what women are thinking

--Once in a while we guess right. :-)

--Turn her brain on, and her body will follow :-)


Darren Michaels

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Interview with ALee Drake

We have our first interview with published author, ALee Drake. You can find her new release, Thistle Dew, a paranomal at The Wild Rose Press

So folks, pull up a chair and a cup of coffee and enjoy!

1). First, could you tell us what you are currently working on for publication or about your current release?

A) My current WIP is called Men In T's. It's a contemporary romance about a trip cross country in a 1921 Ford Model T.

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

A) I live in upstate NY at the foothills of the Adirondacks. I am the mother of five, mother-in-law to two and grandmother to three. I've been married for 37 years to my best friend. When I'm not writing, I teach at an elementary school, try to keep ahead of the weeds in my gardens, and travel with my husband.

3). Give us a sneak peek into the book? (mentioned above)

A) Pax, a city girl, is a journalist assigned to cover a centennial Model T Ford event. No problem for the talented writer, until she finds she must travel via Model T for four days with Paramedic/Model T enthusiast Scott Douglas, a country boy, favoring the much simpler lifestyle of the past.

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

A) I start with the characters. I have a collection of characters, give them names, and let them decide on the story.I have been a pantser, but am finding the perks to plotting and planning.

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

A) there any other kind? Contemporary, Western, paranormal-ghosts and angels.

6). Do you have any favorite authors?

A) Christina Dodd is my absolute favorite. Gayle Callen, Christine Wenger, Jason Barett, Cara Summers, Maggie Shayne

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

A) I have a werewolf story lurking inside.And some children's stories.

8). What's planned next for your writing career?

A) Just writing...there are so many characters waiting their turn for me to tell their story.

9). Do you work well with deadlines?

A)Yes. If I don't have a deadline I play soduku.

10). When did you first start writing?

A)I was 7 when I realized that I like the feel of a clean pad of paper and a freshly sharpened pencil.

11). What influenced you to submit your work for publication?

A)I was encouraged by a friend to submit THISTLE DEW who said she wanted to watch the movie.

12). Do you belong to a critique group? If so-how does this help you? If not-would you ever consider joining one-if not- why do you think you work better alone?

A) I belong to a critique group called the Herkimer Diamonds. If not for them, I would not have come this far. Also my RWA chapter, CNYRW, has critique before their meetings.

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

A) I would LOVE to hear from readers at

14). Any advice you want to give to aspiring writers?

A) There is no shortcut. There is no fill in the blank format. There is only writing and listening to your characters as they tell you their story.

Thanks so much Alee for dropping by!