Monday, February 28, 2011

Interview with author Roseanne Dowell

Today, my guest is MuseItUp romance author, Roseanne Dowell, who is here to talk about her new release, Stranger on the Shore.

1)    Tell me a little about your book.
Stranger on the Shore is about Jordan Blake, an author, who lives in seclusion along the shores of Lake Erie. During an unexpected winter storm, she discovers a body washed up on her shore. The man is unconscious and Jordan manages to get him into her house.

2)    What gave you the idea for this particular story?
Years ago we rented a cottage every summer in Lakeside, OH.
I often wondered what it would be like to be there during a storm, especially a winter storm. Lake Erie is known for unexpected storms kicking up and Lake Effect snow. And I’m no stranger to the crippling results of some of those snow storms.
Of course my writer’s imagination took over and I pictured being alone in a house by the lake. It was only natural for my heroine to be a writer. I often dreamed of a quiet place to write with no one to interrupt.

3)    Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a full time writer most of the time. Actually, I write when the muse hits, often in the middle of the night.

4)    When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was born wanting to be a writer. Seriously, ever since I could remember.

5)    What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope I entertain my readers.

6)    Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write romance, mystery/romance, paranormal/romance and just plain sweet romance.

7)    What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Lately for me it’s been writer’s block. I started a story over a year ago and wrote a synopsis first on the advice of a speaker at our local chapter of RWA. That’s not usually how I write. I hit a road block and it’s taken me a year to get past it. I still have trouble with that story sometimes.
Usually, I start something new or revise something old, which is what I did in this case. I revised and expanded several of my short stories. I also talk to my writing buddy and ask her for ideas or run ideas past her.

8)    Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
Other than being a writer and living through Lake Effect snowstorms,  not really.

9)    How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
I don’t think she’s at all like me. She’s in her 30s , I’m much older. She’s divorced and I’m very married and have been for a good number of years. In fact, by time I was 30, I had all my children. Maybe the seclusion – not that I live in seclusion, but I don’t mind being alone.

10)    What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Actually I didn’t have to do any research for this one. I knew about Lake Effect snowstorms  and also the area I set my story.

11)    Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Actually, writing highly sexual scenes does bother me. I don’t feel these scenes are necessary for the book. In fact most times, they’re just thrown in. I know sex sells, but I guess I’m old fashioned and I like to close the door on these scenes. I’ll write the scene up to a point, but I think readers are smart enough to figure out what happened after.

12)    What about your book makes it special?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I’m not sure I know how to answer that. It’s a romance with a bit of mystery since  the man she rescues doesn’t know who he is. I love the characters.

13)    What is your marketing plan?
It’s hard to promote eBooks. I’m doing as many blog interviews as possible. Lea from MuseItn Up Publishing also does a lot of promoting for us and sets up blog tours and sends our books out for reviews.  I also promote on Face book and Twitter. I’m hoping to speak at our local library, but that’s hard with eBooks.  I’m going to try to set something up with the last bookstore left in this area, if it’s still there when my book comes out.

14)    Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My website is:
My blog is:
`My twitter is:
Stranger on the Shore is available at Muse It Up Publishing at:

15)    Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
First and foremost, love what you’re writing. If you don’t love reading romance, don’t write it. Second, do your homework, once you have a completed manuscript, make sure you submit to the proper publishers or agents. Don’t submit a mystery to a romance publisher unless it is a romance with mystery elements. Third, don’t give up. If you truly love writing keep at it. Write something every day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Fourth, read and study all you can about the elements of writing, especially showing the story, not telling it.

Roseanne Dowell is an avid reader and writes various types of romance - paranormal, contemporary, and mystery. She has several books published as well as over 40 articles and short stories published in magazines such as Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer and several online publications. Besides teaching writing courses for Long Story School of Writing ,she also taught two writing courses for the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.
Roseanne lives in Northeast Ohio and where she enjoys life as a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great grandmother of one.  Besides writing, Roseanne enjoys embroidery and quilting, especially combining the two.

Synopsis of Stranger on the Shore

Author, Jordan Blake lives in a house along Lake Erie. She’s a recluse and  likes it that way. No interruptions while she’s writing. At least not until that day in October when an early Lake Effect Snow storm brews up. Not that she minds snowstorms. Far from it. She loves them. While she’s on her deck securing chair cushions and chairs, something along the rocky shoreline catches her eye. A body? Hard to tell from where she stood. Not being one to ignore someone in need, she rushes across the yard. It’s a body all right – a male’s body. Thank God he was alive, but unfortunately unconscious. Jordan manages to roll his body to her house and gets him inside.

The stranger sparks something in her, she thought was long dead. Unfortunately when he comes to, he can’t remember who he is.  Jordan tries to ignore the attraction she feels toward the stranger, but his kisses awaken something in her.  Something she’d rather wasn’t  aroused. To make matters worse, the stranger doesn’t have any idea who he is.

Excerpt for Stranger on the Shore

“Darn, it’s getting cold.” Jordan shivered and zipped her sweat shirt.  She hated storms, hated thunder and lightning most of all.  Grabbing at some papers that flew across the deck as the wind picked up, a movement caught the corner of her eye. Something washed up on the shore. Something big. A body?

Jordan jumped off the deck and raced toward the craggy shoreline.  Dark clouds hovered across the lake. Cold water splashed against her as waves crashed against the rocks like angry arms hurling water at an invisible enemy. The crash of thunder echoed across the lake. Ducking her head as lightening streaked across the sky and the air crackled with electricity, she thought she must be nuts. Probably just a bunch of old clothes washed up. Still, she had to see for herself.

Surely, no one in their right mind would be in the water this time of year? There had been storm warnings on the radio all morning. No one would be stupid enough to ignore the forecast. Would they? Heavy rain and strong winds then turning to snow, with a drastic drop in temperature, and blizzard-like conditions weren’t anything to ignore. Jordan winced as lightning flashed again, back-lighting the dark clouds.  Darn it, she wanted to be inside cuddling by the fire not out here in a storm. For two cents, she’d turn around and go back. But something drew her forward.

A man’s body against the rocks.

Oh, Lord, please don’t let him be dead. She had planned for a quiet weekend, writing. A weekend with a corpse wasn’t on her list of quiet. But she couldn’t leave him out here either.

 Jordan came closer and stooped down next to him. Lifting his head out of the water, above the crashing waves, she felt for a pulse. Thank God, he’s alive. Now how to get him out of here? She grabbed his arm, rolled him over and tried to pull him from the fury of the lake. Wave after wave pounced on him, their foamy peaks trying to reclaim him. Lord, if she ever needed help, now was the time.  Struggling to roll him to higher ground, she lost her breath. His long, muscular frame outweighed her slender five foot two body and felt like dead weight.

 “You’re going to have to help me.” Jordan grunted and gasped for breath when the full force of icy waves pulled her down and washed over both of them.

No response.

“Damn it. I can’t do this alone.”

Still no response.

Great, how was she going to pull him to safety? “I hate to do this, but I see no alternative.” Jordan took a deep breath and pushed him over, rolling him like a barrel and trying to avoid cutting him on the sharp rocks. It wasn’t easy, but at least he moved.

“Come on!” Jordan tried to encourage some life from his limp body.  Once he was far enough away from the waves, she stared at him for a moment, before leaning down to give him mouth to mouth. His long straight nose, eyes set wide with bushy eyebrows and the grin on his lips, even in his unconscious state, sent a ripple of excitement through her body.

Not a handsome man, but something about him caused heat deep inside her. Shrugging off the urge to run her fingers through his curly black hair, she began mouth to mouth. When her mouth touched his lips, opened them slightly, something familiar tugged on her heart. She hadn’t touched a man's lips in, what, three years. This wasn’t exactly the way she imagined touching them again. Not that she ever imagined it. Never even thought about it. She’d had enough of men to last her a lifetime.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview with children's author Maggie Grinnell

Today, my guest is children's author Maggie Grinnell.  Ms.Grinnell is here to discuss her latest fun book for children, The Ketchup Bottle and the Takeover. 

1. Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

I started writing back in college in 1985. I wrote my first short story but then tore it up because I didn’t think it was that good. I didn’t write again until 1992 when I was encouraged to start writing again. So in 2005, I revised that same story I tore up years earlier and had it published. I first decided to write to impress my dad who had high standards for his kids to succeed. But I start writing for me in 1992 when I realized how much I enjoyed telling a story.

2. Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

In my heart, I am a full time writer. But in reality, I am a part time writer. I don’t really have an organized time to write. I really write when I can which is mostly at nights in my room, very late.

3. What influences your writing?

When I go into bookstores, I get inspired just by the atmosphere of the place. Books, magazines and eager readers are enough to inspire this writer to write. Talking to other writers and even when someone cuts down my writing, I am inspired to write.

4. Is this your first published work? What other types of writing have you done?

This is my 1st published children’s book but not my 1st published work. My first published work was in 1996, a short story. I have written articles (which I still currently do), poetry and short suspense stories.

5. Why did you choose to write a children's story?

I have always read in magazines for writers to find their ‘voice.’ Well one day a voice told me to listen to my ‘inner’ child which I did and started writing for children. I started out slowly by writing a poem about a childhood doll I use to have. So now I think I have found my ‘voice.’

6. What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?

I have an agent who suggested submitting my story to a published company she is an illustrator for. I did and it was accepted for publication. I had the story edited then it was sent to an illustrator. The 1st illustrator after awhile had to turn the project to another illustrator due to commitment issues. The 2nd illustrator took awhile before emailing me sketches of the first illustrations. When I saw the sketches, I wasn’t impressed. So my agent stepped in and was my 3rd and final illustrator. I finished the book 3 years after submitting it for publication.

7. What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

I don’t really have any thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing. Since I haven’t tried both, I can’t say which is best or have an opinion yet.

8. What is your marketing strategy?

I made postcards from the image of the cover of my book and sent them to everyone I know. Then I made business cards with my information and the cover of the book on it. I wrote all my writer friends and put my card inside to let them know my book came out. I also had a book launch party. I had the local bakery make a cake with the cover image of my book. I have also contacted local bookstores and brought in copies of my book for them to sell. I am still getting the word out.

9. What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

I think it would help for children’s writers to have agents because this genre is very hard to be heard in. Their agent can help by contacting publishing companies and really promote their writing. But then again there are children’s writers who are successful without an agent.

10. Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

I have a website On my website, I have samples of my work such as poetry, short stories and links to my book and to where I write my articles.

11. Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

I would say to study the field and do research. Find out what the new trends are and which authors are catching children’s eyes.

12. Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.

My book The Ketchup Bottle and the Takeover is about Tommy Tomato, an oversized ketchup bottle with an ego who tries to take over the refrigerator. When the others inside the refrigerator find out what he wants to do, they try to get ride of Tommy. But one day during a picnic, Tommy disappears. Suddenly everyone wants Tommy back and Tommy wants to come back. The book can be purchased through a link on my website. Go to, and then go to the left side of website. Click on ‘new book’, and then click on the link under the cover of the book. That link will take you to where the book can be purchased.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog Tour Winners

I wanted to thank all the wonderful blog hosts who supported me during my virtual tour of my latest book, A Past and A Future. Everyone was wonderful, asked great questions, and helped to make the tour a success.

I offered a free story at each of my blog stops to one person who left a comment.  I wanted to share those winners' names and congratulate them.  I wanted to thank everyone who followed the tour and stopped, once, twice or more to leave a comment.  I hope each of you learned a little something new about me, my work, and my life.  Remember, if you are interested in purchasing a copy of A Past and A Future, it is available through genremall at

And here are the winners:

Lin Holmes, from Kelly Harmon's blog
Beverly Stowe McClure, at Professor Baker's blog
Vivian Zabel, at Barbara Ehrentreu's blog
Heather Haven, at Marva Dasef's blog
Sharon Willett, at Kay Dee Royal's blog
Beverly Gardner, at Lizzie Leaf's blog
Nancy Bell, at J Q Rose's blog
Sarah Durham, at Su Halfwerk's blog
Evie Balos, at Jami Bevan's blog
Rie Sheridan Rose, at Jaleta Clegg's blog
Paul McDermitt and Lori (aka widdershins), at The Writers Chatroom

I also had a "grand" winner, Susanne Drazic who made numerous stops and comments along the blog tour.  She was also the chosen winner at Ginger Simpson's blog. For her ongoing support, she received two stories.

Thank you all.  Without you, the readers, an author has no one to tell her tales.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interview with author Lee Mather

Today, my guest is author Lee Mather who is here to discuss his supernatural-themed book, The Green Man.

1) Tell me a little about your book.

The Green Man is a short story with a supernatural theme. It centers on a man struggling to come to terms with a horrific event in his past.  He survives a plane crash; a crash that his mother warned him about after a visit from her guardian angel. The story tackles grief, faith and the unique bond between families.

2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?

I have a fear of flying and I wanted to write something that featured a plane crash. My mother always used to tell a story about how she saw a ‘little green man’ when she was younger. I decided to merge both ideas together, but I adapted her tall-tale to bring in the aspect of a premonition so that the story could focus on faith and the afterlife.

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I’m currently part time. My partner works shifts, so I organize my writing time around when our regular work patterns clash. As we conduct this interview she is working a night shift on the local Emergency Department.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I enjoyed reading a lot as a child, and still do. During my teens I began to take an interest in writing stories of my own. I didn’t write anything for years even though it was always something I wanted to do some day. I woke up in my late twenties when I realized that life is too short. If I want to write something worthwhile I need to sit there and do it, not just think about doing it tomorrow, or the day after.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

I hope that people enjoy what I write. Reading shouldn’t be a chore.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?

I write horror and the weird. I will write some science fiction and fantasy at some point as I enjoy both these genres too. I enjoy horror because I think, if done well, it can really leave an impression on a reader. Good writing makes me think long after I’ve put the book down. Even though the genres I pursue are fantastical I want my writing to have one foot in the real world.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

I enjoy writing. I enjoy piecing together a puzzle and gradually shaping prose into something meaningful. What I don’t enjoy is giving my writing to the world. Maybe this will ease with experience, but currently I find it hard letting people read my work – I appreciate this might sound strange! Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection?

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.

Only the reference to The Green Man himself, and even this has been changed dramatically as a plot mechanism. There are little bits of me in everything I write, like I prefer sitting in the aisle seat in a plane so that I can stretch out one of my long legs during the flight, as does the protagonist in The Green Man.

9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?

He loves his family very much. He has a fear of flying. I’m a bit more tolerant than the guy on those pages though.

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?

I researched the type of plane, and I read up on a couple of plane crashes that left survivors. The backstory is based in my home town so I didn’t need to do much research of a place I already know well.

11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

Violent, no. Sexual, yes. Again, maybe this is down to the fact that I’ve only been writing for a couple of years and this might ease with experience. I think Freud might have something to say about the fact that I can describe someone getting their brains bashed in in great detail without flinching, whereas scripting a graphic sex scene will make me feel seedy and uncomfortable! In general, I feel society is more comfortable with images of violence than they are of images of sex, so I’m probably not on my own in feeling this way.

12) What about your book makes it special?

Personally, it’s special for the pieces of me that are in it. Generally, I think for a short story it has a good heart.

13) What is your marketing plan?

I’m learning all the time from more established authors. For example, I’ve recently set up Google Alerts for my stories. I’ve invested time in a website and I’m targeting sites where I can promote the book and raise my profile as an author. I’m sending the story off to lots of webs reviewers and I’ve also sent it off to a couple of English literary magazines. Within the next month my aim is to post a free story on my website to encourage traffic as well as to continue to look for promotion opportunities.

14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?

The best place is my website –

15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?

Yes, buy a copy of my book for some tips! Just kidding! I think the best advice it to be persistent in everything you do. Make sure that you’re happy with everything you write and don’t cut corners, even if that means a lot of re-writes  – if you can spot an issue with what you write then so will someone else. When it comes to rejected submissions, keep going. If someone gives you advice then it doesn’t hurt to listen to it. It might just improve what you’re doing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Publishing Tips from Beth Erickson

by: Beth Erickson

There are hundreds of variables that can determine how quickly
you'll get published.  The economy and financial condition of a
publication can determine how many freelance articles they
purchase.  Maybe you can hit an editor on a bad day and he/she
hates everything he/she reads, even your manuscript.  

As you can see, many of these variables are out of your control.

That's the bad news.  But here's the good news.  There are
variables you control, and how you treat these variables will have
a direct influence on how often you get published.

Here are five basic tips you can use on a daily basis that will
enhance your chances of hitting pay dirt.  Here they are:

1.Learn everything you can about your craft.

Attend classes.  Read writing books.  Subscribe to e-mags that will
help your career.  Just like a carpenter who must purchase tools so
he can practice his craft, you must invest in the tools that will
make you a better writer than your competition.

2.Read everything you can get your hands on.

Read fiction, nonfiction, direct mail, read everything you can
find.  When you become a voracious reader, you become a better
writer.  There are no short cuts.  So turn off the television. 
Crack open a book.  And have a ball.

3.Target the publications you want to write for - then become
familiar with them.

Subscribe to the magazines you want to write for.  Purchase books
in your genre.  Get on GOOD direct mail mailing lists.  If you're
short on cash, visit your library on a regular basis and read books
and magazines there.  

When you're paging through your target magazines or books from a
publisher you're planning on contacting, try to visualize their
ideal reader.  Then as you write, write directly to that reader. 
An editor who knows you've taken the time to research their company
will be FAR more willing to give your manuscript a read-through.

4.Read EVERYTHING you send out aloud.

You'll catch typos, grammos, and generally dumb sentences when you
read EVERYTHING you write aloud.  I read The Almach aloud at least
three times.  Jumpstart went through the same process.  Reading
your manuscripts aloud will not guarantee that they'll be perfect,
but you'll discover that your writing is much easier to read after
this exercise.  It takes time but it's worth it.  Just purchase
some throat lozenges (I use Jolly Ranchers) and get going.

5.Never give up, never give up, never give up.

Write on a daily basis.  It's easy to get discouraged when a
rejection letter flows in.  But having a number of queries floating
around in cyberspace keeps that little flame of hope burning
bright.  I'm thoroughly convinced that the only way we can fail as
writers is if we give up.  As long as you don't give up, you'll
definitely be published.  Eventually.

If these tips sound like a lot of work, they are.  But the work you
put into honing your writing and researching your target
publications will be reflected in the number of acceptance letters
you receive.

These simple tips will make your writing absolutely sparkle when
the editor reads your words.  You'll outshine your competition. 
And when you outshine your competition, you've just enhanced your
chances of getting published.
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing
sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing
Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power

Monday, February 21, 2011

Interview with MuseItHot author, Lin Holmes

Today my guest is L. J. Holmes, MuseItHot author with a number of books to her credit, including Forever with You, release date February 1st, and The Pendulum Swings, release date March 1st.

First I want to thank you for your generosity in inviting me to visit you here at your blog. I was here last year shortly after I got my first contract with Muse It Up Publishing and had a lot of fun.

1.    Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? I’ve always been uncomfortable talking about myself…tooting my own horn. I usually slip into the shadow and observe the rest of the world but I’ll try. I’m a Mom, I’m the contented pet of two kitties…gosh that almost sounds like Grace Allen when she’d talk about Carnation and their contented cows, doesn’t it? I’m a retired Special Ed teacher…oh…yeah, and I’m an author! What genre do you write in and why? Another tough question. I’ve got eleven contracts so far with the Muse Publishing House and I don’t think there is a common theme running through any of them. I write whatever my inner voice, Nudge, tells me to. If I DON’T write what Nudge wants me to write, she overrides me. The inner Nudge can be a demanding task mistress.

2.    Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. Actually I have two. The first one, Forever With You was released Muse It Hot on February 1st. This is a very short story, but powerful one. Coryne, a family court lawyer, has come into some real money recently and wants a very special cabin built on some lake front land she owns in the mountains, and she wants it done very quickly. Keith Patterson owns Patterson Construction, but the minute Coryne lays eyes upon him she isn’t sure he can handle the job, but she’s also not too happy that his masculinity makes her ache with needs she’s long buried. There is a surprise ending to Forever With You that has left everyone who has read it so far, deeply effected. The Second Book, The Pendulum Swings is coming out on March 1st. This one is sort of a Time Travel. The Heroine wakes up in a hospital that is unlike anything she’s ever seen before. An angry man enters her room and his scowl and coolness of tone confuse her. He calls her “Joanna”. The name does not ring true, but she cannot remember her “other” name? She has to be someone else, because if she really IS this Joanna, she is hateful. There’s a very erotic and sensual marble mantle in this story; that the hero gets very up close and intimate with. 

3.    How long have you been writing? I didn’t actually start putting anything down on paper until I was in middle school, but I spent a lot of time lying in our back yard, we had two acres, with my dog looking up at the sky and telling Heidi ad lib stories about the adventures I’d see in the clouds.

4.    What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? Did I mention before that I’m shy? Everyone thought I was stuck up, but I was painfully shy. By the time I got to middle school, I tried very hard to disappear into the woodwork to avoid the nasty taunts of others. I began putting my stories down to escape from my reality and create a perfect one. One day one of the “Popular” girls snatched my notebook from me, began reading it out loud, and before I knew it they were begging me for the next chapter. I wrote the original and two sequels with those characters. She was a lovely Hawaiian teen who greets new arrivals with leis and then Hula dances at night…her name was Katana Lee. He was a bit older, greets the female arrivals and dances the fire dance at the luaus. The things I put those two through…but for a while I was popular.

5.    Do you outline before you write? I don’t actually write. Nudge channels through me. I’m just the wielder of the pen, and yes, when Nudge starts nudging, I write is all out longhand. I don’t have a clue what Nudge has poured through me until I transfer it to my word processor. If not, what’s your initial process? I try to ignore Nudge, but she won’t have any of that, so I let her ramble, wait till she’s done, promise to transfer it, then sleep for the next twelve hours. Nudge takes a lot out of me. <g>

6.    What comes first: the plot or the characters? It kind of all comes at once and rarely with warning.

7.    Which of your characters do you love? I love Coryne, the heroine in Forever With You…She is an amazingly strong woman, who is vulnerable at the same time…/hate…I hate Irene Carrington the villain in my second Christmas Miracles book The Christmas War coming out December 1st, 2011. I fashioned her after my former mother-in-law. Having her in that story allowed me to give her the comeuppance I’ll never be able to give her in real life… /fear…the father of the young witch in the current story I am writing. He hasn’t been named yet, but he is the evil she must soon defeat…/pity the most and why?  Trish in Beyond Yesterday…she is about to learn why she was forced to grow up in a ramshackle house with her parents and two sisters while her grandparents moldered in that big mansion right back there.

8.    What was the hardest part of writing your book? Keeping the ice pack firmly secured around my neck when I had to transfer Nudge’s rapid scrawl into the Word Processor. My head was bopping like those dogs with the bouncing heads you see in the back windows of the cars ahead of you.

9.    Did your book require a lot of research?  Some do. I had to do some research for The Pendulum Swings. I needed to know some of the history surrounding Julius Caesar, Pompey, and the Egypt of Cleopatra. How long does it take to write a book for you? Eight of my eleven contracts were written in less than a year, and one of them is over 375 pages long. Once Nudge has the bit between her teeth, she won’t let us stop until she’s done. That 375 page contract, Echoes From The Past, was a story Nudge would channel no less than three chapters to me a day. Even while I was trying to sleep, Nudge would be regurgitating scene plots into my subconscious.

10.    What are some of the challenges in your writing process? I’m not sure what you mean. Sleep, certainly…eye and neck strain when I transfer from long-hand to word processor, and remembering to eat.

11.    Describe your writing space. My bed usually, with pen, notebook, and Nudge taking over.

12.    What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I never learned how to knit, but recently, (two years ago) found knitting LOOMS at Walley World. After a few learning curve snafus I have become really good at it. I have a sister who’s a minister in Montana. I send her about ten pounds worth every month. What she and the rest of the family don’t claim for themselves, is give away to the needy. I never thought I’d knit, let alone learn how to do produce a finished product others would covet.

13.    What books or authors have influenced your writing? I don’t know how to answer this. Nudge writes, I step aside and observe, then so the slave labor of transferring, but there are authors that heave taken center stage inside me for various reasons. Glenn Kleier wrote a book called The Last Day. I came across his book while I was fighting cancer. His story allowed me to escape the agony of chemo and radiation and kept me sane. I don’t know if he influenced my writing, but he DID influence my life. My daughter Kat Holmes is a Best selling author, but I don’t think she’d say she influenced me, since I began writing long before her, but love is always an influence…she loves me and I love her. I enjoy J.D. Robb’s In Death Series. Placing her series in the near future, 2060, I think was/is brilliant…also her heroine, Eve Dallas’ hubby Roarke is real swoon-material.

14.    What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books? E-books are the future. Hard copies are going to disappear with one exception…those who like to feel that texture and smell the tang of print on paper will still have Print On Demand to feed that lust, but e-books will become the mainstream.

15.    What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release? I think I answered this earlier, at least for the two I have out this month and the one coming out next…but if you want the full list of what I have out and what will be coming out then you’d better sit down and get comfortable. This could take a while. (ONE.) Santa Is A Lady released from Muse…and ALL of my books are coming out from Muse…on December 1st, 2010. 2(TWO) Forever With You released on February 1st, 2011. (THREE.)The Pendulum Swings releases on March 1st. (FOUR) Twilight Comes releases in May 1st. (FIVE.) In From The Cold releases on June 1st. (SIX.) This Time Forever releases on August 1st. (SEVEN) Beyond Yesterday releases on September 1st. (EIGHT) Champagne Afternoon releases on November 1st. (NINE) The Christmas War releases on December 1st. (TEN) She’s Gone releases on February 1st, 2012 and finally, (ELEVEN) Echoes From the Past releases on April 1st 2012

16.    What is your marketing plan? I’ve thought of doing a Lady Godiva and run naked through the streets, but I want people to be able to read my books, so burning their retinas with such a vision doesn’t seem like a good plan. Instead I am visiting blogs like yours, talking on Kat’s Blog Talk radio, handing out business cards to anyone who can’t run away fast enough, plotting contests, pleading on bended knee to every member of my family…just inserting myself and my books into conversation when no one is looking.

17.    What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? To write always write with passion. YOU have to feel the character’s emotions. Also research. Never sign a contract without checking out the publisher through Predators and Editors, Piers Anthony, or Writer’s Beware. Talk to the authors before committing your precious work to anyone. This is like any other business…there are excellent publishers, but there also those who are not.

18.    Where can people learn more about you and your work? I am at the Muse It Up Website and Muse It Hot I also have a lot of blog spots because I do cover blogs…think of them as “stationary trailers” for Muse authors, myself included at I have another for Muse’s YA authors Non Muse authors and Muse authors with books out from other publishers I promote using cover blogs at  And you can e-mail me at

Friday, February 18, 2011

Interview with erotic romance author Qwilla Rain

1)     Tell me a little about your book.
Diablo Blanco Club: Rite of First Claim is the most recent book in my Diablo Blanco Club series. It’s an erotic romance that focuses on Mike Halsey’s determination to prove to Lyssa Lawrence, a woman six years his senior, that a relationship between them would not only work, but thrive. The fact that he’s a much sought after photojournalist as well as a trained dominant make convincing Lyssa difficult. Not to mention the woman has been running from the feelings Mike has stirred in her since they first met twelve years earlier.

2)     What gave you the idea for this particular story?
Mike and Lyssa were secondary characters in my book, Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage. Mike is the younger brother of that book’s hero, while Lyssa is the older sister of the heroine. The chemistry between the two was electric and Lyssa’s determination to refuse to give in to her curiosity and emotions make her that much more interesting to work with.

3)     Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I just recently became a full-time writer so I’m still getting myself situated into a writing schedule. Prior to quitting my day job, I squeezed my writing into any free time I had. LOL. This meant I was often up until well after midnight during the week, and sometimes getting back up at four or five in the morning to get some writing done before getting ready for work. I was lucky most of the time because my job was a Monday through Friday schedule with weekends off. Now that I have all this free time, I’m finding I’m a bit at loose ends during the day and my writing is not getting done as quickly, but I’m confident as soon as I get the hand of it, I’ll be fine.

4)     When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was twelve and I enjoyed writing my own stories when the endings of the tales I read left me wanting more. I wrote my first full-length romance when I was tenth grade, so I was…fifteen.

5)     What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
A sense of knowing that there is someone out there for everyone. That happiness is available if you have the courage and strength to reach for and fight to keep it.

6)     Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write romance, specifically erotic romance, and even though I dabble in other genres like time-travel, suspense, and historical, all of them are romance at heart. I prefer writing romance mainly because I love a happy ending and knowing that everything will work out well.

7)     What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Characters that argue with me about their stories. To get past it I usually have to sit down and discuss the discrepancy with the character until they come up with a reason for me to change my mind.

8)     Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
              Nope, nothing base on a real life event for me. I do incorporate Dominant/submissive lifestyles into
my stories and I try to research the information before I write about it.

9)     How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
She worked hard to make her business a success, just as I’ve worked long and hard to learn my writing craft. The difference I’m most aware of is the fact that Lyssa’s mother was killed by her father, while my parents simply divorced and my mom is still very much alive.

10)  What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I researched various philosophies of Dominance and submission; photography; clothing design; fabrics; and weapons.

11)  Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Nope. The intensity of a violent or highly sexual scene is just a reflection of the characters’ emotions and building relationship or situation. I only relate the information the characters want me to tell, and sometimes information they don’t want me to relate. Considering I write erotic romance, I tend to write highly sexual scenes more often than violent ones, but I have dabbled in romantic suspense and horror stories, so violent scenes are not foreign to me.

12)  What about your book makes it special?
The characters are unique and compelling. There have been two reviews that have mentioned that the book’s descriptive writing and interesting secondary characters make the book a must read. What’s great about my stories is the element of trust that is necessary in order for the romances to flourish between my characters. Trust is key in Dominant/submissive relationships and I repeatedly stress that important factor in all my books.

13)  What is your marketing plan?
I’m building my marketing plan every year, but I’ve been lucky enough to recently find an amazing lady to help me with it. Tivi Jones just started her business, Creativity Loft (, and she’s teaching me how to outline and create a marketing plan to spread the word about my books. I also have the privilege of being published by Loose Id, LLC who actively market and offer opportunities for positive exposure of their authors.

14)  Where can people learn more about you and your work?
MySpace (, or my website ( I even post writing tips and tricks to a blog -- Quintessentially Qwillia -- on the Savvy Authors website ( under the craft section.

15)  Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Write at the heat level you’re most comfortable with. Erotic romance can be very hot and if you are a bit squeamish about the language or graphic nature of this genre, don’t force yourself to write it. Learn how you write and if you’re serious about making a career of it, be very prepared to work hard!! Do your research, not only on elements within your book, but also about the publishers and agents you’re going to be submitting to when you’re ready to take the next step. And if you have a local chapter of Romance Writers of America, attend a meeting. You can attend two meetings without joining RWA or the chapter. RWA can provide information that can help you in your quest toward publication.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with author, Beverly Sims

Today, my guest is author Beverly Sims.   She's here to discuss the fourth book in her Witness Tree Series, White Wind.

1) Tell me a little about your book. It is the story of a young French girl who comes to Mason City on the early 1800 plains of North America. Her father who does not know of her existence is delighted to find that he has a daughter, while she harbors anger for him having abandoned her mother. She has loose morals by the standards of that day, but finally finds that love is better than just sex. But her problem is that she grows to love two men. A family of zealots moves into the valley finding easy prey for their strange idea of salvation by murder, rape, and mayhem. When they focus on our heroine, it takes more than her lovers to keep her safe.

2) It is book four of my Witness Tree series, following the Legend of Summer Swan, The Major’s Wife, and The Outlaw’s Woman. Our old Witness Tree has seen and narrates his story.

3) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I have always like words. English was my favorite subject in school. But raising a family and working took precedence. It was not until I retired that a friend suggested that I tried my hand at romances, like Rosemary Rodgers. Well, I took her up on her suggestion. My first book was New Hope, followed by The Last Resort. New Hope was a romance and Last Resort was a romance, mystery, spy kind of thing.

4) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I guess I must say I am a part time writer, as I don’t do any writing some days at home and none when we travel or work camp in the summer.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing? Enjoyment, pure and simple. I want them to go away surprised at the endings of my mysteries and happy with my romances.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why? Romance, mostly erotica, but I like to toss in some mystery and an interesting sub story or two.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it? Keeping focused. I have found I am only able to actually accomplish any serious work while sitting at my desk, facing a corner in my computer room. Light music turned so low it is hardly audible is often a help to let me forget the dryer has buzzed. At first friends did not seem to consider what I was doing a actually a job, but over time they now do and when I say I am going to write any given day, they leave me space. 

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. Not in this story, particularly but the Witness Tree series was a result of a lonely, dying snag I saw in Wyoming. Some of my others came from places we have seen or that I want to see. Black Bayou came after we moved to Florida and I saw of some of the primeval canals and forests here. Caroline’s House was a large dilapidated old house on a cliff near where we lived on the Oregon Coast, years ago. The Last Resort was set on what was once a sandy rode way out of town…where young men took their young ladies for steaming up the windows 

9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different? Like me? Well actually very little except for being headstrong, and I like to think…intelligent and bossy. Unlike me? Because they are active, young and beautiful girls who become beautiful women.

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story? A lot actually. I had to find out what kind of things Indians used for food, medicine, etc. And what ghosts might think about their existence or lack of it. Each book had several things that were out of my realm and needed clarification. And fortunately, my dear husband could help me with man-things like engineering, building, etc.

11 Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? At first I felt embarrassed about my graphic dialogue, especially for my grandchildren to read. My kids themselves don’t read them because the images of their parents doing ‘those thing’ is hard for them

12) What about your book makes it special? I would say it is because I love my characters, even the bad-guys. Actually, I do little in the way of outlining or such. I created a character, have and idea of her appearance, etc. and from there on, the characters tell me their stories and I just do the typing. I am often amazed at the end of the day when I reread what I have written that the story has taken twists and turns that were never in my conscious mind.

13. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
To love to write is to love to read.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Interview with romance author, Celia Yeary

Today, my guest is romance author, Celia Yeary.  Ms. Yeary is here to talk about her latest release, Texas Promise, a Western Historical Romance

1.    Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
After a teaching career, I settled down to be a good grandmother. However, one day in 2004 as I was playing around on the computer, a story popped out. It was a Western Historical Romance, and when I finished that one, I began another. And another. By 2007, I had my first contract, and now in 2011 I have five published novels, five coming soon novels, some short stories, articles, and essays. I still don't know what hit me. Oh…and I'm a good grandmother, too.

2.    Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
TEXAS PROMISE is the third "Texas" book in a group of four. But this one and the next make a two-book series titled The Cameron Sisters. TEXAS PROMISE is Jo's story, the older daughter, who marries her childhood sweetheart, but after three weeks, he joins the Texas Rangers and leaves her. Some time later, she receives word he is dead. But while learning to live as a widow, her husband returns, a changed man, very different, and very angry. Why? Thereby lies the story.

3.    Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
 I've never written an outline or plotted out a story, but after years of writing as a panster, I know the pitfalls in that method. Now, I'm trying the outline method, at least writing the plot out to some degree so that it doesn't become bogged down in the middle.

4.    What comes first: the plot or the characters?
The characters usually come first. I see a character--who is she, where is she, and what does she want?

5.    Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
Penny, this is like asking which of my children do I love most! I love Jo Cameron King in TEXAS PROMISE the most. She was abandoned at age five along with her very young mother, and was left to live in isolation in a thick forest until a tracker, the hero finds them. There's a villain in TEXAS BLUE, the first book, who is truly despicable and gets what he has coming! Even I feared Felicitas, the manipulative, hateful MIL in ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS, that nearly destroyed my heroine. Pity? I pitied the weak father of the heroine in TEXAS BLUE, because he threw away the chance to help and defend his young daughter.

6.    Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
I do research as I go. Some authors of historical fiction sit down and research a place, an event, a character, or a setting. Since I begin with the characters, that doesn't work for me, except in one case. The story had to take place in a specific area between specific years with specific kinds of characters. Now, that's difficult. In that case, I had to learn about the setting before I could begin. But you see, those were guidelines set down by the publisher for a series. I won't do that again, I don't think. 

7.    What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
I had to learn about POV, tags, sequencing, story climax, "show don't tell," and brush up on passive vs. active writing. I'd never written anything in my life except science research papers.  

8.    Describe your writing space.
A small corner of the master bedroom by a window, close to the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. If I do any multitasking, it's writing between loads of laundry, watching something bake or boil, or watching the birds and deer out the window. My bookcase is in a hall, and since I like to get up and walk around, my books stay there. 

9.    What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I like this question. Right now, eBooks are exploding, but I see a market overwhelmed with not only books from many new ePresses, but from self-published authors, both unknown and well known. The reading public can read just so many books. In other words, we're in a "honeymoon" period with the e-readers and e-books. Ten percent of the reading public chooses e-books. That leaves ninety percent who prefers traditional print. Yes, readers will choose more e-books in the next year or two, but I firmly believe we'll see a little discontent with the electronic versions, and the playing field will level a little.  

10.    What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?
At this moment, I have five novels released, and five novels coming in 2011. Also, I have a short story in an anthology and will have two more in 2011.     Plus, I have a novella Christmas story. I'd list them, but they would take too much space. (See my website.)

11.    What is your marketing plan?
Once I learned a little about marketing, I quickly made a list of what I was willing to do and what I would not do. Yes, I spend time chatting and supporting others, but even that is valuable networking. In short, I have a personal blog, am a member of two group blogs, co-own a group blog, am a member of about a dozen Yahoo Groups, not including those required by publishers, maintain my own website, read other authors' books and write reviews, guest blog, participate in Goodreads, LinkedIn, Book Blogs, Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction, Author's Den, and one or two more.

I don't participate in FB, Twitter, or MySpace. This is purely a matter of choice, because those seem to work for others.  

12.    What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Make a decision early on if you wish to be with a NY traditional publisher with an agent, or take the small press route. With the former, the new author has a vast number of others to compete with for only a few slots, and a book will take three years to publication. With the latter, the new author can more easily sell a book and see it published in a fasterer turn around. For the younger author with excellent writing credentials, she may be the one to try with the larger publishers.

Whatever the new author decides, don't give up when road blocks appear in your path to publication. If others can do it, you can, too.   

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas  
 New Releases
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress

SYNOPSIS FOR Texas Promise

After two years, Jo Cameron King’s life as a widow abruptly ends when her husband returns home to Austin. Unable to understand her angry and bitter husband, she accepts a call to travel to the New Mexico Territory to meet her dying birth father whom she knows nothing about. Her plan to escape her husband goes awry when he demands to travel with her.

Dalton King, believing lies his Texas Ranger partner tells him about Jo, seethes with hatred toward his wife. Now he must protect Jo from his partner’s twisted mind, while sorting out the truth. Jo’s bravery and loyalty convince him she’s innocent. But can they regain the love and respect they once shared?  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with author J. Rose Allister

Today my guest is fantasy romance author, J. Rose Allister, who is talking about her latest release, Suite Seduction.

1) Tell me a little about your book.
SUITE SEDUCTION is the first in a series of contemporary fantasy/romance tales all set at the same unique Bahamas resort. Think of it as Fantasy Island meets a romance novel. The setting possesses unique paranormal energies that not only have a palpable effect on guests, but draws a variety of supernatural beings to the island.  In this tale, demigods Love and Lust play a game of matchmaker in a contest to see which of their powers are greater. The humans they involve in this scheme have to deal with the consequences, and they are completely unaware that anything supernatural is stirring their drama from behind the scenes.

2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
It started off as a response to a call for submissions I’d seen somewhere for “two strangers meet” stories. I wrote a purely contemporary romance was involving a hotel room mix-up gone awry. As soon as it was finished my muse whispered, “The room mix-up was no accident.” I was immediately intrigued and chewed on that for a while, and the result was the discovery of supernatural meddling and secrets on the island. Once I had that aspect to play with, I went back and revised SUITE SEDUCTION and spent much of the next year and a half writing more books in that setting—and the IMMORTAL PARADISE series was born.  TROPICAL HEAT, SEDUCED BY AN ANGEL, and IMMORTAL MENAGE are coming in 2011, and more ideas are in the works!

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a full-time writer part of the time, if that makes any sense! What I mean by that is that I don’t write year-round, but when I’m in the midst of a writing spurt I typically put in a hefty amount of hours doing it. I take breaks between writing marathons to recharge my creative batteries and to prevent burnout, usually anywhere between one and three months long (though I find I start to get squirrely after about two months of downtime). Since I have a full-time outside job and home school a first grader, writing time is hard won. I don’t have an organized schedule.  I tend to do much of my writing very late at night, after I come home from the “other job.” This means writing after midnight, often until as late as four or five a.m. When I’m on a real roll, I’ll also write in the morning before work. When I’m in “the mode” and not actively writing, I set my brain on autopilot to start running through the next scene(s) to keep momentum going. So it’s rather an immersive experience while I’m doing it.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve heard many writers answer that they started writing as a child, and that’s true of me as well. Though I can’t really say I knew then and there that I was destined to do this when I grew up. I liked crafting tales (including some tall ones on the spur!), but I forgot all about that once teen angst gave way to the work-marriage-kids deal. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties, after I’d fallen into writing newsletter articles and a couple of nonfiction books, that I realized what I really wanted to do was write fiction. That to me is when I truly knew—when I was willing to drop a lot of “free” time into reading whatever I could get my hands on about crafting fiction and do writing exercises every day in order to learn.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
My writing is purely for the entertainment of it. As an avid reader and movie-watcher, I love that sense of enjoyment that comes from taking a break to immerse myself in a different world for a bit. There’s this certain satisfied smile I get after finishing a book or film that does that for me—I’m wearing that smile right now as I think about that feeling. If my readers finish one of my tales and have that satisfied feeling and smile, then I’ve done my job and I’m thrilled for it.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
When I first started off, I thought I was all over the map genre-wise. It took a few years to realize that most of my work had some kind of romantic element to it—even my most serious murder mystery stuff had a love interest or romance subplot. I started to focus on the romance angle and found I truly enjoyed it. I like the challenge of taking something as formulaic as romance and capturing something within that structure that makes it unique. That’s probably why I also write a lot of paranormal romance, as that supernatural element offers me the chance to craft twists and turns along the road to Happily Ever After that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I also happen to love fantasy and paranormal in my own reading and movie/TV habits, so I’m sure that’s part of it as well. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, True Blood, Twilight, Vampire Diaries…yep, I’m an otherworldly gal at heart.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
That answer fluctuates for me over the years. Right now I’d have to say the toughest part is the time factor. I’d had that fairly well ironed out until this past year. Now things have gotten quite busy in my “other” life and that makes the juggling act difficult. I’ve learned to cope by just writing what I can, when I can—and that trick of “auto-piloting” my brain to plot and write in the background while I’m sleeping or doing other things. Still, there are plenty of days again this year where I don’t go to bed until five a.m. and yet still feel I didn’t accomplish as much as I needed to.

8) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Julietta is not much like me at all. She is much more indecisive, for one thing, especially on the subject of romance. I’m more the grab-it-and-run type. She also has better wardrobe. On the other hand, we both have a love of the water and a rather smart-aleck sense of humor.

9 What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I did some research on the Atlantic ocean, coral reefs, and the Bahamas in general. I also looked at loads of luxury resorts worldwide while crafting the setting’s amenities, dining solutions, and pricing.

10) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Not as a general rule. I learned to overcome the initial weirdness of writing mature scenes by taking a couple workshops and just doing it. In terms of violence, I started off doing horror and murder mystery, and since the stories are merely fiction I don’t typically have issues with writing it. There was one night, though, when I was writing a tense chase sequence between my protagonist and a serial killer. It was very late and pitch black in the house, save for my computer screen. I was so into the scene that I didn’t hear my then-toddler get out of bed and come up to my desk. When she leaned against me I about hit the ceiling!

11) What about your book makes it special?
Not only does the exclusive Bahamas resort feature a lush and exotic setting, but the fact that gods Love and Lust reside there make this not your ordinary romantic getaway destination. And in this first book, the gods’ meddling winds up causing drama with the main character’s other partners that makes this atypical from the average romance.

12) What is your marketing plan?
Since I am a big devotee of digital publishing, my marketing plan revolves around online venues such as social networks, blogs, and Yahoo groups. I try to sign up for blog hops. I’m also all about fun stuff. I do video trailers, offer hidden “Easter Eggs” on my site that lead to sneak peeks and such, and run contests for the sheer fun of it even though I hear very mixed impressions of whether these things are viable marketing ideas. Mostly I hope to impart that sense of fun I mentioned wanting to leave readers with. If I do, everyone gets “happy points” out of the deal. Maybe one out of a hundred buys a book, who knows? I like to find hidden treasures and win stuff, so I figure other folks do, too. I’ve also run a birthday club in the past that I plan to start up again, where readers sign up to receive a greeting and exclusive free read on their special day.

13) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
I have a website at My blog, The Power of Passion, is at And I’m on Facebook and Twitter: and

14) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
It can be easier to break in with a romance publisher if you research the type of stories hit their bestseller list and submit to the ones that do well with the type of story you have. Also, keep that research current, because popular trends in romantic subgenre can change rapidly—and may differ between publishing houses. One might be all about vampires, while others have moved onto hot cowboys. A lot of ebook authors publish with multiple houses for this and other reasons, so it’s worth the time to investigate what to submit where.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Inteview with erotic romance author, Tess MacKall

 My special guest for Valentine's Day, is romance author Tess MacKall, who is here to talk about her latest book, Twelve Days of Love.
1.    1.  Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why? I’m a single Mom, with two girls over eighteen and a boy in eighth grade. For a while I was just the average soccer mom, and then one day I decided I needed to fulfill my lifelong dream of writing. All bets were off then. LOL Laundry piled up, appointments were forgotten, and the kids started looking at me kind of funny. But they’ve adjusted in the past four years and all is well—sort of. I feel most at home in writing contemporary suspense, but I’ve also discovered a voice for paranormal. I like shifters. I’m also working on a historical western that is coming together quite nicely too.

2.     2. Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. I’m very proud of my Valentine’s Day novella, Twelve Days of Love. It’s a unique spin on the Twelve Days of Christmas—only Valentine’s Day style.
  1. How long have you been writing? My writing ride started about four years ago and I’ve loved every single second of it. It can be frustrating but oh so rewarding as well.
  2. What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? I think like everyone else I fell in love with romances. I read what my mother was reading, and it simply became a true love of mine. The career that I chose to feed my family with, lol, never gave me half as much pleasure or satisfaction as writing. Inspiration? Well, I’d been thinking about it off and on for years. But honestly? I think it all came about as part of the frustration I was feeling in my personal life. I seemed to be “just” a Mom. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I needed something that belonged to me and me alone. An outpouring of my creativity and a way to release that. And besides, I love making that great big Alpha do what I want him to do. LOL
  3. Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? For the most part I don’t write outlines. But I do have a couple of works in progress in which I’m using an outline. Both ways seem to work for me. I will point out, however, that the outlines seem to be needed for longer works where my writing is concerned. Novellas? Not so much. My writing process seems to key in on a first line. From that first line everything after simply flows. If I’m stumped with those first few paragraphs, then I know I have to rework that first line.

  1. What comes first: the plot or the characters? Plot. Definitely plot. I always develop characters who fit the plot. From there I concern myself with location and all the flavoring that goes along with it.
7.     7. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? Unfortunately, the character that would fit isn’t yet published. She is in a work of erotica that I consider to be my best work, but it’s not quite right for publishers it seems. That story may be destined for the world of self-publishing. We’ll see. But in that work, there is a woman who struggles with who she is and how she uses sex to make herself feel alive somehow. I think there is a part of her in all of us. And I don’t mean that anyone uses sex that way, but she is filled with self-doubt and has made some mistakes along the way. She possesses a multi-faceted personality and struggles to find love.  

  1. What was the hardest part of writing your book? With Twelve Days of Love I think the hardest part was finding the right home for it. Ellora’s Cave became its home, ultimately, and I’m so incredibly pleased by that. Not every publisher is the right fit for a book. I had offers but held on to it until I felt comfortable with where it was headed. As for writing it? It was a fun book to write. The characters have great personalities and the banter between them is fun and will tug at your heartstrings for sure. The only real issue I had was ending the story. It was one of those I wanted to go on forever. Oddly enough, it started as a free short read but wouldn’t let go.
9.    9.  Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you? No research was required for this book at all. The setting for it is about an hour and a half away from me in an area I’m very familiar with. And it’s a contemporary story so no struggle with details from history or with world-building. If my writing mojo is working, lol, I can put out about two thousand polished words a day. I self-edit as I go. So one draft for me, basically. Doesn’t mean I don’t need an editor on the other end, though. Every writer needs a second pair of eyes—a good editor. For Twelve Days of Love I think it took me about a month and I didn’t write daily. It’s about 38K in length.

  1. What are some of the challenges in your writing process? Being in the right frame of mind. There are so many things that go along with writing. The marketing/promotions end of it all can be very distracting. There are always details that must be taken care of and that sometimes takes away from my desire to write. Sometimes it seems as though I have the burning desire to get words down on paper just when I’m needed elsewhere—like at a school activity or in the kitchen making dinner. LOL

  1. Describe your writing space. I write in a large alcove at the end of my hallway. The space is about 12 X 12. The walls are textured and are a peach color with the wood trimmed in bright white. There is one window and the floors are heart pine with a natural finish. I also have a daybed in the room where I lie down for twenty or thirty minutes to relieve the occasional headache. Lots of shelves for reference books and books I’ve read or am trying to read. I also have a large rag rug in the center of the floor. My desk is like the Holy Grail. No one touches it. LOL
  2. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Read, watch action movies, and cook. I like to walk when the weather is warmer, too.
  3. What books or authors have influenced your writing? There are so many. I think I’d have to begin with Kathleen Woodiwiss, however. I still love bodice-rippers. Lol And then there would be Amanda Quick/Jayne Krentz, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb and Patricia Cornwell.

14114.  What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books? I started saying about three years ago that this industry was going to grow so quickly it would be hard to keep up. That more and more traditionally published authors (print) would be coming over to digital publishing. And that’s happened. I don’t think anyone can really wrap their head around the boom this industry has become. I remember saying how I looked forward to the day that textbooks were in e-formats and heavy book bags would no longer be necessary. The textbook industry is just now beginning to get into e-formats but that day is coming. We live in an on-demand society. It’s much easier to click for a book than run into the local bookstore and browse—albeit that’s kind of nice. For the immediate future, I think we’ll see less and less hardcover runs but paperback will remain in good shape. I could be wrong about that, of course. lol However, pricing is one of the things driving the e-market. Hardcover books are just so incredibly expensive. If the price of the more popular e-readers comes down further—to say $99.99—the industry will be unstoppable. There will be an e-reader in every house. 

  1. What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release? Right now I have books available through Ellora’s Cave, Pink Petal Books, and Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. In the next couple of months readers can expect to find another release from Ellora’s Cave entitled Strip Down which is a contemporary-suspense novella.
16116 What is your marketing plan? I like blogging. It’s a great way to connect with readers and develop a following. There is nothing like one-on-one interaction with readers. I also belong to several Yahoo groups where I network with authors and chat. And, of course, there is always advertising.

17117.  What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Hone your skills as a writer. Know all the rules of writing. The written ones and unwritten. Choose your publishers wisely. Be patient. Don’t expect overnight success.

18118.  Where can people learn more about you and your work? Stop by my website: Also I can be found every Monday at Three Wicked Writers Plus Two And along with two other erotic romance authors—Regina Carlylse and Natalie Dae—you can receive once a month news about all my new releases and writing in general by joining our newsletter—Risqué—which launched this month. I’m also at The Three Wicked Writers Yahoo group and at The Midnight Seductions Yahoo group Thanks so much for this amazing interview. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being your guest.

Author:Tess MacKall
Book Title: Twelve Days of Love
Genre: Modern (contemporary)
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Blurb: Eden Riley left her high school geek days far behind. Or so she thought. But when she returns to her hometown and comes face to face with the local heartthrob, sparks ignite like a chemistry set on crack. Super smooth Nick Lancaster sets her nerves a-jangling and thrusts her libido into overdrive. But can the former geeky girl overcome her insecurities and jump his sexy bones?
 Nothing suits former jock Nick more than sparring with the one-time nerd. He’s just itching to get up close and personal with her high velocity curves and tangle with her on the nearest bed.
 With Valentine’s Day fast approaching all bets are off when Cupid draws back his bow and Nick has only twelve days to convince her she belongs with him, in his heart and on his bed.