Saturday, April 30, 2011

XoXo Publishing™ Presents “XoXo The Series™

XoXo Publishing™  Presents  “XoXo The Series™

XoXo Romances ™
Romances novellas and novels:  sweet, comedy, fairies, dragon, medieval, western, steampunk,  cowpunk, historical, fantasy, woman fiction, angelic realm,  family, mystery, time travel and erotic.  

XoXo Alternative Lifestyle ™
Same sex romances in any genres. Including beyond the extreme*, sexual fantasy, LGBT, Cougars and Mistresses(series), Webcamances™,  BDSM, ménage, bisexual, historical, male sexual fantasies and women sexual fantasies aka  Hustler Letters. 18 yrs+

XoXo Non Fiction™
 Open all categories:  cookbooks, how to, self help, business, spiritual, inspiring, academics, memoirs, family history, and new categories are welcome. Also open Young Adult and Children. 
Submissions Guidelines: 

Submissions must fully edited.   

 XoXo Publishing standard length:  Minimum, manuscript must be 25,000 words and no more than 120,000 words in length. 

12 pts Time Roman and Double spaced.

Be ready to sign a legal and binding publishing contract for three years.

We are not a self publishing company. We pay standard royalty per ebook and paperback sold.

Worldwide distribution, live radio promotional interview and much more. 

Please  submit your complete manuscript for consideration include your full name, pen name, correct email address, word count, genre and promotional plan. 

Submission Director:  penny@xoxopublishing.com

Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview with author Roseanne Dowell



Today, my guest is returning to discuss her latest release, Double the Trouble. Roseanne Dowell is a multi-published author with MuseItUp Publishing.

1)    Tell me a little about your book.
Double the Trouble is about - Kate Wesley coming back to Twinsburg Ohio after a five year absence. Not interested in a relationship after being jilted five years previously, she’s now pursued by her two men, her ex and a man with twin daughters. When she visits her aunt’s grave, she discovers a body and more complications arise, especially when the twin sister of the victim shows up.
2)    What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I’m not exactly sure where the idea for this story came from. I think it had something to do with twins. Since Twinsburg, Ohio isn’t far from me, it seemed the perfect setting. And, I have a fascination for cemeteries, not sure why or where it came from, so I had to visit Locust Grove cemetery. It was the perfect setting for a murder. Right in the heart of town, yet secluded enough no one can see it from the road. In fact, if you don’t know it’s there, or aren’t looking for the sign, you’ll drive right past it. The cemetery has a fascinating history, but I won’t go into that. As I walked around the small cemetery, the idea of a murder developed. 
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.
No, not in this story.
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 single, 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. Personality wise, she’s outgoing, I’m shy.
10)What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Besides visiting the cemetery and spending time in Twinsburg checking out different areas, I contacted several people from the city of Twinsburg, including the Chief of Police, who was very helpful answering my questions, The Executive Director of the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce and people from the Historical Society. Everyone was more than willing to answer my questions.
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/mystery set in a small town. 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.
14)Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My website is: www.roseannedowell.com

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.



Synopsis of Double the Trouble
Katherine (Kate) Wesley has just returned to her hometown of Twinsburg, Ohio after living in self-imposed exile. Okay, it wasn’t really exile, more like hiding away because her fiancé jilted her two days before their wedding. Just sent her a note and took off to Las Vegas. Kate couldn’t handle the looks of pity, so she left town too. But now she’s back and opening her own florist shop. Problem is, her ex is back too. Not that she cares, she’s over him. The fact her heart beats a little faster every time she sees him doesn’t mean a thing. Heck, it flipped twice as hard when she met her client’s brother. Not that she’s looking for a guy, she isn’t. She’s happy just the way she is. Footloose and fancy free. Life was fine until she visited her aunt’s grave. Well, mostly fine, besides two guys vying for her attention. But her florist shop is doing well. So there she is minding her own business and visiting her aunt’s grave. That’s when she finds the dead body.
It turned her life upside down. Between her ex, her client’s brother and the dead body, let’s just say life got complicated. When the twin sister of the murder victim showed up, things got real interesting.



Bio
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 www.lsswritingschool.com ,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. 



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Interview with children's author Anne Osterlund



Today, my guest is children's author, Anne Osterlund talking about her young adult historical fantasy, Exile.

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

I’ve been writing since at least the third grade (have a distinct memory of an Indian Cinderella story which I’m certain was a masterpiece). I decided to become a writer because . . .
a.      I love it! Almost every aspect of the creating writing process.
b.     There seem to be a plethora of stories continually working their way out in my head.
c.      Aurelia, the main character from my first book, insisted.

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

I have am a full-time writer and a full-time sixth grade teacher. I don’t have time to organize my time. I teach at least four days a week (four LONG days), and I write all day every day I have off from teaching. With the exception of author appearances at schools, conferences, and bookstores. And major holidays.

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


Exile, the sequel to Aurelia, is a young adult historical fantasy. The pitch is as follows . . .

Exiled. From the weight of others' expectations, the responsibilities of being crown princess, and the pressure to marry, AURELIA is finally free to travel the kingdom and meet the people of Tyralt. If only ROBERT, her expedition guide, would stop pestering her about her safety and just kiss her. But then their journey erupts in a fiery conflagration, and with both of their lives and the fate of the kingdom at stake, she and Robert must determine whether they have the strength, and the will, to complete their mission. And face the darker side of exile.

Exile goes on sale April 28th. It is available now for pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s. And it will be available at basically any bookstore that sells new books in the U.S. or Canada—though you may need to ask at the counter to order one if it the book isn’t on the young adult shelf.
 



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

Exile is my third young adult novel and the sequel to my first book, Aurelia. Which is a young adult fantasy. Think Cinderella inside out and with an assassination plot. My second book, Academy 7 is a young adult science fantasy about two teens who risk everything to attend the most prestigious school in the universe. It won the Spirit of Oregon Award this year by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English for being “a distinguished contribution to young adult literature that engages and encourages readers' imagination, discovery, and understanding.” Yay! And my current project, Salvation, which is coming out next April, is a YA contemporary novel, about Salva (Salvador) Resendez who doesn’t want to be everyone’s salvation.

3.     What influences your writing?

The characters run the show. I first met Aurelia, on a yellow notepad, complaining about being stuck with an itching ankle at a boring party. Aerin, the main character from Academy 7, was removing a headband and contemplating whether she could wash away the past several years of her life in order to become someone completely different. And Salva was busy checking out the pretty girl at church.

5.     Why did you choose to write a children's story?
My characters are teenagers: Aurelia, Robert, Aerin, Dane, Salva, Beth. Of course their stories are for teenagers! I didn’t really have a say in the matter.

Though I think I love to write young adult books because I love to read them: The Witch of Blackbird Pond; The Outsiders, The Hunger Games; Mara, Daughter of the Nile, everything by Tamora Pierce, Sharon Shinn, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Kristin Cashore, and on and on and on.

6.     What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
LOL, that’s not a challenging question at all! The extremely abbreviated version the answer might be . . .
1.     I wrote the first draft, then polished the first three chapters and submitted them to my editor.
2.     Kept writing, dragging poor Aurelia and Robert into the Asyan Forest where we, literally, weren’t certain we were ever going to escape.
3.     Put the book on hold (and tried to ignore Aurelia screaming in my head) when Penguin, my publisher, decided they wanted Salvation instead.
4.     Rescued Robert and Aurelia from the forest when Penguin decided to publish Exile after all. (Actually there is a dispute about who rescued who).
5.     Wrote MADLY every day I had available from the second week of August to the submission deadline of Dec. 1st.
6.     Took off two weekends to clean my house.
7.     Revised—still madly—every day of Christmas break and through mid-February on the first edited revision.
8.     More revisions.
9.     More revisions.
10.  Copyedited revisions.
11.  More copyedited revisions.
12.  Finished the book! And was immediately drafted by Aurelia to blog so she would know I wasn’t forgetting about marketing: www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com

7.     What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
I think both are great. I don’t know when I would have ever time to self-publish. But I suppose it is one of those things my characters may someday compel me to learn.

8.     What is your marketing strategy?

Yikes! I try pretty much everything I have time to accomplish. I have a website: www.anneosterlund.com--A beautiful one, I might add, designed by two close friends I have known since I was about five.

I give presentations at bookstores and libraries, teach workshops at conferences, and perform school visits. My school visit brochure is available here (for page 1). http://anneosterlund.com/front_brochure_original.htm. And here (for page 2). http://anneosterlund.com/back.htm . My workshop and presentation summaries are posted here. http://anneosterlund.com/presentations-and-workshop.html.

I have a background in drama, public-speaking, and of course, teaching so I would love to present more often. This year I am the guest author for the 6th-8th grade students at the Portland Writing Festival, an amazing event. I am so excited!

I volunteer, participate, and belong to writing organizations like Willamette Writers, SCBWI, and SCBWI-Oregon. And I attend conferences, including those run by the organizations above, as well as The Whidbey Island Writers Conference and the Sirens: Women in Fantasy Literature Conference.

I also have networking sites on My Space and Facebook. And about 3,000 friends on Goodreads (very addictive book networking site) where I publish book reviews.

And I now blog (at Aurelia’s insistence). www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com

Along with e-mails, sending out ARCS to bookstore representatives and reviewers, and completing interviews for sites like yours!

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

Aurelia was accepted by an editor before I had an agent. In fact, I received far more personal responses to my submissions from editors than I did from agents. Which I guess is not that uncommon among children’s book authors. Ultimately, I think it can’t hurt to submit to both. Everyone takes their own path to publication. Kelly Sonnack, from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, is my agent now, and she completed most of the negotiating for my second contract. She also sent me a wonderful e-mail about my last manuscript submission, from which I am still floating. I suppose the more people who love your stories the better.

10.  Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My website: www.anneosterlund.com (complete with a bio from the point of view of my cats)
My blog: www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com (in which my characters show up frequently)
Bookstores, libraries, and all the social networking sites available here: http://anneosterlund.com/fun_fluff.htm

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

Write the story you love. The one that refuses to disappear—that stays in your head and keeps calling “Write me!” And when you finish that one, write the next and the next and the next.

Read a review of Exile here:

 




 













Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interview with author Kelley Heckart



 Today, my guest is fantasy author, Kelley Heckart.  She's here talking about her latest book, Beltaine's Song.

1) Tell me a little about your book. Beltaine’s Song is the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy. The trilogy revolves around an Irish clan and the goddess that wants vengeance on them for betraying her. I had a theme in Beltaine’s Song—while spring brought new life and happiness, spring also was the time when clans battled, thus bringing a hint of sadness. There is a lot of love and loss in this second book 
.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story? When I wrote the first book, Cat’s Curse, I was only planning on writing a single story, but while researching that book I came up with an idea for a trilogy. I drew on a Celtic myth about Samhain and Beltaine and how one goddess ruled in fall/winter (from Samhain to Beltaine and another goddess ruled in spring/summer (Beltaine to Samhain). In Beltaine’s Song, I focus on the goddess that ruled from Beltaine to Samhain. 

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? Right now I am a full-time writer. I write in the morning from about 9 am to 12 noon, take a lunch break and then write from 1 or 2pm to 6pm. My Muse rules my time so I always keep a notebook and pen with me so I can jot down ideas.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I didn’t know that I wanted to be a writer until late in life. My first choice was to be a musician and I thought I would never give that up, but due to health issues my life plans changed. Writing was something that I was able to do to help me deal with those unexpected changes. I decided that I loved working by myself and I loved to write stories, creating characters and plots.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing? I want readers to get enjoyment from my stories.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why? I write Celtic historical romances with paranormal/fantasy elements. It’s a little strange that I write romance because I grew up reading horror, fantasy and thrillers more than romance novels. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander inspired me to write romances that crossed into other genres. 

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it? Writing is really hard work. In fact, I don’t think I ever worked harder in my life. The toughest part of writing for me is getting focused on the story and being motivated to write. Once I get started I’m okay—it’s getting started that can be tough. Sometimes I need a little push—listening to music helps to motivate me to write. I like music that sets the mood for battles and supernatural beings. My favorite bands are Evanescence, Seether, Flyleaf, Nighwish, Apocalyptica, Sirenia and Blackmore’s Night.

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. Yes, my Dark Goddess trilogy is based on a real Irish king/warlord named Aedan mac Gabrain. He ruled Dal Riata (southwest Scotland) in the sixth century and was known as a formidable warrior. A lot of the events/battles that happen in my trilogy were recorded in ancient Irish/Welsh texts. 

9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different? My female characters in this trilogy are either goddesses or warriors. I wish I could be a goddess. LOL I probably identify more with the warrior women because they are bold and speak out against things they disagree with. For example, my heroine is the queen and she tries to help women that are abused by fathers and/or husbands. She also defies the Christian monks by sticking to her pagan beliefs. I can relate to that because I have always been a bit of a rebel and not afraid to do things that are different from the norm. 

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story? I did tons of research for this trilogy. I had to read books like Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Tigernach and Adomnan's Life of St. Columba. There were other historical texts that I had to read, but I can’t think of the titles right now. Lucky for me I love to do research and I am fascinated with Dark Age time periods. 

11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? I do have some violent battle scenes and a death scene in Beltaine’s Song. It didn’t bother me to write these scenes. I think it is more difficult for me to write sex scenes—any kind of sex scene. I find myself giggling at what I write. Not sure why. I would say that my sex scenes are more sensual than explicit, mainly because I feel more comfortable writing that way and because sensual scenes seem to match my other prose. 

12) What about your book makes it special? I think what makes Beltaine’s Song (and my other books) special is that they are different then other romances. I don’t follow the romance formula that most romances follow. I like to add twists to my plot and some of my main characters are a little different than average romance heroes and heroines. 

13) What is your marketing plan? My marketing plan is that I am all over the Internet. I have a website, blog, pages on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, myspace, etc. I belong to various romance/writing related Yahoo groups and participate in discussions. I’m a featured member at The Romance Studio and participate in special promotions. I belong to a couple of blogs that I post to every month. I just joined a free reads blog (Truly, Madly Deeply Romance Authors) with other authors to help promote our work by posting free short stories. 

14) Where can people learn more about you and your work? To learn more about my books and me: http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!


15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
1. Write, write and write.
2. Read books in the genre you are interested in writing.
3. Only write if you really love to write because you won’t make much money doing it.
4. Write from the heart.
5. And most important: never give up. 



Brief blurb for Beltaine’s Song:

For each of them, spring's song has a different meaning.

Aedan and Domelch must battle earthly foes—enemy kings and traitorous allies. For the first time, the arrival of spring heralds the sound of a harsh battle horn as their foes close in. Through all this turmoil, can their love survive?  

For their son, Gartnait, spring brings with it the promise of new love and the thrilling sound of the battle horn, putting those he cares about in danger.