Thursday, February 27, 2014

Erotic Romance Author, Emrys Lawson: Sweeter Than Candy



AUTHOR: Emrys Lawson
BOOK TITLE: Sweeter Than Candy
GENRE: Erotica
PUBLISHER: Ravenous Romance

Please tell us about yourself.
I am an American freelance writer and poet, who lives in Texas with three dogs, two cats, and Riley, the elusive wolf spider. Writing enables me to explore other worlds and lifestyles from the comfort of my home while sitting snug at my desk. A love of words and storytelling has pulled upon my heart and creative side since I can remember.

As a fulltime freelance writer, I enjoy crafting bodies of work that span from ‘how to articles’ to ‘erotic’ fiction. On occasion, the elusive wolf spider ventures out of the top drawer of the desk in my office. Riley thrives on providing feedback and input on story arcs, which adds a creative flare and flavor to the poems, short stories, and novels I write.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a fulltime freelance writer. My days, actually, to be more accurate, my nights are spent in front of my laptop where I am able to tap on the keys all night long. There is something about the stillness of the night that is inspiring. It allows me to create a whole other world through the written word.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?
The toughest criticism I received was to be uninhibited when I write and not allow insecurities to get in the way of my writing. I was told that if I were going to write a novel that there is no right or wrong way to do so. In fact, whatever process or path I chose to take, I must simply own it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
When I set out to write my first book, I was not sure I could do it. The thought of writing a story or sex scenes seemed daunting and, to be honest, a tad overwhelming. However, once I overcame the initial fear of it all, I soon realized just how much I enjoy writing the genre. One thing I learned throughout the writing process is that one must try in order to succeed.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Ravenous Romance is my publisher. Holly Schmidt contacted me after I submitted a body of work. She asked if I would be interested in submitting a ménage. I sent her a blurb for Sweeter Than Candy, and she responded with a contract.

What are your current projects?
Currently, I am working on a novel titled Sweeter Than Chocolate, as well as drafting sequels to other bodies of work. Plus, just recently, I submitted my second novel to Ravenous Romance titled Sweeter Than Honey, which is also a ménage.

What do you plan for the future?
I am toying with the idea of creating a series of stories, The Sweeter Than Collection, which will represent strong characters and thrust them into new environments or simply take them outside of their comfort zone for personal growth.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

What genre do you write in and why?
I write erotica, which allows me to represent alternative life styles. The possibilities are infinite.

What comes first: the plot or characters?
When I write, I must have a plot arc with a flexible beginning, middle, and end. Until I know what the plot and supporting conflicts are, I cannot move to build my characters. The setting, mood, and the time of the year come first.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not?
No. Writing violent or highly sexual scenes does not bother me now; however, just because I may write hot, steamy sex scenes does not mean I am comfortable talking about them. Writing them is one thing—talking about them is a whole other ballgame.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out?
Write on the days you eat. Write today. Write tomorrow. Write to savor the words.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?
Adventurous, Analytical, Creative, Detailed, Driven, Literal, and Tenacious



Brief Synopsis and/or Blurb:
Romance writer, Julia Cole, is a woman who’s unable to trust. Business owner, Alexandre De La Fontaine, is a man who’s not looking for love. A sensual, passionate weekend in a club, far richer and Sweeter than Candy, erupts in the bustling city of New York.

Meek and mild-mannered Julia Cole is working on her third novel under the pseudonym Rita Wright. Her literary agent arranges a three day trip, over a weekend, for the young writer to conduct research at a club. Not just any club, a BDSM club. Arriving early, Julia encounters shirtless business owner, Alexandre, who exudes power and sex appeal from every orifice of his chiseled and sculpted frame.

Security specialist, Mike Mathis proves that three is not always a crowd when he steps into a ménage with friend, Alexandre De La Fontaine, and Julia Cole. Both men vow to protect the romance writer when an obsessed fan discovers where she is staying.

Haunted by violent and torrid memories, Julia must decide if the sexy French club owner is worthy of her trust and heart, or if he’s every bit as terrifying as the monster stalking her like prey.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Angelica Dawson, Blue Moon House: Kitten





AUTHOR: Angelica Dawson
BOOK TITLE: Blue Moon House: Kitten
GENRE: Erotica
PUBLISHER: Naughty Nights Press


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

I am a part-time writer. My day job is as an environmental consultant. The field season is very busy, but it also involves a lot of driving to and from sites. That’s fantastic plotting time. And with my daughter and husband not around in the evening, I usually have an hour or so to type or scribble down my ideas. In the winter, it’s easier. I only work part-time.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

Lately I’ve been doing cross-stitch and playing Minecraft. I also work as an environmental consultant, and my family fills the rest of the time.

What are your thoughts about promotion?

I’ve really fallen down on promotion. I used to tweet regularly, submit interviews to blogs like this one, have bloggers visit me, write flash fiction and post it, but I found I got so little in return that I when my summer overwhelmed me, I cut out all of it. I haven’t managed to get back and I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

I’m currently suffering from writer’s block. Normally I just switch project. I have two pen names and if one is blocked the other is usually flowing. Sadly, at the moment, my well is dry and I’m trying to get back in the saddle. It’s a hard slog.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

One of my writer acquaintances suggested Naughty Nights Press when my first submission was rejected. I was lucky enough to strike on the second try and I’m so glad I did. The authors at NNP are very supportive. They’ve been urging me back into writing even when I’ve given up hope. As Gina (my publisher) says, they won’t give up on me.

What are your current projects?

There is another prequel after Kitten that is currently in final edits, though I don’t have a release date. Kitten is a prequel to the original Blue Moon House and tells the story of Jocelyn, one of the vampires in the original. The next prequel, currently called Gentleman, we’ll learn about Harrold’s past.

What do you plan for the future?

There are seven vampires in the original Blue Moon House and I’m hoping to complete a prequel story for each of them. I have drafts of all but the oldest two, Lynn and Sophia.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

My blog is http://blogspot.angelicadawson.com/ and when I have news I will definitely post it there. You can also find me on facebook: http://facebook.com/authorangelicadawson and twitter: @angelicadawson



Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

No. I’m a discovery writer. I usually have a point A and point B, occasionally I’m able to put one or two more points between those, but I let my characters take the lead. I start with a character. I get to know them very well, and then they write the story.

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

When I finished Blue Moon House, prequels didn’t occur to me. It was one of my beta readers that pointed out there was an obvious series in the making. Upon reading her response and contemplating, I started imagining how Jocelyn became a vampire. From there, the series of prequels followed. I started writing Kitten shortly after Blue Moon House was accepted and then let it rest for a few months until the edits for the original story were complete. While waiting for the release, I penned the end of Kitten so it was ready for beta readers just as the first volume hit shelves. I sent it off to two or three beta readers and submitted it. After that, it was a few months before I fell into the edit queue again. There weren’t many rounds of edits though, and it was only two or three months after editing began that my book became reality.

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

Not really. If I was too uncomfortable writing sex, I wouldn’t be in this genre! Sometimes violence can get to me, though. It depends. A character is fighting for his life and taking scrapes and pains to win in the end is okay, but abusive or degrading violence, as happens in a few of my stories, is harder to shake off after writing.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Learning what I needed to research. Thankfully my editor is a buff on historical dress and could correct where I went astray. She also helped me increase the feel of the period, something that was lacking in earlier drafts.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

Blue Moon House is currently available from Naughty Nights Press along with Kitten. I have short stories in two anthologies, the Campus Sexploits 3 from Naught Nights and first volume of Serviced from Breathless Press. I’ve submitted the next two prequels for Blue Moon House as well as a short story to NNP, but I don’t have any estimated release dates and haven’t started edits on two of those.

Describe your writing space.
Today it’s relatively clean. I tidied over the holidays, but normally it’s a sliding pile of bills, paper, notebooks, binders, and the phone that never seems to get back on its cradle.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

My favourite part is sharing my characters with others. I come to know and think of them as real people and being published just makes them that much more real. The least favourite part has to be blogging and promotion. I love writing stories, but articles just don’t come naturally to me. I’m currently submitting to a native plant periodical in the province, trying to break that wall, but it’s been hard. I also have trouble self-promoting. My family and friends are great for mentioning. “Oh, yeah, she’s and author and you should read her books!” but I can’t say that myself for whatever reason.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mike Hartner, I, Walter






AUTHOR:  Mike Hartner
BOOK TITLE: I, Walter
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure
PUBLISHER: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing


Please tell us about yourself.

I’m in my late 40s. I’m a husband, father, geek (retired), and patriot.  I’m a cheerleader to all my son’s activities, and I do my best as a support mechanism for my family.

Please tell us your latest news.

My latest news: On November 1&2, I, Walter hit #1 on Amazon Romance, #2 On Historical Romance, #2 on Teen&YoungAdult and #3 on Action&Adventure.  It is currently a Finalist in CBR Awards for Historical Fiction and Historical Romance.   And Book Two in the series is currently in edit.

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

I am a part-time writer and full-time husband and father.  I do any writing I can late at night when others are asleep or when my responsibilities are finished.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing very young, using poetry and diary entries to verbalize my emotions.  In the 00s, I used writing to create Hartners in America a series dealing with my family.   Today, I write fiction.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book,  From the Heart was a book of poetry, prayers and love letters surrounding the birth of my child.  It was part of the Hartners in America series.  

I, Walter is the first FICTION book I’ve written.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

Life.  Everything else. 

What are your thoughts about promotion?

Promotion is essential for the success of any endeavour.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?

The biggest compliment came from a sister of mine who read the book and told me it was the only chance she had to escape what was happening in her life.  And she loved it.
I have yet to receive a tough criticism about the book.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

So far, I’m still writing and editing book two, but NO. It hasn’t changed how I’ve done Book Two.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Writer’s block occurs regularly for all writers.  I view it as time for me to learn about some aspect that is stopping things from going forward. 

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

I learned many things about human character, and continue to learn things as my books are going forward.  Before I, Walter I had never encountered humans with the character of Gerald.  I knew of them, but always discounted their existence.   Now, I know better.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

My publisher is Eternity4Popsicle Publishing.  They are a self-pub company. I, Walter and the full Eternity series is its mandate.

What is your marketing plan?

My marketing plan includes blog tours; being at book shows, kindle free days, and lots of signings in bookstores all over North America.

What are your current projects?

Book Two in the Eternity series is my current project with books three and four on the back burner anxiously awaiting their turn to come forward

What do you plan for the future?

I don’t.  I write for the moment.  At the end of each book (or close to it) I learn of the key character for the next book (sometimes two books) and wait until they’re ready to tell their story.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

website: mikehartner.com, book site:  accidentalauthor.ca Fb MHartnerAuthor, Twitter: @MHartnerAuthor

What genre do you write in? 

Historical Fiction, Romance, YA

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

I, Walter is the life story of Walter Crofter, a man born at the End of Elizabeth I, who ran away at the beginning of King James’ rule.  It is the story of what happened in his life.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

My muse brought Walter Crofter to me, and he narrated his story.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

No, I bounce a few ideas and write them down on a white board.  Then, I let them spend a few days percolating before I write.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Character.  Always.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

Of them, I think Gerald.  He seemed to relish going into the underworld, and that is difficult for me to deal with.

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

Writing for the young adult crowd, I never get to graphic.  But, I find that the reader’s mind imagines much more detail than any author is willing to use.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting the full story.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?

I, Walter took ten months to write and edit.   To start the story, my muse introduced me to the main character.  A few days a week, I would stand at a whiteboard and write down what I thought was coming forward.   And then a few hours or days later, I would write.  And so it went.  Some days, I’d write new material, others I’d expand on what was already written.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

The Hartners in America series is genealogical information about my family, and there are three books in it.

The Eternity series has one book I, Walter to start it, and I’m currently working on Book Two, with books three and four in queue.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out?

To write what they know about.  And to write a complete first draft before worrying about editing.  NaNoWriMo is fantastic for getting people to focus on the writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

Everything.  I’m the family chauffeur, I’m the cheering squad for my son’s sports teams, I’m the grocer, and the gopher for the family.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

Authors.  I have read a diverse set of books over the past few years, in part because I’ve been able to get to know the authors.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?

Incomplete endings.  I’m not talking about books that begin series.  They have an ending but leave questions for the next book and are satisfying anyway.  i’m referring to books where the ending seems to be slapped on after running out of steam.

What books have most influenced your life?

Victor Hugo’s books, the Three Musketeers, Citizen Kane, Count of Monte Cristo, all Shakespeare’s plays, and Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

supportive, independent, father, husband, geek, patriot, Samaritan

Describe your writing space.

Comfortable seating, blankets and covers, pillows for back support, internet connection, light switch

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

The most favorite part has been reading and listening to reviews.  The least favorite part has been all of the marketing and promo work.  But, I have done it.



About I, Walter:
Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England. In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself? Especially given his family background? I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America. Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books. It’s almost like looking at a menorah (sic).. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.

About Mike Hartner:
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.




Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cheryl B. Dale, Overtaxed and Underappreciated





AUTHOR: Cheryl B. Dale
BOOK TITLE: OVERTAXED AND UNDERAPPRECIATED
GENRE: Light mystery, PG-13
PUBLISHER: J&H Press


Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I write full-time. I get up and do email and FB and my online groups. Then I work on the current project. Though I do go back to check email during breaks.

When and why did you begin writing? I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen (Although it was probably more like a novella.) but had the good sense to destroy it. I started writing because I had a teacher who thought I could write. Since I was—and still am—a voracious reader, that was enough to get me started.

What inspired you to write your first book? Fairy tales and medieval type stories! There was a prince and he met a princess and...

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’ve recently taken up bridge. I have a family and two cats to take care of, too. From spring to fall we normally entertain houseguests, which I enjoy.

What are your thoughts about promotion? Absolutely hate it. I’m introverted so I’m really bad at speaking to people and groups. I avoid it whenever possible.

What are your current projects?  A vintage mystery set in 1962 is with my editor now and will be out sometime this year. I’ve worked on it off and on for—it seems like forever! “If it were a film, it would be Anastasia set on the southern coast, interspersed with elements of To Catch a Thief and Charade.”

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.? I don’t do Twitter but I’m on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/CBDale.author and I have a website http://www.cherylbdale.com/ with a blog: http://cherylbdale.blogspot.com/ I get email at cherylbdale@hotmail.com

What genre do you write in and why? Mystery and romantic suspense/mystery. I enjoy reading all genres and some literary fiction, but I seem to gravitate toward mysteries or stories with mysteries in them. And any book’s better with a love story in it, even if it isn’t the main theme. So that’s what I write.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. It’s a light mystery, a sequel to TAXED TO THE MAX. A clerk selling auto tags finds herself overwhelmed when she’s appointed tax commissioner (head of the auto tag and property tax office). And though she isn’t really a klutz, things seem to happen to her that don’t happen to normal people.

E.g., in the first chapter of this book, boxes of tag plates fall on her, leaving a large lump on her forehead and sending her to the emergency room. Later on, a local drunk shoots at her car and damages it. Stuff like that seems to happen to her all the time. It’s never her fault. She’s just the one it happens to.

What gave you the idea for this particular book? I worked for nearly twenty years in a tax commissioner’s office. It was a fertile job for a story.

Do you outline before you write?  No. If not, what’s your initial process? I usually see a scene in my head; then all I have to do is figure out what’s going on and why the characters came to be there. Then I weave the story around that.

What comes first: the plot or characters? For me, they’re intertwined. I’m more of a plot person, but plots don’t work if the characters don’t have motivation to do what they need to do to advance the story.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? To be entertained. I want the story to engross me so that if I have to quit reading, I’m anxious to get back to it and see what happens next. Unfortunately, these kinds of novels are few and far between.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Poor writing. Too many typos and misspellings. Misused words like ‘peak’ instead of ‘pique’ and ‘discrete’ instead of ‘discreet.’ Too much purple prose (florid descriptions).



BLURB
Okay, so new tax commissioner Corrie Caters accidentally burned the courthouse down. Is that a reason for the county to cram her property tax/motor vehicle office into a tee-ninesy trailer with barely enough room to sell car plates? Not to mention giving her a cast-off safe that could have starred in a bad Western.

Corrie should never have let the know-it-all county officials appoint her tax commissioner. They’re peskier than irate taxpayers and whiny auto owners combined.

Then a female attorney, running for election against a good ol’ boy, is murdered. Corrie happens on the scene, but it’s the sheriff’s problem. She has her own worries. Like a trip to ER when boxes of tag plates knock her down. Like her new body-pierced employee who scoffs at the dress code. Like her snake-in-the-grass ex-fiance hanging around—after jilting her in front of two hundred people, most of them local!

Yeah. Lots more pressing problems than who killed a woman she barely knew. But there’s more Corrie does know. Like where the bear came from that was spotted at the murder scene. Like whose county car was parked near the victim’s house. Like why the victim’s secretary threatened a business owner.
But Corrie doesn’t have a clue about the most important thing she knows. Too bad the murderer does.



EXCERPT:

Miss Lavinia reached us and threw her arms around Momma. “Jenny, dahlin’, thank God you’re here! Ophelia fainted and Barbara’s dead and I don’t know which one to look after first.”

She burst into tears on Momma’s shoulder, without regard to the fact that her mascara would surely be ruined.

“There, there, Miss Lavinia,” Momma said, unable to do anything else. With Momma barely five foot three, Miss Lavinia’s tall frame was almost more than she could handle. One wild eye aimed in my direction brought me out of my stunned bemusement.

I opened the car door. “I’ll go see what’s wrong.”

Miss Lavinia released Momma. “No, no, stay in the car, Corrie! There’s a bear on the rampage out here. Maybe two.”

Momma’s eyes popped. “A what?”

I froze. “A bear?”

Miss Lavinia nodded energetically. Her white curls fell into disarray and she never tried to smooth them, a sure sign of her distress. “Ophelia and I saw the creature loping across the back patio. And another one in the woods, too. The one we saw was large and hairy and—” She threw up both hands. “Oh, it was awful! It’s killed Barbara. Ophelia got sick. I thought she’d faint before I could get her set down.”

Momma couldn’t take in what Miss Lavinia was saying. “The bear was in the house?”

Miss Lavinia snuffled back tears. “It must have been, dahlin’. It mauled her. Barbara, I mean. Her whole head looks like… And so much blood…” A thought panicked her. She gripped Momma’s arm while she looked around wildly. “Are we safe out here? It may be lurking.”

“Come on inside, Miss Lavinia.” I took her hand. None of this was making sense. Bears sometimes showed up in these parts but they normally avoided houses and people. And to enter a house? Was Miss Lavinia going dotty? “Momma, I can use a little help here.” I softened my tone. “Please.”

Momma, busy looking around for skulking bears, caught hold of Miss Lavinia’s other arm. “Corrie’s right, Miss Lavinia. Let’s go inside and sit down. You’ve had a shock.”

Maybe then we could find out what was going on.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Joyce Hertzoff, The Crimson Orb




AUTHOR: Joyce Hertzoff
BOOK TITLE: The Crimson Orb
GENRE: High Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Assent Publications
BUY LINK: (not yet available)


Please tell us about yourself: I retired in 2008 after 45 years in the scientific information business and turned from fact-based writing to creative, fanciful writing.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I suppose you'd consider my writing is full time. But except for marathon writing in November each year, I write for twenty to twenty-five minutes, three or four times a day, and spend the rest of my time on revising and editing, research, etc.

When and why did you begin writing? In the early 2000s I started writing fanfic. I was inspired by a few TV shows, movies and books. After I retired, I decided to try original fiction. NaNoWriMo was the impetus. In 2008 I wrote more than  50,000 words for a mystery/romance that I might finish some day.

The Crimson Orb was started with the 2010 NaNo. It's been revised, passed through critique groups, expanded and revised again until it reached the current story.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I read. Not as much as I used to, but I still enjoy reading what others have written in several different genres. I knit. I've been knitting since I was five, I think, and only stopped for a short time when carpal tunnel prevented me from my favorite craft. I crochet, too, but don't enjoy it as much.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment? Some people in one of my critique groups said I didn't use enough description, and that I should replace dialogue tags with facial expressions and body language. On the other hand, everyone seems to agree that my dialogue is very natural, and my characters are well developed.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? In all of my writing now, I make sure I appeal to all of the senses, and include lots of facial expressions and body language.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? I don't get writer's block, per se, but I sometimes write myself into a corner. While I work out how to get out of it, I just keep writing whatever comes into my head. Some of it is usable, and sometimes, when I come up with my solution, I cut what I've written meanwhile.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? My publisher is Assent Publications. I entered a contest with their Phantasm Books imprint, sending the first 50 pages. They soon emailed me, requesting the entire novel, and before the contest was over, emailed me again to offer me a contract.

What are your current projects? In the near future I'll be going over the copy edits on the book and selecting cover art. I'm also passing the sequel through a critique group, and writing a third book in the series.

What do you plan for the future? To complete this series as well as another fantasy series that I've been working on. I also hope to get back to my romance/mysteries.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

My websites are still under construction. 



Any other news you’d like to share? A short fantasy story I wrote for a course at Writers Village University called Princess Petra will appear in the anthology The Way Back, scheduled to be published soon.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. Nissa's adventures show the determination of a girl to break out of the traditional roles for women in her society. But, along the way, she realizes that everything she's learned, traditional and otherwise, can be useful. In addition she develops her natural ability to use the energy around her to make things happen. And she discovers things about her world that she never knew.

What genre do you write in and why? High fantasy, because that's what I like to read.

What influences your writing? My scientific background insists I make the science and even the magic in my stories plausible, if not possible.

Is this your first published children’s work? What other types of writing have you done? Yes. I've also written fanficion, short stories, and romantic mysteries.

What do you hope your readers will take away from this book? I hope they will realize that determined young women can do anything. I also hope they'll love my characters enough to want to read more about them.

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book? The first draft was written for National Novel Writing Month in 2010. It's been revised with the help of classes and critique groups at Writers Village University. Last summer I submitted the first fifty pages to a contest at the Phantasm Books imprint of Assent Publications. They requested the complete manuscript and, before the contest was over, offered me a contract for the entire series.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process? I usually outline the first 5-10 chapters but then let my muse and the characters take me where they want to go.

What comes first: the plot or characters? My characters tend to dictate the plot.

Which characters were the hardest to develop and why? I have problems making my villains evil enough.

What do you do when you’re not writing? I read, although not as much as before I started writing. I also enjoy knitting. I crochet, too, but don't enjoy it as much.
I love to travel, especially to new places. We moved to New Mexico to allow us easy access to so many of the National Parks. We've camped in several of them with our travel trailer.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun? When a book has intriguing characters and a decent plot that seems to move along, I enjoy it. I want a book to take me into another world.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? Poor copy editing, especially of grammar, spelling and punctuation offends the one-time proofreader in me. I also hate implausible and/or inconsistent plots and characters.

Describe your writing space. Large desk surface covered with organized clutter with my Zenbook center stage, a TV to the right, and piles of paper and books on the other side.