Month: October 2014

For Your Reading Pleasure…J.L. Imhoff

jl imhoff

Today, we have J.L. Imhoff with us. Her book, Poseidia, is world-building at it’s best. Authentic, fleshed-out characters with a beautiful backdrop. Enjoy!!!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

Hi! I’m J.L. Imhoff, the author of Poseidia, my debut novel. It’s a sea fantasy adventure with a heavy dose of romance.
Find me on:
Twitter : @JLImhoff

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JLIMHOFF

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I don’t have a method, other than I try to keep them simple and less than three syllables. Nothing annoys me more as a reader than to come across a name I can’t pronounce. In my head it becomes “blah, blah, blah” and I have trouble connecting to that character. For me, 99% of the time the characters tell me their name. However, I need help naming a baby–I am open to suggestions, nothing I’ve come up with seems to “fit.” Feel free to post on my page or tweet me your suggestions!

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

All the time!

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Nope. But a playlist is a good idea.

5. How long have you been writing?

I have journals full of poetry from childhood (I am so not gonna say how old I am, lol) but I started writing Poseidia about 3 years ago.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

Years ago, someone near and dear to my heart told me I should write. He is a semi-famous musician and I shared some of my writing with him and he said “Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of writing over the years, you need to write.”

But it wasn’t until years later in grad school for counseling when this guy in class says “I’m almost done writing my first novel” and my whole body and soul reacted, and I was like “whoa, where’s this coming from?” When I have such a strong reaction to something I take some time to figure out why. I quit grad school then, realizing I disliked counseling and started writing this story (Poseidia)that had been burning in my mind for years.

7. Do you have a muse?

I draw from life experiences.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

Reading. Reading. More reading. Allowing myself to suck, and then being open-minded when I get feedback from editors and readers. It’s an uncomfortable process at first, but then you see how much your writing improves and you learn to take it pretty well, knowing your writing will get that much better. It’s exciting!

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

Maybe I need a few! What works for everyone else?

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m revising book 2 which takes place a few months after book 1 leaves off. Without giving away spoilers, we meet a very powerful character who will turn Anna’s world upside down.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m reading about 4 right now. One is called “The Scars of Evolution ” by Elaine Morgan. It’s about the aquatic ape hypothesis (I love anything that talks about the psychology of evolution). Another is “Twitter for Writers” by Rayne Hall. The other two are fiction. Most recently I finished The Waiting by Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes!

12. What genre do you write in? Fantasy/romance. What about PoV?

First person.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

For profiles I outline the character traits, but the process is more about a psychological profile. I want to make sure if I’m writing about a narcissist I get all the little behaviors woven in. As for book outline, I tend to do a basic one and then my characters shred it by changing the plot. So by the end of the revisions and editing I have to do a new one. But generally I write with out a formal outline.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Not really. I thought I did and then it completely changes as I write. I’m always saying to myself, “Where the heck did that come from?” Although I have an idea of how the series arc will end, my characters are likely to change it. But I do know how my characters will grow.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

Always a theme. And then a theme beneath a theme. Everything is symbolic. It started out being about overcoming battered wife syndrome–the self-transformation that can take place when you leave an abusive relationship. The book took on its own life and evolved into something more. But it’s still basically about self-empowerment, freedom, personal growth, and finding happiness outside of perceived dreams/perfectionism. And, of course, forgiving yourself for mistakes.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, actually I tend to not eat or drink if I get really deep in the zone.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

My son, the love of my life. Photography. Gardening.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I’m completely addicted to The Walking Dead

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

“Is it… telepathy?” I quizzed. That would explain why all the people walking around the room never said a word to each other. They glanced at us and nodded their heads when they passed our table, but said nothing. In shock, I looked around at all the people with a new understanding of their silence. Wait—Roman. Does that mean he could hear all my thoughts in the cave? Oh my god, I’m mortified. I fantasied about him making love to me. I hope he is an exception, or I’ll never be able to face him again.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I hope you enjoy reading Poseidia as much as I loved writing it.

Thanks J.L.! Good luck with Book 2 of the Poseidia Series. I can’t wait.
Elizabeth

For Your Reading Pleasure…Rachel Medhurst

Rachel Medhurt

Rachel Medhurst is sharing with us today. Her first book “Avoidables” is free on her website (http://www.rachelmedhurst.com/#!avoidables/cslk) and on Amazon where I got my copy) I love the premise of this book… so fitting for today’s society… though we may look a certain way, we are more than our external appearance. Enjoy!

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

My name is Rachel and I grew up and live in England, near London. I’m a fan of history and actually live up the road from Anne Bolyn’s childhood castle. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and dream of myself as a bestselling author living in a lovely country home surrounded by fields and animals. Maybe one day I can buy Hever castle?

Website: http://www.rachelmedhurst.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerrachelmedhurst
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rachelmedhurst
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8137512.Rachel_Medhurst Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Medhurst/e/B00K52FWXS

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I like to ask my readers if they have any ideas, but in general I tend to just have names pop into my head, which is random, but fun!
3.Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? – Yes, absolutely. I would class myself as an Avoidable (someone who isn’t perfect looking or acting) rather than a Perfect and always wish some of my characters could speak back to me.

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

No, I don’t listen to music. I like complete silence. I sometimes wish I could concentrate with music on because it would be nice to have some background noise other than my dog barking at the television.

5. How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young. My nan even has a short tale I wrote when I was about six. When I was about ten, a friend and I would read a lot of American teen books and so we decided to write one between us. The funny thing was, we are British and it didn’t sound quite right. Was good fun though.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

When I was nineteen, I sat down after a heart break and just started writing this story. It grew and grew and I got so lost in the story, it was almost like therapy. I loved it so much that I found I couldn’t stop. And here I am, ten years later with four books out.

7. Do you have a muse?

Not really. I may be my own muse, but I’m not sure if that’s possible/allowed?
8.How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) – I read almost every single day. I also write almost every single day. I research the publishing world and speak to others writers. I love this whole world and I know that I will always improve.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I have to write 1,000 words every time I sit to write. So when I get up in the morning, I sit and write 1,000 words, and I’m not allowed to come away or stop until I do it.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I’m on book four of Avoidables, which is a fantasy romance dystopian novella series. Perfects are people that are gorgeous and they live in Upper Side. Avoidables are ugly, deformed, half breeds or have powers and they live in Lower Side. Hope is an Avoidable with one arm. Each novella is from a different characters point of view, and in book four, I’m in the mind of a female Perfect.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m on book five of Diana Gabaldons Outlander series and I’m loving it!

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?

I’m a little varied. My Deadliners series is paranormal/supernatural and it’s in third person POV. Avoidables is dystopian fantasy romance and is in first POV, but as mentioned in a previous answer, I am in different characters POV in each book. I’m a little strange and varied, but that’s how I work.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?

I don’t prep at all. I’m the type of writer that sits in front of a blank page and just writes. As the story unfolds I get as excited as reader would. I love how things happen, although it can be distracting when I have to stop to cry! 🙂

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I might have an inkling sometimes, but not often.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

When I was a young reader, I always loved books that gave me hope. All my books have an underlying message of hope. Avoidables is about discrimination and how people shouldn’t be judged because of how they look.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I drink water when I write and I would eat chocolate all day if I allowed myself to, but I’m very disciplined so I don’t actually snack when writing.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I love to paint and draw. I don’t give myself enough time to do it and I miss it. I once painted pictures of Disney characters faces copying the images on the sides of the video cases (this was before I owned a computer. Now I feel old!!) and making them bigger. I still have those paintings now!

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I have four tattoos. 🙂

19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

‘She’s only got one arm,’ the man cried and backed away, bumping fast into the dancing crowd.

Everything had been going so well. I was lost in the music, swaying and thumping my good hand in the air. The man had looked over at me as I’d glanced up from the floor. He was handsome. As our gazes clashed, a grin spread over his clean shaven face. I let the corners of my lips sink into my cheeks as I circled my hips in a mating dance. He swayed over to me, but as I turned in a circle, his eyes locked onto my shoulder and that’s when he’d started shouting.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Thank you! I’m so grateful and humble. I love to hear from anyone that has read my books.

Thanks Rachel! We’re glad for your insight. Good luck with Book 4.
E&M

Confessional Friday…

Soooo…I’ve never done this before, but I’m up for new experiences. Does anybody else confess on Fridays? If so, teach me!!!! But spell it out, because sometimes I just don’t get it. 🙂

1. I confess that I may have re-watched Jessica Lange’s rendition of Gods & Monster’s by Lana Del Ray about SEVEN times today. OMG, she KILLED it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/jessica-lange-lana-del-rey_n_6031994.html

2. I confess that while I do love American Horror Story, it freaks me the hell out. As with any scary show, I’m always sitting with my eyes covered asking Terri to recap what happened. And geez, the clowns??? NOPE.

3. I confess that I’m a Wattpadder now. For the next 6 weeks, I’ll be posting a chapter a week of The Waiting on Wattpad to generate interest from that crowd. Only the Prologue plus the first five chapters though, which is what you get when you hit Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ the book. I may or may not be posting my poetry (my first writing love) there too. The concept of Wattpad is new to me, but I think it’s a great way to share, and see some awesome talent. Here’s the link: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ElizabethBurgess8

That’s it for me!!!! Happy Friday!!!!

For Your Reading Pleasure…J.F. Silver

Along for the Ride V2 (1)
Our feature today is from J.F. Silver. Several things are impressive about J.F., but for me, what stood out the most is his belief that age is simply a number. I enjoyed getting to know him, (and his wife… as she’s a huge inspiration) and I know y’all will too.

Name: J. F. Silver
1.  Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page.

I’m the author of an erotic series titled, “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe.” It tells the story of an older couple discovering new pleasures late in life. This is somewhat appropriate since I didn’t begin writing until I was fifty and published seven years later. What began as one story for my wife on her birthday grew into a full blown series over the next few years, though only for the two of us to share. One day, I was sitting in a waiting room and read an article about the exploding popularity of erotic fiction in the wake of “Fifty Shades,” and especially, e-books. I took this as a sign and decided to pursue my passion and try to get published. It was a fun journey and took nearly a year but I got there, signing my first contract with Stiff Rain Press last fall. I now have three books released, the latest just this month.
About me personally: Just an average guy, I’ve been lucky enough to be married to my soul mate for thirty-seven years. (See question 7 for more on this) We live just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where we raised two beautiful daughters and now have three grandchildren. Life is good enjoying this new adventure as an author. Here’s more info:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jf.silver.98
Twitter: @jf_silver
Website: http://mrandmrsaveragejoe.blogspot.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/J.F.-Silver/e/B00JFGFPBY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1413760514&sr=1-2-ent

2.  How do you choose names for your characters?

When I wrote that first story for my wife, the idea was just a fantasy for the two of us so I used our real names. She loved the story but suggested using our middle names instead. I agreed and the characters became Joe and Elaine. She also came up with the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” title. Last names are seldom used in my stories and I try to keep things fairly simple.

3.  Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

Is this a trick question? (LOL) Um, well, due to the personal nature of their beginnings, I definitely talk about them as real people. And though the stories are fictional, as a writer, it helps to imagine myself in those situations.

4.  Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Yes, definitely. We always have music playing in our house. I’ve been an avid record collector as long as I can remember and we watch very little television. I’m also a musician though some may argue if a drummer/percussionist qualifies as such. We have a slogan written on our wall that says, “Music is the Voice of the Soul,” and it manages to find its way into all of my books as well. We have an extensive collection and listen to all types of music. While writing, it may be jazz, New Age, or acoustic but having grown up with classic rock, we dabble in that, too. But honestly, like finding a good new book or author, I probably get the most pleasure discovering new artists.

5.  How long have you been writing?

I had always wanted to write and started a few things over the years but it wasn’t until 2007 that I really got going. I had just turned fifty and if my wife hadn’t liked that first story, may have ended then, too.

6.  Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

For me, it was receiving news that my book was deemed worthy of a publishing contract. It had started as a hobby but I put a lot of time and effort into it. Now, when I get a nice review or a reader tells me that they loved my books, it’s a great feeling and one I hope every author gets to experience.

7. Do you have a muse?

I certainly do, an actual muse in the true sense of the word. After that first story, my wife not only encouraged me to write more, she also suggested the plot line on which the entire series is based. As a male author, I realize that most readers of my genre are women and we read through everything together. She really helps me keep the stories “women-friendly” and continues to offer ideas. I’m very grateful for my muse.

8.  How do you improve as a writer?

I think my writing has improved with each of my books. With that first contract, I was extremely fortunate to work with a great editor named, Kris Jacen. She liked my book but was very honest about all the flaws in my writing. Being new at this, I listened and took her advice and now try to avoid those problems going forward. Each book has been easier to edit as we’ve gone along. For me, working with an experienced editor was invaluable.

9.  Writing quirks or superstitions?

I always have music playing and do all of my writing on a desktop computer sitting at a desk. We own a laptop but I’m much more comfortable typing on an actual full-sized keyboard. Although, “typing” is a relative term is my case. It’s more like my own advanced style of “hunt and peck.” My wife and daughters laugh at me but I get it done.

10. Tell us about your current work in progress.

I’m currently working on “Life’s Too Short,” the fourth book in the “Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe” series. It continues the tale of Joe and Elaine, an adventurous couple in their fifties, and their very close friends. All of the books are about having fun and discovering new pleasures as we get older. They never get too deep or serious but do deal with real life and the problems that come with it. This book is about embracing life before it’s too late. The biggest challenge I have now with an established series and characters, is keeping it from getting stale. So, we’re going to see some new characters and scenarios to hopefully, keep our readers engaged and wanting more. Needless to say, this one will feature even more fun situations.

11. What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading two. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. I’m taking my time with this one and yes, it’s the first time I’ve read it. Shame, I know. The second my muse and I are enjoying together: “Swinger Secrets” by an excellent Canadian author named Mia Moore. This one finds itself in a similar genre to mine.

12. What genre do you write in? PoV?

My books are contemporary erotica with multiple partners/swingers, interracial, bisexual, light BDSM, exhibitionism/voyeurism, toys, etc. Yeah, a little of everything. My editor may have described it best: “a M/F/F/M romance with well-seasoned characters.” Perfect.
I made the decision by default early on to tell the story from Joe’s point of view. This was my biggest challenge editing the first book and many sections needed to be rewritten. Many of the upcoming stories already exist in some form and will need similar treatment.

13. Tell us about writer preparation. Character profiles? Outlines?

Since my stories and characters have existed for quite some time, I don’t do much. The upcoming storylines are pretty clear though always evolving. Some may happen earlier or later than previously planned but the ideas are there. Since we don’t have many characters, it is fun to create and introduce new ones to the mix.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Each of my three books has ended with a hook and teaser for the next. In reviews, at least so far, readers seem to like the second book more than the first. I’m hoping this trend continues with the third, and so on. We’re trying to hook more readers with each book who would like to go back and discover the series.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

I certainly try to make them fun and entertaining. But they also began as a personal fantasy. When my muse offered that first suggestion, they evolved into shared fantasies, which they still are. So if we have a message, it’s about communicating with your partner. When asked to sign copies of my books, I always write, “Share Your Fantasies,” because that’s how we turned ours into a series of books. I also love when reviewers write something like, “I hope it’s that hot for me when I’m fifty!” It can be. These are the ideas I try to get across while hopefully keeping readers entertained. The books are really fun.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

No, not really. I do most of my writing in the late afternoon/early evening and we may just have a glass of wine around four o’clock each day. Of course, as a writer, coffee is the key ingredient to any decent morning.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

In addition to my writing and music, I’m a big baseball fan. I grew up listening to games on the radio and have always found it a good metaphor for everyday life. I also love trivia games and for some reason, have a knack for storing otherwise useless information. A real passion for me though, is playing the drums with my grandchildren. That’s a joy beyond words.

18. What’s something interesting about you.

I don’t know how interesting this is. Most of my previous professional life has been spent in the cleaning business, managing large crews in mostly gigantic buildings. I can explain how to clean a shopping mall, office tower, factory, even a baseball stadium. Too many scenarios to mention but, believe me, I’d rather be a writer.

19. Share a sample (limit to one paragraph) of your writing.

This is from “Along for the Ride: Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe 3,” which was released October 15th. Just in time for Halloween, the title characters are nervously about to attend their first masked Swinger’s Ball dressed as a sexy Mr. and Mrs. Zorro:

Downstairs, a few couples were waiting in line at the entrance to the ballroom. Not everyone was masked. We had a sexy Elvis with Madonna from the cone bra era and the first Batman of the night, this one accompanied by a very curvy Catwoman. We exchanged hellos though nobody said much while we waited. But, these women, including Elaine, were hard not to notice and the atmosphere was already flirtatious as eyes, masked or not, checked them out. Hell, I was guilty. Catwoman’s suit was really tight.
“Remember our plan,” Elaine whispered to me. “You and me in that Jacuzzi later.”
I gave her a kiss and replied, “I don’t think I can wait that long.” She smelled so nice and looked ridiculously hot in her low cut black top. We held hands while I gave the tickets to a witch sitting at a small table. Each ticket was unique and she checked her list. Smiling, she asked if this was our first time. When we answered, she went over the rules, the most important being no nudity or sexual activity outside the ballroom. Next, we walked down a dimly lit hallway that ended at a large black curtain. A tiny opening was all that separated us from whatever waited on the other side.
“No matter what,” Elaine told me, “No names and our masks stay on.”
“I agree. Are you ready, Mrs. Z.?”
“Yeah, let’s do it.” Holding hands, she went through first.

20.  Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

I’d like to thank everyone who has purchased and read my books. I am so grateful! And especially to those who have taken the time to write reviews, I can’t thank you enough. I think many of you have been inspired! My stories are all about communicating, keeping an open mind, trying new things and above all, having fun. Life’s too short. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for being featured, J.F. Good luck to you and the “Average Joes.” 🙂

The Funeral Book 1.5 of The Waiting Series – Available for Pre-Order!!!

The Funeral Cover Final

Healing and heartbreak continue on the banks of the Pontchartrain…

Struggling with the death of their son, Andrew and Arianne Douglas cling to one another, and the support of their family.

Torn between duty to the woman pregnant with his child and his one true love, Gregory Adams steps away from Arianne, knowing her husband is the only one who can bring her back from this despair.

While wrestling with the consequences of her actions, Millie Douglas reaches out in a most unexpected way with an unforeseen outcome.

Sol O’Malley returns to South Louisiana to help his father, Bob, regroup the “Operation,” but ignites a firestorm between his wife and mistress instead.

***The Funeral: Book 1.5 is a companion novella for The Waiting: Book 1 of The Waiting Series. It is not a standalone book, and is intended for 18+ audiences due to language and adult content.

©The Waiting Series by Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes

Pre-Order Now:

The Funeral: Book 1.5 (The Waiting Series) – Kindle edition by Elizabeth Burgess, Marie Hewes, Kathy Lapeyre. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Alexandra Christian

alexandrachristian

With a nickname like “The Southern Belle from Hell,” I knew Alexandra Christian’s feature was going to be interesting. She did not disappoint. Hope y’all enjoy. 🙂

Name: Alexandra Christian 

1.     Tell us about yourself.   May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)

I’ve been writing for most of my life as I come from a family of storytellers, but my publishing career began in 2010 with the publication of my first book, Hellsong. Since then I’ve published several novels and novellas with varying small and medium presses. I live in a small town in South Carolina that provides me with endless inspiration and probably accounts for my southern gothic sensibilities. I like to write romance for people that don’t like romance novels. They’re always plot driven, dark and full of adventure.

Facebook Fan Page:  https://www.facebook.com/TheSouthernBellefromHell

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LexxxChristian

WordPress Blog:  http://lexxxchristian.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4684601.Alexandra_Christian

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/lexxxchristian/

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/author/alexandra.Christian

2.     How do you choose names for your characters?

It’s an absolutely grueling process. Of course it’s my own fault—I’m particular. I usually start with baby books and research meanings and origins. It is not unusual for me to change a character’s name several times before settling on one. The find/replace feature is VERY useful.

3.     Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?

All the time. It’s a little unnerving for family and non-writer friends.

4.     Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?

Always. I can’t write a word if I don’t have music in my ear. The type usually depends on the mood of the scene. If I’m writing a really intense sex scene, it’s usually heavy Industrial with a strong beat. If it’s a scary scene I’ll go with some ethereal Goth music or perhaps a movie soundtrack.

5.     How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing most of my life but professionally since 2010.

6.     Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.

It was a perfect storm, really. I was at the beach on vacation with my family. I read two books that week—Bitten by Sherri King, which is an Ellora’s Cave werewolf romance and Haunted by Kelley Armstrong. I loved them both so much and told my sister, “If I could squish these two books into one, that’s the type of book I’d want to write.” She told me to do it. Write the kind of book that I wanted to read because if I wanted to read it, chances are someone else would too. That was probably the moment that I realized that I could do it.

7.     Do you have a muse?

Most definitely. I’m sure Benedict Cumberbatch has me on some kind of watch list.

8.     How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)

Stephen King gave the best writer advice in his book On Writing. He said that one can never become a good writer unless they’re a good reader. I believe this wholeheartedly. I read as much as I can whenever I can, across genres. I also go to tons of conferences where I can meet and learn from other authors.

9.     Writing quirks or superstitions?

I write best while sitting at my local Starbucks. Earbuds in ears, laptop and a white chocolate mocha.

10.     Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

Currently I’m working on a dragon shifter story that is most definitely a fairy tale. Literally, there are actual fairies in it. It’s about a dragon slayer that ends up falling in love with a dragon and breaking an evil spell.

11.     What book are you reading now?

I am reading Envy by Sandra Brown. Romantic suspense is a new thing for me. But I’m really enjoying it. I’m also re-reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes in preparation to write a really strange middle grade series I’ve been kicking around.

12.     What genre do you write in? What about PoV?

Mostly paranormal romance, but I’ve been delving into dark fantasy and horror lately. I really like blending genres. As a reader I love when books are cross-genre. I write in whatever POV the characters seem to be comfortable in. I’ve written in 1st person, 3rd person limited and 3rd person omniscient.

13.     Tell us about writing preparation.   Character Profiles? Outlines?

I’m a “pantser.” All of my outlining and profiles are kind of done as I go along. If I’m having trouble with a scene, I’ll go back and outline just to get it down on paper. Of course, I have an idea in my head of where the story is going, but if I did a complete outline, I’d feel locked in. If you want to see my character profiling, just check out my Pinterest. 😉

14.     Do you know how your stories will end?

I always think I do. The characters sometimes change that.

15.     Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?I

I think my books are always about overcoming personal demons and being who you are. I also apparently like Beauty and the Beast stories.   Most of my stories have an underlying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” theme.

16.     Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?

I drink coffee or English breakfast tea when I write but I seldom eat. 

17.     Tell us about your other passions.

I’m very passionate about the arts in general. Especially theatre. Until I was halfway through college I was an aspiring actress. I still like to perform from time to time. I’m a huge advocate of arts in education.

18.     What’s something interesting about you?

I’m a 37 year old woman that doesn’t drive a car. I’ve just never learned. I guess I couldn’t be bothered with following all those pesky rules.

19.     Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.

Cage pulled the smoldering end of the cigarette from his lips and crushed it out in the palm of his hand. He was so used to it at this point that he barely flinched, though he could smell his skin burning under the white-hot ember. Once extinguished, he flicked it out of the open window at his side. That was the nice thing about living on Earth. You could still smoke. Of course, there were little trade-offs. In the Martian colonies, there weren’t zombies wandering down the street. No tentacled Hell-creatures would weave their way through your plumbing and try to gnaw your cock off as you took a piss. But damned if you couldn’t still smoke. He watched as the charred flesh in the palm of his hand bubbled up and healed. Within seconds it was as if he’d never been burned. Creighton had given him the mojo juice to make his body heal almost instantly, but there was nothing to be done for mental wounds.

20.     Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?

Thank you so much for sticking with me this far. Your support and kindness are so important and very much appreciated. Also: Read. Review. Share. It means the world to an independent author.

Awesome feature by another creative mind!! Thanks Alexandra! We’re glad you shared.

E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Sarah M. Cradit

sarah

Here today is Sarah M. Cradit. By happenstance, I met Sarah after an internet search about family trees for characters led me to The House of Crimson and Clover. She’s always been so kind to offer advice above the ins and outs of indie publishing, which as most of you know, is invaluable information. Yesterday, Sarah released Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Book 3.5 in her series. We’re glad to have her insight.

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page) My name is Sarah M. Cradit, and I’m the author of the Southern Gothic Paranormal saga/series, The House of Crimson & Clover. You can find me here:

Official Website: http://www.sarahmcradit.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/houseofcrimsonandclover
Google +: google.com/+SarahMCradit
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sarah-M.-Cradit/e/B005SY05BM
Twitter: @thewritersarah

2. How do you choose names for your characters? Interesting question. Names are a very visceral thing for me, and as soon as I have a character outlined, I know them well enough to pick a name that fits. I utilize a lot of baby name sites, as well as searching out the meanings of names. For my Empyrean race, for example, I looked up a lot of Old Norse names. Sometimes I will take the name “as is,” and other times I will create my own. Quillan, for example (Oz’s cousin who has a brief cameo in Eventide, and has his own book coming up next year), was a spin off the name Quinlan. I think the most important thing to me is that every name is carefully chosen, whether it be a main character or simply someone who appears once or twice.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? Wait… they’re not real?? I suppose they’re about as real to me as anything in my life that has weight and importance. While I’m careful not to ever model a character after me, each of them is given a small piece of me, which helps bring them to reality. So yes, I suppose I do talk about them as if they were real 🙂

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind? I’m a fickle writer, and my desired writing environment changes both by mood and project. I’ve had projects where I need complete silence… others where I couldn’t write without the music in the background. I often “fixate” on a certain kind of music for each project. For example, while writing Bound I listened almost exclusively to Band of Horses and Iron & Wine. For Midnight Dynasty, it was a lot of Bastille. For Asunder, Mumford & Sons. And as I am working through Empire of Shadows, I have switched gears towards a lot of trance and house techno.

5. How long have you been writing? Since I was 7. I always had a colorful imagination, but once I learned to connect that imagination to the page, it was all over.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer. I think I’ve always known I was meant to be a writer, but I never saw it as a feasible reality. Growing up, it was only the select elite who could write for a living, and I was realistic enough to plan for a different career while writing on the side. Flash forward to now, and I am happily balancing two careers I’ve worked hard at.

7. Do you have a muse? Not one specifically, but I have a small group of close friends who get to hear my ideas before anyone else… and as I talk to them about these ideas, it inspires me to write.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) For me, it is simply writing. Writing always and often. There are other influences that help (reading, of course), but nothing works as well as continuing to write and hone my craft.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions? I’m very obsessive about the order and way I edit. It’s a sickness.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress. I’m working on Book 4 in the series, Empire of Shadows. It’s looking to be a lengthy, ambitious work, but I’ve never been more excited to work on a project. For non-series readers almost anything I say will be spoilery so I will say this: it involves mythologies both new and old, and a story that spans from New Orleans to Ireland to Norway.

11. What book are you reading now? I’m working through the second book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy.

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? I write Southern Gothic Paranormal, and every single one of my books is told from multiple PoVs.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines? I have a monstrous database on Evernote (that is backed up both to my local laptop and my backup server) of characters, bios, mythologies, stories, abilities, and so forth. I use this to document anything and everything that might be relevant for the series. I didn’t use to like outlines (my creative process can be erratic and somewhat unfocused in the beginning), but as my series has progressed in length and complexity, outlines become more necessary. So I try to fill in what I *do* know, and then as I write, more ideas come to me, and the outline blossoms.

14. Do you know how your stories will end? Sometimes. Other times I only figure it out as the story moves forward.

15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment? All of my books attempt to speak to the human condition. Nothing, or no one, in this world is entirely black or white. Our thoughts, feelings, and motivations are never that neat.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing? I don’t snack a lot while writing, but depending on the time of day I will often either have coffee or wine 😉

17. Tell us about your other passions. Travel and culture would be at the very top of that list. I also, of course, love to read.

18. What’s something interesting about you? I speak some Elvish 😉

19. Share a small sample (limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published. This is from Beyond Midnight: Asunder, Tristan’s PoV:

Tristan didn’t notice his elbow knock the old man’s drink off the bar because he’d been too busy pouring out the sordid details of his life history. He did not stop to think—not after the first drink, nor the tenth—that the man might not be interested in the drunken, incoherent, slurry of words and sentences Tristan haphazardly slung together in one long, sloppy narrative. “Cursed,” he spat, again, repeating himself with conviction. “Did I mention we’re all cursed?”

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers? Thank you for allowing me to share my world with you!

Thanks you, Sarah for being featured here with us today. Good luck with Asunder.