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For Your Reading Pleasure…Juliette Douglas

Juliette Douglas is with us today. She writes Western adventures with a touch of romance. Side note: this is what Juliette says about the author picture she sent us: My author photo is taken with my neighbor Arctic Bright View who played Silver in the 2013 remake of ‘The Lone Ranger.’

How cool is that?? Enjoy!!!

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

In my real life I wash, wax and detail boats for a living.
Links: http://www.facebook.com/author.juliette.douglass
Website http://www.juliettedouglas.com
http://www.amazon.com/Juliette-Douglas/e/B00HBUAMA0
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/JulietteDouglas
http://www.authorsden.com/juliettedouglas

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Since I write western historical fiction, I feel names should depict the time period you are writing about as close as possible. I might find a first name on an old gravestone, or in very old obits, mixing and mingling first and last names, til I have one I like.

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

Afraid so…

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

Bluegrass or Malt Shoppe Oldies

5. How long have you been writing?

7 years

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

Seven years ago I woke up with a story in my head, couldn’t get rid of it. Didn’t even own a computer or have internet back then. Finished the first rough draft and sent snail mail to a retired publisher friend. Lo and behold, he loved it, and now have two books published and working on the third in the Freckled Venom Series.

7. Do you have a muse?

God, he is in charge, showing me a talent I never knew I had.

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

It is so rural where I live I don’t get the chance to go to workshops and conferences. So I read blog posts and other tid-bits I find on the internet. I also re-read my work and look at it from a readers point of view to try to improve what I write.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

No

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

Freckled Venom Skeletons is the third book in the Freckled Venom Series and takes place seven years later introducing more vivid crazy characters to the town of White River, Wyoming. I will also be finishing Perfume Powder & Lead * Holy Sisters this winter. Another western adventure series.

11. What book are you reading now?

Louis L’Amour Flint

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

I write western adventure with a tad of romance thrown in. I prefer 3rd person POV.

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

I guess I am really an oddball about this, Nothing is ever written down, no drafts, outlines, etc. That is why I call it a God thing. It is always in my head and I just sit down and begin writing. Sometimes though my characters take over and tell the story the way they want it told. I guess you can tell I don’t follow a formula

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Most of the time. Of course my characters may decide to change them.

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

Purely for entertainment.

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

Pepsi and water I forget to eat sometimes

17. Tell us about your other passions.

Reading and crafts, HS and College Basketball.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Nothing really, I’m just an old fart who washes boats for a living and in the winter I hole up and spin tall tales.

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

Freckled Venom Copperhead:

Flinging open the metal door, Rawley shoved the copperhead in, making her tumble to the floor. Lacy bounced up, but not quick enough, the door slammed into her face with a heavy clank. Thrusting the key in the lock, Rawley turned it, tumblers clinked into place, sliding the bolt home. Cold, hard, blue steel zeroed in on the spitfire standing behind the bars giving him, her own wicked look.
Hands balled into fists, nails digging into her palms, Lacy didn’t back down from his stare, instead, she moved forward and spit.
As he wiped the spittle off his face, Rawley’s tone dropped even deeper and softer in his anger, “Sunshine, you’ve got one hell of a bad temper. You’ll stay in there till you simmer down or hell freezes over.”

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

Just have fun reading the books by Juliette Douglas and enjoy the ride!

Thanks Juliette!! What a great feature.
E&M

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

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.” 🙂

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

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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.

For Your Reading Pleasure…L.A. Remenicky

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Today’s feature is L.A. Remenicky, author of the Fairfield Corners Series and Invisible. I met L.A. a few months ago through our shared editor, and she’s always been willing to share her tidbits of wisdom about how to do this or that. This month she releases her second Fairfield Corners book, Ragan’s Song. We’re so happy she’s taken time to answer our questions.

Name: L.A. Remenicky

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

I am a 40-something wife and mother to 3 furkids. I write Love Stories With A Twist. Writing wasn’t even on my radar until a friend introduced me to NaNoWriMo in 2012. I signed up, wrote 50,000 words that November, and I haven’t looked back.

Email: remenickywrites@yahoo.com

Blog: http://www.laremenicky.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/laremenicky

Google: www.google.com/+LARemenickyauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/remenickywrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191202.L_A_Remenicky

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

Street Team ~ Remenicky’s Remenions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1425708337682216/

2.  How do you choose names for your characters?

Sometimes they come to me as part of the plot or story idea. Other times I ask friends. Next time I’m stuck I will probably ask on my Facebook page.

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

Oh yeah! And I love taking about them. My husband looks at me like I’m nuts when I tell him “so and so” is talking to me.

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

Always. I have very eclectic taste when it comes to music. I can listen to anything from country to rock to pop to easy listening. It is not unusual for my music program to play a song by Blake Shelton followed by a song from Metallica and then one by Michael Buble.

5.  How long have you been writing?

Almost three years. I didn’t start writing until November 2012.

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

I think it really hit me when a couple of people read a very rough draft of Saving Cassie and loved it.

7.  Do you have a muse?

Just that little voice in my head that gives me story ideas

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

I have learned a lot from my editor and if I’m not writing I’m reading. I am hoping to go to a writer’s retreat next summer.

9.  Writing quirks or superstitions?

Not really.

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

Currently I am working on a story I started during NaNoWriMo last year. I didn’t make my 50,000 words but I did get about half of a decent story.

Love On The Double was inspired by the song “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice. BJ and Jessie Lafayette are identical twins. After a falling out over a girl Jessie joined the Marines. BJ is the studious one, becoming a creative writing teacher and author. When BJ feels a white-hot pain in his leg he knows Jessie is in trouble so he hops on a plane to go find him. He doesn’t find Jessie but he finds Rina, who he thinks is Jessie’s girlfriend. I’m hoping to have it mostly written before November and another try at NaNoWriMo.

11.  What book are you reading now?

I am reading an anthology, Forever Heroes. Some great stories in there.

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

I write romance – so far Paranormal and Contemporary Suspense. That is what I love about being an indie author, I can write whatever I choose. I don’t have a publishing house telling me what to write. Invisible is written in alternating POV but my Fairfield Corners series is written in 3rd person.

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

I am a total pantser. No outlines, other than a general idea in my head of where I think the story will go.

14.  Do you know how your stories will end?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. For Saving Cassie I wrote the ending when I was about half way through the story. The ending to Invisible didn’t come to me until I was almost finished with the story.

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

Purely entertainment.

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

Dr. Pepper or iced tea. I try not to snack while I’m writing.

17.  Tell us about your other passions.

My other passions… hmmm. That would be my family and my furkids. We have 2 dogs, a german shepherd/black lab mix named Bella and an english mastiff named Rainy. And then there is the black cat named Curious George.

18.  What’s something interesting about you?

My real job is to give people money. I’m serious! I process payroll for a university.

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

This is from the next Fairfield Corners book tentatively title Fate Stepped In.

Oblivious to the pounding on the door, Robbie rubbed the sandpaper over the wood, enjoying the rhythm of the song and the satiny smoothness of the wood under his hands. Creating the handmade memory boxes out of blocks of wood soothed his soul better than the oblivion he had tried to find at the bottom of a whiskey bottle. The music blasting through his workshop and its open windows was his way of shutting out the world that no longer had her in it.

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

Indie authors work hard at writing great stories and putting out great books. Just keep reading!

Thanks, L.A.! Good luck with Ragan’s Song.

E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Privy Trifles

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For our first interview, we’re featuring Namrata a.k.a. Privy Trifles. We’re excited to welcome her and discover a bit of her writing process. I will tell you that I’ve checked out her blog… if you’re ever feeling down and need a pick-me-up, that’s the place to go. Enjoy and remember to share!!

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

Hi! I am Namrata. Having been investment banker for close to a decade I recently gave it up to pursue my childhood dream of being a writer. I am a prolific blogger and ardent reviewer since past 3 years under the name Privy Trifles. I have been a contributing author to various anthologies with my short stories and have recently released my debut book called Metro Diaries – Seventeen LOVE classics. I believe in making a difference one word at a time. I would love to connect with you through social media.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wingstomywords
Twitter: @Privytrifles
Website: http://www.privytrifles.com
Blog: http://www.privytrifles.in
Reviews Blog: http://www.privytrifles.co.in

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I choose names for them depending upon the story. A particular quality I am highlighting in the story or a special connect with the name, there has to be some connection with the story as a whole for a character to be named. Having said that I have many times kept them nameless not because I wanted to give them a more universal appeal to the reader by saying this could be you or me.

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

Yes absolutely for that is what makes them connectable for a reader as well. My characters are usually your next door people, ones whom you would bump into while walking down or someone you know closely… at times it could be you too. They are confused, good at heart and vulnerable people just like you and me who only desire to be loved.

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

When I edit yes I do listen to music. It depends on the time of the day and also the feel of the story. Like if it some light fun story then some loud dance numbers and if its romance then soft romantic numbers it is.

While writing I prefer complete silence around me, though noise doesn’t bother me. As when I begin to write everything else goes on a mute.

5. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since the age of 11. My first poem was published in a school magazine from where I went on to get my poetry published in the London Society of Poets when I was 17. I never realized when I forayed into writing fiction and earned a tag of The Yash Chopra of blogging world ( Yash Chopra is the father of romance for Indian cinema). And today I cannot imagine a day without writing.

So to answer your question, I have been writing since the time I can remember!

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

It was when I received an email from a reader who had read my entire blog till wee hours of the morning. The things she mentioned, the way some of the things written by me touched her that moment was out of this world. I could have never imagined I could do this. She through her email indirectly told me that day that I was meant to write.

I still keep getting such reminders from many people who read my work and take out the time to let me know how it made them feel.

7. Do you have a muse?

Life is my biggest muse. It inspires me to keep writing by showing different facets of its own every time.

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

I have attended a couple of writing workshops and I believe it has helped me a lot in terms of my thought-process. But the two things that help the most are reading and the feedback you get on your work. Good and bad both feedback are actually to be worked upon and it that which helps you improve as a writer.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

It isn’t a quirk or a superstition but it is a habit which has not become indispensable. I have a diary which I carry with myself all the time and whatever it is I have to write it down there. Small or big, anything before entering it into a word document on my laptop it has to be there.

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

My current work in progress is a romantic novel about two lovers who have met after a decade of parting ways only to realize that things weren’t what they were. The story is all about will the truth now change what they felt for each other then.

11. What book are you reading now?

Currently am reading The Book Thief.

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

I usually prefer romance and drama as a genre for that is something that comes naturally to me.

When write a story the first thing I do is get it out of my system completely. The way it is with its spelling mistakes, tenses, grammatical errors, typos, everything. For me that is a skeletal. Post that I take a break of a day and then start working on it again.

Now the work is to polish this skeletal. Rearrange the sequences to ensure a gripping read, make it more descriptive in terms of places and peoples, add more emotions, bring out the pathos etc. This helps in beautifying the whole work and this is when the POV is also considered; like I have had an instance where I wrote a story from a character’s point of view and just 2 days after that I had this sudden desire in the night to change it to the other character’s POV. And that instinct paid off, people loved that story for through that POV it brought out its rawness very aptly.

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

My writing preparation usually involves outlines after which I proceed to characters. My outlines are mostly gibberish, very difficult to decipher for anyone else. I very strongly believe you don’t choose a story, a story chooses you. So I wait to be chosen before beginning my work on that story.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Most of the times, no I don’t! I just start writing whatever has formed in my mind and then go with the flow.

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

I usually write on love and relationships. Through them I want to tell my readers that despite all ugliness around us life is still beautiful because there is love. Just because someone didn’t love us the way we wanted them to doesn’t mean we question the very existence of love as whole.

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

Might sound weird but when I am writing am completely lost to even think of my thirst or hunger 🙂

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I am very passionate about reading, music, dancing and sketching. These all things help me stay connected to my creative side. There have been instances where I have got some amazing ideas while sketching or dancing. And then it is further developed as a story.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

There is always something cooking in my mind and that is the reason why people call me observant. I gather a lot of things in one outing at a coffee shop with a friend, like what is happening at the other table, how are they dressed, the way they speak etc. These things help me describe my characters in detail. I use their behavioral attributes or clothing habits to make one of my characters come to life.

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

These are few lines from one of the stories in my book called Metro Diaries:

He was a born dreamer and his dreams always came true. As if the Universe was by his side always. He never had to ask for anything, was that why he never asked her to stay back? Off late his mind had started asking questions for which he had no answers. This is what happens when you reach your destination as suddenly you have nothing to do. Everything seems lost, for a moment. But then his heart knew this was not his destination. He had taken a break in between the journey as he was tired and he would begin soon with a renewed vigor to reach where his heart was. Amidst the plethora of unknown identities his eyes were lost like that of a stranded sailor in the sea. He kept walking looking at them with a deranged look when all of sudden his eyes met hers. ~ A thing called Love

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers? All I would like to say is a huge THANK YOU! – You are, and therefore I am. Thanks for all your faith in my abilities and so much love that it resonates from within.

Thank you so much for featuring with us today! We wish you continued success with your blog and your books.
E&M