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For Your Reading Pleasure…JB Havens

  

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page)My pen name is J. B. Havens, for obvious reasons I don’t wish to disclose my legal name. You can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/J.B.Havens. I live in rural Pennsylvania with my husband and three children. When not taking care of them, working at my evil retail day job, I’m reading and writing. Recently I find myself spending a lot of time self promoting and getting ready for the release of my debut novel, Core of Steel, available on kindle for pre-order and will launched on October 16th in print as well as Kindle. 

US http://amzn.to/1LbCWqx

UK http://amzn.to/1Gr8Olr 

I just turned 28 and have gotten to that point in my life where I am ready to do what I love, not just what pays the bills. I want to mesh the two. I love coffee in its many forms, especially this time of year when Pumpkin flavored everything is available. 
 

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

I sometimes use names from people I know in real life, either first or last. That is usually for main characters. Secondary characters or characters that only make a cameo, I look up on baby name websites. I go with a first letter sometimes or a particular meaning I want to convey.

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

 YES! All the time. In my head, they are real. I have their lives and personalities, everything about them, in my head. For me writing is just telling the stories that already exist in my imagination. 

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

 Yes, I do a lot. Depends on what particular scene I am in. Sometimes just the radio but for action scenes in particular I have my MP3 player going with Korn, Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin or Rob Zombie. Anything like that. I have very eclectic taste in music. Which is reflected in my book. Music is a main theme throughout. 

5. How long have you been writing?

Since high school but only recently have I actually completed anything to a point where I am ok with others reading it. 

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

I wish I could pinpoint a particular moment. I have always had stories I wanted to tell. It was just a matter of believing in myself enough to get them written down.

7. Do you have a muse?

Not a muse per say. More an inspiration. I love strong female voices in fiction. Real kick butt women. I wanted to create that type of character. 

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

I read. A LOT. Though oddly I tend to not read my genre. I have close to 200 books on my kindle and that’s not counting books I have in print. I study the styles of other writers, see things I like and things I don’t. Then go from there with my own writing. Also I find the writer’s group on Facebook extremely helpful. Lots of different opinions and outlooks on writing. Helps you stay creative.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I am slightly superstitious about letting too many people read my entire manuscript before publishing. I have sent bits and pieces to many people in my writer’s group but only a few close family members and friends have read Core of Steel in its entirety. 

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

I am currently working on the second book in my Steel series. Book one, Core of Steel will be available for purchase soon. Book two, Hardened by Steel is still in its infancy. I find starting the hardest part. Once I get a couple chapters down it comes easier but the first bit is a struggle.

11. What book are you reading now? I just finished Zombie Fallout 6 by Mark Tufo. I will be starting Zombie Fallout 7 shortly.

 12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? Military suspense. Core of Steel isn’t a spy novel but it has some of the aspects of one like cool cutting edge technology and sweet rides. The POV is split, the main character is written in First Person, past tense. The rest is third person, past tense. I did it that way to make, Mic stand out more.

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

I don’t do a traditional outline. I scribble notes and tack them to my cork board in my office. It’s disorganized and messy but it works. When a thought or bit of dialogue comes to me, I jot it down and save it. To a degree I do character outlines, especially the farther along I get I need to keep who is going to be doing what, more organized.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Usually yes. I have the beginning and the end well ahead of time, I just need to fill in the middle.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?

The only message I have isn’t a deliberate one. I want people to see what our veterans do and sacrifice for us but my main goal is entertainment.

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

Yes. Coffee! I always have coffee near at hand. As for snacks, nothing in particular. If I have to eat while writing I just try not to get too many crumbs in my keyboard.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

Tattoos. I am hugely passionate about tattoos. I have several and I love everything about them. The art, the deep meanings they portray. 
18. What’s something interesting about you?

That’s an extremely difficult question. I don’t feel like there is anything overly interesting about me. It’s my characters that are interesting.

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

This is the first paragraph in Chapter 1 of Core of Steel. There is a prologue that explains the chair reference.
I sank into some stretches, trying to work out the kinks left over from our last mission. Today was my first day back, both to the track and my normal warm up. At least this time around I had no serious injuries to contend with, just some left over stiffness in the muscles of my arms and legs. Being tied to a wooden chair for days will do that to you. No new bullet holes to report, for me at least, can’t say that for the other guys. I slipped my ear buds in and the pounding bass of Godsmack filled my head. I finished up my stretches and slid my Ray Bans on to guard against the glaring summer sun.

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

Thank you for your time, thank you for going on this journey with me. There is no greater joy for an author than sharing their stories with their readership. Mic is an amazing woman and she has many more stories to tell. Stick with me and we’ll go on an adventure.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Shantella Benson

  
Today’s feature is Shantella Benson. We’re glad to have her today! 

1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page) I’m a debut author. The first book in my Dystopian trilogy releases March 2016. After that, I will be published in the DC Anthologies, a five book anthology by group of eager and inspired authors who met at UtopYA 2015 (now called Utopia). I have two paranormal short stories in two different books. 

I also have a book blog called The WordSmithe at thewordsmithe.wordpress.com. I review books that inspire my writing—mostly YA and NA Dystopian/scifi, paranormal, and urban fantasy. I even will review Contemporary Romance. The only genre I won’t review on my blog is erotica. I’m not opposed to reading it. I’m just thinking of my audience which does include teens.

2. How do you choose names for your characters? I have a few websites I frequent for names. In my trilogy, The Alliance Chronicles, the main characters are ethnically diverse. In their society, multicultural people are known as Hybrids and their names usually reflect their ethnicities. The male main character is Zared Aoki, a Hybrid of Indian and Korean heritage. The female main character’s parents wanted to hide her Hybrid status, but her name (Truly Shara Shepard) has a special meaning in the story.

3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real? Of course, doesn’t all writers?

4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind? Yes! I actually create playlists on Spotify. Each book in the trilogy has its own list (Regress, Rescue and Restore). I also have a playlist for paranormal writing and one for my urban fantasy. 

I like to choose music with lyrics that mean something to the story. They may set a scene (intimacy, loss, challenge) or simply put me in the mood for writing a certain character (Eminem when I’m writing about Zared, for instance).

5. How long have you been writing? I have been writing on and off for years. A year ago, however, I got serious and decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. I wrote the rough draft for Regress: The Alliance Chronicles Book One.

6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer. This happened recently when I started world building for my urban fantasy. I enjoyed creating maps, doing research, and creating a Pinterest board for the project. I realized this was something I used to do as a kid writing stories. Back then, I clipped pictures of possible characters from magazines and catalogs. I took cardboard and created maps. I even took pictures from decorating magazines to create scenes.

7. Do you have a muse? Yes, and she can be quite temperamental. I tried to plot the second book in the trilogy. She let me write about 6,000 words and then shut up. When I put the carefully crafted plot to the side and returned to my pantser ways, she spoke again. Lesson learned.

8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading) All of the above. I attended my very first conference, UtopYA Con, back in June. It was phenomenal. I participated in workshops/panels and learned a lot. I also picked up a critique partner from that convention. She has helped me immensely. I learned what my writing was lacking, and it has been a delightful journey with her.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions? Not yet. My husband may beg to differ, though.

10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress. I actually have a few things I’m working on. It’s the great thing about writing. It feeds my need to stay busy. I just finished the rough draft for book two in the trilogy, Rescue: The Alliance Chronicles Book Two. I’ll be writing the rough draft for my urban fantasy during NaNoWriMo. It’s based off the folk tale called The Raven by the Brothers Grimm. In their tale, there’s a young child who is turned into a raven because she was bothering her mother. In my story, the girl was transformed into a raven to protect her identity from a demon uncle who wanted her dead. There are shapeshifters and portals into another world.

 
11. What book are you reading now? I’m reading a few at the moment: Forsaken by J.D. Barker, Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and Secrets by Christina Benjamin.

12. What genre do you write in? What about POV? Dystopian and Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. I love first person POV.

13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines? Believe it not, the sparks to my writing prep usually start in the shower. I get an idea in my head and I kind of flesh it out in the shower. Once I get an idea, I start imagining characters. I like to do the secret boards on Pinterest. I’ll pin images of the characters and scene ideas. 

I don’t really outline. I write out a story premise. For the trilogy, I created propaganda quotes to begin each chapter. So, I decided how many quotes I wanted and that determined, roughly, how many chapters were in the book. For the Urban Fantasy, I just started writing scenes as they came to me.

For the short stories, I used the same process, but I had to determine Beginning, Middle and End. I had to adhere to that structure more closely to stay within the word count required.

14. Do you know how your stories will end? With the short stories most definitely. With the trilogy and even the Urban Fantasy, I listen to my characters. With the rough draft I just completed, I didn’t know how to end it until a few days ago.

15. Do your books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment? There’s a message in the trilogy. Right now, the Urban Fantasy is just entertainment. Oh, and there’s a theme for the short stories.

16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing? I love Welch’s Fruit Snacks, but I need to eat healthier. So, I gave them up. It’s hard. Now, I’ll reach for some microwave popcorn (not the same pleasure). If I’m not guzzling water, I have a glass of wine for the evening writing session.

17. Tell us about your other passions. I love tv marathon sessions! I also enjoy acrylic painting, sewing and discovering new crafts.

18. What’s something interesting about you? I’ve worked in a variety of industries—tv news, community newspaper, veterinary medicine, video duplication, computer software development—just to name a few. I also use to groom Samoyeds for dog shows. We owned three Samoyeds, one was a show dog.

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

This is the opening paragraph from Regress: The Alliance Chronicles Book One.

Someone once compared living in New Detroit to having a religion. It was a fanciful idea about living a life full of hope despite the presence of tragedy. Illogical. Irrational. Life in my town required a lot more than hope. It required a blind eye shutting out the ever-present insanity on our streets. It helped if you could block out the scars from our wars. Fortitude was a better word.

20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers? Check out my blog. I post updates on my writing each week. I’ll be posting more about my upcoming releases too.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Alana Woods

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

I’m a married empty-nester; my three children left home years ago and now all have three children of their own. Two boys and one girl each, how coincidental is that?! My husband’s name is John and we live in Australia’s national capital, Canberra, also referred to as the Bush Capital. It’s a lovely place surrounded by low mountain ranges. Our house backs on to a native reserve and we often have kangaroos outside. Out front we have a view of the Brindabellas, our local mountain range, and sitting on the loungeroom deck with a coffee or wine in hand, depending on the time of day, is a guaranteed soul soother. Our oldest daughter lives in the UK and we spend time there every year. I talk about my professional life in another question so I won’t repeat it here. And I’ve included links at the end of the interview.

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

They tend to just pop into my head. Sometimes I’ll have several jiggling around for top spot but I’m mindful of them fitting the person. There’s a funny story about the main male character in IMBROGLIO. His name is David Cameron. I wrote the first draft before the actual David Cameron became the UK PM but, you know, it never occurred to me that my David had the same name. It was only last year when a UK reviewer pointed it out that I had that forehead slapping moment.

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

Not to other people, no. But do I talk to my characters? Yes. We have a very honest and open relationship; we can say anything to each other. Writing their stories wouldn’t be possible otherwise. And after their stories are told they don’t leave; they get on with their lives and let me know what they’re up to.

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

I need total quiet to stay inside my head.

5. How long have you been writing?

My 30+ year career was in publishing in the Australian federal govt public service. I worked across the publications, public relations and media fields. I did a lot of writing but was principally an editor. I’ve been fiction writing for that long as well.

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

I don’t know that I’d couch it in quite that way but I’ve always liked telling stories and am happiest when I’ve got one percolating. And as far as being a professional writer and editor is concerned, I always said that if I had to work it was the perfect job.

7. Do you have a muse?

I have a very understanding, tolerant and patient husband. He’s indulged my need for writing time ever since we got together. Does that count as a muse?

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

Years ago when I realised I needed feedback on my fiction I did a university night course which led to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing and then a Post Graduate Diploma in Communication. I’ve also been a member of community writing groups and writing organisations and participated in writing master classes. Nowadays it’s having my manuscripts critiqued and beta read.
Another way to improve is through reading. I’m a committed reader and I review most of the books I read. I believe that writing a considered review is a good way to hone your analytical skills.
I’m also a professional editor; that’s another terrific way to hone analytical skills in relation to what makes good writing.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

No superstitions but maybe a quirk. I guess I’m an anomaly as a writer. With digital publishing most authors seem to write very quickly and publish everything they write as soon as they’ve finished it. I don’t. My first three novels went into the fire; I viewed them as practice while I was trying to find my genre. I discovered it with my fourth and fifth novels and those are the two that I’ve published to date.
I’m also very slow to publish; I put what I think is the final draft in a drawer for at least a year and don’t look at it until I’ve forgotten most of the detail. That way when I look at it again I’m reading it afresh. It’s amazing how the deficiencies jump out. Consequently I have only two published novels to date as well as a short story compilation and a writing guide.

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

My third novel. The draft has been in a drawer for years. I’ve delayed pulling it out for the last two years while getting set up on Amazon and social media as well as getting my website and blog up and running. Amazing how time consuming all that has been.
But I’m now going to delay it again to write a three-book series based on a jewellery theft. I was in Italy in July/August 2013 for my daughter’s wedding and had all of my jewellery stolen. I was traumatised to say the least. I’ve always known I’d turn it into a story one day and now’s the time.

11. What book are you reading now?

Renaissance 2.0 by Dean C Moore. He’s an indie author and I’ll be reviewing the book when I’ve finished.

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

I write contemporary fiction. It’s also been tagged as thriller, mystery, intrigue and literary.
My preferred POV is 3d person omniscient. My third novel is 3rd person single. That needs a bit of vigilance to ensure I stay in it! It’s easy to stray.

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

It depends on the story line. With AUTOMATON I had the outline and main characters in my head before I started. When I began to write it the detail and secondary characters just happened. With IMBROGLIO there are two main characters whose stories run concurrently so I mapped out their days on a chart and filled in what they were doing in side-by-side columns. That way I knew what each was up to at any given time.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

When I set out I think I do. But that can change, depending where the characters take the story.

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

All books have a theme, but not necessarily a message. Both of my published novels are themed and there’s a message in each if the reader looks. But over-ridingly they’re for entertainment. One that’s on the drawing board will buck that trend as it will have a message no-one could miss. But that’s a couple of years away from being written.

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

No snacks because I put weight on too easily. But continual tea and coffee. Constant sipping seems to fuel the flow.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

Travelling is one. My oldest daughter and her family live in the UK (I’m in Australia), so John and I visit her every year. We combine it with other adventures; in 2013 before going to Italy for her wedding we did the UK Coast-to-Coast walk. It took us 18 days and we loved it. This year we’ve been seeing a bit of Australia. Just after Easter we toured the bottom end of Western Australia, and in October we toured around Tasmania and climbed Cradle Mountain. That was a feat worth mentioning!

18. What’s something interesting about you?

Whatever I say here is going to sound contrived, silly or immodest. I’ll go for immodest. My first published novel AUTOMATON won best Australian self-published fiction in 2003 and was nominated by Sisters In Crime for the Davitt awards in 2004.

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

Here’s the opening to AUTOMATON.

It wasn’t his appearance that unnerved her, unexpected though it was with its neat new track runnelling the middle of his chin, curving through cheek and across the outer corner of his right eye to disappear into the hairline. It wasn’t even that they were alike in colouring and delicacy of features.

It was his expression. A mixture of hope and no hope.

He was red-haired, fresh smooth skinned, freckled with a faded tan, 19, and not far from the trial of his life.

For murder.

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

Don’t leave me in a vacuum! Let me know what you think of my stories. Reviews are treasure, but so too are the personal emails. You can contact me via my website contact page. Receiving them makes my day. Actually, it’s more like my week. And I always have time to write back.

My links:
Website: http://www.alanawoods.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alanawoodsauthor
Twitter:https://twitter.com/AlanaEWoods
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1023590.Alana_Woods
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AlanaWoods/about
LinkedIn: http://au.linkedin.com/pub/alana-woods/42/b79/412
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alana-Woods/e/B0061UWNN0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Books (the links are global smart links):
Imbroglio — http://georiot.co/PNH
Automaton — http://georiot.co/4Dp5
Tapestries and other short stories — http://georiot.co/2KQN
25 essential writing tips: guide to writing good fiction — http://georiot.co/3SJs

Thanks Alana! We’re glad you shared with us today!
E&M

For Your Reading Pleasure…Christy Jones

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Our first feature of the New Year is children’s author, Christy Jones. Her book “Trinka and the Thousand Talismans” released in October. Let’s read about her writing process.

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

I’m the play-at-home mom of two delightful little readers, and also enjoy reading with my awesome husband. I work out by picking up 20 pounds of picture books at the library on a regular basis, and by walking and hiking through the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. My middle-grade fantasy novel, “Trinka and the Thousand Talismans,” debuted in October 2014.
Facebook: facebook.com/christyjoneswriter
Twitter: @writechristy
Website: http://www.joneschristy.com
Amazon author: http://www.amazon.com/author/joneschristy

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

First, I consider the sound. I love the playful notes of “Trinka” and the way it sounds similar to “trinket,” which is appropriate considering all the strange objects she collects on her journey. The meaning also plays an important role. For example, Trinka’s grandmother’s name is “Elora,” which means “light,” and her sister Annelise’s name means “gentle light.” So, her sister is named after her grandmother. Trinka’s dad’s name, Bram, is more obvious—it’s simply Dutch for “father.”

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

Only when talking to myself (which happens often!).

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

I need to hear the sounds of the words as I’m writing, so I save music for when I’m driving or doodling. Plumb, Kutless, and Eden’s Bridge are all likely to be in my playlist, but occasionally I’ll go for classical symphonies and ballets, or the “classic” music of the 50s and 60s.

5. How long have you been writing?

First grade is the time I truly remember writing and illustrating my own books, and it’s been a passion of mine ever since. Since the advent of typing my stories and not relying on my own handwriting, the output’s appearance has improved considerably. (I like to think the plots have too.)

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

I wrote a series of four fantasy “epics” (2000 words each, which seemed enormous at the time) as a sixth grader, and was chosen to represent my class at a writer’s workshop. I think I realized then that writing is something I really wanted to pursue and continue to grow in.

7. Do you have a muse?

My family’s love an unfailing support helps me a lot, as does the joy of reading aloud to my children. I hope someday someone will enjoy reading my books to their children.

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

Practice helps more than anything. It was an epiphany for me a number of years ago watching Michelle Kwan ice skate, and thinking of the countless of hours of practice she put in. The performance may only last minutes, but it’s only possible because of years of work behind it.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

“Trinka and the Thousand Talismans” has quite a number of quirky creatures, most of them inspired by my love of sewing dolls and puppets. Now that the book is complete, I’ve been able to bring that full circle and design free sewing patterns inspired by characters in the book, which you can find on my website http://www.puppetpub.com.

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

At the moment, I feel like a kid who just built a huge block tower and now gets the fun of knocking it down, because I’m slowly working on the sequel to “Trinka and the Thousand Talismans.” So many things that got set up in the first book will come into play in the second. The world and characters are so deep that there’s so much material for a second story. With two little ones at home, my writing time is very limited, so I’m learning to write in snatches whenever and wherever I can.

11. What book are you reading now?

My husband Peter and I are reading Stephen Lawhead’s “The Fatal Tree,” and we’re reading our children “The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis. I love when they beg for “just one more chapter,” but we have to build suspense (and stick to some sort of bedtime schedule).

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

Children’s books with a sense of joy and whimsy, whether for young children or teens, are my favorite. But I hope to write some adult novels someday, too. I really love reading books where you get totally into the mind of one main character, so that’s what I like to write as well.

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

Usually I just have a laundry list of notes, scrawled on various surfaces. I’m trying to get better about outlining

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14. Do you know how your stories will end?

Not at first! I think I just figured out how Trinka’s sequel will end, after writing the first four chapters. Even though I have a lot more details to figure out, I’m excited for the whole journey.

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

Trinka’s story is really about things working out in unexpected ways. By the end, she realizes that if things had gone “right,” she would have missed out on an incredible journey.

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

No, but I’ll be handing out chocolate at my first book signing…

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I’m homeschooling my children for kindergarten this year, and it’s a lot of fun. I feel blessed to be right here with them everyday, sharing the joy of reading, creating, and learning. I also enjoy volunteering with children, and teach a Bible class for preschoolers and toddlers.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

While the other students in my technical writing degree program were working on hardware and software instructions, I wrote and self-published a book on how to make puppet costumes. I entered it in a technical writing competition just to get feedback, and won Best of Show.

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

The opening line of Trinka and the Thousand Talismans: “In the tallest glass tower, in the lowest classroom, all of the students were carefully filling glass jars with clouds full of thoughts. Except one.”

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

Thank you for taking the time to read my writing! I hope it brings you joy.

For Your Reading Pleasure…Dawn Geiger

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Our feature today is with Dawn Geiger. Let’s read about her approach to the writing process.

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

My name is Dawn M. Geiger and I was born and raised in central Virginia. I am an author, an educational consultant, and a life coach. I am a mother to two adult children, a mother-in-law to two more, and Nana to two precious grandchildren. I am an avid bargain shopper, a fun party planner, and a DIY crafter.
Please feel free to contact me at: http://www.dawnmgeiger.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawnmgeigerauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dawn_geiger
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-M.-Geiger/e/B00NMVFR3Y/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

Once I can see the characters’ faces in my mind, I name them.

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

Yes, my characters are real and have a story of their own.

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

No. Music is quite distracting when I’m writing because I often find myself singing along with the song and losing my train of thought.

5. How long have you been writing?

I started writing my first book about 10-12 years ago. During that time I would write a page or two and then let it sit for weeks or months at a time before picking it up again. I was quite busy with my family and my writing priority would only click in occasionally. However, during this past year I was able to finish writing my book. I’m hoping my next book won’t take near as long to complete as my first one.

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

I’ve always known that I had a story to tell, but it wasn’t until I started sharing my story with others a few years ago that I realized that I had to keep putting the words onto paper.

7. Do you have a muse?

Yes, my family and the students that I speak with daily keep my inspiration going.

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

An editor who asks great thinking questions is always very helpful! I also enjoy reading and attending writing workshops and conferences.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

I always have a notebook or post-it notes close by so I can jot down my thoughts as they come to mind.

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

I’m slowly beginning to work on my next book, which is a continuation of my first.

11. What book are you reading now?

I‘m currently not reading anything right now; however, I do enjoy reading books from many different genres.

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

My genre is family relationships, and my POV is first person and limited third.

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

I begin by making lots of notes and lists. I then divide my notes into chapters as I work through an outline. I also develop my characters to match the story line.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I have no idea. I let the book write itself, so to speak.

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

Yes. The message I want to convey in my writing is that regardless of your current situation, there is always hope for a brighter future!

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

Not usually; however, diet coke and water are my drinks of choice.

17. Tell us about your other passions.

My passions are spending time with my family, traveling, education, and humanitarian work.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I would like to someday start an educational foundation.

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

Chapter 1, paragraph 1 of Mama Knew Best.
​Going for car rides was one of my favorite things to do, so when Mama asked if I wanted ​to go for a ride with her, Grandma, and Grandpap, I jumped up excitedly. “Yes ma’am!” I ​squealed, running towards the front door.
“Slow down,” said Grandma, smiling as she helped me put on my jacket.
I was really excited by the thought of being the special one today, being that it was rare when ​one of us children got to ride in the car with just the adults.
After zipping up my jacket, Grandma, Grandpap, Mama, and I walked out the door and down ​the front steps. As I turned to wave goodbye to my brother, Sammy, and cousins, Mandy and ​Scott, Mandy ask her mother, “Where are they going?”
“They are going for a ride and will be back soon,” Sue answered.
“I want to go!” Sammy cried, running across the porch towards the steps.
“Maybe next time Sammy,” Sue replied, pulling him close to her side.
​After climbing into the back seat of Grandpap’s old white station wagon, I quickly rolled down ​my window as far as it would go and smiled out into the sunshine while Mama slid in next to ​me. As Grandma and Grandpap got in up front, I didn’t notice that I was the only one smiling.​

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

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks Dawn! We’re so glad you shared.
🎄E&M🎄

For Your Reading Pleasure…Leslie Sansom

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On the blog today, we have Leslie Sansom. Enjoy reading about her writing process.

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

I started writing about 7 years because I was depressed. It became an outlet for me. I have released 7 self published books and am about to release my 8th. https://www.facebook.com/lesliemsansom @lmsansom http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HES7W3Y I also write 2 blogs. motherof2kids.wordpress.com thedirtygirlsbookclub.wordpress.com

2. How do you choose names for your characters?

All of my names for characters come to me in different ways. My first book, I used names that meant something to me personally.

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

Sometimes

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

I listen to the West Wing on Netflix. I usually have it pulled up on a tab on my computer while I write. I have seen it so many times I don’t have to watch it to know what’s going on.

5. How long have you been writing?

About 7 years

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

I still haven’t realized that yet.

7. Do you have a muse?

My muse is Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I love his eyes. The way he can convey his emotion just from the way he looks at you. I call him the Sexy Serial Killer, because you never know if he wants to sleep with you or kill you.

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

I read all the time. I have taken a few creative writing classes. I would love to attend a writers workshop.

9. Writing quirks or superstitions?

no

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

Right now I am working on 2 books. The first is the 4th in my Keeping her in the Dark series “Surrender”. The series is about Liam Hastings, a rich businessman from London who buys a young girl at a slave auction, thinking it was a completely voluntary situation. After realizing his mistake he doesn’t know what to do with her. If he lets her go he risks himself, but if he keeps her he is afraid of corrupting her. Sold, Consumed, Betrayed and now Surrender. I am done with the first draft, but now I need to go back and edit/rewrite. The other book is the first in my King of Kings series. It is about a motorcycle club member that obtains a girl from another motorcycle club to babysit so she can not testify against them. Things heat up when he starts to care for her and he finds out they’re plan is to kill her anyway.

11. What book are you reading now?

I am not reading anything right now.

12. What genre do you write in? Erotica/Romance What about PoV?

I write from both of main characters POV.

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

I usually write, actually write with pen and paper a rough outline and list of characters with stats, how they look to me, age, job, wife, kids, parents. Then I break it down in chapters. While writing sometimes my characters take me on a turn away from the outline and I have to re-think it.

14. Do you know how your stories will end?

I usually know the beginning, the big drama and the ending.

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?

I love to eat jelly bellies! Juicy Pear is my favorite!

17. Tell us about your other passions.

I am scrapbooker. I love to scrapbook. I take a lot of pictures of my kids, the outdoors and my dog. I love expressing my creativity through paper and embellishments.

18. What’s something interesting about you?

I am a Navy wife and my family and I lived in Spain for 3 years.

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

Here is something from Surrender: Keeping her in the Dark Vol. 4 : “Detective, I am going to say this one time and one time only. People tell me that on my happiest of days I am no joy to be around. So how do you think I am going to be if you keep trying to drag my wife into this? I suggest that you keep my family out of this. For both our sakes,” I said.
“Are you threatening me, Mr. Hastings?” he asked.

“No sir I am not.” I was not threatening him. I was very serious.

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

I appreciate my small flock of readers very much. They are a loyal group and I love them. For any future readers, Welcome to my world!!! Thank you for giving me a chance.

Thanks Leslie! Good luck to you and your books.
E&M