Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 31!

Today is the last day of my Summer Bash and closing out the party os Karen McGrath. Please help me welcome her to the party as she helps us close out the celebration.

Hi Kat, Thank you so much for inviting me to interview on your Summer Bash blog! I am honored and happy to be here. I understand I am the last one here and I have a special surprise just for you at the end here. July has certainly been a hot and muggy month in Boston and your Summer Bash has been a delightful distraction. Thank you!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 8. My third grade teacher told me to write a story and I wondered how in the world I would do that. I was a storyteller from age 5, making friends and family laugh, but putting it on paper, what a challenge that was at first.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I get my inspiration from God. An idea will whoosh by me and I grab it to put it on paper as soon as possible. I love how that works. It's like I'm sailing on the ocean with the sun at its zenith sparkling on the water like a thousand diamonds strewn about. A jewelfish rushes by in the current and I capture it in my hand carefully, peeking through my fingers as light streams out. If I hold it gently and let it breath, it blossoms into a living story.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

No, but I do have a moleskine sketch book that my husband gave me this spring. It goes with me everywhere so I can take notes and draw what I see in my mind’s eye. I feel naked without it.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’m unapologetically a PANTSER! I start with the idea and sail on down the Nile. Then I double back and extract the plot from what I’ve written and add in interesting tidbits. So I’m a pantser first and a plotter second.

It really works for me because I love to be surprised. I guess it stems from all that story telling I did in kindergarten and grade school. Now I stand up and speak on paper.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

I like action stories a lot, Lord of the rings, Chronicles of Narnia and mysteries. I like Janet Evanovich and of course, I love a good romance. My favorite author of all time is C.S. Lewis and my favorite current author is Suzanne Collins. I also read a lot of YA.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now? Yes, I’m reading a book written by a friend of mine. And Night Falls by Tommie Lyn. You can find it on Smashwords or Amazon. And another one by a new author friend. I’m also reading a two free ebook downloads I got from Barnes & Noble, a mystery and a romance. I just finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and loved it.

I’m waiting desperately for MockingJay to come out. That’s the third in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins but I think I’ll have to wrestle my teens for it. LOL! I’m disappointed it’s not coming out in ebook any time soon.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t really get writer’s block. If I need to write for a deadline but I’m not particularly inspired, I write anyway and inspiration kicks into gear. I’ve never been wordless.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

We’re big on movies in my house, we love story. Our oldest daughter gave my husband a Netflix account for his birthday so we are giddy with choices! I love taking day trips with my family and walking on the beach in the evening. I enjoy visiting historical places in Boston, there’s so much history here.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Well, I have three wanderlust loves. Oh no, four… First, I’d love to go to Israel. I have roots there. Another draw is Greece, it’s incredibly beautiful. I’d love to go to Ireland, I also have roots there and England. And I’d love to go to Brazil and Peru. The Amazon takes my breath away! I can’t choose just one.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Let your readers get close to you. Readers want to know all about the people who write their books. Let them see you, you won’t be sorry you did.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I don’t know, I’m pretty much an open book, pardon the pun! I love words but you already know that. My favorite book as a child was my dictionary. I spent hours reading it and sometimes still do. Another favorite of mine was The Annotated Alice. I spent hours in that book too, studying the word and math problems. I’m sort of a closet math geek.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

I don’t have a cover yet so here is my unofficial banner along with the unedited blurb.

Kylie Watson is a senior lawyer in Boston, MA, whose emotional life is in disarray. She’s entirely too dependent on her childhood pals even though as an adult she seems to have it together. She realizes her surrogate siblings have stepped into protector roles for her when her universe is rocked by her missionary parent’s unexpected deaths in a plane crash in the Amazon.

In the midst of her loss and grief, someone is stalking her and leaving a trail of clues in their wake. Kylie is driven by chronic nightmares that began the night of the accident.
Traveling to the world she left behind as a teen, Kylie runs to Brazil to be close to the last place her parents lived. There she discovers family secrets, church corruption and international espionage.

Journey with her as she navigates the waters of the Amazon and the emotional streams of her heart. Encounter the three loves of her life; one whose comforting presence makes everything right but seems just out of reach, one whose money and power can keep her but repulses her at times, and one whose fiery passion forces her to face reality but scares her to death.

Which man will pursue her and why? Were her parents murdered? If so, by whom? What was their connection to the new tribe translations that is strangely forbidden by the Missionary Alliance Board?

What does Kylie really want?

Nothing is what it seems.

Do you want the truth or something you can live with?

Primordial Sun, The Heart of the Amazon - first in the Primordial Sun trilogy
MuseItUp Publishing April 2011

Here’s my contact information

Blog: http://karenmcgrathauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jazzchildblue
Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenmcgrathauthor
My Author Page at Muse: http://museituppublishing.com/musepub/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90&Itemid=82

Thank you so much to Karen and all my wonderful guests this month. This has been more fun than I can say.:-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 29!

Hey and welcome to the party. We're winding down here but today it's still going strong with my guest, Emily Pikkasso. So, please help me welcome her.

1: When did you first begin writing?

I started writing short stories and poetry in grade school. Some were published by the local paper.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

Everywhere. My Muse is always whispering in my ear.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

My writing room is full of plants and crystals and special pictures. It also has a large window.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Now that depends. Usually, I am a pantser. With Laurel’s Miracle, I had to plan it out so that the clues came in the right sequence to get Laurel where she was supposed to go and be there at the right time.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Canadian author Charles de Lint is my favorite. I love his The Little Country and The Wild Wood. Other favorites are Mercedes Lackey, Maeve Binchy, Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I go and talk to the faeries in my garden and play with my horses.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I garden, work with my horses and shop for antiques.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Cornwall, in the south west of England. There is magic there, in the land and in the stones.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Write and keep on writing. Trust your Muse.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I believe in magic. There is magic in the world all around us, most people have just forgotten how to see it.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

The Oak King’s Daughter will be released in January 2011 by MuseItHOT! Publishing. It is a naughty, but nice romance. Dara is the daughter of the Oak King and lives in the largest oak in the Sacred Grove. Her father wants her to marry for the good of the kingdom. Dara has the hots for the court mage, Tinne.

Underlying the story is the old legend of the twice yearly battle between the Oak King who rules the summer months and the Holly King who rules the winter half of the year.
I hope you enjoy Dara’s tempestuous story.

Thank you so much for being here. I can't wait to read The Oak King's Daughter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 28!

The water is getting a little too hot. The sharks heard about all the fun so they've come to party. Jump on out of the water and join me in welcoming today's guest, the lovely Viviane Brentanos!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I think I began to write as soon as I could process thought. Ok – I was too young to hold a pen, let alone say pen – but my imagination was my visionary tool. My first offering was a horror story, worthy of Stephen King. I blame my mother. What two year old wouldn’t be traumatized to wake up and find a 2 foot nylon blonde curled ‘Chucky’ impersonator leering down at them. Cute and sweet my…. To this day, I loathe dolls.
I first put pen to paper when I was 12 and entertained my classmates with lurid tales of teenage romance. Needless to say, my English teacher was not impressed.
I flirted with writing, on and off, until, in 2004, I finally probably because of a boring job in which I had hours to fill}I got my head down and completed my first ms; a whopping 180, 000 word saga.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I suppose I draw my inspiration from my romantic fantasies – something which began when I was 3 and ran off with neighborhood twins, Gary and David. It was downhill from then on as I cried my way through endless crushes: Donny Osmond up until my present male fantasies in the form of Darren Hayes, Russell Crowe and Gerard Butler {so, I am greedy}. These gentlemen have starred in many a lurid dream. I then take fragments of these dreams and fashion a story around them.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Rituals? Just call me Sheldon.{Big Bang Theory}. I am one of these rare creatures who write longhand. I need to feel pen and paper in my hand. I have been known to drive stationers insane in my quest to find just the right quality and feel of paper. As for a pen? If it doesn’t feel right – then I cannot write.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Do I plot or panst?{sounds painful}. Depends on my mood but generally I would go with plotter. An idea will come to me. I will run through the whole story in my head and then sit down and plan it out chapter by chapter. However, I have been known to panst with the best of them.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Believe it or not – and this is when I get shot – I tend not to read romance. I love courtroom dramas, forensic thrillers, anything that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I adore good old-fashioned ‘atmospheric’ novels {think Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca}. If I have to pick an author of women’s contemporary, it would be Jilly Cooper. She was Bridget Jones before Bridget Jones.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

At the moment, I am in the middle of two books. I like to keep one for the bath and one for the dull hours at work. My bath book is Bane by Joe Donnelly, a horror set in a small Scottish town. Wonderful imagery and clever dialogue. I love

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t. When I started along the rocky road to writer stardom {I wish}, I used to fret. The more I worried, the more inspiration eluded me. I have learned, with experience, to let it go. My muse will find me.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Mmm – tricky one. Having a somewhat bi-polar disposition, fun can often elude me but when I am in a manic stage, I love to go out with my friends for an ice-cold beer. Summer time, obviously, beach and swimming are a priority. I adore music in most genres – especially Darren Hayes, Savage Garden and Heavy Metal and I want to be Lady Gaga when I grow up. Oh – and stalking young men on Facebook. {I am joking – or am I?}

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Oh goodness, so many places to see and not enough time or money to visit. I suppose I would have to go with visits of historical and cultural interest. No point dreaming of idyllic beaches and gorgeous Greek islands. I already live on one. I would say Egypt as my first choice. Italy; Rome, Florence, Venice. Paris - although I have been – but a more in-depth trek of all the museums and sites.
New York, Boston, San Francisco, I really cannot chose.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Be brave, believe in yourself and settle in for a long haul. It’s a tough, often soul-destroying trek to being contracted but, if it’s what you really want, go for it. Learn from your mistakes, be prepared to accept criticism but do not sacrifice your voice. Above all, write because it’s what you love to do. Everything else is icing on the cake.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I am not sure about this. I don’t want to scare people off. My friends call me a faffer. I am intolerant of fools but I hate prejudice in any shape or form. I am a strong advocator of animal and gay rights. I hate disloyalty. I love cooking {blame my French mother, reading, dancing and the occasional gin and tonic. My friends say I think I know everything. They are wrong. I know I know I know everything.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Dreamweek came about because of a dream. In this dream, I was a villa representative and one of the guests was a surly but sexy actor bearing more than a faint resemblance to Gerard Butler. The rest, as they say, is history.

Using my experiences as a holiday representative, I set about creating the tale of the young Izzie Stevens. Naturally, my story takes place on a Greek island. Kuros is a figment of my imagination but it is strongly inspired by my own beloved Corfu. While, at times, highly emotional, a strong vein of what I like to call stoic Brit humor runs throughout.

Here is a quick blurb:

Isabella Stevens usually loves her job as holiday rep for the exclusive villa company on the beautiful island of Kuros but that Monday morning, her illustrious guests can all go to hell and take her boss, Kaitlyn with them. At only twenty-three, Isabella Stevens is already tired of life. With the untimely death of, first her parents and subsequently, her grandmother, it seems to her, God is having a good laugh at her expense. Paul, the errant boyfriend, blames Izzie for his unfaithfulness, accusing her of being cold and emotionally immature. After so many years, he claims it’s only normal for him to want to have a physical relationship with her but Izzie was never ready. If he defected to Mel, she can’t blame him. Enter David Wells. He arrives in Kuros to be met by a barrage of gossip seeking press – something Dream assured him would not happen. The stunning beauty of the island and the spectacular Villa Scheria go a long way to soothe his raw nerves. When Izzie finds out Mr. Wells has been assigned to her care, she is more than a little apprehensive. But when David Wells hauls himself out of the pool, Izzie is blown away by his magnetic masculinity. His physical presence invades her senses like no other man ever has – certainly not Paul. The attraction between them is instant, electric. This young, seemingly controlled yet vulnerable young woman fascinates David. He finds he is acting out of character by flirting with her. He wants her but the attraction isn’t purely physical. He wants to ease away the pain and loneliness he senses she has carried with her for so long. Isabella falls head over heels in love but as always with Izzie’s life, fate rears its ugly head and her newfound happiness is threatened by a tragedy.

Thank you so much Viviane. I chuckled the whole way through this. Viviane Brentanos just got her cover for her upcoming Muse publication, Written In Stone. Isn't it beautiful? Congrats Viviane and I wish you much success.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 27!

It's day 27 and today Jessica Chambers is joining the party. So please help me welcome and be nice. It's her first time.:-)

First, Kat, let me say a huge thank you for inviting me on your blog. This is my first ever chance to talk about my upcoming release, Voices On The Waves, so I’m really excited to be here!

1: When did you first begin writing?

This is probably going to sound like a cliché, but I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t invented stories. I wrote my first novel, all thirty pages of it, at the age of seven. It was an adventure story based on the Enid Blyton books I devoured at the time. I even recorded it on a cassette, which I hope is now safely hidden away from prying ears! For the past ten years, though, I’ve been writing a mixture of women’s fiction, ranging from light-hearted romances like Voices On The Wave, to mysteries with a darker flavor.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

I’m a voracious listener of talk radio, mainly LBC, a station based over here in London. In fact, I can’t get to sleep without its comforting murmur in the background. It often happens that a fellow listener will call in with a touching or funny story, sparking my imagination.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Dull as it sounds, I’m very much a creature of habit. Oh, I’d love to be one of those authors who wake in the middle of the night, itching to scribble down the next chapter of their literary masterpiece, but that just isn’t me. Well, I like my sleep too much! No, I have to treat my writing as if I were going to the office, settling in front of my laptop as soon as I’m up and dressed.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

My method has changed a bit over the years. When I first wrote Voices On The Waves, I planned every minor detail from start to finish. However, I quickly discovered this left no room for creativity. On the other hand, I’m still not brave enough to forego planning altogether, so have found a happy medium. I have the main plot worked out beforehand, but let the subplots and the characters find their own way.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Ooh, there are so many! My tastes are pretty eclectic, and I can’t say there’s one genre I read more than any other. At the moment, I’m particularly into Philippa Gregory, Penny Vincenzi, James Patterson and Charlaine Harris.

6: Are you reading anything right now?

Hahaha! I’m always reading something. At the moment, I’m engrossed in the latest of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries. For anyone who hasn’t entered the world of Sookie Stackhouse yet, these books really are so much fun!

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

In the early days, this phenomenon terrified me. What if I woke up one morning and could never write again? Now, though, I accept that writer’s block is all part of the process. The only way I can deal with it is to write that day off (excuse the pun) and do something relaxing, mostly losing myself in someone else’s book. Then I can return fresh to my writing the following day.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Between them, reading and writing take up a fair chunk of my time. When I’m not doing that, obsessive as it sounds, I love connecting with other authors on The Next Big Writer online writing group, and promoting published writers on my blog

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

It has to be Dublin. Not the most exotic location, perhaps, but, as a massive Maeve Binchy fan, I’d love to visit the city where so many of her novels are set.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Well, since Voices On The Waves is my debut novel, I’m still learning all the time. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, though, is to accept criticism graciously. If you listen to what others have to say about your writing and take their comments onboard, chances are you’ll be a much better writer for it.

11: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Voices On The Waves was inspired by my fascination with people and the ways in which they interact. What would happen if you threw a group of highly diverse characters together for two weeks? This is precisely what happens in my novel, when nine strangers win a two-week stay in a beautiful farmhouse retreat in Cornwall. With such contrasting personalities gathered under one roof, all you have to do is sit back and watch the sparks fly! With blossoming love, illicit affairs and long-buried secrets, Voices On The Waves has it all.

Voices On The Waves is due for release in August by Red Rose Publishing.

In the meantime, you can find out more about Jessica by visiting her website
Where you can read an excerpt of her upcoming release, follow her blog and join the mailing list to keep up to date with all her news.

Thank you for being here Jessica. Voices On The Waves sounds really good and can't wait to read it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 26!

Today my guest is Janis Susan May. I'm so thrilled to have her and now I'm going to turn the stage over to her.

I have a writer’s block.
It’s square and about as tall as a soup can, made of pale, unfinished but smoothly sanded (I hate splinters!) wood. It has a largish hole drilled down from the top so it can hold my pens and pencils.
It’s the only kind of writer’s block I allow in my life.
Popular misconception has the writer being held subject to the whims of a writer’s block, to be paralyzed creatively until a generous Muse comes and frees him with the magic touch of An Idea. Unless you are subject to the agonies of creation, goes this canard, or prisoner to the whims and demands of High Art, you aren’t a real writer.
Such thinking is pure self-indulgence, along with the demands for either absolute silence or a certain kind of music, the perfect temperature, a chair that is exactly the right height and a breakfast of two bagels and mango jam… or whatever your preferred formula is.
While we do have our preferences for our environment, writers write whether they are there or not. Professional writers, those who are being paid for their product, write no matter what. Writing/publishing is as much commerce as creation, and does not allow for fancies and megrims. You have to deliver so many words by such-and-such a date, and you had better deliver them if you want to keep a decent reputation in the industry.
That does not mean words flow unimpeded from my fingertips or that I never have problems. Sometimes the well dries up. My plotline will fall apart. I am utterly convinced I will never write a coherent sentence again, let alone follow a convoluted story line or character arc with anything approximating competency. Unfortunately, such bleak moments are part of a writer’s life, but they don’t mean you or I can let our problems stop us until some beneficent Muse gives us a ‘get out of jail free’ card or its artistic equivalent. I have a deadline, and to professional writers, deadlines are sacrosanct. My father, an advertising executive and a writer himself, said there was only one acceptable excuse for missing a deadline – your own death.
First of all, you have to determine how serious this ‘block’ is. Maybe it’s just a manifestation of something physical – we writers tend to block out everything but the immediate needs of the story, often to the detriment of the immediate needs of our body. Get up. Take some deep breaths. Walk around, maybe do a few exercises to get your blood flowing again. Look outside. Have a cup of coffee. Anything that takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes and breaks the stranglehold of your concentration. If you have a garden, the controlled destruction of weeding is excellent for this. Then go back to work.
If that doesn’t work, maybe your story is trying to tell you something is wrong. Maybe you took a wrong turn. Go back to where the words were flowing easily and everything was solid. Read forward with an open mind, and hopefully you’ll see where the story turned off its course and went sour. Start writing – or perhaps re-writing – from there. In other words, go back to work.
If that doesn’t work, there are two options, both of which work, depending on your deadline and your temperament. First, put the current story aside and work for a while on something else, preferably as different from the first as possible. That very differentness should refresh your creative juices.
The second is perhaps the most efficient and the most difficult of all, but it works. Keep writing. Finish your coffee, do the last few motions of physical activity, then sit down again in front of the computer. Write a word. Then write another one after it. And another. And another. And so forth, until the pump is primed and the words are flowing again.
In either case, you are back at work.
Yes, what you write like this might be pure gibberish. Probably it will be gibberish. If it is, it can be rewritten or even trashed later. What is important is to get you writing again, and that’s what writers do. Writers write, and if you’re ‘blocked’ you’re not writing.
No ability ever got stronger by not using it.

Thank you for being here Janis. It's been fun. Only 5 more days and 5 more guests to go. We're almost at the end of the Summer Bash.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 25!

Today I'm welcoming Mickie Sherwood to the party. Thank you so much for being here Mickie.

1: When did you first begin writing?

Hi, Kat. Actually, I’ve always had an interest in writing and until a few years ago, pushed it to the backburner. What prompted me to write Louisiana Hot Sauce was the outcry on multiple forums yearning for that sensual leave-it-to-the-imagination storyline in the multicultural genre. I decided to do something about it. Let me be clear, I’m not bashing anybody’s work because we all like different things at different times. I just wonder sometimes why people of different ethnicities can’t battle the odds and sometimes each other on their way to a sweet HEA or HFN.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

(Laughing) I guess I answered that question in #1. It sounds crazy but everyday nuances are my inspiration.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Rituals? It depends on what part of the novel I’m working on. For instance, if it’s the highly charged climax to a situation, I find a brisk walk helps. Now, on the other hand, an emotional entanglement calls for something to soothe my soul. Just give me a nice big bowl of Baskin-Robbins Chocolate Almond ice cream, my easy chair, the drone of the TV and my laptop—and I’m good to go.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Kat, I’m a little of both. I might begin as a panster but switch to plotter mode to fully develop an idea. That works for me because sometimes the movie playing in my head, (yes, movie—that’s what I said) needs to be edited, molded and formed up.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

This question is tricky. Let’s talk genres instead of favorites. These are just a sampling of my go-to reads. Romance—Sandra Kitt. Chick-lit humor—Janet Evanovich. Mystery suspense—Gar Anthony Haywood.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

Yes. I’m laughing my way through the early Joe and Dottie Loudermilk mysteries of Gar Anthony Haywood.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I move away from the laptop and busy myself doing other things. Recently, the movies weren’t rolling in my head so it was a great time to hose down the front porch, including the rockers. I just love that country porch. The other day, I sanded a plant stand and painted it candy apple red. Now, that really made the porch pop.

Wow, I guess that sounds like a lot of days with writer’s block, doesn’t it?

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I love to take pictures. I don’t mean me as the subject. Hate that. I take shots, mostly nature and scenic. You can see some of them on my web site. They are a focal point on my site that I change randomly just for fun.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’ve been to spectacular places surrounded by beautiful blue water. But I’ve never been to The Greek Isles. If you’ve ever watched those travel shows you’ve seen the shimmering white buildings against that gloriously blue ocean. It’s gorgeous. I’d love to see that up close and personal.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Do your research. Ask questions. Don’t be intimidated. And grow in your craft.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

Hmmm. There’s not much to tell. I do like my romance novels tastier than parfait, sweet like pie and as satisfying as ice cream. So, readers can be on the lookout for more like that from me if that’s what they crave, also.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Gladly. I like to refer to Louisiana Hot Sauce as a sweet, zesty read with just the right spice. It’s about two hearts attempting to overcome travesties of the past. Mesha has a hot temper that camouflages unfounded guilt. Jack harbors the painful sting of rejection. Their impromptu clash launches a relationship that hurdles them romantically towards a bright future in Happily Ever After.

Louisiana Hot Sauce was a joy for me to write, Kat. I hope it suits the sweet tooth of its readers.

Thanks for this opportunity to share.
I invite readers to visit Mickie’s Manor at http://www.mickiesherwood.com/.

We are getting close to the end but still have lots of fun lined up. I really enjoyed having you Mickie.:-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 24!

Today my guest is Frank Scully. He's a great talent and a very funny man. So please help me welcome him to the party.

1: When did you first begin writing?

The first time I ever seriously wrote anything was when I was a freshman in college more than 40 years ago. After college, I served in Vietnam and worked on my career. I didn’t get back to writing again until the early 90’s.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

Everywhere. Life, work, books, everything and anything can provide a spark.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

Not really. Once I get into a book it almost takes over and I have to learn to push myself away from writing to take breaks and get some rest.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I begin with a pretty good idea of the full makeup of the main characters and the general theme, plot and curve of the story line. From there, once I start writing things can take some surprising twists and turns that I don’t see coming until I write them down.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Tony Hillerman, Michael Connelly, Robert Ludlum, Len Deighton, Martin Cruz-Smith and too many others to name.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

I’ve been reading some of Lee Child’s novels recently among others.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

When I have writer’s block, I usually just go back to what I have already written and edit for a while until it gets me in the mood to start writing.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I am a poker player. When not writing and I want to relax I will play poker either online or at a casino. Poker is like life. You can do everything right and still lose. In the summer I might spend some time in the garden. It’s like editing. There are always weeds to pull.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

If I had to pick one spot among the many I would like to see it would be Italy. I would love to tour Italy.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Write because that is what you want to do. Don’t do it for fame or money. Write for the fun of writing.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

Nothing in particular comes to mind.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Resurrection Garden is a tale of murder, love and redemption set in North Dakota in the first decade of the 20th century.

Jake Turner, a man who travels alone with a reputation he would like to leave behind, is a target for ruthless killers who want to stop him from solving a murder. And that’s the least of his problems.

Jake, a scarred veteran of the charge up San Juan Hill, has been a lone drifter through much of the settling of the west. Opportunity was growing out of the newly turned sod of the North Dakota prairie in 1904 when he stopped to take a part time job as a Deputy Sheriff, expecting to move on again when the dark parts of his past catch up to him.

An investigation into a murder of a man hated by everyone has threads that lead to his best friend, Isaac. Jake is ambushed and almost killed, but is nursed back to health by Isaac. While Jake follows the clues into a labyrinth of hatred, sordid crimes and missing money he becomes attached to an eight year old orphaned boy named Andy and falls in love with Isaac’s sister, Alice. After being alone for so long with no hope or care for what tomorrow might bring, Jake finds it difficult to accept these new emotional attachments.

Jake believes in Justice, but before he had only his own life on the line. When Andy is kidnapped and almost killed, Jake knows the killers will do anything to stop him. In order to protect Alice and Andy, he must break their hearts and leave them and North Dakota behind.

Jake knows he’ll be back. So do the killers. Trap and counter trap are laid. Jake knows there will be graves. He just doesn’t know who will be in them.

Thank you Frank for being here. I can't wait to read Ressurection Garden. I love the cover for this and for your other upcoming novel, Dead Man's Gambit.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 23!

Today my guest is Talia Kelley and she's fearlessly diving into the pool with sharks. So please help me welcome her to the bash!

1: When did you first begin writing?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something, whether poetry or prose, but I remember getting in trouble for the first short story I wrote that wasn’t assigned—an erotic short story from first-person perspective. I was sixteen. I didn’t write another erotic tale until I was twenty-seven.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

Usually, it’s a phrase, or a what-if question. For example, “Just Ducky” sprang from the question, “What if a rubber duck was more than just a bath toy?” Occasionally, a story grows from a dream. “Sabine” started with a scene of a beautiful woman with long, black hair hurrying up a spiral stone staircase. Her sense of urgency woke me.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

If I’m a little stuck, I’ll read through a little bit of my story, put on either my Celtic or Buckethead CD, depending upon the story, and lie down for an hour. That usually lets me reach REM sleep.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’m a little bit of both. I create the characters, give them background even if I don’t intend to write that background into the plot, and then put those characters into situations. I usually have an idea of the ending, but most often, the characters take me someplace else.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Honestly, I don’t have much time to read anything other than school books, but I do enjoy reading the books that I edit for Red Rose as I work. One of my favorites has been The Gully Path, by Sue Clifton.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

I am reading/editing part of the Anchorage Series, by Sandra Stixrude. I’m going to end up buying the entire series.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

If it’s a major block, I start another story. That gets the juices flowing. Then I can get back to the first story.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I like to hop on the back of my Beloved’s Harley and go for a good, long ride.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would love to see the tulips in Holland.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

You must write. Get the story down, and then worry about polishing. Otherwise, a hundred-page story can take a year.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

My books spring from my imagination. I’m an actress, putting myself into roles.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

“Just Ducky” is an erotic romance with a fairy-tale flavor. It involves an arranged marriage, a lost gem, a dying suitor, a village wise-woman, an ancient bath toy, a modern-day heiress, and the wheel of fate.

Thank you Talia for being here. I loved doing this with you. It was a real treat.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 22!

Today my guest here at the party is Terri Main and I am so excited to have her. So please help me welcome Terri.

1: When did you first begin writing?

Actually, my first attempt to write a novel was the summer between grade school and junior high. That was $& years ago. I hope you could read that, my number keys don’t always work right. It was a science fiction story about a guy living in the twenty-first century whose grandfather from the twentieth century and his grandson from the twenty-second century end up arriving in two different time machines at the same time. He is just an accountant not a scientist and likes his nice ordinary life and has no idea what to do about these guys. Unfortunately, all I had was a premise and not a plot.

I sold my first poem when I was 18 that was $) years ago. (Funny how that number thing comes and goes). I got two dollars and was thrilled. I’ve been writing ever since.

2: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

My “ritual” if you want to call it that, is to sit down in my recliner, prop my feet up, open my laptop and let my finger push keys.

There’s nothing mysterious about writing. Like the man said, “It means applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair in front of the typewriter and staying there until you are finished.”

3: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’m a follower. I start with a premise and then some characters. I spend a lot of time with my characters. I live with them until they become real to me. Until I know them better than I know myself. Then I set for them a problem to solve. Then I imagine them solving that problem. I see the story unfold in my mind in a very general form. From that visualization, I set forth landmarks for the characters to advance toward in their own way.

Then I step back and follow them as they pursue their goals. In short stories they usually have a single goal. In Parmenter’s Wager I have a pastor who is asked by a parishioner who has revealed to him she is a clone, “Do I have a soul?” His goal is to answer that question and decide what to do about her participation in the life of the church? Along the way he must struggle with personal prejudice, pride, ignorance, theology and church politics trying to answer that simple yet profound question. I hope the solution he comes to is not simplistic or expected.
I follow the characters around and record what they do. Sometimes I do that from within a character. In that case the point of view is first person. Sometimes I do it from outside the person, in which case it is third person.

My characters constantly surprise me and often take me down side roads I never saw coming. It’s kind of weird and kind of fun all at the same time.

4: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

There are so many. C.S. Lewis both fiction and nonfiction. Isaac Asimov, Clifford D. Simak and Arthur C. Clarke are my absolute favorite “modern” science fiction writers. I am however rediscovering through The Gutenberg Project (http://www.gutenberg.org/ ) many older and sometimes forgotten nineteen century science fiction writers. On the mystery side, of course, Agatha Christie with my favorites being the Hercule Poirot mysteries and the Sherlock Holmes stories are classics to be enjoyed by all generations. A more recent addition to my collection is Lillian Jackson Braun and her wonderful (and often imitated) Cat who… stories. Great place to learn characterization and the interplay of setting with plot.

5: Are you currently reading anything right now?

Yes, I’m reading The Planet of the Damned by Harry Harrison, The Cat who went Bananas, several short stories by H.P.Lovecraft and Dracula by Bram Stoker

6: How do you deal with writer’s block?

The same way I deal with not feeling up to getting up and going to the school to teach. I get up and go to the school and teach. I get up and go to the computer and write.

7: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

You mean there are other FUN things than writing? What are they? Seriously, I don’t do fun well. At least not in terms of what other people consider fun. I enjoy writing. I enjoy teaching my classes. I enjoy writing and teaching Bible studies. I play with my three cats. I collapse and watch TV. I read. That pretty much covers it. But you see I consider all of that fun.

8: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

If my asthma was better, Egypt. Visit the Cairo Museum. Love ancient history. I’d like to go back to Yellowstone and then go over to Cody Wyoming and visit the Buffalo Bill museum. Contrary to the sound of the name, it is the premier museum of the old west. It has several wings including one devoted entirely to Western art. Then I’d like to go to England. It’s just part of our heritage and see all those places that inspired the great works of Johnson, Pope, Shakespeare, Tennyson and the like.

9: What advice do you have for new authors?

Learn about writing. Write. Learn. Write. Learn. Repeat.
Seriously, you should be reading and taking classes to learn the craft of writing. However, that will not make a writer out of you. You need to write and to write often. Then you need to learn enough to be able to knowledgeably edit your writing. Then you need to write enough so you understand what you are reading and learning. It’s neither theory nor experience that gets anyone to a goal. It’s both together.

I would also say, don’t let people deter you or your own perception of what they might think. When I was in high school, I would look over my shoulder when I went to the news stand to pick up my copy of Writer’s Digest then snuck it out under my coat for fear of what people might think. But I kept getting my copies of the magazine.

Finally, read. You cannot write if you will not read. Read the type of books you would like to write. But also read those you don’t. You can learn from both. Read the masters, but also read the mid-range. Oddly enough, the bright stars often, in later years, write more poorly than the person who continually has to work to get his or her next novel published. Let’s face it, Stephen King could write like a fifth grader and still get a six-figure advance.

10: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Dark Side of the Moon is the first in a series of cozy mysteries set in an underground lunar colony at the end of the twenty-first century. Carolyn Masters, history professor and former FBI profiler, finds herself uncertain about her future after her mother dies of a stroke. This is shocking since a substance, ironically enough mined on the moon, has made cardio-vascular disease almost extinct. A genetic quirk in about one in a hundred thousand people makes them immune to the effects of the drug.

Carolyn feels at a loss as to what to do with the rest of her life, which might be thirty years or so shorter than she always assumed. When she gets the call from an old colleague who is now president of the new Armstrong University on the moon, she jumps at the chance to get a major change of scene.

She isn’t on the moon long, though, before a colleague is murdered. This is the first murder on the moon and the local “security counselors” are out of their depth. So they call in Michael Cheravik, a criminology professor and former Dallas homicide detective and Carolyn to work on the case. The trail leads them to the “dark side” of the moon from the casinos of Tranquility to the halls of acadamea to the small shops of the underground town that is sort of like Mayberry at one-sixth G. Carolyn finds herself once again having to think like a murderer to solve the mystery, stop a terrorist attack on earth and fight off her own demons, and maybe, just maybe, find love before the curtain falls.
Thank you so much for being here today Terri. It's been fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 20!

Today my guest is Ginger Simpson. So jump out of the pool, there are sharks circling anyway. And perk up those ears for Ginger!

Being new to the publishing industry can be quite confusing. I rememberl having a million question marks hovering over my head but having no idea how to formulate the words to ask what I needed to know. I'm certainly not the 'queen of facts' but perhaps I can share a little information that helps clarify two terms that confused the heck out of me.If you consider you have a product to sell, the first thing you want to do is PROMOTE it. Promotion is about getting people interested in your work...sharing excerpts, posting teasers, garnering book reviews. These things all speak for you and allow people to acquaint themselves with said 'product.' It's sometimes hard for some of us to sell ourselves. I know I have a hard time praising my own work, so if I can garner good reviews, the words of others can be shared to my benefit. Most promotion costs nothing but time and energy.Once people know about you, then you need to find ways to sell your product. MARKETING is often more expensive than promoting because it can entail paid advertising and mass mailings. Beware...before you spend a ton, expect that you might not get a great return on your investment. The first year I marketed myself, I spent three times more than I made. I've backed off since then, purely for financial reasons. For example: When I published my first book, I took out an ad with some other authors in The Romantic Times Magazine. The cost was prohibitive to doing it frequently, but I felt it would get my name out, and connected with the review done on my historical novel, it was money well spent. At the time, RT was extremely hard on e-published authors. So when I received a four-star review, I can’t explain my joy. With a debut novel and a great review, I was inspired to continue writing.I've consistently ordered postcards featuring my book covers from Vista print, and I have exchanged them with other authors to create a packet of different promotional items. This way, more than one of us is marketing the works of several. We mention them on loops and mail them to whoever requests them. I do the same with bookmarks. Vista print always has quite affordable sales...sometimes free items with paid shipping and handling. There isn't a big demand for these items, but they are also pieces you can leave in doctor/dental offices, banks, restaurants, anywhere there's a counter. I also carry pens with my name and website on them and usually leave one with each waitress or waiter I meet when I dine out. You know how people love to steal pens. *smile* I know several authors who have done mass-mailings to libraries and press releases to local newspapers. These are two more ways to market your work. Another innovative friend held Book Parties, similar to Tupperware, where the hostess earns gifts for hosting and more for sales. Just put on your thinking cap and see what ideas you can concoct. Participation in local street fairs, craft shows, car shows…any place where people gather can be a great marketing experience. It's often fairly cheap to purchase a table or booth where you can set yourself up to display your books. For those who do only ebooks, then purchase downloads and put them on CD for sale, as long as your contract allows. One of my publishers encourage this practice, but they require a share of the profits. You just want to make sure you don't infringe on your contract in any way. I've not done many personal appearances, but I have compiled a notebook that holds categorized copies of all my reviews, interviews, and any sort of testimonial to my work. I'm prepared when I do attend an affair. Like I said...I have a difficult time tooting my own horn, so I prefer to let my notebook do my bragging for me. :)I hope this was helpful to some of you. If you can think of other things to share, please leave them in the comments. I'm always happy to learn new things.

Thank you for being here Ginger and giving us some helpful tips. I always enjoy reading what you have to say.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 19!

Today I have the talented Biana Kingsley stopping by and joining the party. And I believe she brought food...oh wait. My cats ate it. Sorry.:-) But without further ado, here is Biana Kingsley.

1: When did you first begin writing?

I began back in the olden days when traditional romances with fairly tame love scenes ruled the bookstore shelves. I definitely like the hotter trend nowadays, but the romance has to rule. I mean, isn’t that what we all really want most? True love? Sex is always great, but true love makes sex unforgettable.

So, since I feel that way, you know what you’re getting when you read my book Country Heat 1: Wolf in the Shadows, with RedRosePublishing.com. It’s listed as erotic romance, but it is true love romance, peppered with sexual tension and good sex. The best of both worlds.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

I’m a pantser, I think. That means flying by the seat of my pants, right? I’m so full of stories I couldn’t possibly write them all out before I die. They just come. They’re in a giant storage bin somewhere in my soul, I guess, and when I write The End on one story, another slides into the Ready, Set, Go slot. I get swept away by each story. I get to live it. It’s just so good!

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

No rituals for me. What I do need is privacy, which normal family life often doesn’t allow for. So maybe, a ritual would be that I make sure everyone in the house is busy, then lock myself in my room. Lol.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

Honestly, and I know I’m terrible to admit this, I don’t read fiction anymore unless it’s a requested review. And even then, I struggle to finish. I’m so used to combing through my own books over and over, making sure the story flows, and everything is perfect, that when I pick up a fiction novel, I start picking at its imperfections like an editor. It really just ruins the fun. And I don’t know how to stop doing it. So I pretty much go for research and nonfiction.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

The Gnostic Gospels.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

The only times I’ve sat in front of the screen and wasn’t able to put out was because my brain was drained from marathon writing, or I’m tired. My cure is rest and sleep.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I raise chickens. Landscape. Grow berries. Walk my dog. Cookouts with the kids. Movies. Sitting outside at night and listening to life.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

With the worldwide general dislike of Americans these days, I’ve no real interest to venture out of the U.S. right now. I would, however, jump a flight on a spaceship out of here in a minute to see other worlds and other races.

If the world condition were better, I would like to see Egypt. And Alaska. And the Yukon Territory. I must’ve lived in there in other lives. Why else would I have been born with an ache in my heart for these places? I’m open to other ideas, but I can’t think of any that can explain why a child isolated in a small town starts life obsessed with three certain locations on the planet.

I realize Alaska is part of the U.S. so perhaps I could plan a trip there one day. I would like to go up near the North Pole where they often find Woolly Mammoth bones and tusks pushing out of the ground. Imagine finding something like that?

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Gads, run, run away as fast as you can. Lol.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

I’m always happier when people know as little as possible about me. However, I was told the second installment of my sensual romance Country Heat 2: Broken Vows will be released at RedRosePublishing sometime in August - so I want people to know about that.

Broken Vows was brought out of mothballs last summer for editing, but it ended up being shelved. But now it’s in a new editor’s hands and I’m hoping it will make its August release! Keeping my fingers crossed.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Country Heat is a multi-book series about bold and independent, single mom Aubrey Woodhaus, and her luscious, younger hero, single dad Jensen Keets. True love and hot romance in a small town just like you might live in.

Readers can find out more about Aubrey and Jensen’s romance in the first book, Wolf in the Shadows, at my website: http://www.bianakingsley.com/ There is link on the homepage, take Excerpt Tour!

Soon I’ll be posting excerpts for Book 2: Broken Vows on my website, too, once it’s edited for release.
Here is the unofficial blurb:

Country Heat 1: Wolf in the Shadows

After a long, hard life, Aubrey Woodhaus has everything she’s dreamed of. Her growing business requires her first employee. She just met and married the perfect man. She’s even pregnant, at forty seven. And now, she’s been contracted to write a book.

Jensen is happy for Aubrey, but not about her editor. Reese Gwen is older, more sophisticated, and has admitted outright he intends to have Aubrey. Pictures begin arriving in envelopes without a return address. Photos of Aubrey, and her editor in increasingly intimate situations. Only when Jensen is finally forced to confront Aubrey with the evidence of her cheating does he realize he’s plunged headfirst into Gwen’s trap. His reward is his marriage is crumbling.
Can he keep Aubrey from divorcing him, or will her editor’s evil plan win out and take from him the only woman he’ll ever truly love?

Thank you so much for being here. I had a lot of fun and really loved talking with you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 18!

Today my guest is the amazing fantasy author Marsha Moore. I am so thrilled to have her here today. So, get on your swim fins and help me welcome Marsha Moore to the party!

First mate on the pirate ship, The Black Hawk, reports in on tall tales told in
Tears on a Tranquil Lake
by Marsha A. Moore

It be a grand day to tell ye about a book I be featured in, called Tears on a Tranquil Lake. Tis written by a great lass and fine storyteller, Marsha A. Moore.
I be called Black Sam, in the honored rank o’ first mate on the privateer vessel, The Black Hawk, under the command of Captain Raphael. The Hawk sails under colors o’ the Jolly Rodger and our own hawk on a red field.

The Captain be sweet on a new mermaid we pulled aboard the other night, saving her from the chill o’ cool winter surface waters. Just turned, she be so green, not knowing even to go deep into the water below to protect herself. But fer all the trouble, she be a lovely lass named Ciel, with long golden hair, shapely woman curves, some right pretty blue scales and flipper, if ye have a likin’ for her fish tail. I be thinkin’ Captain likes all her parts, the way he be hanging after her. He looked the fool a tryin’ to get her to join us for a trip down to the pirate waters o’Tortuga.

Ciel and me got to be right good mates, helpin’ me tease Dogbone, our head galley cook. Was hard to keep her aboard though – always wantin’ to swim off with dolphins! *guffaws* Pardon me, remembering her leap-froggin’ with them always brings me a hearty laugh. The trouble that lass could find, even a run in with some evil voodoo!

But her worst trouble be with that merman, Meris, who turned her into a mermaid. Seemed he thought he owned the lass. She believed him too, and put her square in the midst of a struggle tween Captain and him. Poor lass, her head all spun crazy like with the two o’ them wooing her day in, day out. If it weren’t fer me position to serve Captain, I might o’ thown me beret in the ring too. Just so-te-speak, since me cap’s always on, to cover me bald spot. Instead, I tried me best to help the pretty mermaid decide. Took her forever and about wrenched the hearts out o’ those two men. An I won’t be tellin’ ye who the lass picked!

Ye’ll just have to save yer doubloons to get yerself a copy of this tall tale when it be released February 1st in the year 2011 from MuseItHot Publishing. If ye scalliwags be hankering fer more hints, drag yer bones over to the storyteller’s site at http://www.marshaamoore.com/.

Link for Muse: http://museithotpublishing.com/
Thank you so much for being here. This was a lot of fun.:-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 17!

Today my party guest is Terry Kate of Romance In The Backseat. I am completely thrilled to have her today. She is so much fun. So please help me welcome Terry Kate!

Oh goody, it’s a party! Thanks to Kat for having me, since I am not an author I can only give you limited insight into anything craft related. Career related I am much more useful. I run a number of blogs, writing contests, giveaways, virtual events, and PR/Online Promotion consulting. So leave any questions you might have in the comments and I will answer them.I made up some questions to interview myself, I have multiple personalities I might as well use them.Why I like to torture authors - Cause it is fun?Okay that sounds terrible, but for some reason authors seem to think guest blogging, interviews, promotion, and such is torturous. I hear you, it is not easy to come up with concepts all of the time that will interest readers. So here are my thoughts...What can authors do to make guest blogging easier?Talk to the Blogger/Reviewer. Ask them what kind of blog posts get the most attention.- Author Interviews?- Character Interviews?- Talking about interesting bits from your research - ghost stories, history, etc.- Tie ins with pop culture, I love vamps, but like Vampire Diaries Damon more the Stephan that is why my character, such and such, blah, blah, blahs.What can I do to make my guest blog stand out?- Excerpt, different from the synopsis and related to content of the post, Keep it short.- Images - pick some fun images to go in your post. Give the blogger some options of what to include. They may use all or none. - Come comment on the post and let readers know you will be dropping in to answer questions.Do I only blog when I have a release?NOOOO!!! We like authors all the time whether they have a new release or not. Come talk about your take on the world cup, discuss and older title that had a birthday party in it during a blogs birthday party. Offer to blog on whatever topic the blogger needs you to. If that is your first time on a blog also offer them a copy of your book to review. If it is still available it will be new to some readers and then you just hit all new readers and slipped in a gentle reminder that you are still around and writing to those who have read your work in the past.I am unpublished, can I guest blog?-Yes, though let me qualify, some blogs will take you to talk about different subjects, I wen to a conference, saw a movie, admire this author because, opinion pieces, funny writing or life antidote. E-books vs. Print books. - A lot of blogs and smaller sites are looking for content. You make connections and meet readers, get them familiar with your pan name. People who feel like they know you buy your books.

I hope this was helpful, and if you would like to learn more leave your questions, or check out the http://www.blogger.com/”%3Ca”>Book Bloggers and Authors Online Conference on August 6&7. You can network with bloggers and reviewers, and learn all about what online promotion and other forms of PR can do for you.Thanks again to Kat! I really enjoyed reading through the posts from the party - awesome job!

Terry KateRomance in the Backseathttp://www.romanceinthebackseat.com/

Thanks again for being here Terry. I loved reading what you had to say!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 16!

Today I have the fantastic Rebecca Ryals Russell joining the party. She's an absolute sweetheart so without further ado, here she is.

1: When did you first begin writing?

I’ve written since I could hold a pencil. I remember writing rhymed stories with illustrations very, very early on up to love poems and lyrics in college. Then I took a break from writing to teach Middle School and raise a family. I wrote sporadically, getting up at 5am sometimes, but couldn’t keep it all balanced. Since retiring and with the kids mostly grown up I’m writing again in earnest.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

My father talked a lot about writing and after he died I found an unfinished manuscript, but he never did more than talk. I never really needed inspiration, it seems it’s part of my genes.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

I need it quiet with no interruptions. Once I get the train moving it hates to stop and kids asking questions or texting is a real bummer. That’s why I do my best writing from midnight to 3am.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

I’ve discovered I’m a plotter. I pantsed the first manuscript and it was a mess—took me two years to straighten out. Now I plan a basic outline of the book making sure the ARC is in place then write. Of course the outline changes with each chapter as the Muse interjects her own thoughts. It works because I’m an organized person and a schedule-keeper.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

I adore Ray Bradbury—everything he’s ever written. I use JRR Tolkien as a role model, a lot of my story is modeled after his LOTR series. I enjoy Stephen King, I read a lot of David Eddings and Terry Brooks. We all devoured Harry Potter. Gosh, there are so many. I LOVE reading YA and have read many, many YA authors over the years so I could recommend them to my students. And I encouraged my own children to read the classics, which they have. My son at 14 read Catcher in the Rye, All three parts of Dante’s Inferno and more. He’s headed for journalism. I guess it’s in his blood, too.

6: Are you currently reading anything?

I picked up Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey at the SCBWI conference in June. I haven’t yet started it, but I was very impressed by her as a person, so I’m anxious to find time to start it. I just finished The Lovely Bones and thought it was an amazing story. I loved the new angle she took.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Ah, the bane of a writer’s existence. It’s a problem because there are so many interesting things on the Internet, like Facebook games, blogs, emails, chatrooms, need I go on? I guess I just force myself to concentrate on the next sentence. Late at night I’ll read the last thing I wrote and just start writing. It gets changed a lot, but at least the train is rolling again.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

I don’t think there is a time I’m not writing. It drives my family crazy because I talk about the characters or plot or latest plot twist at supper, in the car, at a restaurant. If I think I’ll have a few hours to spend away from home, I take my laptop and find a plug. If I don’t take my laptop, I take my legal pad with its fancy red leather case. (Everything I own is red.) BUT, if I’m not writing I’m watching a movie, reading or conversing with family.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

That one’s hard. I’ve seen most of the US, part of Canada and Mexico as a kid with my parents on summer trips. I married an Irishman and we’ve been over there numerous times. I adopted a Vietnamese son and we picked him up there, so I spent a week in Hanoi and a week in Ho Chi Min City.

The one place I haven’t been and really want to see, however, is Scotland and Wales. I love castles. That’s why I write fantasy.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Read every agent’s blog you see then begin your own. Even if you think you have nothing to say, just say it poetically and write—it’ll come. Then read helpful how-to-write blogs. There are TONS of them out there (including mine). It was by reading I finally figured out the process involved in writing a good manuscript. Next, read good books from the genre you’re writing. Make notes, underline good phrasing or description or characters. Lastly, and I know this is cliché, but, write, write, write. It doesn’t matter how good it is or even WHAT it is. Just the act helps. It’s like playing an instrument. It takes practice.

11: Is there anything you’d like people to know about you?

The basics anyone can find on any of my bios, like my website Plotting Worlds or Facebook, Twitter, MuseItUp Publishing. I guess I’d like people to know that I’m passionate about my story. It has been rattling around in my head for about thirty years. It’s what I started writing over and over again at five in the morning. But it wasn’t until I retired and had quiet days to think that it all came together and then gushing onto the page. In six months I wrote 130,000 words. It took the next two years to whittle it down to the svelte 90,000 words my Book 1: Odessa became. But I’m extremely happy to have the opportunity to share my passion thanks to Lea Schizas at MuseItUp Publishing. And I hope to have the next book out soon so more of the story can be shared.

12: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

18-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s death by burning alive and many other atrocities in the news. She meets Michael (19), who becomes her guide and explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen demon-slayers with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island.
Reluctantly, but knowing it is her only way to get back home, she agrees to lead, battling dragons and monsters while crossing swamps and mountains, forests and seas. She discovers love when three very different men join her quest—a seasoned dragon-slayer who irritates but beguiles her, a tender and sweet mentor in whom she trusts completely and a roguishly handsome Scientist who sets her senses aflame. How is she expected to lead the others and keep everyone safe with so much inner turmoil?

Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?

Thank you so much for being here Rebecca. I can't wait to read this. Rebecca doesn't yet have a cover for Seraphym Wars book 1 so she designed this cover to use until her official one comes through. Isn't she talented?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 15!

Today my guest is Cam, the hero in L.J. Holmes' upcoming release Santa Is A Lady. I'm truly pleased to have him here and that L.J. let him out long enough to talk to him. So, please help me welcome Cam Drayton.

Good Morning Kat Holmes. Thank you for asking me to visit with you and your friends here on your blog.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cameron Drayton, and I am the main male character in L.J. Holmes’: any relation to you by the way: Santa is a Lady due to be released on December 1st, 2010 by that new Canadian e-publisher everyone s talking about, Muse It Up Publishing.
When you offered up your blog to anyone in the literary world, I jumped on it, for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been following L.J.”s advance excerpts, and secondly, the character blog on the Muse It Up blog by Angie Brightwell on June 9th, 2010. I’m starting to feel a bit, well, ignored, and it’s not like L.J. would have much of a story without me.
While L.J. was writing, I tried to convince her you all really need to know my history, or I was going to come off more like a villain, but she and her editor called it Back story; not vital for the story’s evolution. Can you believe that? So when you offered me this opportunity, I naturally jumped on it.
What to tell you? I’ve really thought about this. I’m a natural born Northeringalian, and I have wracked my memory, but I really don’t remember hearing about the Brightwell family at all. We wouldn’t have had too many opportunities to meet; you have to understand because we traveled in vastly different circles. My folks are a bit bluer of collar, and I really can’t remember ever clapping eyes on a younger Angie Brightwell.
Of course, I am ten years older than Angie, so by the time she’d have been old enough for me to notice, I was already embedded with the army Corp of Engineers in Iraq. I’m one of the many who eagerly volunteered to go to war after the devastation of nine-eleven.
My skills as an engineer were much in demand. That place was pretty badly decimated. Once we entered Iraq, it was up to the Corp to rebuild the shattered Iraqi infrastructure. And yeah I can see in your eyes that you’ve guessed right. That was me you saw on the news, the guy peeking over my shoulder expecting to see incoming IED’s. while dropping the pre-fab bridges so our troops could get from point “A” across the bridge imploded waters to point “B”.
There were a lot of times when I expected to be kissing my ass goodbye…er, sorry. I forget about the language sometimes. Bad habit, and now that I have a little girl, really gotta monitor my mouth. Learning to be a good dad is a lot of work, I can sure tell you.
Johara, that’s my little girl’s name, and she’s what all this is about.
Eventually, with my butt still intact, Thank You God, I was assigned the command of a training base. I was to hire and train Iraqis so they could rebuild their own country. That’s how I met the three Hakimi brothers and their beautiful older sister Tahirah.
The brothers, wastrels and con artists, were deeply in love with money, so offered their sister, who spoke several languages fluently as base translator. Looking back, I wonder if she and I would have been as drawn to each other had we been anywhere else, not that it matters, nor would I change the time we shared.
We did fall in love, and eloped; not the brightest thing to do in that world, but is love ever bright? My friend our Base Chaplain was right there, and so he married us, and before you ask, we eloped, so yeah, we neglected to tell Tahirah’s brothers. In the beginning, things went along as usual. The brothers only showed their faces on our side of the base every two weeks to collect their sister’s pay packet.
The proverbial dark stuff hit the fan about eight weeks after we said our vows. The brothers, wanting more money, decided to sell their sister into marriage to the highest bidder, and so unannounced, they showed up on our side of the base.
We hadn’t yet had it confirmed, but Tahirah was pregnant, and her brothers went ballistic. They put our marriage through all kinds of legal challenges, but ultimately our marriage was declared legal and binding by both the US and the Iraqi courts.
The Hakimis were not pleased…understatement. Tahirah had humiliated them with her defiance, secrecy, and disobedience; and as for me? I’d stolen their pot of gold!
They waited and stewed. Perhaps if our baby had been born a boy, at least they might have been able to save some face among their former Red Guard cronies. Joahara was born an adorable girl.
My wife’s brothers commissioned her murder and the kidnapping of our daughter. After slicing Tahirah’s body up and disposing it in front of my three month old baby, they buried Johara in one of Iraq’s hellish orphanages, and then the eldest brother showed up on my doorstep demanding fifteen thousand American dollars from me to buy my baby back.
It took me almost two years to get my daughter back, and now, all I want, as we begin to celebrate this first Christmas together, is for her to have a typical American holiday. Let me assure all your visitors out there reading this, I’m not a hard man, but I am a desperate man, who finally has his little girl home—but there’s nothing remotely typical about Santa being a lady.
What happens next? Well we’re all going to have to wait till December 1st to find out. I hope you’ll join us on our holiday adventure. We’ll be looking forward to sharing our future tomorrows with you, and maybe you can convince Angie and her friend Beck that ladies are NOT supposed to disguise themselves as the jolly elf and risk spoiling the magic for all the Northeringalian children.

Thank you so much for being here Cam and thank you L.J. for letting him talk to us. I can't wait to read Santa Is A Lady coming from Muse It Up Publishing on December 01, 2010.:-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 14!

Today, Larriane Wills' character Gus is stopping byt he party and talking about his story. So, grab a hot dog and some lemonade as Gus fills you in on his life in books.

My name is Gus. Folks know me as Mr. Tower’s ramrod, a good man—if I say so myself—that never was anything more than a hired hand. I’m here to tell ya a bit about A Gallows Waited. Larion wrote the story, and she wrote good, being educated more than me, but still she asked me to come tell ya a bit about it, to get ya interested and all.
When that little thing got off the train, I couldn’t feel nothing more than sorry fer her. Elizabeth was plain as a mouse, and laced into a drab shapeless dress that looked like her mother should’a been wearing it, not a woman no more than 25. Her hair was so light, pulled back tight the way it was, she looked nearly skinned. Elisabeth looked, well, not scared, more like just nothing. Ya know, that blank look on her face like maybe she was a bit simple minded. Mr. Tower sent me right off to fetch her luggage. Dang if she didn’t bring a dog with her. That didn’t set too well with Mr. Tower, I can tell ya. He told her right off he’d tolerate no animals in the house. Thought I saw something in her then, like resignation, like the poor little thing just give up on life. She didn’t argue none, just climbed up on the wagon seat for Mr. Tower to take her to the boarding house where she’d stay ‘till they got married. Fool thing for the man to do if you ask me. He was old enough to be her father, friend of her father’s, and it was him that arranged the marriage. Don’t think Elizabeth had much to say about it or maybe she just didn’t care, coming all the way from back east to marry a man she’d never seen afore. Wasn’t right. I may be no more than a hired hand, maybe getting on in years, too, but there ought to be love in a marriage. Was in mine. Loved my wife and loved that baby girl she gave to me before I lost them both to cholera. My little girl would be the same age as Elizabeth. Elizabeth has them same big blue eyes, reminding me of that babe I lost every time she looked up enough to see them eyes. Guess maybe that’s why I wanted to help her so much that same day her and Mr. Tower got hitched when Tim Bowman rode into the ranch and shot Mr. Tower dead.
Now that Bowman, he fascinated me from the minute I laid eyes on him. Had me a short time talking to him, me talking mostly, afore Mr. Tower got home from wedding Elizabeth. I knew right off he weren’t no run of the mill grub line rider. Looked poor, but he rode and talked proud, had a voice you could hear yards away without him even raising it, when he bothered to speak that was. Not a talking man and it didn’t take me long to learn he had him a big hate, riding him hard. He was mad, deep down and clear through, at everyone and all the world, but as soon as he opened his eyes—Tower got lucky with one of his wild shots—there was Elizabeth and those big blue eyes he saw.
What with trying to teach Elizabeth she didn’t have to pay any mind to what other folks said and should speak up fer herself and working out the riddle of the wild story Tower told as he was dying about that Bowman fella, I had my hands full, let me tell ya. Elizabeth had been treated bad by that daddy of hers, but she had a spark in her that just needed lighting. That Bowman, now he did some lighting. She come out fighting when the sheriff thought to hang him.
Now that’s all Larion wants me to be telling ya. She says telling too much now will spoil the story so’s I’ll just shut my yap. Y’all want ta see how Elizabeth turned out and how Bowman found out there was more in the world than hate, yar just gonna have ta read the book. I don’t reckon you’ll be sorry. I’ll let her tell ya all them other things like whar ya can buy it and such.
A Gallows Waited historical, western soft romance. For more information, blurbs, excerpts and such, drop by my site. There’s a contest—drawing actually—and some freebies offered as well.

Thanks for being here Gus and thanks for letting him come out to play Larriane.:-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Bash - Day 13!

Today I have my good friend and wonderful author Krista D. Ball joining in the party. She's so much fun. So without further ado, here she is.

1: When did you first begin writing?

When I was 12. I was given a typewriter for my homework and discovered that I preferred to write stories than do homework.

2: Where do you get your inspiration for writing from?

It sort of just comes to me. Events and circumstances mash together in my brain, twist around, and then get spit out completely different than how the raw stuff went in.

3: Do you have any rituals that help you get in the mood to sit down and write?

I pee. There isn’t a bathroom on the floor where my office is located. It’s really hard to work with a full bladder.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser when you write? Why does that work for you?

Both, neither, a mixture. These days, my time is limited so I don’t start projects without having made some notes of where the story is going. Sometimes, I have complete chapter treatment outlines. Other times, I have three scenes that I want to show up in the story and wing how to make them go together.

5: Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing?

My favourite authors list changes all of the time. Right now, I’m enjoying Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series.

6: Are you currently reading anything right now?

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine.

7: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t get it. I get moments of not wanting to write. I get moments of wanting to work on something else. I don’t get writer’s block. I firmly believe it doesn’t actually exist.It’s like a surgeon saying she can’t operate because she doesn’t have the motivation. No, she sucks it up and does the surgery. That’s how I treat my writing.One thing I found very helpful was when I started writing for local magazines. I am given a topic and a deadline. I don’t always feel like it, but I have to do those assignments. Otherwise, I don’t get paid and I won’t get any more work from them. When I started treating writing like a career and a job, writer’s block went away and never returned.

8: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?

Fun? What is this fun thing you speak of? Is it like that “real life” people are always talking about? I’ve always wanted to see this “real life” but it sounds scary. All that face-to-face interaction.

9: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’m not much of a traveler. I’ve been to a few places but I’d just rather to stay home and look after my garden. I do enjoy heading back home to Newfoundland whenever I get the chance, however.

10: What advice do you have for new authors?

Don’t submit first drafts to publishers and agents. I read slush for a Canadian publisher and I see this too often. A lot of times, new writers do several line edits on their first drafts and nothing more, never realizing that the core of the story is still very much a first draft. Only submit after you have challenged and adjusted the plot, injected personality into characters, added the six senses plus body language and sensation, and then done your line edits.

11: Tell us a bit about your book. What’s it about?

Harvest Moon is based on a fictional First Nations tribe from the Prairie Provinces in Canada. Dancing Cat allows her desperation to override her good judgement and her actions anger a powerful ancestor. She struggles to weave a path around the obstacles of friendship, identity, and longing in order to survive her eventual return home to face even further punishment.

You can follow Krista’s blog at www.kristadball.com/blog

Harvest Moon will be released Oct 1.

-- Krista D. BallDancing Cat angers her Ancestor, whose harsh punishment teaches her that true strength comes from the spirit within. ~ Harvest Moon, Coming Oct 2010Read a free sample and enjoy the adventures of a fantasy writer at http://www.kristadball.com/Tweet me!

Thank you Krista for being here. I am so looking to reading Harvest Moon. I'm part Cherokee so this excites me.:-)