Category Archives: Interview

Meet Author Georgia Rose

Georgia Rose 2

Author Georgia Rose

My genre is: romantic suspense – I write mysterious and romantic adventure stories with plenty of action and strong characters.

I started writing because: I had a story that had finally come to me in a complete form and this time I was determined to get it down before it disappeared from my head, as my ability to be able to hold onto such thoughts in the past has been pretty ephemeral.

The best thing about being a writer is: when I get the chance to spend some time in the fictional world I am creating and write a bit more of the story I am trying to tell.

My current favorite read:
I have been fortunate since starting to write to have found some terrific writers in the online world I often inhabit, and I’ve enjoyed many wonderful books, but there is one that leaps to mind that I have not been able to forget since reading it. Once Upon A Time In The City of Criminals by Mark Barry. I recommend it everywhere I go.

GET GEORGIA ROSE’S Before the Dawn WHILE IT’S ON SALE!

Before the Dawn

‘…he moved closer and slowly ran the point of his blade along my jaw line as he spoke softly, intimately, to me.

“So, you are Trent’s woman. Now that is very…appealing.” I glared back at him silently.’

There are testing times ahead for Grayson and Trent as trouble threatens Melton Manor. When an attack is made against those on the estate, Grayson gets caught in the middle finding herself and those around her in terrible danger. Terrified when she thinks tragedy has struck again she fights to protect those she now views as family and, suffering bloodshed and pain, confronts  her fears – both those brought by the enemy and by the one she loves.

Buy links – where it is currently on offer at 99c/99p!

Universal link for Before the Dawn at Amazon:- getbook.at/BeforeTheDawn

Meet the Author: Christine Burke

Headshot of Christine Burke

Poet Christine Burke

Hi Everyone, I’m Christine Burke, a poet interested in multi-media work such as filmpoems and audio poems, several of my poems are illustrated and I have a filmpoem Cover the Mirrors on Youtube.

My Genre: Poetry

I started writing: when my husband left me for a younger model and I wrote in the middle of  the night when I couldn’t sleep.

The best thing about being a writer is: the new world that’s open to me –learning about poetry; reading poetry; going to literary events and meeting people with similar interests; the whole online process and conversation – I love it all, it’s my indulgence.

My current favorite read: I love re-reading Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds– TS Eliot Prize 2012, Pulitzer Prize 2013. I love Sleekit Cowrin, the digressions, the images, the way I feel as she felt, when reading the whole book not just this one poem  “as if a deck were tilting under me”.

My latest collection LEGACY  has just come out on Kindle.  It’s about relationships, politics,  dreams and love, and various poems on odd subjects that are hard to classify, such as a garden shed!  Click the Amazon link to see inside –  LEGACY

Cover Legacy

 

 

My Amazon author page link

My website is www.christineburkebooks.com

 

 

 

If anyone would like to contact me through the contact page on my website I’ll email you BREAK-UPS SUCK!  FREE!

I haven’t got automatic downloads set up yet so you might have to wait a couple of days …

Meet the Author: Lis Luccassen

Meet The Author is designed to promote a writer and their current book in a fun and friendly “quick fact” format. This week we have Dutch Contemporary New Adult author Lis Lucassen. I reviewed her debut Heat published by Storm Publishers a few months back. This novel puts Lis on the map in the Netherlands as that nation’s first-ever NA author.

You can read that HERE.

Lucassen, L.

Author Lis Lucassen

My genre

Contemporary New Adult

I started writing because

I had to prove to my daughter that you have to follow your passion in life.

The best thing about being a writer
The possibility to escape.

My current favorite read
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.

 

Heat by Lis Lucassen

Under a burning sun more than a thousand miles from home, Lynn Stevens is trying to get her life back on track and leave memories of that one fateful night behind. She meets Dan, a young man with strangely erratic behavior and smoldering brown eyes, who is on an involuntary vacation with his parents. In him, she sees her own struggle reflected every time she is starting to get too close. Dan doesn’t like being touched. But when he sets out to uncover Lynn’s secret, it means he’ll have to tell her some secrets of his own.

Buy links:
Amazon.com

Amazone.co.uk

Kobo

Google Play

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lis Lucassen:

Facebook Storm Publishers: https://www.facebook.com/stormpublishers

Facebook Lis Lucassen: https://www.facebook.com/lislucassen

 

 

A Chat with Author Bev Spicer, Part II

Today we continue our conversation with author Bev Spicer. If you missed part I, where we delve into Bev’s writing process, click HERE.

B.A. Spicer

Author Bev Spicer

As an Indie author, it falls on you to promote your work. How do you balance the creative and business sides of writing?

Oh, God! Promoting. It’s so dull. I change my mind frequently about what works and what doesn’t. I remember reading somewhere, when I foolishly believed that if my books were good enough they’d find their readership, that an unadvertised book is akin to a painting stuck in the attic. Doesn’t matter how good it is – no one will ever see it. At present, I’m using a handful of advertising sites every month or so to spread the word, usually combined with a promotional price of some kind on one of my books. Twitter is wonderful, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I would prefer to retweet authors I’ve read and reviewed and to chat with a handful of readers I have met and enjoyed tweeting with. I’ve had a lot of help from fellow writers on Twitter and I am in awe of some them for their endless energy and prodigious output. I must say that I am particularly grateful to: Rosie’s blog, bodicia, Lynda, Gary. Real people, who care about what they do.

What are some of the benefits of working independently?

Oh, so many! No hoops to jump through. No nail-biting hanging around for agents to send you some carefully contrived response that tells you absolutely zero about why they don’t want your book. Honest feedback is hard to come by. I mean honest constructive feedback from a person who knows what he or she is talking about, obviously.

Chains off, do-it-yourself.

I’ve learned a lot about the publishing industry and I welcome the challenges that independence brings. In fact, the ever-changing parameters of being an independent author are generally aimed at bringing authors and readers closer together, which can only be a good thing. I may be naïve but I think Amazon has made it possible for independent authors to prosper and I support most of the initiatives they bring in to make sure only properly edited and produced books are available to readers.

Building an audience/readership takes considerable time and effort. What are your favorite ways to engage with your readers and/or meet new ones?

I’ve got a short list of people who like to hear about my books (and a much longer one of people who don’t!). I have a blog, which has around fifty to a hundred visits a day, and I spend some regular time on Goodreads looking at reviews and book recommendations. I chat with people, but don’t generally contact them about my books. Currently, I’m looking for ways to get more reviews and this involves sending out free paperbacks to interested parties with the proviso that they do not know me personally and are expected to leave an honest review. This looks as though it might work, but it’s expensive. I should be more organised. The problem is that I just want to write.

Bev home town

Bev is orginally from Bridgnorth, Shropshire (pictured here), but she now lives in Corme-Royal, France.

What kind of books do you like to read? Does your reading influence your writing?

I like all kinds of books. I read from recommendation, usually through reviews on my favourite blogs, friends, or Goodreads. I try to strike a balance between indie books and mainstream. I’ve recently enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (bit of a mouthful), and The Black Hours by Alison Williams, a first-rate indie author. I’m influenced by everything I read. Absolutely everything.

Is there a book out there that you wish you’d written?

Not really. That’s like saying ‘is there I child out there you wish was yours’. I just have this wonderful imperative, located somewhere between my head and my toes that drives me on to write better and better. The next book I write will be the one I wish I’d written.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?

Gardening (I hear yawning – but you’ll see!), reading (obviously), astronomy (not astrology!), art (looking at it), poetry (reading and writing it). I like to run, swim and do yoga (Iyengar – physical, not spiritual). The other me currently likes The Game of Thrones, gin and tonic in the garden and playing a frustrating game called ‘colored lines’, which is a bit like every other frustrating Internet game involving grouping shapes together to make them disappear and give you points, which are meaningless, as you can never win.

B.A. Spicer on the tennis court.

Author Bev Spicer enjoying time away from the writer’s desk.

So what’s in the creative cooker at the moment? A new novel? Another Bev and Carol adventure?

Finished but not ready for publication (various reasons, most of them neurotic): Locked Away – a YA/NA suspense (not sure about the title, either); What I Did Not Say – a literary retrospective/suspense; 13 Disturbing Tales – short story collection (collections are horrendous – when one story is finally laid to rest, another pops up to torture you some more).

In progress, and driving me mad (in a good way): Joanna Love’s Stories – this one will either be my best yet, or kill me before I finish it. Set in Turkey during the 1980s military rule, this is more layered than a millefeuille and (hopefully) just as irresistible.

Interested in trying out Bev’s work? Well, you’re in luck. Several of her books are currently on promo. I’m posting a comprehensive list of her deals tomorrow. But you don’t have to wait. Pop over to her Amazon and AmazonUK pages!

A Chat with Author Bev Spicer, Part I

I am so thrilled to have author Bev Spicer visiting today. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a fan of her work, which runs the gamut from laugh-out-loud memoirs to thrillers that will have you checking and double checking that your doors are locked. Bev is British, but she now lives in the south of France where she divides her time between writing and…well…read on to learn all about her in this two-part interview!

B.A. Spicer

Author Bev Spicer

When you were traveling the world with your best friend Carol all those years ago, did you ever suspect that it would lead to three memoirs? What does Carol think about you memorializing your adventures? Did she get to preview the manuscripts?

I get asked this a lot. I have to say that Carol is not a real person. I did travel to France with a very close friend, and I did work for Playboy with the same friend, but she is not and never will be Carol. I went to Seychelles with my ex-husband, so when I wrote Stranded in the Seychelles I took Carol with me instead. Carol is, as far as I can tell, my alter ego (one of!). She’s practical, decisive and loyal, oh, and very witty. Very dry. I did show the manuscripts to my ‘real’ friend and she was happy for me to write about the experiences we shared. She agreed that Carol would make a good stand-in. My ex-husband? He couldn’t have been less interested. What I hope to convey in all three memoirs is the sense of friendship between two girls enjoying the freedom and spontaneity of youth in a real-life context.

Have you always wanted to write? How did you come to be an Indie author?

I did write stories as a child. Becoming an author was accidental. When I moved to France with my family I soon needed something to occupy me other than the dreamed of sunbathing, swimming and having ‘quality time’ with my family (little bit sceptical about such comfortable clichés). I applied to become a university lecturer in la Rochelle, but, realistically, the commute was too far and the opportunities limited. So, I started to write! My first manuscript was the story of a girl trapped in two parallel universes. I may take it out of the drawer one day and re-write it. Producing it was a steep learning curve, both for me and the poor victims who I pestered to read my ‘masterpiece’. The next book I wrote was better. When I had finished Bunny on a Bike I submitted it to three agents who all told me that I had to be famous to get a memoir published. Logical. Undaunted, I asked a writer friend for help, and, after extensive revisions, I learned how to format my work and pushed the self-publish button. When the first person bought my book I was so excited. And when I got my first review I knew that I would have to write more.

B. A. Spicer leaves UK

Bev and her family leaving England for sunnier climes.

Your fiction features characters who are quite complex psychologically. They are both deep and deeply flawed. How do you come up with them? Do you consider your books character driven?

I think I must be evil. In fact, I believe that there is a little badness in all of us. Often, these basic flaws can be overlooked in favour of grander aspirations and gestures. We like to have role models, don’t we? And a lot of people (including myself) like to have happy endings; we need to empathise with strong protagonists who overcome obstacles to find fulfillment. Exploring the infinite personality traits of human beings is something that interests me deeply. Imagine sitting on a train glancing at fellow passengers. They give away clues. I suppose I’m a bit of a detective, really. It’s the mystery, the lure of the unknown. I like to think of a character as being similar to a door that is ajar. I want to push it open and see what lies behind, along the corridor, down the twisting stairs and into the basement. So, yes, I suppose my books are character-driven. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like a good story. In fact, I think I’m moving more towards action and a little away from the psychological tortures I put Alex Crane through in My Grandfather’s Eyes.

Bev Spicer's home in France.

Bev’s home in France, where she enjoys gardening…and just puttering around.

When you get an idea for a new work, how do you approach composition? Are you an outliner or do you figure things out as you go?

The idea I get is usually based on a predicament I come across, either on the news or in a film or book. Then I start to wonder, what if…? And there is always a protagonist who is not all she or he seems. The storyline is usually so tangled by the time I start to write that I never believe I’ll be able to control it. I jog around the garden thinking things through, often adding sub-plots and twists, until I have so much going on that I want to start writing. I’m not capable of using post-its, storyboards, colour coding, or even a pen and paper. I have to get started on the keyboard. Atmosphere and character start me off. In my work in progress it all begins with a woman who has been absent for a number of years and has returned to her husband and daughter under mysterious circumstances. She remembers a room with windows made of thick swirling glass, through which she would observe the world. We don’t know where this room is, whether it was a place she wanted to be, or whether she was happy there. We perhaps believe that Joanna Love is off-balance, a little doolally. We feel that her husband and daughter must help her find a way back, to re-integrate her into normal life…

I write with partial knowledge of what might happen. I usually re-draft several times. It’s a nightmare, actually. But I’ve always been an eclectic, random kind of person. Even doing housework I’ll wonder around and tidy absent-mindedly until it’s done. It drives my mother mad when she comes to visit

Are you protective of your early drafts?

Absolutely. Mostly because they are unintelligible to anyone but me. By draft four or five I’m happy (and grateful) to get feedback. The whole process winds out like the wire on a kite and takes months or even years of dipping and rising to complete. I wish I’d started earlier – I’ll never be able to write all the books I want to.

Enjoying our chat with Bev? Come back tomorrow when we discuss the nuts and bolts of Indie authorship and learn a little about how Bev spends her down time. Until then, why not click on some of the review links sprinkled throughout and take advantage Bev’s big promo event on Amazon!

Wendi Kelly and Deborah Dorchak–Part 2

Today we continue our conversation with authors Wendi Kelly and Deborah Dorchak, creators of the saga The Bonds of Blood and Spirit. Part 1 (HERE) focused on matters of craft and Deb and Wendi’s partnership. Today we learn a little about the challenges of marketing fiction, what these writers do in their off time, and what fans have to look forward to from these paranormal powerhouses. Read on past the interview for my review of Uncivil Wars, book two in this fantastic shifter series. And here’s my review of book one, Loyalties.

Are you going to be in the Las Vegas area this Saturday June 20th? ‘Cause Deb and Wendi will be signing books at the Henderson Barnes and Noble  567 N. Stephanie (just south of the intersection of Stephanie and Sunset) from 1pm to 3 pm. Click HERE for directions/map.

Author Deborah Dorchak at a book fair in Kingman, AZ...where she SOLD OUT of copies.

Author Deborah Dorchak at a book fair in Kingman, AZ…where she SOLD OUT of copies.

These days marketing and promoting a book is almost as much work as writing it. How do you split up these responsibilities—especially living in different cities? Is their a joint marketing plan?

Wendi: I have a saying with my clients, “Marketing is relationship building, not sales.” For me, it is about building genuine relationships with people who we help, and they help us, and friendships grow and the ships all rise together. There are so many other people out there advocating for us and the “Pack” that it sometimes blows me away. We’ve had Packmates go into libraries and stores holding the books in their hands, asking, begging, demanding that they start carrying the books. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the old adage, “word of mouth and referrals are the best marketing in the world” is as true today as it ever was. And…maybe more. It’s a noisy world out there, a personal referral is sometimes the only way people are listening.
And I’ll be honest, it doesn’t hurt that Deb’s book covers kick butt and every time I put the book down, someone picks it up to look at it. A good cover is worth a ton of money in advertising.

Deb: The both of us are constantly marketing and promoting. Everywhere we go we’re looking for opportunities in our respective cities. For me it’s a little easier since I’m right here in Las Vegas and I’m never too far from events or the local writing community. Out here I do a lot of book fairs, writers’ conferences, gamer conventions and festivals throughout the Southwest.
No matter where we go, we’re looking for networking opportunities. Waiting for a flight? Oh…excuse me, what are you reading? Paranormal? I’ve got the perfect book for you…True story. The woman I spoke to ended up being seated next to me for the entire flight. By the time we landed she was eager to get home and order the books. She did, and loved them.
The first time our books appeared on the shelves in Barnes & Noble here in Henderson, I had gone to take pictures. There was a woman browsing the Romance section the next aisle over. I asked her if she was looking for something new and exciting. When she said yes, I said, “Come here, I want to share this with you. This is the first time my books are on the shelf…”
I was thrilled to share the experience, she was thrilled to meet an actual author. I said, “No pressure or obligation at all, I just wanted to share,” and left it at that, I didn’t want to hover.
She picked up Loyalties and the moment she had it in her hands, I knew she’d buy it. She did and then from what I heard from the store, she came back a week or so later and bought the other three.
Yup, it pays to be bold.

What is your favorite way to connect with readers? In-person events? Online social networks? What’s the funniest/oddest/most surprising feedback you’ve ever gotten from a reader?

Wendi: I love meeting our readers in person, and especially enjoy it when they have so many questions and philosophical thoughts about the deeper understory of the Pack. The story of misfits who never knew love and trust, who find love, trust and family has a universal appeal. There’s something about it that everyone relates to on some level, and it often brings up stories of “Packmates” own personal stories of how they related. I love to listen!
I also get a huge kick out of reading our on-line discussion groups, where the Packmates get together to share with each other what they are experiencing and their emotional ups and downs as they read. We have one for each of the books, and it is fun to watch their comments and interact with them. We get to know a lot of our Packmates. A few of them call us the “Alphas”. It is not necessary. But to them it’s fun.
I agree with Deb, the most surprising thing in the beginning was people “complaining” that we needed to put warning labels on the books, because they weren’t getting work done, weren’t sleeping, eating, or getting anything done. I turned to Deb and said, “Um…that’s a good thing…right?”

Deb: You know, I never figured myself for a people-person, but these days I’m discovering it was a myth I’ve told myself for far too many years. I love connecting with readers (we call our fans Packmates). My favorite way is at events face-to-face. I enjoy the moment of discovery, when someone picks up a book, falls in love with the covers (not only did we write the books, we designed them inside and out), then starts asking questions about the story. Even better is when I get to meet Packmates who have read the books. It starts out the same, “I can’t put this book down!” or “I can’t wait to get everything done so I can get back to the Pack!”
Seriously, people have to clear their calendars and to-do lists before they start reading or else nothing gets done. (Yes, Wendi, that’s a very good thing! Think about it, we could solve the world’s problems if everyone sat down and started reading)
Each time I meet with a Packmate in person or chat with them online after they’ve finished a book or the whole Saga, we sometimes spend hours discussing the story and characters. You know how that goes, Carrie Ann. We had three hours zip by at B&N and probably could have gone on for longer.
I would have to say, the oddest feedback we’ve gotten was on a three star review on Amazon. The reader said they couldn’t give us a full five stars because she got to the end of the series and we didn’t say when the next one was coming out.
Okay, if that’s the worst you can say, we’re doing pretty good.

What do you like to do when you are not writing fiction or carrying out Blue Sun Studio projects? How do you kick back and recharge?

Wendi: I am an artist. I paint. I paint a lot. I also volunteer at my church, directing the theater group and teaching music and drama to the kids. I have been in theater for forty years and enjoy acting, writing plays and directing. (This is why Deb calls me the Director.) I also cook, garden and have a camera attached to me wherever I go. I am blessed to truly live the creative life. That’s the kick back part. The recharging part, that is meditation. Every single day, without fail. Meditation is also the place where a lot of creative ideas come from. So not only is it recharging, it is inspiring.

Deb: How do I recharge? I write more. Whenever Wendi and I take a break from working on the series, that’s when other story ideas come to mind and I go off on another tangent rather than fill up the current work in progress with more scenes we’ll only end up cutting later.
Recharging for me also comes in the forms of attending meetings with the Henderson Writers’ Group. I find it refreshing to talk shop with other authors. It’s so easy to get caught up in the bubble of our own “worlds” and forget there are real people right outside our doors. That in person connection gives rise to new ideas for everyone involved, it’s fun and invigorating.
I also like to watch movies (yeah, I’m one of those people who is constantly referencing movies), nature and historical documentaries. Discovery and The National Geographic channels are my favorites.
Some other hobbies I have that I’d like to get back into are archery and Iaido (the art of Japanese swordsmanship).

What’s next on the fiction front? Anything exciting for your “packmates” to look forward to?

Wendi: Tau’s Pride is really pushing the envelope to the next level. It questions everything. Why do we believe what we do? Why do we settle? What if we didn’t? What if we truly, truly loved…no rules, no walls, no boundaries, no barriers. What would love look like?
And who would that hurt? Who would not benefit from a world where Unlimited Love was actually governing the world? More than you might think. Get ready for a ride.

Deb: Currently, we’re working on the second four-book series Tau’s Pride. Rather than release it one book at a time, we’re completing the whole series. We’re finding this has its benefits. As the story evolves, we can go back and change pieces to fit, sharpen the uber-plot, work in better twists and turns, rather than being boxed in knowing we’ve written something and have to stick to it because the previous book has already been released.
Our Packmates know we won’t release anything before it’s time. We don’t rush just for the sake of getting stuff out there as quickly as possible. Quality over quantity…though quantity isn’t a problem. We crank out a massive amount of words.
For example, we started writing Tau’s Pride at the end of last October. By the end of February, we had the first drafts of the first three books. What slowed us down? We got to part four in book three and it just wasn’t right. It didn’t fit the vision.
So, we put on the brakes and went back to the beginning, chopped out all the crap (which probably equates to a whole novel in itself) and now we have an ending we’re satisfied with and worthy of our audience.
Wendi and I also have a couple of non-fiction projects in the works and I have a solo fiction story I’m working on.
So yeah, there’s plenty of good stuff in the future for our Packmates, we’re not hanging up the keyboard any time soon.

A review of Uncivil Wars

It may not be happily ever for wolf shifter Regina Capalini and her motley crew of supernaturals when a surprise double wedding sets the stage for a double kidnapping that opens wounds from a 140-year-old conflict.

Sheesh! It can be rough reviewing books in a saga like Bonds of Blood & Spirit. Even that log line above treads dangerously close to spoiler land. You really need to read the books in order starting with LOYALTIES, where authors Wendi Kelly and Deborah Dorchak introduce us to a world that exists alongside our own–a world full of animal shifters, vampires, and the awakened humans who (if they survive long enough) love them.

UNCIVIL WARS picks up about six months after the conclusion of LOYALTIES. Regina, Harry, and Diego have barely come to grips with their brand new pack (and related extended family), when Cole, being the delightful-but-rash pain in the neck (hint hint) that he is, decides to take their respective relationships to a new level. The above-mentioned double wedding brings the gang to a hotel in Coastal Maine run by the foundation Diego and his lifemate began nearly a century and a half before. Things go wrong almost at once, starting with poor Diego who comes face to face with his own tragic past. Her name is Collette and she’s a wonder from the second she takes the stage. By the end of the book she’s my favorite character. Maybe of any paranormal book I’ve read.

UNCIVIL WARS brings us other new friends. There’s Selene, the daughter of the pack’s number one enemy, a corrupt-to-the-core US Senator.
Jake, a Zen-type from Sedona, AZ, who is as gifted with his sword as any shifter is with claws…though signs are that he may soon have both at his disposal.

And weapons will be needed.

A double kidnapping is only the first move in a nasty plot that has enemies closing in on the Pack from all sides. Things get personal as Diego’s sad history asserts its power over his tenuous present and he learns that even the best intentions may go awry if you don’t take into account the feelings of the others involved. The intrepid alpha finds himself at odds with those closet to him and facing questions about his fitness to lead. This leaves Regina torn between her loyalty to Diego and her responsibility to her pack. Not easy for a girl who has only just learned that there is such a thing as trust and love.

The action reaches a climax in a park in Massachusetts aptly named “Purgatory.” Here we meet a new kind of villain. The Talutha are the stuff nightmares are made of. Hard to describe them without ruining the fun, but this is how I personally picture them: Ever see the movie GREMLINS? Well, envision the critters after they’ve been in contact with water or exposed to sunlight or fed after midnight. Only BIG and MEAN and EVIL. And they smell of rotten oranges.

The final battle is desperate and violent. Characters we love have to channel their darker sides to survive. It’s not pretty or neat. In fact, the book ends in a massive cliffhanger. I normally hate cliffhangers. But, remember, Bonds of Blood & Spirit is not a series of linked standalone novels. So in a sense it’s one REALLY long book…the story of a bunch of odd ball supernaturals who find each other and, through test after test, grow into something special and completely new. The cliffhanger here is no big deal, because by the time you’ve read that far, you cannot stop if you wanted to.

I read through the night and until my eyelids were glued shut.

That must tell you something.

Talking with Wendi Kelly and Deborah Dorchak–Part I

It’s going to be an exciting week as we present an in-depth look at the paranormal series Bonds of Blood & Spirit and its creators authors Wendi Kelly and Deborah Dorchak. I reviewed the first book of the saga, Loyalties, here last week. I fell hard for the world of wolf shifter Regina Capalini and the fascinating men in her life. Today is the first part of an in-depth interview with the authors. Part II is coming tomorrow along with a review of the second book, Uncivil Wars. Later in the week, we’ll look at the remaining books in the series.

But first, if you happen to be in the Las Vegas area this coming Saturday June 20th, you can meet Wendi and Deb in person…and even get them to sign your own copy of these fantastic books. The ladies are going to be at the Henderson Barnes & Noble at 567 N. Stephanie (just south of the intersection of Stephanie and Sunset) from 1pm to 3 pm. Click HERE for directions/map.

Deborah Dorchak

Deborah Dorchak

Wendi Kelly

Wendi Kelly

You write as a team, yet live nearly 2000 miles apart. Can you talk a little about how that works on a day-to-day basis? Do things run relatively smoothly or do you have an arbitrator/referee on call?

Wendi: Deb and I are connected at the hip, via google chat, google drive and our iPhones. And, should we step farther away than what instant contact can provide, there is always the slow version of conversation—email. We are live-time talking to each other almost all day, or at least have the ability to do so. When we are writing, we have a chat window open, and are talking to each other there, plus are both writing in an open Google Drive document, both often in the same sentence, changing each other’s words, finishing each other’s thoughts, cleaning up messy punctuation for the other if one is on a roll. We literally live in each other’s heads. Like our characters, distance means nothing to us.

Deb: It’s surprising how smoothly things run. Open communication is the real key to it all. People often ask us if we ever disagree on anything and what do we do about it when that happens. The answer is yes, we frequently do disagree on things. It’s natural. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as you, so it’s expected. What do we do about it? We say what’s on our minds and talk it out. We listen without judgment to the other’s reasons and thoughts, then decide on the best course of action. Ego has very little space in a partnership/collaboration like this. You have to understand you can’t always get your way, or stomp your feet and run off with your toys when something isn’t going your way. The bottom line is, everything we do has to be for the benefit of either the business or the story. If an idea isn’t furthering either of those, into the can it goes.

LOYALTIES

LOYALTIES

Bonds of Blood & Spirit is a four-book mega saga—with a four-book series two in progress. How did this series develop? When you started Loyalties, did you envision a series of such length and complexity?

Wendi: I saw the overall story arc in my mind from the beginning and Deb shared the vision. It’s pretty fair to say I’m the visionary of the team, (Deb calls me the Director.) and though we knew we were writing a series from the beginning, I had no idea the arc was big enough for four six-hundred page books. Since the entire story whooshed through my head in about six seconds, it didn’t seem reasonable that it should take up that much space on the page! However, the characters had ideas of their own. So though, the main story, the main purpose of the story and reason for it being written never changed, those dang characters took us on a few uncharted adventures. So, that roller-coaster adventure was just as much a ride for us as it was the readers.

Deb: We knew right from the start this story was epic. It started shortly after Wendi and I began the business five years ago. I first met Wendi when I designed her first self-hosted website. Later on, I invited her to join a creative writing group board. I already had characters I had been playing for five or six years already. The new ones she created for herself meshed with mine. After we became business partners, the creative writing fell by the wayside, but we both missed writing for fun and our characters. They had a story to tell, and we decided to tell it. Cole, Harry, Regina and Diego were the originals, the ones we started with. Though we knew the story was big, we didn’t realize how big until the first Saga was complete. The overall arc took on a life of it’s own, with far more depth than we had anticipated. Sure, on the surface it’s entertainment at it’s best with lots of eye-candy, but there’s a deeper story beneath the glitter (metaphorical glitter, that is, our vampires don’t sparkle).

UNCIVIL WARS

UNCIVIL WARS

Some nuts and bolts—how do you keep track of your large cast and all their activities? Is it hard to maintain continuity from book to book?

Wendi: Google Drive and Pinterest are our friends. Many of the original characters have lengthy biographies. Selene and Regina’s biographies are over fifty pages long, going through their entire life, names, dates, what happened to them pre-story. They are so real to me, I know them better than members of my family. Each of our characters has an avatar that we both agree on so we know we are seeing these characters in the same exact way. That avatar is pinned to a pinterest board. Pre-pinterest, we had photos in a file. We have a google doc that has a floor plan of the Valley house and grounds, what the rooms, furniture and small details look like so that from halfway across the country we know we are describing items down to the last detail.

Deb: That’s the million dollar question, innit? “Large cast” is an understatement. We have a mob. We try to keep it small, but it’s pointless. I’ll create a filler character, or a baddie slated to die and before you know it, we’ve named them, given them a background, and the next thing you know, the baddie is a real person with real motivations and seeking redemption. Kind of like bringing a stray puppy or kitten home. Once you’ve gazed into its eyes and named it, you’re a goner.
Continuity consists of tons of notes (yes, we’re constantly asking “Um…what were the color of his eyes?” or “Does her name have one ‘L’ or two?”), and diligent fact checking during the rewrite process.

RECLAMATIONS

RECLAMATIONS

Your books are character-driven paranormal adventures. I call them “meaty” sagas. How do you manage such beautifully developed characters and also sustain a high level of suspense? Wait…and then maintain this balance across book after book?

Wendi: The balance across the book goes back to the long term vision of the series story arc. We know the big picture story. And we know where the tempo and pacing needs to speed up, slow down, take a curve, or catch it’s breath. We look at the series as a journey on a roller coaster. Book one is the anticipatory climb, with a few dips and turns, that unexpected curve, then a slight moment to catch your breath and just before it ends, the climb begins again. Book two is quicker-paced, with shorter ups and downs, more curves, more breathless moments, emotional stomach twisters. By book three, there is that slowing down again, that last climb, the dark moments, everything is doomed, there’s that sharp turn…and no more,…you’ve arrived at book four. Time for that climb to the highest top of the roller coaster and then down you go, racing to the bottom of the ride. That pattern of balance and suspense is planned into our arc, and our very real, very “live to us” characters are caught on the ride.

Deb: A little something called “rewrites”. The first pass is spewing out the story, exploring where the characters go, and in general, piling on the gobs of clay over the wire frame. On the second, third, fourth passes, we look at what needs adding, what needs chopping and whittling away as much of the fluff as possible to get down to the core of the story. THEN, yet another pass—“weaving in”, as Wendi likes to say—the pacing, the suspense, the foreshadowing. Sometimes it doesn’t take much, maybe a word or a sentence here and there.
One thing we have learned since the first series is, it’s much better to write the whole series at once rather than release each book as it’s finished. This way we can go back and iron out wrinkles as new direction or ideas come into play.
By the time all of this is done, we’ve been into one another’s words so much the overall effect is a seamless story on all levels.

LEGACIES

LEGACIES

You two are not only partners in fiction, you also run a business together. Can you tell us a little about Blue Sun Studio? How do you divide up tasks? Is it hard to balance your various business activities and your shared creative work?

Wendi: It’s funny, when people ask that question, I have to stop and think, “How do we divide it up??” But the answer is pretty simple. We stick to our genus work. As it turns out, except for an uncanny ability to live in each other’s heads as writers, Deb and I are pretty much opposites in everything else. She speaks Techie Talk like a Spock clone. I don’t speak it at all. It all sounds like gibberish to me. Details, websites, admin things that require more that ten seconds of patience….All Deb. Marketing, sales, transformation, mindsets, strategies, long-term planning…I end up on that side of the fence. The rest, we juggle in the middle. We are both artists, that’s our common language, and shared creative work. When we are working together on a project, it is what we are both bringing to it. Sharing our creativity together is the most fun.

Deb: Blue Sun Studio is our design/coaching company. Right from the start, Wendi and I had a TON of skills and talents, that when pooled together, make for an extremely self-sufficient business unlike any other design company out there. We offer our clients a wide range of services, everything from designing websites and books, to coaching/mentoring on life, design and writing.
Striking our balance isn’t hard, not when you’ve got a good teammate who has a mind for staying on task. For the most part, when a project absolutely has to get done, we know exactly what we need to do it to get it out on or before the deadline.
We treat our own creative work no differently. From the start, Wendi and I have had “Fiction Friday”. This has been our exclusive writing day every week for the last five years. Our clients know (because it’s included in our project contracts) that Friday we’re “out of the office”. Sure, we’ll monitor emails and be there if an emergency pops up (like…oh…I dunno….you got hacked? You blew up your site? Or you suddenly noticed four rather odd horsemen riding across the horizon?).
Then there are those times when the best laid plans go out the window, Wendi’s Purple Pony comes galloping into town and no one sees us for weeks (other than our clients).

CONTINUED TOMORROW

Interview: Tween and YA author Christopher Cloud

I may be pushing 46, but I love books geared to all ages. Author Christopher Cloud writes exciting and emotionally honest fiction for tweens and young adults. Here he talks a little about how he connects with his young audience. Be sure to read past the interview for my review of his middle-grade novel The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon.

Christopher Cloud, author of books for tweens and young adults

Author Christopher Cloud

 

The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon takes place on a cattle ranch in New Mexico and your descriptions of the environment and landscape are quite vivid. Do you have any personal experience of the area? Do you need to visit a place to write about it?

I do have personal experience with the area, and for me, it is important that I visit a place to write about it. Petroglyph Canyon is a beautiful, wilderness gorge out in the middle of nowhere. The closest town is 50 miles away. The New Mexico canyon is part of a 90,000 acre cattle ranch owned by the Thompson family. They gave me full access to the scenic ravine, whose walls are covered with primitive petroglyphs I made about a dozen or so trips to the canyon while I was writing my story.

Pablo, Pia, and Kiki are vivacious and engaging. How do you develop your characters? Do they come before the plot itself, or do they suggest themselves as the project moves forward?

I pretty much know who my characters will be before I start writing a story. (I will often add characters as I get into my story.) I make a list of personality traits for each of my characters and describe them to the reader with dialogue and action, not adjectives. It’s important that each character’s personality remain consistent throughout the story. He or she cannot appear weak or wishy-washy in one scene, but bold and strong in another scene.

How did you come to write for middle-grade readers? What is it about this age group that interests you? Do you plan any books for older readers?

First, let me say that middle-grade readers of today are not the same middle-graders readers of twenty years ago. I was made aware of this transition several years ago when my grandson—at ten years of age—and his friends were tearing through the Harry Potter books, which I believe are more on a young adult/adult reading level. I have another young adult story roughly based on my two years of high school in Japan. It’s titled Voices of the Locusts and tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who falls in love with a 17-year-old Japanese girl who has been promised in marriage by her parents to an older man.

What do you find the most challenging part of the writing process? Is it the initial draft that’s the challenge? Or shaping it into a polished piece of work?

Finding an original story idea presents the greatest challenge for me. All of my stories, even the middle-grade and young adult novels, are based loosely on personal experience. Once I have the kernel of a story idea, again mostly based on my personal experience/observations, the writing process will fall into place. I have never encountered a road block in the initial draft, and working the story into a polished work has always been rewarding.

The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon has plenty of action and gets pretty scary in places—Pablo, Pia, and Kiki are in real danger from the criminal ring they uncover. How do you balance the story’s need for tension and drama with the age of your readers? Do you ever second guess yourself and say, You know, maybe I should dial this back?

This can be tricky. However, middle-grade readers today are more “worldly” than their parents were when they were tweens. This level of sophistication still requires self-censoring. Although I have crossed the line in many pieces of dialogue and action, I generally call upon an editor to make that decision. For example, I wrote a descriptive suicide scene in my young adult novel Voices of the Locusts, but I would have been less descriptive had the story been targeted to middle-graders..

These days writers have to spend almost as much time marketing and promoting their work as they do creating it. How do you arrange and guard your creative time?

This is a great question, and one that plagues most writers. I am no exception. It’s hard for me to write part-time and market part-time. I have to limit myself to one activity or the other, not both. I normally set aside time to write or market. It’s difficult to build up a head of steam with a story, then put the story aside and begin to work on marketing. The story suffers. However, marketing goes with the territory.

What is your favorite way to connect with readers? Does reader feedback ever influence what or how you write?

I allow my characters to connect with my readers with dialogue that is reflective of their gender, age, economic status, and education. Reader feedback is important to me, and I generally incorporate all or parts of this feedback into subsequent novels.

Are you working on anything now?

I’m working on a middle-grade story about three kids who find themselves in a runaway hot-air
balloon. I don’t have a title yet.

About Christopher Cloud
Award-winning author Christopher Cloud writes middle-grade and young adult novels. He began writing fiction full time at the age of 66 after a long career in journalism and public relations. Chris graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a major oil company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. He created the board game Sixth Sense in 2003. Chris lives in Joplin, Missouri, and enjoys golf and hiking.

Visit Christopher Cloud’s website

More books by Christopher Cloud:

Adelita’s Secret

Voices of the Locusts

Searching for the Treasure of Jesse James 

My Review of The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon:

* I received a free copy of the book to review

Three kids visiting their uncle’s New Mexico cattle ranch stumble upon a criminal ring bent on stealing Native American artwork.

The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon

The Ghosts of Petroglyph Canyon

THE GHOSTS OF PETROGLYPH CANYON is an exciting adventure full of dramatic plot twists. I was surprised that a middle grade novel could hold me in such rapt attention. Pablo and Pia Perez and their cousin KiKi are realistic and full of energy. The bad guys Red, Gordo, Pirate and Harvey Ragland are bumbling but also scary and full of malice. Uncle Antonio seemed a little underutilized, but he is dealing with a drought emergency that has left him understaffed and in economic hardship.

Christopher Cloud does a great job depicting the New Mexico landscape and the daily activities on a cattle ranch. The archaeological details are accurate and well presented. Also, though this is a book for kids, the author doesn’t write down to his readers. Cloud ratchets up the tension little by little until it explodes into a wild and frightening climax. Every time I thought “this has to be the end,” he threw another challenge at his young heroes.

My one tiny issue with the book has to do with the cover. Sure, it gives a great flavor of what the plot is about. But why are the kids are blond when the characters in the book are clearly Latino?

The cover is only a small bump. Overall, this is a fun book full of adventure and excitement.

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Pepper O’Neal

Today we have a big treat for fans of romantic suspense. Pepper O’Neal, author of both the Black Ops Chronicles and the Blood Fest paranormal series was kind enough to answer some questions about her work and her writing process.

Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad. When she’s not at her computer, O’Neal spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.

Connect with Pepper:

http://www.pepperoneal.com

https://www.facebook.com/pepper.oneal

https://twitter.com/pepperoneal

Be sure to read on after the interview for my review of her second Black Ops Chronicle–Dead Men Don’t

PepperO'Neal_Author_Badge-300x300

1. How did you start writing fiction? Is it something you’ve always done in one way or another, or did you come to it later?

I guess it is something I have always done. I was first published in the fifth grade, when I won a contest and had a story published in the local newspaper. So I always knew that it was something that I wanted to do. However, I didn’t trust myself, I guess, as I went into non-fiction for many years, before coming back to my first love, which is fiction.

2. How can you tell when a plot idea has what it takes to make it all the way into print? Have there been times when you’ve had to abandon a project after a promising start?

I tend to finish what I start, one way or another, so I haven’t abandoned any projects, although a couple of them are, and will probably remain, at the bottom of the sock drawer. I guess you could say that a story has what it takes to become a project when it won’t leave me alone and I find myself focusing on it more and more.

3. Your heroes and heroines are pretty complicated compared to many others I’ve met in romantic suspense novels. How do you balance strength and vulnerability in your heroes, and create heroines who are likable, but don’t get steamrolled by their assertive co-stars?

I am not sure I can answer that. Characters seem to appear in my head, with all their strengths and weaknesses. People are complicated, at least real people are. They have layers, like Shrek and onions. There is the top layer they show to the world at large, a deeper layer that only their closest friends and family see, and finally, the layer they keep strictly to themselves. I think the more someone is aware of these layers in themselves, the more they like themselves, and the fewer secrets they keep from themselves, the more comfortable they are with showing others their faults as well as their strengths, i.e., being who they really are. I try to show a bit of all the layers. I also try to be true to my characters and not have them do something that doesn’t fit with their particular nature or personality, simply because it would be convenient to the plot. In fact, I often find that if I am having trouble with a scene that just isn’t coming together, it is because I am asking a character to do something that they would not do if they were real.

4. Dead Men Don’t, book two of your Black Ops Chronicles, has an intricate plot full of twists, turns and fairly involved action/escape sequences. What goes into developing such meaty plots—especially while remaining in the length constraints of the average romance novel? How do you balance strong plotting with good character development?

An author I respect once told me that you can’t write good fiction by being nice to your characters, and that is advice I took to heart. People don’t want to read just about sunshine and roses, they want to read about people overcoming obstacles and hanging on when things go wrong. And before you can show your characters doing that, you first have to make things go wrong. So I spend a lot of time thinking “What is the worst that could happen here? And how can he/she overcome or get around it?” And it’s easier with some characters than others. Levi, the star of Dead Men Don’t, is one of my favorite characters. He is based on a good friend of mine, who is one of the most capable and competent men I have ever met, so I get a kind of dark glee from making things as difficult for him as possible in my books. Levi was in the first book in this series, Dead Run, as well, and he had a heck of a time. His real life counterpart told me, after reading the book, that he was glad that I had no control over his real fate.

5. Your Black Ops Chronicles are a series of standalones, with each book focusing on a particular member of an extended group of covert operatives. How do you handle the story elements that have to carry from book to book and avoid continuity errors? Do you have a “big picture” plan for the series worked out ahead of time, so that you can keep your details straight?

I write everything down. I have an almost photographic memory, but even so, I don’t trust it completely. So I write dossiers on all the characters, as well as physical descriptions and time lines so I don’t lose track and I don’t have to rely just on my memory. If I can remember and don’t need it, that’s great. But if I do need it, it’s there. The hardest part is putting enough information into the following book that readers who haven’t read the previous book know what came before, but not so much that people who have read the previous book get bored because they already know it.

6. I don’t know about you, but I find balancing the creative side of writing with the nuts-and-bolts business of promotion and marketing my fiction something of a juggling act. How do you protect your creative time?

With a cannon and a bloody hatchet! Seriously, I lock the office door, unplug the phone, and shut down my Outlook. I figure anything that is an emergency will probably get through, and anything that isn’t can wait. If I am on a roll and the work is going well, I will stop every few hours and make sure the rest of the world is still there, but other than that, I consider that time precious and guard it fiercely.

7. What is your favorite way to engage with readers? Facebook? In-person events? Newsletter? Does reader feedback on a project ever influence future work?

I get a lot of emails from readers, and I really like that. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on Facebook, so I mainly use it for announcements. But reader feedback does affect me. If I get a lot of feedback telling me about something they didn’t like, or something they did like and want more of, I naturally adjust my stories as much as I can. Of course, you aren’t going to please everyone, and you first have to be true to yourself and your story, but readers know what they like, and I find that if they don’t like something, there is usually a good reason for it.

8. What’s next for our Black Ops heroes? And I just found out you have another series—Blood Fest, a paranormal romantic suspense series full of werewolves, weretigers and other exciting creatures, any future additions to that one on the horizon?

Right now, I am working on the third book in the paranormal series Blood Fest, doing the edits on Running Scared, which is coming out in the summer. Once that is done, I will start on the third book in the Black Ops Chronicles series.

Review–BLACK OPS CHRONICLES: DEAD MEN DON’T

Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Men Don't

Black Ops Chronicles: Dead Men Don’t

Levi Komakov doesn’t realize what he’s getting himself into when he’s charged with rescuing Anderson “Andi” Merrit from what appears at first glance is a kidnapping for cash or influence. Most likely the latter since her father is a heavy hitter for a crime family. Without spoiling the plot, let me say that the truth is far more twisted. Someone close to Andi has betrayed her and set her up for a life of servitude and abuse.

Is it any wonder then that Andi is a bit uncooperative when Levi first appears on the scene? From her point of view, this man may be someone just as dangerous as her captors, someone who wants her for his own ends. So, I can forgive her for making her rescue far more dangerous and complicated than it needs to be. Still, there are points in the novel, usually when the situation is most grim, that her temperamental displays grated on me. On the other hand it was a pleasure to watch her gradual transformation from victim into hero.

Andi’s growth is in large part due to Levi taking her seriously and not underestimating the danger she’s in or the power of the people who are after her. Though he falls a little too hard too fast…and then constantly second guesses himself…he’s a good alpha with a nice balance of sensitivity and strength. He and Andi share plenty of chemistry.

For a romance novel, the plotting is ambitious. Locations range from rural Washington state to the D.C. area to the Middle East. Every time I thought I knew where the story was heading, O’Neal threw in a twist. In particular, the Mission Impossible action at a foreign embassy was a nail biter. I held my breath the whole time.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more dramatic for this pair, the author throws a huge curve. Again, I don’t want to spoil the book for readers. Let’s just say that, along with Andi, we are taken into a world that few westerners get to see. Levi and his Special Ops buddies have a hell of job with this one. Andi, too, is pushed to her absolute limit physically and emotionally.

I always begin a book with optimism…I assume I’ll enjoy the ride. Well, I liked this one way more than even I expected. It’s an exciting blend of romance, action and suspense. I’m going to go back now and read the first one in the series!

Meet Paranormal Romance Author Laura Del.

Visiting today is author Laura Del. A while back, I reviewed Graveyard Shifts, book one of her Pat Wyatt paranormal series. You can read the review HERE. Seeing as it’s nearly Halloween, I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about Laura and her spooky literary creations. Be sure to read past the interview to find out how to grab your own “treat” — a FREE copy of Graveyard Shifts!

Laura Del, author of the Pat Wyatt series

Author Laura Del

Pat Wyatt, the heroine of your paranormal romance Graveyard Shifts is a strong, straight-talking reporter who sets out to research a story and finds herself in the most unusual of marriages. How did you come up with this concept? Did Pat come first or the situation?

Pat actually came first. In fact, she was in several stories before I figured where she would fit. You could say that I have put her through the wringer. But then this storyline came to me and she fit so perfectly, I just had to write her in it.

How did you come to writing? Is it something you’ve always done?

I’ve always liked telling stories, ever since I was little, and then eight years ago I began to take my ideas and write them down in journals. That’s when I found my love for writing. It has helped me through some pretty tough times, and it makes me feel so wonderful when I know that people are reading my work.

Who do you trust with your early drafts? Do you belong to a writers group or have a beta reader?

I’m a perfectionist, so I don’t really like to send out my unfinished work. However, I wouldn’t object to finding some beta readers in the future. I know they can be helpful. I just have to get over that whole “they’re seeing my unfinished work, I may have a nervous breakdown” thing.

How do you approach the daily grind of writing a novel? Do you have a set work routine? What is most likely to get in the way of your writing sessions and how to you combat this obstacle?

I just sit down at my computer and write. I really don’t have a routine, but I must have music in my ears so that I can focus on the task at hand, and not get distracted by the TV and other shiny things. If that happens, I just put the music on, and all the outside noises and distractions go away.

Graveyard Shifts is the first of a planned series. Did you know there would be multiple Pat Wyatt books when you started? Do you have the entire series mapped out or is there room for improvisation?

Actually, I had no idea until I wrote out the first one in a journal that it was going to be a part of a series. In fact, I have all of them written out in journals just waiting to be typed up. I always do my first draft in a journal, so that if I want to make changes I can just type them as I go along. Sometimes the best scenes are the ones you improvise.

What do you find is the biggest challenge of being an independent author?

Trying to get publicity and trying to sell my books. I’ve tried so many things, and still it’s so hard to just sell one book.

What are your favorite ways to engage with your readers and/or to reach new ones?

I love going to book fairs. I give out cards, and try to engage them in conversation. Not only is it fun, but you get to hear some interesting stories from them as well. I also love writing teasers of works in progress on my blog. It’s fun when I see the comments saying that people love it. It makes my day.

What kind of books do you read? Does your reading impact your writing?

I pretty much read anything fiction. I love supernatural, mysteries, romance and historical fiction. And I think every book I read gives me ideas and makes me a better writer to boot.

Is there a book out there that you wish you’d written?

This is a tough one…
I don’t think so. I admire those who have come before me, and take inspiration from them, but I’m okay with what I write. They’re my style.

Are you working on anything new that you’d like to tell us about?

Well, Dueling Moons is coming out this Halloween, so there’s that. And I’m trying to figure out a story at the moment. It’s science fiction and should be young adult. But I’m having a hard time pinning down then ending. Cross your fingers for me.

No Trick! Just a TREAT:

Graveyard_Shifts_Cover-2Graveyard Shifts will be FREE on Halloween! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B3A5D58

Connect with Laura:

Visit Laura’s Blog!

Say Hi to Laura on Facebook!