AuThursday – Raleigh Damson Snow

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi! I’m Raleigh, from Northern Ontario and a homeschooling mama bear to two. I thrive on coffee.
How do you make time to write?
Just like I make the time for anything else–it’s another ball to juggle. Sometimes that means getting up at 5 and joining in the #5AMWRITERSCLUB , sometimes that means saying, “in twenty minutes” to certain requests from my cubs.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I think “writer’s block” is over hyped to the point where it has lost a lot of meaning. I think there are certain things in life that can cause you not to have access to your creative brian…I couldn’t write for three years after I experienced trauma and loosing that part of myself was a loss. Regaining it took time.
BBebookfinalfrontcopyTell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am writing Steamy BDSM Contemporary Suspense Romance! I love that I get to play with fantasies, I love there is always a sense of danger lurking and most of all, I love giving readers the HEA they expect.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie! It took me a long time to get here-to releasing books in a series and I want all the control.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert! It affects my work because I work best if I can be immersive, in a silence house, lol-tand that doesn’t happen often.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” -Dorris Lessing.
These words remind me that there isn’t always going to be a quiet house or a good time or the dishes done, or other responsibiliteis I can put off…so I have to write, now however and whenever I can.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m most active on twitter @DamsonSnow

AuThursday – Vanessa Marie Caron

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Mom of 4 with 5th on the way. Canadian, horse lover, fitness fanatic, bookworm and writer. Currently in process of publishing my first novel.
How do you make time to write?
It’s a struggle. I try to do it first thing when I drink my coffee in the morning.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
In a sense, I do. However, I think with persistence, a writer can conquer the block.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write multiple genres but especially love fiction. I have written YA fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary adult fiction. I enjoy exploring the characters and their stories. Writing is my art of choice, a way to explore and challenge my creativity.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie, likely KDP & Ingram. Looking at audiobook also and partnering with Scribd. I didn’t know it was possible to publish without necessarily breaking the bank! Now that I am learning more, I want to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? 
Introvert.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Fake it until you make it.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write everyday, setting modest goals and remain consistent.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
“Still leaning comfortably in his chair, Kyle cocked his head, examining me, perhaps reading my thoughts as desperately as I’d tried to read his. But his face was calm and satisfied, as if he’d been successful at breaching my barriers. The tension grew and my heart thudded in my chest.”
–Excerpt from my current contemporary adult fiction WIP, “Straddling the Void.”

AuThursday – Miriam Newman

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I began publishing poetry in my twenties but never attempted a novel until I was in my 50s, life as a wife, stepmother and social worker having gotten in the way. I’m now 30 books in, attempting my second retirement so I’ll have more time to write! Many of my books were written or started in Ireland, my second home. They range from historical romance to fantasy, fantasy historical romance and science fiction.
How do you make time to write?
Primarily by doing it when I should be sleeping, LOL.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. I have learned not to fight it. It will cure itself when it is ready. I think of it as incubation, because when it breaks, I write like a demon. So I know all those books were just churning around in there, unseen.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I am a true history geek. My reference library is somewhat staggering. I love writing historical romance because I can draw on some of the more fascinating nuggets I have discovered to craft a story. I say that I write “romance with realism.” Equally, I love fantasy historical romance because I can create my own worlds.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
My most recent release, “The Eagle’s Lady,” is through a publisher who published its predecessor, “The Eagle’s Woman.” I have also indie published a number of books, most notably The Chronicles of Alcinia. The Chronicles are a continuing project.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Totally an introvert. Because I thrive in solitude, it produces books at a rate that sometimes surprises me.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep doing it! Even when you don’t think it’s good or what you want at the time, keep those scraps in your documents file. You will be surprised how many times they will come out just when you need them.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
The prologue to The King’s Daughter, Book I of The Chronicles of Alcinia, reflects my writing style:
“I was the King’s daughter once, so many years ago that sometimes now it is hard to remember. Before the tide of time carried away so many things, so many people, it was worth something to be the daughter of a King. Our little island nation of Alcinia was not rich, except for tin mines honeycombing the south. It wasn’t even hospitable. Summer was a brief affair and fall was only a short time of muted colors on the northernmost coast where my father sat his throne at the ancient Keep of Landsfel. Winter was the killing time and spring was hardly better, with frosts that could last into Fifth-Month. But from the south, where men cut thatch in a pattern like the bones of fish, to the north where rock roses spilled down cliffs to the sea, it was my own. One thinks such things will never change, yet all things do.”

AuThursday – Karen J. Hicks

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
A Wisconsin farm girl now retired and living in Green Valley, AZ. Worked for author/comedian Steve Allen; comedian Richard Pryor; and the Oak Ridge Boys. Have published 7 books. Complete info on my website!
How do you make time to write?
By saying NO to things. It’s a small word that’s hard to say sometimes, but essential.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yep. Been there. Found THE ARTIST’S WAY a good book of exercises to work past it. Also STIRRING THE WATERS.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I’m all over the place. lol I’ve got a self-help book on being organized, another more spiritual self-help book on what birds can teach us, a biographical novel about the first woman to run for U.S. President (1872!) , a collection of O’Henry-type short stories, and a three-book romance series I call my Dream Series.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
First two books were published by traditional books-on-demand publishers. Now I self-publish through KDP.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
People think I’m an Extrovert because I am very social, but I’m actually quite shy and very introspective so I’d call myself an Introvert.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
This too shall pass.
Works for both positive and negative situations to keep me on track.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write from your heart. Don’t overthink. Spew it all out on the page and then edit, edit, edit.

AuThursday – Abbey Franer

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Abbey and I’m a mom with a degree in English currently living in Ohio. I’ve been writing creatively since I was in second grade, but started writing original stories more seriously in high school. I just published my debut novel, YA/NA Fantasy titled Dragonhearted.
How do you make time to write?
I try to carve out time in the mornings while the kids are in school or at night once they’ve gone to bed. It can be a challenge to have dedicated time, but I try to keep things moving in any little way I can (sometimes that means jotting down scene ideas in the Notes app on my phone at red lights or in the school pick up line).
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes and no. We all have moments when we feel stagnated and words aren’t flowing but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are blocked. Actively putting words on a page aren’t the only way we can be creative! Part of the creative process is taking in inspiration and that can come from reading, watching movies and tv shows, listening to music, or being in nature or people watching.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
I write YA/NA Fantasy mostly because it’s the genre I most enjoy to read. I enjoy suspending disbelief to immerse myself in a fantasy world. Unique world building and story lines especially appeal to me!
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
I just self published my debut novel with KDP. After talking to published writers in my writing groups, doing a lot of publishing market research, and taking time to evaluate what my goals were, I decided self publishing was the best option for this book. I am happy I still maintain all my rights and could let go of the stress of the query and submission process while I “dip my toes in the water” so to speak. I do plan to consider the traditional publishing route for my current work in progress.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Introvert! I think it can make marketing my work a little harder because actively putting myself and my work out there is not my strong suit. I also think being introverted has helped me develop a knack for reading people and that can translate to writing realistically fleshed out characters.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
It may not sound like a typical motivational phrase, but I particularly love this quote from Victor Hugo:
“A writer is a world trapped in a person.”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read and write as much as you can! Join writing groups and engage with other writers. And don’t be afraid to be harsh in your editing. If it feels too painful to cut a scene, save it in a separate document so it’s never really gone.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I’m on Twitter, TikTok, and Goodreads @abbey_author.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
One defining moment from Dragonhearted comes to mind:
Tori laughed and threw open her arms, lifting her face to the kiss of the stars. Free. No longer bound to the earth. Something stirred in her, some wild awakening, like she’d been waiting for wings all her life.

AuThursday – Faye Hall

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
 
Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love. Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books. Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart. When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.
 
How do you make time to write?
 
With such a large family, it’s difficult to plan where and when I’m going to commit time to writing, so I’ve learned to be happy with a few lines here and there on my busiest days. Most of my book ideas come while I’m waiting to do school pick ups, and then it’s a series of late nights and early mornings to piece the rest of the story together.
 
Do you believe in writer’s block?
 
I do, yes. All you need sometimes is one bad review, or some snide remark about sales and it can really deflate you so much the brain just freezes. I’ve learned that for me, I go back over old notes, or try to edit some forgotten about manuscript to try and snap myself out of it. My husband and children are also incredibly supportive and try to get me talking or thinking about new story idea – even humorous ones – just to get my back on track.
 
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
 
I write Australian Historical Romantic Suspense. I’m a born and bred Aussie girl, so it made sense to me to set my stories in and around my hometown. As for the rest, I’ve always loved history, and a good mystery so I wrote the kind of stories I wanted to read.
 
How are you publishing your recent book and why?
 
Carnal Transgression was released in June through a small traditional publisher names Beachwalk Press. They’ve done all of my current releases and gave me hope after I got burned by another publishing company.
 
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
 
I’m very much an introvert and spend a lot of time lost in my own thoughts. Of course, having children at school forces me to be more social then I would be by choice, which is also good because sometimes ideas come from the strangest of places.
 
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
 
A bad first draft is better than a blank page.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
 
Learn to take criticism and write what you want, not just to please people.
 
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
 
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
 
Fear of exactly what her sister might have seen directed her steps out of the hotel and into a run down the street. Constance needed to collect her belongings and find a place to hide until she’d found justice for her sister and discovered if her death was connected to her investigation into the boats docking at Lynch’s Beach.
 
She hadn’t gone far when she abruptly collided with the firm figure of a man.
 
“Are you all right?” he asked, his hands on her hips steadying her.
 
Recognizing his melodic brogue, Constance looked up into his green eyes.
 
“It’s you,” he uttered softly, looking confused. Lifting his hands to her face, he gently wiped away the wet tracks on her cheeks. “What’s happened to drive a wee little beauty into my arms again so soon?”
 
His innocent question was the last reality needed for the true horror of what was happening to wash over her.
 
Losing all control, tears streamed down her cheeks, and her lips trembled as she surrendered to her grief.
 
“Now, lass, whatever it is, surely it can’t be that bad,” he said, his arm going around her, holding her tight as he led her to a street bench. Sitting her down, he brushed her hair back from her face. “Where’s the lady you were with last night? Your sister, wasn’t she? I can take you to her if you think that will help.”
 
She struggled to hold her tears at bay. “She’s dead.”
 
“What?” he gasped.
 
“Her body was found washed up on the beach this morning,” Constance blurted out, still unable to believe the words.
 
He squeezed her tight, holding her against him as he rocked her slightly. “My poor, sweet beauty. I’m sorry for your loss.”
 
He felt so strong, so safe, his words comforting her far more than she believed anything capable of in this moment.
 
“I think I should take you to the police station,” he stated, brushing her hair from her tear-drenched cheeks.
 
His words startled her. She didn’t want to be taken anywhere near the police station or Robert. She pushed away from him and stood up, wiping at her cheeks and straightening her dress. “You’ve been most kind, sir, but I can’t ask you to do any more than you already have.”
 
He stood, stepping toward her. “Someone has to investigate what caused your sister’s death.”
 
“And I will,” she assured him firmly.
 
“Please, I want to help you.”
 
Constance’s hands stilled, holding his gaze for several moments, her tears flowing down her cheeks again. How she ached to accept his offer, but she was too scared to put her trust in anyone.
 
“You can’t.” Her words were barely more than a whisper, but she could tell by his scowl he heard her.
 
“Where will you go?” he asked.

AuThursday – Shannon O’Connor

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a twenty something bisexual single mother from New York. I started writing full time during the pandemic and started publishing poetry in 2018, with my first romance novel in 2021.
How do you make time to write?
This is something I’m still figuring out, I honestly write when the creativity strikes.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do! It hits me more often than I’d like.
Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.
Poetry and Contemporary Romance. Poetry is something that has always been there for me and gives me a way to let out my feelings. It helps me process everything I’m feeling and heal. Contemporary romance is something newer for me. I’ve always written growing up but lately I have all these ideas and stories to tell that really feels like an escape. They’re stories I wish I had growing up or character’s who’s stories I feel I need to tell.
How are you publishing your recent book and why? 
Indie! I like the control that indie publishing has. Being able to be in complete control of each step is really important to me.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
Extrovert. I like to think this positively affects my work because I will go out and look for new experiences to be able to write about them first hand.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
You got this. (something my mother has always said)
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing, take breaks but then keep writing & write the story you wish you could read.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
From my upcoming short story Christmas Sweets featured in the anthology, A Taste of You:
If there’s one thing to know about me it’s this; I hate Christmas. I’m not like a Grinch or anything, I’ll get the ones I love presents, spend the holidays with my family, but I just hate what it brings out in some people. I own a bakery and I have never seen people more hostile than they are at Christmas time. Something about the holidays bring out the worst in people. Because of this, I normally spend most of November and December in the back of the cafe. I’ll busy myself with paperwork, baking cookies, frosting cakes, anything to keep me from interacting with customers.
Except half my staff caught the flu this week so I’ve been forced to take charge of the counter. I guess that’s what I get for being in charge. I’ve already had several customers tell me they wouldn’t be coming back. Another customer angry that we don’t make cakes from scratch on the spot for their children’s birthday party they forgot to order a cake for.
I’m quickly making it through the line of customers asking for pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin flavored desserts. It’s one of our biggest sellers this time of year, and I can’t say I blame them, it’s one of my favorites too. Most other places give up on Pumpkin after October but this is when it really thrives. Half our front case is decked out in pumpkin flavored cheesecake, muffins, bagels, donuts, bread, and cake.
Although I do miss when just two weeks away I was decorating jack o lanterns and tombstones. Halloween is a much better holiday in my opinion, the chance for you to dress up with no fear or expectations. The day where it’s okay to be the most exuberant you, you can be. I sigh as I finish wrapping up a pumpkin cheesecake and pass it to the customer to pay. She thanks me with a smile and I’m silently grateful for her patience.

I’ve contracted my Regency Series!

cidimage001.png@01D77410.3B741100!  After a year I’ve found a home for my latest series.  I’m happy to share that I will officially be joining the Authors at  Magnolia Blossom Publishing.

My first book in the series is “The Widow Spy”.  I will be sharing more in the months to come as I get cover art and have a release date.

First Friday Lunch – Goals!