AuThursday – Kara O’Neal

021Please welcome my fellow Resplendence Writer Kara O’Neal to the Clog Blog.  Kara – Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a teacher with three children who are kind people and talented artists. I’ve been married to a wonderful man for almost twenty years, who is also a talented artist. I have always been an avid reader, loving books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Carolyn Keene, and Louisa May Alcott then on to Jane Austen, Mary Balogh and a plethora of others. My active imagination, which got me into trouble in school because I was often day dreaming, got to work and eventually I wrote my own story. I never thought I’d be an author. It didn’t even cross my mind until after I’d graduated college. But that’s the grand thing about life. A person can decide to do anything at any time. I’m so grateful I’ve had this opportunity.

How do you make time to write?

I write just about anywhere. That’s the only way I get it done. I’ve written in the car, in doctors’ offices, waiting for one of my children to come out of rehearsal, in those few minutes before meetings start, and while I’m cooking supper. Whenever I have a free moment, I’m writing.

What are your current projects?

I have finished the 10th book in the Pikes Run Series – The Cowboy’s Embrace – and I’m preparing to send it to my editor soon. I have also finished my 11th book in the series, but it still needs to go through the critique process. It also doesn’t have a title. (Yikes!)

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

For me, it’s making sure they sound like men. Sometimes I can have a male character explain something with flowery language and several sentences, but when I go back and read it, I realize it’s way too much. Short and sweet – that’s what I say to myself when a male character is talking about feelings or working through some sort of conflict. It usually helps.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I’m an introvert until I get to know the person or environment then I’m comfortable and can be the “life of the party”. For the most part though, I’m quiet. Therefore, this makes it hard to talk about myself and to market myself. I don’t want to do it, so I usually steer away from social media and other avenues of a similar nature.

What is your Kryptonite?

Hmmm. Well, with writing it would have to be the television show, Once Upon A Time. If I turn that show on – usually through Netflix or Hulu – nothing will get done. I can’t tear myself away from the love story of Emma Swan and Captain Hook. (Even though I’ve seen the episodes a million times!) And now I’m blushing because y’all know how much I watch it!

So, when it’s time to write, I can’t have that show playing in the background.

My other weakness would be rain. When it’s raining outside, all I want to do is stay under the covers and write or read or watch a movie.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Finish the book. Even if you know it’s terrible. The best thing you can do for yourself is finish, because the only way to get better is to edit and revise your current work. If you delete or tear up what you’ve done because it’s awful, you’re only going to be in the same spot you were before. Keep going. Write so you can revise. Then once you’ve finished, find a critique group so they can tell you how awful it is, and you can figure out how to fix it. It’ll be hard to hear, but it’s so worth it.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

A few places! Here are the links:

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Do you have a sexy teaser you’d like to share with us?

I sure do! The following is from Love’s Promise – Book 6 in the Pikes Run Series.

She bit down on her back teeth, needing to find some semblance of control. It was as if she felt his lips running over her flesh, and she had the distinct impression he would lick every part of her if given the chance. And she suddenly wanted to give him that chance.

Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kara’s book THE EDITOR’S KISSES. ~Tina

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AuThursday – Nix Whittaker

author photoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in South Africa but because of the violence and political turmoil, my parents moved the whole family to New Zealand. The best move ever. It also helped to broaden my view of the world. I work full time as a high school teacher so a little cliché that the English teacher is writing books.

How do you make time to write?

I’m single without kids so not too hard to find the time. The problem is not to be distracted by everything else in my life. Also, I have trained myself to write anywhere. As part of my job, I’m often lugging around a laptop so I write whenever I have time, a lunch break, waiting for parents at a parent-teacher interview. I think we would be surprised by how much time we waste waiting for something.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes and no. If you have writer’s block it is your brain trying to tell you something is wrong with your story. You have to figure out what is wrong before you can write again. I usually leave things to stew in the back of my mind and start writing short stories while I leave my subconscious to come up with another dilemma for my character instead of getting kidnapped for the sixth time. That is my block at the moment. Out of my 7 books that are published my character getting kidnapped is the number one crisis.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.

I write Science Fiction Romance. Though really I consider steampunk to be more fantasy than Science Fiction. I love it because you can deal with serious issues with a lightness to it. I have a lot of discussion about prejudice in all my books but somehow it is easier to write about when people are being prejudiced against dragons.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I’m an Indie publisher all the way. I didn’t even look at Trad. I’ve had this discussion with fellow authors, some who are exploring both. I like the freedom and the speed that Indie gives me.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work?

I can be both. I’m originally an Introvert but since my job literally requires me to be bubbly and outgoing I’ve learned to be the extrovert as well. The skills I’ve learned as an extrovert has given me a thicker skin to criticism so I recommend at least exploring all aspects of yourself and making yourself more flexible.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Give yourself permission to write a bad book. You can always fix it but getting to the end is more important. You can learn so much from writing a book to the finish that it doesn’t matter if it is terrible. You don’t have to know everything when you start.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.nixwhittaker.com

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Nix’s Book, Blazing Blunderbuss. ~Tina

AuThursday – Leslie Scott

Please give a warm welcome to my fellow RWA Online member Leslie Scott.  I’m so happy to have her joining us.  Leslie, Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I’m a full-time writer and homeschool educator of my gifted ten-year-old son (he teaches me math and dissects sheep brains, no kidding). I’ve been a writer my entire life (winning awards and contests all through school), but it wasn’t until about five years ago, I decided to actively pursue my passion. Since then, I live and breathe the characters and stories I write. Nothing, to me, is more exciting than a good story (whether I write it or not).

Currently, I write spicy Contemporary and New Adult Romance through The Wild Rose Press, though I’m hoping to dabble in a more quirky paranormal romance series soon.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

When you read my new release (The Finish Line) you’ll be introduced to the heroine’s snarky baby sister, Breanna. My current WIP is the third novel of the Arkadia Fast series and Breanna’s novel. She’s cocky, sassy, and all sorts of fun! Also, rather than street racing (the backdrop for the other two novels in the series), Breanna takes us into the world of big-time drag racing. So, not only is she a different type of character for me to write, but the world is brand new for me.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Nah, not usually. As long as I’m writing something, I’m happy. Some days I can throw five to ten thousand words to a page. Other days I’m lucky to hit five hundred.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

No. There was a time when I was a jerk about this and said I didn’t believe writer’s block existed. But then, I read where a famous author said if you get writer’s block then something is wrong with your story and you need to fix it. That got me to thinking. When I first started out there were a lot of half-finished manuscripts (maybe one day I’ll revisit those, lol). Because in truth, I had no real grasp on what conflict really was. Not so much that I could complete an entire novel. Once I figured that out, finishing them became easier. If you’re stuck, there’s a reason.

For me? I don’t allow myself to get stuck. I live by the rule of three. At any given moment, I have at least three projects going. If I can’t figure something out with one, I move on to another. Currently: I have a novel (the third of my Arkadia Fast series) in first draft stages, a novel, and novella in edits with editors, a romantic suspense novel I’m revising to submit, and a proposal I’m working on submitting. It sounds like a lot, but it keeps me motivated and inspired.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

I’ve only ever submitted (unsolicited) one manuscript. With that manuscript, I received a mixed bag of rejections and requests (and eventually multiple contract offers from small presses). A few I laughed (form letters that had zero relevance to the submission), a few I rolled my eyes (like that one editor who told me I needed a critique partner before I submitted again, not realizing that my critique partner was a bestselling romance author), and one, in particular, was like a punch in the gut.

The gut-punch came after weeks of a back and forth with the editor and her enthusiasm for my writing and my novel (we’re talking BIG house) only to get a form rejection with no personal response. Then a friend pointed out to me that just because you’re rejected doesn’t mean you aren’t good. It means at that time, that particular publisher doesn’t have a place for your novel.

I suck it up and keep trying. I make sure to be polite and kind and grateful that an editor took the time out of their busy schedule to talk to me and especially they read or make comments on my manuscript. I make those connections because I never know when I might have exactly what they are looking for.

Can you tell us your story of getting “the call” (or e-mail)?

It’s a depressing story, actually. No party, no celebration. I was sick as a dog, sitting in the waiting room at the urgent care clinic when I got the email. I looked at it, made a strained attempt to smile, coughed up half my lung, and then went back to see the doctor. I told my doctor I just sold my first novel and she celebrated with a little dance. But me, I was too sick to care in that moment.

About two weeks later it finally hit me. From then on, it’s been rather busy and non-stop. My dream has become reality, it’s a surreal and amazing thing.

How do you relax?

Writing or reading, usually. Both relax me and make me happy. There are a lot of other things we have to do as authors, so sitting down for the sake of just writing takes my mind off those responsibilities as well as everything else that comes with being an adult.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

In the words of Nora Roberts: ASFK. Ass to seat, fingers to keys. Get your butt in the chair and write. Never stop writing.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website:  http://lesliescottromance.com

On facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesliescottwrites

On twitter: @leslieSwrites

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from the Finish Line.~Tina

AuThursday – Jennifer Field

IMG_1294 (002)Tell is a little about yourself and your background?

Little about myself.. Hmmmm, well my name is Jennifer Field, I’m an only child raised by a strong single mom in the 70’s (go ahead do the math). When I was in school I had trouble reading and spelling and I’m sure if I had grown up today I’d be labeled as having some sort of dyslexia. But lucky for me I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s (I still can’t spell to save my life), but I can write one heck of a story.

I’ve always written, sometimes it was short stories, sometime poetry but always just for me. Then a few years ago I had read 100+ books in 1year and at some point said, “I think I can do that.”. But seriously how many people say they are going to write a book someday. So… I had this bizarre dream, thought it would make a great story, so I started writing. It morphed and changed into my first novel Twice Lost which came out in 2014.

How do you make time to write?

This is always hard but what I have found that carrying a journal ( or two or three ) with me at all times gives me time to write whenever and wherever I am. Now finding time to type it all out… that’s an entirely different question. It seems to me the more authors I get to know the more I seem to realize we all seem to have this “late night” writing thing going on.

Do you believe in writers block?

Oh you bet and it can happen at any time. You think your just whizzing along with a story then BAM, none of your characters want to speak to you. I usually have a couple of story lines going on (hence the 2 or 3 journals I carry around) and I have found that if I start to write something else, they come back.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it?

I mainly write Paranormal Romance but I have also dabbled in Sci-fi, contemporary romance and straight up erotica.

But my favorite is always going to be Paranormal because I can make a world that before I put it down in writing never existed. I pull from a variety of mythology when writing and I always have some hidden gems in ALL my stories. For instance in the Harbinger Series if a character has a last name it will give the reader insight into who they are, Jenna Thanatos in Twice Lost… Thanatos is Greek for death.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? ( *e.g. Indie, traditional or both )

Currently I am under contract with Forever Red Publishing for the Harbinger Series. They are a small publishing company and really … because they gave me a chance.

Are you and introvert or extravert? How does this affect your work?

Both I guess. I think I’m an introvert until you get to know me then I’m an extravert. As an introvert it makes me the worst self-marketer ever.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

Just be the best you.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing, even when you think everything you’ve typed is complete crap. We all read our own writing and think… “WOW, this is pure genius.” And five minutes later while reading the same thing we think “Who wrote this crap, oh right… I did.”

Oh… and BACK UP YOUR WRITING. Twice Lost got its name because of 2 separate and total hard drive failures. So now every few chapters not only do I back up to the cloud but I email them to myself… just in case.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is www.JenniferField-Author.com  (sadly it is in desperate need of an update like yesterday)

You can also follow me on Twitter @sexyharbinger

And on FB Jennifer Field Author  https://m.facebook.com//JfieldHarbingerSeries

Instagram: Jennifer_field_author

Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Jennifer’s First Book in her Harbinger Series. ~Tina

AuThursday – Kimbra Kasch

kim-kasch-2016Please welcome Romance Writer Kimbra Kasch.  Kimbra, do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I’ve never been a person who could follow a recipe when cooking or writing. I add a pinch of something here and a dash of spice there; I have to go with the moment and what I think will “taste” good at the moment. It’s the same with writing. I have to go where my heart leads me.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book, Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking?

 

Staying true to the legend(s). Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking involves King Arthur, his half-sister, Charlemagne of France and Holger Danske. So, I wanted to stay true to the themes of France’s King, Britain’s legends, and Denmark’s. It took a lot of research.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The romance. Love is an easy path to take and the most fun…

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I LOVE Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Mary Janice Davidson, Poe and dozens of others. That’s a question like asking me what flavor of ice cream is my favorite: rocky road, coffee, chocolate, Cherry Garcia, I could go on and on.

How do you relax?

Reading, writing, knitting, baking, running, playing tennis, hiking, sewing, … The real question is how do I NOT relax… ;D

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

It’s something like this from Mother Teresa: I know God never gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes I just wish he didn’t have so much confidence in me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write because you love telling stories. Write because you love reading and writing. Just write.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Purchase Links:

You can find my book here:  https://www.amazon.com/Morgaine-Fey-Vikings-Kimbra-Kasch-ebook/dp/B01L88QPTW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473136773

KIM’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Kasch/e/B00ZOAUKMO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website: https://www.kimkasch.com

https://www.kimbrakasch.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15278287-kimbra-kasch

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIt0EKLYjrbM_FRnPP1JXdw

Blog: https://www.kimkasch.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009489617484

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimkasch

Google+: https://aboutme.google.com/u/0/#profile_photo

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimkasch/

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAGF2pwBVg-AKJf0oZ1xQgzY1oFTZ2yaAcY&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Plus, on Instagram @kasch.kim

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kim’s latest release, Morgaine LeFay and the Viking.  ~Tina

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AuThursday – Alianne Donnelly

Please welcome my fellow Liquid Silver Author Alianne Donnelly.  So tell us Alianne, where are you from?

A: I am originally from Slovakia but for the past eleven years I have been living in California.

Q:  What inspired you to write your first book?

A: Lol the first one was mainly a challenge to see if I could do it – keep a story going for 100k words or more. The very first day I sat at a computer and typed 20 pages. Yeah, it was a mess… But five more books later, I learned how to do it right. It’s true what they say: Practice, practice, practice.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

A: Early on it was fairy tales, and they still fascinate me to this day. They’re the reason I write Happily Ever Afters. Now I read mainly romance and history/mythology books. When life gets really stressful or glum books become my escape. More often than not, what I read tends to influence what I write and how I write it.

Q:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A: Names. This gets me every time. I come up with an amazing place, or a really great character, and I can’t for the life of me think of what to name them. I even put together a notebook of just names I like. Now I read through it and think… what the heck kind of a character would be named that?? Lol

Q: What was it like, getting the “call” that your first book, “Blood Moons” would be published?

A: When I saw the email in my inbox I figured it was another rejection. I read through it, looking for the “regrettably…” part and never got to it. I think I actually stopped breathing and my eyes went wide as saucers when I read it a second time and realized it was an acceptance. I called every person I knew just to say, “I’m getting published!!! Okay, gotta go!”

Q:  Who designed the cover?

A: I honestly don’t know. I believe all the back-and-forth was handled through an intermediary. I wish I knew so I could thank them in person. The cover came out even better than I imagined. I love it!

Q:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?

A: Writer’s block. Most of the time I fly through a story blind and let it develop the way it wants to. The hardest part is when I get stuck. I’ll sit there, staring at my computer screen for hours and end up browsing the web instead of writing. Usually it means I messed up somewhere. I’ve scrapped entire chapters before and rewrote whole sections just to steer the story in a better direction.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

A: I learned that you should write what you want to read because you never know what an agent or publisher will respond to. Blood Moons is the first of my novels ever to get published and if you’d asked me a year ago, I would never have guessed this would be the one. But I would have written it anyway. =)

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: Don’t give up. People will put you down, they’ll condescend to you, they’ll tell you it’s all nonsense and nothing will ever come of it. I’ve been there. I’m still there with some people around me. I don’t write for them. I write for myself, because it’s what makes me happy.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

A: My blog: http://aliannedonnelly.blogspot.com and

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Alianne-Donnelly/136408409725584?ref=ts

 

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Alianne’s book Blood Moons.

Tina

AuThursday – Alanna Coca

Falling StarPlease join me in welcoming fellow LSB Author, Alanna Coca (and her alter ego Olivia Brynn)!  So Alanna tell us, how long have you been writing?

From the time I could hold a pen. Seriously, I have some books that I wrote in grade school, Looking back, I’m pretty impressed with my plot-forming skills! I started writing my first book Wyoming Solace back in the early 1990s but I didn’t take it seriously; it was just a way to relax. When I read through it, and I realized that it was an actual *book* I left my ego at the door and began my quest for a publisher.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

 The ones that are eluding me now will top this list. Of the ones I’ve completed, Préjà Vu gave me the most grey hair. The hero, Trevor Kearney wasn’t a very likeable guy. I had no control over him either, I just had to deal with the way he was, but I finally ended up falling for him, along with heroine Ryann Phillips. Although he made writing the story a little more difficult, I do enjoy writing when the characters take over.

Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I’m a pantser. I usually get a wild hair and start writing, sometimes smack dab in the middle of a book. I’ll write until something else grabs me. Currently I have seven of these WIPs going. I hop back and forth depending on my mood and which character talks the loudest. I must have music. It doesn’t matter what kind, opera, classical, country, hip hop, pop, metal, alternative…you name it, I like it. I went through five sets of earbuds in 2009, let’s hope 2010 is even better. 

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Don’t be afraid to rewrite. Sometimes it’s hard to do, because of the emotional involvement in each and every word and phrase, but there are times when you just need to bite the bullet and backspace!

 Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about e-publishing?

That e-books are somehow inferior to print. There are some great authors and editors in the e-pub world, and with the way the ebook readers like Kindle and Nook are selling, I think this is just the beginning of something really great.

Q:  How did you come up with your book titles?

I think titles are very important. How do you sum up your book in a few words? The search for each title is an adventure, Wyoming Solace began as ‘Resurgence”. I changed it when I had to define the word to most people I talked to. My father named Préjà Vu after I spent months of agonizing. I wanted something to show that déjà vu feeling, but convey the fact that the feeling comes before the event. Retreat came to me when I was writing the last chapter, since the word’s dual meaning worked out well. (The heroine runs from her first love, “retreats” to hide from her feelings, and years later returns to the guest ranch for a “retreat”) Fine Print was titled well after the book was complete. The book is about an anal-retentive woman who does everything by the book, and her idea to contract a sperm donor.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life?

I’m not sure I have any life-altering books. My mother always had a book in hand when I was growing up, and as number five of seven, I had a huge library of hand-me-down books. The Little House series, Nancy Drew, The Chronicles of Narnia, and anything written by Roald Dahl. I discovered romances when I picked up an older sister’s copy of Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown. From that day on, I was hooked.

Q:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Sandra Brown. See above I love just about everything she’s written, and I love the fact she combines romance with suspense.

Q:  What is on tap for 2010?

My latest book Fine Print from Liquid Silver Books will be released in the first part of the year, date TBA. I have a short story coming out from my alter ego Olivia Brynn in June from Samhain Publishing. After that, I have a plethora of works in progress, I hope at least a few of them will see the light of day within these twelve months.

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

It seems I’m everywhere. My websites are http://oliviabrynn.com and http://alannacoca.com I’ve got blogs there that I update at least weekly.

I’m on Twitter (way too much) at http://www.twitter.com/AlannaCoca.

Then there’s Myspace http://www.myspace.com/alannacoca and my

Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laramie-WY/Alanna-Coca-Romance-Author/75071062239  

Thanks for joining us Alanna.  Come back on Saturday when we read a sexy excerpt from Alanna’s Préjà Vu. 

Until then, Be Naughty!

Tina