AuThursday – Kayelle Allen

FFIF by KA banner

kayelle-allen-author-blurb-450Please Welcome Kayelle Allen to the Clog Blog!   Kayelle – What excites you most about your book, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire?

Right now, it’s that I’ve finally finished it. I’ve worked on this book for a long time. It’s the second in the Bringer of Chaos series and I can’t wait to start on book three, Watch Your Six. One of the main characters is named Six, and this book is going to feature a lot of scenes with him.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

I’m a graphic designer, so I usually do my own covers, but for this book, I just couldn’t get it right. I changed it multiple times but was not satisfied with it. I searched for a different artist, somehow who knew how to capture an aetheric quality that I was missing. I found it in Brumae. She’s wonderful and so easy to work with. I love the version she created.

You’ve written so many series, what are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I have a one off. It’s a contemporary holiday very sweet romance and it sells bazillions of copies. But it is that — a one off. I hope to write a sequel to it, but my focus is on my science fiction series, which has sub-series within it.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing Bringer of Chaos: Watch Your Six, plus a sequel to Surrender Love called Surrender Trust. I’m also working on a new book set in the Tarthian Empire that I won’t describe yet. It’s hush hush for now.

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

Oh definitely an Introvert. I get my energy by being alone. Crowds exhaust me. I’m a closet extravert in the sense that I love speaking to groups and doing public presentations. But afterward, I need my alone space. On the Myers Briggs system, I’m an INFJ. We’re rather rare, but we are mighty. LOL

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write in the early morning and then set aside time after I’ve finished my social media time in mid-morning. I write again at night. I set aside Sunday as a full day to devote to writing. Writing is what I do. I make it a priority.

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

I’m not submitting to traditional publications. I have had a couple, and they were disappointing, but I see it this way. If they don’t “get” what I’m doing, why would I want to work with them? But again… not something I even get anymore. All my books are published by Romance Lives Forever Books, which I own. I publish no one else. This is a private enterprise.

What tools/books do you recommend for writers?

I’m currently reading Creating Character Arcs by KM Weiland and I just got a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I read constantly and always look for new craft ideas. I highly recommend the writing course Empowering Characters’ Emotions by Margie Lawson. I learned an incredible amount of material from that study.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I am nowhere near the amateur I was when I started but I am not where I want to be. I think that goal will always be unobtainable. I strive for perfection, which we all know is always a bit out of reach. But I try!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?kayelle-allen-logo

I’m all over, but here’s where I spend the most time.

Blog/Website (I call this my homeworld) https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook http://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
G+ https://plus.google.com/+KayelleAllen/
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kayelleallen/
Instagram https://instagram.com/kayelleallen/
Anyone interested in sampling my work can try my reading group. I give away a set of four books to members as soon as they join. https://kayelleallen.com/bro/

 

 

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AuThursday – Helen Henderson

henderson-headshot-portraitTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you, Tina, for letting me stop by. To my readers of fantasy and romance, I’m Helen Henderson. To those of my historical westerns, they know me by the name of my ancestress, Jessie Treon. My Gemini sign matches my heritage and shows in my writing in multiple genres which are perfect for a tour guide to the stars, the Old West, and worlds of imagination.

What are you working on at the minute?

A companion book to the Dragshi Chronicles is readying for flight. First Change consists of a collection of short stories and novellas from history and legend of the dragshi–humans with a twinned dragon soul. Another tale of the Archmage, Lord Dal, and the sea captain, Lady Ellspeth, is drifting just offshore, awaiting the scribe to capture it. Besides working on the novels, I’ve decided to try something new in 2017. I will be participating in my first writing challenge, a post a week on a specified topic in 52 weeks.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

Shorter works such as novellas are usually free written. I do like structure for full-length novels, but I don’t hold to the hard rule of outlining the entire work before starting to write. When I write, I storyboard or write the draft of a scene or chapter depending on how much the muse is visiting. A scene in the storyboard might have a line describing the setting, an annotation of whose point of view I expect it to be in, and maybe three to five bullet points. Or, if the muse is visiting that block in the storyboard will be completely fleshed out with dialog, transitional phrases and be a true first draft. As I get deeper and deeper into the story and the characters take over, there are less stubbed scenes and more completed ones. Usually by the time I get to the end of the storyboard I have a complete first draft ready for editing and peer review.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That really is an unfair question. A number of items impact the time to complete a story. A book written in the early days of my career took longer than the most recent one. Generally, a full-length novel takes a year from initial draft to the publication-formatted manuscript. A novella can be completed in a month if the fates allow. As a caregiver sometimes emergencies and life gets in the way of writing which can impact the time to write. Although I have written while sitting in doctors offices, emergency rooms, and at 2 in the morning.

Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

My response in the past to a question regarding writer’s block was that I usually don’t get it. I have too many projects going on. However, never say never. Two novels, both set in the world of Windmaster, refuse to cooperate. There was too great an age difference between the male and female lead characters. That problem was solved by changing the point-of-view to different characters. However, the storyline had one of the “now-secondary” characters go on a journeyman walk and after a battle stay in a foreign land. To keep the series integrity, the original intent that it would be the tale of the next generation, the girl going walkabout would be no older than seventeen. Again the age felt inappropriate for the storyline. That is being re-evaluated.

henderson-windmasterlegacy-200x300The second novel in the Windmaster series awaiting a scribe faced the problem of expanding a paragraph-long legend to a full-length novel. The first two chapters came easily, then life interfered and a break occurred.

As to how to overcome the writer’s block, for the one book, time will be set aside to re-read the first two novels in the series and re-immerse myself in that world. A visit with the original characters will, hopefully, get the next generation talking to me.

I see you’ve written a series called THE DRAGSHI CHRONICLES.  Can you tell us a bit more about your series, and what draws you to writing it?

The Dragshi Chronicles are action-filled, romance-laden fantasies about a group of men and women who are more than just what you see, but are two beings—one human, the other a dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. But be warned, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.

Each book is a stand-alone tale. The first book is Dragon Destiny. For hundreds of years, Dragshi Lord Branin and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn searched for their intended mates. Lady Broch of Ky’Port, the firebrand leader of a band of raiders, vowed to marry the dragon lord, with or without his willing cooperation. Everything changed the day a wistful thought touched Branin’s.

Hatchlings Curse continues the story of Lord Branin and the trader girl Anastasia. Branin means to break the hatchling’s curse and end the childlessness of the dragshi. To save his kind he has to win the mating flight. And the cost? All he treasures. Throwing the competition is not an option.

The series continues with Hatchling’s Mate. Talann’s dilemma. No dragons sang a welcome at his birth, so how is he to save all dragon shifters. Or, save himself from the mind control wielded by the leader called – the Parant.

Hatchling’s Vengeance completed the series. Lady Glynnes Janaleigh had found her mate, but finding him is only half the battle. Keeping him alive is the other when duty has other demands and Fate holds all the cards. On one card is written: “Vengeance has two paths—death or love. And a long memory.”

As to what drew me to the world of the dragshi? My heritage is the child of a coal miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer. My world was grounded in the rural life and the skies. I grew up on a farm watching hawks soar overhead. The hawks became dragons and my desire to fly became real.

henderson-windmaster-200x300You have so many lovely book covers, can you tell us if you have a favorite and why?

While I love all the covers (even the ones I created), my favorite cover is Windmaster by Michelle Lee. The alluring model and ship hints at fantasy, magic, pirates and romance. Oh, wait a minute. Windmaster is all those things.

 

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

At this point in my career, I am now what is called a hybrid author–someone with one foot in the indie world and the other in the more traditional publishing arena. When I first embarked on publishing my own works, I was fortunate enough to have the contacts to overcome a disadvantage many independent authors encounter–the building of your own stable of technical experts from cover designer to copy editor to proofreader. An even bigger disadvantage is the social isolation. When you’re with a publisher, the authors support each other. You benefit from their social media reach and they yours. Fortunately, if you look for them, groups of independent authors have formed that provide a similar function.

Publishers, especially small press, can be a security blanket, a launching pad, or the perfect place for an author to call home. They have extended reach, resources, and enable authors, who don’t want to run their own company, to learn, grow, and become “published authors.”

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

WEBSITE: helenhenderson-author.webs.com/

BLOG: helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/e/B001HPM2XK

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/777491.Helen_Henderson

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HelenHenderson.author

GOOGLE + –http://ow.ly/JEZug

AuThursday -Ann Everett

ann-everett-photo-and-coversPlease welcome Ann Everett to the Clog Blog.  Ann, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—until I started writing. I’m a native Texan, having grown up in a small, small, really small town, population 406. I’ve been married to the same man since dirt. I love shopping at thrift stores. I don’t remember my first kiss. I hate talking on the phone. A really sharp pencil makes me happy, and I’m glad wrinkles aren’t painful.

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary romance, new adult romance, and I have a trilogy of light mystery, steamy sex, and plenty of humor which makes it hard to put in a category.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

No, but I’m always on the lookout for other authors who might want to do a joint box set of books.

I see you’ve dipped into the Indie publishing world.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The disadvantage of indie publishing is you have to do everything yourself…find an editor, formatter, book designer, etc. When I was with a small press, they did all that for me. The advantage is control. I get to look at my sales every day and have the final say in all aspects. I’m somewhat of a control freak, so self-publishing is perfect for me.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do both. After having every chapter critiqued by other writers, I usually do 2-3 rounds of editing on my own, then have an editor go over it. After that, I have a team of beta readers who give it a once over. I think it’s important to have “readers” in place of writers go over the book before I publish. They pick up on things no one else does!

Who designs your covers?

I’ve used several. Octagon Lab did all the covers for my trilogy. For my romance books, I’ve used Pink Ink Designs, Gemma James, Upchurch Design Studios, and for my non-fiction, I used vendors from Fiverr.com.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just finished my seventh novel. It’s a new adult romance and hopefully, will be published in December. The tagline reads: A girl hiding from her future~~A man running from his past

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Join a critique group, either online or locally. I belong to both and the help I get is priceless. Just be sure and find one with members who will be brutally honest. If the members aren’t finding things wrong with your work, then they aren’t helping.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

http://www.anneverett.com

Join me on Saturday when we read an unedited sneak peek from Ann’s soon-to-be-released new adult romance, CHIRP. ~Tina

AuThursday- Trevann Rogers

I see your write in the Urban Fantasy Genre, what draws you to this genre?

As far back as I can remember, I ‘ve been fascinated with the supernatural. It began with the I heard from family members when I was too young to know what they were. From there it was easy to move to tales of Dracula, the Wolfman, and other legends. Urban Fantasy is a nice combination of the two, taking the familiar creatures from distant past and far off places, and dropping them into our own time and culture. There is always the possibility of a new “what if” that brings another fantasy creature or culture into our path.

Which actors would you like to see playing the lead characters from your most recent book, HOUSE OF THE RISING SON?

Well, I love to see Jason Momoa playing any role but I think he would be perfect for Alexander. Cheyenne is tougher. Tom Cruise if he were younger ( is anyone sexier than Stacee Jaxx? Elliot Knight when he had longer hair? Or the late great Prince.

Tell us about the cover for HOUSE OF THE RISING SON, and how it/they came about?

I was lucky enough that my editor asked what style cover I was attracted to, as well as how I pictured my leads. I was allowed to choose the models and poses for the cover.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

HOUSE OF THE RISING SON IS the first book in the series. Cheyenne just wants to play music but as the son of the ruler of the Incubi, he cannot escape his heritage. He and his children have a role to play in the survival of his race and circumstances keep drawing him into the family drama.

His role as single father raised questions. After Midnight, the prequel to HORS, answers some of those.

Where do your ideas come from?

I find inspiration in many places but most often in music. Either the melody or lyrics will resonate with me and ideas for scenes start to flow.

Did you receive any rejection letters, and how did you deal with that?

I did receive a few rejection letters but most were along the line of “paranormal isn’t selling” or” I just don’t know where this would fit.” Thankfully I never received any of those soul-crushing rejections you hear about.

Can you tell us your story of “getting the call”?

It was actually an email. Basically, it said, “I would like to offer you a contract.” I said yes. The funny thing was that within a week I got two more emails with basically the same message. That is a great feeling.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

My advice to anyone who wants to write is to not rush yourself. Learn everything you can about the craft of writing, learn everything you can about the business of writing, and decide what kind of career you want. Not everyone has the same career goals. Writing is not a “one size fits all” lifestyle.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Find me at:

www.trevannrogers.com

www.facebook.com/trevannr

www.pinterest.com/trevannr

Twitter: @TrevannRogers

AuThursday – Cammie Eicher

Please welcome back my fellow Resplendence Author, Cammie Eicher.  Cammie, do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

My mind is always in gear and I seldom find myself blocked. But when I do, I’ll grab a notebook, go have coffee somewhere and “interview” the characters. I pretend I’m really asking them questions and jotting down answers and pretty soon, I’m back in the groove.

Q: When you first started in this business, how did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

I have a whole ring binder of rejection letters I’ll be happy to show anyone who wants to see them! My parents taught me the real failure is to quit trying so after a day or so of being bummed, I’d read through them and take any advice they offered. Then I’d rewrite and resubmit.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your SHADOW ANCIENT series?

My late sister and I were always into vampires. I was sitting in Las Vegas at an RWA conference, waiting for time to catch the airport shuttle, when I began to wonder about all those people around me. What if they weren’t all like me? What if they were actually vampires, but not the kind of the popular legend? What if they were the original species of man and we were the mutants? It just grew from there.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?

I’d say its Giorgio Montrosa. Giorgio had a lousy childhood and let it turn him into an ambitious man with little regard for others. But when he was forced to choose between two paths, he decided to create a new and better life for himself. Plus he’s just really sexy!

Q: Which one of your covers is your favorite and why?

Hmmm … that’s a tough one. I really like Dead Man Stalking because it so accurately reflects the story.

Q: What are your current projects?

I’ve just seen the latest Shadow Ancient book, “Epitaph,” come out and I’m starting work on two new books. One involves my Ancients while the other is a humorous, small town story of feuding neighbors and revenge.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

You can do this! There’s a phrase that I offer all who ask me how to write: HIC-HOK. That stands for hinny in chair, hands on keyboard. Write. And when you need a break, read. Don’t ever assume you’re not good enough or compare yourself to someone else. Your voice is unique and your imagination is like no one else’s.

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

Check me out at www.cammieeicher.com or come see me on Facebook.

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Cammie’s book, “Epitaph”. ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday- Livia Quinn

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copyPlease welcome Romance Author Livia Quinn to The Clog Blog.  Livia, with so many books published, how do you make time to write?

That’s a great question. In 2014, the year I restarted my career, my goal was to write and publish six books. I nearly killed myself working and getting those books ready for publication but once I accomplished it, I assumed I’d be able to do that each year. Wrong. Being a self-published author who does all her own formatting, uploading, promotion, etc. means a LOT of maintenance, and working seven days a week for seven months at my small business means figuring out at way to work writing time into shorter periods—in the tub, on the road to work, between customers. So from January to August sometimes I only get one-two books written and published. In the winter months I try to do more. I have a tip for your readers that was a real eye opener for me. I have an itty bitty spreadsheet that I keep handy to remind me how small increments of words add up. 250-300 words a day on busy days and 1-3000 on off days depending on the day, calculated by month and year. Then I divide the total (124,000, 296,000 or whatever) into possible outcomes, two novels and a novella, three novels and a short, etc. You’ll amaze yourself at what you can accomplish with a regular habit, no matter the amount because once you start writing you will usually write more than you think.

Q:  Do you ever get writer’s block?  Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Before this year, I would have said no. When it threatened before, I went to the tub (my muse pool) and my characters never failed to follow me, or I took a drive. But for the second year in a row, my day job killed my creativity. Then, doubts creep in and you think, “My characters have left me. I’m out of ideas. I’m crap at this.”  I struggled for probably a month-and-a-half recently feeling like my current book was lacking something or even several somethings. So I took a break, caught up on some reading and started a new audiobook. Then, I ran across a picture in a magazine that inspired me with some ideas and suddenly things were clicking again. It also helped when my time freed up a little, but if the characters and story are real to me, I can usually work through the job stress. Escape is wonderfully energizing.

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

Well, probably the one I mentioned but before that, Blame it on the Moon for a similar reason. Fear. The first three books in the Destiny Paramortals led up to Blame and halfway into it I was afraid I didn’t have what it took to make it work and be proud of it. Fear and doubt are big hurtles for a writer I think. But my readers loved it even more than the first three, so I’m trying to use that as encouragement for book five, Take These Broken Wings, which is on preorder now for July.

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

Be true to yourself and to your voice. And if you’re not enjoying the story, the world and your characters, it’s time to change it or move on. Writing something for any other reason only brings misery. For me anyway.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for your STORM LAKE series?

Ha! I grew up in DC afraid of thunderstorms and lightning, apparently from a July fireworks adventure gone awry when I was three. After moving to Louisiana during the worst tornado year on record, and then going through Katrina, not to mention a few others weather related events, Storm Lake was born. And since I love contemporary and paranormal, the lake has both. The Paramortals live on the west end where the leylines run through Destiny, and my heroine there is a weather witch (Tempestaerie). The east end has natural severe weather and the heroes are ex-military now cover models. Those stories are contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

Q:  Why did you choose Indie (self) publishing vs. Small Press or Traditional Publishing?

One of those aforementioned weather events in 2011, the Mississippi River flood, kept me from turning in some submissions and when the dust settled I realized it was going to take too long to get back my momentum and expect to be published anytime soon. There were other reasons like creative control – being able to write the book my characters wanted me to write and not having to determine the exact sub-genre. Authors were just started to self-publish and there was still such a stigma, but I decided it was the only way for me. I didn’t go about it the right way though. I published one book and then had no clue what to do. It wasn’t a wasted effort because I learned a lot about myself and the business of writing, but it was two years before I was ready again to do it right.

Q:  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Especially if you have to work or have big drains on your time like a family, it’s really hard. It’s all on you, especially if you can’t afford to farm out administrative tasks, formatting, promotion, uploading, writing blurbs, descriptions, re-uploading, etc etc. BUT if you’re the kind of person who wants to be in control and can manage your time and create viable deadlines, and you want to be the one that says, “I want to make my own decisions (after researching and getting the best information you can of course) and I can live with the outcome knowing I’m in control of my own creative work,” then maybe self-publishing is for you. You won’t have the big engine of a trad publisher behind you, but we’ve seen that sometimes that’s a dual edged sword. Royalties are certainly better if you can find visibility, which is the biggest struggle for any author now. But this is important, I think you should have several books ready to publish right off, say a month apart or two months at the most to get your “footprint” established.

Q:  Who designed the covers?

My fantastically talented cover designer, Linda Boulanger, of Tell-Tale Book Covers, designed all my covers except Undone. She’s recently revamped my Under-Cover Knights which underwent a series change to Storm Lake East: Larue (where the hunks are on the cover :))  Larue 3 copy

Q:  Which one of your covers is your favorite and why?

I love what she did with the Larue covers and Blame it on the Moon, but recently Linda updated my cover for the first Destiny Paramortals book, Storm Crazy. The first books in my series are free and I wanted a fresh look for Tempe and Jack.  Here it is.

Storm Crazy EBOOK New 05152016 copy

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

Buy links for all stores: http://liviaquin.com/books.html

Facebook www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter www.twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Website www.liviaquinn.com

Sign up for my newsletter  http://eepurl.com/W94bb

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/1TfBMe9

Join me on Saturday when we read a sexy excerpt from one of Livia’s books.  ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday – Sylvie Grayson

Please welcome Romantic Suspense and Fantasy Author Sylvie Grayson.  Sylvie I have to ask, what challenges do you find writing in two different genres?

Hi Tina, thanks so much for hosting me on your website. It’s a real pleasure to be here. I love writing in two different genres – romantic suspense and sci-fi/fantasy. I have found that once I’ve finished one novel, there is another one calling to me in a different tone. It keeps me excited about my writing. But the challenge of fantasy is to keep your created world in perspective – I have copious notes, lists of new words, maps, family trees for the characters. It’s a lot of fun.

Q: Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write when I can, no pressure (at least, not too much!) I work, and have a family who keep me pretty busy too.

Q: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I’ve published about three books a year, with editing and book covers and all the other stuff that needs to be done.

Q: Which of your covers is your favorite and why?

I love the cover of The Lies He  Told Me. The woman’s face is quite compelling, but we can see the bad boy in the background. But I also love the cover on Khandarken Rising, The Last War: Book One. That is my first fantasy and it was a lot of fun imagining the cover for it.

Q: Who designed the covers?

Steven Novak designed all of them. He does an amazing job and is open to all kinds of suggestions. If anyone wants to see his work, you can find his website at http://novakillustration.com/bookcovers.html  You can also go to my website http://www.sylviegrayson.com to see all my book covers.

Q: What are your current projects?

I am just in the process of getting the cover done for Truth and Treachery, The Last War: Book Three, and doing the proof reading for that MS. It’s time-consuming but essential to get it right.

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

My website is at www.sylviegrayson.com where I post quotes that appeal to me, and blog about writing and life. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/sylvie.grayson, and my twitter link is https://twitter.com/SylvieGrayson?lang=en