AuThursday – Erinn Stevens

author profile photoPlease welcome Author Erinn Stevens to the Clog Blog. 

Erin, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a wife to Mike, mother to Jack, OCD gardener, and writer of paranormal romantic suspense. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

How do you make time to write?

I write first thing in the morning when I’m not fully awake and the house is quiet. If I try to start after 10 a.m., it’s a lot harder!

How did you come up with the idea for MER CHRONICLES series?

It’s basically a little series of daydreams I pieced together starting in childhood. When I thought about it often enough to equate it with mental illness, I took that extra step, writing out a full-length manuscript to make sure it would, in fact, be mental illness.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

It’s what feels right to me for this story. I get caught up in my characters and think of ways to torture them in a more focused narrative.

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

I was raised by my dad along with two brothers. Then I grew up, married a man, got a male dog, and had a son. And all my guys are these really strong, supportive, loving men. I want to show these kinds of attributes in my male characters, and I want to give my male characters the respect they deserve.

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

I’m an introvert, although not on the far end of the spectrum. I think the contemplative nature of writing is a good fit for someone like me because of this.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I’m a dodger. I’m much more comfortable executing marketing tasks or other busy work, and I allow myself to get distracted from writing.

What are your current projects?

I’m wrestling with my third and final in the Mer Chronicles series, Outrush; and my audio book for Updrift will be out in the next couple of weeks. I’ll start audio production of Breakwater… and then I have an idea for another project, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Updrift-Mer-Chronicles-Errin-Stevens-ebook/dp/B06Y4YZ9X7

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/updrift-errin-stevens/1122810229?ean=9780998296128

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/books/id38?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/updrift-2

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Erinn’s book, UPDRIFT. ~Tina

AuThursday- Nona Raines

Please welcome my fellow NGWN (Nice Girls Writing Naughty) Nona Raines to the Clog Blog.  

Hi, Tina. Thanks for having me today.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a former librarian who still loves books and reading. Visiting libraries is one of my favorite things to do! I’ve been writing for many years, but for the longest time found it difficult to finish anything, I think that came from a lack of self-confidence and fear of putting my work “out there.” When I finally decided I must get serious, I joined a nearby RWA chapter (Central New York RWA for the win!) and finally finished a book. It was ONE GOOD MAN, my first published romance.

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

No, I haven’t, but a writer friend and I toy with the idea. She used to be a truck driver and knows all about the business. I told her it would be cool for us to write a romance–or maybe a whole series–feature women truckers!

I see you’ve written series including, NOT THE HOT CHICK, THE MAN SERIES, and THE SPECTRUM SERIES.   What do you like about writing Series for your readers?

Sometimes I think I write my series more for myself than for my readers. J I tend to love in love with my characters and want to continue their stories. Sometimes a supporting character calls out to me demanding his or her own story be told, LOL, and I just can’t resist. I hope my readers like my characters, too, and enjoy going along for the ride.

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

It’s a challenge for me to “think like a man” and convey that through dialogue. I want my heroes to be masculine without being overly macho or sounding like they’re women in men’s bodies.

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to write three to four hours a day. I’m a slow writer, so, unfortunately, that doesn’t produce as many pages as I wish it did.

What is your writer Kryptonite?

Mine is getting going in the morning when I’m at my best and not let little things distract me to let me fritter away the day.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe it exists for some people, but I’ve been lucky (knock on wood) that it hasn’t affected me yet. Some days are harder than others and feel like I’m squeezing blood from a stone, but so far I haven’t experienced anything that might be a block.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing! And keep learning. Read blogs by other writers, take classes (online or otherwise), read books on craft, and if you can, join a writer’s group. My local RWA chapter was invaluable to me.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Thanks for asking! They can find me here:

My website: http://www.nonaraines.com/

Author Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/nonaraines.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nonaraines

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5137998.Nona_Raines

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/nonaraines

My group blog–The Nice Girls Writing Naughty blog: http://nicegirlswritingnaughty.wordpress.com/

A multi-author FB group of which I am a member: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NGWNreaders/

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Nona’s story “Not the Hot chick” ~Tina

 

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 – Elise Noble

Headshot1Please welcome my fellow RWAOL member, Elise Noble.  Elise, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I haven’t always been a writer, that’s for sure. At school, I was a science geek, and when I went to university, I did an engineering degree. That was followed by a stint in IT, then I trained as an accountant. I bumped into my old English teacher the other day, and believe me, nobody was more surprised that I’ve become a novelist than her!

Away from work, I can usually be found riding my horse, who eats all my money, or walking my dog, who prefers to eat car keys. I also enjoy scuba diving and wakeboarding, as well as track marshaling at various motor races in the UK and France.

Q: What genre are your books?

A good question, and one which I sometimes struggle to answer myself. I’ve got a terrible tendency to break the rules, so rather than sticking to the usual romance tropes, I cross over into mysteries, thrillers, and humor as well.

My stories range from straight-up contemporary romance to romantic suspense, to romantic comedy, to romantic thrillers, and usually, they’re a mix of all of them. I write the books I want to read.

Q: What are you working on at the minute?

I’ve just finished drafting my twenty-first novel, which is a romance about a rather uptight property lawyer who secretly lusts over the hot model at her life drawing class. He’s got secrets, while she comes with three cats and a creepy next-door neighbour.

I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks to catch up on reading and research, then I’ve got two ideas fighting for headspace – the tenth book in my Blackwood Security series, and a possible project about the outrageous goings-on in London’s investment banks, which would be based on real events.

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time to fit everything in around my day job. It’s a real push to get it all done – not just the writing, but the editing, formatting, and the hardest part: marketing.

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

My first draft of my first book took close to six months, but after twenty-one novels, two novellas, and a bunch of short stories, I’ve refined the process a little. I don’t write every day. Instead, I write in blocks, and when I start, I write quickly.

My record for a novel is six days, although I was off work at that time so I had more free time. Usually, it takes me closer to a month. Before I start, I’ll spend a few weeks thinking about the plot and characters, do some research, and write out a loose outline, chapter by chapter, of one to two thousand words.

Once I start, the first half of the book is slower as I get to know the characters, and most of the time the second half just flows. I do have a tendency to rush the endings, but now I force myself to slow down a little.

My first drafts come in a little shorter than the finished product, centered around the dialogue, but I self-edit as I go so they’re quite readable. I let them rest for a while, then read through with fresh eyes and add detail where it’s needed.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not really – sometimes I’ll take a day to think over the best way to write a particular plot point, but I never get completely stumped. I always begin a writing project with an outline, although that has been known to change it as I go because the characters don’t always behave themselves!

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

Take some time out to think. Give your brain a rest and do something else rather than getting stressed over it.

Q: I see you write two series; Blackwood Security and Trouble? What do you like about writing series?

Pitch Black front only 7Feb16With Blackwood, it’s like visiting old friends each time I write a new book. I’m up to sixteen novels in that world now. Although each story features a few new characters, many of the others are recurring, which makes planning and writing so much easier. I don’t have to spend hours thinking about the characters’ backgrounds and motivations – I know them all already. I’ve got another five books planned, but three of the main characters have already appeared in other stories, and I’ve been setting up for those stories since the early books. My readers just don’t know it yet!TiP cover v3 front only

The Trouble books are more loosely connected, with just a little bit of crossover. I actually wrote the third book in that series before I wrote the second.

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

I have a website, which usually has some freebies and contests as well as a bit more information about me and my books:

http://www.elise-noble.com

I’m also around on Facebook and Twitter:

https://www.facebook.com/EliseNobleAuthor/

http://www.elise-noble.com

As well as Instagram, because I like to play with my camera in the little spare time I have:

https://www.instagram.com/elise_noble/

Okay, I confess. I’m mainly on Instagram to look at the hot men.

Join  me on Saturday when we look at some of Elise’s sexy teasers. ~Tina

 

 

 

 

AuThursday -LT Kelly

Please welcome my fellow Resplendence author, LT Kelly to the Clog Blog.   Welcome LT!

Hi, Tina, thanks so much for having me!

Q:  Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was in the Royal Air Force from the age of seventeen. I loved that life up until I had children, it was fantastic career that provided a story rich environment. I left when I was pregnant with my second child.

It was when I was home with the children that I started revisiting my love of writing. I hadn’t really done anything much since I left school, but I’ve always been an avid reader and that has never and will never fail to be a part of my life. I took a level 3 qualification in Fiction Writing and the rest is history…

Q:  Where do your ideas come from?

All of my ideas come from experience. It’s so difficult to write what’s not in your heart, whether it’s good or bad.

Q:  Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I would love to write 5 days a week, but the reality is much different. I have 2 kids and 2 dogs as well as a full-time job. I write as and when, but when I do it seems to flow because the story is continuously writing itself in my head.

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

I used to plot to the letter, the problem is my characters always seem to ignore me and do what they want. Much like the aforementioned children and canines! So, I draw up initial loose plot and don’t beat myself up over changes or developments.

Q:  Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Honestly, I don’t believe in it. I think I spend so much time thinking about what I’m going to write and sitting there appearing to be in another world that by the time I eventually sit down and start typing it simply flows from my fingertips.

Q:  I see you write two book series, FALLING and KISSING, can you tell us a bit about them?

The Falling Series is about a woman called Teagan Lewis who just so happens to be a vampire. What I mean by that is that the two books don’t merely reply on the paranormal aspect to get by. Book one, Falling to Pieces is set in London and has a Romeo and Juliet forbidden love theme. Book two, Falling into You is where intricate plotting and twists and turns came out in my writing style. So, I’m not going to say too much about what happens.

The Kissing Series is entirely different. The series is contemporary romance, and they are standalone books. Both of them invite the reader into fantasy land in the form of making your desired Hollywood movie star, favorite model, or rock star assess-able in the realist of situations. Kissing Cassie for instance is a story about a British high school teacher who bumps into her movie idol on a European beach and he refuses to let her go. Whereas Kissing Katie tells a moving tale of the war widowed single mother who learns to love again with a rising rock star.

Q:  What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I have written a follow on series, a standalone series, and a standalone so far. If I’m honest the standalone has killed me the most because the ending leaves no series potential. I felt a little bereft at the end of it. For the most part we grow to love our characters and to leave them behind is a struggle. I especially struggled with Teagan. Alas, we must let go and move on to avoid the sluggishness writing a long series can bring.

Q:  Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

As I said previously, I am an avid reader. Although, now I’m a writer I admit I find it less enjoyable than I once did. I have a total girl crush on JK Rowling because I never thought I would like Harry Potter in a million years, but I was completely and utterly captivated.

Another writer whom I adore completely is MK Meredith. She’s a writer of contemporary romance, and I adored the books in her Malibu Sights series.

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

I’m usually found on FB. Please feel free to tell me to get off it and get some work done. You can go ahead and like my page here:

https://www.facebook.com/authorltkelly/

I run a review blog as well. I’m always happy to help other writers with getting their stuff out there, as well as enabling readers to find their next new treasure, so please follow along:

https://ltkelly.com/

Find me on twitter here:

https://twitter.com/@ltkelly2

Kelly

Join me for a new author, next Thursday.   ~Tina