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

 

Teaching at Writer Zen Garden

wzgI’m teaching my FEARS workshop this weekend at Writer Zen Garden if anyone is interested. Classes are free to members. Membership is free.

http://writerzengarden.com/forums/

Feel free to share with any writer friends.

AuThursday – Rosanna Leo

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

Most of my books have taken several months to complete. However, there are others that have taken longer. I worked on one for several years, but that was an on-again, off-again situation. I tend to write each one and complete it before embarking on another project so I’m focused getting the work done.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?  (aka Are you a plotter or a pantser?)

I always research before writing but not every book requires in-depth research. For my shapeshifter romances, I always study the traits of the animals represented in the books and make copious notes about each. For my contemporary romances, I might do research on particular jobs or lifestyles. And for my mythology-based romances, I always reread the legends I’m referencing. I do try to plot out my novels but there is a healthy dose of pantsing involved as well. 😉

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

Believe it or not, I adore writing male characters. In fact, I prefer writing them. I love getting into the heads of my heroes and screwing around with the wiring. They’re fun for me to write because many of them are straightforward guys. That being said, I think the toughest part about writing them is not allowing myself to get caught up in stereotypes. Sure, men can be different but they’re not all the same and they’re not all macho dudes who are always thinking about sex and food. LOL

What is your writing Kryptonite?

A lack of caffeine. It sustains me.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

That’s a tough question. Since I started publishing in 2012, so many fellow romance authors came forward and shared their experiences and expertise with me. That’s what I love about this industry: there is a lot of love and support. It would be difficult for me to single anyone out but I have a special affinity for Anise Eden, Selena Robins, and Jessica Cale. Not only do I admire these ladies, I adore their writing and am proud to be friends with them. I learn something new whenever I read their works.

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

I have two freebie anthologies that I have written with a former blogging group but each story was written independently.

I see you’ve written a number of series including; GEMINI ISLAND SHIFTERS, GREEK GOD ROMANCES, HANDYMEN, and ORKNEY SELKIES.  What draws you to writing series, and is it hard to keep it all straight?

I’ll be honest, most of my series began as ideas for one book. The readers were wonderful enough to show interest and demand more books. Now, when I begin a new project, I keep series possibilities in mind. For example, my Handymen series is still being written and book one, A Good Man, has just been picked up by Samhain Publishing. I went into that one knowing I would write three books.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I used to read my reviews on a regular basis. However, one will always find negativity in this arena. When I started, I used to let bad reviews get me down. Now I’ve stopped seeking out my reviews. Unless a reader points me in the direction of her review, I won’t go looking for it. It just keeps me saner this way. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the feedback but I prefer to stay positive. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive some amazing reviews and I thank everyone who put pen to paper for my work.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rleoauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826852.Rosanna_Leo

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LeoRosanna

AuThursday – Julie Lence

me-mediumI see you write Western Romances. What draws you to this genre?

I grew up watching John Wayne on Sunday television. I loved his cowboy characters and the fact he rode horses (horses are such beautiful creatures). I also liked the long, colorful dresses his female costars wore, the ranch houses and the scenery. Something about that era was simple and fascinating and stayed with me through. When I began writing, I started with a contemporary story but quickly switched to western romance. The heart of a cowboy, the code of the west, the horses and the rugged land were too hard to ignore.

How much research do you do?

It depends on the story and the characters. Two books I did a lot of research for Lady Luck and No Luck At All. Lady Luck is set in 1860 San Francisco and I needed to find out what the city was like at that time. I discovered tall ships permanently dry-docked, the color of a policeman’s uniform, and a street map from that time; all of which were incorporated into the story. For No Luck At All, the hero is a doctor. His heroine is a Boston socialite.  For that to work, I had to find out if Boston had a medical college and what medical discoveries were made in between 1860 & 1874 that I could use in the story.

One book I didn’t do much research for is Debra’s Bandit. Since this is the 3rd story in a series, the facts I needed had been researched with the 1st book. But Debra does work in a mercantile, so I did read up on mercantile (stores) to get an idea of what her day would be like and how important the mercantile was to society in the 1800’s.

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

About 1 year. Sometimes less than that. I self-publish, so writing, editing, and cover design fall on my shoulders, which I love.

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

Making them speak like a man. A man’s dialogue is different from a woman’s. They usually don’t string together a bunch of sentences or speak in complete sentences. Nor do they overly describe something or talk about their feelings. They speak in as few words as possible. Perfecting their short answers, comments and sarcasm is often a challenge.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Girl names are easy. We all have our favorites, or what we think is a pretty name. I have a list of girl names and add to it when I come across another that I like. Boy names are harder. I do have a short list that I refer to, but if nothing catches me attention, I begin running through my mind character names from television shows and movies. From there, I branch out to country music singers and football players. Football players have great unusual names and often I find the last name that makes a great first name for a cowboy or an outlaw. My biggest challenge is the last name. I obsess on last names until I hit on one that ties perfectly with the character’s first name.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Getting my muse to cooperate. Usually, I find on the days I have time to write, the muse is sleeping and takes forever to wake up and get in gear. On the days when I don’t have time to write, I have complete conversations between characters in my head. Or, I’ll hit on a plot point and run for a piece of paper and a pen to jot down notes.

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

No. I have critiqued with other authors, contributed to a round-writing blog where each author writes one chapter to the story and contributed to a compilation of authors who each wrote about how they met their husband, but I’ve not co-authored a book with someone else.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Writing is a hard and lonely existence. To succeed, one must write every day and write what you know or love and for yourself. Keep at it, develop a thick skin when it comes to rejection, and don’t worry about what other authors are doing or have accomplished.  Stay true to yourself, dedicated to your craft, disciplined, and have a set of goals to work toward.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website: www.julielence.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/julielence

Facebook: https://facebook.com/#!/JulieLence

Twitter: @julielence

AuThursday – Your name here

img_0982We are getting to the end of the year and I’ll be looking for Interview Candidates for 2017.  

If you think this is something you might be interested let me know. 

I post Interviews every Thursday and Excerpts on Saturday.  I’m thinking of adding some new items like Wednesday Writer Space – More on that to come. 

I don’t do reviews or blitzes, as I want the readers to get to know the writer and what makes them tick.   

Reader make-up seems to be a mix  of Fans, Aspiring Writers, Actors and Veteran Writers.  This page if  viewed more as informative and educational rather than promotional. 

I’ll post the Clog Blog Results at the end of the year as I have in the past.   

Stay tuned next week for more writers. ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday -GD Ogan

Please welcome back Guy (GD) Ogan to the Clog Blog.  GD – How long have you been writing?

Well, of course, there is all the “writing” required by schools and while in the military. But I feel sure you’re talking about fictional and non-fictional books and articles. My expressing things using the written word probably started when I was running long distance, cross-country events in high school and college while living in Northern California. There were a few magazines dedicated to running sports that published some of my submissions about the races I ran. One was “The Long Distance Log” where I described the trials and tribulations (tongue-in-cheek) of the dusty and sometimes dangerous courses the race promoters provided for us. Much later many of my photographs and stories were published in “Cruisin’ Style” a car magazine. I also had a book published while at Hardin-Simmons University titled, “Can Anyone Help My Child” about diagnosing and finding various treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

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

A: I’ve always had a very fertile imagination. Perhaps that is one reason that “story telling” has come easily for me. I never felt that any of the series was difficult to write. Maybe I’ll answer by saying not writing the forth book in the series yet, because I wanted to wait until I had more readership, has been the hardest. My characters always press me to continue writing their story.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your IMMORTAL RELATIONS series?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A: After my mother passed away, five years after my father did, I finally felt that I had to clean out my father’s file cabinets. My father had worked for the Federal Government with industrial, heavy duty, seven and eight drawer security file cabinets. By the time I was through, over fifty of the largest 55-gallon trash bags were filled to overflowing. In the oldest cabinet, in the back of the bottom drawer, I found a very old and yellowing envelope I thought was empty. But when I picked it up to throw it in the trash it felt heavier on one end. When I ripped it open an old black and white photograph fell out. The photograph was of my late father as a young man in his late twenties or early thirties standing in front of an extremely old building with a clock face on it. On the back, in a very feminine hand was written: “I’ll always be waiting here.” Finding that message on the back of that photograph is what started me writing, “Immortal Relations.” It confirmed what my late mother said about my father when I was a very young child…that I didn’t understand at my early age. A copy of the photograph is shown on page two of the first book in the series.  I’ll use an excerpt below (Saturday)to give a hint of my mother’s concerns.

Q: When you are writing, who is in control, you or your characters?

A: Unquestionably the characters are in charge although they are kind enough to allow me to discuss “options” with them. However, I’ve tried to no avail to reduce some of what I call the “explicit togetherness” (sex) they are routinely involved in.

Q:  You’ve set some of your stories in foreign lands, which country would you most like to visit and why? 

A: The Czech Republic would be my first choice to visit. When I was in the military I’d visited England, Japan and even the (then) British Crown Colony of Hong Kong and what was called “The New Territory” (the latter two are both now part of Communist China). Off limits, to me, while I was in the service was Czechoslovakia as, at that time, it was controlled by the (then) Soviet Union. I’d also like to visit The Russian Federation since much of the action in my books take place there.

Q: What are you doing to promote your book?

A: Aside from being on blogs provided by friendly authors, I’ve been part of muli-author book signings at libraries and other venues throughout West Texas and had my novels on consignment at our local Hasting’s Books and Entertainment Store (Hasting’s is sadly now out of business).

Q: What books can we expect to see in the near future?

A: Book four in the series is ready to be typed up as soon as I get more readers. I have the cover ready for it as well as books five and six and my characters are chomping at the bit. In June I had a marvelous and funny comment left by Pat G. that she had read all three of the current series out of sequence and she attested that they were “stand alone.” She said it was the top vampire story she’d read and among the best in sci-fi (the third book has a sci-fi component).

Here is Pat’s comment

immortal-relations-25 Stars The best vampire novel I ever read. By Pat G. June 16, 2016, Format: Paperback This novel rates number one in vampire writings, and close to the top in science fiction. Ogan is an excellent writer. There is an occasional misspelled word, but it does not detract from the quality of the book. Ogan shows a deep knowledge of warfare and weapons perhaps from his service as a major in the USAF. The killing of others is handled very well and realistically. It is heavy on sexual content but again done well. I shared the book with a friend who came back to me and said, “I think this writer has overdosed on Viagra.” I laughed. I also liked the writing in (the) first person since it showed each person’s involvement and participation in the main theme of bringing the story to the front. It is not necessary to read the books in order unless you are one of those people who prefer it that way. The books stand alone. I read the second, the first, and the third. Loved all three and look forward to number four. It depicts vampires as friends of humans rather than monsters. It also shows a great love for animals.

Q: Is there a question you would like to answer but it wasn’t asked?

A: I hadn’t thought about it, but perhaps “Are any of your characters based upon real people?” The answer is yes, Gary Logan is based upon my own years of military training, knowledge, and experience. There are others, especially in book three, but that is for the readers to determine.

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

A: A lot more information about the books can be found at http://immortalrelations.blogspot.com and I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts (but I don’t look at them all that often).

Please join me on Saturday when we read and excerpt from GD’s book Immortal Relations.

AuThursday-Susan Behon

Behon_Susan_Author_PicPlease welcome my fellow LSB author Susan Behon.  Susan welcome to the Clog Blog, how long have you been writing?

I started writing bad poetry in high school and moved on to fan fiction when I was in my twenties. It took quite a few years to gather my courage and pursue writing seriously.

Q: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

The fact that I write a series has helped with plot and character development. I started out with one couple and the side characters from that story got their own romance. New characters were introduced and the series took on a life of its own from there. As odd as it sounds, characters and plots just come to me. Some characters are based on a mishmash of people I know and some are completely from my imagination.

Q: What were your feelings when your first novel, FALL FOR YOU was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

I received the acceptance e-mail at three in the morning. I half-hyperventilated and half-cried out from excitement. My husband was asleep next to me and the walrus-like howl woke him up. Bless, his heart. He hugged me and told me that he knew I would make it. I was overjoyed and stunned to have a contract offer.

When I saw the first cover for FALL FOR YOU I felt like I’d finally made it. It sank in that I actually have a real book on my hands.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the MADISON FALLS series?

I wrote the first book as a challenge to myself to see if I could actually do it. I thought it would be one and done. The first book opened the flood gates to more ideas and I ran with it. Funny bit of trivia—when I was brainstorming for an idea for the town, I was stuck. I listed name after name and then my daughter, Madison, tripped in front of me. That is how I dubbed my series, “Madison Falls.”

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

I’m presently having the most trouble with the manuscript for book six, ALL FIRED UP. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m thinking about it too hard. Each time I write a book, I want to improve and make it the best book yet. Sometimes, putting that kind of pressure on myself squelches the creative process.

Q:  When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?

I would have to say that my characters have the lion’s share of control. I’ll write, intending to go in one direction and they’ll grab the reins and pull me somewhere completely different.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Start out by writing what you know. Write what you want to express and not what you think others want to read. You can do it and you are good enough. Writers are world builders. Don’t be afraid to make the world that’s waiting inside of you.

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

www.susanbehon.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suebeehny

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1dD86dc

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1GFiuI

Amazon Author: http://amzn.to/1zn8Igz

Link to All Books: http://amzn.to/1JepnEA

 

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Susan’s latest novel, ALL OR NOTHING.  ~Tina