#AuThursday – Dee S. Knight

DeePlease welcome Dee S. Knight to the Clog Blog!  Dee, tell us a little about yourself and your background.

As Dee S. Knight I have been writing for about 16 years, taking breaks every now and then. I’m so glad to have found writing! I’ve worked at many different jobs, but writing is the only one I’ve thought I could do for a long time and be happy. It’s pretty different from book to book—because I get to make things up and do what I want. What fun!! Before and during my writing years I taught high school and also trained adults, worked as an acquisitions librarian, drove a truck cross-country, worked as a clerk and a receptionist, did gift wrapping one memorable Christmas, and headed a technical writing department and edited training manuals. You’d think I couldn’t hold down a job, lol! But in my defense, married to the man of my dreams who worked as a computer consultant, we moved an awful lot. Living various places and doing a lot of different things has given me a rich background to draw from when writing, so I can’t complain.

Dee writes erotic romance and expanded briefly in ménage romance. But as Anne Krist, I’ve written sweet(er) romance, and as Jenna Stewart, historical and ménage romance. It’s all been a kick!

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

I can deal with small groups—maybe up to eight or so. But any larger and I hide in a corner. Being introverted has never been a problem, though. I’m happy with who I am, and as long as I have a good book available to read, I’m happy being on my own. Well, that’s not quite true—I need the people I love nearby, too. I don’t think spending a lot of time alone has bothered my work too much. As long as I hear about hubby’s experiences and can draw from my own, it all seems to work.

What are your current projects?

I’m trying to finish up Book 2 in the Good Man series, a trio of books about identical triplets. Book 1, Only a Good Man Will Do, Daniel Goodman, walks a fine line between being respectable and staid and being with the woman he lusts after, a former exotic dancer. In the current book, One Woman Only, brother Jonah is a mechanic extraordinaire who wants a second chance with his high school love. The third book, featuring genius brother Mark is still in the planning stages.

 

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

Actually, Vanessa Hart and I started a book collaboration but other deadlines and life swept us up before we could finish it. I later expanded my part of the book into Daniel’s story in Only a Good Man Will Do. I call Resolutions a book written by four friends about four friends. Vanessa Hart, Jasmine Haynes, Leigh Wyndfield and I wrote separate novellas but each story began and ended at a common point, making it a collaborative process. I love that book. And I’ve been in anthologies. Ain’t Your Mama’s Bedtime Stories is a grouping of several short stories all built around fairy tales. Right now I’m in a supernatural anthology coming out this fall from Black Velvet Seductions called Mystic Desire. Several BVS authors contributed, with each short story carrying a supernatural theme.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I do. I had what I consider writer’s block with my paranormal romance Passionate Destiny. I started writing the book in February and by October I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Finally, I said to myself that if I didn’t have the book finished by Thanksgiving, I’d give up and put it away. Maybe it’s a stubborn streak, but that was the incentive I needed to get it done. I sent it in to Liquid Silver Publishing a week before Thanksgiving! I’m glad I did, too because it went on to be a Romantic Times Top Pick!

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

*sigh* Sadly, I have received rejection letters. I wouldn’t mind them if they gave some idea of why there was a rejection. “The work isn’t right for us” is the typical reason, and okay, I eventually have come to deal with that one. I can see where not every brilliant piece of writing, that sparkles with witty dialogue, livable, breathable locations, conflict that cuts like a razor blade, and characters that feel like your next-door neighbor might not be right for every agent or editor… Yes, I can see that, and understand it.

Oh heck. No, I don’t, lol. I don’t deal with rejections any better than any other writer. I scream at the moon for a night or two, figuratively cry on hubby’s shoulder, and complain to my mom about how unfair life is after throwing pillows at the wall. And then I move on. What else is there to do?

I will say, however, that there are ways agents/editors can soften the blow a bit. I was rejected by one agent (who shall remain nameless though her name is burned into my memory) whose rejection letter was folded so many times the letter was an inch or so high and the standard text (“Thank you for submitting your work. It’s not for us at this time. Best of luck in the future.”) looked to be mimeographed!! Yes. It was not printed or copied. It’s like she prepared thousands of rejections in 1965 and stored them up to use over the years. And I know because I was rejected by her more than once. That’s like kicking an author when she’s down. At least add the author’s name, send the letter to a printer, and stamp your name. And fold it right. Be professional, even if you have to reject an author’s work.

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

I’ve only used online publishers for my books. And I’ve been with some of the best publishers, really. Liquid Silver Publishing, Siren-Bookstrand, Samhain (when they were in business), and now Black Velvet Seductions. I’ve heard horror stories about publishing houses but have been lucky enough to avoid the problems. I will say, it’s sad that so many publishers are going out of business. I’ve thought about self-publishing, but if you called me chicken you wouldn’t be wrong! 😉

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, write, write! Learn some self-editing so when you submit your work the publisher won’t find a reason to turn you away. Accept editing with grace (this is sometimes a do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do situation). Find a good critique partner. Don’t believe all the praise your relatives and best friends heap upon your book—they’re usually too nice to be helpful when it comes to improving your work. And (did I mention?) WRITE!!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website: https://nomadauthors.com

Blog: http://nomadauthors.com/blog

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeeSKnight2018

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN

Newsletter (sample): https://preview.mailerlite.com/o2g1i0?fbclid=IwAR0COlyuPY-Hu30KTBdT092j_GZeuN5z4pc1LtsvHTyr6IbiSpsGqeIgT90

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Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

I do, thanks! And thanks for hosting me, Tina.

This is from Only a Good Man Will Do, when Daniel, a teacher at Westover Academy, first admits that he’s drawn to Eve Star like a kid to chocolate. He knows she’s bad for his future but can’t help wanting her in his present.

Knight_OnlyGoodMan_236x360Daniel took his seat in the Academy dining room with a few of the boys from his dormitory. Each table sat six, with a permanent place for a dorm master or table monitor. Each month, the boys rotated tables, assuring they spent casual dining time with their dorm master and others and learned proper table manners. Usually, Daniel enjoyed meals with his young charges. They were more willing than the older students to talk about what happened during the day, and he often picked up on budding problems by listening to their conversations. For this reason, even though late afternoon-early evening was the part of the day he had free, he usually liked to attend dinner.

However, he’d changed his calls to Eve from four-thirty to after dinner, and now Daniel counted the minutes until the evening meal ended. He urged the boys not to tarry after dessert and then cursed the fact he had to walk sedately rather than sprint back to the dorm. Once there, he made sure to lock the doors and get comfortable before punching her number on the telephone face. A minor dorm crisis requiring both him and his assistant had prevented their saying much more than hello yesterday, and today, though he’d just eaten, he felt like a starving man.

“Nothing a little sugar won’t cure,” he muttered, using Southern slang for kisses.

At the same moment, a deep, male voice answered. “Well, honey, you ain’t getting’ it from me.” The man laughed. “Hey, doc. Eve told me to tell you she had to go out, and if she missed you, she’d call back as soon as possible.”

“Hi, Jed.” Of course, Eve shouldn’t be hanging around waiting for his calls, but he couldn’t help the disappointment that hit like a sledgehammer. “Say, why’d you call me doc?”

Jed laughed. “Ask Eve.”

“I’ll do that. Thanks.” Well. Daniel set the phone back on the side table. All dressed up and nowhere to go. He looked at the remaining term papers he had to grade, but reading the opinions of high school boys on any subject, much less Romeo and Juliet, a love story that ended tragically, didn’t appeal. What he wanted was to hear the voice of the woman who’d ridden him hard and put him away wet on Tuesday evening.

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AuThursday – Tabetha Waite

img_6440Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a small town Missouri girl born and bred! I’ve wanted to write since the fourth grade after my teacher encouraged me. She said she liked reading my stories, so for a girl who was shy and bullied it was wonderful to have someone believe that I had a talent. Years passed and I have a family, my husband Doug and two great daughters, but I always kept writing in the back of my mind. It took me 30 years to accomplish, but my first book was published in July of 2016.

How do you make time to write?

I honestly feel lost, like I’m doing something wrong if I don’t have my computer open. Even if I’m just staring at the cursor waiting for inspiration to strike, I try to write a little each day. I usually get a lot done in the summer and on Christmas and spring breaks when I don’t have to work at my ‘day job’ as a lunch lady at the local community college. I look forward to the day when I can write full time!

I see you write Historical Romance, what draws you to this genre?

Easy! I love a good HEA! When I was younger, I used to read lots of different genres, but I didn’t like investing so much time in a book when I was in tears at the end. Granted, these books weren’t awful, just not what I wanted to read. So when I found the romance genre, I was instantly hooked! As far as historicals, I’ve always loved learning about history, so when the thought of a hero and heroine meeting at a ball, arriving in their carriages and dressed in their finery, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to immerse myself in this world.

How much research do you do?

As much as I try to be as accurate as possible, I’m not an author that wants to feel as if I’m giving my reader a history lesson. I know some people prefer exact facts, but when it comes to fiction, I prefer to add my own spin on things. The purpose of a romance is to feel the emotion between the characters, to lose yourself in their romantic turmoil, so that is what I try to achieve more than anything. I want my readers to close my book with a happy sigh at the end.

How did you come up with the idea for your “Ways of Love” series?

That happened by accident really. I was trying to come up with a catchy title for my first book. When I thought of “Why the Earl is After the Girl,” I thought it was cute because it rhymed. As I was writing the story, I added a character that I absolutely adored, Orion’s best friend, Roarke. I knew that he would have to have his own book, so I started to wonder how I could tie them together. Thus, Who, What, When, Where & Why was born!

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

Yes! So far there have been five, with three more currently on the way! It’s been FABULOUS working on these projects. We’ve had a great time!

Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?

The first anthology I was a part of was called, ‘Yuletide Happily Ever Afters – A Merry Little Set of Regency Romances.’ Initially, Annabelle Anders approached me on social media. We had already been chatting and seemed to have a connection, so we came up with an idea to write a Christmas set together. After asking a few other ladies to join, we released the set on October 1, 2018. It went over VERY well, much better than we all expected! It was also great for my other book sales, for it opened up the door to more readers.  

What are your current projects?

Other than the three collaborations that will be coming out this year, two in April, and one in September, I am also preparing to release the fourth book in my Ways of Love Series entitled, “Who the Marquess Dares to Desire.” I am SO excited to finally be able to share Drayven and Clara’s story with my readers. After a rather lengthy delay, it’s almost here! I hope to have book 5 out later this year as well, which will tie up the series with five books and a prequel novella. It’s been a labor of love, but I’m ready to move on and try my hand at a bit of fantasy romance! But never fear! I will always W back to my historicals.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is authortabethawaite.wix.com/romance and there you can join my mailing list for a free monthly newsletter, plus find ALL my social media links!

img_0236Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Standing, she began to gather her things.

“Where are you going?”

She kept her face carefully averted. “I told you what you wanted to know, Lord Sussex. There’s nothing more to say.”

Clara gasped when she felt a gentle hand under her chin. She hadn’t even heard him cross the room. He lifted her face to him and his focus fell to her mouth. “Maybe I don’t want you to go just yet.” His breath fanned her forehead and she shivered.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, my lord. It won’t accomplish anything if I stay.”

“Then don’t think.” His eyes smoldered like dark coals. “Take a risk, Miss Upton. With me.”  

Clara’s pulse fluttered rapidly. This man’s kisses breathed fire into her very soul, but they also threatened to scorch her heart. She knew she should go, yet how could she leave? “You frighten me,” she admitted, although she could feel herself giving in to the temptation.

“Then we are evenly matched, for you scare the hell out of me.”

 

#AuThursday – Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender LogoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I am a multi-genre author of 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. And the list just keeps growing. Some of my works in progress include comedy, time travel or dystopian tales.  I come from the Midwestern U.S., and I live with my family and three cats. I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to be a writer, at least since I was old enough to officially write stories.

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

I’m actually more introverted, though my writing career has forced me to be more public than I’m accustomed to. I guess you could say it’s a bit harder to put myself out there, but I do it anyway. I’ve had several radio interviews, I host three blogs and I have moderated lots of major book giveaways. I like meeting new people. Now and then, I still get nervous, though.

How do you make time to write?

When I’m balancing a side job and family obligations, it can be difficult. I usually aim to work a little on my current project every day, even if it’s a paragraph or a scene, or just researching different aspects of the story.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

The book I’m currently editing is Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy which is also book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. I adore the characters, and designing the Other World. I’m very excited for fans of Second Nature, the first book, to read its sequel!

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

Oh, I received quite a few when I was submitting Upon Your Return, my first historical romance, to agents and publishers. Whenever I’d get a rejection, I forced myself to feel more determined. I just sent out another five submissions to other places. Perseverance is a good quality to have in this business. And my persistence paid off. Not too long after that, I received my first book contract!

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

Actually, I have. I am in the midst of writing a romantic suspense novel with another writer. It’s titled Certain Death.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

They can find me at my author website, through my blogs at the MLB blog, the I Love Romance Blog, or Writing in the Modern Age. They can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I also have an author newsletter, which I send out monthly, so feel free to subscribe!

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share for Saturday?

DoHpromo15

Sure! This one is from my new release, Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection, which just came out on July 25th!

Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from “Directions of the Heart” by Marie. ~Tina