AuThursday – Miguelina Perez

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I first discover romance reading during my years in High School. I discovered Barbara Cartland, then Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I was hooked. From there I went to Harlequins. Back then they were clean which is what I was allowed to read. I move to the Washington, DC area back in 1985. Moved around a couple of times; including a stint in Texas for three years before coming back here. I used to have these little stories form in my head, but never knew what to do with them. Until one day I started hearing authors talking about the stories within them wanting to be written, I realized that I had been experiencing the same thing since I was very young. One written line led to another and then another line till I had a completed novel. I began with poems, prose and then short stories. By then I was confident I could write a full-length novel. Hence the Vicar’s Deadly Sin was born.

I am also the coordinator for the Lady Jane’s Salon Silver Spring. A gathering that takes place 8 times of the year where I invite local romance authors to read from their latest releases. We meet at the La Madeline’s in Bethesda, Maryland. It is my hope to connect readers and writers. Right now it is on hiatus but I hope to bring it back soon. I need to work on a way to bring readers in. So when not working, I am writing and doing anything that involves the writing romance world.

Which writers inspire you?

I love Nora Roberts and was honored to have met her twice at a picnic in her home. I have come meet some real talented and gifted ladies in my journeys to authorhood that have inspired me: Sally MacKenzie, Leigh Duncan, Mary Behre, Harper Kincaid, Ingrid Hahn, TW Knight…I can go on and on. I have been very fortunate.

So, what have you written? 

I have an anthology out called Pieces of Me, these contain short stories, prose, poems and essays. My romance regency mystery is now out called The Vicar’s Deadly Sin.

What genre are your books?

Right now VDS is a Regency romance mystery. It is called The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 1 of the Seven Deadly Sins series.

What are you working on at the minute?

I am working now on the sequel to VDS called Angel’s Lust, The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 2 of the Seven Deadly Sins series. AL will have a little of paranormal elements in it.

What’s it about?

A new force is in town and young maidens are going missing and being sacrificed. The young ladies are up to their investigative snooping, but this time around, Jane newly engaged does not have her heart in it-she is focused on her upcoming wedding to Sir Hugh Cameron. So Margaret is the one trying to find out what is going on.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time when you work full-time. But what really gets me is people telling me to write within the constraints of what a publishing house dictates you should write. For example, Random House was interested in VDS and when they asked where is the sex? I said it didn’t have any. VDS is sort of a Jane Austen meets Nancy Drew. That quickly closed my pitching of the novel. I totally understand readers want sex, but VDS was never that type of novel. So after beta readers and more beta readers, and then getting an affordable editor, I published it.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

When you have the scenes in your head and you transform them into the paper. Writer’s block can be a true pain, so I try not to let it control me. Writing your story – When the characters come to life and you create the world in which they live in and interact with the secondary characters.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have several sites. The main one is www.miguelinaperezauthor.com. I have another site where I do author interviews and reviews, www.theregencyinkwell.wordpress.com, but it has taken a side trip since I am trying to market VDS and finish book 2.

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

Sure:

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin

A Touch of Romance…A Touch of Regency…A Touch of Murder… Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard have been friends since the age of twelve. Together they share their dreams, hopes and a love for reading. However, it is their wild imagination and a penchant for solving mysteries that will test their abilities when the Vicar of Dover is found murdered. The young ladies are joined by two gentlemen, also eager to find the murderer in order to prove to the ladies that detecting is a man’s job, though the gentlemen find their beauty, wit, and pride more troublesome than solving a murder. The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is a delightful and witty Regency romance mystery about two friends and their love for solving crimes while keeping society and its rules at bay.

Join me next Thursday when I interview writer Kathryn Lively. ~Tina

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AuThursday- Jana Richards

_MG_7506email-Jana Richards

Please welcome multi-genre author Jana Richards.  Jana, I have to ask with so many books, how do you make time to write?

Thank you for having me on your blog! Finding time to write is one of the most difficult things an author faces. I know many authors who work full-time at their day-job, or they have families, especially young children, who need their attention. Somehow they make it work. They get up early and write before work, or late after the kids go to bed. I’m no different. My kids are grown, but I work part-time. However, a staffing issue at work has meant that I’ve been working nearly full-time since October. I think our staff shortage has finally been solved (fingers crossed!) so I can soon go back to my regular part-time schedule. In the meantime, I’ve been writing on weekends, and during the week I try to write something. If I tell myself I only need to write 100 words, essentially a paragraph, it doesn’t seem so daunting. Usually I’ll be able to write more than 100 words, though sometimes even that small number is painful. But I’m moving forward and staying in the story, which is important.

Q:  You’ve written for multiple publishers, what are the benefits and challenges of writing for different publishing houses?

Different publishers can offer different things. For instance, one of my publishers, Carina Press, has name recognition through the Harlequin brand. Another publisher only retains e-publishing rights, so I’m free to self-publish the print books if I wish. The third publisher prints books and novellas over 100 pages, making both print in e-versions available, and saving me the expense and work of doing it myself. And I have the opportunity to meet numerous authors and take part in various promotional opportunities.

Honestly, I can’t see a downside. It’s great to have the opportunity to work with different editors, and I definitely will submit new stories to these publishers, and perhaps new ones in the future!

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

That’s a tough one, like asking which daughter is my favorite! I’m quite fond of the cover for CHILL OUT, my Valentine story. I love the fun, cartoon feel of it, and especially the cute dog on the cover. An English Mastiff named Spike is featured prominently in the story, so I’m pleased to have him on the cover.

Q:  What are you doing to promote your book(s)?

Lots of things – guest blogs, Facebook parties, Twitter blasts, Book Blog tours and paid advertising, among other things. You have to get your name into as many places as you can think of because no one is really sure what sells a book.

Q:  What support are you receiving from your publisher(s)?

CHILL OUT came out January 4, 2016 from The Wild Rose Press. They came up with the concept of the Candy Hearts Romances for Valentine’s Day – each novella’s title in the multi-author series comes from one of the sayings on candy heart candy. Something like 39 novellas in the series will be published right up to Valentine’s Day. The Wild Rose Press is helping us out with promotion by setting up a Rafflecopter draw for a Kindle Fire. The draw will be made on February 14.

Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?

Oh yes, I’ve received rejection letters, more than I care to remember. When I received the most recent rejection, I wallowed, whined, and generally gave myself a pity party for a few days. And then I pick myself up and tried to figure out what to do next. Do I revise, submit somewhere else, or write something new? The important thing is keep writing and not let a rejection defeat you.

Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

They’ll need something of a thick skin to weather comments from critique partners, editors, and eventually reviewers/readers. They should also know that perseverance is needed in this business. So many people have told me they’ve tried to write a book, but it was just too hard. A published author is simply one who wouldn’t give up. If you want it, don’t give up.

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

Like I said, CHILL OUT just released on Jan.4. Aside from that, I’ve designated 2016 as my year for finishing things; I currently have three romance series in various stages of incompleteness! At the moment I’m working on a series I call “Love in the North Woods”. It’s about three sisters who inherit a fishing lodge in Minnesota from their grandfather and try to bring it back to life, while at the same time trying to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths.

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

Website:  http://www.janarichards.com

Blog:  http://janarichards.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JanaRichards_

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards

Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards

Google+ Profile:  https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245

 

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Jana’s latest release, CHILL OUT. ~Tina

 

 

Recovering from the Romantic Times Con

So drove the nine hours back from #RT13 yesterday, following Speed Dating with some Awesome readers.

In hindsight I think I would’ve gotten a 3-day pass for this particular con having really pushed it physically as an author this year. 🙂

Here’s a brief re-cap

Wednesday
1. Not at RT. 😦 I’m at my M-F job doing month-end from 7am to 7pm. Ugh!
2. Head home, finish packing eat dinner and go to bed.

Thursday
1. Get up at 1am to drive to KC – hoping to be there by 8 or early morning at the latest. DH & I get delayed by winter storms in IA and end up arriving at 11:00 am.
2. Check into hotel. Get to room and find out the work books are not closed. So I have to work for an hour at said job above. Finish at 2pm. Go get lunch in shops under the Westin.
3. Make it to one panel, Steampunk: It’s not about the goggles, do an impromptu pitch of my current WIP and realize the editor is looking at me like I’m an idiot. Clearly I have to re-evaluate this story. 😦
4. Go to the Book Expo hosted by ARE. Quick run over to Isabella Drake’s table and drop off gift basket for The Sex Goddess Hour friday am, don’t introduce myself so not sure if she even knows who I am other than a crazy lady. 😛
Manage to score some swag from Sylvia Day for a co-worker.
5. Go have drinks with Liquid Silver Books (the highlight of my con) and visit with fellow authors. Robyn Peterman shows up – sweet!
6. Go get ready for the 30th annual ball, Debbie Cairo saves me a seat.
7. Attend the 30th Annual Ball, great speakers but given my long day I start nodding off between speeches. Debbie says we have to leave because I’m snoring. :O

Friday
1. Get up at 8am sicker than a dog. DH holding back my hair as I worship the porcelain god. Ugh!
2. Finally manage to recover by noon and we make our way to the shops to find food.
3. Attend one class What rights do you have and how much are they worth? – Really good, decided if I ever go the NY route I would look at the agency that hosted this (Janklow & Nesbit). Smart ladies.
4. Feel bad DH is stuck back at the Westin so go visit him and skip other classes – stupid move Note: Always take classes – that’s what you paid for. DH and I have an early dinner because I heard rumors that there won’t be food at the Vampire Ball.
5. Attend Entangled Publishing’s “Candy & Spoons Reader Event” – another great highlight. I’m pleasantly pleased with the publisher’s marketing techniques and authors seem happy. Hmmm.
6. Attend Heather Graham’s Vampire Ball and guess what? – There’s food. Dang! I have a great time dancing the night away.

Saturday
1. Already a slow planned day as most events are for readers not writers.
2. I’m up early so DH and I head over to the Sheraton to get some breakky. I go to The Giant Book Fair to get the books I’ve won signed and to see if I can picky of Maya Bank’s and Cathy Maxwell’s latest historical.
3. Standing in line, I meet Rosalie Stanton, who also writes for LSB. We have a nice chat and talk shop. For anyone who knows me – you know I could sit and chat shop all day. I love it.
4. Get into the bookfair and get books signed by YA authors Jus Accardo, Lisa Burstein & Victoria Scott. For my personal collection I score Beth Ciotta, Cathy Maxwell & Katee Robert. Alas Maya is nowhere to be found. 😦
5. Head back to have lunch with DH & Debbie. Go for a swim and get ready for evening parties.
6. Attend Carina Press Cocktail Party – this is a fun event I recommend for anyone attending. It’s a great promo opportunity for their authors and readers get to find some new reads. 🙂 The give-aways are pretty good too. Stay for HQN dance party -got a dress just for this.

Sunday
1. Originally decided to stay all day but hotel is no longer extending the RT room rate and parking is crazy so DH & I opt to leave.
2. Attend Author Speed Dating – this is a fun event and I would do it again. I paired myself with the lovely Lila Dubios, who is both charming and chatty. A nice match for my reserved self. We meet with readers and they ask us questions. Great!
3. Drive 9 hours back to the Dakotas and drink horrible coffee along the way. 😦

All in all it was a nice RT, but wonder if I should’ve stayed local and attended Corecon instead since I missed out on so much.

Until next time be naughty!
~Tina

Sunday Submissions-Southern Heat Writing Contest

The East Texas Chapter of Romance Writers of America is proud to announce that Southern Heat Writing Contest is back. One of the best contests to enter has returned. We have secured some of the best final round judges possible and kept entry fees low. Southern Heat Writing Contest has always had numerous entries requested full or partial ms’s from the judges. Don’t miss this one.
The contest opened on Feb. 14 with the entry deadline March 31, 2012. For complete contest rules, score sheet, paypal and/or address information visit our website at www.easttexasrwa.com or contact cbraswell2@netzero.net
 
ELECTRONIC ENTRIES ONLY
Entries include the FIRST 15 PAGES plus a 5-page max double-spaced SYNOPSIS.
Entry Fee:
Members of RWA-ETC $20
Members of RWA $25
Non-Members $30
 
Final Round Judges
Paranormal – Ethan Ellenberg  –  Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
Ann Leslie Tuttle – Senior Editor, Harlequin Paranormal
Historical- Courtney Miller-Callihan – Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
Laura Bradford – Bradford Literary Agency
Contemporary Single Title – Rebecca Strause – McIntosh & Otis, Inc.
Rhonda Penders – The Wild Rose Press
Inspirational – Mary Sue Seymour – The Seymour Agency
Melissa Endlich – Senior Editor, Harlequin Inspirational
Contemporary Series – Nicole Resciniti– The Seymour Agency
Alicia Condon – Kensington Books
Romantic Suspense – Aubrey Poole – Sourcebook
Maria Carvainis – Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.
Young Adult – Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency
Leticia Gomez, Sawy Literary Services
 
Questions?
Contact Carol Braswell, Contest Coordinator: cbraswell2@netzero.net