AuThursday – Jennifer Field

IMG_1294 (002)Tell is a little about yourself and your background?

Little about myself.. Hmmmm, well my name is Jennifer Field, I’m an only child raised by a strong single mom in the 70’s (go ahead do the math). When I was in school I had trouble reading and spelling and I’m sure if I had grown up today I’d be labeled as having some sort of dyslexia. But lucky for me I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s (I still can’t spell to save my life), but I can write one heck of a story.

I’ve always written, sometimes it was short stories, sometime poetry but always just for me. Then a few years ago I had read 100+ books in 1year and at some point said, “I think I can do that.”. But seriously how many people say they are going to write a book someday. So… I had this bizarre dream, thought it would make a great story, so I started writing. It morphed and changed into my first novel Twice Lost which came out in 2014.

How do you make time to write?

This is always hard but what I have found that carrying a journal ( or two or three ) with me at all times gives me time to write whenever and wherever I am. Now finding time to type it all out… that’s an entirely different question. It seems to me the more authors I get to know the more I seem to realize we all seem to have this “late night” writing thing going on.

Do you believe in writers block?

Oh you bet and it can happen at any time. You think your just whizzing along with a story then BAM, none of your characters want to speak to you. I usually have a couple of story lines going on (hence the 2 or 3 journals I carry around) and I have found that if I start to write something else, they come back.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it?

I mainly write Paranormal Romance but I have also dabbled in Sci-fi, contemporary romance and straight up erotica.

But my favorite is always going to be Paranormal because I can make a world that before I put it down in writing never existed. I pull from a variety of mythology when writing and I always have some hidden gems in ALL my stories. For instance in the Harbinger Series if a character has a last name it will give the reader insight into who they are, Jenna Thanatos in Twice Lost… Thanatos is Greek for death.

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

Currently I am under contract with Forever Red Publishing for the Harbinger Series. They are a small publishing company and really … because they gave me a chance.

Are you and introvert or extravert? How does this affect your work?

Both I guess. I think I’m an introvert until you get to know me then I’m an extravert. As an introvert it makes me the worst self-marketer ever.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

Just be the best you.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing, even when you think everything you’ve typed is complete crap. We all read our own writing and think… “WOW, this is pure genius.” And five minutes later while reading the same thing we think “Who wrote this crap, oh right… I did.”

Oh… and BACK UP YOUR WRITING. Twice Lost got its name because of 2 separate and total hard drive failures. So now every few chapters not only do I back up to the cloud but I email them to myself… just in case.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is www.JenniferField-Author.com  (sadly it is in desperate need of an update like yesterday)

You can also follow me on Twitter @sexyharbinger

And on FB Jennifer Field Author  https://m.facebook.com//JfieldHarbingerSeries

Instagram: Jennifer_field_author

Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Jennifer’s First Book in her Harbinger Series. ~Tina

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Writer Wednesday – Retreats

My apologies for missing last Writer Wednesday.  I’d returned from an annual Writing Retreat for the Founders of Writer Zen Garden, and found myself forgetting.

I’ve attended this Retreat annually and the theme or tone of the meeting varies from year to year, depending on where we are at in our lives.

This year before meeting, one member suggested more writing time, and I’m so glad she did. 

We routinely do Morning Pages, Free Write and a CRAFT.

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WZG 2017 Craft

This year we added in Writing Prompts, Mind Mapping and Creative Journaling. 

The Mind Mapping and a prompt on setting were exactly what I needed.  I tend to write dialouge heavy, so this was very helpful to help me find a balance. 

If you are planning on hosting a retreat, Even a self-retreat, there are a few things I would recommend: 

  1. Have goals – This is reason for the Retreat.  Finish a book, commune with like minded writers, relax.  Whatever it is, even if each writer has different goals, this will help with making a plan, so everyone walks away with what they want. 
  2. Have a plan – Get input from all people attending your retreat.   Pick a location. Create a schedule.   Share it.   A plan will give you framework for your retreat to ensure everyone has fun. 
  3. Have Fun – So you can’t hit the park, because your location has suddenly been deluged by rain.   You spent more time chatting and less time writing – been there.  If you think of the plan as a framework and not a schedule, you can better roll with it. 

Last year I hosted the WZG Writing Retreat on my Farm.   I’ve toyed with the idea of coordinating a spring retreat for local authors at my farm or at The Smokey Hills in Minnesota. 

The goal for me has always been to catch up with authors about what they are writing and trying to re-energize my own writing.   This is for both retreats and conferences.  Before investing time and money into any event, be sure you have a goal.  My goal helps set the expectations and I can measure sucess from it. 

My goals were met, so I would call the retreat a success. 

Here are some other great blogs on planning retreats:

http://rawdogscreaming.com/8-things-learned-planning-writing-retreat/

http://www.alexrwhite.com/how-to-plan-a-writing-retreat-part-1-goals-and-rules/

https://www.janefriedman.com/value-writing-retreats/

https://jenniferlouden.com/create-your-own-writing-retreat/

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/do-it-yourself-writing-retreats

Join me next week as we continue my query journey.~Tina

Saturday Excerpt – A Lancaster Love by Mary Lingerfelt

A Lancaster Love cover compressed“This is an excerpt from A Lancaster Love, my Amish romance novel. This scene is between Flynn Munro, the heroine’s love interest, and his little daughter, Molly.” ~Mary Lingerfelt

“Now, Miss Molly, would you like to watch your Da make dinner?”

Molly dimpled and nodded, and stuck a finger into her mouth.

“This is a dish your mother used to make,” he told her gravely. “It was a favorite of hers, though not so much of mine. She used to make it when she was too tired to cook fancy, because it’s easy. It’s called Bubble and Squeak.”

Molly giggled, and Flynn tapped her nose. “Now―we go to the fridge, and see what we have on hand. There’s some corned beef hiding in the back of the milk. So we just chop that up with the potatoes and carrots and toss it in.

“And then we fry them up, like so.” He reached down to turn up the heat, and the pan soon began to make small bubbling sounds.

“Hear it?” Flynn smiled, and Molly nodded vigorously.

He took a wooden spoon, and rubbed it against the greased pan. Squeak, went the spoon, and Molly squealed with laughter.

“Now, Miss Molly―you sit on this stool, right here, and hold the spoon. I’ll let you stir, this time.”

He lifted Molly from the counter and set her on a stool, and she sat beside him and stirred the meat and potatoes, and made the spoon go squeak, squeak, squeak.

 “That’s right, my girl,” he told her softly. “Just like your mother used to do.”

Molly looked down into the pan, and her eyes went somber. She stood there in silence for a moment, and then blurted, out of nowhere:

“Da―why did Mommy die?”

Flynn sucked in air, as if he’d been punched. He stood in stunned silence, and cast about for an answer.

“Why―Molly―your mother was―”

He pulled a hand over his mouth and hesitated. Something inside told him that now was not the time for a merciful lie―that the truth was important, if he wanted to keep his daughter’s trust.

He lifted her up in his arms, and sat down in a chair. He looked down into her face soberly, tried to read her eyes, wondered if she was old enough for the truth.

“Molly, you remember what I told you about the fighting back home, don’t you?” he asked gently.

Molly nodded solemnly.

“It’s been going on for a long, long time, and it―it never really goes away. You understand that―that the fighting was why we left our home, and came to live here.”

Her big eyes held his.

He swallowed, and went on: “Chickadee, sometimes―sometimes when there’s fighting, innocent people get hurt.”

He closed his eyes, trying to hold it back, but the memory roared over him. Instantly, he was back there again, kneeling on the corner in front of the Whistle. He was holding Maggie in his arms as her blue eyes fixed themselves on a point just past his shoulder. The panic swept him again.

Maggie?―somebody call an ambulance!” he’d screamed. But the rugby players who’d come running out of the Whistle had only crouched down beside him in silence, and glanced at the broken glass and groceries scattered over the sidewalk.

One of them put a hand on his shoulder.

He’d launched himself out into the street, swinging for the nearest chin he could find and screaming at the top of his lungs.

Flynn closed his eyes and willed that day to fade back into the past. He slowly came to himself, looked down at their little daughter, and thanked God; because it was only the mercy of God that Molly hadn’t lost both her parents that day.

“Daddy?”

“Chickadee,” he whispered, “your mother died by accident. The police are our friends, they’re there to protect us, but sometimes…accidents happen. There were police standing on the sidewalk across from our house that day, and some bad men drove by in a car, and fired their guns at the police. The police fired their guns back. Your mother was hit…by accident, as she was walking home from the market.”

Molly looked up at him, with her round blue eyes, and to his helpless regret, his own sadness slowly spread across their innocent depths.

Then she lifted her arms, closed them around his neck, and buried her face in his shirt.

AuThursday – Mary Lingerfelt

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve written all my life. I was that weird kid with the glasses who always had her nose in a book. Other kids looked at the playground and wondered whether they wanted to play on the monkey bars or the swings. I looked at it and wondered what happened there when we all went home.

So I was an English major in school, and worked as a small town newspaper reporter out of college — best job ever, BTW — everyone should have that pleasure — and then on the staff of several regional trade magazines and newspapers in Atlanta before starting my own copywriting business.

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

It really depends. I think my default setting is introverted, because solitude recharges my batteries, but I can be very extroverted if I like what I’m doing at the time. A guy I once dated told me “You looked like you might be shy, but then you opened your mouth, and you didn’t sound shy at all.” Lol.

How do you relax?

I love going out into nature, especially if there’s water. I love river recreation like tubing and rafting and kayaking. I love sailing. I have a romance coming out that’s set in a small coastal town in Maine.

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

I start with a skeleton outline and a list of characters, and I do plan it out, because you have to make sure that your plot is at least possible, given the realities of that place and time. Then I start writing, and I usually find that the story suggests itself to me as long as I ask, “What would this character likely do or feel here? What makes sense here?” And if the character does something that doesn’t make sense at first glance — why?

I see you write in the Christian/Inspirational genre.  What draws you to this genre?

This is my life. I’m writing what I’ve experienced myself. All of my stories have God as one of the central characters, and my heroines’ actions are always at least partly motivated by their consciousness of his presence. Their relationship with God may be complicated, or even angry at times, but they always break through to a new level of closeness to him, in the end. I see that relationship as a kind of romance, and just as important, if not more important, than the romance between the heroine and her love interest.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“You can either work to fulfill your own dreams, or work to help someone else fulfill theirs.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I still am an aspiring writer, lol. But to new writers — my advice would be, learn marketing. That’s a drag, and none of us want to do it, but it’s so important. You can write like a genius, but if no one reads your book, you’re stuck.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

This is my website: http://www.marylingerfeltauthor.com/

This is my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marylingerfeltpage/messages/?threadid=1067635493&timestamp=1503810882574

Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Mary’s story, A Lancaster Love.  ~Tina

#AuThursday – Beverley Oakley

beverley-eikli-author-pic-copy

I was born in the tiny African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, which is land-locked by South Africa. When I was small I emigrated with my family to South Australia where we built a two-story mud brick home and planted 25,000 trees in the wine-producing Clare Valley before I returned to Africa in my 20’s – this time to Botswana’s Okavango Delta – to manage a safari lodge. There I met and married a handsome Norwegian bush pilot who took me to live and work in 12 countries before we settled, a few years ago, in Melbourne, Victoria.

I write fulltime in between teaching creative writing interspersed with communications and marketing contracts, mainly for the Victorian government.

How do you make time to write?

I have to work hard at the discipline. When I was writing for traditional publishers I was given deadlines but now that I self publish, mostly, I have to make my own deadlines. Often that’s locking myself into a pre-order which usually ends with me burning the candle at both ends – such as now when trying to finish my work in progress, Devil’s Run. I still have at least 10,000 words to write in less than a week!

What genre are your books?

I used to call them straight historical Regencies or Victorian-set romances. Now, however, I find that there are multiple layers of plot and either mystery and intrigue with, quite often, a lovely, honourable hero and a heroine who has a blemished past or who is spoiled or needs redeeming in some way. I don’t consciously set out to write noble heroes and heroines in need of redeeming with either a wicked villain or a vain anti-heroine in the wings, but there’s often a version of that set-up.

So my books aren’t for readers who like a straight, sweet and uncomplicated historical. My biggest series – Daughters of Sin – is like a Regency-set soap opera with four different sisters – 2 illegitimate, 2 nobly born – lots of rivalry, double-dealing, mystery, a wicked rake being pursued for traitorous activities, and so on. I recently wound up the series with book 5, Lady Unveiled: the Cuckold’s Conspiracy, but intend to do a spin-off series of the various children – legitimate, illegitimate, secret, swapped and stolen – who have resulted from the five books in this series.

What draws you to this genre?

The inequalities between genders and the social divide, as well as the clothes and the manners. There’s so much scope for desperation to override good judgement and other rich plot possibilities when there’s not the social safety net that we take for granted today where no one starves and or doesn’t get treated at a hospital. (At least, that’s the case where I live in Australia so I let my imagination take me to another century when people couldn’t take health and not starving for granted.)

What are your current projects?

I’m nearly finished book 3 in my Beautiful Brazen Brightwell series. It’s called Devil’s Run about a young woman whose dying aunt may or may not leave her a fortune so she makes a wager to marry this betting man, both of them having very different motivations for wanting the marriage to go ahead (all about a horse) except that love gets in the way.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert.  How does this affect your work? I’ve forced myself to do author talks and, as I love making historical costumes, it’s less intimating to do an author talk dressed in a 1780s polonaise as I can then pretend I’m someone else.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Porridge to get me going for breakfast, a glass of wine to spur me on after dinner and sometimes chocolate in between. I have very different writing schedules and as my husband is away in Singapore for six weeks at the moment and I’m between government contracts (plus it’s school holidays) I can write around the clock if I want – and as my next deadline draws near I have in fact got to work after waking at 4am.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Never give up.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.beverleyoakley.com

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

I just grabbed this paragraph from my unfinished work in progress, Devil’s Run:

Perhaps in the glow of moonlight he saw the spark in her eye that reflected his own feelings. Whatever it was, something in his expression flared. There was a split second of arrested awareness before a subtle shifting in the mood between them, then the sharp excitement of melding bodies, arms entwined and mouths unexpectedly fused in a kiss. The jolt of something come to life within her sent Eliza into the abyss, her mind a mass of coalescing thoughts, her body a jumble of nerve endings.

Thanks so much for having me, Tina.

You are welcome Beverley!   Join me on Saturday when we read a post for Beverley’s Blog Tour! 

Banner The Duchess and the Highwayman

This interview was scheduled by: 

 

AuThursday – Adam Mann

Adam 200Please welcome Adam Mann back to the Clog Blog. Welcome Adam,  Thank you, I’m delighted to be here. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’ve worked in what is called developing economies most of my working life, and usually in remote areas with limited facilities.  I’ve now retired and find myself working even harder – no days off – as a writer.

What are you working on at the minute? 

I’m just completing my first Box Set – 4 or 5 short stories.  I pitch most of my stories in places where I’ve worked, but that can be a problem for a lot of readers.

What draws you to write in the romance genre?

Quite frankly from my own personal experience.  I have been married four times – widowed, divorced, marriage annulled as she had forgotten to get divorced, and finally happily married to a widow for the last nineteen years

How much research do you do? 

Quite a lot; a recent story took me to an area of Pakistan where the landowners are largely Parsee, and I managed to collect a lot of data about the origin of the Zoroastrians.

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

I usually start with a specific plot, but often the story ‘wanders’ off-line and I have to review the MS.  Most of the time I get ideas for plots very early in the morning, and if I wait I’ll have forgotten the plot when I get up in the morning!  So I write myself a note, even if it’s midnight.

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

Usually a week or ten days after I’ve thought about the plot, but then I spend the next three weeks editing and reviewing the MS, and it may be some time before in publish it.

Do you ever get writer’s Block? 

No, not really, I’ve a lot of stories to tell.  I find that I can always write about something.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Put your head down and write, and worry about grammar, editing, and proofreading later.  Book promotion is a much greater problem!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

Mainly through Twitter.  I’ve considered buying in readers, but it’s expensive and I haven’t done that yet.

My contacts are:

Website:  http://www.adammannauthor.com

Twitter:  @adammannauthor

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/adammannauthor.com

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/author/adammannauthor.com

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.