#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?

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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

#AuThursday – Beverley Oakley

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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! 

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This interview was scheduled by: 

 

AuThursday – JJ Montgomery

JJ Author PhotoPlease welcome Romantic Suspense author, JJ Montgomery to the Clog Blog.  JJ can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a mother of two and I work full time, and even though my time is always stretched, writing is a part of who I am – I do it because I love it. Someday I would love for it to be a full time job, but for right now it’s something I do as often as possible. I started writing my first novel when I was really, really young, but it took me until I was in my mid-thirties until I finally completed a book. And that first one was just awful! But the thing you learn from that first awful book is that you will get better! And I think I have, over the years.

How do you make time to write?

This question almost feels like a joke – I carve out moments when my daughter is napping, when my son is at school or busy doing something else. Late at night in bed before I sleep and definitely, when I’m flying for work. That’s probably my most productive time.

What genre are your books?

I write romantic suspense, but would love to do a more “traditional” boy-meets-girl romance someday. Maybe fewer deaths, more humor.

What draws you to this genre?

I have always loved suspense novels – horror, adventure, spy novels – anything where there is a lot of action and you can get lost in the plot. And romance…look, the fact is that almost all suspense/action novels include a romantic sub-plot, whether written by men or women. It’s a question of branding, at the end of the day. And if that means I’m targeting my writing for a female audience, I’m okay with that. I’ve always been a girl’s girl. My writing reflects that.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on a sequel to Gun for Hire involving Samantha’s sister, Josie, and Grady’s partner, Kai.

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

I’m such an introvert! I find it hard to imagine being extroverted writer – I’d think the solitary nature of the work would drive an extrovert batty! To me, being an introvert feels like a very natural extension of being a writer (or is that vice versa?) I spend a lot of time being quiet, dreaming up new characters or stories.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

The pressures of being a mom to two young children, of being a wife, of working full time. If I could only clone myself, I’d be incredibly productive!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Do it if you love it. The money isn’t great, and the chances of big success in the writing world are slim. But do it if you’re called to it, if you love it. And for no other reason, because you’ll be disappointed otherwise!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Thank you as well! I’m so thrilled you allowed me to be on your blog, and would encourage readers to get in touch with me! Find me at www.jjmontgomery.com, on Instagram (my favorite!) at www.instagram.com/jmontgomerywrites or Facebook www.facebook.com/authorjjmontgomery, a platform that still confounds me every time I log on. I also highly recommend checking out some new authors at www.17scribes.com — I’m on there, too!

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from JJ’s latest story Gun for Hire!~Tina

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AuThursday – Candi Fox

Candi Fox Author PhotoPlease welcome Paranormal Romance Author Candi Fox to the Clog Blog!   Candi, can you Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I find as the years pass along, I’ve become more fearless. I hope that my writing reflects this. I live in Tulsa, with my large fur family and my wonderful husband. We enjoy ghost hunting, Ren Faires, and horses.

How do you make time to write?

I’m lucky I get to stay at home. I write every day. When I am not writing, I’m either researching or pimping books.

What genre are your books?

My books are all in the paranormal category. Some more erotic, some thrillers and suspense.

What draws you to this genre?

My paranormal journey started when I was two and saw my first ghost. From that day on the paranormal was drawn to me. Maybe, I was drawn to it. Either way, it’s been a big part of my life.

What are your current projects?

I’m more than half way finished with Darkest Knight, the third book in the Killing Chronicle series. My novella for a hot summer anthology is at the editors. My WIP is my first contribution to the multi-author Tulsa Immortal series. I also have a YP series in the works.

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

I can be both. I have PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I have weeks where I am completely happy not to see anyone but my husband. When I am out and about or in a group of people talking, I am a complete extravert. I love talking to people. This combination is great for writing. During my anti-social times, I get a lot of writing and research complete. When I am in a social mood I get a lot of ideas for characters.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Squirrel. Everything. I have days where EVERYTHING distracts me.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write every day. Just put it on paper and worry about making it good during the editing process. Read at least twice as much as you write.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.candifox.com

Harlequin's Deception (1)Join me when we read an excerpt from Candi’s story HARLEQUIN’S DECEPTION, part of her NAKED TRUTH Series.  ~Tina

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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 – Paul Lonardo

Paul_Lonardo_APlease welcome writer Paul Lonardo to the Clog Blog.  Paul can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve been writing in various forms my entire adult life. I really began telling stories in the medium of film when I was a teen, making movies with my friends around the neighborhood. I attended a film school in California and came away with an interest in screenwriting. Gradually, I turned to other forms of writing, including short fiction, typically in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. My first novel was in that vein. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of ghostwriting and collaborative nonfiction. As much as I enjoy creating my own characters and stories, I’ve found that the truth really is stranger than fiction, and have been fortunate to work on a number of very interesting and inspired projects with people who needed assistance telling their own amazing stories. Writing romance began as somewhat of an experimental phase for me, and also I believe as a way to get back into fiction writing again. Being more mature now, there is a whole new world of possibilities for me to examine and write about.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?coverEnchantedDesire_w10485_850

It was a big moment having had my first novel published close to twenty years ago by a small press, but a lot has changed since then, particularly in the publishing business. Having been working on nonfiction projects for so long, with the fortune of having several published by larger houses, I was unsure that I would have any success writing and placing my fiction. In 2015, with my first romance novella finding a home with a romance publisher, it gave me the confidence to continue writing, in the romance genre, which led to the publishing of my second romance, Enchanted Desire, published by Wild Rose Press last year. I know have several fiction projects and ideas I am currently working on along with my nonfiction.

 

What excites you most about your current WIP?

SoulAwakening.v5Early on in life I’ve had an interest in all things paranormal, and while that element is certainly present in Soul Awakening, my latest romance novella, due out in May 2017, is more of a pure paranormal story, only instead of involving horror and fear it is encapsulated in a romance, a love story with a bit a twist. I’m hoping this book, Soul Awakening, will jump-start a new stage of my fiction-writing.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I would say a bit of both. The energy I feel when I get into a story that starts to develop ahead of me – which I have to keep up with so it doesn’t get away from me – is very invigorating. You can’t stop until it does, until you catch up with it, or until the story comes to an end. At the same time, once you get to that point, and you catch up with the story, you may have used so much energy in the process that no amount of coffee is going to offset that. The exhaustion sets in then. And that’s a good thing, because rest is really important. Whenever you can, you try to make up for all that lost sleep.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Sometimes, such as when I mentioned above that the story is ahead of you and you’re trying to catch it. When that happens, the story may not be done, and it seems as if everything has stopped and you’re in the dark, not sure where the story should go from there. You try to figure out where to go, and just set off in one direction to continue the story toward its conclusion. If it doesn’t lead anywhere interesting, you can always just go out in another direction. I guess you can call that writer’s block, or just uninspired writing. But as long as you’re writing something, making an attempt, it will happen again where the story is leading you and you are following it.

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

I am very much an introvert. It’s probably one of the reasons why I turned to story-telling early in life, and became a writer. If I was any other way, I may not have found refuge in writing. I believe that being introverted allows me to express myself through my characters in ways that I could never imagine in real life. Writing provides an outlet for so many expressions, feelings and desires that are inhibited or restrained in some way. You hear about certain performers, actors and musicians, who are reserved and shy until they get on stage or in front of a camera. I think there are many writers who are the same way, me being one of them.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I don’t know if what I’m about to say would be considered a literary pilgrimage, but I have mentioned that I had an early interest in the paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Literary influences ranged for me, but I always tended to gravitate more toward the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, as well as H.P. Lovecraft. So it was with a somewhat morbid fascination for the macabre that I was drawn to a New England college to earn a degree in mortuary science. Yes, an education for people who wanted to work as a mortician, funeral director or embalmer. I would say that this was more of an exploration than a pilgrimage, but it was very short-lived career. Writing romance now, I don’t know what pilgrimage I might embark on in order to get a more comprehensive understanding of this genre, but I am open to suggestions.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

The only thing I would add is that my writing is fluid, and I enjoy writing no matter what the genre or topic. I find being open to change is a form of freedom. That’s why I do as much freelance writing as I can, regardless of how much time I put into my own fiction or collaborative nonfiction. Contributing to a local monthly magazine allows me to write personal profiles on interesting and inspiring people, and I feel fortunate for all the readers who find the topics I write about worthy of their time.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Lonardo/e/B000APQ0Z4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/734960.Paul_Lonardo

http://paullonardo.com/

http://smithfieldtimesri.com/

Join me next week when I interview Susan V. Vaughn.  ~Tina