AuThursday – Susan V. Vaughn

suePlease welcome my fellow Liquid Silver author,   Susan V. Vaughn to the Clog Blog.  Susan, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, everyone! My name is Susan V. Vaughn. I am a contemporary romance author with eight published novels and one more due to release this summer. I live in Michigan, right off the shores of Lake Huron, with my husband and three amazing children. I worked as a hairdresser for over ten years, and am currently finishing my early childhood education degree. When I’m not caring for my family, working, or finishing school, I am writing, reading, and embarrassing my children.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I do not set a word count or page goal each day. Writing is a treat for me. It’s a creative release. If I have a story I want to write, I let the process take over. I don’t force it. I let my characters tell me where they want to go. While I write, I try not to allow outside forces to manipulate my work. I put my all into that story, and only surface for air when I’m finished.

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

I don’t take myself too seriously. I love to write, as do so many people. But that is not who I am. I want to be remembered in life as someone who cared about others. Someone who gave back to this world in a good way. I have people in my life that love and support me, and that is all that matters. When I receive rejection letters, I take it in stride. It is part of life. There are ups and downs. There will always be people out there who are better than you. They only thing you can do is move forward, learn from your setbacks, and improve.

I see you write for two different publishers. How do you juggle the demand for your stories with two different houses?

I work for two amazing publishers. I have learned a lot from both of them. My first two years as a romance author were ridiculous. I sort of dove into the industry all the way, publishing several stories at once. I was working with different editors at the same time for different stories. I barely slept. It was a lot of pressure, but I learned a lot from it. I have scaled back since then. I take time when I write, edit, and publish. I make sure I don’t do too much at once. And I keep a good calendar!

How did you come up with the idea for your BAY SHORE series?

I got really sick with the flu a few years ago, and while I was stuck in bed watching TV, the show Intervention came on. The episode I watched was about three siblings, one girl and two boys, whose mother was struggling with addiction. I have two sons and a daughter, so it was easy for me to put myself in their shoes. I fell in love with this family and felt for their plight. After I recovered from the flu, I realized I was still thinking about that family. I was wondering what would happen to them. That curiosity triggered my creative process. I decided to write each of those siblings their own love story. I wanted to give all three of them a happy ending.

What excites you most about your current WIP?

I have four romance novels I have been working on this year. I am excited about them all. My writing has really transformed over the years. When I first started writing romance I came at it with a lot of humor. I still use humor, because laughter is part of falling in love, but my stories are more focused now. I want my readers to take a journey with my characters and watch them grow.

How do you relax?

My entire household is obsessed with watching professional wrestling. The WWE is on in my house constantly. This is how my three kids, my husband, and I relax. We watch wrestling, yell at the TV, and on commercial breaks we wrestle each other. We have gone through two couches already this year!

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website www.susanvvaughn.com

Twitter (URL – not @) https://twitter.com/susanvaughn1124

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Susan-V-Vaughn-123758787958942/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14660814.Susan_V_Vaughn

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Susan-V.-Vaughn/e/B016H54WWI

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Susan’s story, BEYOND FATE! ~Tina

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AuThursday- Michelle Lauren

Please welcome Michelle Lauren, my first interview after a brief hiatus.

Q: What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
When I got the email from Liquid Silver Books offering a contract for my multicultural urban fantasy Starstruck: Hunter, I think I read the message five times before it really sank in. I was beyond thrilled. I could wait to tell my family the news.

 

My novel is about Miranda Snow, a fallen star on the run from ruthless hunters after her life-giving energy. She finds protection – and passion-in the arms of unlikely ally Noah Benson, an ex-star hunter seeking redemption for past wrongs.  Cris Griffin, my cover artist, did a fantastic job bringing this cover to life.

 

I’m such a fan girl of hers. Seeing Noah and Miranda in such vivid detail felt surreal. Cris took my suggestions and thoughts into consideration and created something I never get tired of looking at, so here’s another thanks to her for the hard work.

Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?
That’s a tough call. I love all of my guys! Hmm, I’d have to say my favorite is Noah Benson from Starstruck: Hunter. I’m a sucker for bad boys. Noah is jaded and dangerous, but he has a good heart. He’s willing to protect Miranda at any cost—and he has the muscle to do it!

 

But I also love his vulnerability. He isn’t used to relying on anyone else, but that is exactly what he needs, and he finds that in Miranda.  

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many! I’m a fan of Mary Janice Davidson’s paranormal fiction (the Undead & Unwed series); Beverly Jenkins’s historical romance (The Taming of Jessi Rose & Topaz); Francis Ray’s contemporary romance (Heart of the Falcon and Until There Was You); Jennifer Crusie’s romantic comedy (Agnes and the Hitman and Bet Me); and Marjorie M. Liu’s fiction (“Hunter’s Kiss,” a novella in the Wild Things anthology, and her Marvel comic book set in the X-Men universe, NYX: No Way Home).

Q: What is your favorite quote and why?
I have two actually; both come from Oscar Wilde and embody my feelings about the craft of writing. The first Wilde quote is my favorite: “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” In fiction, predictability is a dirty word. In the past, I’ve stopped reading certain authors that I once enjoyed because I started to feel like each book was just a retread of their older work. While there are no new stories, I challenge myself with each project to find a creative way to tell a familiar tale, one that surprises readers and provides a satisfying ending.

 

Wilde also said, “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” I laughed at this because it’s so true of my writing process. I’ve spent days trying to perfect an opening scene because I want it to grab and hold a reader’s attention.

Q: How hard is it to keep sex/love scenes fresh and interesting?
It’s a challenge that I enjoy. A great love scene isn’t just about scintillation; it should reveal an emotional connection between the characters. Many of my characters are paranormal creatures, so I like to use their powers in creative ways to enhance these scenes. I also have a dark sense of humor that often comes into play during these moments.

 

For example, in Starstruck: Hunter, the heroine (Miranda, a celestial star) gets frisky in the bathroom with “electrifying” results. It’s definitely a hot scene, but the humor gives readers some necessary insight into what makes her tick.

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Definitely How to Tame a Harpy. This was my first urban fantasy and my third completed novel. It received a lot of publicity when Dorchester chose it as a finalist for their American Title V contest (a competition for unpublished manuscripts), co-sponsored by Romantic Times magazine.

 

This book is definitely my baby. J I’ve invested so much in those characters that the hardest part of writing that book was finishing it! For those of you who read excerpts of the book and fell in love with the characters, first: my deepest thanks for your support. Second, you can expect to see more from them in the future.

 

Q:  How many works in progress (wip) have you got going?
I have three projects in the works: two short stories (around 6k each), and a novella about an unlucky in love siren trying to find her Mr. Right.

Q: On average how long does it take you to write a book?
I have a pretty quick turnaround on novellas. They usually take me about 1 ½ — 2 months to write.

Novels take anywhere from six to eight months depending on my work load (I’m a freelance writer, as well as a contributing writer and columnist for Romance Writers Report).

Q: What influenced you to get e-published?
Electronic publishers are more willing to take a chance on unconventional romantic stories, which are the kind I love writing: stories that test the imagination and draw readers into different worlds. My stories often include non-traditional characters. For instance, How to Tame a Harpy features a harpy as the heroine while the hero is a “gargoyle,” a shape shifter with the ability to shift into stone form; the heroine of Starstruck: Hunter is a celestial star fallen to Earth.

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

Readers can find me at the following places:

 

www.michellelaurenbooks.com (my main site) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michellelaurenbooks/join (My Yahoo group)

http://thenaughtygirlsnextdoor.blogspot.com (This is a blog I share with the fantastic authors Minx Malone, Meagan Hatfield,  Kyann Waters and Savannah Chase)

Join me Saturday when Michelle shares a SEXcerpt from Starstruck.

See you then,

Tina

AuThursday – Nina Pierce

Q: What got you interested/started in writing?

I’ve just always written. I kept diaries and wrote plays when I was in elementary and middle school. But it was a high school teacher who insisted we keep journals and write every day that really helped me realize how much I love putting words together and create stories. I began really focusing on poetry at that time. Then when my children were born I kept journals in first person of the things they were doing. It’s just something that has been with me.

Q: How long have you been writing?
Seriously writing? About 3 ½ years now. I’m a science teacher by education, but my health made teaching impossible. That’s when I decided I could turn a hobby into a new career. Boy, have I learned a lot since those first days sitting at the computer. But with every book I seem to be enjoying it more and more.

Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Writing is the easy part. Finding a publisher is hard. I’m sure every writer says it … don’t give up. Finish that book and then keep submitting until someone accepts it for publication. Even the big name authors accumulated LOTS of rejections.

In the meantime, take advice to improve your manuscript only if it works for you and ignore the rest. I’m not sure there are two writers with exactly the same process for getting a story down on paper. What works for some, like plotting every detail, may not work for someone who writes by the seat of their pants. Once you have the story finished, don’t necessarily let every critique change your story. Weigh and measure advice to improve your story.

But did I mention … never give up on your dream. Keep pushing forward. Believe in yourself even if others don’t.

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Only about every week. *vbg* I have different techniques that help me get through it. Often if I’m stuck it’s because I don’t know my characters or my story. Which means I jump in the shower or take a drive. You think I’m kidding? Seriously, for some reason running water or traffic helps me work through a tough dilemma. If that doesn’t work I’ve been known to skip to a scene that I know will happen in the next chapter. Then I can go back and write to that scene.

If neither of those things work I switch to another story and work on that for awhile. I also love to “flash”. (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter people.) These are short, 100 word stories. They don’t have to connect, but they’re usually written on a specific theme. Free-writing like this will often get my creativity going and I can go back and focus on my story.

Q:  When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?
Now that’s an interesting question. Since I channel my characters I’d like to say me. But the fact is, I hear them and see them moving and interacting in my head. I simply translate that “movie” to the page. So they’re in charge?

Q:  Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?
Don’t tell my other guys, but my first hero, Brenimyn from The Healer’s Garden. He had been in my head for so long that I knew him long before he made an appearance on the page. He’s a conglomeration of all the heroes I fell in love with when I was a kid. Not only is he absolutely adorable with blond hair and blue eyes, but he’s just so sweet and gentle and loving … oh, and absolutely the best kisser! And his hands? Well, they can wipe a stray tear or simply wrap your hand in his and make you feel safe. Oh, yeah, Brenimyn’s my guy.

Q:  What is the HOTTEST LOVE SCENE you have written to date and why?

Oh, you’ve asked an erotic author that question? I’d like to think my love scenes are all filled with emotion and very hot sex. But I’m working on a new book now that is my first ménage, M/F/M. I’m pretty sure the keyboard’s gonna be smokin’ on that one!

Q:  I know you’ve written a story, “Shadows of Fire,” for the upcoming Hearts Afire (Fireman) Series with Liquid Silver Books in the Coming Soon Section.  When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers’ reaction to it? How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author? What do you hope readers get from your books?
I fall in love with all my stories while I’m writing them (and Shadows of Fire is no exception) and of course I hope readers do the same. I’m nervous every time a book is released. I’m learning so much about myself and the writing process. I hope every book I release is that much better than the one before. So hearing from a reader who tells me how much they enjoyed one of my books makes my week! It’s so much better than a five star review, because I’m not writing for review sites, I’m writing to entertain readers.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?
I think people who don’t read erotic romance believe that it’s nothing but sex. I think of my story as a romance or love story (and often a suspense plot) first. It’s all about the relationship between the man and the woman. When I’ve got an interesting plot and love story then I simply throw open the bedroom doors (which actually is a figure of speech since my characters seem to have sex everywhere but the bed *g*) and let the reader enjoy the sexual experience. There’s a lot that goes on in the love scenes between the hero and heroine, they also become an integral part of the story. Erotic romance plots are intricate and complicated. I think sometimes people don’t understand that.

 Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’d love to hear all about them!)
Oh, I’ve always got projects going. I’m working on a shifter series that will include ménages between cougars and wolves. But I don’t have enough information to share any more than that. And if I can pull the story idea together I’d like to submit another story to LSB’s firemen series. That’s looking to be a hot series … all the way around. I do have my first book coming out with Ellora’s Cave in May 2009, titled Divine Deception. It’s part of their “fruit” series and takes place on a vineyard in western NY. And of course, you already mentioned Shadows of Fire from Liquid Silver, which is a vampire firefighter story also coming out in May 2009.

 

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

web: www.ninapierce.com

blog: www.ninapierce.com/romanceblog

myspace: www.myspace.com/ninapierceauthor

twitter: www.twitter.com/ninapierce

 

Thanks for joining us today Nina.  Come back on Saturday when Nina will be sharing an excerpt from The Furry, Fluffy and Wild Anthology “Blue Moon Rising”

Have you been naughty today?

Tina

Voilet Summers

Did you know that Voilet Summers is actually Two Authors writing as one person.  That’s the joy of working on the inside.  You find out these things. 🙂

Shall We get to it then?  Of course.

Q:  What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

 

Sierra-VJ and I sit down in front of a computer and make a timeline based on an idea. We brainstorm and write down scenes in order from beginning to the end. We divide the scenes between us and pass the manuscript back and forth until the story is finished. We then take an additional look or two to check grammar and spelling, do chapter breaks etc….

VJ – I usually end up adding a couple thousand words during those additional “looks or two”!

 

 

Q:  Do you use any techniques, tools, or aids to help you write?

 

Sierra- For me it’s all about the music. I get most of the ideas from a particular song or group. I can be driving along and a song will come on and a scene will form in my head. The Worthington’s were written to 30 seconds to Mars. One of our stories was inspired by Shinedown’s song .45. Another idea scene for a book still waiting to be written came from the Rush song Tom Sawyer.

VJ – Sierra made me a couple of cd’s of “music to write by.”  I’m the visual one – I usually have a picture of my hero someplace visible while I’m writing.  I also live by the timeline Sierra and I begin each book with – I’m constantly referring back to it.

 

Q: How do you make time to write?

 

Sierra- Whenever I can. I home school one of my three kids; I am heavily involved in school activities and other things that seem to take a lot of time. So whenever I have a few hours to squeeze in I do. I try to write everyday even if it’s only for a half an hour.

VJ – This is a hard one for me – I’ve got one of those day jobs that regularly calls for 10 or 12 hour days.  I usually write for an hour or so just before bed during the week, and for several hours early on Saturday and Sunday.  Of course when the book is on fire, I might write for 8 or 9 hours straight – that happened several times during Daniel’s Surrender.

 

Q: What advice do you have for other writers?

 

Sierra- Write what you love. You can’t force a story just because the genre may be popular; it will show in your story. Follow the publisher’s submissions guidelines, even if you may not understand them. They are set up for a reason and it would suck if you were rejected because the guideline wasn’t followed.

VJ – Proof read, proof read, and then proof read again.  “The” does NOT equal “they”!!

 

 

Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Sierra- the same thing I do now. Raise my kids, enjoy my friends and read a lot more than I am able to now that I write…lol

VJ – Probably the same thing I’m doing now – maybe taking a couple of college classes, too.

 

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

Sierra- We have a spin-off of the Worthington’s that we are working on subtitled Jenner’s Law. There are at least three more stories to the Night Creatures. We are also working on a new paranormal series about a large family of women who are the heroes. That’s about all I can reveal at the moment.

VJ – She’s got something like 30 folders of story ideas on her desktop.  I keep threatening to break her car radio if she comes up with ONE MORE storyline!

 

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

violetsummers.com

Join me on Saturday When VJ and Sierra share a Steamy Excerpt with us!  See  you then!

Tina

 

 

Saturday Sexcerpt – In Alien Arms

Etienne has given us a short excerpt from   In Alien Arms 

All Etienne’s work contains Ménage, m/m, light bondage, toys, anal, and some rough sex . 

Like that would stop you from reading on naughty boys and girls….

 

In Alien Arms

http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/inalienarms.htm

The bathroom was old, tiny but clean, and it didn’t take much to steam it up. I stepped to the stall and pulled the translucent shower curtain back. Sophie was standing under the spray with her eyes closed.

 “Want some company?” I asked. She jumped at the sound of my voice, turning to look at me. She was truly beautiful. Curves where they should be, soft and rounded, not like these models and actresses who were so skinny you could count their ribs.

 She looked around, puzzled. “Where’s…”

 “Desah?” I cut her off, smiling.

 “Right here,” Desah looked around the other end of the shower curtain.

 We got into the shower with her. It was a tight fit and I turned her to face Desah, my hands sliding over her wet skin. “Ever had a three-way?” I asked in a low whisper. She shook her head. “Ever been ass fucked?” She gasped and shook her head again. I licked her ear and kissed just behind it. “Want it?”

 She nodded slowly, “Oh yes…” I smiled and winked at Desah.

 Desah joined in, taking her hands and putting them on his shoulders. She nodded and he leaned in to kiss her. I moved down to the crook of her neck and kissed there. She shivered.

I almost hate teasers but I love that Etienne has shared his talented style with us this week.  Here is a short blub for his time traveler series over at Mojocastle press!

Time Traveler: An Erotic Trip Into The Past

Series

http://www.mojocastle.com/ 

Caught up in his Uncle’s intrigues Cody is swept into the past. The only problem is his Uncle’s time machine doesn’t work quite right. He’s never sure where or when he’ll be when he jumps. All Cody wants is to get home and back to his life, but the Time Police have different plans and now they’re after him.

Thanks for visiting!

Tina

 

Etienne D’Artagnan

Time Traveler

Time Traveler

I’d like to introduce you all to Etienne D’Artagnan!  I’ve met Etienne through our shared publisher – Liquid Silver Books.  Well let’s jump right into shall we?

 

Q: How long have you been writing?

I have been writing seriously for about five years but I have only just been published, In Alien Arms with Liquid Silver Books and the Time Traveler series with Mojocastle Press.

Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? 

I feel that a good plot and likable characters are first, followed closely by a good beginning and lots of action.  A writer must also pay close attention to spelling and grammar as well as the flow of the story.  You must make the reader want to spend time with your characters, to live in your world for a few hours and experience the things that are happening there.  You must also make sure your facts are correct and your action is believable for your reader.

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

I start by thinking “What if…” and then begin to ask myself what happens next.  Sometimes I will model a character on someone that I know, a quirk they have or maybe something which has happened to them.  For instance Desah, the alien hero of In Alien Arms is modeled on my very close friend, while Sophie the heroine is modeled on a cousin.  And yes I even use myself; I am very like both Nevada in In Alien Arms and Cody my Time Traveler.  I do not have a set formula; an idea for a plot can come from anywhere, a movie or something I have seen on television, even just a picture I have found on the internet.  You never know when inspiration will strike.

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax? 

Writing is such a solitary thing, when I am not working I like to spend time with Margaret and Sheldon.  We make a date of every Friday night to watch a movie and just enjoy each other’s company.  Currently we are watching Poirot mysteries.  

Q: What´s coming up on your schedule, book-wise, in the next year?  

I have the next Nine Worlds story, the Time Traveller series for Mojocastle Press, I am participating in an anthology of dark faerie stories at Liquid Silver Books, and there are several works in progress.  I will be very busy this year indeed.

Q: In your books so far what is The Best Come-on-line?

“Ever play with hot wax?”

Q: What is your favorite quote?   

Oh my, from my own books?  I don’t really know…Probably this one:

“There are only two good things about this rock,” he said.

I smiled. “And what would that be?”

“Well one just went inside,” he said.

“And the other?” I moved my fingers through his hair in small circles.

“I think you already know the answer to that,” he smiled.

 

Q: What are the best reviews to date so far on your books?

I have recently received a 4.5 and Reviewer top pick for In Alien Arms from Night Owl Romance and a 4.5 cherries for the second episode in my Tome Traveler series from Whipped Cream.

Q:  Does a hero always have to be good looking and why or why not?

I think he does need to be in most cases; however I have read books where the hero was not.  It takes an exceptional writer to make the readers fall in love with someone who is not good looking.  But on the other hand beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and there are people who are not particularly above ordinary until they smile.

 

Q:  Where can reader’s find you on the World Wide Web? 

I can be found at http://www.etiennedartagnan.com there are links to all my works there.

Thanks for joining us Etienne!  Join me Saturday when we get to read a Sexcerpt from one of Etienne’s books.  How Naughty!

Tina Holland

Have you been Naughty today?