Happy Birthday to Me

Since today is my birthday, I decided to let a few of my friends from Facebook interview me.  Here are their questions.

What do you feel is the hardest part of the publishing process? (From Vania Rheault)

Rejection – The hardest part for me is finding a home for finished work.   I haven’t been brave enough to enter into the Self-Publishing world because that all seems hard to me.   So finding a home for whatever completed project I have is hard in the sense a certain amount of prediction for agents and editors on what readers may want a year or more out makes it difficult.  I’ll send out a query and then get a rejection and if I’m lucky they will tell me why.  Sometimes I get a form letter or even worse that they liked the writing but it wasn’t a good fit.   

How are you just so damn adorable all the time? Inquiring minds want to know. (From Lyn Armstrong)

Lyn is biased, her and maybe my husband.  I love and miss you, lady. 

Do you work plots out with writing buddies or plot all by yourself? (From Marie Johnston)

Normally, I plot by myself.  But recently I asked for some input on a finished Regency I just finished and my local critique group helped me come up with a plot (it involves murder) that I will weave back in through the story.  This isn’t uncommon for me to finish a manuscript and then change one, maybe two, things, and then have to layer those elements back in. 

When you write so many books, what’s your strategy for keeping plots, characters, and settings fresh? (from Natalie Pierce)

It helps that I write in a few different sub-genres of romance.  Once you change the setting everything else can be fresh or new based on a new place or time.  I have started keeping series bibles so I can remember how old someone is at story X so I make sure to age them by story Y. I usually keep these in either Pinterest, Google Keep, or in a Notebook. 

Happy birthday! Let’s see. I’d love to know more about how you got started writing stories. How much of real life is included in your books? Do you have other business ideas you might work on in the future? (from A. Catherine Noon)

Figures A. Catherine Noon would have the most questions.   Here we go.  

I have been writing since childhood, before my grandmother passed she gave me a collection of stories I wrote for her about the various mythical holiday creatures, like the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, A Leprechaun trying to find Baby New Year.   Unfortunately, they didn’t find him because I had only gotten as far as writing their origin stories.  I loved info dumps even as a child. 

I include much of real life in my contemporaries, including some of my friends (you know who you are).  Of course, I changed their names to protect the not so innocent.  I’ve used their professional knowledge among which include a pilot, an architect, a nurse, firemen, and of course a writer.   Most of my paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy stories are entirely fiction.  

Future Business Projects – Writing Wise I’m working on my Brave the Elements Series – Wind Resistant is my Nano project.  I will be querying my Regency this month and maybe a bit in November.   I take December off because I find I need the break for the holidays.  Non-writing wise – I’ve thrown my hat in on a contest in ND pairing artists and writers.  Long Term I’m hoping to get a North Dakota Writers Conference so if you are thinking about something like that my fellow writers, let me know.   There are far more of us than the world knows about. 

I’m wondering what percent of your writing is actually non-fiction, in a fictional book. (Brian Daly)

It depends on the fiction.  In my Steampunk Series, I’d say 50%.  I altered parts of the timeline significantly.  

My Regency is fairly historically accurate but I did change a few things – my hero knows cane fighting which isn’t really a thing until closer to the Victorian period and was invented in France, not England.  So those are pretty liberal. My Contemporaries including my paranormal books are about 25% fiction accounting for characters and the mythology of fairies.   But the career choices are based on people I know. 

And I would say my Post-Apocalyptic books are 75% fiction the only real elements being geography and locations in the future. 🙂 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Q&A.  If I missed your question here leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer it.  ~Tina

Writer Wednesday – Conferences – Are they worth it?

My general viewpoint on conferences is that they should be viewed as a working vacation.  Part of this is because of what I write and what my expectations are.

The big conferences for Romance writers are RT (Romantic Times) and RWA National (Romance Writers of America).   They serve different purposes.

RT is geared mostly towards readers, although they do have some writing classes.  I’ve attended this conference as an aspiring author, published author and a reader.  I’ve always viewed this particular conference as a working vacation.  It was a chance to visit my author friends, Lyn Armstrong and Debbie Cairo.   It was a chance to see a new city, visit friends and attend parties.  I always attend writing classes there and go to publisher spotlights.  I actually met both my publishers (Liquid Silver Books and Resplendence) at RT.

RWA is geared mostly to the business side of things.   I’ve yet to attend this particular conference, even though I’m a member.  I have attended regional RWA conferences including Midwest Fiction Writers and WisRWA.  I found both beneficial to my writing career.  Classes tend to revolve around business, craft, and publishing in general.

Some other conferences I’ve attended are Lori Foster’s RAGT (Reader and Author Get Together).  This is also a reader geared Con, unlike RT it is much smaller and there are about ten readers for every published author.   Lori keeps the author roster small so readers can interact.   Maddy Barone introduced me to this Con and we’ve traveled the last two years together.

I’ve attended two local Sci-Fi con’s since I write Paranormal Romance.  CoreCon and ValleyCon.   I highly recommend if you write in a genre that falls into the genre of SFFP (Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal) that you consider attending a local or regional Con.  It is a great way to meet readers and I find the communities, in general, to be very supportive of creatives.

There are also many Romance Reader Cons popping up.   I ran across this website that might be helpful for those of you writing in the Romance Genre.


I usually attend RT when I can and if I can rope someone into going with me.   RWA is still on my bucket list.   I’ve attended Lori Foster’s RAGT the last two years.  This year, due to my job loss,  I’ve cut back on my conferences.  I will likely only attend the local sci-fi cons and my annual writing retreat at the end of September.

Overall I love conferences and attend as many as my budget will allow.  If nothing else I get a few classes in, meet a few new authors and network.   That’s a win in my book.


Double Trouble Tuesday

Cinderella: Demon Tales 2 by Kerrianne Coombes

Once cursed and now cured, Prince Torc is determined do the ‘right thing’ for his kingdom. Second son in line for the throne, Torc is desperate to make up for his time as a bitter trouble maker. When the king of a neighboring kingdom talks of a possible match with his daughter, Torc offers himself up.

With ideas of success and wealth at the forefront of his mind, Torc never imagines that anything could go wrong.

When Rose, a hand maiden to the former queen of Tempath, is sent to serve her cousin, she is treated to the toughest cruelty she has ever known. Rejected by her mother and passed around like an unwanted puppy, Rose dreams of a life of opulence. When Prince Torc arrives at the castle, with his dark eyes and gentle touch, she is reminded that not everyone is evil. 

Witch Hunter by Lyn Armstrong

Entwined Fates…Forbidden Love


Commissioned as an Inquisitor, Lord Lachlan Fairbairn is a skilled Witch Hunter feared throughout Scotland. When King James VI sent him to investigate a noble lady with wild golden hair and an untamed spirit, his instincts warns she is guilty of witchcraft. With mystery and intrigue surrounding the beautiful lass, he could not resist her luring charm beneath her protected heart. Torn between his forbidden desires and royal duty, can he make the impossible decision?


Outcast from her clan, Lady Rhiannon Campbell struggles with conflicting powers. Half good witch and half evil sorceress, she battles to control the darkness within for fear of plunging Scotland into chaos and death. With time working against Rhiannon, she has to rid herself of the seductive Inquisitor or face the horrific torture of the King’s dungeons. Can she endure a broken heart and a gruesome death to save her family? Or will she protect her enchanted secret and force herself to slay…the Witch Hunter?

AuThursday – Lyn Armstrong

Last Celtic Witch

I met Lyn at a Romantic Times Convention in 2004 and we have been close friends ever since.  I pestered her mercilessly until she agreed to an interview.  So here it is!

Welcome Lyn!  Tell us a little bit about your new book with Resplendance, The Last Celtic Witch.

Yes, I do have a new book out, THE LAST CELTIC WITCH. It is the first book of the Celtic Series.

Pursued by evil forces for her powers, recluse Adela MacAye foresees her own agonizing death. She must seek the chosen one to produce an heir and pass on her Celtic powers. To fail would be the end of good magick, plunging the world into darkness. Conjuring a fertility spell she is led to a sensual chieftain who is betrothed to the sorceress that hunts her. Time is running out as fate and the future pursue her.

Plagued by enemies and undermined by sabotage, handsome Laird Phillip Roberts must save his clan from a bloody feud with an alliance through marriage … a marriage he does not want.  After a night of white-hot sensual delights with the alluring witch, his heart commands he break the pledge of peace. With treachery around every corner, will he be too late to save … The Last Celtic Witch?Q: How long have you been writing?

 I’ve been writing since I was a child. Mostly short stories and poems. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties, that I tried my hand at writing romance novels. I would like to say that was only yesterday, but in fact, it was about 11 years ago. 

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

Join a writers group and find a critique partner. Not only will these people help you learn the craft of writing, but they will support you when times are rough. And believe me, not too many writers can boast of being published without receiving countless rejection letters from publishers. I feel only another writer can understand the heartache of getting rejection after rejection for their manuscript. Even more important is to be persistent. Never give up, no matter what. Being published is a numbers game, the more times you submit, the better your chances of finding a publisher who loves your work.

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

 LOL, I received many. Once I read the rejection letter I would immediately put it in a folder marked “Unworthy Editor.” Which to me just means that editor does not have the same vision as I do. Then I would go back to the drawing board. No matter how much I wanted to crawl into a hole and cry, I remained focus on my goal of being published. The more writing workshops I attended and the more books I wrote, the better I got.  

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

Characterization, dialogue, sexual tension and GMC (goals, motivation and conflict) Plus having good grammar is a must. Don’t rely on others to fix your grammar mistakes. Learn the craft. Buy the grammar books, and do the workshops. I know it’s boring, but you’ll be proud of yourself once you know the rules.

Q: What were your feelings when your first historical erotic romance, The Last Celtic Witch was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product? 

When Jessica Berry, Editor of Resplendence Publishing, called me to say she wanted to offer me a contract, I thought she was kidding. I was waiting for her say, “Ha, ha. Had you fooled.” LOL. When it finally hit me she was deadly serious, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait for her to get off the phone so I could scream the house down.After I was sent the finally book cover for  THE LAST CELTIC WITCH, I was overjoyed. The artist captured the perfect heroine’s face on the cover. When I was writing the heroine’s story, the face on the cover was the exact face I had in mind. It was like the cover artist plucked her out of my mind and put her on the cover. She is so beautiful. And of course, who could resist the hero’s body on the cover as well. The drool factor alone has generated a lot of interest in the cover. In fact, my book cover has placed 4th in the Covey Awards.

Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’ d love to hear all about them!)

Yes, I am working on the second book in the Celtic Series, THE WITCH AND THE SORCERER. It follows the life of the heroine and her enchanted children from The Last Celtic Witch. The sorcerer is a very bad boy, but so deliciously sexy, you can’t help but lust over him. While a captured witch is the only woman who welds the sexual power to tame the wild beast. My readers will find a big surprise in the second novel. I have pushed the boundaries even further than the first.

Q: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about or any upcoming ones? 

My next booksigning will be at the Miami Book Fair – Nov 11, 2007. Look for me at Murder on the Beach booth. I will be doing a lot of booksignings around America this year and next. I’m in the process of setting up a calender on my website, www.LynArmstrong.com. Feel free to visit for locations or to sign up on my mailing list. 

Q: What is the hottest love scene you have written to date and why? 

I love, love, love to write hot sex scenes, so to chose one is really hard. No pun intended. LOL. I love when my characters have sex that is out of the ordinary. Where it shows the reader an insight into their unique character. I feel you can learn a lot about a person by the way they make love. Even a person’s vulnerabilities or lack of inhibitions can come out in a sex scene. There is something to say about a character when she/he loses control to passion, yet still holds something back, an underlining fear. I like my sex scenes to not only be hot as hell, but to show a different side to the characters that a reader may not see otherwise.

Q: What are the best reveiws to-date-so-far on your book? 

I have had the best reviews on THE LAST CELTIC WITCH, receiving 41/2 stars on my book. This goes beyond my expectations. 

Read what the reviews have to say:

 The manipulation and intrigues found throughout the story kept me reading to see how things would turn out in the end. I found myself happily caught up in the exciting action of the story. This is a mesmerizing tale in which dark magic uses intrigue and manipulation to succeed in the battle between good versus evil. Their only hope is that the power of love will give courage and strengthen the power of one small woman …THE LAST CELTIC WITCH.

 4 1/2 Star, Anita, Romance Junkies Reviewer

The Last Celtic Witch is a story rich in history, and imagination. I could literally feel what it must have been like to live in times whenbeing different could cost you your life. The villain of this piece is so well drawn that you catch your breath in terror of what she is going to do next. Adela as the woman alone who is desperate to find love and in so doing continue her family line is exceptional. Phillip is honorable, but he is not perfect, and I liked how Ms. Armstrong gave him suitable flaws. The Last Celtic Witch is a keeper and not one you will want to miss!

4 Stars, Regina, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance 

This novella weaves classic elements of love, loyalty, duty and good vs. evil into a compelling tale. The drama of two competing witches heightens the suspense. The setting of historical Scotland is appealing. The sensual elements of this story are strong and varied, including same-sex and threesome scenes.

4 StarsJennifer R. Wells-Marani

Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer

Q:  How hard is it to keep love scenes fresh and interesting?

As an erotic author, it is very hard to keep the scenes fresh and original. You can’t use the same phrases or certain sexual positions as you did in the last novel. But somehow, it all comes together. My fantasy life is very active, and the characters seem to have a life of their own, I just type their story

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