Writer Wednesday – Request

Last week, right after I posted my rejection post.   I received a request for an additional 50 pages from another Agent.   The Universe must have a plan.  

I had met this agent at an RWA conference a couple of years ago when the manuscript was just getting started in my head and on paper.    She had given a talk on agents and how they help you in the business.  That talk made me look at querying agents for this book that was an idea in my head.     Especially since what I had written was such a bit of a departure from my current work.   

I will still have to wait a few more weeks before I hear back, but this is exciting news.  I remember listening to her talk, and getting a good vibe.  

As you read this, I’m heading to the airport to go on my annual retreat with the WZG Founders.   And plotting my next book.   More on that next Wednesday. 

~Tina

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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

AuThursday – Helen Henderson

henderson-headshot-portraitTell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you, Tina, for letting me stop by. To my readers of fantasy and romance, I’m Helen Henderson. To those of my historical westerns, they know me by the name of my ancestress, Jessie Treon. My Gemini sign matches my heritage and shows in my writing in multiple genres which are perfect for a tour guide to the stars, the Old West, and worlds of imagination.

What are you working on at the minute?

A companion book to the Dragshi Chronicles is readying for flight. First Change consists of a collection of short stories and novellas from history and legend of the dragshi–humans with a twinned dragon soul. Another tale of the Archmage, Lord Dal, and the sea captain, Lady Ellspeth, is drifting just offshore, awaiting the scribe to capture it. Besides working on the novels, I’ve decided to try something new in 2017. I will be participating in my first writing challenge, a post a week on a specified topic in 52 weeks.

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

Shorter works such as novellas are usually free written. I do like structure for full-length novels, but I don’t hold to the hard rule of outlining the entire work before starting to write. When I write, I storyboard or write the draft of a scene or chapter depending on how much the muse is visiting. A scene in the storyboard might have a line describing the setting, an annotation of whose point of view I expect it to be in, and maybe three to five bullet points. Or, if the muse is visiting that block in the storyboard will be completely fleshed out with dialog, transitional phrases and be a true first draft. As I get deeper and deeper into the story and the characters take over, there are less stubbed scenes and more completed ones. Usually by the time I get to the end of the storyboard I have a complete first draft ready for editing and peer review.

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

That really is an unfair question. A number of items impact the time to complete a story. A book written in the early days of my career took longer than the most recent one. Generally, a full-length novel takes a year from initial draft to the publication-formatted manuscript. A novella can be completed in a month if the fates allow. As a caregiver sometimes emergencies and life gets in the way of writing which can impact the time to write. Although I have written while sitting in doctors offices, emergency rooms, and at 2 in the morning.

Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

My response in the past to a question regarding writer’s block was that I usually don’t get it. I have too many projects going on. However, never say never. Two novels, both set in the world of Windmaster, refuse to cooperate. There was too great an age difference between the male and female lead characters. That problem was solved by changing the point-of-view to different characters. However, the storyline had one of the “now-secondary” characters go on a journeyman walk and after a battle stay in a foreign land. To keep the series integrity, the original intent that it would be the tale of the next generation, the girl going walkabout would be no older than seventeen. Again the age felt inappropriate for the storyline. That is being re-evaluated.

henderson-windmasterlegacy-200x300The second novel in the Windmaster series awaiting a scribe faced the problem of expanding a paragraph-long legend to a full-length novel. The first two chapters came easily, then life interfered and a break occurred.

As to how to overcome the writer’s block, for the one book, time will be set aside to re-read the first two novels in the series and re-immerse myself in that world. A visit with the original characters will, hopefully, get the next generation talking to me.

I see you’ve written a series called THE DRAGSHI CHRONICLES.  Can you tell us a bit more about your series, and what draws you to writing it?

The Dragshi Chronicles are action-filled, romance-laden fantasies about a group of men and women who are more than just what you see, but are two beings—one human, the other a dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. But be warned, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.

Each book is a stand-alone tale. The first book is Dragon Destiny. For hundreds of years, Dragshi Lord Branin and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn searched for their intended mates. Lady Broch of Ky’Port, the firebrand leader of a band of raiders, vowed to marry the dragon lord, with or without his willing cooperation. Everything changed the day a wistful thought touched Branin’s.

Hatchlings Curse continues the story of Lord Branin and the trader girl Anastasia. Branin means to break the hatchling’s curse and end the childlessness of the dragshi. To save his kind he has to win the mating flight. And the cost? All he treasures. Throwing the competition is not an option.

The series continues with Hatchling’s Mate. Talann’s dilemma. No dragons sang a welcome at his birth, so how is he to save all dragon shifters. Or, save himself from the mind control wielded by the leader called – the Parant.

Hatchling’s Vengeance completed the series. Lady Glynnes Janaleigh had found her mate, but finding him is only half the battle. Keeping him alive is the other when duty has other demands and Fate holds all the cards. On one card is written: “Vengeance has two paths—death or love. And a long memory.”

As to what drew me to the world of the dragshi? My heritage is the child of a coal miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer. My world was grounded in the rural life and the skies. I grew up on a farm watching hawks soar overhead. The hawks became dragons and my desire to fly became real.

henderson-windmaster-200x300You have so many lovely book covers, can you tell us if you have a favorite and why?

While I love all the covers (even the ones I created), my favorite cover is Windmaster by Michelle Lee. The alluring model and ship hints at fantasy, magic, pirates and romance. Oh, wait a minute. Windmaster is all those things.

 

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

At this point in my career, I am now what is called a hybrid author–someone with one foot in the indie world and the other in the more traditional publishing arena. When I first embarked on publishing my own works, I was fortunate enough to have the contacts to overcome a disadvantage many independent authors encounter–the building of your own stable of technical experts from cover designer to copy editor to proofreader. An even bigger disadvantage is the social isolation. When you’re with a publisher, the authors support each other. You benefit from their social media reach and they yours. Fortunately, if you look for them, groups of independent authors have formed that provide a similar function.

Publishers, especially small press, can be a security blanket, a launching pad, or the perfect place for an author to call home. They have extended reach, resources, and enable authors, who don’t want to run their own company, to learn, grow, and become “published authors.”

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

WEBSITE: helenhenderson-author.webs.com/

BLOG: helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/e/B001HPM2XK

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/777491.Helen_Henderson

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HelenHenderson.author

GOOGLE + –http://ow.ly/JEZug

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.

AuThursday -Bree M. Lewandowski

fb_img_1477241392858Please welcome my fellow Writer Zen Garden author, Bree to the Clog Blog! Bree, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a married lady with three fur babies and a day job as a dance teacher. Gosh, I don’t know. I love pasta and I can’t swim. My background in writing is due in a large part to years spent homeschooled by my mother in a very English heavy program. I wasn’t allowed to type “the sky is blue” unless I could prove it. Lots of times my head hurt, but I think it opened me up to how wonderful writing could be.

So, what have you written?

My twenties were spent in front of a computer writing fanfiction. And while that gave me a craving for writing for an audience, I could never finish a book. That is, until, National Novel Writing Month two years ago. It was the first time I got from Page 1 to The End. That amazing feeling spurned me to try again the next year and Under Winter Lights is now the finished project of last year’s NaNoWriMo.

What genre are your books?

I most frequently write romance.

What draws you to this genre?

There’s a deep, almost unexplainable, connection between two people where love is concerned. Whether that love is romantic or not, when it binds people together, it’s out of this world. That need to love and be loved is fascinating to me and I never tire of trying to illustrate it with words. Great authors before me (Margaret Mitchell, Victor Hugo) spun tales of love and how it shapes and changes all those it touches. And I want to, too.

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

I’m halfway between plotting and winging it. Before I start to write the story, I usually have a vague outline in my head of the big plot moments. As I go, I try to fill in the gaps between those pivotal points.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I’m publishing this book independently. The decision to go this route felt natural the more I learned what kind of control a newbie author like myself might have to relinquish to land a contract with a publishing house. Elements like the cover and how the novel progresses I want to be in charge of. Call me a control freak, but it felt right.

What is your favorite positive saying?

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words-wait and hope.” ~Alexandre Dumas.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

On my Facebook author page at https://www.facebook.com/BreeMLew/

AuThursday – Kimbra Kasch

kim-kasch-2016Please welcome Romance Writer Kimbra Kasch.  Kimbra, do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you?

I’ve never been a person who could follow a recipe when cooking or writing. I add a pinch of something here and a dash of spice there; I have to go with the moment and what I think will “taste” good at the moment. It’s the same with writing. I have to go where my heart leads me.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book, Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking?

 

Staying true to the legend(s). Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking involves King Arthur, his half-sister, Charlemagne of France and Holger Danske. So, I wanted to stay true to the themes of France’s King, Britain’s legends, and Denmark’s. It took a lot of research.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The romance. Love is an easy path to take and the most fun…

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I LOVE Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Mary Janice Davidson, Poe and dozens of others. That’s a question like asking me what flavor of ice cream is my favorite: rocky road, coffee, chocolate, Cherry Garcia, I could go on and on.

How do you relax?

Reading, writing, knitting, baking, running, playing tennis, hiking, sewing, … The real question is how do I NOT relax… ;D

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

It’s something like this from Mother Teresa: I know God never gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes I just wish he didn’t have so much confidence in me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write because you love telling stories. Write because you love reading and writing. Just write.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Purchase Links:

You can find my book here:  https://www.amazon.com/Morgaine-Fey-Vikings-Kimbra-Kasch-ebook/dp/B01L88QPTW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473136773

KIM’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Kasch/e/B00ZOAUKMO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website: https://www.kimkasch.com

https://www.kimbrakasch.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15278287-kimbra-kasch

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIt0EKLYjrbM_FRnPP1JXdw

Blog: https://www.kimkasch.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009489617484

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimkasch

Google+: https://aboutme.google.com/u/0/#profile_photo

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimkasch/

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAAGF2pwBVg-AKJf0oZ1xQgzY1oFTZ2yaAcY&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Plus, on Instagram @kasch.kim

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kim’s latest release, Morgaine LeFay and the Viking.  ~Tina

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AuThursday-Susan Behon

Behon_Susan_Author_PicPlease welcome my fellow LSB author Susan Behon.  Susan welcome to the Clog Blog, how long have you been writing?

I started writing bad poetry in high school and moved on to fan fiction when I was in my twenties. It took quite a few years to gather my courage and pursue writing seriously.

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

The fact that I write a series has helped with plot and character development. I started out with one couple and the side characters from that story got their own romance. New characters were introduced and the series took on a life of its own from there. As odd as it sounds, characters and plots just come to me. Some characters are based on a mishmash of people I know and some are completely from my imagination.

Q: What were your feelings when your first novel, FALL FOR YOU was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

I received the acceptance e-mail at three in the morning. I half-hyperventilated and half-cried out from excitement. My husband was asleep next to me and the walrus-like howl woke him up. Bless, his heart. He hugged me and told me that he knew I would make it. I was overjoyed and stunned to have a contract offer.

When I saw the first cover for FALL FOR YOU I felt like I’d finally made it. It sank in that I actually have a real book on my hands.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the MADISON FALLS series?

I wrote the first book as a challenge to myself to see if I could actually do it. I thought it would be one and done. The first book opened the flood gates to more ideas and I ran with it. Funny bit of trivia—when I was brainstorming for an idea for the town, I was stuck. I listed name after name and then my daughter, Madison, tripped in front of me. That is how I dubbed my series, “Madison Falls.”

Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?

I’m presently having the most trouble with the manuscript for book six, ALL FIRED UP. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m thinking about it too hard. Each time I write a book, I want to improve and make it the best book yet. Sometimes, putting that kind of pressure on myself squelches the creative process.

Q:  When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?

I would have to say that my characters have the lion’s share of control. I’ll write, intending to go in one direction and they’ll grab the reins and pull me somewhere completely different.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Start out by writing what you know. Write what you want to express and not what you think others want to read. You can do it and you are good enough. Writers are world builders. Don’t be afraid to make the world that’s waiting inside of you.

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

www.susanbehon.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suebeehny

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1dD86dc

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1GFiuI

Amazon Author: http://amzn.to/1zn8Igz

Link to All Books: http://amzn.to/1JepnEA

 

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Susan’s latest novel, ALL OR NOTHING.  ~Tina