#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?

DoHpromo15

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 – Daryl Devore Drops by

Please welcome Romance author Daryl Devore to the Clog Blog.    Daryl, Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a retired high school teacher who gets to indulge in what once was a hobby. I have 2 pen names. This one – Daryl Devoré – writes hot romances and the other – Victoria Adams – writes NA romance and sweet adult romances.

How do you make time to write?

I retired! As a teacher and a mom there just wasn’t much time. I snuck moments in when I could, but as I said, it was just a hobby.

What are your current projects?

I have 1 book – Darien’s Desire (Two Hearts One Love series) that will be released in June.

Then I will send the final book of the series in.

I have a Christmas story that is written and will be sent to publisher after the book above goes in.

Let’s see – oh, yeah, I have a medieval fantasy with a dragon that’s been sitting on my hard drive for years nagging at me – I really must finish it.

And lastly, I have a flash fiction, sweet, time travel romance that needs to be rewritten and divided into 2 smaller books.

Then are 10 or more files with book ideas and partial chapters waiting on my hard drive.

I see you write A BILLIONAIRE STORY series. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

That one was an accident. My first book was A Kept Woman and billionaires weren’t all the rage yet. Then my fifth book – FL.E.S.H. was also a billionaire story. My publisher then got the bright idea that I could do a series. As I have changed publishers, I have no idea if I will continue it or not.

My other series – Two Hearts One Love – was again an accident. I wrote the first book and hit a wall. Two years later, while meditating in yoga class the answer smacked me in the forehead. Make the stuck story into 2 stories. Brilliant. I finished book 1 – What Happens in Bangkok – and when I started book 2 I realized – yikes, there’s a book 3! Book 4 tried to notice but I got everything finished in book 3.

So my thoughts on writing a series – they’re hard. I had to keep back checking to make sure things happened. And I never ever thought I’d write a series and now I have 2.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

The most difficult part – what does life really feel like for the other sex. My name is Daryl, so I’m guessing most people think I’m male – but I’m female. Daryl, when it rhymes with Karl, is the feminine version. It’s an old Celtic name. But I digress. In a sex scene, I have to imagine what a male experiences when doing something, like kissing. I’ve had 2 male editors and neither has complained, so I guess I’m doing ok.

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

IF?!?!?! At first, it hurt and then I progressed to where it’s that publisher’s loss.

I have had some insulting rejections. The person may not have meant it to be that way – but telling me my book was only good enough for an ebook was not what could be considered a compliment.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

I have several mantras. I adore yoga and many come from there, but I’ve included one of my life mantras and one of my writing ones.

Life 2writing 2

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join a critique group. Either online or a local group. Make sure there are experienced authors in the group. Also, make sure they critique your genre. If you write sci-fi don’t join a romance group. Unless romance is a main part of the story. There are different ways the stories are handled between the different genres.

Biggest advice- if you join a group and it doesn’t feel right to you – get out. I’ve been through probably 10 critique groups. And the one I am in now, I’ve been a member for 6 yrs.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Blog – https://daryldevore.blogspot.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Daryl-Devore-Erotic-Romance-Writer-280168402052520/

Twitter – http://twitter.com/daryldevore

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/107866370365154406917

GoodReads Author Page – http://www.goodreads.com/DarylDevore

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TJ1354

LinkedIn – ca.linkedin.com/pub/daryl-devore/58/b42/792/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Daryl%20Devore

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Daryl’s book, “What happens in Bangkok”. ~Tina

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- Nona Raines

Please welcome my fellow NGWN (Nice Girls Writing Naughty) Nona Raines to the Clog Blog.  

Hi, Tina. Thanks for having me today.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a former librarian who still loves books and reading. Visiting libraries is one of my favorite things to do! I’ve been writing for many years, but for the longest time found it difficult to finish anything, I think that came from a lack of self-confidence and fear of putting my work “out there.” When I finally decided I must get serious, I joined a nearby RWA chapter (Central New York RWA for the win!) and finally finished a book. It was ONE GOOD MAN, my first published romance.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

No, I haven’t, but a writer friend and I toy with the idea. She used to be a truck driver and knows all about the business. I told her it would be cool for us to write a romance–or maybe a whole series–feature women truckers!

I see you’ve written series including, NOT THE HOT CHICK, THE MAN SERIES, and THE SPECTRUM SERIES.   What do you like about writing Series for your readers?

Sometimes I think I write my series more for myself than for my readers. J I tend to love in love with my characters and want to continue their stories. Sometimes a supporting character calls out to me demanding his or her own story be told, LOL, and I just can’t resist. I hope my readers like my characters, too, and enjoy going along for the ride.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

It’s a challenge for me to “think like a man” and convey that through dialogue. I want my heroes to be masculine without being overly macho or sounding like they’re women in men’s bodies.

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to write three to four hours a day. I’m a slow writer, so, unfortunately, that doesn’t produce as many pages as I wish it did.

What is your writer Kryptonite?

Mine is getting going in the morning when I’m at my best and not let little things distract me to let me fritter away the day.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe it exists for some people, but I’ve been lucky (knock on wood) that it hasn’t affected me yet. Some days are harder than others and feel like I’m squeezing blood from a stone, but so far I haven’t experienced anything that might be a block.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing! And keep learning. Read blogs by other writers, take classes (online or otherwise), read books on craft, and if you can, join a writer’s group. My local RWA chapter was invaluable to me.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Thanks for asking! They can find me here:

My website: http://www.nonaraines.com/

Author Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/nonaraines.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nonaraines

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5137998.Nona_Raines

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/nonaraines

My group blog–The Nice Girls Writing Naughty blog: http://nicegirlswritingnaughty.wordpress.com/

A multi-author FB group of which I am a member: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NGWNreaders/

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Nona’s story “Not the Hot chick” ~Tina

 

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

AuThursday – Rosanna Leo

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

Most of my books have taken several months to complete. However, there are others that have taken longer. I worked on one for several years, but that was an on-again, off-again situation. I tend to write each one and complete it before embarking on another project so I’m focused getting the work done.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?  (aka Are you a plotter or a pantser?)

I always research before writing but not every book requires in-depth research. For my shapeshifter romances, I always study the traits of the animals represented in the books and make copious notes about each. For my contemporary romances, I might do research on particular jobs or lifestyles. And for my mythology-based romances, I always reread the legends I’m referencing. I do try to plot out my novels but there is a healthy dose of pantsing involved as well. 😉

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Believe it or not, I adore writing male characters. In fact, I prefer writing them. I love getting into the heads of my heroes and screwing around with the wiring. They’re fun for me to write because many of them are straightforward guys. That being said, I think the toughest part about writing them is not allowing myself to get caught up in stereotypes. Sure, men can be different but they’re not all the same and they’re not all macho dudes who are always thinking about sex and food. LOL

What is your writing Kryptonite?

A lack of caffeine. It sustains me.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

That’s a tough question. Since I started publishing in 2012, so many fellow romance authors came forward and shared their experiences and expertise with me. That’s what I love about this industry: there is a lot of love and support. It would be difficult for me to single anyone out but I have a special affinity for Anise Eden, Selena Robins, and Jessica Cale. Not only do I admire these ladies, I adore their writing and am proud to be friends with them. I learn something new whenever I read their works.

Have you written any other stories in collaboration with other writers?

I have two freebie anthologies that I have written with a former blogging group but each story was written independently.

I see you’ve written a number of series including; GEMINI ISLAND SHIFTERS, GREEK GOD ROMANCES, HANDYMEN, and ORKNEY SELKIES.  What draws you to writing series, and is it hard to keep it all straight?

I’ll be honest, most of my series began as ideas for one book. The readers were wonderful enough to show interest and demand more books. Now, when I begin a new project, I keep series possibilities in mind. For example, my Handymen series is still being written and book one, A Good Man, has just been picked up by Samhain Publishing. I went into that one knowing I would write three books.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I used to read my reviews on a regular basis. However, one will always find negativity in this arena. When I started, I used to let bad reviews get me down. Now I’ve stopped seeking out my reviews. Unless a reader points me in the direction of her review, I won’t go looking for it. It just keeps me saner this way. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the feedback but I prefer to stay positive. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive some amazing reviews and I thank everyone who put pen to paper for my work.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rleoauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826852.Rosanna_Leo

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LeoRosanna

AuThursday – Janet Walters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Janet Lane Walters here. I’ve been a published author since 1968 though there were a few years taken off to return to work as a nurse to help children through college. I’ve been married to the same man for 55 years and there are four children. The youngest is an adopted biracial daughter. There are seven grandchildren, four biracial and three adopted Chinese children. I live in the scenic Hudson River valley. Billed as an eclectic writer besides short stories, poetry, and 3 non-fiction books, I write in a number of genres.

What genre are your books?

Genres – There are romances, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, historicals. I also have a YA fantasy series published under J. L. Walters.

What draws you to this genre?

Since I write in a number of genres I’ve chosen the ones I really enjoy writing and reading. Often there is some kind of medicine in many of my books. This goes back to being a nurse and my fascinating with alternate methods of healing.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write seven days a week and being retired I can write where I want and when I want.

I see you write a few series including MOONCHILD, AT FIRST SIGHT, and OPPOSITES IN LOVE.  What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I enjoy reading series and also trilogies. Sometimes there need to be more stories to finish the story. My YA Affinities series is one of those. Readers like series. Sometimes a character in one of the books asks for their own story.

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

I have not dipped into self-publishing. I am mainly with two small publishers. One US and one Canadian. For me self-publishing would present problems since I really like to do everything myself and having to hire people to format, edit, covers and etc. wouldn’t suit me at all. I do admire those who have taken this route but it’s not for this 80-year-old writer.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do proof my own books but then they go off to my current publisher Books We Love and they are also proofed by an editor there. I belong to a critique group and thus for content I have ten other voices to keep me on track.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish the book before tinkering with it. Trying to make each page perfect before reaching the end and you won’t ever finish the book.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://twitter.com/JanetL717

http://janetlanewalters.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_fbid=113639528680724

http://bookswelove.net/