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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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 -Kat Henry Doran

kathy_4june2016Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a nurse by (the) first profession. A volunteer position at the local Rape Crisis Service turned into a paid position and eventually I was promoted to Director of a four-county regional program serving more than 1,000 survivors of rape and child sexual assault, and their significant others, each year. Eventually, I went back to school and became a paralegal which turned into my current job as a legal nurse consultant.

So, what have you written?

Under Kat Henry Doran, I’ve written two full-length romantic mysteries, Captain Marvelous and Try Just Once More, both published through the Wild Rose Press. Try Just Once More won the Barclay Gold for best in romantic suspense several years ago

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

sh-cover_newWriting as Kat Henry Doran and Veronica Lynch, I’ve been part of four anthologies for TWRP:  Out of the Dark [Raising Kane] The Class of ’85 [ The List, Mad Dog and Archangel, Embraceable You]; Candy Hearts [For Keeps] and Haunting in the Garden [Caper Magic]. Each was a lot of fun to write. Currently, I am involved with an anthology out of the Maine Romance Writers group, Welcome to Serenity Harbor [my story is It Had to Be You]. Embraceable You was a finalist in the IDA contest a few years ago.

 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write when I can which isn’t often enough I’m sorry to say. Weekends are the best time for me, especially between January and April.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

If I do, I take a nap and wait for it to go away.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Loved it, laughed out loud in fact. I’m a huge fan of audio books and just finished Sandra Brown’s “Sting”. Great story, terrific ending. More recently, Nora Roberts’ “Obsession” knocked my socks off.

How do you relax?

I sew. I like to design and create tote bags and aprons. While I’m doing that, I listen to the audiobooks so I’m able to kill two birds with one stone. I sell those totes and aprons [along with other items] at craft shows so I travel a lot and listen to audio books while driving.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read what you want to write, particularly works by those authors whose message reaches out to you. Go to conferences, large and small, and take workshops. Listen to the pros who’ve been there and done that. Take rejection with a grain of salt and remember, your writing will always improve. Above all, listen to what others are saying about your writing. If more than two people say the same thing [as in weak POV or conflict or plot structure] about your stuff, pay attention. One person’s thoughts may be full of beans, more than one is telling you something. Listen to it.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

www.facebook.com/wildwomenauthors

www.wildwomenauthorsx2.blogspot.com

www.amazon.com/author/KatDoran

www.amazon.com/author/VeronicaLynch

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Kat’s story TRY JUST ONCE MORE. ~Tina

AuThursday – Vicki Batman

03-26-15-vlmb-head-on-hand-in-pink-sweater-11Please welcome Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction, to the Clog Blog.  Vicki, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am the oldest of four girls and was raised in the suburbs. I have always been an avid reader. I love kitties. I married Handsome and have two sons and a daughter.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m working on Temporarily Out of Luck and it is driving me crazy! But I made a few changes and am adding some stuff; so it should come along after a while. And another holiday story. And a super secret project.

What genre are your books?

Romantic comedy and mystery

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

Sorta. I’ve been in three-holiday anthologies, the third releases November, 1 and is entitled Season of Promises. I’ve had an essay in the Sisters Born, Sisters Found anthology which celebrates sisterhood of all kinds, and a story in Lavender Dreams, an anthology about how cancer touches lives.

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

I am a pantser. I DO have the hook, the black moment, and the end, but lots of stuff has to happen in the middle to make the book. Sigh, that’s the hard part.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I call it writer stuck. Like I explained in Temporarily Out of Luck, something was not working. I went over and over and thought it was the time line. Moved something and bingo! Was able to add bits and get the story moving again. I won’t be satisfied for a long while.

I see you’ve started a TEMPORARILY Series with Wild Rose Press, what are your thoughts on writing a book series?

It can be difficult to keep all the characters straight. I don’t want the second book to rehash the first book. And when I wrote Temporarily Employed, bits for Temporarily Insane began revealing itself. It’s fun and I love my characters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write! Wright Tight! And take the criticism. Keep what you need and toss the rest. Don’t let anyone define you and your work, but you. Don’t live in fear. As the heroine in “Strictly Ballroom” says, a life lived in fear is a life half-lived. Live your life adventure.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Website:http://vickibatman.blogspot.com/p/more-about-me.html

Facebook: http://bit.ly/293iZIz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickiBatman/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vickibatman/

Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman/

Email: vlmbatman@hotmail.com/

Join me on Saturday when we read a Sexy Excerpt from Vicki’s book Temporarily Insane. ~Tina

 

AuThursday – Stephanie Berget

Please welcome Stephanie Berget to the Clog Blog.  Stephanie, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, everyone. I live on a farm in a small town in eastern Oregon. My husband and I have rodeoed most of our lives and have trained rodeo horses for over forty years. I was born a city girl but have loved horses since I watched My Friend Flicka as a young girl. It was a natural transition to writing about hot cowboys and romance.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m working on the sequel to my second book, Radio Rose. Love and Other Useless Things is about a twin trying to find her own identity and a saddle bronc rider who’s just lost his lifelong dream.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write best in the morning. That said, social media is my procrastination of choice. On a good day, I get up and drink my fill of caffeine then get to work. I don’t have a set number of words, but I try to set a time limit and write until an alarm goes off.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block?

Writer’s block has reared its ugly head for the first time lately, but I fear it’s being fed by procrastination. I need a keeper for sure.

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

I participated my first boxed set, Cowboys, Bulls & Buckles, this last summer. My story, Sweet Cowboy Kisses, is one of six stories about professional bull riders. I’ve had a fabulous time working with the other great writers in the set and plan to do another collaboration after the first of the year.

Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?

When I was invited by a friend to be involved in this anthology, I jumped at the chance. I was impressed with the other participating authors, and it’s been great having other writers share the task of promotion.

Cowboys, Bulls & Buckles has done really well. We topped Amazon’s Hot New Release list for almost two weeks and weren’t out of the top ten the whole time the set was on the list. Cowboys, Bulls & Buckles has also consistently been in the top ten of Contemporary Western Romance on Amazon. We are all thrilled with the response.

You seem to have ventured into Indie publishing, what would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of Indie publishing vs. traditionally published or the other way around?

My first book, Sugarwater Ranch was published by Evernight Publishing. It was a great experience, but for my subsequent books, I decided I wanted to try going the Indie route. It’s more work and stress doing it all by myself, but I like the control and being able to put one of my books on sale when I want.

What is your favorite book and why?

What a tough question. There are so many. If I had to choose one, it would be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. No wait, Faking It by Jennifer Crusie…or Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Okay, I’ll stop. ☺

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website is www.stephanieberget.com

You can find all my books at my Amazon author page http://amzn.to/2ch3UyZ, most are also on Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2c60HrO and Kobo http://bit.ly/2cjPCkF

I’d love to have you chat with me on Facebook at Stephanie Berget’s Facebook Page or stop by my Twitter page @stephanieberget.