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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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 – 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.

AuThursday – Christine Donovan

head shotPlease welcome International Bestselling Romance Author Christine Donovan.  Christine please tell us your latest news.  

In March my third regency, LORD SEBASTIAN AND THE SCOTTISH LASS, and the third in a Seabrook Family Saga Series came out.  The fourth book, SPENCER FIND HIS LADY LOVE, will be out in June. I also have three books in a contemporary series out. BlackJack200x300BLACKJACK, BRIDGET and MITCH part of A Standish Bay Romance Series. The fourth one, MORGAN, will be out by the year’s end.

Q: I see you write in two different genres, Historical and Contemporary.  Are there any particular challenges with that?

Sometimes. It’s much easier to get in the mind-set to write a contemporary, as we live it daily.  When I’m preparing to write an historical I read and watch films pertaining to the Regency Era to immerse myself in that life. I love writing in two genres though, because I never get bored.

Q: You have two series, Seabrook Family Saga and Standish Bay Romance.  What are your thoughts on writing series and what draws you to them?

As a reader I tend to love a good series. When I begin writing a book, I don’t have anything mapped out for the series or how many books it may become. As the first story unfolds I get attached to all the secondary characters and their stories evolve in my head and I make notes for when I do write the next in the series. Of course, the more books in a series I write, the more planning I need to do to keep everything straight.

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

I don’t write on a daily basis. My part-time job, my children and everyday stuff hinder that. But the several days a week I do get to write I can managed 5 or 6 thousand words at a time.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?

Daydreams and my vivid imagination. Sometimes it’s from something that happened in my life that I twist into a story. Several years ago, I went on an Alaskan Cruise, so one of my books is partially set on a cruise ship. It was a blast reliving my trip and spinning it with fictional characters. The only resemblance to my actual cruise, is the ship itself and the ports of call. The characters and what takes place are all fictional.  But it made one heck of a backdrop for a story. Next month I’m going on a Mediterranean cruise. I can’t wait to see what book that turns into.

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

The only time I plot is when I do NaNoWriMo. I find writing 50,000 words in a month is hard without an outline. A very small outline of perhaps 2 pages. Otherwise I sit at my laptop and just begin typing.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s Block, and any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

I think I went a year without writing anything new once and it was torturous. The stories left my head and I panicked thinking they would never come back. To get over my block, I went back to books I’d written earlier and never did anything with. I edited them that way I was still writing to some degree.  That was also when I decided to tackle a Regency. I thought if I wrote something in a different genre it would spark my creative juices. Thankfully it did.

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

I have not been published in any other form than indie-publishing so I can’t say anything about the advantages, although being a procrastinator having deadlines would work well for me. As far as indie-publishing goes, I love being able to write what I want and working with my cover designer. I do book my editor in advance so I have a self-imposed deadline to work with.  I don’t love the business side of things, or the internet presence. I have to force myself to get out into cyberspace. But putting yourself out there comes with being published either way.

Q: Do you have any advice for new writer’s just starting?

When you finish the best book you can write and it’s been edited over and over and over, hire a great editor, a cover designer. Have it formatted by a professional, until you are comfortable doing it yourself, and have the courage and confidence in your ability as a writer to put it out there. And remember, you cannot please everyone all the time. Some people will love your book and others will not. It happens to everyone.

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

www.christinedonovan.org

Amazon Author Page – ttps://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christine.donovanauthor

Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Christine’s book, LORD SEBASTIAN AND THE SCOTTISH LASS. ~Tina