AuThursday – Barbara Meyers

Please welcome Author, Poet and Lyric Writer Barbara Meyers.  Barbara, Can you tell us your latest news?

FANTASY MAN is my sixth book with Samhain Publishing and was just released in February. I’m excited about being part of Florida Writers Association’s multi-genre book signing in Altamonte Springs, Florida on May 1st. And my short story, “Hidden Heart” was recently accepted for judging to be part of FWA’s 2016 Collection. More news (I hope) on that later. Oh, and the Lakeland (Florida) Ledger did a great article on me. Barista by day/Novelist by Night. You can read it here:

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

It might be FANTASY MAN. I started this book a very long time ago and it underwent numerous rewrites over the years because I never give up on a story I love. It was, in fact, initially turned down by my editor (the wonderful Noah Chinn). But Noah did something editors don’t always do. He told me why he turned it down. I rewrote it (again!) based on his input and even after he accepted it, we still had a lot of work to do and we both learned a lot from the process. Why it was a difficult process is because I’ve improved as a writer since I first wrote the story. And, of course, at that time, I did not have an editor. Good editors make all the difference between an okay book and a really good book.

Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I’m a total pantser. Zero music although I wrote my first manuscript listening to a Michael Bolton CD on repeat. “When a Man Loves a Woman…” Perfect romance music, right? But now I need quiet. I often light candles, though. I usually start with the idea and I write down every possibility I can think of about who the hero and heroine are and why they are where they are in life. Often it’s just a tiny seed of an idea in a Word document in a file titled “Story Ideas.” I keep adding to it over time until I decide I’ve got enough and the time is right to start working on the book. It’s not a great system and I don’t recommend it to anyone else. But I can’t seem to work any other way.

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

If I’m not working my early morning day job as a barista for a global coffee company, I try to get an early start writing and keep at it until my brain turns to mush.

Q: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on an older laptop that is not connected to the internet which limits distractions.

Q: So, what have you written?
I have written books, short stories, song lyrics, poems and blogs.

Q: What draws you to Poetry and Lyrics?

I have a weird ability to occasionally write poems with a Dr. Seuss-like rhyming scheme in a matter of minutes. I wrote lyrics for a song after my daughter was in a car accident. Later I met up with a friend who plays guitar, sings and also writes songs, so we collaborate. I like telling an entire story in short form through poetry or lyrics.

Q: What are you working on at the minute, and what’s it about?

Finishing up a contemporary romance, Soft Core. A former adult film star starts life over in a small Iowa town.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

That their eyes only on their story is not good enough. Their work needs to be PROFESSIONALLY edited. I cannot stress enough what a difference this will make between a so/so book and a really good book. Most authors cannot see the forest for the trees in their own work even though they think they can. This is what I’ve learned from working with an editor like Noah. He does freelance editing, btw.

Q: It looks like some of your works are self-published, what would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The advantage is the freedom to write what you want to write. The disadvantage is you have to do all the work from cover design to getting it into the marketplace. And, as I’ve learned, you should never put unedited work out there. Find a good editor and invest in your book. It will pay off in the long run.

Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2016?

I have a couple of contemporary romance projects I hope to release later this year. Also the second book of the Grinding Reality series which I write under my pen name, AJ Tillock, entitled Cool Beans. And another contemporary romance I’m close to completing, entitled Soft Core. And who knows what other surprises the year may hold?

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

Author Barbara Meyers Social Media Links:

Web Site:


Facebook Author Pages:

Samhain Author Page:

Amazon Author Page:




Twitter: @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

Twitter URL:


Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Barbara’s February Release, Fantasy Man. ~Tina





AuThursday – Adam Mann

Adam 200Please welcome Romance writer Adam Mann.  Adam, how long have you been writing?

I started writing historical novels in 1996 when I was working in Sri Lanka, but did not get my first one published as work got in the way, and I almost got entangled with a vanity publisher.  Fortunately I got my MS back, and didn’t pay the publisher anything before they went bang.

Q:  What inspired you to write your first romance novel?

I was always sad that history never mentions romance, which must have been there or they wouldn’t have produced heirs, so I started writing romance novellas four years ago, after I retired.   I call them novellas, as I get bored if they’re too long, and I don’t like padding my MS just to reach a word count.

Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about a man writing romance?

I don’t really know.  I have read a lot of romance books, and find that many women authors find great delight in things like fabric of a dress, which frankly I would find difficult to do – the softness of a lady’s skin is for me…  But I do like exploring the feelings and emotions of my characters in great depth.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

The first novella I wrote was in the first person, but I’ve given that up unless I’m writing in the first person female.  I usually keep an Excel record of characters, places and chapters, which I find very help full.  In one book I started writing about a Clemence, but by the last chapter I wrote Clarence.  Thank you that editor.

I should also note that sometimes my characters change the plot as I write.

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

One book I had to wrestle with involved a man and his attractive step-daughter after his wife died. It was not so difficult to write but to adapt to the editor’s likes and dislikes, and I had to compromise with my hero seducing a college friend of his step-daughter.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

My first romance novella has a lot of my own life experience written into the plot.  I’ve left it in for that MS, but have avoided getting too close to home ever since.

Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

One of my concerns is authors who write about things they don’t really know about, and make it up as they go, whilst a little web search would have guided them correctly.  So my advice is don’t write about things you don’t know about.

Q:  What is on tap for the rest of 2016?

I’ve just published a new murder and mayhem novel – Chocolates and Cyanide – and I’ve got two romance novels in the draft MS format.  Two because one was delayed by a publisher, and then they turned it down, so I’m revising it.  The other I just completed a few days ago.

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

I have two websites: for historical novels, and for romance novellas.

And on Twitter @Lordmaity and @adammannauthor and @Butterflybooks9

I think that offer nearly all my books and novellas, but maybe under different publishers, and some of them are more popular with

Join me on Saturday as we read a teaser from Adam’s story, West African Heat. ~Tina

AuThursday – Rebel Miller

Rebel MillerPlease welcome romance author, Rebel Miller.  Rebel, what inspired you to write your first book, “Awakening”?

For some, inspiration is a sudden occurrence. For me, however, inspiration for “Awakening” was a gradual thing.

I had always had the idea of writing a coming-of-age romance that pushed the boundaries in terms of identity, social class, sexuality and what it means to be in love, but it was only when I was in the middle of binge-reading contemporary New Adult romances did the idea of taking my story into a new time and place finally occur to me. I wondered then about writing a novel that was set hundreds of years in the future and against an intensely dramatic backdrop, yet would still resonate with readers of the genre – whether lovers of contemporary or futuristic settings.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for “The Realm” series?

“Awakening” is the first book in my futuristic New Adult trilogy. I knew right out the gate that I would tell Kira’s, the lead character’s, story over three books. However, only as I started developing sub-plots and building out the world in “Awakening”, did the idea of expanding into a series take shape. In this first book, I introduce a number of themes and story lines that I wanted to explore further with other characters.

Q: Who designed the covers?

I am fortunate to have an amazing graphic designer as my brother! I contracted him to design the book covers as well as the look for my website. When he and I sat down to think about what I wanted my artwork and website to look like, we considered the fact that readers should immediately grasp both the story’s futuristic setting as well as the passionate romance that it revolves around. Furthermore, we wanted to develop a style that would become easily recognizable and carry through all books in the trilogy, and the other novels in “The Realm” series.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to say that I’m still learning what my writing style is! I think my writing is visual, straightforward and dramatic. I like building on tension by adding sub-plots, twists and maintaining a swift pace. A reader once told me that when they read my novels it’s like watching a movie. Since I LOVE movies, I take that as a high compliment!

Q: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

To be honest, finding enough time to write “Awakening” was probably the hardest part. I had lived with the story in my head for so many months that I was just really eager to get it all out. With two kids and a busy career in communications, I wrote more than half of the book in transit, on my iPad!

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Oh, I definitely do! When writer’s block happens it’s either because I’m rushing or I have a number of ideas bouncing around in my head and I’m struggling to decide which of them to choose for a scene or chapter. Fortunately, because I know the reason for my terrifying episodes of writer’s block, I can address them pretty quickly.

I focus my mind onto the objectives of the scene or chapter I’m working on by writing out a checklist or mapping out the actions in a bullet point list, then edit out the superfluous storylines. It sounds pretty tedious and humdrum, but this exercise helps me to get back to the main narrative of the story. I ask myself, “Did I accomplish what I needed to in this scene?” If so, then I move on. I may not have written the scene or chapter the way I had wanted, but I remind myself that I can revisit that section in editing.

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?

As mentioned, I love movies! Besides reading, they’re my favorite pastime. Most evenings, after helping kids with homework and settling them into bed, I curl up in the couch with my hubby and order on demand. I’ve even been known to go to the movies more than once in one weekend!

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

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and at When all else fails, Google my name; you’re sure to find me that way too!

Please join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from Rebel Miller’s book Promising.  ~Tina

AuThursday – Claire Gem

Claire_2522Please welcome Claire Gem. So Claire, how long have you been writing?

My love of writing began in the seventh grade when my English teacher, Miss Prather, took me aside and said the short story I’d written was exceptional, and that I had a real talent for writing. That’s all the encouragement I needed!

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style might be described as sporadic, since I tend to write huge chunks of my books in very short periods of time. Then I back off and let the story simmer. After a few days, my characters wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me to get back to work.

Q: How do you make time to write?

I write mostly early mornings, before my day job. Afternoons when I get home are fruitful, and sometimes in the middle of the night, when those pesky characters won’t let me sleep.

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

My as yet unpublished (because it’s not complete) novel, Time is a Ribbon, has been rumbling around in the back of my brain now for almost ten years. I’ve written over half of it, then stopped and started over in a different point of view. I just feel I’m not good enough yet to write this story, but when I am, it will be my best ever.

Q: I noticed you write under multiple pseudonyms, any benefits/challenges with extra names?

Benefits: I get to write different genres, and assume different personas – Frances Brown writes nonfiction, Claire Gem writes ghost stories, and Charlotte Daly writes contemporary romance. But that means multiple websites, Facebook pages, Twitter handles…the challenges? Remembering all the passwords.

Q: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I do travel in researching the locations for my books. For Phantom Traces, I visited about a dozen old libraries in New England to create just the right setting for a haunting.

My upcoming ghostly romance, Hearts Unloched, takes place in the Catskill mountains on Loch Sheldrake. I’ve spent many hours driving around the region, snapping pictures, and visiting the local museum.

The ending of Memories of You, Charlotte Daly’s upcoming novel, takes place in Lake George, N.Y. in winter—that involved a snowy weekend trip in a cabin on the lake.

Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Tell the story you would love to read. It’s really just that simple.

Q: Tell us your latest news?

Phantom Traces is now available in paperback, ebook, and audio. Memories of You, Book I in The Lake George Series, will be released early 2016 from Lachesis Publishing.

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

AuThursday – Annette Mardis

Annette Mardis author photoPlease welcome my fellow LSB writer, Annette Mardis.   Annette, a lot of writers are also readers. What book(s) are you reading now?

 I just finished Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews and That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart. Next on my list are On Sunset Beach by Mariah Stewart and The Summer’s End by Mary Alice Monroe. It’s probably no coincidence that all of them are contemporary romances that take place at the beach or at least near the water.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I spent most of my professional life as a newspaper journalist, and I’ve been told my style reflects that. I guess my writing is pretty straightforward. I try to mix in humor whenever possible because I love books and people that make me laugh. Author Debra Salonen said the dialogue between the two lead characters in my latest book, Shore to Please, reminded her of the old TV series Moonlighting.  I consider that a high compliment because I try to write snappy, entertaining and realistic dialogue.

Q:  How do you make time to write?

I work from home as a freelance editor, so not having to punch a time clock helps a lot. Also, I don’t have any children at home, unless you count my two dogs and pet parrot, so I have a lot more freedom to set my own schedule than some writers do.

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Yes. Setting the laptop aside and doing something else for a bit does wonders to clear my head. I’m a classic “pantser,” meaning I write by the seat of my pants instead of from an outline. Unfortunately, I think that lends itself to writer’s block because although I have a general idea of where my story is going, I’m not always sure how I’m going to get there until I place my fingers on the computer keys. Sometimes I think I’d be better off if I did an outline. But I don’t have the patience. As a full-time newspaper reporter and editor, I faced deadlines every single day and didn’t have time for writer’s block. Basically you sat down and did your job, no matter how you felt. I think that helped me develop a discipline that has served me well in my fiction writing career. But there are days that I sit and look at the screen and have no idea what to write. When that happens, you just have to force yourself to come up with something. The good news is you can always come back later and make it better if you’re not satisfied with it (and I never am).

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

It’s discouraging, absolutely, but I just told myself that if my work was any good, somebody, somewhere would take a chance on me. I was lucky to have found a publisher, Liquid Silver Books, for the first full-length novel I ever wrote. So thankfully I didn’t suffer years of rejection as some writers have. Digital publishing has opened up so many opportunities for authors that didn’t exist when the only options were finding an agent to pitch the manuscript to a traditional print publisher. Securing an agent is in itself a monumental challenge. But thankfully you don’t have to have an agent to submit a book to most digital publishers today. And a lot of them specialize in romance, which is another plus.


Q: How did you come up with the idea for your “Shore” series?

I’m a believer in writing what you know, so it’s not a coincidence that the Gulf Shore series is set in Florida, where I’ve lived all my life, and at an aquarium. I’ve loved dolphins since I was a child, and I volunteer at a marine animal hospital in Clearwater where the Dolphin Tale movies were filmed. While I most definitely am not writing about the people, policies and animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, I have gotten story ideas from my experiences there, and I’ve learned a great deal about how such facilities operate. I also have done a lot of research about marine animals, and my husband and I have saltwater aquariums in our home. In addition, Shore to Please introduces a new character who is a newspaper reporter, so that’s another way I’ve used my personal knowledge of a subject or a profession to bring believability to my books.

Q: Which one of your covers is your favorite and why?

That’s a difficult question because I love all my Gulf Shore covers. Valerie Tibbs is my cover designer, and she’s done such a marvelous job on all three. My favorite book is always my latest one, so if I have to choose I’d say Shore to Please.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m working on Shore is Magical, the next book in the Gulf Shore series and my first paranormal romance. Kenshin Hamasaki, Gulf Shore Aquarium’s supervisor of marine mammals, who appears in the three previous books, will finally meet his match. Marina is unlike any character I’ve ever written, and telling her story is turning out to be a challenge.

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

Website and blog:


Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48



















AuThursday – Anneka Ever

Anneka Ever Head Shot (1)

Please welcome fellow LSB author Anneka Ever to the Clog Blog!  Woot! Woot! Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?

The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book. I’ve read it more than 50 times. The works of Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King. It’s strange that I ended up writing romance.

Q:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Rita Sims Quillen (author of Her Secret Dream, Counting the Sums, and Hiding Ezra) has been my teacher and cheerleader. She’s very generous with her time and wisdom.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

I try to write with clarity and beautiful language. I hope that comes through in my work.

Q: What inspired you to write Riverswept?

I wanted to write a love letter to the mountains of Virginia. The final story turned out completely different from the first draft, but my love for the mountains remains evident throughout Riverswept.

Q: How much research did you conduct for Riverswept  and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?

Most of the research I conducted concerned the biodiversity of the Clinch River and the endangered species that call it home. My other research was hands-on activities, such as kayaking down the river. In Riverswept, the Clinch River became the Burns River.

Q: What was the most difficult aspect of writing Riverswept?

Revisions. Writing the first draft was fun but revising seemed more like work.

Q: What are your current projects?

Right now I’m working on another romance set in the fictional town of Burns, the town where Riverswept takes place. My Riverswept couple make a brief cameo appearance in this new book, but its main focus is a new couple.

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

My website is

Social media links:







AuThursday – Cheryl Dragon

Please join me today  welcoming fellow RP writer Cheryl Dragon.  Welcome Cheryl.  So Cheryl, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing in various genres since after college. I dabbled to find my voice and strengths. Finally I found erotic romance and sold my first book in 2006.

 Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

I tend to write tight and fast paced. Lots of hot stuff…

Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Not usually. If I hit a wall, I’ll change books and usually that works.

Q:  How much of your books are realistic?

Lol…well, I write a lot of ménage stories but I think that people could do that if they wanted toJ With the exception of my paranormals…I think my books/characters are fairly realistic. A lot of people experiment with sex, be it BDSM play or other ways. It’s just not something people talk about openly.

Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

 I never got a call, but I got an email from my first EC editor. I’d had a request for a full before a big conference. I had a pitch appointment with EC at the conference. Talk about crossed wires! After the conference, a day or two, I got the email that EC wanted the book! That was the summer of 2006 so there were fewer epubs back then.

 Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

The biggest misconception is that it’s all sex and basically porn for women. There is a lot of sex but also a lot of emotion as well. The romance is a big part of it. Readers want an emotionally satisfying ending! They want the fantasy of the perfect partner who understands AND sexually thrills the heroine.

 Q: Have you ever been asked to “sex-up or sex-down your books”?

No, I’ve never been asked. Normally I have a lot of sex in my books but no complaints.

 Q:  What is on tap for 2013?

 Tons! The first book in my new Masters Wanted series—Love & History — released January 9th! It’s M/F Light BDSM contemporary erotic romance. I don’t write hardcore BDSM and I wanted a series that reflected the BDSM stuff that I enjoy/write. So the series is centered on heroines who aren’t necessarily new to being submissive. They knew how they want to play and are looking for Masters…specifically Bedroom Doms who don’t need to frequent clubs, groups, or show off in front of others to enjoy satisfy their subs.

 Love & History is the first book in Masters Wanted and available at Resplendence Publishing and All Romance eBooks

 Also at the end of January, I have my first Siren release with two things I love! Ménage + erotic romance and wine… Make sure to check out Pinot Noir Nights!

 2013 is already pretty busy!

 Don’t miss my All Male Nudes! Series. Book one is out, Hot Rivals, and more are coming. MM yummy stripper fun.

 Plus I’m up for a CAPA award over at TRS. Keep your fingers crossed that 4 Bikers & A Witch wins for Best Paranormal Romance!

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the world wide web?

Join me Saturday for Sexcerpt from Love & History by Cheryl Dragon.

Until then be Naughty,


AuThursday – Rhonda Print

Please welcome fellow LSB Author Rhonda Print as she joins us today.  Thanks for joining us Rhonda.  We’ll jump right into it.

Q:  Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really. My characters rule my books and sometimes it feels like I’m just the fingers at the keyboard!

Q:  If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Erma Bombeck for giving me the courage to just sit down and do it!

Q:  Who designs your book covers?

The extremely talented April Martinez!

Q:  What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Sitting down and doing it!

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up and don’t do it for the money. Write because its what you love to do!

Q:  How do you make time to write?

 Very carefully! Some days I’m at the keyboard for hours and sometimes I can’t write a word to save my life. LOL

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

 Mostly my characters. I have a plot line but they usually mold it to their liking.

 Q:  Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”

 I didn’t really have a major epiphany of “Hey, I need to write!” Nightwalker brewed in my head for a while then burst out of me and onto my laptop!

 Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?  My books are available at,, and many other fine retailers. Nightwalker: A Leah Wolfe SINS Novel is also available in print at

I also have a facebook page and can be found at and my publisher at

Thanks again to the lovely Rhonda Print for joining us today.  Come back on Saturday to read an excerpt from “Order of Chaos”

AuThursday – Jannifer Hoffman

Please join me in welcoming Jannifer Hoffman to The Clog Blog.  Welcome Jannifer, we are so happy to have you back!  On to our questions…

Q: How long have you been writing?

I started Ceremony of Deception in 1974 (Yikes) after reading The Flame and the Flower and Sweet Savage Love.  The 1972 Robert Redford movie Jeremiah Johnson inspired it. I did spend 15 years in there were I gave up writing. I started again in 1998 when I did Secrets of the Heart.


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

Definitely Ceremony of Deception.  Writing historicals takes a lot of research. But more important after the first two or three drafts I realized I didn’t know anything about writing. I joined a writers group and started taking every writing class I could find. Did I mention Ceremony probably had 25 drafts!
Q:  Which country would you most like to visit and why?

I’ve been on 26 cruises. So I’d have a hard time naming a country I haven’t been to. (Did I mention I love to cruise?) On second thought, I guess maybe Egypt. I haven’t seen the Pyramids. By the way, nearly all my trips were paid for by sewing.

Q:  Which author would you most like to meet and why?

Going to writers conferences I’ve met a lot of authors. I loved meeting Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer who did a workshop together. I would like to meet Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I even like yellow books after reading “Nobody’s baby but Mine” I guess that’s what inspired Random Fire.


I think Bob Mayer is a genius when it comes to explainining the biz and how to plot. 

 Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I can sit down and write in the middle of a wild party. I’m a pantser. I envy people who can do outlines. It just doesn’t work for me.  I do have some goals I head toward but they don’t go too far in advance. I read a quote the other day that I love. “Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights but you can make the whole trip that way.” That describes me perfectly. I don’t remember who said it.


 Q:  What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?

Patience and perseverance and don’t quite your day job. And don’t expect to become rich unless you can come up with a gimmick like Harry Potter. It could take a long time to get to where Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, etc, etc. are.  . I can’t believe myself I’ve written nine books. When people ask me how they should start writng I say, “One word at a time.”

Q:  What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

Frankly, I don’t understand the popularity of the genre. They must be geared for people who are younger than I am. They do sell is all I know. I have one planned for that reason, but I won’t be publishing it under my own name.


I understand perfectly…it’s the reason I have a pseudonym.  And I’m always happy the genre is popular.   🙂   

Q:  What is on tap for 2012?

I have one book due in February for a September release and another due in July for a December release.


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

I have a website:

Join me on Saturday when we read a Sexy Excerpt from Jannifer’s Book, Blood Crystal.

Until then…be Naughty,


AuThursday – JL Wilson

JL Wilson also writes for Resplendence Publishing.  Let’s get down to it shall we:

Q: How long have you been writing?

I’m a professional technical writer and I’ve been doing that for almost 30 years. As to fiction, I started to seriously write in 2004 and I sold my first book in 2006.

Q:  What books have most influenced your life most?

Different books influenced me at different times. My mother served on the Library Board in my town, so she was a buyer and she let me help select books (what a fun time that was!) She encouraged me to read outside my age group, and I did so, reading a lot of mysteries and science fiction when I was young.

In high school I read a lot of classics. Then I went to college and majored in English and I fell in love with William Dean Howells, William and Henry James, and Scott Fitzgerald. Along the way, I read a lot of mysteries and science fiction: John Creasy, Anne Perry, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert.

I think three books that influenced me most are Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I had never read a romance novel before reading that, and it opened up realms of reading to me. I read that book in 2003 and I realized, as I read it, that she wrote exactly the book she wanted and she got published. Maybe there was hope for me.

Another book was …And Ladies of the Club. This was written by an elderly lady and is a charming novel about life at the turn of the last century. Again: she wrote exactly what she wanted, persevered, and got published.

And lastly is Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was such a richly developed world with such strong characters.

All three of those books taught me to follow my heart in my writing and to write the story that I want to read. If I do that, the book will appeal to others.

Q:  What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I fly by the seat of my pants, mostly. I usually start with the germ of an idea. Here’s what I’m working on now: a woman’s late husband, a firefighter, was killed in a fire. His ghost comes back to haunt her when the investigation into his death is reopened. She feels guilty because the last words she spoke to him were to tell him she wanted a divorce.

Now: where will the book go from there? Who will the hero be: the late husband? Or the ex-cop whose wife was also killed in the fire and the man who requested that the investigation be re-opened. Where will it take place? When (spring? Summer? Fall?) Who’s the bad guy? Why was he killed?

What is her motivation for finding his killer? How will she manage her guilt? What kind of person is she? What are her habits, her loves, her dislikes?

Somehow, by the time I’m done, I’ve created the people, answered the questions, and had a lot of fun writing the book.

Q:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I tend to get sloppy when I have an idea I want to get on the page. I repeat words, phrases, or my characters will often sound alike. I have to go back through and tweak it, looking for my ‘bads’ – I keep a list of words handy and I search for those to change them. And I make sure to read each character’s dialog separately from other dialog, so I can be sure it sounds true to the character.

Q:  Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I don’t travel to do research, but a lot of what I see on my travels ends up in my books. I do travel, though, on book-related business because I attend several writing conferences a year, and frequently speak on panels and give talks.

Q:  How much research do you do for a book?

For my historical books (the History Patrol series) I do extensive research. Those books involve time travel so I have to make sure my details are correct.

For my contemporary mysteries, I have to do a moderate amount of research. I usually end up talking to someone in ‘the business’ – a firefighter, a cop, etc. And of course I love to search the Web and find details, etc. I keep all of that sort of information in a spiral notebook, one for each book and it goes with me wherever I go.

Q:  Do you have any advice for other writers?

I teach a writing class, and I try to stress that your writing should be enjoyable for you. It should never become a chore, because if it does, that will come out in your words. Enjoy what you do, make time for your writing every day (even if it’s just carving out a few minutes), and keep learning. You can always take online classes, talk with other writers, join a writing group – think of yourself as a Writer and act accordingly.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I had 11 books release in 2011 (see my web site,, for the complete list). Some were new releases, some were re-releases, and some were print versions of previously released digital books. So in 2012 I’ll be promoting those books.

I’m planning on a mid-year release in 2012 for Twistered, my Oz-as-mystery story.  I’m now working on using Winnie the Pooh as the basis for a murder mystery (yes, my mind works in odd ways). I’m also working on a new History Patrol novel, this one set in 1897 and it involves the assassin of John Wilkes’ Booth (the man who killed Booth—true story).

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for your “New Human” series?

The series began as a conclusion to a 6-book series I’ve been writing, off and on, for a year or more. That series is set in an alternate America, and when I mapped out the final book in the series, I thought, “What am I going to do with my villains?” There is a rival group vying for power on Earth and I couldn’t just kill them all off. So I sent them to a new planet—Delmorna.

Once I got them on the planet, so to speak, I had to decide what to do with them. That gave me an opportunity to address what I perceive as many social problems: racial inequality, law enforcement issues, and poverty. This was a whole new world I could design myself. And I had a lot of fun doing it!

I think that’s why it appeals to people—they see a lot of our current problems ‘solved’ but other problems crop up along the way. I think it gives people hope that by working together, the big problems can be resolved.

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

My web site is a good place to start since it has pointed to other spots:

Or readers can find me at Facebook ( ) or Twitter (@JLwriter).