The Next Chapter

Hello to my loyal readers. Some of you follow the YouTube re-runs. Others enjoy the Teaser Tuesdays and Guest Posts. No matter what your preference, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog. Sounds like a farewell doesn’t it? Rest assured, it’s an “Until we meet again.”

I have been managing this blog since December 2012. I have met some pretty fantastic folks through this medium. The next chapter of my life is beginning, however, and with that comes self-reflection and prioritizing.

I enrolled in a Ph.D. program and will begin classes on April 10th. From what I understand, most of my time will be spent reading, writing, and studying. In fact, I’m told that this will take about 20 hours a week out of my time. It’s basically a part-time job. My grand plan was to finish Between Worlds book 4 and then 5. I think that’s going to have to wait.

I will be finished with my Ph.D. in September 2020, maybe sooner depending on how much work I’ve already completed on my dissertation by that time. After that I will be a “doctor.” My specialization will be in education (e.g., an educational psychologist) with an emphasis in teaching and instruction. My dream and sincere hope is that I am then able to climb in academia and grab a full-time, tenure track professor’s position.

Here’s how I look at the situation. If I lived through all of the turmoil and hardship of 2014, I can accomplish anything. This path I’m about to take will take time and patience. It will take determination. It will take battling against burn out and taking a few hours of time each day to devote to studying and composition. When it’s all said and done, I will be able to check another thing off of my bucket list: becoming a doctor with pretty little letters after my name: Tracy Wilson, Ph.D. (or Tracee Ford as you know me). When someone says, “Hey Doc,” they will actually be talking to me. I can publish research AND fiction.

I do plan to publish a memoir in October, nonetheless. It’s done and simply waiting for me to hit the “publish” button. It’s going to cover a lot of my personal paranormal experiences, but I have much more to add to that. Still, if I still don’t have peace about this project, it may be placed on the back burner as well, seeing publication at a much later date.

I am also anticipating going back to teaching at the local university part-time in August. Spring semester is wrapping up, which is why I scheduled doctoral classes through the summer. So, when Fall rolls around, I will be not only instructing, but I will be a student as well as a mom and a wife. I’m not sure I will have the time I need to be a blogger and a YouTube creator until I get through this journey.

With that being said, below you’ll find the remaining Guest Posts and YouTube schedule below. If after reading this, you decide to get together and send me a boat-load of guest posts, that’s okay. I’ll keep scheduling folks as long as the submissions keep coming in. If not, that’s okay, too.

3/28: B. Ferrante, guest post

4/4: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Scary Movies

4/11: I. Monique, guest post

4/18: Mary Edwards, guest post

4/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Spirit Guides

4/25: C. Zielinski, guest post

5/5: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Orbs

5/9: Mary Edwards, guest post

5/16: W. Luthman, guest post

5/19: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Soulmates

5/23: Mary Edwards, guest post (final Teaser Tuesday post)

6/2: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Divine Intervention

6/16: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Healers

7/7: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Seers

7/21: Freaky Friday YouTube, Spiritus Walking: Faith (final Freaky Friday post)

Again, thank you for always reading my rants and my posts. I won’t disappear completely, I promise. I have too much to give. This might end up being a great place to post my research findings, so those of you who are geeks like me might enjoy my publications.

Peace out.

Calling out for more submissions: Are you a writer? Unpublished even? Please read!

Howdy everyone! So, here we are on the cusp of Spring. I’m searching for writers again. I have filled up dates until May and am in need of filling spots for the summer months and into fall. If you have already submitted to me, it’s okay. You can submit again, but I need new material from you. If you have never submitted anything to me, that’s even better. Whether you’re published or not, it doesn’t matter. If you have poetry just waiting to be shared or short stories hidden away in a dusty corner of your world, please consider sharing them with me. I would love to show them to this little group of followers.

Consider this a blog hop as well. So if you have your own blog and would like to bring folks to it, send me information and I’ll include you in this endeavor.

You can submit to the blog by clicking the link “submit an article.” I hope to hear from you quite soon. I have dates from May onward. If I cannot them filled, I’m not sure if I will continue with the “Teaser Tuesday.” I am preparing to take a new path in my life and my time will be limited, so I’m hoping that the guest posts can keep the tradition going.

Thanks for your help and consideration.

Upcoming Events: September, October, November, & December

Hi everyone and I hope this post finds you having a great Sunday! I am posting to let you know the line up for the remainder of this year. It has been an exciting one, hasn’t it? So much has happened since January 2013 and here we are staring into the face of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

So, here are all the exciting things that are happening:

On my YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2O27s3YyDjvpVwKWE6kHJQ/videos) the Bumps in the Night series is coming to a close. There’s only three more episodes left (9/19/13, 9/26/13, and 10/3/13). However, I will be continuing my glance into the paranormal as we discuss some other subjects. The line up is as follows:

10/17/13: Shadow People

11/7/13: Ghosts

11/21/13:  Why are Scary Movies so Scary?

12/5/13: Spirit Guides

12/19/13: Gifts of the Supernatural Kind

65a52968-e08a-4cd6-aea4-53bdfab6dceb_world_of_ink_network_logoAs for events and appearances, I will be at the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, WV on Saturday, 9/21/13. In October, I will be setting up a booth at the Waverly Zombie Walk (10/12/13). On October 25th at 10 p.m. EST I will be a guest on Willow Cross‘s excellent blogtalkradio series (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork) . November and December appearances are still in the works, but it will likely be at The Tea Caddy of Jackson.

As for social media events, I will be setting up another “Like” party for Southern Ohio Ghost Hunters (10/28-10/31/13) and Idolum (11/25-11/28/13). “Like” parties are awesome and a great way to encourage traffic to your site.  There will be winners selected from these two events for free ebooks of Between Worlds (volume 1) and Idolum. Last, but not least, the Aspiring Authors Autumn Blog Tour kicks off on November 1st and lasts until the 30th. Two winners will be selected from that group for ebooks as well.

I have also decided to come up with yet a third career (lol!). I have decided to become a marketing coach as well as a party host. I want to start out with the hosting very slow because I’m limited by time constraints as well as my other obligations to working outside of the home. As a marketing coach, I can be little more flexible.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Richard Long

Tonight’s second featured author is Richard Long.  He write paranormal thrillers and occult horror.  Thank you so much Richard for participating!  You have officially wrapped this tour up!

Thanks so much everyone for following and reading.  I truly wish all of the authors with whom I’ve had the pleasure of featuring all of the success in the world!!!!

Enjoy the final interview folks!

RL ContrastyTitle: The Book of Paul                 
Author: Richard Long

Genres: Paranormal Thriller/Occult Horror
Website: http://www.theBookofPaul.com

Blog: http://www.theBookofPaul.com

Social Media connections:

Blog: http://www.thebookofpaul.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RichardLongAuthor#
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RichardLongNYC
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/O72Fm0
Blog Talk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richardlongnyc
Google+: http://bit.ly/LYZFG0
YouTube: http://bit.ly/Ne5yAW
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/richardlongnyc/

Release Date: June 6, 2012
Where to buy: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/LJf2nX
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/NpEy0E
iTunes: http://bit.ly/Mo9fBc
Reviews:

Praise for The Book of Paul:

“Long’s prose is deft and clear, transporting the reader from one character’s psyche to the next…this tale is a compelling one. A psychological thriller for readers who are bored with run-of-the-mill horror…Those who embrace the genre will eagerly anticipate a second installment in the series.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Long is doubtless going to build a large and loyal fan base composed of people just like him: literate folks with a bizarre sense of humor who prefer salsa to sugar, red meat to broccoli, and a bucket of blood to a bath filled with rose petals. They will be waiting for the next installment.”

ForeWord Clarion Reviews

“The Book of Paul is a surreal spellbinding tale of terror and horror destined for bestseller status.”

RJ Parker – acclaimed bestselling true crime author of The Serial Killer Compendium

“Totally absorbing! The Book of Paul is moving, profound, funny, terrifying and never lets you go.  The prose is swift and sharp… at times, even poetic. Masterful storytelling. Hats off!”

Henry Bean – writer/director of The Believer

 

“Intelligent and compelling. Elegantly written, immensely entertaining and original, Richard Long’s The Book of Paul is a very unusual novel – so suspenseful and entertaining that I kept on reading late into the night, wondering what the next chapter would bring. I strongly recommend it.”

James H. Cone, author of The Cross and the Lynching Tree

BOPCreateSpcFIN 9lo Amazon: http://amzn.to/YBeumD

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ZZSWln

 

Other Work:

Forthcoming:

The Dream Palace

The Bone King

The Book of Druids

 

 

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book:

Monsters

You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will be all right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.

Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below. Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hopscotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.

“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”

Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to square number five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-gingham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.

The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.

Paul leaned closer, his keen ears straining to pick up the faint sound of her shiny leather shoes scraping against the grimy concrete. He focused even more intently and heard the even fainter lilt of her soft voice. Was she singing? He pressed his ear against the glass and listened. Sure enough, she was singing. Paul smiled and closed his eyes and let the sound pour into his ear like a rich, fragrant wine.

“One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…”

He listened with his eyes closed. Her soft sweet voice rose higher and higher until…the singing suddenly stopped. Paul’s eyes snapped open. The girl was gone. He craned his neck quickly to the left and saw her being pulled roughly down the street. The puller was a large, light-skinned black man, tugging on her hand/arm every two seconds like he was dragging a dog by its leash. At first, he guessed that the man was her father, a commodity as rare in this part of town as a fresh-scrubbed girl playing hopscotch. Then he wondered if he wasn’t her father after all. Maybe he was one of those kinds of men, one of those monsters that would take a sweet, pure thing to a dark, dirty place and…

And do whatever a monster like that wanted to do.

Paul pressed his face against the glass and caught a last fleeting glance of the big brown man and the tiny red-checkered girl. He watched the way he yanked on her arm, how he shook his finger, how he stooped down to slap her face and finally concluded that he was indeed her one and only Daddy dear. Who else would dare to act that way in public?

“Kids!” Paul huffed. “The kids these days!”

He laughed loud enough to rattle the windows. Then his face hardened by degrees as he pictured the yanking daddy and the formerly happy girl. Hmmm, maybe he was one of those prowling monsters after all. Paul shuddered at the thought of what a man like that would do. He imagined the scene unfolding step by step, grunting as the vision became more and more precise. “Hhmph!” he snorted after a particularly gruesome imagining. “What kind of a bug could get inside your brain and make you do a thing like that?”

“Monsters! Monsters!” he shouted, rambling back into the wasteland of his labyrinthine apartments, twisting and turning through the maze of lightless hallways as if being led by a seeing-eye dog. He walked and turned and walked some more, comforted as always by the darkness. Finally, he came to a halt and pushed hard against a wall.

His hidden sanctuary opened like Ali Baba’s cave, glowing with the treasures it contained. He stepped inside and saw the figure resting (well, not exactly resting) between the flickering candles. At the sound of his footsteps, the body on the altar twitched frantically. Paul moved closer, rubbing a smooth fingertip across the wet, trembling skin and raised it to his lips. It tasted like fear. He gazed down at the man, his eyes moving slowly from his ashen face to the rusty nails holding him so firmly in place. The warm, dark blood shining on the wooden altar made him think about the red-gingham bunny again.

“Monsters,” he said, more softly this time, wishing he weren’t so busy. As much as he would enjoy it, there simply wasn’t enough time to clean up this mess, prepare for his guests and track her down. Well, not her, precisely. Her angry tugging dad. Not that Paul had any trouble killing little girls, you understand. It just wasn’t his thing. Given a choice, he would much rather kill her father. And make her watch.

 

 

 

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

I think I was four years old. Did a lot of drawing too.

 

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I thought I was going to be an artist. I began using a lot of text in my paintings and drawings, so I shifted my primary focus to writing.

 

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

I prefer to mix it up¾like in a blender. The Book of Paul is a paranormal thriller with occult horror, mystery, sci-fi, humor and erotica. Trying to describe it in a single sentence is perhaps my most difficult task as a writer.

 

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

I’m inspired by the BIG questions. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? What is this thing we call reality? I’m equally fascinated by people, particularly fringe types like the characters in this book. People who are out there.

 

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

I’m an indie, so my publishing experience has been…a hell of a lot of work. Book jacket design, interior text design, formatting, epublishing, and the million and five things you need to do in the marketing realm, like blog tours!

 

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

No music. I sit in the same rocking chair every day, because it’s the most comfortable chair for me to sit in for long periods of time. I start writing as soon as I have enough caffeine in me and I keep writing until I’m exhausted.

 

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

I use a phone book. Seriously, I use names that pop into my head, or if I don’t like what’s popping, I’ll go online and look at baby name indexes and browse until one strikes my fancy. As for place names, they come fairly easily.

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?

My favorite character in The Book of Paul is…Paul. Paul is the antagonist, to put it mildly. A villain’s villain and tons of fun to write. He’s a very complex character. Extremely smart, cunning, ruthlessly ambitious and gleefully evil. What’s not to love?

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

I learned so much. This book was extremely research intensive. The mythology in the paranormal/occult storyline includes and precedes ancient Egyptian and Celtic cultures. There is also a modern day sci-fi element that required a great deal of research. Luckily, I love to learn. My curiosity takes me to all sorts of interesting places. Ditto for readers.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

A lot of social marketing, through the usual channels. I’ve got a strong following on Twitter and Facebook. I do a lot of blog tours and some advertising. Recently I started a weekly blog radio show called The Dead End¾named after a very sinister social club in The Book of Paul. I really enjoy that. One of my secret desires was to host a radio show. Ta da! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richardlongnyc

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

The first time I held a printed copy of The Book of Paul in my hands it felt fantastic. Jason Heuer did a terrific job on the jacket design, so I was really proud of that too.

 

12   Favourite authors (and playwrights)? 

Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Oliver Sacks, Colum McCann, Edward Albee, Enda Walsh, Martin MacDonagh.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

Long Walks. Very long walks.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Write, write, write. If you’re good, hang around people that remind you that you are.

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

The Dream Palace is the first volume of YA fantasy series. Should be done about…soon.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Emily Guido

Hello everyone.  The Blog Tour is in it’s final days.  I truly hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all of these fantastic authors.  Tonight, Emily Guido has the state.  She has published several titles and is a sister author for PDMI.  Thanks so much Emily for joining the blog tour!  Enjoy the interview!

By the way, Emily is offering a giveaway, so please go to Facebook to view the event page!  https://www.facebook.com/events/317868315002099/

EmilyGuido_AuthorPic_3About the Author:

Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. She was inspired to start writing “Charmeine” because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. Not ever dreaming a week later she would have over a 100,000 words written. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.  The novels “Mactus,” “Accendo,” “Seditious,” and “Ransom,” are the continuation of the wonderful adventures of the inhabitants of The Castle Charmeine!

Emily is currently writing “Conundrum” the Sixth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” She is currently working at a College full time, and pursuing her Master of Business Administration.

YA, PNR, Paranormal Romance, Vampire, Angels, Action and Adventure, Historical

Where to find/follow Emily:

Website: http://authoremilyguido.com/

Website: http://emilyguido.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764521.Emily_Guido

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Emily__Guido

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelightbearernovelist

“Charmeine” First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0095B6IJC

“Mactus” Second Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009D6226M/

“Accendo” Third Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009J7P7E4/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter?

“Charmeine” the First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series,” was released January 2012.

Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events.

Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997, unable to remember anything.

When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.

Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies?   Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Title: “Charmeine” the First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”   
Author: Emily Guido

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Chic Lit, Fantasy
Website: http://authoremilyguido.com/

Blog: http://emilyguido.com/

Social Media connections:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Emily__Guido

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelightbearernovelist

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764521.Emily_Guido

Release Date: September 22, 2012
Where to buy:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0095B6IJC

Smashwords :  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/238502

Reviews:

RAVE REVIEWS for Charmeine by Author Emily Guido

“Emily has created a world of LOVE going so deep, the hardcore romantic within me can totally feel the characters emotions.”

Lovetiggi

“This novel is much more than a book about Vampires and Angels, it was an adventure! I cannot tell you the ending but suffice it to say it will have you turning the page for more and more.”

Kathleen Burns

“Romance between a Vampire and a light bearer is something so new, I had to read this book to find out what the buzz and feel is all about … All I can say is that book didn’t disappoint at all! A must read!”

Fathima Amiruddin

“This is a great read, and a terrific debut novel!”

Susan Ashcraft

“The author’s story got me hooked. I think the readers will feel the same.”

Carol Fitzpatrick

“This story is a fantastically tender, romantic one of timeless love.

This story is well worth a read!”

Melanie Adkins

“The scenes were beautifully described and the plot is creative and intriguing.

The Light-Bearer Series is sure to be the next fabulous Angel series on your

“To-Read” shelf!”

Cassie

“Well done Emily, this is a great debut novel!”

Samantha Adams

Other Work:

“Mactus” Second Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009D6226M/

“Accendo” Third Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009J7P7E4/

 Facebook Emily

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

All of a sudden, Charleen felt a warm, wet bolt of lightning going through her which did not hurt. She grabbed him around his waist and pulled him close to her.

Tabbruis did not know why but her blood was exquisite. He had never tasted someone’s blood which fired his passion and desire. He held her close.

She could hear him softly growl as he licked the wound. The sounds didn’t scare her…it thrilled her. She moaned gently with feelings of sexual pleasure. Her chest swelled, and her heart raced.

He fought to keep his fangs in his gums. Her blood was like an answer to his hunger which had burned in him for centuries. Tabbruis felt her power in the blood. Her blood was intoxicating him with sexual want.  His feelings of desire intensified. He could not control the urge to take her into his arms and never let her go until they both had sweet relief.

Charleen moaned louder. The sexual electricity was flying up and down her body. Her body hummed with desire. She dug her nails into his back to draw him closer to her.

Tabbruis knew she was as excited as he was…

At that moment, his fangs appeared. Quickly, he moved away from her turning around and covering his mouth.

Charleen slowly opened her heavy-hooded eyes with a hunger she never had before. She felt a sexual need for this man in front of her. She asked breathlessly, “Why…did you stop? What’s the matter? Have I done something…wrong?”

Tabbruis’ fangs retracted, and he took his hand down. He turned around panting and saw her brown eyes full of desire.

She could see the want in his deep green eyes. His eyes were replaced by rings of smokiness with pinpoints of green in them.

Trying to catch his breath, Tabbruis replied, “In my life, I have never tasted blood so powerful and intoxicating.”

“Powerful? Intoxicating?” She thought, ‘God, he is so damn sexy! Control yourself Charleen! Control!’

Tabbruis was still breathless and tried to explain without revealing his desire which radiated in his pin-point eyes of lust. He blinked a few times and tried to slow his breathing down. He wanted her badly and ached to hold her again. Trying to maintain his composure he answered, “Yes, your blood is very potent. I am sorry. My fangs became exposed while closing your wound. The pleasure was… Again, I am sorry; it was a reflex. I do not want to scare you.”

Charleen shook her head; her chest was still struggling for breath going up and down. She said in gasps, “You did not scare me…believe me. It was something…totally different.” She tried to recover her senses but her attraction to him was making her heart pound through her chest.

Tabbruis was just as breathless with yearning, never wanting anyone more than this innocent Light-Bearer in front of him. He could see in her eyes she wanted him too. As he gradually got control of his senses, he wondered why she would want him. They were from different worlds.

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

I was always a good writer, but never had I written a novel until 2012.  I loved my American and English Literature in college.  I would write epic term papers with no problems.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

Deep down, I always loved to write. Also, I was a musician and play violin and piano and sing.  So, I planned on being a musician until I learned I wasn’t near good enough.  Then I went into business.  Right now, I’m finishing my MBA and plan on continuing to write.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?

I am drawn to Paranormal Romance.  However, been thinking of branching out with another genre of contemporary romance and ghost writing biographies.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

I loved vampire stories ever since I was a little girl.  My sister passed away from Leukaemia. Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated how blood can give life.  It is for her that I write these Paranormal Romances for.  My sis, Connie, would have loved them so much. She was a huge fan of “Dark Shadows.”

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

I am with PDMI Direct Publishing.  I have liked the experience a lot.  They are very attentive to all my needs and always work with me to get things done.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

I love to put my headphones on and just write, write, write.  I usually sit on my couch or my kitchen table.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

Glad you asked!  Each character came from Angels names or Greek Mythology.  I have been asked why did you name your hero Tabbruis (Tab-bree-us) or Heroine Charmeine?  It’s because Tabbruis is the name for the Angel of Self-Determination and Charmeine is the Angel of Harmony.  I went to Catholic School… so the Saints and Angels were used a lot.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?

My favourite character is Dmitri Maximus, Tabbruis’ bestfriend/Brother and Charmeine’s trusted Advisor.  He is the oldest of the Blood-Hunters and very wise.  Also, he is very funny and always has a comment to say… his signature, “Oh my…” cracks me up.  Plus he is so GORGEOUS!  He is 6’4”, long black hair he ties back, deep blue eyes which could melt you to the ground, built with wonderful big muscles and abs… ahh, he’s an Adonis on Earth.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

Yes!  I learned a lot!  I learned that editing can make or break a book.  I have a lot of unedited copies of the book out there, and I regret it.  The book is so good now… but all those unedited books out in cyberspace make me very sad.  However, I stated on Goodreads that I will replace ANY OLD VERSION OF MY BOOKS FREE, if they write my email and ask guido.emily@gmail.com.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

I market on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Authonomy, World Literary Café, Romance Writers of America and tons of Linked-In social media groups.  Also, I attend conferences and book-signings whenever I can.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

It was so wonderful to see your name in print. You have no idea.  For all the struggle, heartache, long hours of tedious work and promotion, my book was finally in front of me… God Bless me but I cried like a baby with joy!

12   Favourite authors? 

Bram Stoker, Jane Austen, Mary (Wollstonecraft Godwin) Shelly

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

No, when I write, they story is there in my head.  If I don’t have the story in my head, I don’t even attempt to write, it only leads to frustration and unnecessary angst.  So I literally forget about it until I have it in my head.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Just do it!  There is nothing to lose by just writing your story and vision out.  However, never publish without editing.  I did, and I regret those early versions more than you will ever know.  Because inevitably, someone will review an early version… and I just cringe.

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

I am working on editing the Fourth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” called “Seditious” and it is yummy evil… just so enough to give my hero and heroine a run for their money.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Authors: D.C McGannon & C. Michael McGannon

Tonight I have the distinct pleasure of introducing two talented authors in double interview. They write young adult and dark fantasy. I’d like to thank them very much for participating in the tour! And thank you all for reading!  Enjoy the interview everyone!

Title: Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: Witch Moon (Book 2)

 

Author_CMichaelMcGannon (2)Author: D.C. McGannon & C. Michael McGannon

Genre: YA/MG Dark Fantasy, Adventure

 

Website: http://www.MonsterHunters-TheBook.com

Blog: http://www.DCMcGannon.com

Social Media connections:

http://www.facebook.com/DCMcGannon  http://www.facebook.com/CMichaelMcGannon  http://www.twitter.com/DCMcGannon  http://www.twitter.com/MichaelMcGannon  http://www.goodreads.com/DCMcGannon  http://www.goodreads.com/cmichaelmcgannon

Release Date: April 9, 2013

 

Where to buy: (Book 1 is available now, Book 2 in April)  Amazon, B&N, website, featured indie bookstores

Reviews:

“I enjoyed the story immensely, the characters were introduced smoothly and interacted well with each other. Especially gratified when a feeling about the sinisterish figure at “Hunter’s Key” turned out to be correct, and without giving any spoilers away, he fitted his role beautifully. Once the Charlie and friends crossed over the bridge to monster country, the other world was entirely believable: traditional mythological creatures together with some of the authors’ invention were realistic, and acted in character. The comical Dink & Fish add a splash of humour to the story, and I was particularly impressed by the originality of the magical artefacts introduced, and the manner in which they were utilised.

The formatting is without fault – I loved the little title motifs, a really nice touch. Overall, the structure of the story worked, and I had no trouble entering the world of Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters, and I look forward to reading the next title “Witch Moon”, which I understand is due for release very soon. In my opinion, this series deserves to be a huge hit, and I would urge anyone reading this review to download a sample, I can guarantee you’ll be hooked!”

AuthorPic_DCMcGannon (2)

“D.C. and Michael pack a wealth of wonder and fantasy into this young adult adventure. Incoporating some of the most fascinating legends…I found myself being drawn to the depth of the characters and enjoyed watching their bonds grow as they explored the gifts hidden deep within them as well as the evil that hunts for them.

I recommend this story for anyone who loves folklore and monstrous fun! From vampires to dragons, from witches to eerie ferrymen, this tale has it all.”

“This is totally my kind of book. Creepy mansion and awesome magic? Check. Strange creatures? Yep. Interesting characters? Indubitably. This. Book. Is. Awesome. So jeez, why are you still reading this? Go read the book!!!”

Other Work: Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Varcolac’s Diary (Book 1)

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Across an ocean the portal village of Drakaraugh suffers under dark magic and vengeful gods. An ancient terror threatens our world once again. If the rising darkness has its way, the light of day will fail.

A plea has been sent to the Monster Hunters of Hunter’s Grove. Hope is dim.

These are dark times indeed. The light is fading.

The Witch Moon rises.

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

 

DC: I started writing in the 4th grade. I wrote a story about Snoopy for a class project and it went on to win a school award and I just kept on. I’ve written poetry, short stories, and a few other pieces. For many years I wrote for business and leadership, and even Seminary. In 2005 I returned to writing fiction, and felt like I just came back home.

 

Michael: Similarly to my dad, I started writing at about that same time (4th grade), but it has been since I could pick up a crayon and draw that I’ve been thinking up characters and putting them through tragic, exciting stories. I think it was that 4th grade year that I realized writing might be a way for all of those characters (STILL running around in my head) to come out.

Cover_ISBN (2) 

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

Michael: I wanted to become Superman at first. For the longest time as a kid, I thought I would become a movie director and/or an actor. I knew that I wanted to make characters and stories for them. But I grew up kind of quiet and shy, so the idea of being in front of a camera, or even of shouting out directions from behind the camera, kind of scared me off. Then the whole writing things kicked in.

DC: I wouldn’t say necessarily a writer, but I’ve always wanted to be an artist in one way or another. I loved writing, but I also loved painting, music, theatre, dance. I’ve done them all for fun and professionally. I feel like I just keep evolving as an artist and I’m O.K. to just keep working at it. As a professional speaker and teacher for over 20 years, I felt that every time I stepped on stage I was creating art, and I engaged every audience to join me in the experience. My passion is really engaging people and situations creatively.

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?

 

DC: I really love middle grade and young adult fiction simply because it is so full of life and creativity. I am working on a couple of children’s books, as well as a few projects for adults in the thriller / horror genres. So, yeah, I like to mix it up. I think the adult titles will be ready much sooner than the children’s books, but I love working on all of them. I am also working on a 2013 release for a book on the issue of bullying. This issue really gets me moving, and I believe we can make a huge difference in this area. As a matter of fact, a lot of my speaking these days will focus on this issue as well as child literacy.

Michael: Young Adult, definitely. We can think outside the box in YA. Mild fantasy/scifi (not Lord of the Rings high fantasy, and not Star Wars space opera scifi, but somewhere in the middle), dark fantasy, and horror. There may be a couple of stories outside of those bounds I try my hand at in the future, but I’m not ready to tackle them yet.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

DC: Relationships. Michael and I first began talking about writing a series together as father and son. We thought that would be one of the greatest achievements for us together. I mean, how many father/son teams do you see out there writing together? It’s just one of our greatest joys. But, the whole idea came from the relationships between a group of unlikely friends and what it would be for them to overcome great adversity and triumph against all the odds – even in the face of great loss. Michael and I both have a wonderful love for folklore and legendary monsters from all over the world. Put those two influences together and you have a recipe for a fun, engaging adventure.

Michael: I would have to agree. We always wanted to do something about monsters from all over the world and the people who fought/hunted them. The story went through a lot before we started even writing a word. One day, DC asked if they were kids in a city. Did a vampire live next door? Did they fight all monsters or just some? From there, the story started falling into place.

5      What has your publishing experience been like?

 


DC: We started out going the traditional route, and felt like we were actually gaining some traction with that. There were a few things that came our way that were interesting, but overall we just weren’t feeling it. We began exploring the self-publishing route back in 2005 and just fell in love with that culture and the process altogether. It has been a sharp learning curve every year since. We have nothing but the highest level of respect for the traditional route and still wouldn’t mind working with someone in the future, maybe. For now, though, we are having a blast as independent authors and learning all we can. Along the way, we are meeting some of the best people we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The experience hasn’t been easy, or cheap, but fun!

Michael: It has definitely been a learning experience. Every step of the way is something new and different. We’ve enjoyed learning each new skill and meeting each new person in the process.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

Michael: I do. It depends on the hour of the day of the week of the month of the year of…well, you get the picture. I do have routines that I try to follow, mostly governed by music and chocolate, but it depends on the mood of the story and then how I am feeling that day. If it’s an action scene and I’m feeling great, I might put on some Led Zeppelin and rock out while I write. (Yes, I do rock out.) If it’s an action scene and I’m feeling tired or really struggling to get that word count out, I’ll probably use something more ambient. Like the soundtrack to the Last Samurai. If I’m writing a horror story, something off the wall like Tom Waits. And no matter what I’m writing, I always like to at least sit near a bar of chocolate. In case of emergency.

DC: Writing as a team is as much fun as it is challenging. We both go at it differently. Michael is a bit more structured than I am. I get this idea and just blow out of the starting gate like a mouse out of cheese, then I have to go back and fix everything I blew up getting out of the gate. I like writing at night, with music, and zero distractions! When we are writing together we bounce back and forth. I might write a scene or chapter and then Michael will come in and work his angle, and vice versa. Sometimes we sit down with our computers and just talk through every part of the scene and take turns typing it out as we go. Other times we literally go out somewhere and act out what we want to see happen and really “feel” what we need to write then go back and write it out. I’m not sure if it’s the right way or not, but it works for us. I think the key is we don’t try and limit ourselves. We are totally open to new ways of doing things and are exploring all the time.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

DC: Some of the places are actual places we’ve lived or visited. Other places are places we do a lot of research on. A lot of it is based on imagery. We want people to be able to visualize where we are talking about and feel as though they would recognize it if they were there. As far as character names, some of them are mixtures of people whose personalities we feel fit the character. Someone who has inspired us. Other times, it’s based on the character and we research names that would fit that person. A lot of our writing comes straight from legend and lore, so we have a lot of historical names to work with as well.

 

Michael: Agreed. If it’s a character that I’m building from scratch, I know I always start with the concept of him or her, and build them up a little, and then I go through treasure troves of names and pick the full name based on that. The meaning of each name is quite important to me, personally.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

Michael: I would have to say the twins Lisa and—in Book 1: The Varcolac’s Diary—Liev. They’re the brainy members of the group, knowledgeable about what the Monster Hunters are going up against next. Aside from that, they’re the snappy ones in the group. Lisa is moody and feisty, while Liev is sarcastic and not afraid of being totally honest.

DC: I think Charlie is for me (D.C.). He’s the unassuming leader. Quiet but very influential, even if he doesn’t recognize it. He’s not arrogant or proud, and really struggles with the day-to-day stuff, like all of us. Charlie is real, and he has real gifts and talents that are life-changing, both for himself and people around him. I also like Fish and Dink, because they are just hilarious. They have fun just being who they are, and I think all of us would be a little better off having a little more fun just being who we are. The Gargoyles are fun for me too. Mysterious, powerful, and just enough of them to make me want more of them.

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?

 

DC: What was it? Oh yeah! Enjoy the process. I want to be uber-successful as an author. Who doesn’t?! But I really want to enjoy this and have fun doing it. I’m writing with my son, and as a dad it’s just awesome to have that opportunity! I’m also learning a lot about myself and what I need to get better at at this point in my life, and what I can just let go because it doesn’t really matter anymore. I think I’m also learning to deal with a different type of criticism. As a business and spiritual leader throughout my life, I have really faced some tough criticism and just kept on walking. This is a different beast though, and it really is a process of becoming sharper as a human being, and being more compassionate and full of grace to the world around you. That may sound like a stretch…learning all that just from writing, but it really is moving me along that path and I’m grateful for it.
Michael: A lot. First and foremost, that we could do it. You never know until you try. Second, that it’s okay to get help from others. The writing community is a vast one. The author friends that we have made have been helpful and wonderful people. Top notch people. It is hard to let other people read and work on/around your book—that’s your flesh and blood!—but I think we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to be around other authors and writers.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

Michael: Push, push, push. Not just push your book out there, but push yourself to interact with others and be consistent in doing so. Which can be hard to keep up, but very worth it.

DC:  Cry. Pray. Cry some more. Ask anybody and everybody how to do it. No really, this is one of the most important areas we can learn about as authors. We have used social media like it was our best friend. Word of mouth, and building through local markets. What we’ve tried to do is really build in our local city, and then begin branching out to wider areas and audiences as we feel we can sustain it. We’ve worked with experts and coaches and just try to implement what they teach us one item at a time.  I think for us being patient and doing small things well, then building on those small things, is a key to success. We are martial artists. Black belts. There is a saying in the dojo when you are training and finally earn your black belt. “Now that you’ve earned you’re black belt, you may begin your training.” It’s like writing the book is getting your black belt, then the real work begins! I think the other part of it, and probably the most important part, is building relationships. I’m not focusing on sales, though that is important. I’m focusing on you and me in this conversation. Over time the sales come in. But there is no limit you can place on the value of the relationships we are building in this process.

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

DC: I was just a beam of light! Not just because I saw that book and held it in my hand. I was actually holding the camera when the first box arrived. I was taking pictures while Michael was opening it. I went into “Dad” mode at that moment and was just so proud of our accomplishment together and revelled in watching him beam with pride and joy at this piece of our hearts and minds finally being here. When I saw it online, I was calling everyone! I was like, “go to this website, you can see it there now!” I stayed on the phone with people to hear their responses. I was totally filled with excitement. If you’re not excited about something like that, you need to find something else to do. Simple as that!

 

Michael: I didn’t know what to think. Excited, obviously, but in a shocked way. “We made this? Hey, look, we made a book!”

12   Favorite authors?

DC: Charles Schultz. C.S. Lewis. Poe. Dr. Suess. Shel Silverstein. Joseph Delaney. John Flanagan. Chris Mould. Just to name a few.

Michael: I like this question! J First off, I have to say every author DC has mentioned above. Also, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordian, JK Rowling, Alan Moore, Scott Westerfeld.

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

 

D.C.:  I guess that’s what you call it. Really I just get fatigued sometimes and have to back off for a while. With all the online stuff, marketing, appearances, and just life going on, I really have to disconnect regularly. I love walking trails. Playing with my boys is huge for me. Sometimes I just like sitting out and gazing at the moon for a while. Movies too. I’m a movie fan. I just need to disconnect and re-engage when I feel charged. When I’m “full” again, I get at it.

Michael: Even as a person whose job revolves around words…I don’t think I can adequately put words together to answer that question. In short, yes. It can be extremely frustrating when you want to finish your work. I think though that writer’s block can be a helpful reminder to just take a break. Go watch a movie. Go read a book. Go fishing! Then come back and ease back into the rhythm.

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

DC: Read. Do yourself and your readers a favor and read as much as you can. Disconnect regularly. Surround yourself with a team of people that are much better than you at things and lean on people who can coach you through the process. Find the joy in doing this. It is a privilege, treat it as such. Always be grateful for and thankful to those who help you along the way. Don’t be afraid of coloring outside the lines.  Do what you love and love what you do!

Michael: Keep going. Writing is hard. It looks easy to sit at a desk all day and make up sentences. It isn’t easy though. It’s fun, it’s draining, it’s often maddening, and when it counts it is one of the most fulfilling experiences to finish all the way through. SO….keep going. Take breaks, but if you love it don’t give up on yourself. Every story, when given the proper love and care, is a wonderful addition to our world. Don’t be afraid to tell it to us.

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

DC: Sure. Books 2 and 3 of this series are on their way. Book 2 in April and Book 3 will be just a few months away. I’m working on a book tackling the issue of bullying and also working on three short stories that range from horror to a mysterious “Carnival-esque” thriller.

 

Michael: A few things *he said, rubbing his hands together and chuckling maniacally.* I think DC and I both are putting some shorter horror-themed projects together in a compilation. Writing horror short stories is actually one of my favourite things to do as an author—they’re just fun to write, and they actually help me break outside of the normal structure of a novel or full length story. Beyond that, I’m working on an older YA series, which will be a dark steampunk adventure. I’m very excited to be working on it and can’t wait to let the cat out of the bag.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Diane Rinella

Only a few more days left and the blog tour will reach it’s conclusion!  Tonight the spotlight is on writer Diane Rinella.  Thank you so much Diane for sharing this with us and readers, enjoy!

DianeRinella-1

BIO

Diane Rinella – About the Author

 

 

Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.

 

She is currently completing the sequel to Love’s Forbidden Flower. You can visit her website at www.dianerinellaauthor.com.

 

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Love’s Forbidden Flower Back Cover copy

 

 

The heart cares not what society forbids.

 

Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate. Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.

 

But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all possibilities.

As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard, Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate. However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead to an unconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?

Impassioned, witty, and deeply moving, Love’s Forbidden Flower is filled with stunning controversies that will forever haunt your heart.

 

Love's_Forbidden_Flo_Cover_smallTitle: Love’s Forbidden Flower
Author: Diane Rinella

Genre: contemporary romance with a civil rights message
Website: http://www.dianerinellaauthor.com

Blog: http://www.dianerinellaauthor.com/blog-2

Social Media connections: https://www.facebook.com/DianeRinellaAuthor, @DianeRinella, http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592108.Diane_Rinella

Release Date: November 29, 2012
Where to buy:  Amazon
Reviews: http://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B00AFHTK4U/ref=cm_cr_dp_syn_footer?k=Love’s%20Forbidden%20Flower&showViewpoints=1

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16181908-love-s-forbidden-flower

Other Work:

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

His hold on me tightens, more so for me than for himself. The heat of our bodies, down coats, and wool blankets is barely enough to keep us from shivering. But the warmth from his heart gives me hope for the real Donovan. We stare at the lights of the town below for a long time before he speaks, “I needed this.”

“Yeah, I kind of figured.”

“Lily, how is it you’re always so strong and sure of things?”

“I’m strong because I decided a long time ago that I had to be, else I would wind up like Mom and I’m subservient to no one. As for being sure of things… There are some things I’m not so sure of, but when my inner voice controls my lips I know it’s right, so I don’t question it.”

Putting his chin on my shoulder he pulls me a little closer. His tone is sincere, but his actions claim territory. “You’re lucky to be in love with Christopher. He’s exactly what you need right now.”

“I never told you that. How do you know I’m in love with Christopher?”

He tucks my hair behind my ear and leans in as if fearing someone may hear his confession. “You and I still know each other better than anyone. I see how you look at him. I’ve seen that look before.”

How truly pathetic is this moment?

“You know, you’re pretty tight-lipped, but when you do say something you really go for the gut, yet you don’t admit anything, so I’m never completely sure if you’re saying what I think you are. Is that what last night was about?”

“Last night’s upset was a drop in the old bucket. But I mean it; you’re both very lucky. He loves you more than I think you realize.”

“I’m very much in love with Christopher, but let’s face it, there’s something going on here with us. Like it or not—admit it or not—it’s there, it’s real, and it’s strong. And it’s not just some passing physical thing. It’s buried deep in my soul and rips at me constantly. So for now, I just take each day as it comes.”

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

It’s something I’ve frequently done on whims. A littler over a year ago I became serious about it.

 

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

My first love is acting. I’ve done it for ages. Since acting teaches you how to become absorbed in a character or a situation, writing is a natural extension.

 

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

My head dances with characters and scenarios. So far the ones that have gripped me the most have been unconventional romances. I can’t see ever writing something that isn’t off-beat or doesn’t contain taboo subject matter.

 

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

While watching a film, The Buttercup Chain, I became frustrated by a subplot that was tucked into the background. Two cousins, who were raised as siblings, have a very strong attraction. The girl is fine with the situation while the guy is freaked. Every time he came close to acting on his feelings he would back off with no explanation as to why. I kept hoping for some kind of gratification, but in the end I almost threw the remote at the television in frustration. Then I let my mind wander with “What if?” Before I knew it I was writing.

 

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

Mostly, it has been incredible. Naturally there are frustrating aspects. Finding my audience has been the most challenging, but when I find members, the rewards have been high. I choose to see the positive. No matter where this road takes me, I am meeting incredible people along the way, be they fellow writers or fans. (I never dreamed my writing would bring genuine fans!) I try to see only the good of the journey.

 

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

It depends on my mood and what I am writing. One of the character’s in the book, Christopher, is very much like the people who raised and influenced him musically. He is actually an amalgamation of many 60’s British rock stars. I listened to a lot of Hollies and Small Faces when I wrote his scenes.

 

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

I had a definite system for this book. The characters that I want pulled into the foreground all have three to four syllable names. Background characters have only one or two syllable names. It was an intentional way to guide the reader.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

It depends on my mood. I have huge book boyfriend crushes on both Donovan and Christopher. Lily and I share a lot of personality traits—self-reliance, advanced in culinary skills at a young age, liberal views, and internal snarkiness. I totally get her. In choosing one though, it would be Donovan. So many women want to run off with that man!

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

I learned several things. First, I got a lot of negativity from the industry for writing an honest love story about a transgressive couple, making me question my own sanity. Then I published and started talking about my work. People’s eyes bugged out. When asked if they wanted ARCs they practically screamed, “YES!” Now those ARCs are spawning sales. Going with your gut is invaluable. Second, my compassion deepened immensely while writing Love’s Forbidden Flower. I knew the situation was not exactly rare, but I had no idea how common it is. 10-15% of all collage age people have had some type of romantic relation with a sibling. Just because you choose not to see something, it does not mean it isn’t there.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

That has been very difficult. Not only do I fall in a grey area with genres, I wrote a novel that is highly controversial, yet I want to downplay that fact and focus on the hearts of the characters. The two don’t mix. Publishers either wanted the relationship of the characters to change or to switch the genre to erotica. Either of those moves would kill the story and the civil rights message. After a lot of trial, error, and review reading, I am finally getting it narrowed down. Basically, my audience is open-minded people who like emotional novels. How do you classify that? It was a risky move for a debut novel, but I’ve no regrets.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

I forced myself to take a moment to really appreciate and take pride in the accomplishment. At first I was so nervous that I didn’t want to look at it, but then I reminded myself of how much work went into it and how many times I have heard people say they want to write a book, yet they never have. I did it, and I let myself be proud.

 

12   Favorite authors? 

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton has always been a favorite. I love how I can get into Ponyboy’s head. (Or does he get into mine?) I love the story line of Second Sight by David Williams, where a woman is haunted by her past life and gets drawn back into it. I also own a totally battered set of Jacqueline Susann novels. Valley of the Dolls is the most brilliant rubbish I’ve ever read.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

With me it is brought on by a lack of confidence, either about myself or my work. Once I find the source, I just need to work my way through it. Life then falls back into place.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Write the story you want to tell. We live in a wonderful era of a publishing revolution. There is no one out there who can stop you from writing and distributing your work. However, don’t just write and hit the publish button. Get as many people as you can to read your story and give honest opinions. Make the improvements you feel are needed and edit, edit, edit! Hire an editor. Do the best you can to catch every tiny misuse of a comma, but respect that even major publishers miss a lot or errors. Hit the publish button with pride. Know that bad reviews are inevitable. (Even the greatest classics get bad reviews.) Celebrate that you have done what so few others dare.

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

While Love’s Forbidden Flower can be read as a standalone book, there is so much more to tell. You can’t have two soul mates and end their story when they are 20. Lily and Donovan made life-altering decisions that will result in life-long consequences. Time’s Forbidden Flower will be released in late 2013.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Lauren Klever

Tonight I would like to introduce to you a very talented young adult fiction author, Lauren Klever.  I have gotten to know Lauren and she is the one who referred me to Lady Amber.  Thank you so much Lauren for your participation!  Enjoy the interview everyone!

Author Profile 4

BIO

I’m Lauren Klever, a Pacific Northwest author, who loves to include local places in my young adult fiction.  I’ve always loved reading but writing professionally is new for me.  Why did I change career paths?  Sometimes you just need the right motivation, so I dusted off my pens, pencils, and trusty computer and went to work.  I decided the best way to change my life was to manipulate someone else’s!  Hello Owen Ryer!  I’m drawn to all things ‘action-adventure’ in film and literature.  Notice I didn’t say ‘real life’?  No bungee jumping, cliff diving or parkour for me.  I’d likely kill myself because I’m a klutz of epic proportion.  Skydiving? Nope!  I’d be the one to fall out of the plane without a parachute, so I created a character who is braver, tougher and more graceful than I am.

Visions:  The Secret Watchers (Book One) was my debut novel about young Owen who discovered he had a special talent for seeing the darker side of life.  I sat down with my boys and brainstormed based on some of our favorite characters from literature.  We wanted something otherworldly blended with current times and we like good friends and strong mentors.  Now, I hope, a star is born!  I’ve never been bitten by the writing bug with such vengeance and completed the book in only six weeks!  Ten weeks later book two was complete and I’m now at work on books three through five.  It’s never too late to share your stories!  If you want to write – go for it!

Title: Whispers:  The Secret Watchers (book 2)
Author:  Lauren Klever

Genre: Young adult action/adventure and suspense
Website:  http://thesecretwatchers.com

Blog:  http://thesecretwatchers.com

Social Media connections: 

Contact me:  laurenwrites@thesecretwatchers.com

Like me:  Author Lauren Klever on Facebook

Friend me and become a fan on Goodreads.com

Follow me on Twitter @LaurenKlever

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Add me to your circles Google+

Find me on Linkedin

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Find me on Stumble Upon!

And now on Your Book Authors

Release Date:  February 7, 2013
Where to buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IBookStore

SonyReader

And 7 other retailers – please see my ‘printable book list’ or ‘shop’ page on my website.  http://thesecretwatchers.com/?page_id=563

If you would like a paperback – They are $10 plus $4 for shipping and handling in the U.S.  Please email laurenwrites@thesecretwatchers for details.
Reviews:  There are some on Amazon and you can also find them on Goodreads.   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17214485-whispers

Other Work:  Visions: The Secret Watchers (book1) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13583266-visions

Whispers-Cover VisionsCover

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

He reached for my shirt but I punched straight up through his chin, knocking his head back and his arm to the side.  He shook his head and growled at me.  I quickly followed the shot to his chin with a kick to his side.  I had him at the edge of the dock so I kicked again trying to send him over.  No luck.  He absorbed the kick, grabbing my leg and dropping me to the dock.  I rolled as he tried to stomp my head and then flipped to my feet once more. He advanced again.  I leaned to the side to avoid his fist, grabbing it with both hands and twisting as I dropped to my knee to flip him over.

He landed with a thud that shook the dock.  Before he could recover, I kicked him in the side of the head hoping to knock him unconscious.  I didn’t even check my work.  I ran to Lucie who was pulling herself into a sitting position.

“Lucie!  Are you alright?”  I could already see blisters forming on her chest where he had touched her.  “Let’s get you out of here,” I said, not even giving her a chance to respond.  I pulled her to her feet.  I turned and put an arm around her and took a step forward only to have a blur of movement knock Lucie right out of my arm and off the dock with a tremendous splash.

I looked for a split second, in stunned silence, at the empty dock – at my empty arms.  A flood of silence filled the emptiness.  I turned, knowing I would have to dive into the water after Lucie.  I heard a roar in my head filling the silence – Stupid – How could I have been so stupid?

“No!” burst from my lips without me even realizing I was speaking.  I knew, with a sickening sense of despair, that she wouldn’t make it.  I ripped off my flannel shirt and t-shirt.  I kicked off my shoes, stripped off my socks, watch and cargo pants.  I ran at the end of the dock and just had time to snatch a quick breath before I jumped out past where Lucie had fallen so as not to hurt her.  I hit the surface and passed through, down into the freezing, dark gray-green water.

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

I’ve always been a writer but writing with plans for actual publishing began in September of 2011.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

By the time I was in high school I had decided to pursue biomedical engineering.  I wanted to be the person who worked on valves for hearts and joints for fingers, but then reality hit in college – and I realized that I just didn’t have what it took.  I couldn’t bring myself to do surgery on bunnies so I readjusted my sights.  I decided I would teach others about science so that they could do the job I couldn’t do.  That is how I fell into science teaching for middle and high school age students.  While volunteering when my own boys went to grade school, I found I had a passion for that age group and added another degree and an elementary endorsement so that I could work with younger kids.  NOW, I reach out to kids in a whole other way.  My books may be pretend but the message is real… be the best you, you can be!

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?

I am currently finishing The Secret Watchers series that I started.  It is fiction but feels like it could be real life much as the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Twilight and Alex Rider books portrayed.  My main character has a special ability that helps and drives him to fight evil but he lives in the real world and has real problems like any teenager could have.  When Owen’s story comes to an end, I have a dystopian idea, a children’s book and a fantasy that includes castles, swords and magical creatures that I am looking forward to.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

My inspiration for the Secret Watchers came out of pure frustration with my current career path.  I had time on my hands and nothing to do.  Maybe I’m a little attention deficit but I have to keep busy!  Several movies and books all came to me around the same time and something just clicked.  I had a story that I wanted to tell.  Owen is inspired by my own boys and students as well as The Karate Kid, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Alex Rider, Jacob Black, Nathan Price and a little Jason Bourne.  Is my passion for action/ adventure showing?

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

When I started this adventure I knew nothing about publishing.  I talked to an attorney friend who directed me to a published author so that she could share her experiences and he also sent me to an attorney friend of his who specializes in the arts and represents some local authors.  I also did tons of research.  I decided that I would invest in myself and take the self-publishing route over sending out dozens if not hundreds of query letters.  For me it was all about choice.  I wanted to try this first.  I have been offered a publishing contract but I haven’t found just the right fit yet, so I remain my own boss and writing, editing, promotion and publicity team.  Who knows what the future holds?    

 

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? 

I nearly always listen to music but my life is so hectic that I don’t have a place I regularly write.  I do take a journal everywhere I go so that I can jot down a thought or continue a scene.  Ideas really can come from anywhere.  I make good use of my crazy hectic life! 

7      How do you come up with character names and place names in your books? 

I named Owen by looking up names on the internet with their meanings until I found a meaning and name combination I loved.  Owen means young warrior in Welsh and can mean prince in American.  My son named White Eagle and Lucie and Sarah was named by the person she is modelled after.  Along that same line, I frequently look at pictures of actors or of places for inspiration for character and setting.  When I can, I love to visit the locations that my scenes take place in.  When I talk about the middle and high schools in The Secret Watchers… I’ve been there as a parent and as a substitute teacher.  The pawnshop I mention is a real place but the back room is not.  Earl White Eagle is a mash-up of two dear friends, one of whom actually works at the pawnshop while the other teaches karate.  Many of my characters are based on people I know and they all gave me their permission to include their personalities in my work.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why? 

It is so hard to pick just one.  I love my team of characters and feel like they are my friends and family but then many of them are based at least in part on people I know.  If I had to pick one, it would be Owen.  He changes so much from regular kid to one who is infused with a special ability and the knowledge of the man whose watch he found in the pawnshop.  As the series progresses Owen is becoming the hero he is meant to be while keeping his feet on the ground.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it? 

Not everyone will love your work.  It’s okay.  You have to have courage to be an author and put a piece of yourself out there for everyone to judge.  Apply the advice you can use and let the rest go.  Even a bad review can have a pearl or two of wisdom.  Just remember who you wrote the book for.  Yeah, I’d love to sell enough books to do this full time but when I started this I was writing for me, my family and friends so does anyone else’s opinion really matter?

 

10   How did you/do you market your work? 

I reach out almost every day in some way.  I talk to people and tell them what I do.  I carry bookmarks and business cards everywhere.  I connect with people on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Instagram.  I’m still learning some of them.  Less than a year and half ago I was only on Facebook.  I also use my connections to get invitations to book signings, author appearances and literacy nights at my local schools.  That is not to say that all I talk about is SELL, Sell, sell… I’m pretty low key and give what people seem like they are ready to hear.  I love working with students and doing writer’s workshops.  They are my target audience and it is a great place to meet and interact with them.  In addition I’m part of several social media groups in a variety of places and I skim their feeds and watch for articles on all aspects of what I do, not just marketing.  My best advice…  Be patient.  Reach out and be friendly and helpful.   

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time? 

Elated is probably the best word to describe how I felt when the eBook version came out.  Holding a print copy in my hands was even better but I have loved each step of this process and I celebrate every little milestone.  Holding a print copy of your book is almost as good as holding your baby in your arms for the first time.  Having my boys still wins on the ‘best things’ I’ve ever done front!

12   Favourite authors?  

D.C. and Michael McGannon, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, Anthony Horowitz, Veronica Roth, Kristin Cashore, Janet Evanovich, Victoria Laurie,  Cassandra Clare, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Stephanie Meyer, Sue Grafton, J.A. Jance, Cleo Coyle and Kate Collins are a few of my top favorites.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”? 

I think everyone has a bit of this now and then or at least we lack a little motivation.  What works for me is hashing out ideas with my friends and family, going for a walk, dancing to some music, enjoying nature, writing something else, reading or watching a movie.  Sometimes I think our minds just need a break.  Bottom line, I don’t think you can write about life unless you live it!

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? 

If you can dream it, you can make it happen!  Get writing first and then start working on all the other parts.  You can do this – just go at your own pace.  There are also lots of folks out there to help you, so start reaching out.  If you would have told me a year ago that my Facebook fan page would have over 1,500 fans, that I’d have over 2,100 Tweeps and that I have over 1,200 friends on Goodreads I would have laughed.  We are all a work in progress.  Just keep being the best you, you can be.  Do you see a repeating theme here?  Yep!  Believe in yourself!

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

I’m continuing the Secret Watchers series.  Book three is done and is going through the editing process.  I’m writing books four and five in the series at the same time so that I can tie it up in a neat bow at the end.  The dystopia idea was completely new and came to me recently in a dream.  The other stories I’m thinking about publishing are in various stages of completion.  I started writing the fantasy story idea when I was at Oregon State in the 90s and we were playing Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends.  The children’s story idea began as a class project at Portland State University when I was taking some teaching credits.  Remember… ideas can come from anywhere!    

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Lavinia Urban

FOR SOME ODD REASON THIS DID NOT POST LAST NIGHT. I APOLOGIZE, SO I’M POSTING IT TODAY. TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES I GUESS? It still isn’t posting to twitter, so here goes another try.

Tonight I am interviewing Lavinia Urban.  She was one of the first people who took a personal interest in me and interviewed me about my work.  So, tonight, I’m giving the spotlight to her.  Thank you so much Lavinia for interviewing me and thank you for being a part of this blog tour!  Enjoy the interview everyone!

pic of meBIO

Lavinia grew up in a small town in Cheshire, England, before moving to Scotland in 2000.

She now lives just outside Edinburgh with her husband Ian and their two daughters Erin and Kasey-ray.

Lavinia has been writing since an early age, something that both her children have inherited. She started with writing poetry, one of which was turned into lyrics for a song. By the age of 14, Lavinia had written seven books in an unpublished series.

After moving to Scotland she stopped writing for a while, it was only after writing a short story for her eldest daughters school about anti bullying and how you should stay in school and learn, that Lavinia felt the yearning to write again; this was also helped by her eldest daughters thirst for literature when she asked her mother to write her another story. This was how this book series came about.

      eRINFireG_Book1Cover copy         

Title: Erin the Fire Goddess: The Beginning  & Betrayal
Author: Lavinia Urban

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blog: http://laviniaurban.blogspot.co.uk/

Social Media connections:

https://www.facebook.com/ErinTheFireGoddess

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lavinia-Urban/155524154584975

Release Date: Book 3, Erin the Fire Goddess: Torment, will hopefully be released in April
Where to buy:  Amazon, smashwords, barnes & noble, kobo, and many more
Reviews:

Review for Erin the Fire Goddess: The Beginning

http://www.amazon.com/review/R11RPA0MTUO2EI/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0085L3SDC&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

eRINFireG_Book2Cover copy

Review for Erin the Fire Goddess: Betrayal:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R25EP4GS6SCX3H/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B009WWIXWY&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

 

 

urban verse coverOther Work: Urban Verse

Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.

Here is a unedited sneak peek at Erin the Fire Goddess: Torment:

 

For the first week, after that awful incident, I stayed at the cottage and cried. Just when I thought I was all cried out and my body couldn’t take any more fresh tears ripped through me, leaving me feeling drained; both emotionally and physically.

The feeling of helplessness ripped through me as I would drift in and out of consciousness. Everything swirled around me in a blur. Only one thing I was sure of……………….the rain. It beat down heavily, not letting up in the slightest. It seemed to echo my sorrow. However, I knew the cause of the rain and this brought fresh waves of sadness, humiliation and anger. How dare he be sad!

Towards the end of the week was when the fire inside me began to grow. It was unlike anything I had ever felt before. It started in my heart; the flames building with every pulsating beat. Then slowly it spread, causing me both pain and anguish. I would scream in horror as the feeling of being cooked from the inside out took hold of me.

My parents looked on helplessly, unsure of what was happening or how to stop it. Dr Hammersmith arrived and concern was etched on his face as he watched me squirm in unprecedented torture.

“Help me” I begged of him one day as he sat beside my bed “Please. Help me” The fire was burning my throat, making it difficult for me to talk.

Often I would catch glimpses of my body as I tried to see any of the flames, but my skin remained untainted. To an outsider I just looked like someone with a slight fever. Oh how I wished that was true.

“Here. Take this” Dr Hammersmith told me one morning as he burst into the cottage carrying a bottle of orange liquid.

Not waiting for a response he lifted me up and placed the bottle to my lips as he urged me to drink.

The liquid was thick and slimy and at first I was repulsed and tried to break away “You must drink” He urged as he tilted the bottle to my lips once more. I relented and drank deeply, finishing the whole bottle.

At first nothing happened as my panic stricken eyes stared at Dr Hammersmith. But just as I was about to ask him what it was he had given me and why it wasn’t working, when something strange started to happen.

“Oh” I gasped as the feeling of ice coursed through my veins, slowly dispersing the fire within and making it recede back to where it had come from as it slowly shrank and retracted back to my heart; where it faded with a fizzle and a hiss. Like the sound when someone throws water over a fire. “Wow” I leaned my head back down on my pillow and closed my eyes.

Everywhere and everyone went quiet as everything seemed to wait with bated breath to see if the drink had worked and what were the effects. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of the rain that was lashing at the windows.

“That’s it!” My mum, Kate, seethed. “I’ve had enough!” Anger ripped through her as she stood riveted to the floor near the doorway. “We have to make him stop” Her eyes closed, her head tilted up and her arms outstretched, with palms facing up, just as tiny sparks started to leave her fingertips. My dad, John, quickly followed suit. His eyes closed as his head tilted up. He then grabbed my mums hand as I watched in awe just as thunder and lightning ripped through the skies, just outside the cottage, making me jump. I had never seen them do this before and it was truly breath-taking.

No sooner had it started then my mums mobile phone started to ring. Silently, Dr Hammersmith stood up and retrieved the phone from the night stand.

“Hello Kelly” I could hear the panic in Kelly’s voice as she spoke, in what sounded like, at supersonic speed. “Alright dear. Yes, yes. It will stop” He nodded before saying goodbye and replacing the phone back down. “Time to stop” His voice soothed as he looked at my parents. “The rain will cease”

I watched as my parents eyes slowly opened and their arms fell to their sides. They gave each other a triumphant smile just as someone knocked on the front door.

“Can I come in?” I heard Scott call as he opened the door

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

I was about 11 or 12. By 14 I had written 7 books and hundreds of poems.

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

At first yes but I was a young girl and I had no idea how to get into the publishing world. I sent of my work to numerous publishers only to receive them back with a little note telling me that they do not accept unsolicited documents. So I decided I would train to be a lawyer instead lol

3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

My main book series is YA fantasy genre. But I also writing, what I plan to be, a thriller. However time will tell, as I have had school children asking if I can make it a YA fiction book lol. I just don’t want to be stuck in that genre.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

My eldest daughter Erin inspired me to write my current series. She was getting bullied and I wanted to show her that she could rise above it and believe in herself

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

After I wrote the first book in my ETFG series I tried to go through a publisher. However after 5 rejections I was on the Harper Collins author website and someone told me how to self publish. It is the best thing I have done. The only downside is marketing, promoting etc. I am awful at it.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

No I do not have a routine, but when it is late and everyone is in bed I tend to stick the music channels on.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

The main character and her sister are named after my two daughters. All the other names I either tend to grab from thin air, or I name them after my readers 😉

As for place names, I remember when I was doing an author talk at my childrens school and I asked if they recognized any of the place names. It was the teacher who put her hand up and asked if they are named after street names in the next village over

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?

I would say my main character, Erin. She is a young girl who is bullied for how she looks. She finds strength from inside her to overcome the bullying and the surprise when she discovers she has special powers.

I am the writer but it does not stop me from rooting for Erin. I often have conversations with myself and say ‘Oh I hope Erin will be okay’ etc. But I already know what’s coming lol

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

I have a wild imagination lol.

I remember showing one of my best friends my first published book and her reaction was ‘When the heck did you become so talented?’ That certainly made me laugh

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

I struggle to market. I am in the UK and I am getting a good fan base here. I give author talks etc. But in other countries it is a slow progress, but I hope I will eventually get there

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Oh My God. It was truly amazing. I remember bouncing around the school playground, when I went to pick up my youngest, and telling everyone I saw. It is such an amazing feeling. And when you get that first sale…… wow.

I am still waiting my first royalty cheque though lol

12   Favorite authors? 

Oh there are so many. I love Stephen King, Danielle Steel and Isla Dewar.

I also love a lot of true life stories about bad childhood experiences.

Then there are my  author friends. I love Alexia Purdy and Kristie Haigwood, they are both such talented ladies.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

 I have honestly never had writer’s block. I never write from A to Z. I write what is in my head, then when that runs dry I will leave that alone and work on a different part of the book, then go back and fill in the gaps. I tend to write the middle, beginning, end, then fill in the gaps.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

 Never ever write from A to Z. Write what you feel. Have fun with it. If you are not enjoying writing then why are you doing it?

 

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?  I am currently writing the third book in my ETFG series, called ‘Torment’, plus a bonus book for it called ‘The Diary of Elizabeth Tait’ and also a zombie book. But with the zombie book there is a lot of research going into that so I do not know when that will be complete.

Spring Fever Blog Tour featured Author: Valerie Gilbert

Tonight’s featured author is Valerie Gilbert, writer of Raving Violet. It falls under the non-fictional humor genre. I want to thank her for her participating and sharing with us a little about herself and her work.

Enjoy the read everyone!

Title:                RAVING VIOLET      
Author:          VALERIE GILBERT  

Genre:            NON-FICTION HUMOR
Blog:               http://ravingvioletvalerie.blogspot.com

Social Media connections:

 https://www.facebook.com/RavingViolet?fref=ts

 https://twitter.com/valeriebgilbert

Release Date: January 17, 2013
Where to buy:Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Black Opal Books, SmashWords, KOBO, AllRomance.com
Reviews: 

http://www.blackopalbooks.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=259

newBio: Having told funny stories her whole life, Valerie started putting them on stage as solo shows, stand up comedy, in storytelling competitions and gigs, and finally (saving her breath) committed them to the written page A native New Yorker and Harvard graduate, Raving Violet is Valerie Gilbert’s literary debut. 

 

Chapter Three: STACKING THE DECK

     Someone gave me a craptacular tarot deck.  While the artwork wasn’t bad and it came in a pretty, diaphanous purple bag it was impossible to decipher.  I don’t read tarot well on a good day.  I have to look up each and every card, and the flimsy pamphlet that came with my Aquarian deck is basic, to say the least.  But I like the idea of tarot cards.  They are mysterious and depending on which version you have, quite beautiful.

This gift deck had new suits.  Made up suits.  Instead of the standard Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles, it had Shells (what the f’?) Gems, Roses, and Wings.  I ask you.  Tarot is inscrutable enough without me having to translate cups into wings and swords into roses.  But the deck was pretty enough that I kept it lying around, and I started using a card or two as bookmarks, at which they excelled.  There was no need to interpret the card now.  We both knew what it meant once it was lodged firmly in a tome.  Sit!  Stay!  Keep that book in line!  It wasn’t telling me what was what anymore, I was telling it.   The dynamics of our relationship had started to change.

I pull a single card from this sketchy deck (and several other decks of cards I have) to start the day for a simple, New York minute reading.  I don’t have the patience or skills for a full spread.  I have Celtic cards, angel cards, Archangel Michael cards, animal cards.  Usually a single card will suffice, I will say, “tell me what I need to know today” et voila, a revealing message ensues.

Right before I allowed an acquaintance to stay with me for a few days I woke up with Lindsey Buckingham’s song “Trouble” in my head.  This didn’t bode well although I love the song, so I decided to look up the lyrics.  It’s a love song.  The guy’s in trouble because he’s falling in love.  I sighed relief, although I wasn’t looking to fall in love with my friend.  But then I pulled an animal card, Coyote, the trickster, which implies the potential for manipulation or trouble.  Turned out the title of the song and the card was right, or rather my intuition, which they both reflected, was right. The four-day visit ended explosively.  I patted my intuition on its back and sighed more relief that the guest was gone.   I felt empowered that the signs I received were accurate. ©2012

 

Mini Interview:

1      When did you first start writing?

About 15 years ago a girl I knew from college asked me to co-write a feature length screenplay with her.  I was wary as I knew nothing about screenwriting except two 5 page sample scripts I’d written for a film theory class in college.  Frankly, I wasn’t even familiar with computers.   But she asked me because I’m funny, and I had great material to contribute to her concept.  Once I started working there was no stopping me.  I realized I WAS a writer.  I’m a natural.  I have a way with words.  Why wouldn’t I, a quick-witted, verbal actress from New York City?  The problem is shutting me up!

2      Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

 

An actress!  I always wanted to be an actress.  I love to dance.  I can sing, too, but never pushed that angle.  I love great films.  I love great theatre.  And I grew up in New York City, so I was exposed to a lot of it.  I adore being on a film or tv set, or onstage.  It feels like home to me.  But that career never gelled, and at a certain point, the “hobby” of your dreams just doesn’t have the same ring to it, nor does it pay the bills.  I am expressing myself happily now with writing and I don’t have to worry about hair and makeup (as much).

Lights of Technology3      What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up? 

I’m straight up non-fiction.  I don’t read fiction, although I did as a kid, by necessity.  I find real life fascinating enough.  That being said, my interest is in metaphysics, and those stories often read like science fiction anyway.  My mind is constantly expanding.  And so is my heart.  That’s the work that moves me.  The stuff that connects the dots, from head to heart, and from person to person.

4      Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?

Walking out of my apartment in the morning.  Just living my life.  I am a humor magnet, and I can see and hear the humor in almost anything.  Unless I’m crying, and sometimes, even then.   I have the ability to pull things together and create meaning out of them.  A story has to have a punchline, like a good joke.  There has to be a beginning, middle and end.  And I want my readers to be left with a lesson or an awareness at the end, because, at the end of the day, I need that in my life for myself.  Not everything gets tied up neatly with a ribbon, but if you are philosophical and wise, you can pull back, or up, enough to get some perspective.  That’s what meditation is for.  Journaling.  Talking to a friend.  Getting smart with yourself.  Studying the mysteries.  I crave meaning.  I create it.  My stories reflect that.

5      What has your publishing experience been like? 

It was out of a dream, or rather, out of my chapter, “The Law of Bananas”, which is a play on the law of attraction.   I know from my own experience that when you prioritize happiness, joy, passion and enthusiasm, that miracles happen.  The mechanics of this involve deleting the bad stuff (as much as possible) and moving toward people, places and activities that make you feel good.  We have this choice every day.  If you don’t believe it’s possible to be happy, and fulfilled, you’ll never consider my theory and try it for yourself.

As I systematically said NO to what I could no longer stomach, even though I was petrified of many things (like poverty and starvation), I knew I couldn’t go back to what I hated.  So I stayed the course.  I was true to myself.  And I started writing.  People encouraged me on and off to do a blog since I’d done solo shows, stand up comedy, and storytelling gigs.  I didn’t want to write a blog.  I didn’t want to read anyone else’s, why would they want to read mine?  I find many blogs to be self-indulgent.

However, one day it all clicked.  The moment was right and I started a blog, and was immediately a new person.  I beamed with pride in my work.  I had a tangible, public product, this “thing” on the internet.  By my third piece I was confident enough to send it to a famous astrologer, Bridgett Walther, whose website I check daily.  She’s a VERY fun writer with a wicked sense of humor.  I sent her my piece, “Stacking the Deck” (excerpted in this interview) which is about being true to yourself and charting your own course.  When I checked her daily report for me after writing the piece, it exactly mirrored what I’d just written.  So I added that fact to my piece, and sent it to her with no idea what could come of it.  A few days later she wrote that she LOVED IT and asked if she could she publish it on her website?  Uh, the answer was “yes”. From there, we became friends, and she, a published author, pointed me in the direction of the publisher who accepted me in short order.  Bridgett was my fairy godmother, and I dedicated Raving Violet to her.

I believe I was meant to be a writer, though it was never my dream nor my goal, as much as I love books.  The pieces fell into place easily and effortlessly when the time was right.  Was I rejected many times before from writing contests?  Did I work 14 years on and off on that screenplay with no sale?  Yup.  Did that stop me from writing?  Nope.

6      Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

 

No routine.  I sit at my laptop at my desk in the same chair.   A certain amount of inspiration, and determination is required.  I’ll know when a story needs to come up and out when I feel an urgency, almost like being ready to deliver a baby, or some other product out of my body.  Clear the decks!  Get me to that computer.

7      How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

 

Since my work is non-fiction, I only change names here and there to protect the guilty.  I’m great with chapter headings and book titles.  They jump into my head.  Like I said, I’ve got a good ear, and eye, for writing.  Things just “pop”.  That’s when you know you’re “in the flow”, connected to your own source of creativity.  We all have one.  Getting connected is the trick.  The key to that is getting right with yourself.  I write about that in Raving Violet.

 

8      In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?

Ultimately, I’m my main character because everything is from my standpoint.  I love me a lot.  So, I’m my unabashed favorite.  Happily so.

 

9      Did you learn anything from writing your book?  What was it?

 

That dreams come true.  And writing a book wasn’t even my dream!  But it was my destiny, and I don’t mean that in a pompous way.  Listen, I wanted to be an actress.  That didn’t work out, though I’ve done lots of theatre over the decades and it is a part of who I am.  But you can’t escape your fate.  I was warned decades ago in a channeled reading  “and someday you will write”.  Uh huh.  Right.  Who cared?  I didn’t.  It was never a goal.  But I do believe I have a wonderful message to share with those who will be drawn to my words.  I survived the early death of both of my parents.  I had a short lived marriage early on that, for the most part, I’d rather forget.  However, it kickstarted my life, and I do mean KICKED, after being suicidally depressed after the deaths of my parents.

I was depressed for a very long time.  I pulled myself up by my bootstraps.  I didn’t turn to pills, doctors, drugs or alcohol.  I figured shit out.  I sought out spiritual teachings and teachers.  I took classes.  I was a “seeker”.  I still am.  The thing is, I’m a “finder” now, and I find that I am my own best teacher.  I teach that too.  I really believe we must all come back to ourselves in a loving, warm, accepting way that enables us to own ourselves, our sovereignty, and our journeys.  And happily.  It is possible.  Not just because I did it.  But because it is the essence and birth right of all humans.    Again, if you don’t believe this, you’ll never give it a test run.  I’m a believer.   I proved it to myself.   And this does not mean that you have to be happy all the time.  It means you could be, if you wanted to.   Just ask The Laughing Buddha.  Nice to know that being happier more of the time, at least, is an option.

Add that I’m funny, a smartass, you get your heartbreak and brilliant insight all with a laugh, you can’t go wrong with me.  I love my style. It’s a potpourri of poignancy, realism, magic and majesty.  I enjoy myself.  I encourage you to enjoy yourselves, too.

 

10   How did you/do you market your work?

 

Doin’ it right now, baby!  I’m not a fan of the “go for broke” school of  “do it all”. You can’t do it all.  You’d lose your mind.  I don’t text.  Heck, I haven’t had TV for 4 years, and am proud of that, and happier for it.  We all have ADHD now because of all the tweeting, tooting and twatting around.  It’s ridiculous.  We’re nervous wrecks!  I believe my book will find it’s target audience, men and women around the world, organically.  That being said, any opportunity I have to promote myself and the book, I do.  I’m very spontaneous, and very intuitive, something I talk about in Raving Violet, and how to become more so yourself.  I’ll get an email and it will inspire me to write someone, or the sender.  Could be a bookshop, a website, or a reviewer. I am a magnet now for good things since I am in a happy place.  That’s the law of attraction. It’s really worth playing with.  Get in line with yourself, and see what happens.  Life can flow easily, effortlessly, and organically.  Why suffer when you can have fun?  It really does have to do with our choices, attitudinally and behaviorally.  We are the power in our lives.  Many people don’t get that.  Yet.

 

11   Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

I have to say, it felt absolutely natural, no butterflies in the stomach.  Pleased?  You betcha.  But it was as if it had always been there.  Energetically, metaphysically, I would say that it has always been there, my destiny awaiting me.  It’s always existed.  I just had to catch up with it.  And write it.  When things are right they’re a good fit.  They feel relaxed.  I like COMFORT and ease, those are the new mottos in my life and I encourage others to try them.   I’m going to try them on in my next relationship.  I’m done with angst, longing, pain and suffering.  Been there, done that.  Seeya!

12   Favorite authors? 

Lynn Andrews, Patricia Cori, Florinda Donner, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Marciniak, Neal Donald Walsch, Michael Roads, J.R.R Tolkien, Fred Rochlin, Norton Juster, Shel Silverstein, and Dr. Seuss.

 

13   Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?

 

Nah. I only write when I have something to say.  Sometimes I’ll push myself to finish a piece, or start one, but if things really aren’t flowing I don’t get my knickers in a twist.  I’ll put something down.  Even if it seems stupid or terrible, I know it’s just a starting point.  For instance, my last blog piece was all over the place.  I was ranting about some personal stuff, then threw in some philosophical stuff, then a review of magazine articles in addition to a theatre review.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a mish mosh.  I write stream of consciousness.  But at the end of the day, there has to be a thread.  When I was ready to get down to brass tacks I deleted a good 1/3 to 1/2 of the piece.  It just didn’t belong there.  I needed to rant at the time, so I did.  But there was no reason for anyone else to read what I wrote.  You need to have discernment.  A critical eye.  And you need to “let go”. Anything deleted can be recreated.  If you were brilliant once, you’ll be brilliant again.  You are the gift.  Not your words.  The brilliance is you.  Trust that.

 

14   What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

 

“Write” is too an obvious an answer.  I say “live”.  Live your life.  Have adventures.  Dream about them.  Take action.  Take daring action. Do new stuff.  Challenge yourself.  Push your own buttons and face your fears, the greatest gifts live there (short of sticking your head in a lion’s mouth). Pursue your dreams and live them.  You can always manifest on some level.  Just because you’re not yet published doesn’t stop you from writing, does it?  A perfect example.  You don’t need permission from anyone to live your life.  Live it.  Feel it.  How can you possibly understand characters or story if you haven’t lived? The writing will come.   The opportunities will come when the time is right.  And no, you don’t get to pick when.

15   Are you working on anything new?  If so, can you tell me about it?

 

I’m writing all the time. All I have to do is live and I have a story, whether or not I leave my apartment.  Life happens, right?  Life is a story.  When you’re as fun and quirky and adventuresome as I am, the stories write themselves and I add my insight, humor, and unique spin. My second book, MEMORIES, DREAMS AND DEFLECTIONS: My Odyssey Through Emotional Indigestion, has been written and Black Opal will publish it later this year.  So I’m in the process of writing my third book, which may be RAVING VIOLET II, or some other brilliant title that catches my fancy.  Thanks to my host and interviewer, Tracee!  Blessings to all.  ©2013