Maria Savva: WIP Interview

In this week’s WIP interview, I’m pleased to feature London-based author Maria Savva. Maria writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories.

Maria, thank you for coming. We’d like to know a bit more about you. What else would you like to share?

Hi Maria, well, apart from being a writer, I worked as a solicitor for about 15 years. Currently, I work at a university on a litigation course for trainee solicitors. I think having a day job can be both a burden and a blessing for a writer. I am constantly being inspired by the people I meet at my day job. Finding the time to write, however, can be difficult!!

I live in London, and have done for most of my life. I did move to Hertfordshire for a few years in my 30s, but am now back in the city.

I’ve written 5 novels and am currently writing my sixth. I have 6 collections of short stories, “Far Away In Time” being my latest release.

What are you working on right now?

My current WIP is a collaboration with Darcia Helle, a talented suspense author, and Martin David Porter, a photographer. I used one of Martin’s photos for the cover of my short story collection, “Delusion and Dreams”. Shortly after that he contacted me and asked whether I’d be interested in writing some short stories inspired by his photographs. At the time I was working on “Far Away In Time”, so very busy and wondered how I would fit it in, but I was keen to take up the challenge. I decided to ask my fellow author and good friend, Darcia Helle, if she would like to join me. She agreed. So Martin sent ten photos and we wrote 5 stories each. Darcia finished her stories before me and was keen to write another, so we agreed that Martin would send us each one more photo. There are now 12 stories in the collection. The last story is currently being edited and then we’ll be publishing the book. It’s called “Perspectives”. It was a fun project to work on, so we’ve decided to write another. We’ve recruited a second photographer; so now there’ll be two photographers, and we’ve added 2 more writers.

My stories for the collection, “Perspectives”, are all very different. There is a fairy story, a fantasy, a couple of dark fiction stories, a sci-fi/paranormal story, and a melancholy realistic-fiction story.  Each of the photographs that Martin sent were very different, and taking inspiration from what I could see in the photos was a completely new way of writing. It was fun and the results were fascinating.

Update: Perspectives has been published! Check it out on Amazon.

Short stories inspired by photography. How interesting! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I have a full-time day job, so I can’t write every day. This can be frustrating especially when I have an idea for a story and it has to wait until I find time to write it. Having said that, I have managed to fit in quite a lot of writing and publish at least a couple of books a year. Mostly short stories at the moment due to time constraints, but I love the short story form, so yes I would say I am happy with the pace of my work. Of course, I’d love to get to the stage where I can write full-time. Financially, that isn’t possible at the moment.

Plotter, pantser or both?

Mostly I write from ideas that spring to mind. As I mainly write short stories at the moment, this doesn’t take a lot of planning. I tend to start writing and see what happens. The first draft is just writing down ideas as they come to me. Sometimes I end up with a more or less complete story, sometimes it takes a lot of editing to get the story just right. I never know how my stories are going to end until they do. The endings often surprise me.

With novels, there is an element of planning involved. I tend to start off with an A4 sheet of paper outlining a plan of what I want to happen in the novel. In my experience, the plan doesn’t last long and it soon changes as the characters begin to make the decisions along the way!

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished? (Although in your case, I think I already know the answer.)

Time. Working a day job.

Have you experienced “writer’s block” and how do you overcome it?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. My advice is write when you get inspiration. Don’t force it. I don’t believe you have to write every day. Also, you have to realise that a first draft is just for getting the story down, it doesn’t have to be perfect, so just write something even if you think it’s rubbish. When you come back to it for editing you can fix any shortcomings.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring?

I don’t have a workspace, unless you include my bed. I usually write all my stories sitting in bed at night. I like the silence and the mood of that time for writing. I still write my first drafts with a pen, so there’s no sitting in front of a computer at a desk for me. It’s rare that I’ll type a story straight onto a computer, but when I do it’s a laptop, so I don’t need a designated space for that. I like to write when the inspiration hits and mostly that’s in places where I don’t have the laptop to hand. I started writing when I didn’t own a computer, back in the old days… I suppose it’s more habit than anything else that keeps me writing by hand, although I must admit that I like writing by hand. I like pens and buy lots of pretty ones, and pretty notepads. I can spend hours in stationary shops. Yes, I know it sounds weird. I actually think, though, that when you write the first draft by hand this can help in the editing stage because you can edit as you type the manuscript. My first drafts are quite poor, but at that stage I am concentrating on getting the story down rather than whether the apostrophes are in the right places or whether the words are spelt correctly. In fact, since the introduction of computers and ‘spellcheck’ my brain has become lazy. I think we rely on computers a bit too much these days. Maybe that’s why I’m being stubborn and refusing to type the first drafts.

A charming, old-school approach and a lovely quilt! Now it’s “pinned” on my Featured Writers’ Workspace Board on Pinterest. How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I don’t see coming to the end of the draft as a celebration because that’s when the editing begins and I hate editing. Coming to end of the editing, now that is a cause for celebration.

Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I always use beta readers and a proofreader for my short stories, and when I’m writing a novel I use an editor as well. I use a formatter for e-books because I have no clue where to begin with all of that. I usually design my own covers. I publish the paperbacks myself on Lulu.com as the process is easy enough even for a technophobe like me.

Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Use #MondayBlogs on Twitter every Monday when promoting stuff on your blog. It’s a great way to get RTs and spread the word. I like the eReader News Today’s “Bargain Book” promotions.

Twitter in general is a good way to get followers and new readers. One tip for that site is you should follow back and interact with other users.

Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?

My website has all my links:http://www.mariasavva.com

I’m usually on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Maria_Savva

and Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Maria-Savva/171466979781

Maria, thank you and best of luck with Perspectives!

Thank you for inviting me here, Maria!

March Book Frenzy by Fabulosity Reads presents Jackie Weger

Writing comes easy to me … after I’ve mulled my subject over for a week. In that respect, I have much growing to do. Blog posts are no different, but the time between deciding to write and publishing this one was less than twenty-four hours, and it involved reading an entire book!

I signed up for the March Book Frenzy Blog Hop with eNovel Authors at Work organized by Fabulosity Reads which required of bloggers to choose a book cover among the eight titles listed in the Hop Catalog and write a short piece about it. Reading the blurbs, the book that appealed to me mostly was “Flaps Down – The Reluctant Hero” by Jackie Weger. Its cover, however, did not help me with the “branding” angle I had in mind, so I chose Donna Fasano’s Merry-Go-Round and presented it here.

But Jackie Weger’s blurb stayed with me for entirely subjective reasons: give me a grumpy reclusive hero who finds himself doing a one-eighty because of a woman, and I’ll drop (almost) anything to read his story. So, I spared the mind-boggling amount of 99 cents and bought the book. I might have somewhat eased my conscience, but with my TBR list looking more and more like the Tower of Pisa, I knew I wasn’t going to read it soon. Well, my three-year-old daughter decided otherwise. She had a rough night yesterday with labored breathing and a hard cough, and, around midnight, I gave up hope of falling asleep needing to keep an eye on her. So I picked up my iPad from my night stand intending to browse a book on self-publishing, but what I ended up not resisting was to peak inside “Flaps Down: A Reluctant Hero”…and by 3.30am I had finished it!

My instinct had been right. I loved it. So, after checking with lovely Wendy Ewurum from Fabulosity Reads, I’m posting my review. But first check out the blurb:

Parnell Stillman, ace pilot, is man to the bone in a lackadaisical kind of way. He has the ability to fly through anything except solid mountain. Flying is his high road until one sleet-filled morning—it isn’t. Mischance forces his plane down in a frozen wilderness. He can survive, but his live cargo is another matter–an annoying social worker and five orphans—the most irksome freight he’s ever hauled in his life.

Rebecca Hollis is determined to force the obnoxious, disagreeable, self-centered pilot to do whatever is necessary to insure the survival and rescue of the orphans… Even if it means making the noble gesture of keeping her mouth shut—or other womanly things.

But the pilot isn’t having it. He’d rather dance with a grizzly or wrestle a puma than give his heart over to a sly, wily do-gooder. He lives alone because people are not to be trusted—especially women. Furthermore, he has no intention of being a hero. No way. No how. No time. Heroics are not his thing.

Rebecca has other ideas—lots of them! All artful and disingenuous—one of which is bound to work…she hopes.

————————————-

This story worked in so many ways! First of all, there is a whole lot of adventure; and not the glossed-over, let’s-stir-things-up kind of adventure, but the real deal. The descent of the plane and its inevitable force landing are goose flesh inducing, and the ordeal of surviving in the middle of nowhere through continuous snow blizzards was portrayed in such an authentic and detailed way, I often forgot I was reading a romance. The characters are also refreshingly real and well-layered: Parnell is not only grumpy, he’s a downright misogynist. His stomach hurts when he says something nice to a woman, so he never bothers, especially when she stirs his well-concealed vulnerability. His banter with Holly is witty, surprising and never actually stops even when they admit how they feel about each other. Holly knows how to put this obnoxious lout in his place, but tries with all her might not to cross him too much, as he is their best chance at survival. Touching him though shuts her up completely. But the characters that really shine are the kids: Jonesy, who thinks no one will ever want to adopt him because he is pudgy, Yanse with his imaginary friend who’s a horse, Santee, who’s one quarter Sioux and keeps running away called by nature, Nicholas who can only see shadows but is very cool about it, and Molly who wears corrective shoes, and constantly threatens with tears:”Don’t fuss with me; I’m only five.” Between them who keep bringing Parnell to his wits’ end, and Holly who keeps bringing him to his knees, it’s a wonder he keeps functioning. But not only he functions, he turns into a hero that warms everyone hearts.

Even Ms Weger’s choice of using everyone’s POV interchangeably (a “subjective omniscient” to throw in the literary term) which is not common in romance, works perfectly, as everyone is in everyone’s presence all the time. Jackie Weger’s writing is stellar. I read the most unexpected turns of phrase with a “dated” feel which, nevertheless, didn’t feel out of place as well as some very original bodily cues. “Oh,” she replied, presenting an arabesque of indifference. Nice!

All in all, I’m so glad my conscience was nagging me and I revisited this title. I’ll surely check out other titles of this wonderful author.

You can download “Flaps Down: The Reluctant Hero” while it’s still on a countdown deal from Amazon.

Read a delightful interview with the main character, Parnell Stillman, here.

Read more about Jackie Weger on her blog

Remember to visit the other participating writers’ blogs

at eNovel Authors at Work here:

Donna Fasano

Joanne Hill

Dianne Greenlay

Abby L. Vandiver

Lorrie Farrely

Mary Smith

Carmen Desousa

Fabulosity Reads Book Tours

8 AUTHORS OVER 4 DAYS

GENRES: Romance, Historical Fiction

Tour Link:  March Book Frenzy

FIND FREE AND DEEPLY DISCOUNTED KINDLE 

COUNT DOWN DEALS ON THE HOP CATALOGUE.

GIVEAWAYS

Check out the prizes the authors are sponsoring:

FOR READERS

$35, $25 and $20

PLUS

2 featured e Books from each author.

Giveaway Link: March Book Frenzy (Readers)

PARTCIPATING BLOGGERS ONLY

2 X $20

in cash via paypal or gift card via Amazon (your choice)

Giveaway Link (Bloggers ONLY): Bloggers Giveaway

March Book Frenzy Hop presents Donna Fasano

 

8 great authors – 8 amazing books

Participating in this exciting Hop organized by Fabulosity Reads and the super energetic Wendy Ewurum, required choosing one of the eight covers of the Hop Catalog and describe why this stood out: I chose to present Donna Fasano’s Merry-Go-Round.

…an utterly charming romantic comedy…told with humor and honesty…” ~Karen McQuestion, Author of A Scattered Life, Easily Amused, and The Long Way Home

Being six months away from publishing my first contemporary romance (I decided to write an accompanying novellette. When? That’s a different story), I’m in search of the perfect concept for the covers of my Aegean Lovers series. I don’t know much, but I do know that branding is as important as professional quality when choosing a cover for your book. In the case of romance, I’ve noticed that the type of cover often denotes the degree of sensuality: the headless naked torso is a sure sign that the romance contains explicit sex scenes; the portrait of a girl or a cuddly couple outdoors usually covers a “sweet” romantic story, and cute illustrations in pastels tend to point to a chick-lit novel.

In terms of branding, the cover of Donna Fasano’s Merry-Go-Round just couldn’t go wrong. A beautiful girl who’s obviously a successful professional, has a quiet relaxing moment at the office, her thoughts taking her to a happy place which may well be a merry-go-round…or stepping off it: beautiful, comforting, the romance reader instantly feels she (or he…why not?) will have fun reading the book. Isn’t that a key to success?

Book Blurb

When Lauren divorces her husband, she has one thought on her mind…stepping off the merry-go-round. However, her life quickly turns into a three-ring circus: her hypochondriac father moves in, her ex is using her shower when she’s not home, and her perky assistant is pushing her out into the fearsome dating world. She also has to decide if the vintage merry-go-round she’s awarded in the divorce settlement is a blessing or a bane. As if Lauren’s personal life isn’t chaotic enough, this slightly jaded attorney is overrun with a cast of quirky characters who can’t stay on the right side of the law. What’s a woman to do? She can allow life to spin her in circles forever. Or she can reach out and grab the brass ring. 

That’s where you can find and download Merry-Go-Round:

Amazon Kindle US Amazon Kindle UK
Barnes & Noble Nook
Kobo Book Store
iTunes iBook Store
Also available in Paperback

And in Audio

Make sure you check out the other authors’ books in the HOP CATALOG and through their author sites:

Jackie Weger

Joanne Hill

Dianne Greenlay

Abby L. Vandiver

Lorrie Farrelly

Mary Smith

Carmen Desousa

Fabulosity Reads Book Tours

8 AUTHORS OVER 4 DAYS

GENRES: Romance, Historical Fiction

Tour Link:  March Book Frenzy

FIND FREE AND DEEPLY DISCOUNTED KINDLE 

COUNT DOWN DEALS ON THE HOP CATALOGUE.

GIVEAWAYS

Check out the prizes the authors are sponsoring:

FOR READERS

$35, $25 and $20

PLUS

2 featured e Books from each author.

Giveaway Link: March Book Frenzy (Readers)

PARTCIPATING BLOGGERS ONLY

2 X $20

in cash via paypal or gift card via Amazon (your choice)

Giveaway Link (Bloggers ONLY): Bloggers Giveaway

How horror gave romance a boost

I’m an all-weather reader, and although my escapist genre of choice is romance, I can read, evaluate and review almost anything. The only genre I’ll stay clear of is horror, and I’ll promptly explain why. About ten years ago, I collaborated with a Greek publishing house as a translator for an imprint called “Kolasi” (“Hell”). Yes, it was a horror imprint. The first book I was assigned to translate was “The Sleepless” by Graham Masterton. After dwelling in the author’s head for months, trying to twist my Greek words to serve his twisted vision of explicit torture and unimaginable physical pain, I decided I was done with that for life.

Now, when I started my author platform building, I thought that romance would be the most overpopulated genre in indie publishing. I was wrong. Soon, I found myself happily connecting with wonderful authors from all walks of writing life, and now the only criterion I apply when I move on from connection to actual interaction and “paying it forward” is quality online conduct and professionalism. So when Joseph Pinto, a horror writer, sent me a personalized DM, politely asking me to check out his horror short Apep, I did, although I was more interested in checking out Joseph’s writing skill than letting myself be exposed to the story’s basic elements. Truth be told, Apep is expertly written—poignant, evocative, graphic but not raw and very cleverly plotted. I ended up enjoying it and left a relevant comment with a disclaimer, which resulted in a brief and enjoyable banter between me and the writer, as you can see below.Joseph

Now, wanting to test Joseph’s claim that we shouldn’t be “pigeonholed” into one train of thought, I told him about “Web of Love”, the tiny Valentine story that I had recently published on Writersky. Joseph reciprocated, read it, talked it up in a tweet and the result? “Web of Love” became the most viewed story on the platform, exceeding 600 views! Well, it had been second most viewed, but it did need the extra boost. The irony? Up until then, the most read story was a horror piece!

Lesson learned: “Pay it forward” yields gold, even when you push yourself outside your comfort zone. The only currency you need is a well-honed instinct (not all people mean well), goodwill, and positive energy will start bouncing off walls!

If I piqued your interest, and you’re willing to read Apep, the link is here.

For a softer-toned, beautiful post written by Joseph Pinto, read Wings.

If you have your own “pay it forward” success stories, I’d love to hear them.

Thank you for reading.

Loving Nate by Janice Ross – Great novella plus an alternate ending

Banner 1

I ought to have been prepared for what this story holds in store. After all, I signed up to do a review for Loving Nate as part of the book’s blog hop with Fabulosity Reads, and wonderful Wendy makes sure all participating bloggers have all relevant material. But, starting reading it, I was so drawn in by Ms Ross’s effervescent writing with surprising and daring turns of phrase springing up on every single page, that I just lay back (forgetting that my seat was a hardback train seat) to enjoy a steamy romance with the two characters engaging in funny, witty banter.

Leah is gorgeous, self-confident and on the road to success. And then, on her first day at a new and promising job, she bumps into Nathan Moore—as in her boss’s boss. Nate is the guy a girl can only dream of. Perfect in all possible ways. He’s too good to be true. And he isn’t. Gradually, the story gets darker, and we see Leah’s natural light diminishing, as she gives her all to Nate, getting very little in return, or rather everything and then absolutely nothing. The course she follows is that of a junkie: as long as she gets her Nate-fix, instantly transporting her to Nathanland, she’s fine; when he disappears, the withdrawal symptoms are physically and mentally debilitating. Will Leah find the strength to fight back? Reclaim her old self?

This story is expertly written; the emotions are incredibly raw, their depiction poignant and they manage to resonate deeply whether you’ve been through a similar all-consuming relationship or not. “I don’t do drama. I write it” is what Ms Ross claims in her Twitter bio, and, apparently, it’s true. A major originality is that she goes as far as to offer two different endings to Leah and Nate’s story. But I think that’s where I have my reservations. While they are well-written, plausible and totally not cliché, reading two very different versions didn’t give me an appropriate closure. Initially, I was enthusiastic about having two options to choose from; now, I’m not sure I want to have such power as a reader.

That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Loving Nate, and I’m glad I was given the opportunity to get to know Ms Ross as a writer. I’m now a fan, waiting to get my hands on her other work, especially Damaged Girls which is also mentioned in this novel.

Book Excerpt

Nate pulls up in front of the building in a light-gray Infiniti QX56. Noticing that he’s too eager to play escort, I extend my palm to stop him and attempt to rush into the vehicle. I’m moving forward, while my head is turned backward, making sure to keep tabs on everyone coming out of the lobby.

As I step up and go to rest down, my leg misses. Had I been paying attention, I would’ve recognized the difference between inside and outside. Since I wasn’t, I end up hanging onto the door, practically straddling the ground. I don’t want to get up; my only desire is to shrivel up and disappear into thin air. Obviously, that will never happen. No sooner do I end up in this embarrassing disposition, I’m recovered by a saint and delivered onto the passenger seat. I sit completely still, clutching my purse against my gut. I think he feels bad for me because he takes hold of the seatbelt and guides the path under my arms, securing me for the trip.

“Are you okay?”

I shake my head. How do I recover from being a complete imbecile?

“Why are you so jumpy, Leah?” Nate asks once he’s behind the wheel.

“Because I’m heading out with my boss’s boss. How do you think that looks? And on my very first day too . . .”

About the Author

Janice was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate is a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

GoogleBooks

 Smashwords

Connect with the Author here:

Website: www.culturalcocktails.com

Talk show: www.blogtalkradio.com/culturalcocktails

Blog http://jgrwriter.wordpress.com &

http://myculturalcocktails.wordpress.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/JGRWriter

FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/Cultural.Cocktails

&

https://www.facebook.com/jgrwriter?ref=hl

Google+https://plus.google.com/104579627944902429382/posts/p/pub?partnerid=gplp0

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/pub/janice-ross/58/691/894/

GIVEAWAY

Enter here for a chance to win a $25  Amazon gift card  and one of 3 copies of the eBook!

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Fabulosity Reads Book Promotions is a book touring website that promotes authors and their precious works to an extensive audience using blogs, twitter, Facebook and other Social Media, with the aim of introducing them to an appreciative readership.  They offer a diverse range of both complimentary and affordable products to help the
reach of your book go that much further.

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Angel Sefer – WIP interview

Angel SeferAngel Sefer is an author of romantic suspense and mystery stories. Her debut novel, Spellbound in His Arms, became a bestseller (#1 Barnes & Noble, #2 Amazon) and was recently picked up and republished by Booktrope. (Read more about this title in the Author Spotlight I posted here.) Now, that’s the kind of success every indie author dreams about. Therefore, it is with great pleasure I host Angel in this week’s Author’s WIP interview, hoping to learn more about her and her work.

Update: Spellbound in his Arms is a finalist for the Rone Awards 2014 in the Mystery category!

Angel, thank you for coming. As a warm up, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself?

I was born in Athens, Greece. I went to school in Athens and later on in Atlanta, Georgia. I hold a degree in Economics and have worked as an executive in the corporate world on both sides of the Atlantic. However, my true passion is reading and writing fascinating romance, mystery, and suspense novels.

I live in a beautiful suburb of Athens, with the two loves of my life — my husband and my son. Our house has a great view of the sea and the mountains, which are both great sources of inspiration for me.

Could you please give us more information on your WIP and what follows Spellbound in His Arms in the “Greek Isles Series”?

Spellbound in His Arms was the first novel in The Greek Isles Series. In this series, while sharing with my readers the development of the romance between my hero and heroine and the unfolding of the mystery, I also take the opportunity to share with them the unbelievable experience of visiting some of the most enchanting Greek islands.

I’m currently working with my editor on Deadly Secrets — the second novel in this series, which blends mystery, romance, and suspense on Mykonos, one of the most beautiful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. The picturesque setting on one hand and the unique way of life on a Greek island, which reflects the values and traditions of the Greek people, on the other, set the background for this intriguing story. Deadly Secrets will be published by Booktrope in about two months.

At the same time, I’m working on The Heiress of Santorini — the third novel in the series — which will be published this fall.

All that speaks right to my heart, as I also pen romantic stories in a Greek island setting, although mine are clean-cut contemporaries, so no competition there 🙂 Now a question that I’m sure interests all self-published writers. How does a successful indie author benefit from signing a book deal with a traditional publisher?

This is a very good question, Maria, but you see, Booktrope is not a traditional publisher. This is what I love about my publisher and made me sign a contract. I have an experienced team of professionals working by my side, and I benefit from their knowledge and expertise while, at the same time, my opinion counts, and I have the final say on what happens with my book.

At Booktrope, things move as fast as you’re willing to make them happen. With a traditional publisher, it would probably take about a year or longer to get my first book republished and then, a new book published every year or two. Spellbound in His Arms was republished less than two months, after I signed up with them, Deadly Secrets is going to be published within the next two months, and The Heiress of Santorini will be published in fall.

In a few words, I get all the benefits of a traditional publisher, but also enjoy the freedom and flexibility of an indie author. Not to mention, of course, that I don’t have to pay the upfront costs of an indie writer—editing, cover designing, etc.

Sounds fantastic! You are indeed very lucky, but as H. Jackson Brown Jr. said: “Luck marches with those who give their very best!” Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

No, I don’t aim at a specific word count. Having worked for decades in the corporate world, I’m tired of discipline and deadlines. Writing for me is freedom, thrill, adventure… I’m not inspired every day to write, and when I don’t have inspiration, I don’t write. Some days, I spend time on social media, getting in touch with my friends and fans. Other days, I get lost in the alluring world of my writing…

The important thing for me is to do it from my heart. My writing can’t be forced. I have to feel it, experience every single scene and the feelings of my hero and heroine.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I don’t plan things ahead of time. I see a beautiful photo of a couple or a landscape, and I get inspiration for a story. I start, and the story forms by itself from then on and takes me to wonderful places. I love surprises, as well as twists and turns; so, I use them a lot in my novels.

I have to love my books first, before anyone else does.

What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

I don’t feel I have an enemy. It’s all up to me. Of course, everyday life can be very demanding, but it’s all up to us to make the time for the things we want.

 Have you experienced “writer’s block” and how do you overcome it?

I can’t say that I have. It’s just what I described above — some days are good for writing, and some aren’t.

Could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring?

The backbones form in my mind by looking at beautiful photos of couples or landscapes, or by letting my gaze wander over the sea and the mountains. Sometimes, I even think of a story in a dream.

The actual writing takes place in my office at home — a very special area of my own, where I can have some peace and quiet.

Now your photo is “pinned” on my Featured Writers’ Workspace Board on Pinterest. How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

By enjoying a beautiful day out in the countryside with my little boy and my husband.

Is romantic suspense the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I love mystery and suspense, as much as I like romance. So, my favorite books — either reading or writing — are romantic mystery & suspense novels. Of course, I’ve learned in my life to never say “never”. I’m not thinking of writing in another genre right now, but no-one knows what the future holds.

Would you like to share with us links where we can find you and your work?

Website:  http://www.angelsefer.com
Blog:  http://www.angelsefer.blogspot.com
Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/Vq75eu
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AngelSefer
Google+:  http://bit.ly/13Fa6aU
Amazon Author’s page:  http://author.to/AngelSefer
Goodreads Profile:  http://bit.ly/15ePyoE
E-mail:  angelsefer@ymail.com

Links for Spellbound in His Arms:

Amazon:  http://viewbook.at/SpellboundInHisArms

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1eFkkL1

Angel, thank you for coming and, once again, congratulations on your success!

Thanks so much for having me, Maria.

__________________________

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Spellbound in His Arms by Angel Sefer

Happy Launch Day to my author friend Angel Sefer for “Spellbound in His Arms”!

Spellbound in His Arms” is the first novel in Angel Sefer’s “The Greek Isles” Romantic Mystery & Suspense series. It is an award-winning bestseller (#1 Barnes & Noble – #2 Amazon) and was recently picked up and republished by Booktrope. Its most recent accomplishment was to earn a nomination for a Rone 2014 award!

Spellbound-in-His-Arms-Official-Cover Blurb:

A mansion full of secrets…

From the moment investigative reporter Jackie Alexander steps foot inside the mansion dominating the Demiris estate on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, her suspicions are on high alert. This is no ordinary assignment… the life of her beloved cousin, Aphrodite, is in grave danger, as the heirs to the incredible fortune of Greek tycoon Andreas Demiris are dying one after the other, under mysterious circumstances.

A man with secrets of his own…

The only person who can help Jackie is Michael Apostolou, former Special Forces Officer and one of the finest detectives on the Athens police force. Jackie realizes soon enough that despite her simmering desire for him, she can’t really trust him, as the seductive detective seems to be investigating those mysterious deaths for reasons of his own.

Trusting the wrong person can be deadly…

Jackie and Michael are forced to work together, but the suspicions and unanswered questions are devouring them, just like their rising passion for each other. In games like this, the stakes are high and the players are ruthless. When Jackie is kidnapped by the most dangerous player of all, time is running out as Michael is forced to choose between jeopardizing his mission and personal quest for justice, or the life of the gorgeous intruder of his heart…

Links to buy:

Amazon:   http://viewbook.at/SpellboundInHisArms

Barnes & Noble:   http://bit.ly/1eFkkL1

About the Author

Angel Sefer

Angel Sefer was born in Athens, Greece. She has studied and worked on both sides of the Atlantic. She holds a degree in Economics and divides her time between the corporate world and her true passion: reading and writing romantic mystery and suspense novels.

She lives in Athens, Greece, with the two loves of her life — her son and her husband.

Angel is a member of several writers groups.

My review:

I finished reading “Spellbound in his Arms” in a single day. Trust me, that was not my intention. My very busy schedule allows me to read while I commute to work and just a bit in bed, before my eyes slide shut and my Kindle hits me on the nose. Well, that wasn’t the case here. I stayed up well after my usual bedtime because I just had to finish this riveting story. Angel Sefer weaves an intricate story full of twists, turns, mistrust and unexpected surprises that come down in a torrent from the very first page! The reader has barely time to pause and breathe in the intoxicating bougainvillea aromas or take in the wonderful Corfiat scenery, and yet another gunshot makes investigative reporter Jackie Alexander take flight. Most of the times though, she runs right into gorgeous detective’s Michael Apostolou’s arms. If only she could be sure where he stands in this web of manipulative, deadly heirs and their victims that keep piling up.

If you enjoy suspenseful romances set against an exotic island setting, “Spellbound in his Arms” is just the book for you.