Cherry and Almond cupcakes: a werewolf favorite by Kryssie Fortune

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and everyone’s mind (at least on the other side of the pond) are thinking about turkey, yams and all sorts of treats. Well, Kryssie Fortune, author of To Mate a Werewolf (Scattered Siblings Book 3)
wishes to add extra yumminess to your Thanksgiving table with her Cherry and Almond Cupcakes. Scroll down for an enticing excerpt of the book as well. Kryssie?

Hi, Kryssie Fortune here. I’ve popped over to share one of my latest heroine’s recipes. She’s spent the last two year running the Lykae armies’ mess, and she’s cooked her way into their werewolf hearts. I thought you might like a peak at one of their favorites.

Recipe for Cherry and Almond Cupcakes.

Cherry_and_almond_cupcakes

Ingredients (Makes 1 dozen)

For the cupcakes

5 oz softened butter
5 oz caster sugar
3oz self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs – beaten with 1 teaspoon milk
2oz ground almonds
1 tablespoon milk at room temperature.

For the icing

8oz icing sugar
Strained lemon juice (Roughly 3 tablespoons)
12 glace cherries – rinsed and dried.

Muffin tray and lined with cup-cake cases.

Method

Preheat oven to 190C or gas mark 5
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until creamy
Add the other cupcake ingredients and mix again.
Once the mixture turns creamy, spoon into the case.
Bake for 15 to 20mins. V.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, mix the icing until smooth. Spread over the cupcakes and add a cherry to top of each.

While you are here, please take a look at my book.

Happy baking!

Kryssie Fortune

KF_to_mate_a_werewolf

 

Excerpt

She welcomed him with a smile and retied the turquoise ribbon in her hair. “I thought you were going to sponsor Ellie into the Tundra Tough pack. She might not be a shifter, but once the unattached males taste her cooking, she certainly won’t lack for suitors.”

Joel growled, angry at the thought of his pack mates pawing Ellie. His guilt hit him like a battering ram. He didn’t want her, but he hated the idea of other males—and most of them were all-right guys—courting her either.

Brotherly protectiveness, he supposed. Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

Breathe. Smile. Get Pamela on my side. She’d make him a good lieutenant when she’d served her two-year stint in the forces. He shook his head. “She going to open a cake shop in the mundane world instead. She bribed a recruit with an apple pie, on condition he took her back to Whitby. I need someone to keep an eye on her, and it looks as though you’re it. Of course, I’ll pay you for your time.”

“Do I detect a guilty conscience, sir? I’ve been tight with Ellie. She’s got guts, and I certainly don’t need paying to be her friend.”

“Report to me as soon as you hear anything. Dismissed.” He saluted and returned to his quarters.

She grinned and flashed away. Whitby was a hotbed of otherworld connections, but without magic Ellie couldn’t use them. Much as Joel hated the new cook for pushing Ellie away, he hated himself more. If it wasn’t almost the new moon, and Ellie hadn’t run, he’d have kept his hands  to himself. . . maybe. They’d both enjoyed their steaming-hot sex, but he couldn’t sponsor one of his cast-off lovers into this pack. His unknown fiancée would be justifiably teed-off if he did.

Purchase Link: Amazon / Loose-id

Connect with the Author

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kryssie.fortune

Twitter https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune

Thanks to Facebook book group https://www.facebook.com/foodcakesblogger for letting me raid their site for recipes.

________________________________________________

MM Jaye: Fate Accompli is now out on Amazon in two heat versions. The links below will take you directly to your Amazon store.

Fait Accompli - Spicy version

Fate Accompli Spicy: getBook.at/FateSpicy

Fate Accompli Clean: getBook.at/FateClean

If you’d like to read the first chapters of Fate Accompli, they’re available on Wattpad.

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Heather Hill writes: WIP Interview

This week I’m hosting a lady from the enchanting “land of the free, home of the brave”, who knows how to make people laugh. Heather, welcome aboard!

Hi all! I’m a mum of five (not the band) and recently became a grandmother for the first time. Four years ago, I began a quest to become a comedy writer after humble beginnings tweeting jokes and one-liners which seemed to get a great response. As my follower list and favstars increased, so did my need for that drug known as ‘the power to make people laugh’. What a high! I was hooked.

So, I wrote a sitcom and at the same time, joined the professional networking site, LinkedIn. Then things really got interesting.

I managed, just through making a conscious effort to chat to people rather than just ‘collect contacts’ to get my work read by several of the UK’s top producers. I didn’t get a commission for my work, but I did get some fantastic feedback. People thought my work was funny. But I couldn’t actually sell it. So, from there, I went to writing my comedy novel for women, “The New Mrs D”.

Before we talk about your WIP, can you clue us in some more about your life?

I’ve been someone’s mum for the past twenty three years and during that time, held down a pretty diverse collection of jobs, from barmaid, to nursing, to managing social housing stock and finally, to a half and half job of fixing computers and carrying out admin tasks for a HR department. The last one was the straw that broke the donkey’s back. One day, I was photocopying 400 job application forms for my employer – twice – whilst day dreaming about all the better things I could be doing with my life. I’d already started using Twitter by that time and was getting a buzz from the people liking and sharing my jokes. I even saw people pinch them and call them their own at time. That day, I literally looked at my life from standing over a photo-copier and said, ‘you know what? This isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing.’

That week I quit my job, in a recession, to find myself. And don’t get me wrong I did find myself, but I was a lot hungrier than the previous month when I had a monthly pay cheque.

Good for you! (Not the hungry bit, but managing to turn your life around.) What are you working on right now?

A comedy novel with a ‘working title’ I rather hope I get to keep. It’s called, ‘I Hate That You Bloody Left Me’ and it’s about three widows that meet in an online chatroom and decide to go together to see a famous psychic medium, who is doing his last ever show before retiring, in the hope that they might get a message from their husbands.  When none of them do, they follow him to his holiday home in the Scottish Highlands to beg him for a private sitting and end up accidentally kidnapping him. The rest of the novel is a series of hilarious misunderstandings and mishaps, but the magic in the ending is that the three women find they are linked in ways they never knew and that perhaps their meeting wasn’t by chance at all.

That sounds highly readable! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

My first novel, ‘The New Mrs D’ had to be self-published in the end, even though I managed to get an agent to represent it, so I have ended up spending more time on trying to market this novel than I am on writing, which is a shame. I know even published writers have to market, but when you have very little money to live on, you end up torn between dreaming up ways to sell the first book and that sense of urgency of getting the second book out. Plus, I have to be funny while the wolf is at the door! All of this has meant progress is much slower than I’d like! But every piece of advice I read from other authors screams, ‘get that next book out!’ So, I know I really have to pick up the pace.

I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to the first draft, because I now know that it is never perfect and is always going to need heaps of rewrites and changes. I think stopping to edit yourself is a big barrier to getting to the end. You just have to keep writing!

Say it so I can hear it. I have to learn to do this myself. Plotter, pantser or both?

Plotter. Most definitely. I have a beat sheet that someone gave me and I’ve used it to map out sections for the entire novel where certain things are supposed to happen. Things like, ‘in the beginning, life is like this for your protagonist…’ and then, ‘in the middle, you took her life and turned it upside down! Oh no, what will he/she do?’ It reminds me to keep it a page turner for the reader.

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

Time spent marketing when I wish I was writing! And, being self-published there is that awful, niggly naggly doubt of ‘is this going to work? Am I good enough?’ I spend a lot of time talking myself round from that last one, as I think a lot of writers do.

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

Haha! I am a fan of longhand and write lying on the floor, in front of the fire. This brings its own little problems…. Like battles for space…

I can see that! Now your photo is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

Not at all. I just write and when a question on something arises, I Google. I have, however, contacted many professionals on particular issues like in The New Mrs D when I had to write a chapter about my protagonist setting off a mass volcanic eruption scare on a Greek Island. It’s funny, because I thought I was writing something quite far-fetched, but on speaking to a couple of volcanology professionals, I found that it had actually been done in some very amusing circumstances!

Was that the scene where you asked for help on Greek words from me? That’s how we connected on Twitter! How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

Same as last time – with my favourite nip of Bruichladdich whisky. Sounds like hard liquor, but it really is lovely! You should try it!

Overlooking a loch? Most definitely! Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’ve learned a huge lesson with this first book, as I went with Amazon owned Createspace and then found I couldn’t distribute the book to the UK or Australia – where my ebook charted at No1 overall bestseller for a time. It has really hampered my efforts as I contacted all the book stores over there, saying, ‘look, my ebook is riding high in the charts. Would you consider stocking the paperback?’ Then after getting a few positive responses I have had to backtrack and publish a second edition – with Ingramspark – who DO distribute to the UK and Australia. I will go straight to Ingrams next time. It is a little harder to format the book, but worth the effort.

Oh my! That must have been frustrating! Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

I’m not going to lie, marketing has been (and is) very, very difficult. I was lucky that my ebook was randomly chosen by Amazon for a one day Kindle Daily Deal which sent it soaring to the top of the humour and women’s fiction charts. But keeping it there is very hard when no one knows who you are.

I have contacted as many book bloggers as I could find and only manage to get reviews on a handful of sites. It is difficult, but there are some lovely folks out there who will review your book for you. You just have to persevere.

I don’t recommend paid adverts through social media. But I wholeheartedly recommend networking kindly and helpfully. Just be yourself. Don’t permanently send out ‘buy my book messages’. I don’t know ANYBODY who doesn’t hate that.

Your blog is hell4heather.com. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

My blog is a free platform where I write random thoughts, advice to writers, updates on my progress and post pictures of cows and sheep that have broken into my garden for the umpteenth time this year. I do have the occasional guest post, but they are few and very far between. It’s a platform for my own musings really. I’m not really a great sales person, (she says, with one blog post entitled, ‘BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK!’) so I don’t like to make it about selling – it’s about being me really. Just myself, reaching out to readers in the hope that maybe they’ll see something they’d like to read more of.

Is it comedy you intend to write more of?

For sure! My first novel was rejected by thirteen publishers, many of them offering a commonly themed feedback line: ‘the humour is too crude and close to the bone.’ So, I tried to discipline myself to write something more marketable and ended up with ten chapters of a really unfunny book that I don’t like at all. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back and rework it, but I had to put it aside and be myself again to begin, ‘I Hate That You Bloody Left Me,’ which is definitely in my signature crude humour and chatty writing style.  Whatever you do, you can’t please everyone and comedy is subjective, there will always be people who don’t get the joke or hate your writing style. But then, I don’t know about you but I want to read something edgy and different. And you will never get edgy and different if everyone tried to conform to what is already out there.

Hear, hear! Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? You said chocolate. If any of the options have chocolate in them, it’s always that. Chocolate toilet seat, Heather? YES PLEASE!

Pizza or sushi? WHY DO PEOPLE EAT RAW FISH?!? I once tasted oysters. Urgh.. like jellied sea. Don’t, just don’t…. PIZZA!

Twilight or The Hunger Games? I’m forty three and watch very little TV. So I’m thinking Twilight because that’s when it’s all lovely and sundownie in the sky.

Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Colin Firth! Oh wait, that wasn’t one of the choices. Okay, Ryan Gosling played by Colin Firth. There is no room in my private fantasy life for anyone else. There, I said it.

You won’t find me arguing about Colin Firth! Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? I absolutely love hiking, so it’s trekking, hands down. My husband is always dragging me up Scottish munros and I swear at him all the way up because I’m exhausted and he bullies me like a drill seargent to get me there, but I feel a great sense of achievement when we get to the top and the views are always spectacular. It’s another world up there. Of course, a little break in Tahiti afterwards would be nice.

Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Ugg boots. I hate stilettos. I’m five foot nothing and a little – ahem – top heavy. So stilettos turn me in to the human Leaning Tower of Pisa. Ooh, pizza!

LOL! You’re funny! Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

Web  http://www.hell4heather.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHillComedy

Twitter & Instagram @hell4heather

Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heather-Hill/e/B00FF6G602/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/hell4heather/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HeatherHill/

Thank you, Heather, for being here today, and good luck with “The New Mrs D”.

Various States of Undress by Laura Simcox (Tasty Virtual Book Tour plus Guest Post)

Talking about complicated! A CEO needs a savvy girl for his family’s legacy department store, but the perfect candidate has a tiny little flaw: she’s the president’s daughter. Add romance to that equation, and the only result you get is … Various States of Undress.
Scroll down for an A-MAZING guest post by Laura Simcox on the right attitude to rejection and also chance to win a Digital Copy of VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: VIRGINIA and get to meet Laura Simcox. This virtual book tour is brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.
VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: VIRGINIA

 

 

When the president’s daughter risks everything with her sexy new boss, they’re bound to find themselves in Various States of Undress! 

If she had it her way, Virginia Fulton—daughter of the President of the United States—would spend more time dancing in Manhattan’s nightclubs than working in its skyscrapers. Tired of dodging paparazzi, she needs a change. And a real chance. So when she finds herself in the arms of sexy, persuasive Dexter Cameron, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, Virginia sees it as a sign … but can she take it without losing her heart?

CEO-to-be Dexter Cameron knows he’s taking a risk by hiring a stylish party girl to jumpstart his family’s legacy department store. But the president’s gorgeous daughter has her thumb on the pulse of Manhattan, and the partnership seems like a win-win … until Dex discovers that his goals now include more than securing the corner office—they include Virginia herself. Dex must decide: does he make a move up the ladder? Or on the girl of his dreams?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author

After spending years in professional theater as a costume designer, Laura Simcox eased out of the hectic whirlwind of opening nights and settled in a comfy desk chair to write romance. She believes that life is too short not to appreciate heartwarming, quirky humor and her novels are lighthearted journeys into the happily-ever-after. She lives in North Carolina with her true love and adorable little son.

 

WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER  |  GOODREADS

How to Avoid the Rejection Blues: Taking Aim (And Not at Your Own Foot)

By Laura Simcox

When I was in Junior High, I wanted three things: my braces off, my zits to magically disappear, and for the boy of my dreams to notice I was alive.

Because I was thirteen, I naturally assumed that I was the only girl to ever experience this triple threat of anguish—the zittiest, braciest, most incredible freak of nature to ever walk Planet Earth—but I had a Kamikaze-like desire to succeed lurking within me. (Still do.)

I wrote the boy a note, complete with check boxes, asking if he liked me (I know…ouch) and I slipped it into his notebook when he wasn’t looking. He sat to my right, and two desks up in English, so I could always see when he opened that notebook. You know what? He kept my note, right where I’d stashed it in the clear pocket in front, which gave me boundless hope. You know what else? He never answered me.

So, I was rejected, but it was by default. There were times when I wished with all my heart that he’d looked me in the eye and said no. There were plenty of other times I was so glad that he hadn’t had the heart to do that. Rejection is slippery that way—especially when you’re never quite sure why it has happened. And because I was at such a volatile age, I obsessed about the note, and him for an entire year.

This little painful story is meant to illustrate what it’s like to have your work rejected, because if you’re an author, chances are you’ve experienced both the flat ‘No’ and the mystifying lack of response. It’s hard to move on from either type of rejection, but to succeed, moving on has to happen one way or the other. I was able to move on from Silent Boy, and I’ve moved on from writer’s rejection, too.

I firmly believe in one simple thing: If, despite my best efforts, something doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. The boy didn’t reject me because of my zits, he rejected me because I wasn’t his type. And when my work gets rejected, it’s not because my writing sucks, it’s because I wasn’t the publisher’s type, either.

I’ll make one thing clear—you have to know upfront that you don’t, in fact, suck. If you’re getting interest in your work, you don’t. If you’re rejected over and over again, there is a small chance that you do. There’s also a very good chance that you’re actually awesome, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Prepare. Take careful aim. Then shoot yourself at the likeliest target. Survive like Katniss, right? Even though your work can seem like your life—it’s not your life at stake. You’re going to get rejected, but you’re not going to die.

That being said, I’ve learned the hard way not set myself up for rejection in the first place. That sounds arrogant, counterproductive, and a bit paranoid, I know, but hear me out. I’m not a genius, but I’ve only been rejected a handful of times (so far). This is why: Before I ever submitted a single word, I spent months online—stalking editors, agents, trends, authors, and most importantly, publishers. I read all kinds of theories about getting your foot in the door, and in the meantime, I worked on writing craft. Like—really hard.

In the end, I decided that logic was my best friend. I’d read that if an author doesn’t know who she is, and exactly what she writes, how will anyone else know, either? Editors and agents can work magic, but they don’t have magic balls. It was up to me to say “Hi, I’m Laura. I write lighthearted, sexy contemporary romance.”

I never submitted to publishers and editors who didn’t publish my particular genre, even if I desperately admired them. When I did submit, I made sure I followed their guidelines to a T. (After all, they didn’t write those guidelines just for giggles.) I never submitted to agents who didn’t already represent authors and genres similar to myself.

When I thought I was ready, I sent my book pitch to several friends who read romance, not telling them that I’d written it. I just said, “Would you read this book?” Three answered “Sounds cute, so maybe” and three said “Um…I’m not quite sure what it’s about, exactly.” Okay—that’s not good enough. I didn’t want “Meh…” or “Huh?” when I sent my work to an editor or agent—or worse—sat in front of them, wincing at the words coming out of my own mouth!

So I rewrote the pitch, envisioning a reader picking my book up at a book store, flipping it over, scanning the back copy and grinning. I asked myself if I would want to buy the book based on the description. After all, if I didn’t like my pitch, wouldn’t it seem as if I didn’t like my own book? Once I felt as ready as possible, I started to send it out.

Was I nervous? Yeah. Did I pray and then cringe every time I hit the send button? Oh yeah. And did I get rejected? Three times. And then one day, I was in the right place at the right time and was the right fit. That’s lucky—I know, but at the same time, I went to a conference completely prepared.

The agent I had an appointment with (waves at amazing agent) didn’t know that I’d already read every scrap of info I could find on her. I almost whipped out some of that knowledge to prove that I’d done my homework, but I realized that wasn’t why I was there. I was there to tell her about my book as clearly as I could. I sat in front of her and read my super-short, carefully worded pitch, and when she asked me questions, I had an idea of my target audience, and how my book would work in a series. I was successful, due to a combination of my careful, hard work, the stars aligning, and her forgiving my breathless voice and (probably) crazy smile.

In the years ahead, I expect more successes, but I also expect more rejections—because I won’t be at the right place at the right time, despite all of my wonder nerd efforts. It happens.

Yeah, I’ll be bummed, but I can go down in a blaze of glory knowing for sure that my aim was true. The target (and I) just weren’t in the right place at the right time. J


 





Grab Book One in the Series


The Dos and Don’ts of a review seeker: Guest Post by Ichabod Temperance

I connected with paranormal/steampunk writer, Ichabod Temperance, earlier this year during a cross-blog critique event where he bravely submitted his excellent work for constructive criticism. Ichabod has written five novels: ‘A Matter of Temperance‘, ‘A World of Temperance‘, ‘For the Love of Temperance‘, ‘A Study in Temperance‘ and ‘In a Latitude of Temperance‘, all available on Amazon.

In this guest post, the man himself, will give us insight into his steep review-seeking learning curve. And steep it was!

inalatitudekindlecover

In Review with Temperance

Hello my friends! My name is Ichabod Temperance. I am very new to writing and self-publishing, but would like to share a few thoughts on the battle to gain reviews.

Our story begins with a boy writing a book. The silly chap thinks that writing the book is all that he has to do and believes that publication, sales, fame and fortune will just trot themselves into formation to carry him into the sunset. Much to the elderly youngling’s surprise, no-one wants to read his goofy book. He writes another. No sales! The fledgling writer realises that huge amounts of shameless self-promotion are called for. The electronic dunce is introduced to social media. The dangerous knowledge of how to paste a link is passed into his hands. With complete innocence, a spammer is born. Suspension from facebook and twitter quickly follow his novice zeal. Undaunted, the delusional writer then begins a review request campaign.
This is carried out in a sloppy manner, with numerous embarrassing mistakes:

Photo by Depositphotos - edited with PhotoScape
Photo by Depositphotos – edited with PhotoScape

Subject line: Review Request. That is all that is required. No need to get cutesy here.

A nice Greeting: It is hard to not be clumsy here! Don’t be generic, as in: “Hi Blogger. I hope you are having a nice day.” This person is being asked to devote time and attention where their time might be better spent reading someone else’s book. Then they are asked to write a book report on it! Geez! The least our prospective author can do is spend a moment on the blogger/reviewer, reading their bio, a review or two, and just generally getting a feel for their blog.

The kid’s greetings slowly improved. He might now open his letter with: “Hello Maria. I am thrilled to be in contact with someone in Greece! This is a first for me and is very exciting! You and your family appear to live in an idyllic world. BTW- Is that a shark in the water on your blog photo?”

Too wordy with his Genre description:
*Steampunk, Paranormal, Happily Ever After, Action/Romance, told in a Humorous fashion.
+I think this is slightly better for him:
*Steampunk/Paranormal.
These are humorously told adventures with a touch of innocent romance.

Asking for reviews before the book is ready!
Our hypothetical writer sends out a gazillion requests. A few requests were answered and out go the books. He gets some bad reviews. They were not mean, but a couple said that the books needed a lot more work. I suspect that many early reviewers that he did not hear back from ‘Did Not Finish’ the books, and just never bothered to contact this author. One reviewer published a ‘DNF’ review on the second book, but it was accompanied by constructive criticism, not mean-hearted snarkiness. Again, the opinion was that the author was on the right track, but needed to go back and work on the book some more. Review requests are suspended until these first two books are cleaned up. Without an editor or Beta readers, other than his significant other, it behoves our friend to exercise more caution with what he presents to be judged.

Read and follow the Review Requests Policies!
If a reviewer does not accept independent writers, you must respect that position. It took a moment for our favourite dingbat to catch on to the fact that many people despise indies.

Writing and promotional advice is then eagerly sought by the desperate fellow.

One day, he comes upon an article, ‘Five Ways New Writers Can Chase Away Potential Readers‘. Here is some good advice! Much of the information is very easy to implement, as it is simply an application of common sense. This wonderful woman generously shares a clever tip with our thick headed pal: Take advantage of Twitter. She tells of how an author showed her a kindness by sending out a tweet to put her over, that is, make her books appealing. Our storybook hero began doing this. People appreciate and enjoy his saying something nice about them or their work and his recognition has spread because of it. Reviewers are now approached through twitter to develop a relationship before then asking permission to submit the books for review. This has helped our protagonist to gain reviews and consideration from bloggers that normally may not consider his genre. He, that is, I, am now enjoying the spotlight of a noted romance book blog, that may not have noticed me if I had not made a good impression through twitter first. (The book blog mentioned is Tome Tender, and here’s Icky’s author spotlight.)

Thank you, Maria!
Cheers, my friends! *klink*

Aww! I’m a sucker for stories with a happy ending, and this one certainly has one to show! Thank you, Icky, for your insight and also for the kind mention. The thought that a post I published help you get onto the right track, baffles me! I’m not even published (a fact that will change on November 21! 🙂 ).

If you love Icky’s style and would like to get to know him better, read his fun WIP interview on this blog! For more on his work, visit his Amazon’s Author Page.

And if you have review-seeking stories to share, please do in the comments’ section. Thanks for reading!

Quanie Miller: WIP Interview

This week’s author guest is a beautiful southern girl, Quanie Miller. Hi Quanie!

Hi Everyone! My name is Quanie Miller and I’m the author of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzyand
the southern paranormal novel, The New Mrs. Collins,now available on Amazon. You can find me blogging at quanietalkswriting.com. Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself? 

I’m a married mother of one and love to spend my time making traditional Louisiana dishes like jambalaya and pralines. I probably watch more television than I should and think obsessively about my writing.

collins_promoBy the way this is a fantastic cover! Excellent branding! Exercise in lean writing: give us a synopsis of your current WIP in under 200 words.

When Leena Williams suspects that there’s something other worldly about her son’s new stepmother, she goes digging for answers and discovers a little too late that some secrets are better left buried.

That certainly is gooseflesh-inducing! What are you working on right now?

Well, right now I’m really focused on promoting The New Mrs. Collins.
And when I’m not doing that, I’m tinkering with an outline for a novel that feels like it’s going to be paranormal. Without giving too much away, it looks like it’s going to be about this girl who, after a traumatic experience, learns something shocking about herself.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

Generally, yes. Some days are better than others. I don’t aim for a specific word count because what matters to me is, “How good is this particular scene when I leave the computer?” Sometimes a hard scene can take up pretty much my entire writing session. And I do try to stick to a writing schedule: the first two hours when I get up in the mornings.

Even after the arrival of the little one? I admire you! Plotter, pantser or both?

Plotter! I outline extensively before I write. I have to know where I’m going before I start writing. But even with an outline, there are plenty of surprises along the way. Characters really know how to surprise you!

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

Fear that what I’m writing isn’t good enough so why even finish it when the work is going to be terrible? I battle with this the entire time I’m writing. I don’t think it ever goes away.

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

I think that happens when something I’m working on feels like a chore (when it’s a work in progress, that’s how I know that something about the story isn’t working or that it’s a story that I probably need to abandon). I get over this by giving myself some tough love: your writing career is your responsibility. Now get your behind in gear and write!

Quanie Miller - WorkstationCould we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

My writing desk is in front of two windows that overlook our front yard (but sometimes, I’m guilty of just opening the blinds and daydreaming as opposed to writing!)

I can totally understand why you choose the blackout! Now your workspace pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I don’t. I’ve considered using Scrivener but haven’t gotten around to trying it.

 How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

With a nice big glass of wine!

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

Oh, wow! I am definitely going to outsource the book cover (if I did my own book cover it would look like something a kindergartener did, or probably worse!), the proofreading, and definitely the formatting. The only thing I’m confident about is my ability to tell a story!

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

I’m no marketing expert but I think it helps if you actually tell people you wrote a novel. For some reason, I was so shy about telling people that I was a novelist! Not sure why that is. And blogging is a great way to meet other authors and potential readers (but building those relationships takes time. It’s not an overnight thing).

Your blog is quanietalkswriting.com. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

Not at first. I kind of just started blogging because I read that all writers should have a blog, but lately I’ve been trying to tackle issues that all authors deal with, but in a humorous way. I try to talk about issues that are conversation worthy so that they encourage people to either comment or share the content.

Is paranormal the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I also write comedy. Initially, I thought I needed to choose between paranormal and humorous fiction since they’re polar opposites but I imposed those boundaries on myself. I don’t think people care about genre as long as the story is entertaining.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Dude! Chocolate!
  • Pizza or sushi? Pizza, of course, (although, I do get a craving for a California roll or tempura every now and then!)
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? The Hunger Games!
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor or Idris Elba? Idris. Hands down! Oh, yes!
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Oh, Lord. Ummm…I’ll say snorkeling since this seems to imply warm weather.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? I’ll say stilettos, but hopefully they’ll have a low heel! Yeah, gimme a pair of those! 🙂

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

Book Purchase Links

Amazon (US) http://www.amazon.com/New-Mrs-Collins-Quanie-Miller-ebook/dp/B00OAC362I

Amazon (UK) http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Mrs-Collins-Quanie-Miller-ebook/dp/B00OAC362I

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/483357

Social Media Links

Twitter: @quaniemiller
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QuanieMillerAuthor
Blog: http://www.quanietalkswriting.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/QuanieMiller
Website: quaniemiller.com
Email: quanie@quanietalkswriting.com

Quanie, thank you so much, and good luck with The New Mrs. Collins!

Flamingcrystal: WIP Interview

My author photoThis week’s guest is a wonderfully giving lady who, although sharing my time zone, lives and writes in the opposite hemisphere—South Africa.

Hi Marlaine!

Hello Maria, thank you for inviting me to your blog, and doing this interview with me. Greatly appreciated. I am Marlaine Lloyd writing under my fantasy pen name Flamingcrystal. I am the author of Dejavu, Destiny, Fatal Fantasy, Ghost Portal, Geeste Portaal, Die Minnaar and Dejavu & Destiny : Book 1 and book 2 of the Dejavu Series.

Before we talk about your work process, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself aside of your writing credentials.  

I am a widow and have 2 beautiful daughters. We are currently living in a very small town, Pongola in Kwazulu Natal in South-Africa. I’ve studied Retail Marketing at Unisa many moons ago (pssst whispers, a woman should always be mysterious about her age – I would love to have a magic wand that could keep me in my mid thirties, although I’m past that age already…) I have a day job working in the retail fashion sector, as senior Store Manager. I recently sustained a serious spinal injury at work, resulting in 2 spinal operations within 3 months of each other, but the bright side of this is that it gave me ample time to write and get my books published, in the time that I’ve being at home. If everything goes as planned I would be returning to work by December 28th, 2014. Writing, sketching, cooking, and  chatting on Twitter and Face Book are my most beloved hobbies.

ECOVER DejavuDestinyYou sure know how to make delicious homemade lemon juice out of the lemons that piled on your doorstep! What are you working on right now?

I am currently working on book 3 of the Dejavu Series, but this time the POV will be that of the 16 year old, supernaturally gifted twins that are on a mission to create havoc.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I aim at 2000 + words a day or at least to write every 1st draft within 70 days, and done that with all my previous books…but with my current WIP it will be much longer than that, as the first two weeks after the spinal operations I’m sleeping way too much…

You’d better listen closely to what your body needs… Plotter, pantser or both?

Pantser mostly…. I don’t have the patience to plot out every single detail of my story. Once started, the story sometimes takes on a life of its own, but I never lose sight of my initial outline and the goals each of my characters need to achieve, to keep the readers on the edges of their seats… and where I want to create ‘peak’ stages in the story.

That’s exactly my M.O.! What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

I have to admit, I just love Twitter and Face Book, but it is such a delightful distraction.  

Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

The tree was the inspiration for Ghost Portal
The tree was the inspiration for Ghost Portal

I love to look at the view outside my window or to think about the view on my folks farm, the latter always inspires me to write. (Picture attached – the view at my folks farm.)

Now this image is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest! Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I find this cover creator website very handy http://www.ebookcover.pro/

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I intend to celebrate with my daughters and their boyfriends at a restaurant that serves the biggest platters of seafood.  

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

Gary is such a sweetheart, he is always promoting authors on his website at http://look4books.co.uk/bestindieauthor

I also love author alliance

http://www.authoralliance.net/category/promote-your-book

Clive Eaton has a list of websites that authors could use for free book promotions

http://www.cliveeaton.com/freebookpromotions.html

Authors also could tweet their free or bargain book with link & include RT @WordSatSpangalo  

 

Thank you for the awesome tips! Are Mythology, Paranormal, & Contemporary Romance the genres you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

Dejavu is my only mythology/romance with 50 Shades of Blushing Pink *just teasing*  honestly it only has 3 really -oehhh aahhh – very romantic scenes. I love mythology and always getting goosebumps while writing about anything supernatural. I’ve recently published my first Young Adult supernatural book and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment writing that…so I think I’m now hooked on YA!  

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or ice cream? Chocolate mint ice cream.
  • Pizza or sushi? Spare-rib pizza. Whaaaa?! Not only I’ve never had one (and God knows I’ve had all kinds of pizza, but I can’t even picture this! J)
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? Both but *whistle/howl* Jacob from Twilight is sexy, if I was younger…*sigh*
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Benedict Cumberbatch.   
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Snorkeling
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? I love both, but stilettos are dangerous in more ways than one *wink-wink*

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

My webpage is http://www.flamingcrystal.com

I am on Twitter @FlamingCrystal1

My Author page is at Amazon Author Central  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HMJYX8M

Thank you, Marlaine, and best of luck with your future projects!

Thank you for featuring me here Maria, and best of luck with all your books too! I am looking forward to reading your romance ‘Fate Accompli’, with its Greece setting and Greek gods.

Nina Lemay: WIP Interview

An extra perk of hosting authors for virtual book tour companies is connecting with awesome writers. After reading  and reviewing Shameless, a not for the faint of heart, edgy but very well written NA romance, set in Montreal, I sought the writer out, knowing that she would give me a great WIP interview. I was right. Nina, in her twenties, is the youngest writer featured here so far. Nina, you’re on:

Hi! I’m Nina Lemay, aka that girl who wrote that feminist stripper book, aka Shameless (available now on Amazon). The rest of the time, I write YA and adult speculative fiction. I’m an indie author with hybrid aspirations.

Nina, thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, why don’t you tell us a few things about yourself outside writing.

I’m (almost) fully trilingual, having moved to Montreal at a young age. One of these days I’ll write an epic Montreal-set novel en français, but until then, I’m working on my BFA in Creative Writing in English. Like a number of writers (as it turns out), I’m somewhat socially awkward and am way more comfortable in front of a keyboard than in front of people—which is why I’m hoping to work as a full-time writer or freelance editor once my degree is finished. Yay pajamas!

What I loved about Shameless was its location. I’ve been to Montreal, and it’s a beautiful city. My husband has also spent twelve years there. Can you talk your city up a bit?

plateau balconiesMontreal, I find, is outrageously underrepresented in books. Regardless of genre. And I have no idea why, it’s a really cool place with a rich history to rival New Orleans. The Catholic and French roots of Montreal (and Quebec as a whole) mean that it looks quite different from a number of North American cities. It has a more European feel—which doesn’t always work in our favor, for example, those pretty outdoor winding staircases probably look wonderful in the south of France, but here they’re basically an ice-slicked deathtrap eight months of the year.

But what really sets Montreal apart is the mindset. It is a little bit hedonistic, with rich food and entertainment and yes, there really is a strip club on every block on Ste-Catherine. The drinking age is 18 but really just a suggestion, and the nightclubs are open till three AM. There was a project this year to allow them to stay open till 6, but it was shot down due to public safety concerns.

Despite of the woo-hoo-party mindset, Montreal is a really safe place to live. I can walk pretty much anywhere at any hour, with headphones on, and have no fears for my safety.

 All these elements are well portrayed in Shameless–one of the book’s features I enjoyed. Exercise in lean writing: give us a synopsis of your current WIP in under 200 words.

Our heroine is supposed to be in college, having the time of her life with her popular, beautiful friends and boyfriend. Instead, she’s stuck repeating her senior year. Other teens whisper behind her back, her parents took the door off her room, and instead of parties she attends AA meetings.

Then, at one meeting she runs into the new guy at school. He’s the only one to treat her like a human being after what happened last winter. He’s the only one who seems to understand her. But what is he really doing at her school, and what does he really want from her? And how is he connected with the anonymous threats she’s been finding in her locker ever since he appeared?

Intriguing! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I try to aim for 2000-3000 words. But during the school year those words are often essays, so I try not to be too hard on myself if I fall behind.

Plotter, pantser or both?

Plotter! Enthusiastic plotter. That word makes me giggle because in French the word plotte means something else J But yeah, I like to outline thoroughly, chapter-by-chapter. I keep “idea books” where I jot down my brainstorms and outlines. Some people find it a little obsessive.  But for me that’s the only way to finish a book in a month, so…

A Book in a month?! I’m so going to ignore that that’s your time frame, What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

The doubt. Who the hell wants to read this? Nobody cares about your stupid stories, change majors and get a job. It’s kind of tough pushing past it, but sometimes you just gotta stick your fingers in your ears, shut your eyes and go la la la… that makes it kind of hard to type though.

That’s the attitude! Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

This has to do with the last answer… doubt is the worst. Inspiration might be there, but when you’re paralyzed by doubt, it doesn’t help much.  And to say I’ve faced some adversity in my writing journey (I really hate that phrase, writing journey. There’s never an end. You never “arrive”. You’re only as good as your current WIP) is to say nothing at all. I’ve faced rejection on Books of my Heart, from both agents and editors. I’ve faced crappy reviews. I’ve had phases where it feels like I’m beating my head against a concrete wall, hoping the wall will crack before I do (these odds are not in my favor). I’ve almost given up writing altogether. But you know what, writing makes me happy. I may not write trendy things on trendy topics, but I believe in my books. I believe I’m talented, I believe I’m a good writer. And I believe my stories will find their way.

In danger of repeating myself, that’s the attitude!! You bet you’re a good writer otherwise I wouldn’t seek you out. It’s as simple as that. Now, could we take a look at your workspace? Is there a particular place you find inspiring for writing?

photo (1) (1)I used to live in horrible, tiny studios on the Plateau where my bed was three feet from my fridge. Now I finally gave up on the Plateau and I have an actual office, for the first time in my life! It has no windows, but it’s a start.

Very … bookish! Now your workspace pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

Scrivener is nice, but it got to be too much clicking around for me and I went back to Word.  And have I mentioned that I loooove notebooks? I’m a texture freak. I love the feel of pen on paper. The ideas just flow. I rely on my journals and idea books. Without them I’d be lost.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

Go for a poutine! Just kidding. Or am I?

I had to look up the fries/gravy/cheese curds dish up. Calory-infested yumminess! Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I will never be able to format anything by myself, ever. Nor design a cover. I’m computer-illiterate, unfortunately, so all the webby stuff will be outsourced. However, I do (almost) have a degree in English, and I have good betas. So my manuscripts only need the lightest touch of professional editing, mostly just proofreads.

Great job you did on Shameless, if it was not professionally edited. Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Itching For Books do GREAT blog tours and promo services. And with the next release I intend to give Netgalley a shot. Everyone says it’s pricey but worth it. We’ll see!

I’ve been thinking about Netgalley myself. Your blog is ninalemay.com. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

I’m terrible at blogging! I just needed a semi-official-looking site (everyone says you have to have those or you’re not a real author, or something).

Interesting. No blogging effort there. I’ll come back to you later to ask you if not having a blog as a pillar of your author platform affects your sales outreach. Is contemporary romance the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

Oh my. It actually took me a really long time to get my a** in gear and write a contemporary romance. I’m a genre writer at heart. Give me paranormal elements and weird powers and supernatural creepiness! My current YA projects are all of the speculative variety, or thrillers. There WILL be a New Adult SFF novel in the not-too-distant future. *mysterious face*

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Sorbet. I’m a rebel.
  • Pizza or sushi? Sushi.
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? THG! Ugh, Katniss over Bella any day.
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Cumberbatch, of course. (See? I’m not a normal NA writer…)
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? Museums in Paris. But the trek in the Andes is a close second.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Doc Martens. Or Converse.

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

My website (where I try to keep things up to date on a semi-regular basis): http://ninalemay.com/

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/NinaLemay

My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nina-Lemay/335772423239892?ref=hl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8298989.Nina_Lemay

Thank you, Nina, and best of luck with Shameless and your future projects!

For more great WIP interview by an array of interesting authors click here.

Janice Ross – WIP interview

In today’s WIP edition, I’m pleased to welcome author Janice Ross. 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. 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. She has also penned Loving Nate, a novella with an alternate ending, that I reviewed here.

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.

Thanks for having me, Maria! You are truly supportive and amazing!

What are you working on right now?

Oh my goodness, Maria! I am always working on several different projects, at any given time. I’m still attempting to plot out and finalize the next books in the Island Hopping series. And although Loving Nate is a stand-alone novella, I’ve been in talks with Nate (smirking) about telling his side of the story. Those are just two of my current WIPs. And as if I’m not having enough fun, I’ve recently begun writing paranormal stories through an alter ego.

Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I am actually pleased with my overall pace. I used to be concerned when I felt that I wasn’t progressing along too well, but I’ve learned to manage my stress much better. Perhaps, this is why I have multiple storylines at any given time. I typically aim for at least 3,000 words/piece/day. There are days when I’m able to achieve this and days when I’m not able to. I try to remain focused on what I produce instead of how many words I produce.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I used to be big on plotting out everything. This method never works out entirely because there’s a certain level of spontaneity that’s needed, so I try to keep a healthy mixture.

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

I am my worst enemy in getting through the first draft.

Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

I’m always motivated to write, though I don’t always have the time to do so.

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

photo (7)

 

I love the fruity energy booster! Now this picture is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

I try to go to the source – people from different backgrounds, regions and experiences.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

I celebrate “The End” of a draft by taking a day or two off from writing. I might also go to happy hour with my friends, as a method of relaxing.

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

Although I enjoy many aspects of editing, I believe in having my work edited by someone else. I also have certain parts of Marketing outsourced.

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

I came across this site when I first published, and have since used it as a reference point:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com

Is women’s fiction the genre you will brand yourself with or do you see yourself branching out in the future?

I most enjoy writing women’s fiction, with a twist. I’ve recently taken on an alter ego and ventured into paranormal. I hope to continue to grow and expand.

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

You can connect with Janice on

Website: www.culturalcocktails.com

Talk show: www.blogtalkradio.com/culturalcocktails

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/

Thank you, Janice, and best of luck with The Island Hopping series!

14 Examples on How to Sharpen Your Sentences (reblogged)

Pic picked up right from Jenni with an “i

Cheeky, cheeky writer Jenni Wiltz finished a draft and all she could think of is “word bloat!” Who hasn’t been there? But Jenni is not one to sit and ponder for long. After some serious line-editing, she shares her takeaway from this process in an excellent blog post I had to share. What drew me to her site? Her clever tagline:

“They say modern writers need a “platform.” I have plenty of these in the closet, but apparently they aren’t the right kind.”

So, without further ado, here’s Jenni for you 🙂

_______________________________________________

I just finished the third draft of a book that’s going to take at least five drafts to finish. The biggest problem until now was sheer word bloat. I knew I couldn’t make the additions the book needs until I made a buttload of subtractions. Imagine trying to evaluate the health of a garden when it’s so full of weeds and overgrown shrubbery you can’t see a single stalk or bloom. All you know is there’s an awful lot of green shit underfoot.

To hack away at that green shit, I focused on sentence-level editing. This meant fixing (or deleting) things like:

  • Sentences that use imprecise verbs or descriptions
  • Sentences that convey the same information in two different ways
  • Bloated sentences with filler words like “just,” “only,” “that,” etc.

This is no small task. And a lot of writers never do it.

These days, a popular piece of advice for self-published writers is to PUBLISH AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, LIKE, A MILLION WORDS A YEAR AND IF YOU DON’T NO ONE WILL EVER DISCOVER YOUR WORK LET ALONE BUY IT AND YOU’LL NEVER MAKE A DIME AND THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROVE YOU’RE REALLY COMMITTED.

This strategy might work for some people, but I’m not one of them. For starters, I don’t see how it’s possible to publish that quantity of words that have been edited and polished to perfection. As Miracle Max said in The Princess Bride, “You rush a miracle man, you get a rotten miracle.”

How to Look at Revision: Don't Rush Your Miracle.

For the spot-on examples right from Jenni’s own manuscript, click here for the rest of the article.

When you’re done, come back here to learn about

The 4 Elements of a click-worthy title” and what to do

When beta readers come with an agenda

and if you don’t want to miss any posts, just subscribe on the upper left corner.

Thank you for reading!

Karli Rush – WIP Interview

Karli Rush Author picThis week, I have the pleasure to present to you paranormal romance author, Karli Rush. Karli’s life is as lush as the vegetation surrounding her, so I’ll let her introduce herself.

Hi all! I’m a card carrying member of the Cherokee Nation and live in its capital. Although my Native American heritage is a shadow of who I am, it holds sway more than I want to admit sometimes. Crazy how subtle influences shape the world. I have the patience of a brain surgeon operating under fire in a war zone. You can chalk that one up to being the mom of an autistic kiddo. With the passion of a starving artist, I write. The obsession to tell my tales have led to self-publishing the Crescent Bound series plus the beginnings of two additional series. The Veil Realm series is dystopian based, and the No Death for the Wicked is an alternative vampire romance series. Both currently have book one published.

Karli, thank you so much for being here. Before we talk about your WIP, can you clue us in some more about your life? It sounds toughly exotic if you allow the oxymoron.

I’ve traveled the US from Florida to California and always wind up back in Oklahoma. I’ve worked in Hospice, been an EMT and a dental assistant. I’m an advocate for autism. I love mountain biking, traveling, and experiencing new things. I’ve been as up as the stars and as down as a grave. I’m content and challenged as an author. It’s more therapeutic than I want to admit.

What are you working on right now?

The fifth and final book in the Crescent Bound series is Ice Bound. We get the chance in Ice Bound to experience book one (Crescent Bound) from Marc’s point of view. This is much more than an alternate version of book one. It delves into Marc’s world which holds so much discovery that wasn’t seen in the first book. It really allows me to bring out more of Marc and Alyssa from a different point of view.

Great name choices for your main protagonists! Are you happy with the pace of your work? Do you aim at a specific word count each day?

I like to feel the accomplishment of pumping out several thousand words, but then I ultimately want the best story I can have and therefore kind of throw word count out the window. I’ve written several books that have no ending until they do.

Plotter, pantser or both?

I couldn’t plot my way out of a wet paper bag. I feel the vibe and let it flow out of me.

I’m totally with you on that one. What’s your worst enemy in getting that first draft finished?

We have a fairly chaotic daily existence. Autism tends to create priorities that puts my writing on the shelf several times a day. So, my enemy is the juggling act that comes with being a mother of an autistic child. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and find the challenge fun and rewardingly exhausting.

(Un)fortunately, I empathize. Have you ever experienced lack of inspiration or drive to write? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

If I don’t feel the vibe then I start looking for a way to get inspired. In most cases several hours of good music and a bottle of pinot noir tends to set things straight when I need. I also will take a long mountain bike ride or trail hiking through the forest.

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

Writer's Cave

 

Sweet! Now your pic is pinned on my Featured Writers’ Workspace board on Pinterest. Apart from Word and Google, do you use any other writing or research tools and apps?

Not really. Youtube provides my music while I write and that is a must.

How do you intend to celebrate writing “The End” on your draft?

Champagne, chocolate, and a romantic dinner.

That’s refreshing! Most authors reply with a “by starting the next book!” Which book publishing processes are you going to outsource and which are you confident enough to undertake yourself?

I’m not sure that it’s the confidence in me that drives me or is it more of a control issue, but I handle all aspects of publishing (outside of editing). I write, format, revise, design and create the book covers. I handle the uploading, pricing, marketing, print publishing, and social networking. I haven’t seen a publishing house or independent that will give me what I want yet. Although I am considering outsourcing the print formatting, but that’s it so far.

You’re a one-woman-show! Amazing! Do you have any marketing tips or favorite promotional sites you’d like to share?

Marketing? Oh my, this one is my weakest points, I think. I use facebook, twitter, amazon, my blog, your blog to simply give myself the opportunity to be seen. I have an online street team that is very beneficial, you girls rock!!! I also believe that word of mouth is still by far the best form of advertising you can ever get. I also like the 80-20 philosophy, meaning, I love promoting others and sharing about 80% and direct marketing my books about 20%.

Your blog is rushbound.blogspot.com. Do you follow a specific branding pattern with your posts or is it a free writing platform?

My blog is a free platform that I try out new things on. I have done several character interviews with a fictional host and that was fun. I’ve run promotion, interviews, general updates on my work. It is my Pandora’s box of stuff. You’ll never know what I may try on there. Last fall, I wrote an entire story chapter by chapter on there. Then I published it for free on Barnes and Noble. It’s a ghostly novella. Here’s the link  The House .

Thanks! Is paranormal romance the genre you will stick to or do you see yourself branching out in the future? I love paranormal romance, but I already have a contemporary romance brewing in my head along with more sci-fi and futuristic adventure romance stories as well.

Fun stuff now: Let’s do a rapid fire round.

  • Flavored sorbet or chocolate ice cream? Definitely the flavored sorbet.
  • Pizza or sushi? Sushi, sushi, sushi!
  • Twilight or The Hunger Games? The Hunger Games, I love Jennifer Lawrence. I think she’s a badass.
  • Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch? Absolutely Ryan Gosling but my husband is a big fan of Sherlock Holmes.
  • Trek in the Andes or snorkeling in Tahiti? I would much rather trek than swim, so the Andes it is.
  • Ugg boots or red-soled designer stilettos? Stilettos, and now you know one of my fetishes.

Finally, please share with us links where we can find you and your work.

Web  http://www.wix.com/crescentbound/karli-rush#!home|mainPage

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/karli.rush1

Twitter https://twitter.com/KarliRush

Blog http://rushboundblog.wordpress.com/

Blog http://rushbound.blogspot.com/

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Karli-Rush/e/B007DJNOMW

Thank you, Karli, and best of luck with your future projects!

If you enjoyed this interview, read what Whitney G, author of the wildly popular Reasonable Doubt erotic romance series has to say on Starbucks, post-it notes, and how writer’s block made her a best-selling author. Click here.