author interview

This week I’d like to welcome Catherine Bybee author of BINDING VOWS

Wow, thanks Catherine for chatting with us! The cabana boys are serving drinks and giving massages. *wink wink*. Feel free to relax. And if you have any questions for Catherine, she’ll be answering them in between Holiday drinks in the pool house!

Here’s the blurb…
Travel to the twenty-first century Renaissance Faire, deflower the Druid virgins, and go home. Only his job is not so easily accomplished with the virgin in question, Tara McAllister. Time is running out. The evil is closing in on them both.

Tara finds Duncan irresistible after what was supposed to be a mock Hand-fasting binds them.

When Duncan whisks her to his home in Scotland she could accept that. But, can she forgive him for taking away her modern life when she finds herself in the sixteenth century?

And is it love they feel? Or something else?

I’m so happy to have author Judi Phillips visiting today. Her newest release, Ghost of a Chance, is available at Wild Rose Press. And she’s here to tell us all about it. Welcome, Judi !!

Thanks, Nina, for inviting me over.  I love your work and this is a treat.

Mwahahahaha … you have no idea what I have in store for you. So here goes with all the personal questions …

Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I have always had stories in my head, but had no interest in writing a complete manuscript on a typewriter (which may give you a hint about my age).  When computers arrived with the magical cut and paste icons, it was all over for me.  Within a month or two of my first job using a word processor, I was writing my first novel.

Please tell us about your newest release
Ghost of a Chance is the story of a mischievous little boy ghost, Edward.  There’s Trace Hawthorn, the hero, a left-brained engineer, Wynter Storm, the heroine, intuitive but doesn’t want to acknowledge it, their matchmaking daughters, and their meddling mothers.

What was the inspiration for this story?
A comment made years ago by my daughter (10 or so then) and her friend who suggested it would be fun if I dated her dad (her parents had recently divorced) and that way they could be sisters.  Made me think about matchmaking daughters.

Paranormal. Interesting. What’s your favorite genre to write?
My favorite stories to write are time travels.  Love forcing either the heroine or hero to struggle with that fish out of water feeling.  Also like writing contemporaries with a hint of mystery.  And the hot stuff.

Oh, hot stuff, you opened that door. Now will you please tell us a little bit about your step into the world of erotic romance? 
Ah, yes.  Pepper Goodrich.  She writes  Saucy, Sexy Romps and you can check her out at her website.  I can tell pretty much from the start of the story whether Judi or Pepper is writing.  In fact, the story I’m working on now, I thought was going to be written by Pepper, but Judi took over from the get go.

You can find Pepper’s newest story, Meltdown HERE.  There’s even a book trailer (done by the very talented DNK Productions oh, that would be me! Hee hee) …

Will you have more titles as Pepper?
Definitely.  I have one completed story and at least a couple more in the works.  Just need to find a home for them.

If you came with a warning label what would it read?
Very hot, but lots of fun.  Very lighthearted.  And hot.  Remember, it’s written by Pepper.

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
My office is what would probably be the master bedroom in my house.  It’s the larger room.  About half of the room is where I write.  My desk faces a window so I can look outside at the woods surrounding my house.  Fun in the summer because I can watch the birds.  Not so much fun in the winter as the snow piles higher and higher.  The other half doubles as a guest room/research library.  Bookcases line one wall, filled to overflowing with books on writing or on topics I write about.

In the summer, I grab my laptop and plant myself on my deck and that becomes my summer office.  Love writing with the breeze ruffling the wind chimes and my little doggies snoozing as they soak up the sun.  A glass of lemonade and my iPod and life doesn’t get any better than that.

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
Poor thing is keeping the dust bunnies company.  I refer to it as my House Beautiful/Vogue story.  Lots and lots of descriptions of what people were wearing and how the rooms were arranged.  But I honed my writing skills with it, so it has a special place in my heart.  But it will never again see the light of day.

You have a fulltime job. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
I try to get up early, but have been a slug abed lately.  Need to kick myself awake because I have a deadline looming.  I almost always write during lunch, going to a local food court with a fountain that drowns out most conversations.  My iPod takes care of the rest.  I can write a surprising amount in an hour.  Evenings, I work on either editing my own stuff or doing critiques for my buddies.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
Sort of both.  I start out pantzing for about the first three chapters.  Then, when I think I know the characters, I start working on character sheets, conflict and figuring out what’s going to happen down the road.  One of the many problems with my first story was that it wandered all over the place and I had to keep bringing it back.  Much easier, I think, if I know where I’m going in the first place.

The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
One of the things I do is go through the manuscript and highlight problem words, like those ending in ly, just, that, was, etc.  Some pages become a nightmare in yellow.  I also print out the chapters with about a 3 inch margin on the right side, which encourages editing by giving me lots of room to make comments and add missing pieces.  For whatever reason, my left brain seems to click on at night, so I find evenings the most productive time to edit, whereas mornings are good for creating.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
Which would I prefer?  A smokin’ BBQ with friends, especially if they’re my writerly friends.  Nothing better than hangin’ with people who understand that because I have stories playing in my head, I’m not necessarily crazy.

Judi, the voices in your head definitely don’t make you crazy … but they DEFINITELY make you a writer. *g* Thanks so much for visiting. The cabana boys would love to offer you a massage… ah, Judi. Oh, there she goes.

Well, if you’d like to find out more about Judi and her books visit her website. She’d also love it if you emailed her at JudiPhillips @ roadrunner.com (without the spaces). I’ll see if I can pull her from the cabana boys long enough to answer a few of your questions. In the meantime, why don’t you entertain yourself with the book trailer for Ghost of a Chance.

I’d like to welcome romance author, Margay Leah Justice! It’s a snowy, icky day here in northern Maine, but Margay’s heating up my blog. She’s sitting across from me, her feet propped on a cushion and one of the cabana boys is giving her a nice backrub. Now that she’s comfy, with a dreamy smile, I’ll start with the hard questions.

Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing:
I am a mother of two girls and I have lived in Massachusetts for most of my life. I have lived in other states – New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida – and although they all have their merits (Virginia is one of the most beautiful states out there), I always came home to Massachusetts. I started writing the day I first learned how to hold a pencil. Seriously, I have literally written all my life.

Please tell us about your books.  
I currently have one book that is published with more in the works/pipeline.

Here’s the blurb for Nora’s Soul:

When angels of light and dark collide on earth…

Once he held a favored position in the heavens. But one moment of weakness casts Dante out and now he is cursed to walk the earth, collecting the souls of vulnerable women to buy his way into hell.

All hell breaks loose…

But standing in his way is Peter, an angel of light. Peter is everything Dante is not. Pure, above reproach. And determined to prevent Dante from achieving his goals. Peter will stop at nothing to protect the souls in his charge, even if it means achieving the impossible – leading Dante back onto the right path.

And no one is safe from the fall-out.

Nora Kendall believed in angels. Once. But then she lost her brother to cancer despite all of her prayers – and she lost her faith in all things angelic. Now, she is a lost soul who wanders through life like a sleepwalker, playing it safe and leaving the risk-taking to others.

Kyle Cameron is one of those risks. Burned by a bad marriage, his only concern now is providing a stable life for his children, who are left motherless by the unexpected death of his wife. This means working overtime to grow his architectural firm into a viable business – and leaving the care of his children to the care of someone he trusts. Despite his past connection with Nora, Kyle isn’t certain that she’s the right person for the job. He also doesn’t want to reconnect with her and repeat history.

But fate – and the machinations of two angels – has other ideas.

Click HERE to purchase your copy.

Wow, I love the premise. Your characters sound dreamy. How did you come up with them?
I dreamed them up – literally. Nora’s Soul is the compilation of two dreams I had one night, both of which starred Nora. In the first, she was in a nightclub dancing the night away with Dante, who when she looked at him was a dreamboat, but when she turned away, took on some rather devilish characteristics. In the second dream, Nora was moving into a garage apartment in preparation for caring for the twins of an emotionally damaged widower. I just filled in the blanks when I woke up!

If you had super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
I would have the powers of cloning and I would call myself Copy Cat.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
I am usually a plotter, although I am experimenting with the pantser form right now. It’s interesting but nerve-wracking; I think I prefer plotting. My comfort drink is coffee, comfort food is chocolate. I don’t play music when I write. I don’t know why.

When you’re reading someone else’s books what about a man is a turnoff and why?
When he is too controlling of the heroine. I’ve been in such a relationship and let me tell you, there’s nothing romantic about it.

I just got my royalty check and I’m thinking about redoing the pool house, these curtains or these?
When I get a royalty check big enough to decorate a pool house, I’ll let Ty Pennington make all the decisions for me. (Oh, I was only thinking curtains, but having Ty remodel the whole thing would be great. Do you think he’d put it on tv and Oprah would come and then … oh, sorry, I do tend to get carried away when I’m day-dreaming. Back to you Margay.)

When you’re not writing what do you do with your free time? 
Free time? What’s that? Seriously, when I’m not writing, I’m either reading or knitting while I sack out in front of the television.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
Oh, that’s a tough one! They both have their merits, but I think I’d go with the BBQ.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Never stop honing your craft; even when you think you know everything, keep your mind open to the advice of others because you can always learn more and become more skilled along the way. Actually, I’d give that advice to everyone, not just writers – Never stop learning!

Also, for the aspiring writers, believe in yourself and you will persevere. If you truly believe that you have the skill for this and the goods to back it up, keep on trying. If one person doesn’t like it, go on to the next. Every writer faces rejection; the ones who believe in themselves are published. Can you imagine what would have happened if John Grisham, Margaret Mitchell or Stephen King gave up after the first rejection? Persevere. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your dream. If you have what it takes and you keep on trying, eventually you will find that one person who takes a chance in you. Remember, if no it’s just a stepping stone toward that yes.

Who/What do you attribute your success to?
Perseverance and that one person who took the chance on me.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Just to remember that being published is not just a dream. It’s a lot of hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight. But when it does happen, it is so fulfilling.

Thanks Margay! You said it all. Never give up on your dreams. It will come together with belief in yourself and perseverence! When Margay’s not here you can visit her website, MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and her blog.

Margay’s agreed to hang around and answer some questions. I’m planning on warming up the blender and getting some margaritas going. And the cabana boys have already decorated the pool house. So come one in and chat a little!

Today I’d like to welcome Darragha Foster to my blog. Darr is a fellow erotic author with Liquid Silver Books. 

Darragha, tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I wrote my first book when I was nine years old.  I submitted it to Random House.  It was rejected with the nicest letter you could ever imagine.  I was undaunted.  Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do.  I don’t recall how I developed my great love of the written word, but I’m sure that my reading at a very young age contributed.  I am almost 48 years old.  I have a sexy school custodian husband, a gorgeous, strong-willed teenage daughter, an old miniature dachshund, a huge orange cat and a white horse.  I don’t like folding my clothes and putting them away.  I insist on having my own toothpaste that no-one else uses.  My miniature doxie thinks I’m his bitch.  He adores me.  He sits on my side of the bed and barks at me until I lay down with him.  I see a shape-shifter story in there somewhere…

I know you’re very prolific, would you please tell us about your books.  
I write shape-shifter romances with a twist.  Or a fin.  I am the author of “The Orca King,” after all.  Quick run down:

Love’s Second Sight
Viking Age romance.  Based on fact!  And tid-bit:  just about everything the heroine experiences, I experienced.  I like my research!

The Orca King
The original whale-shifter, hot Native American shaman who can bring on erotic vision quests (which get him into some hot water in the sequel).  Who says true love waits?  True love makes waves!

Cold, Hard Kash
A cursed cowboy incubus looking for love and destined to never find it. Then he hooks up with a dominatrix whose nickname is “Rage.”  Can anyone say “ouch?”

Teaching Old Gods New Tricks
Including: Devil King of the Sixth Heaven, Death Warmed Over, Devil’s Food Kate

 This is a 3-part story about the deposed and dethroned Norse gods making their way in human society.  This is a naughty, fun book.

A Witch in Time (witchcraft anthology)
My story is “Spell-Crafted for Pleasure” and involves a woman who buys and sells antique erotica and spell-casting supplies.  She picks up a Viking-Age whale bone dildo for a song and finds out that the spirits trapped in the bone are ready to do a little number for her.

Of Flesh and Blood (vampire anthology)
My tale is:  “Polishing Saber.”  Saber is a black woman living and working in the pristine, very blonde country of Iceland.  She finds out that the pristine-nature of the country is being jeopardized by her own invention and discovers that the way to save Iceland’s wilderness may just lie within the arms of one of its very blonde, ancient protectors.

Mooncusser Cove
I love this book.  I love the story.  I love the cover.  I wish my name was Vesper.  Mooncusser Cove is the story of a land pirate’s daughter cursed with a form of vampirism, the handyman she hires to help her (in oh, so many ways), and the villagers who want to burn her and her beach mansion to ashes.

The Orca King, II
I broke every rule of romance with this novel.  Big Tom (the Orca King, himself), is suffering from the effects of too much lovin’.  Who knew leading women on needless erotic vision quests could cause problems later?  With the help of Tom’s new friend, Devon de la Cruz, he steps out of the fog of his misdeeds, and out of the closet.  This is my first full m/m romance and it is lovely.  Lovely, loving and way outside the box.

Half-Were House
With my story “Tail Over Whiskers” in “Half-Were House” a were-shifter anthology written with Mima and Celia Kyle.  “Tail Over Whiskers” involves Blaze Angora, a woman who can partially shift into a house-cat and a man named Jack Hawk, to whom she is inadvertently scent-matched.  Only problem is, he’s a dog.  Literally. (NOTE: This book is being released TODAY! Boo-Yah!)

I’ve also got a submission out to a new publisher for me, called “Her Personal Trainer,” the tale of a woman, her treadmill and the genie of the treadmill.  Who knew exercise could be so much fun?

I’m writing all the time, too.  Lots of wicked fun stuff coming up.

I know you write a little on the outside. Could you tell us where your ideas come from?
You just gave me an idea!  That’s where my stories come from.  Everywhere.  Example:  I was watching a stable hand break a horse named Bear.  Breaking Bear.  Hmmmm….a “bear” is a gay man with lots of body hair.  “Breaking” could mean, well…”breaking in.”  So, I’ve outlined a story about two men working at a horse ranch.  One convinces the other that it’s okay to love who you love and thus the breaking of Bear (one of the men) happens.  On the mounting block.  Oh!  That’s another outlined story.  “The Mounting Block.”  You use a mounting block to get up on a horse.  You could use it for other things, too.  Then there’s “Sinking into the Bit,” a story of a high-strung stable owner who learns to relax a little.  She learns to sink into the bit.  It’s pretty obvious that my daughter is a horsewoman, huh?  I’ve spent lots of time in the car, with my laptop, watching her ride.  Let me be a proud mother:   

Here’s the last show of the season.
Hunt Equitation 
2nd Place Award (You need to see beautiful girl’s smile)

When you’re sick in bed what’s your comfort movie?
The Ten Commandments or maybe Ben Hur.  No kidding.  Yul Brenner and Charleton Heston when they were both firm young flesh…Mama!

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
I write in my messy home office with Lyle nudging my ankles for attention.  (Lyle is my dog).

I write in the staff lounge on my lunch break during my day job duties.  I have a tiny laptop I take to work every day.  Can’t use school equipment to write smut, after all!  (I’m a shape-shifter.  By day I am a school secretary.  By night I am a romance novelist.)

And I write in the car while my daughter mucks, grooms, rides, etc.  Sometimes I write in the barn or at a bench if the weather is nice at the stable.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods? Any favorite music you play while writing?
I am both a plotter and a pantster.  I weave my ideas onto the computer and then just start writing like mad to see where stuff lands.  Sometimes it suffers the agony of delete, sometimes it’s damn good!  I drink tea and coffee.  I always have a water bottle with me.  I don’t snack.  I have a lap-band and snacking is bad.  I have lost over 60lbs,  however! (The woman is melting down to nothing, she looks mighty fine … trust me on that one.)

If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Twisted.
Stubborn.
Generous.

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
It’s in a box in the attic along with the rejection letter from Random House.

Do you think these pants make my butt look big?
No, darling.  I think your fleshy butt makes the pants look fabulous. (I knew pink striped spandex was perfect for me!)

The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
I read my first drafts aloud.  Oh, the mistakes you catch when you read things out loud!  Then I “fill In the blanks” (add plot where plot is needed).  Then I bleed a chicken in a pentagram and pray for the best.

You have a fulltime job. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
I write at 5am.  I write at 1pm.  I write when I get home from work after I feed the family dinner.  I LOVE having DVR, because I can record TV shows I want to see and catch up watching them early, early Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Like LOST.  Love it.  I write in the car while “waiting” for the kid.  I write in my head while on the phone with parents wanting to get messages to their kids.  I write in my head while the principal is stressing over the budget cuts.  I write in my head while waiting in line at Trader Joe’s.  I definitely write while paying the bills or cleaning the tub.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
Darragha likes baby back ribs.  I’d say family gathering at the Foster farm with ribs and Caesar salad.

Tell us where we can find you when you’re not hanging out here checking out my cabana crew … 
I have a Facebook!  I love Facebook.  I’m not so big on MySpace, but you can also visit me there. I run contests all the time.  Check out my blog and my Facebook for more info!

I make video trailers under the guise of “Chocolate Covered Promotions.”  I charge way less than anyone else-only $20.00.  I’m also a gifted psychic and have been giving readings for over 30 years.  I charge $5.00 per question.  You can find out more about my readings by visiting my website.  I have a ton of videos up on YouTube, too.  Need one?  Just ask!

Darragha would love to hear from you. Go on ask her some questions while Darr does a couple of tarot readings, at least that’s what she told me she was doing when she went into the pool house with a couple of the cabana boys and closed the curtains. Perhaps she’s just doing some writing. Maybe it’s just research … yeah, probably research.

I want to welcome Chelle Cordero, a multi-published author and freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various publications including The Journal News, Hudson Valley Magazine, Emergency Magazine, Spotlight, Auto Trim News, EMS Products, Sound Management Magazine and more. Chelle has agreed to set the freelance personna aside for today and tell us about her novels.

Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I have always enjoyed telling stories. I was the kid who had very believable imaginary friends and even family members. When I was in high school (HS of Art & Design, NYC) I had to take an elective course and a Creative Writing class led by poet Daisy Aldan fit into my schedule – after that I not only knew that I enjoyed telling tales, I had to.While I was in college (Fordham University at Lincoln Center) I had my very first newspaper article published in both a Bronx weekly paper and in my college newspaper. But it took several years before I wrote full-time. While I was pregnant with my daughter I decided that I wanted to both work and be an at-home mom; freelance writing definitely fit in with my plans.

Please tell us about your books.
I am in love with the idea of being in love, so I write love stories. My genre romances Bartlett’s Rule and (coming in February) Courage of the Heart have strong messages as well as inspiring love stories; Forgotten and Within the Law were fun to write because they have continuing characters (but they are both stand alone novels). Another book, due out sometime in 2009, is a departure from the normal romance genre for me: Final Sin has a love story involved but the main story is an edge of your seat crime thriller. I had someone tell me that while they were reading the manuscript, they put a kitchen knife next to them after the first chapter!

How do your stories come to you? Characters first? Plot first? Or does it all just sort of come together at once?
Imagine sitting in a theatre, only you didn’t necessarily plan to be there, and the curtain opens to action on the stage. That is kind of how it is with me. It’s like I see a scene played out in front of me and I give the characters “a life”. Then I play “what if” and I just record my characters reactions to the curveballs.

If you came with a warning label what would it read?
Caution – this person MAY be a little off-balance. She talks to herself and has a whole slew of characters running around in her brain.

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
I do most of my actual writing seated at my desk and computer. On very rare occasion, I’ll sit with my laptop on my recliner in the living room. But I do most of my thinking (and creating my stories) ANYWHERE because I never know when a thought will strike.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
I lay out the initial conflict and I decide on the final outcome – how the story gets there is up to my characters. For instance, in Bartlett’s Rule the initial conflict was that Paige was a rape survivor and she detested Lon because of his alleged chauvinism and his image as a player; by the end I wanted them together as lovers and friends with a happy ever after potential. I took the time to give each major character a history and based their actions and reactions on what “drives them” (similar to method acting). The story basically wrote itself and I just threw in a few twists and surprises now and then. I wind up picking a “theme song” that makes me think of my characters and the conflict they are going through – then I play it repeatedly while I am working, and I do mean repeatedly. The theme song for Bartlett’s Rule was Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love”; Forgotten’s theme song was Kenny Chesney’s “Because of Your Love”, and Within the Law’s song was Faith Hill & Tim McGraw’s “Let’s Make Love”.

If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Imaginative – Nurturing – Outspoken

When you’re reading someone else’s books what about a man is a turnoff and why?
If he is disrespectful to others, if he doesn’t care about another person’s feelings, if he will “climb over others” without even remorse. A man can be strong without cruelty.

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
It was a romance novel called “More Than a Friend” and I tried to submit it to a few of the bigger romance imprints. My story was rejected a handful of times because it wasn’t straight genre (one or two rejection letters actually came back citing “too much going on”). I rewrote it several times based on the numerous suggestions I received from helpful editors to eliminate some story, some characters, some conflicts, etc. My story lost focus and, simply put, it didn’t seem to go together anymore. Maybe I didn’t know how to rewrite it for the market back then but now it is hopelessly outdated. If that were to happen to me today, I would investigate other publishers (ie: small press) and I would not limit myself to a straight romance genre house.

I just got this sweater … do you think it compliments my eyes?
I don’t know, I can’t hear what it is saying… (No? And I thought torquoise spots over purple stripes screamed “love me”! Huh, I’ll have to try again.)

If you could be one of your characters who would you choose and why?
Caitlyn Smythe Price from Forgotten (& continued in Within the Law) – she’s a little bit wild and emotional, but she is also a very strong person and ready to face off against anyone for the people she loves.

If you were sick in bed which movie would be your comfort movie and why?
Actually I dislike watching TV or reading in bed, so if I were that sick, I couldn’t quite come up with an answer. Rarely will I watch a movie more than once; I am just no fun that way. I guess my favorite relaxation movies include The Replacements, An American President, and The Pacifier.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Never give up and never get discouraged. Listen to every critique but don’t treat it as gospel. Believe in yourself in order to make others believe in you.

How does your family feel about your writing?
They are very supportive but I doubt that they truly understand how and why my excitement exists over a printed page or a fantasy that’s just running around in my head. They congratulate me on my successes and brag about me to their friends and generally make me feel pretty darn good about myself.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I believe I really lucked out meeting the publisher that I did; she is always ready with encouragement and support. She is just so positive that she helps build confidence even when her writers feel a bit unsure. I also have made friends with many other writers, not just with the same publishing company, and I have noticed that, almost without exception, these folks are super friendly, supportive and helpful. These writers have achieved some enormous successes of their own and they are very quick to applaud another’s successes. It’s nice not to have to worry about much of the backbiting that seems to pervade so many other fields.

Chelle … wait, Chelle … oh dear, she’s gone off with one of the cabana boys. I’m sure she’d love for you to stop by her website or friend her on MySpace, Twitter or Facebook. She’d love to have you visit her blog or Yahoo Group. All of her books can be found at Vanilla Heart Publishing.

Chelle is actually very chatty and would love to answer your questions. Feel free to show her some comment love!

 

I am so excited to welcome multi-published author, Kayelle Allen. Whew, the woman came with her own entourage of pool boys and it appears several of her heroes have come to join the party. *wipes drool off chin* This is going to be a couple of very fun days!  

Thanks for visiting Kayelle, could you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
My mother was an artist, and she also wanted to publish short stories and poetry. I think I picked up my love of writing from her. I think I was five when I first saw one of the little cartoons she drew and I was delighted. All through school I was the top student in Grammar and my reports always drew good comments. When I was eighteen, I sat down and started writing. I gave it up for awhile, but eventually came back to my first love. I couldn’t “not” write.

Please tell us about your books.
It’d be easiest if I just list them by publisher, I think. All the Liquid Silver and Loose Id titles are SciFi Romance. The others are mainstream fantasy and contemporary Romance.

Liquid Silver Books
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
For Women Only
Tales of the Chosen – Wulf
Tales of the Chosen – Alitus
Tales of the Chosen – Jawk

Shadowfire Press
The Last Vhalgenn – 2008 EPPIE Finalist in Fantasy (short story)
Naughty is Nice (Christmas anthology)

Wolfsinger Publications
A Time To… the Best of the Lorelei Signal Vol. 1 (The Last Vhalgenn)
2008 EPPIE Finalist in Fantasy – A Time To… the Best of the Lorelei Signal Vol. 1 Wolfsinger Publications (The Last Vhalgenn)

Loose Id
Coming in Jan 2009 Surrender Love (book one of a trilogy featuring Luc Saint-Cyr)

I love the world of the Kin. How did you come up with all of that?
I’ve always enjoyed both dogs and cats, and I wondered what would happen if humans crossed human and dog or cat DNA and came up with half-human creatures. Would they be feral or more human in nature? How would they look, and what would they be like? Then I thought, what if someone was brilliant enough to do this, and started making centaurs and satyrs, humans with wings, or soldiers who healed so rapidly they never needed medical attention? That fostered the idea of the Sempervians, who are immortal. The next thought that came to me was “what if these creatures were spread across one part of the galaxy and wars separated them from the other parts, and from their creators? They would continue to develop their own cultures, isolated for so many thousands of years that the idea of being created from humans is a mere myth.”

The Kin look human at first glance, but then you notice the pointed cat ears almost atop their heads, and their velvet-appearing furskin — most are golden, but they come in all colors, from solid black to solid white. None are striped or spotted, however. The males grow a pelt (think lion’s mane but on the uppermost part of their chests). They have fangs on the top row of teeth, and their front teeth are less rounded and more pointy. They growl (their word is rrrll) and purr, and unlike Earth’s felines, they can both roar and purr. Sharp claws can be extended from beneath their human-like nails, but their toenails are all claws. Because in the past few hundred years, the birth of females have plummeted, marriages are made with several males to one alpha female. Males have become subjugated and controlled. However, they will fight other males at the flick of an ear to defend their territory and clan holdings. The arrival of Tarthian Empire androids and humans offered unattached and homeless males an opportunity to gain freedom, power, and an income for the first time in their lives, and thousands joined the Armada to serve the Conqueror. Ironically, now there are fewer virile males on the homeworld, but Kin males are able to impregnant humans, and female Kin can easily become pregnant by human males. The resulting offspring are called HalfKin, and they are sterile. At least, so far as we know…

Luc is your favorite character (shhhh, we promise not to tell). Can you tell us about him and where you see him going in the future?
I can’t get enough of this tall, dark, handsome alpha. Luc Saint-Cyr is immortal, and the richest man in the Tarthian Empire. He started out as a bad guy in my first book, but as I wrote him, I saw a side of him that could also be gentle and caring. I purposely switched his character from baddy to good guy throughout the book so readers were thrown off-balance. It was a love/hate relationship. Right up to the end of the book, you don’t know whether to trust him. The punch of the final page reveals a completely unexpected twist. While I was writing the book, my crit group kept asking me about Luc’s book and when I planned to write it. At the time, I didn’t think he really had a story, but as I said, while writing him and developing the character, I began to see that his shadow fell across the entire saga of the Tarthian Empire. My third book featured Luc falling in love with Wulf. It was the start of the Chosen trilogy, and by the end of the series, their love affair was in serious trouble. For those who’ve read Wulf, Tales of the Chosen, and fallen in love with this hot couple, don’t despair. Both Luc and Wulf have their happy ever afters — just (spoiler) — not with each other. That’s what the Tales of the Chosen is all about. The shifting of loyalties and ties, the manipulation of the immortal Luc by other immortals, and his manipulation of them. Luc’s is the kind of story that can’t be told in a few books. I plan many books set in this empire.

In January 2009, the first book in the Surrender trilogy debuts. This is the beginning of Luc and his forever love, his happy ever after. Since he’s immortal, that’s a long, long time to be happy! The books are Surrender Love, Surrender Trust, and Surrender Will. All three feature Luc and his newly-turned immortal Kin lover. (Oh, I have soooo been waiting for Luc to find his true love *rubs hands together*)

If you had super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
I’d be Speedy Woman, and my special ability would be to clean the house in the first fifteen minutes of the day, spend four hours writing my next book, a few more hours saving the world from slow connections and traffic jams, and the rest of the day I’d have free to watch 24, The Unit, Torchwood, or something juicy like Dante’s Cove.

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place?
I’m a creature of habit. I always stay in the same place, and I have a small bedroom that’s been converted to a home office. That said, I almost always carry a notebook with me and have been known to pull off the road and scribble down an idea I’ve had. I have a 19″ flat screen LED monitor that’s fantastic, a pc tower that’s on an old table I resurrected and dragged in here, and my desk is a simple white one with a wide pull out tray and shelves on the bottom left. I don’t like being sneaked up on, and when I’m in the thick of writing, I’m oblivious to everything else, so my desk faces the door. Over the top of my desk, against the wall, I have mini shelves with knick knacks and a storage area for software CDs and speakers for my sound system and Nano. Above all that is my mission statement:

“I will give readers a complex plot that immerses them in an erotic tale and provides plenty of unexpected action, in settings so real they’ll swear they’ve been there.”

I also have postcards I’ve created for promos, with art my son Jamin has created for my website. Most importantly, there’s an area where I can put drinks where they won’t tip over and drip on anything electrical. *Ow, zzzzap!*

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
I’m a plotser. I know the overall storyline covering several years, and each book is planned and the blurb and tags written before I start writing (usually). However, I view this as an atlas and the characters are the street-level maps. They take turns I didn’t expect. Sometimes I have to coerce them into U-turns, and sometimes I let them go where they want. Some of my best plot twists have come out that way. As for goodies — I always have water on hand, and either coffee with chocolate creamer, or a caffeine free diet Pepsi or Coke. I like both. When I’m home alone, I eat lunch or dinner in here, but if family is around, we eat in the kitchen. Music? OMG – I spend a fortune on iTunes buying mood music. Each book and character has its own theme songs. About a month into working with my editor on Surrender Love, I came across a song called Surrender Love, by Joshua Perahia, and the lyrics absolutely fit Luc and his younger hero. “Every time I see your face, my pain is gone without a trace, Dying dreams are once again reborn, Surrender, surrender love, surrender, surrender love…” Although I have to admit that Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing is a close second. (Kayelle has a very nice voice … she’s got the cabana and pool boys dancing … oh, that’s not dancing … never mind.)

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
The one I wrote at 18? It will never see the light of day, but its seeds are in everything that I’m writing now.

I just got my royalty check and I’m thinking about buying this purse or these boots. Which would you suggest?
Those thigh-high black shiny leather boots with heels and lots of buckles–go with them. You can get a purse anywhere, but boots like that are hard to find. ^_^ (Kayelle knows they match my whip … so the boots it is.)

The editing process is an important aspect of writing. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
For personal editing, I read and reread, tinker, twist, and delete, cut words ending in “ly” or “ing” as much as possible. I also look for words like “just”, which is a common word in dialogue, but easy to overuse when writing. I have an entire list of “no no words” that I drag out and search for with my find command.

When my editor sends me an edit, it has track changes turned on, and I either accept or deny the changes made. These edits are my highest priority. When I get an email from her, it goes straight into my edits folder so I can tell I have work to do. *smiles* I open it, download the attachment and go through it right then. We’re almost through with the first run through, and it’s been mostly minor things like house styles that are different from what I’ve used before (for example, ok vs okay). However, the next round will be more detailed. I need to cut about twenty thousand words. Yikes. I’ve already decided to move a sub-plot to the next book, which should take care of about three to four thousand. The last chapter is being completely rewritten to exclude some characters I was introducing for later, and to resolve an issue between two others. I always expect to learn something new and fresh about writing from my editors. I haven’t been disappointed.

You’re now writing full time. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Working for myself is heavenly. For one thing, my boss is very lenient about work hours and the length of my breaks and lunches. *grins* I spent the last five years working a 40-hour a week job, commuting, and then writing at least 30-hours. Now, I probably write or promo only 50-hours a week, which frees up a lot of personal time. For the first time in a long time, I always have clean, folded laundry that’s in a dresser or closet instead of a basket. >_<  I’ve always treated my writing like a business, and now that discipline is paying off. It’s great.

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
First the BBQ, after which I will definitely NEED that soak.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t let anyone steal your dream, including yourself. Cut out any negative self talk. Never use the phrase “I’m only”. You are working toward being the best, and being “only” something is not going to help you achieve that. Stop saying “I’m sorry” unless you’ve hurt someone or missed a deadline. Women especially seem to overuse this phrase. When you send an email, always always always sign your pen name and at least add your website. You don’t know where it might be forwarded or who will see it. Above all, never say anything online that you don’t want even one person to hear. Gossip travels ten times faster than the speed of light and always goes to the wrong person at the wrong time. And don’t ever diss your publisher, editor, cover artist, or another author online, for the same reason as above, plus the fact it will somehow get to any new publisher, editor or cover artist you work with. It could even cost you a contract if you come across as a troublemaker or they think you may speak negatively about them one day.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
On November 22, I started a blog tour to celebrate the release of Naughty is Nice – Christmas Anthology with Kayelle Allen and Sultry Summers. “Can a cop and an elf save Christmas for two lonely women?” Follow the tour every day until November 25, and you’ll find a secret page on my website. Everyone who lands there and enters their name will be elible to win a gorgeous latte mug that says Naughty on one side and Nice on the other, and stuffed full of Dove chocolate candy. First place to visit on 11/22 is Coffee Time Romance. (Scroll to the bottom of the main page. NOTE: As of Monday, Nov 24, the link to Kayelle’s page does not appear to be working.) Leave a comment so I can verify you were there, please. You’ll be directed to the next blog stop on the tour for the next day. Please leave a comment at each blog. The winner must comment to qualify for the Naughty is Nice prize.

If you have reached here by following the tour, the next stop in your tour is The Night Raven Muse on November 25. Her blog will give you the secret location on my website where you will find a free download and an opportunity to enter the contest for the Naughty is Nice latte mug filled with Dove Chocolates!

Kayelle will be partying here for a couple of days. But feel free to visit her website, visit her at Coffee Time Forum or friend her on MySpace. She also has a very active Yahoo group and would love to have you join her at Romance Lives Forever. If you’re a writer, you might also enjoy her Marketing Yahoo Group.

Be sure to show her some comment love for a chance at that beautiful mug!

This week I’m happy to welcome multi-published author, Raine Delight. She’s happily sipping some green drink concoction and one of the cabana boys is giving her a foot massage. From the smile on her face. I think she’s ready to answer some in-depth questions ….

Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I am a single mom of two kids ages 7 and 9, have a loving relationship with my  honey of almost three years and live in a small New York town about 40 minutes away from Buffalo. I love to read. Doesn’t matter what it was growing up, I read it. I devour books like no tomorrow and I always wrote something. Soon friends encouraged me to try my hand at writing a novella and Poof! My series Devon Falls came to fruit. I love creating something new and unique. It keeps me going even when my muse decides to take off to the beach to sip mai tais.

Please tell us about your books.
I have 3 books currently available at Aspen Mountain Press in my Devon Falls Series. They are:

Devon Falls: Sticky Magic (Book 1)-found in Babes in Toyland II Anthology

Devon Falls: Red Hot Magic (Book 2)

Devon Falls: Fiery Magic (Book 3)

Stand Alone title:
Fairy Kisses and Magical Dreams Became available November 7th

Could you tell us what made you decide to write the Devon Falls series? 
Devon Falls started out as one book, but then the characters mentioned in Sticky Magic clamored for their own stories and it snowballed into 5 books! I am very pleased with the reactions from reviewers and readers alike at their enjoyment of Devon Falls books. I am currently awaiting word on the release date of the 4th Devon Falls Book, Haunting Magic. The final book is going to be a bigger book than all the others. It is a story that will tie up all the loose ends and you get a sense of what part of it may be in Fiery Magic.

Many of your stories lean toward the paranormal, how did you decide to go in that direction?
I love paranormal. I tried to write straight contemporary and it sucked! *laughs* I always seem to end up with ghosts, goblins or some other paranormal creature popping up in my stories so I just decided to go that way. Two of my Devon Falls books are shifter stories. I am currently working on an Urban Fantasy Romantic Comedy and I also have several other paranormal combination WIP’s in process as well.

If you were a tool what would you be and why?
Duct tape. You can do anything with duct tape…or so my honey says. *Laughs* (That was a little too evil for me … could she have used it on the cabana boys … some of them are missing. Hmmmm …)

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
Oh man, I fly by the seat of my pants when writing. Once I am in the groove, I can get almost 3K down in a manuscript in a few hours. I like music playing as noise since that doesn’t bother me too much. Certain songs call to me though. In some of my books, I was listening to certain musicians and they were incorporated in the story. I have a drink nearby but most of the time I totally forget and end up with cold coffee, tea or watered down juice. (But no one can ignore Nina’s green drinks … here hon, have another.)

If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Oh man..maybe loyal, loving and captivating. Yep, I like that last one. *laughs*

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
It is sitting in my box telling me to never open it again. LOL It was that bad!

Do you think these pants make my butt look big?
Nope makes you look like you are a size 2! (See, I knew pink plaid spandex was a good choice. Thank you, Raine.)

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Learn from other authors. They are a wealth of information, tips and other good advice to newbie’s like me. Also some places offer free workshops so always take a look at them and try them out. I learn a lot when I go to them. Also your editor is there to help you no matter what. They offer suggestions to get your words flowing smoothly and make your story shine! I love my editor at AMP since she hits every trouble spot and I am slowly learning to change certain aspects of my writing to smooth out those places.

Who/What do you attribute your success to?
Hard work, perseverance and good luck! Also the support of my honey and children plus online friends has helped me through many things like submissions, contracts and writers block. They are the ones I cry to, yell about and share my good/bad news with!

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I love to hear from readers. You can email me at rainedelight AT yahoo DOT com and check out my new website as well. I had a professional do me up a new one and it is breathtaking! You can also friend her at MySpace.

Raine would also love for you to join her on her Sinful Seductions Yahoo Loop and you can keep up with her latest releases on her Newsletter Loop. Raine’s got the kids at school and her honey off to work so she’s agreed to sip some margaritas and hang around for the day. Feel free to ask her some questions or just leave a comment to let her know you were here.

This week I’d like to welcome my featured author, Stormy Glenn. Stormy is author of erotic, paranormal, werewolf, futuristic, contemporary, gay, and Ménage a Trois romances. Whew, that’s a mouthful.

You have a new book out. Please tell us about it.
Secret Desires was released last week, Monday, October 20, 2008 through Siren Publishing’s Menage Amour line.

BLURB:
How do you answer a handsome cowboy when he asks if you want to take a ride on his horse, especially when he guarantees that it will be a wild ride? For Leyland the answer is simple… hell yes! But what if his cowboy already has a lover?

Oh, m/m … what made you choose to go in that direction?
Truthfully, it just kind of happened. I’ve written some regular M/F and M/F/M romances but the M/M stuff just kind of happened. Once it did, I went with it. I don’t think you have to be female or male to understand love. Deep down inside, everyone wants to be loved, find love, find that special someone meant for only them. That doesn’t change just because your gender does. I don’t believe I write M/M or M/F stories specifically. I write love stories.

I know you have many books coming soon. Could you tell us a little bit about them?
I have seven books coming out as of this interview. You never know what tomorrow might bring. Besides, I’m working on about seven other books right now with three others submitted to publishers right now.

  • 1. Forbidden Desires is the sequel to Secret Desires. (Siren Publishing: Due early 2009) Erotic Paranormal, Werewolves, M/M/M, Male Ménage a Trois Romance
  • 2. The Katzman’s Mate (Siren Publishing: Due early 2009) Erotic Futuristic, M/M Romance
  • 3. A Promise Kept (Torquere Press: due March 2009) Erotic, Contemporary, Suspense, M/M Romance.
  • 4. My Lupine Lover (Siren Publishing: Due 2009) Erotic, Werewolves, M/M Romance.
  • 5. Sweet Treats (Siren Publishing: Due 2009) Erotic, Contemporary, M/M Romance
  • 6. Full Moon Mating (Siren Publishing: Due 2009) Erotic Paranormal, Werewolves, M/M Romance. (I am half way through with the sequel to this one right now).

All your characters sound dreamy. How do you come up with them?
Usually it starts with a name, then I build my characters around that. Some names just sound so sexy to me, like Caden…what kind of man do you see in your head when you think of this name?

Others give me the impression of someone feisty or cute. Once I have a name chosen, then I start building the character. What do I want him to look like? Is he tall, short, in between? I love strong alpha males. I’ve always had this belief that they need love more than others. They always have to be strong and powerful, taking care of others. They need that extra bit of love, someone that is dedicated to taking care of them, loving them. So, usually, there is at least one “alpha dominant male type on each story. They just work so well with the smaller hero/heroine that doesn’t take crap from them and isn’t impressed by their “power”.

If you had super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
Um… time control maybe. 24 hours in a day just aren’t enough. Then maybe I’d slow down time so my kids wouldn’t grow up so fast. My oldest is going to be twenty in November… 20! When did that happen? I could have sworn he was like… five or something.

It appears you write in all sorts of genres. How did that come about?
Truthfully? I had no idea I would be writing in so many genres until my publisher told me. I was just writing a story. I don’t start a book to fit into a certain genre. I write the book, then figure out where it fits. I truly never know what my book is going to be about until it happens. Sometimes, not even from paragraph to paragraph. I just have a basic idea and start with that. So, I write pretty much anything and everything. You should see the mess that is in my head. I also don’t think, as writers, we should be tied down to one genre. I think it makes a better story to just write it, then figure out where it fits.

Is there one genre you enjoy more than others or find easier to write?
I do like werewolf stories. Considering four of my books are werewolf stories, this may be a tad bit obvious. I think what I like most about them is that “fate” has decreed a mate for them. They don’t have to go on blind date after blind date, just find that special someone meant for them. At least, most werewolf books seem to be that way.

Describe your writing space. Do you move around or always write in the same place? Do you have favorite drinks, snack foods, or music while you’re writing?
My writing space…hehehe. I have two, actually.

In my office, I have my desktop PC, a phone, and TV. I also share an office with my husband. My desk is usually covered with stacks of papers. There’s a “Studs and Spurs” calendar hanging on the wall, and a picture of Matthew McConaughey taped to my wall. Yum!

My other writing space is much more simple, a laptop, my bed, and my “apple blanket” (it’s red with apples on it). I spend my mornings down in my office and move upstairs to my bed in the afternoons and evenings. I like to write while my husband watches TV, so we can at least be in the same room together. Once I move upstairs, I almost always have an iced vanilla mocha with whip cream. It just seems to help get those creative juices flowing. On Saturdays, I spend all day in my room, in my pj’s, writing, and watching B-rated movies. The sci-fi channel plays monster flicks all day long, and I’m addicted to B-rated monster/disaster movies. That’s my “leave me alone, I’m writing” day.

What happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
Um… it’s still on my computer somewhere. Its called “Hidden Valley Ranch”. Not a great title but maybe one of these days I’ll go back and work on it. I wrote it about eight years ago. It’s not bad, but my writing has definitely improved since then.

Do you think these pants make my butt look big?
Oh honey, pink stripe spandex? There should be legal restrictions on who can wear spandex… French bicycle riders maybe, certainly not me. Although, I wouldn’t mind seeing Matthew McConaughey in spandex, and maybe Vin Diesel.

You’re life is full … did I see some mention of six teenagers? How do you squeeze in time for writing? 
Luckily, they are teenagers at this point and spending tons of time with Mom is taboo. My oldest is off in college. My husband and I have drive down to his school and have lunch with him every other weekend. The others have boyfriends/girlfriends, social lives, and extra curricular activities. Between all of that, they are pretty busy. I spend most of the day writing while they are at school.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?
The first thing I would tell them is to never give up. You’re going to receive a zillion rejection letters… expect it. But try to look at it as a learning experience. At least your name is getting out there.

The second thing I would tell you is not to be afraid to ask questions. Most of the authors I have met have been very friendly and helpful. They want to see us all succeed and they know more than you do. And remember that no matter how many books we have published or how long we’ve been in the business, there is always room for improvement.

The last thing I would tell you is to be passionate about what you do… love it, live it, breath it.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I’m an author of erotic, paranormal, werewolf, futuristic, contemporary, suspense, gay, and ménage a trois romances. I believe the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two or three men in cowboy boots. I also believe in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.

When I’m not being a mother to my six teenagers or cleaning up after my two 70 pound lap puppies, you can usually find me cuddled in bed with a book in my hand and a puppy in my lap. Or on my laptop, creating the next sexy characters for my stories. I always welcome comments from readers. You can email her anytime at  stormyglenn@hotmail.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

While I’m changing out of my striped spandex pants (that match my pink heals and the feather boa quite nicely,  thank you very much) let me tell you where else you can find Stormy. She’s always available on her website or her blog or at Manic Readers. And she’d love to have you friend her at MySpace.

She’s brought over several cowboys and I don’t think I’m letting her leave anytime soon. I’ve got the blender going and she’s looking pretty happy with the margarita in her hand. So don’t be shy, she’d love to answer your questions!

w00t! w00t! There’s a party going on right here! (Can you hear the music?) I’d like to welcome author, Destiny Blaine!

Destiny Blaine is an author who loves to bring her southern roots into her stories. With the exception of casino-related story lines, most of her books have a southern setting. All of Destiny’s books have her true southern voice and you can see it as you turn the pages.

The proud mother of two teenagers, Destiny and her husband are on the move a lot with sports activities keeping them on their toes. For enjoyment, the family likes to look for sandy beaches with huge waves for surfing and just relaxing!

Destiny Blaine writes erotica romance, suspense, and mainstream fiction. She’s agreed to answer a few questions (Silly Destiny … has she never visited my torture cham … er, um… guest blog before?)

Please tell us about your newest release.
Unspoken Truths (no cover curently available) is a contemporary erotic romance about a sexy-hot alpha male that has a very interesting “day-job” (as a football bookie well connected to organized crime) and a woman he’ll be forced to leave behind because of conflicting career interests. Tanner, the hero in Unspoken Truths, is one of my favorite heroes to date. He’s known the woman of his dreams his whole life but in order to protect her, he’s continually pushed her away-until he simply can’t stand the thought of leaving her behind. Coming August 29th to Whispers Publishing, let me know if you’d like to see an excerpt by dropping me an email to destinyblaine@yahoo.com!

Your characters sound dreamy. How do you come up with them?
Often, the heroes in my stories remind me of someone I know. Sometimes, the physical descriptions match someone I’ve just observed for the sole purpose of writing them into my books and short stories. Of course, since I seldom see’ vampires, my imagination typically runs wild regardless of the inspiration! (Smiles)

Is there a particular genre you enjoy writing and why?
Right now, I’m wildly partial to western erotic and paranormal. However, I do write a lot of gambling-related love stories. I guess I’m sort of ‘known’ for them since a lot of my readers come from a gambling-related/poker background. Many of the folks who read my sports and gambling-related books first read my work under my real name before they discovered I write under the pen name of Destiny Blaine. It’s been really interesting to write in this arena because it’s like a new genre rising and I’m glad to be a part of it! 

Your books seem to cover a little bit of everything. Is there some common thread to all your stories? 
My stories typically have an alpha-male, though not always. Some have southern settings and many have gambling-related elements, or a sports theme. As for one thread? I don’t think so. I have to keep things interesting and different! 

Okay, what’s your favorite type of paranormal hero, werewolf, vampire, fairy or some other dark mystery man I didn’t name?
Vampire (Oh, should I mention I’m writing my first vamp story? No! Bad hostess. Down, girl. Down!)

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks  or snack foods? Any favorite music you play while writing?
My writing process is boring. I write all the time-how dull is that? I have a novel I’m working on right now that has been plotted and outlined too death but I fly by the seat of my pants with some stories. This one just had a very unique plot so I had to make sure everything fell in the proper place with the right timeline so an outline helps when there’s a lot of research involved.

Comfort drinks? COFFEE! (She’s not kidding her folks. She ‘s scoffed down two double latte moches with foam and an iced coffee. And did she offer me some? Umm … that would be a negative.)

Good Writing Music? It changes day by day and week by week. Today it was: James Blunt, Elvis, Three Doors Down, Hinder, and Nickelback. Then, total silence-which often happens when I am dying to type “the end”. It’s mere minutes away! 

You have books with several different publishers. Is there one you like to work with more than the others?
I have a couple that stand out above the rest because of the open communication.

Since I promote myself more than I’ll ever depend on someone else to promote for me, I count on the open communication so I can figure out what works and what doesn’t. If I can’t ask for and receive feedback, then I’m working solo and wasting my time. Ultimately, writing is a business. No matter how much I like someone in this business, the bottom line (yes, the money) is always going to matter to me-it must because I write full-time. Supportive publishers who are willing to offer constructive criticism and yet still point out an author’s strengths are a rarity in this business, or at least, that’s been my experience. However, I do have a couple or publishers who go the extra mile to help their authors succeed-which is nice.

That said, those who know me, know I look at e-publishing and small press a little differently than most. It only took a Las Vegas minute to understand that small press is political, to an extent, just like anything else. I’ve been in this business long enough to be indifferent to a lot of the surrounding elements which is why I can stay so focused.  

I know there will be rejection along the way-I accept it. Sometimes I might question it (not openly, of course) if I bother to compare other books or whatnot, but I still accept it and move on. I know there will be bad reviews-I always consider the source and decide if it’s well meaning or well targeted for another purpose.

I look for the best place to thrive as a writer-where I feel welcome and comfortable. That said, a writer can only be as good as their publisher and vice-versa.  I try to watch where I submit now for that reason. I want to be an asset to my publisher but in small press, I really expect the same in return. It’s a team effort-a joint venture-and again, I’m fortunate enough to be with some publishers who have similar visions and an outstanding work ethic.

If you could be one of your characters who would you choose and why?
It’s a tie between Constance in Winning Virgin Lust (coming soon) and Darlene from A Matter Among Men (out now). Why? Ahem…you’ll have to read the books!

You have a Yahoo loop that runs on Mondays. Could you tell us about that?
While writing the first stories of the Winning Virgin Series, I noticed a need for a chat group where authors and readers could come together and share their paranormal book excerpts, post contests, and just keep in touch. Just Another Paranormal Monday was born and it’s been rocking and rolling ever since it’s grand opening several months ago. (She’s not kidding her folks … it’s an awesome group! It’s how I first stalked, err … got to know Destiny. Come on over and check it out …   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ParanormalMonday)

A hot soak in the tub or a smokin’ BBQ with friends?
Hmmm…it depends. Who will be in the tub and who did you invite to the BBQ? (Men in kilts … have you not been listening to the bagpipe music? *g*)

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Yes! Right now, I’m running a sweepstakes. It officially kicked off with the release of Love, Lust, and Scandal in Professional Football but since football season doesn’t officially kick off until later this month, the big rush for prizes will begin in late August. Members of my loop will be able to score touchdowns and win prizes throughout football season. It’s a great contest so check it out at : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/destinyblaine_romance/ 

Wow, she talks faster than me and that’s saying something! Destiny and her books can be found at her WEBSITE or at MYSPACE and on her BLOG.Destiny’s agreed to stick around a day or two … haven’t you hon? (She’s nodding… or maybe her nose itches. It’s hard to tell with her hands tied to my keyboard.) In any case, don’t be shy. Ask her a question. Leave a comment to tell her you stopped by. Or just plain tell her how much you loooove her books. (No sweetie … bathroom breaks every hour on the hour … really, no complaining … next time maybe you’ll share that cup of coffee.)

Really folks, she’d love to hear from you.

I’d like to welcome Ericka Scott to Around the Writer’s Block. Ericka Scott is a multi-published best-selling author of seductive suspense. She’s written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had a maid, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. You can find out more about her at website.

Her newest release, The Vampire Oracle: Chalice, is published through Cobblestone Press.

Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN# 978-1-60088-273-9

Reclusive vampire Sapphire McKenzie lives in her penthouse apartment with fortress-like security run by her AI computer, Van. She’s been hailed as the greatest armchair detective since Mycroft Holmes and has solved every case she’s ever been asked to investigate – and even some she hasn’t.

Her ex-lover, Drake Chastain, is a retired basketball star living off his fame and fortune until women he’s dated begin disappearing, then reappearing…dead.. With Drake framed for murder, Sapphire has to leave behind the safety of her home to save the man she loves…or die trying.~~~

*rubs hands together* Now the fun part! All those question you wish YOU could ask her! Well, while I have her tied up  ah hem … urr … otherwise occupied. I’ll see what information I can get from her.

In which of your books is the heroine most like yourself?
Unfortunately, none of them. They are all thinner, prettier, and richer than I am. Thus, I have to live vicariously through my characters.

Pantzer or Plotter?
I must have tried out and discarded a dozen methods for writing a novel until I stumbled upon the method that works for me. I plot out the story and then begin writing. Usually along the way, the story veers off from my plotted outline and I wing it from there. So, I’m a plotter to begin with and a pantzer when needed.

What’s your writing schedule like?
Schedule? I’m a stay-at-home mom with a teenager and two preschoolers (although one of the boys is going to kindergarten this fall. Yippee!). I’m lucky if I get an hour or two a day to write, so I have to make the most of it.

What does your writing space look like?
My computer is in a hutch in the family room. I’m surrounded by noise and available to all. Sigh. I dream of one day having an office, but until then, I’ll wear my headphones. (She kindly took them off for me … but they are really nice sound buffering ones … hmm… think she’ll notice … nah …)

What does your family think about you writing erotic romance?
My husband is incredibly supportive. His mother is my biggest fan. As for my family, I think I would die if my mother ever found out I write erotic romance! (Oh, your Mom’s stopping by this afternoon. Uh oh, no hyperventilating! Just kidding, hon, breathe into the bag … your Mom only reads my blogs on Fridays … )

What do you wear while you’re writing?
It varies, but mostly jammies and sweats, since I write early in the morning or late at night after the kids have gone to bed.

What’s your favorite snack and/or beverage while you’re hard at work?
My hubby is a network administrator, so I don’t eat or drink at my computer (snort). And since you don’t believe that, I’ll admit to drinking gallons of Diet Pepsi. (Every writer deserves a vice … I’ll never tell!)

Do you believe in soulmates?
If you had asked that BEFORE I met my husband, I would have said no. But since my marriage, I’ve come to strongly believe in them. I have no idea what I would do without him.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Halloween ~ can’t you tell? (Silly me — the clown nose and rainbow wig should have given that away! LOL!)

Thanks for swinging over, Erica! Click HERE to read an excerpt of The Vampire Oracle:Chalice or HERE to buy the book.

When Erica’s not cyber-touring you can find her on her blog or friend her at MySpace.

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