This past weekend I went up to Maine for a writer’s retreat. Unlike a convention, which focuses on primarily teaching and pitch opportunities, this retreat was designed to offer attendees the opportunity for quiet writing time, brainstorming and workshops.
The speakers were amazing. KA Mitchell who did an awesome workshop on character personality types. And wow! she offered some indepth information to give writers tools for making characters that walk off the pages. Plus, she’s got a great sense of humor which made her presentation that much more enjoyable.
Historical author, Hannah Howell gave a wonderful talk on motivation. Something I desperately need at the moment as I’m finding it very easy to do anything but write. Later at dinner, she was recognized by some avid romance readers who stopped over at our table, completely giddy, and asked to have their picture taken with her. (They also were celebrating a bachelorette party which made it even that much more fun!) And Hannah was very gracious posing and smiling for her fans.
On Saturday morning Julia Spencer-Flemming spoke to us about adding suspense and conflict to our stories. She’s a mom of four (which I think contributed to the “nothing can phaze me attitude) with a wonderful sense of humor.
To say I enjoyed listening to these ladies is an understatement. All of them were insightful and, if I can incorporate even half of what they offered for writing tips, will make my stories so much better!
There are some conferences where everyone’s good news can really make me feel like I’m treading slowly through this profession, where I wonder if I’ll ever find my place in the publishing world. Though everyone’s journey is different, sometimes it’s really hard not to compare onesself to others’ successes. But this weekend I was able to just accept where I am and let the energy exploding from the other attendees to really fuel my fire. I am buzzing with the drive to keep going and get the stories in my head down on paper.
There are many conferences coming up in the next few months. Lots of opportunities for readers to meet authors and/or go to book signings. Plenty of chances for writers to rub elbows with their peers, agents and editors. Will you be attending any of them? If you do, why do you attend? I’d love to hear about your experiences because I’m always curious why others are motivated to go to conferences and retreats.
This week I’m pleased to have my office filled with people. K.A. Mitchell, multi-published author of sexy male/male stories has agreed to an interview. And she’s brought along a few friends and the very sexy heroes of her latest story, Collision Course, Aaron and Joey. And I must say they are yummy! Unfortunately, it appears they have eyes only for each other (and a couple of the cabana boys). Let me get them settled and see if we can’t get K.A. to talk about her latest adventure.
Here’s the back cover copy:
Immovable object? Meet the irresistible force.
Paramedic Aaron Chase doesn’t have anything against love. It just comes with a lot of responsibility, like when he had to raise his sister and brothers after their drug-addicted mom took off for good. Now that the last one is off to college, Aaron’s anticipating enjoying life on his own terms. He certainly wasn’t expecting Joey Miller to accidentally drop into his life.
Joey’s sexy, funny and annoyingly optimistic, and his tendency to get into trouble keeps sending him Aaron’s way. Even the fact that Joey works for the hated social work system isn’t reason enough to keep him out of Aaron’s bed.
Joey knows all about love. He’s fallen in it ten times-he thinks. It’s not that he can’t tell the difference between sex and love. All that experience has to count for something, right? With Aaron it’s different. Maybe because there’s something to fight for.
This time Joey’s fallen for good. He’s not going to let number eleven get away.
Nina: So, K.A. tell us a little bit about this newest release of yours.
KA Mitchell: Well, Nina, you know I’m kind of shy so I brought some friends. JenB, Sarah, and Tam who have some questions. And as you can see, Joey and Aaron, the sexy heroes from Collision Course, my December 9 release at Samhain Publishing. I think they should tell you about my newest release.
Joey: She means us. C’mon Aaron. We’re going to answer some questions from a few of K.A.’s friends and of course our lovely hostess … Nina. There are all kinds of readers who want to know about us and our story.
Nina: *blushing* Just a side note ladies. Joey is short, blond and absolutely mouth-watering. And the tall gentleman with the Native American coloring is Aaron. *sigh* I am in heaven … oh, sorry guys, I didn’t mean to interrupt. So what do you have to say to K.A.’s readers?
Aaron: Readers? There are what …three people asking questions? And our hostess … for this we’re not home having sex?
Joey: *rolls eyes* It’s the internet. You can’t see them all. But if we make K.A. lots of money, she’ll have to write us another book. You know what that means. Pages and pages of steamy sex for us. *Aaron’s smile is nau-au-auty!*
Aaron: K.A.’s already said enough. And you know how much I like answering questions… NOT! *Joey leans in and whispers seductively*
Nina: Oh, Joey, that’s just not fair. What are you whispering to Aaron? Oh, now that’s a happy smile Aaron. Spill, what did he say to you?
Aaron: Oh, I never tell secrets, Nina. *winks at Joey* All right, we’re ready for the questions. But nothing personal, ladies. You need to start with Joey. I want to see what I’m getting into.
JenB: *sits up staighter* Me first. This question is for you Joey. How loud and for how long did you have to yell at K.A. before she caved and decided to write your story?
Joey: Oh, honey, I’m nothing if not persistent. But look at me. Do you think I have to work to get attention? As soon as she let herself start to wonder what the next book was, she couldn’t think of anything but me.
*Aaron coughs and mimes putting a tiara on Joey’s head a la Miss America* * Joey gives him a look and slaps his hand away*
Sarah: Oh enough sexy banter, boys. It’s my turn. Joey, what made you want to go and work for child services?
*Aaron flinches. Joey rubs a hand down his back*
Joey: Well, I lucked out. My biological mom left me in a toilet at a free clinic. And then I got adopted by great people. It seemed to make sense to try to make sure other kids got lucky. Though sometimes …
*Joey chokes up*
Tam: Obviously it’s hard for you to talk about. So let’s change the subject. Name a way you are both alike and something in which you are complete opposites and always will be.
Joey: We’re both determined to get our own way. It’s just making sure that he sees that there is a right and a wrong way. *he flashes Aaron a come-hither look*
Nina: Oh, now that is one heck of a look Aaron. Me thinks you’ve hit a sexual nerve Joey. *the men wink at each other* Ummm … is it getting hawt in here or is that your chemistry fogging the windows? *Sarah’s fanning herself and K.A. grabs the back of Tam’s chair for support* Gentlemen, you are definitely naughty.
Aaron: Do I get to talk now?
KA: You’re the one-
Aaron: *lifts a hand to stop K.A.* Thanks, sweetheart, but obviously you ladies are harmless. Joey’s right-about the not giving up. At least he’d better be. *Joey’s sexy mouth curves in a heart-stopping grin* But he’s the one who’s a control freak … just for the record.
Sarah: *shifts in her chair and clears her throat* Yes, well, can we continue? With your different backgrounds, was it hard to fall in love?
Joey: Oh, it was hard all right. *snickers*
Aaron: I swear sometimes you are fu—
Joey: Watch your language. *smiles and winks*
Aaron: Oh, sorry, Nina. KA mentioned your blog was PG-13. *crosses arms over his broad chest, bounces foot and turns to Joey* Crap! You are freaking twelve. No wonder you get along with my brothers.
Tam: Okay, my turn. I must say, you guys are too cute together. Could you tell us your ideal date night. Stay in, go out?
Aaron: Date? Seriously?
Joey: *elbows Aaron* He loves it when we go out dancing and he gets to glare at all the guys checking out my ass. And he loves it when we ride home and I try to give him a-
Aaron: *slaps a hand over Joey’s mouth and blushes* Really, my sister could be reading this, Joey.
Joey: –on his bike. *grins and sucks one of Aaron’s fingers into his mouth*
Aaron: *glares impatiently at K.A.* Are we done yet?
Joey: *shakes head and points to JenB* Uh-uh, this beautiful lady hasn’t asked her question.
JenB: *smiles innocently* KA has shared all of your secrets. Now’s your chance to get back at her. What’s something about KA you’re dying to share but she doesn’t want us to know.
KA: Oh, I think that’s all we have time for, right, Nina?
Aaron: *laughs and leans his forearms on his thighs* The hell it is, K.A. I’ll take this one. Ask KA what happens now when she tries to write another toppy alpha. Hmmm?
*KA squirms and blushes*
Aaron: Ask her if she wanted to slide into Joey’s skin for an hour or two. Ask her if Chapter 11 of our book wasn’t her favorite bedtime story for a month.
Joey: *laughs harder at K.A.’s red face* Okay. I knew that would be fun, but we’ll stop teasing you, K.A. I still might want you to write us another book so …
*grabs Aaron’s head and drags him down into the kind of kiss that leaves us all blushing and breathless. A moan escapes … oh, that’s KA, Tam and JenB move in for a closer look*
KA: *letting out a deep breath* Okay, thanks guys. A big thank you to Nina for having us and to JenB, Sarah, and Tam for helping out with the questions. Guys? You can … errr, guys?
Nina: Are they going to do it here? Wait, guys … really, I think … guys? … oh, never mind.
Well, while the boys enjoy each other, I’m going to introduce K.A. and her friends to the cabana boys. Feel free to ask K.A. anything. And if we can pry Joey and Aaron apart, I’m sure they’d be happy to answer a few more reader questions.
*Nina sits back to take notes*