Self Published Authors

interviewThis page will feature interviews with self published (indie) authors. You will be able to read about their books, writing, route to publication, and receive helpful advice and tips.

NEW author interviews are posted regularly, so make sure you return for updates.

ORDER OF AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Rebecca Berto, Emmy Yoshida, Adrienne Vaughan, Marissa Carmel, Lynda Renham, Abby K Davies, JD Stockholm, Emma Bennet, Julie Ryan, Layla Stevens, Skye Turner, Isabella Rae, Jennifer Joyce, Nicola May, Melissa Rolka, Steven Donahue, Carlie Pettit, Charisse Reid, Jennifer Sage, D.C.J Wardle, M.R Joseph, Andrew Marsh, Dave White,

10 Questions with….

Dave White

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I’m Dave, I’ve moved around a lot, first with the Army, and then following the work. For now I live near Worcester in the UK, and as an engineer, I fix the machines that make lenses for glasses. I haven’t got any children, so work seems to be the only thing in my life sometimes, but, I try to make some time free for a bit of photography.

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I have been a sufferer of PTSD, relating to my childhood experiences, for most of my life. Writing about those times when I’m down, and giving it a story that I could understand, gave me a way of coping with the memories. So a few years ago when the doctor gave me some bad news; it was natural for me to start writing again.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?  I like to write in the dark, very late at night and in total silence. That way I can be pretty sure no-one will disturb me.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Whilst writing my memoirs, it wasn’t so much writer’s block that I suffered with, more like writer’s clog. To deal with that, I simply took some time off writing, and had a relatively normal life for a week or two, then everything seemed to fall back into place.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I was very lateral at first, but, during the polishing of the book, once I decided to publish it I become a plotter.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? After numerous rejections, I self-published on Createspace. With their straight forward step by step guide, this was probably the easiest part of the whole book project.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? I had to take my laptop in for some repair work one day. While I was waiting to be served the shop assistant was telling a customer about a book she’d just read. I wasn’t really listening, so, I didn’t put two and two together until she showed her a copy of my book, I nearly passed out from the shock. I got my own back though; when I gave the shop assistant my laptop and contact details, I offered to sign it for her.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. Extract from Chapter 14 Life Without… Mark

My first stint inside was meant to be four weeks with the Coldstream Guards, but it didn’t start too well. The Provo, (sort of like a jail warden), didn’t like scrawny little shits that beat up defenceless Sergeant Majors, so he was going to teach me some respect, like my Dad should have.

I told him what happened to the last man who wanted to be my Dad. Then I got him to picture what this scrawny little shit would do to him if he tried. The Padre picked me up the following morning and took me to the Paras’ jailhouse instead.

On the way, we laughed about why I had been kicked out of jail, a first for the Padre. Then he said something that has stayed with me ever since.

“I get to meet a lot of people like you in my line of work, you know,” he was saying gently, with the caring-Padre side of him coming through strong. “People that have a troubled mind yet can’t find a way to talk about it. Most of them bottle up all the bad things until they burst, much like your situation I think?”

He had hit the nail on the head, and I nodded in agreement.

“Well, there are people out there who rather than talk to someone, they write about it, and they find it helps them to cope. They say it’s like talking without speaking. Then, if you still don’t want other people to know…, well, there’s always the bin, so no one will ever read it if you don’t want them to.” He finished his story.

We had another laugh about how I’d hardly been at school because I was always suspended for fighting; then I failed most of my exams, so I could barely write a full sentence, let alone the book I’d need to. But I agreed to give it a go anyway. If nothing else, it would give me something to think about for the next six months.

The Paras’ Provo had been told not to mention my Dad before I arrived, so I settled in a little better there. It was hard time though, starting early each morning with a log run, and only the good Lord himself could have kept count of how many times I went over their assault course.

Next, I was with the Dragoons for a few weeks of polishing everyone’s boots and drill – boring, but an easy time really. Then I was mucked about by the Signals for a month. But I was settling into jail life by then, so I got on with it until I eventually headed off to the Artillery.

Now they know how to jail people, I can tell you. I was introduced to my cellmate on the first day – a 40 lb. Artillery cartridge – and I had to do everything for it. I had to clean the floor, for the cartridge. I had to shower, the cartridge. I had to read bed time stories to, the cartridge, and I’d have to march the cartridge to meals. I even had to write the cartridge a Dear John letter when I left. I miss my cartridge.

The Dragoons asked me to pop back after that because they had a parade coming up. And finally, after a few weeks of polishing yet more boots, belts and swords, the Padre picked me up and took me to my last jail.

We stopped on the way for a break, and as we ate the Padre asked about the A4 pad I had begun to keep with me. I had no problem with passing it over when he asked, and after he had read all my love letters to My Darling Cartridge, he came to a page that had just two words written on it: Life Without…, He looked up.

“Don’t know where to start,” I said, a little dejected.

“You have my boy. You already have.” He replied softly.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Other than work, I have a lot of part time interests, star gazing, flying RC helicopters and a photography to name a few.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books?(What to do and what not to do.) I’m still learning marketing myself, but one of the things I’ve learned is not to be too pushy. Though that may seem to help in the short term, over time it just serves to annoy people and eventually drive them away.

10.How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? As it says one the first page, Life Without… is closely based on my own life, or my memories of it to be precise, so, it’s all true. That said, I’ve had to change some of the details to give the book a story type feel, yet keep the continuity going.

Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Without-father-son-became-ebook/dp/B00IJTE0T6

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-father-son-became-ebook/dp/B00IJTE0T6

Author page- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dave-White/e/B00JFBK8IY

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/life.without.bydavewhite?ref=hl

author dave

Andrew Marsh

andrewmarsh

Andrew is a 50 year old former geologist from the construction industry who hit the wall when the economic crash happened. Since then he has retrained as a complimentary therapist and is off course also a writer. Andrew also gets a lot of pleasure as a hospital radio presenter.

Andrew writes crime thrillers, fantasy, and YA books and blogs about writing and also provides useful tips for writers in his various blogs.

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Many years ago when I was a geologist, a big idea came to me for the dramatic opening scene of a thriller. I let it grow and when I was ready I started to write by taking people to the scene and some of them from it. The rest of the plot grew from there.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I usually start writing as soon as I have had breakfast. It is office time and I sit down and write. I usually set myself a target of 1500 words per day and very often exceed that by a considerable amount.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Not block per se, but I have had the odd occasion when it didn’t flow and I was frustrated by it. I overcame it by writing a blog about how I felt about the situation and as soon as I had posted the blog the words came.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Most of the time I do like to have a basic plot that I am telling. I frequently have a file of “notes and ideas” for each book, but the day to day writing is often as new to me as it will be for the reader.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? This is a tricky one to answer. I have self published all of my books so far and I would say the most difficult part for me is taking my manuscript from formatted in word to upload using the hosting site I use and making sure that the formatting has been correctly transposed and the book looks “right”, both as ebook and paperback.

Best advice would be to find someone who has successfully formatted a book the way you are doing it and pick their brains.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? This is an easy one. I was at the Writers’ Summer School Swanwick and three people came up to me at the same time and asked me to sign my book for them. It was such a thrill.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. The Truth was released in July 2014 and is an adult crime thriller. Not for the fainthearted it is a story that has to be told. A story of injustice and revenge, it has been likened to Midsomer Murders meets Quentin Tarrantino.

What is The Truth and how will you find it?

How far would you go to see justice served?

How deep is it buried?

Can you handle The Truth?

The Truth is available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback.

My other book is a self help guide to help writers manage their writing process and their writing data. The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing is available as a paperback on Amazon.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I am trying to recover from long term ill health, but I do enjoy my show as a hospital radio presenter and making esoteric and other craft products.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) I suppose the usual is to get on Facebook and Twitter and keep them alive and active with posts and snippets.

Be assertive, whenever the opportunity presents itself, talk to people about you and your book. I did and the lady in my local post office liked what I said so much she bought the book the next day.

10. Whats the hardest thing about writing? For me the hardest thing is making sure the manuscript is correctly formatted for uploading onto your publisher platform. The technical side of it is lost on me and it can be very frustrating when you have painstakingly been through a book only to find that when reviewing the uploaded files it looks terrible.

Andrew Marsh writes crime thrillers and can be found on

http://www.thrillingwriting.wordpress.com

@thrillerwrite

On facebook as Andrew Marsh and Andrew Marsh author page.

The Truth is available on Amazon as a paperback and ebook

http: //www.amazon.co.uk/ Truth-Andrew-Marsh-ebook/dp/B00LXG8278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405934610&sr=8-1&keywords=andrew+marsh

Andrew has another blog on writing focused on his fantasy and YA works

http://www.fendrelstale.wordpress.com

@fendrelstale

The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing is available on Amazon as a paperback

http:// http://www.amazon.co.uk/ Handbook-TIPS-Manage-Your-Writing/dp/0954733622/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374740361&sr=1-5&keywords=andrew+marsh

andrewm

Clara Grace Walker

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Author of Amazon’s Best-selling novel, Gratification, Clara Grace Walker grew up knowing she wanted to write.  She is thrilled with the release of her second novel, Gossip, Book #2 in the Desire Never Dies trilogy.  This trilogy provides an inside look at the love stories of three couples finding their way to happily-ever-after in a corrupt world of wealth and power.  Be prepared for sex, scheming and, oh yes, a bit of murder, as the lives of these three couples intersect throughout Gratification (Book #1), Gossip (Book #2) and the upcoming Redemption (Book #3).  Clara takes her readers on a ride filled with sensuality, intrigue and strong characters, only some of whom possess a moral compass.  Buckle up.  The ride’s a bit bumpy! When not bringing to life her stories of greed, desire and danger, Clara enjoys spending time at the pool.  She calls it her “summer office.”  She also enjoys scrapbooking, travel and above all, her wonderful family and two very spoiled cats. Look for Redemption, Book 3 of the Desire Never Dies trilogy to be released this June.  After that, Clara is set to begin work on a brand new 4-book series, Sex and Secrets.  She hopes to bring many happy days of reading to her fans in the future.

1. What got you into writing/what made you sit down and actually start something? My wonderful 4th grade teacher made it a point to read to the class every day. I had loved books since I was able to read, so I was probably always inclined in that direction. It was my teacher’s absolute dedication to books, however, that not only deepened my love of reading, but ignited the desire to write as well. I wrote my first short story at 9 years old and spent my teen years scribbling poetry…most of it dorky and awkward. As I entered my 20s books seemed the natural progression. The more life experience I accumulated and the more I wrote, the richer my stories became. I started writing as a young girl, and I don’t see myself ever stopping.

2. What is a usual writing day like for you? How is it structured? The only real structure to my writing day is that I will endeavor to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard almost every day. I have a lot of irons in the fire though, and I am never working on only one project at any time. For example, my writing day today looks like this: 1) Answer interview questions for Sophia Valentine; 2) Prepare for an upcoming TV interview; 3) Finish plotting Exploits, the 1st in my new 4-book series, Sex and Secrets; and 4) Go to the pool and write…because I work best at my “summer office.” J

3. Do you get writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it? I’m pretty sure writer’s block in the bane of every writer’s existence. I even devoted one of my blog posts to this subject, (and I don’t post that often, so that’s saying something). My basic strategy is just to unleash the stubborn beast inside me and keep writing anyway. Even if what I turn out is junk, at least I’ve fired the synapses in my brain and created something to start editing.

4. Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I plot and plan my stories, but only to a point. When I first sit down and start writing, (or in warm weather, when I stretch out in a lounge chair by the pool), I know who my heroine and hero are and what their basic conflict is. I know where the story opens, and because I write romance, where it’s going to end. The journey to happily-ever-after, however, is not always clear. I like to leave enough room in my stories to allow for the unexpected plot twist. Sometimes writing the story is as much of an adventure for me as it is for the reader to read it. J

5. What was the publishing process like for you, and any advice to aspiring authors? I find the publishing process itself a long road filled with lots of hard work. It’s a whole lot of reading/editing/proofing/formatting, followed by a whole lot of marketing, marketing and still more marketing. Writing is the fun part for me, but I suspect that’s true for every writer. Which is why I believe it’s important as writers to tell the stories

that our hearts won’t stay quiet about. It’s what gets you through the hard work and frustrations that crop up along the way.

6. What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? A few things have really made the publishing experience special for me. Seeing my books for sale online, downloaded onto my Kindle and holding printed versions of Gratification, Gossip and Redemption in my hands have made all the hard work worth it. Hearing back from my readers, knowing I’ve brought someone enjoyment with my words has been even better. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything. Nor would I trade the wonderful, genuine friendships I have made with some other writers through social media. There are some people I’ve met on this journey who have become very special to me, and I really bless the day I met them. J

7. Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish? I really love this passage from my latest book, Redemption, because of the emotional punch it packs:

Like so many times before, her thoughts flashed back to a memory now ten years old. She was fourteen. Two months shy of her fifteenth birthday. Malia had picked her up and brought her home from the hospital, because Mama had refused to get her. She winced, remembering Malia. Her only real friend. Malia, who’d been the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting two weeks later. Aside from Mama, Malia was the only one who knew about the baby. Mindy had stopped going to school in March when Frank was arrested and she’d started to show. Mama told the school she’d contracted mono. The baby had been born in late July, the 22nd day of the month, just in time for Mindy to go back to school, as skinny as if it had never happened.

I also love this passage from Gossip, because of how well it delves into Nick’s character and his antagonistic relationship with his publishing rival:

Nick nodded in response to Danny’s question. The front page showed an unflattering photograph of him as he left the police station, punching Peter Arnold in the jaw. The story that followed was filled with rumor and innuendo, also unflattering, quoting unnamed sources who fingered Nick as the prime suspect. A small inset picture of Janelle’s corpse outside the country club accompanied the story inside. He’d nearly lost his breakfast seeing it. “Yes.” Words finally found him. “I’ve seen it.”

And this is one of my favorite quotes from Gratification, because it displays a hint of suggestiveness and makes me smile:

He stood staring at her like a little boy at a peep show, his eyes nearly as wide as his gaping mouth. Good grief, he looked like he was about to start licking her. “Good-morning,” she said. Her entire body warmed with a blush. “And you can close your mouth now. As I recall, you’ve seen me in less.”

8. Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I really enjoy creative endeavors, such as photography, scrapbooking and when I’m in the mood, baking and decorating cupcakes. As I’ve mentioned, I also love hanging out at the pool, lake or ocean. And I’m a champion shopper. J

9. What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base/get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do): I think the best thing to do to build a fan base is just be yourself. I believe readers are interested in getting to know the real person behind the words and are very good at discerning authenticity. Naturally, you’ll want to craft some marketing pieces and tweet/post them occasionally on social media. I think it’s important, however, to make sure the marketing pieces are not the sole content of your social media engagement, or even the majority of it. It’s much better, IMO, to make a genuine effort to get to know people.

10. Tell us about your book cover/s, how the designing came about: I love the chance to talk about my book covers, because I actually designed them. The girl in the bikini on the beach represents Florida, where all three books (Gratification, Gossip and Redemption), in the Desire Never Dies trilogy take places. It also gives just a little bit of edge to let the reader know at a glance these are mainstream contemporary romances. The symmetry between the three covers is a visual cue that the books are part of a continuing story. Beyond that, each cover connects with the title: Gratification with the man holding the woman from behind, Gossip with the girl holding a drink in one hand and a cell phone in the other, and Redemption with the hands in prayer. I have a similar concept planned for the covers in my next series, Sex and Secrets. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

clara3 clara1 clara4

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M.R Joseph

I’m a book nerd turned writer who loves the ‘Happily Ever After’ mixed with a bit of suspense, drama, and the occasional cliffhanger! My love of books has brought me on my writing journey. I began writing my first book in July 2012 and since that time I have created 2 series. The first series ‘The Reunion Series’ debuted in November 2012 and two books followed. My new series ‘The Sandy Cove Series’ will release in March 2014. The first book is entitled ‘Giving In’. I’m still an avid reader and huge Indie Author supporter!

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? What actually got me into writing was reading. I constantly read as a child and a teenager but when you start having a family sometimes things you did a lot of are put on the back burner and your concentration goes elsewhere as well as your time. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I was reading upwards of three books a week after the 50 Shades phenom hit. T.V. for me didn’t exist. I was lost in the world of books and the more I read, the more I realized maybe I should give it a try. The idea for my first novel came to me when I was approaching my 20th High School Reunion. I wanted to write about long, lost loves being reunited at a reunion. That was when my Reunion series was born. I wrote every spare second I had. I began in July of 2012 and finished it in October of 2012.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I work part time. Mostly in the mornings with 2 days off . The days I have off, I drop the kids at school and sit at the desk for about 6 hours or so. When they get home from school, it’s back to mom duty, and once they are in bed i’m back at the desk. On the days I do work outside the house, I get a few hours in, but on those days it’s mostly at night.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t think it’s normal to NOT experience writer’s block. How do I solve it? You don’t really solve it but you do things to help it. I watch either a favorite movie of mine that’s inspirational or read books that I already have read that I love for inspiration. It does work. One day it flows, the next sometimes it doesn’t.

It’s a crapshoot sometimes.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I am a planner/plotter to a certain extent. I always plan out the names of my characters and their look, and their personalities. As far as the story line, it usually comes to me while I’m writing, although I will tell you that I usually think of the ending way before I finish my story, and I stick it in my notes.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advise to aspiring authors? I have had no problems with the publishing process. If you know what you are doing, then it’s not a problem. I have learned a lot over the past 2 years. I have taken the advice of other authors s well about their publishing do’s and don’ts and war stories about it all.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? There are so many, it’s hard to mention them all. The two that stand out the most are when I was bringing my son to his math tutor at another elementary school in our district, and the school secretary started to talk to me and the more we talked she suddenly jumped and said oh, my God, oh, my God, I know you! I red your book! You’re M.R. Joseph. That was an incredible feeling. The second was when I was invited to my very first books signing in California in July of 2013. When I was signing readers were coming up to me with copies of my book already purchased and actually want to take pictures with me and have me sign their books. It was euphoric. That’s the only way to describe it. Just euphoric and also humbling.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My latest release, Giving In (The Sandy Cove Series Book 1) is in a new genre for me, Coming of Age. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of hot scenes but mostly it’s a book about growing as a person, blossoming into the person you are destined to be and about the person you are destined to be with. Accepting love and falling in love and learning how to allow love in your heart just when you think it can’t happen to you.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I’m a wife and mom first and foremost. I love hanging with my crew. I have an 11 year old and an 8 year old. I’m very involved with their school as well as several community organizations. I enjoy hanging with my girlfriends whom i’ve been friends with for 25 plus years. I enjoy our girls get-a-ways, adventures, and going on date nights with my husband.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Make friends! Make lots of friends! I also promote my books as often as possible. I do lots of give-aways and I am constantly telling my readers and the bloggers how much I appreciate them. My readers, for reading and reviewing and being behind me 100%. The bloggers and reviews? I’d be no where without them. They are such a support system. I am a loyal, loyal person who believes in not taking things for granted, to feel blessed with the friendships I have made and the opportunities I have been given. I’m grateful and there is also so much behind the theory that hard work really does pay off.

10.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about. I’m a very lucky girl that my husband, who is a graphic designer. designs my book covers. I have a vision, he gives me his opinion and then works his magic. We work as a team and we create it together. I think looking at a books cover speaks volumes. If you see a book cover that is just ‘eh’, it may not be appealing to me to want to read. That may sound silly, but I think a book cover says a lot.

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

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6936575.M_R_Joseph

Twitter- @redkar_m

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D.C.J Wardle

D.C.J. WARDLE is the author of humorous novels ‘Trading Vincent Crow’ and ‘Vincent Crow: Export’. In January 2013 he was author of the month on http://www.lovewriting.co.uk. Holding post-graduate qualifications in development management as well as community water supply engineering, over the past fifteen years, he has worked in developing countries in Africa and Asia, managing emergency and development programmes.

http://www.dcjwardle.co.uk

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I started taking creative writing seriously 15 years ago whilst living in a small village in Cameroon. It was my first overseas posting and I was a lone volunteer managing the construction of a water supply project. The village was remote. There was no TV, telephone, or electricity. We did, however, boast a village chief who was the most powerful of all the witches in the region, and the villagers lived in fear of his dark magic. There were ceremonial rituals involving the village elders and a number of unfortunate goats, dancing around the drums in the firelight, and various adventures to different parts of the country. Consequently, for the first time in my life, I had a lot to write about, and began to really enjoy sending letters home about my adventures. I then decided to write a short story about the pop band that I had played in at college. I wrote it on scraps of paper, and found myself cutting out paragraphs from different pages and sticking them at the sides of others with duct-tape. The resulting collage of scribbling needed instructions to negotiate. After discovering the pleasures of this creative process I went on to write longer stories about my adventures in Cameroon and the subsequent places I’ve worked.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? (see below)

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? My big challenge at the moment is finding the time to write. I currently have a very hectic day job and so if I’m lucky I might find one morning at the weekend to sit down and work on a book. However, right now I see this as a positive thing as it means I am not under pressure each day to sit down, stare at my laptop and overcome writers block. Often ideas will come to me during the course of the week, and at the weekend I may find time to get down a few paragraphs that I’m most eager not to forget or I think will make a strong contribution. Often this produces fairly concise, self-contained but multi-faceted elements to the story which I feel help to make it more of a page-turner. Unfortunately, this approach does mean it takes me a long time to finish writing a book.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? With the Vincent Crow books I had a broad sense of where I was going when I started to write. However, often the individual chapters evolve as their own vignette as there is a particular scene that I believe to be funny and want it to work both within the overall plot but also as it’s own mini-episode or event.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? The Vincent Crow books have been produced through Matador Publishing. They review your work and if they consider it to be an acceptable standard they will help you to publish it. The idea is that the author takes the financial risk to pay for a professional publishing service which includes editing, cover design, and distribution.

I think the traditional view of publishing is changing. Options like that of Matador Publishing help those of us who are not moving in the right circles but have confidence in our work to have the same opportunities.

From this experience, I am happy to go straight for the supported self-publishing option, rather than wasting time sending chapter samples to traditional publishers. I think that the real challenge for success as a writer is in the marketing, and as e-books, on-line book-sites, and the range of internet resources for learning about new books become increasingly popular, I think that there are many opportunities for self-published authors to promote themselves.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. One of the parts of Vincent Crow: Export I enjoyed writing was the dialogue for Vince’s nan. Below is a short excerpt from the first chapter as Vince, his girlfriend and his nan fly to their new exotic destination:

To Vince’s right, Natalie was already half asleep, her neck bent at an uncomfortably awkward angle and dribbling slightly on to the glossy duty-free magazine. Her saliva was staking a claim on a bottle of perfume that she was planning to put on her credit card once the air stewardesses started selling. To Vince’s left was his nan, staring through her thick-lensed glasses with extreme intensity and agitation at the no-smoking sign that continued to blaze above her.

“Must be something wrong with it, Vince. Wiring probably. Last thing you need on something as technom-logically technical as an aeroplane is dodgy wiring. Mrs. Barry had some electrician in last year re-doing her wiring ‘cos the man from the council said it was pre-war and it had to be pulled out. A month later her pissin’ TV overheated, and she had to call him out again.”

“I’m just getting up to go to the loo, Nan. They’ll probably bring food soon.”

“On a Sunday it was, and he wouldn’t come round to have a look ‘˜til the next day. She had to go all round the pissin’ house unplugging everything, and then just sat there in the pissin’ dark all night.”

“I’ll be back in a minute, Nan.”

Vince climbed carefully over the snoring Natalie, gently mopping her chin with his complementary wet-wipe after he did so.

It was going to be another twelve hours until their transit stop. Vince had heard from one of the bar-proppers in the Carrot and Jam Kettle that if you travel from London to Asia by plane then you actually loose five or six hours on account of the earth still spinning while you were up there. If that meant less time learning about Mrs. Barry sitting in the pitch black to avoid TV-induced electrocution then shortening his life by six hours was a reasonable price to pay.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I currently have a very busy job working as a coordinator for development programme. So really, writing is what I do in my spare time. However, this helps me to have a lot of enthusiasm for writing when I do get the chance to be creative.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) For me the key to marketing is to ‘get help’. It is a very competitive market and we are not all skilled at everything. There are marketing professionals who have the right skills for promoting books and I think that to reach a wider audience then it’s necessary to work with people whose know how to achieve that.

10.How would you describe your writing style? For me personally, I’ve tried to develop a style where a strong pace to the story is maintained so the reader gets caught up in the story and is always wondering what’s about to happen next. I think this suits the Vincent Crow stories and the way I want to tell them. Readers should feel the enthusiasm from the author as their narrative unfolds, and are pulled along by their energy.

Jennifer Sage

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Jennifer Sage has been writing as long as she was able to hold a pencil, winning awards for her talents as young as 2nd grade where she was nominated for the young author award in the state of Florida. Her erotic poetry is has been published and shared worldwide and her books are internationally acclaimed.

1.What got you into writing? I’ve always written, even as a child I won young author awards and my poetry has always been a way for me to release the day to day.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? Ha, a usual writing day? Is there such a thing? If only I actually had that kind of time….I could release four books a year, minimum. But I do like to try and have at least 30 minutes a day to write.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I do sometimes. But mine tends to lean more on the daily responsibilities, not so much that I can’t write the story that I know is there. At which point, you have to make time to do what you love…somehow.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Never. Things happen in my books that even throw me sometimes. I’ll write a scene and go “Holy shit, what the hell just happened?” True story. I couldn’t plan my books anymore than I can plan a shooting star (which I wish on, every time I see one.)

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advise to aspiring authors? The publishing world is hell. The indie market is hard, but you have freedoms you don’t when tied to a “traditional publisher.” That said, there are some great indie publishers that are doing some wonderful things lately.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? There’s a highlight every time I’m done with a book. If the world knew how busy I really am, I think I would get a medal for accomplishing a chapter, let alone three novels. And definitely, oh so definitely, when I hear someone falling in love with the worlds or characters I write. It gives me chills to know that they connect so deeply with others. That just fucking rocks. 🙂

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. Ah, Dante is a secret right now, but his prologue isn’t. I posted that months ago. I can do so again. 🙂

Journal Entry ~ 9th of July 2013

You do not know me. You do not know the blood that is on my hands or the sins I’ve committed. I will keep those things from you as long as I can because I don’t wish to stain your beautiful soul with mine. But you will know soon enough that I am a warrior and was once a mercenary that killed for whomever paid me to. I was very good at that. Killing for money. And though I am now fighting for the right side, for the right reasons, it does not wash away the blood on my hands and my soul. Even now, centuries later, it is not always easy to fight the demons that exist within me, that shame me for the wrongs I’ve done as a human.

I didn’t think I could feel anymore. Not really, really feel. I have felt numb to the world for so long before today. I have seen so much tragedy. So much inhumanity but not at the hands of Demons. At the hands of humans. We fight for you, but you do not fight for yourselves. You continue to practice violence against one another and when you allow that darkness to consume you it is so easy for the Demons to take hold. Be the light because I will not save you after you have done too great a harm in this world. And I can see your darkest secrets, believe this, just by looking in your eyes.

So I will not save you if you if you have done such wrongs that they cannot be forgiven. Lucio may, but I will not. I will let the Shadows take your soul, and then I will kill you both. It is not inhumane to let the ones that cause suffering to go. I have had to do this too many times to think twice about it. I spent so many years trying to save those that didn’t deserve to be saved and losing the ones that did. I have given you warnings of the Demons everywhere. It is in the art I create. Open your eyes and see them for what they are. I have drawn them and put them in galleries and random places all over the world. I have shown you the Demons, and the acts of violence that bring them to you. But you just smile or gasp or applaud.

You want to buy them for your private walls but they are not for sale for a reason. More humans must know what is out there, so they will go to the light. I used to be able to shrug off your ignorance, but then it brought such a great sadness that truly you don’t see what I’ve placed before you. I cannot tell you outright, but there is nothing written in our laws that says I can’t paint the story. It caused me too much sorrow to know that you can’t see what is plainly before you. That so easily you are taken, because so many have lost the path of the light. This does not haunt me anymore, but sometimes remembering the good souls that have been lost, the ones I couldn’t save does haunt my dreams. Yes I sleep, and yes I dream. Immortals even eat. We are not the vampires of your hollywood. Though vampires do exist, they are of the Shadow, and not at all the beautiful creatures you have made them. Humans have gotten it all wrong again. No one would want to be a vampire if they knew what they really are. But again, I have shown you in what you consider is just random gothic art. You murmur quietly at how grotesque some of them are and do not even know you are looking at the world that exists around you. I try to show you, but you do not see.

For centuries, I have only fought and killed the Demon’s that roam and I have nearly forgotten what I am fighting for. Sometimes I must go to the White, where all is pure, to remind myself what true humanity feels like. In the White there is love in such great abundance and I need to feel that in my ancient soul so that I do not forget completely my mission. But it has been too long since I have been there and my humanity was lost until today. Immortality is not beautiful. Not on Earth. Though it could be. Earth is not the White, and cannot be perfect. But it could be so much better if you would try harder to not hurt each other. Centuries pass but intentions remain the same. I just couldn’t watch it anymore and feel what it made me feel. So I shut it off. I stopped caring. It is not my purpose to care, I am here only to destroy the threats of your race.

I sit on my rooftop sometimes at night and I could go completely mad remembering all that I have seen and done. In fact I have a few times. Without Lucio I don’t know how I would have kept my sanity in tact at least for the most part all of these years. He is affected by it too, but loves human’s too much to give up on you. The streets of Rome are alive with comedy and tragedy as I watch. I am not a comic book super hero and do not feel the need to stop everything that is wrong in the world. That is not my job. I cannot stop every child molester, every rapist, every murderer. But if you are these things, I will not stop the Demons from eating your soul either. My job is to kill Demons, protect the human race as much as I can, and hopefully teach you through my art how to save yourself. Of course if I am close enough to an act of violence I will stop it, I’m not some heartless creature even if I’ve turned my emotions off. But the Guardians are few, and we cannot protect all of the humans from each other. The world is just too big and the crimes are too many to keep up with. It’s a travesty really, when so much could be different.

I am alone usually unless I’m fighting with my brothers and the night can completely consume me if I am not killing something. Perhaps my contribution to the lives that I’ve saved on earth shall someday wipe the slate clean for the wrongs I’ve done as a human. Maybe it already has but my own guilt will not release me. You are so limited with your memories but as an immortal, I am not. I remember every minuscule and mundane detail of every moment of every day I’ve lived. I have had time to grieve the deaths of my loved ones for a thousand years, and watch all my new loved ones die, even an immortal brother. I have re-lived every moment where I took a life that I should not have and that is a weight that I must bear forever. Once you have gone to the light, the shame of what you did in the dark is maddening. I don’t make new friends now, because I am too old to care anymore for someone that will be dead in the blink of my eye.

Andrea Bocelli calms me but there is this new electronic music that gets me in the mood to paint. And heavier, much heavier music gets me ready to kill. Though, let’s be honest, I don’t really need music to get ready to kill. That comes too naturally for me after this great expanse of time. Even as a human, it was as natural as breathing. I didn’t need stimulation to be artistic before either, but a thousand years of repetition can make it a little harder to be inspired. Too much blood on my hands, too many memories and loss. It can eat at the heart of even the greatest of beings. I am not a great being. I know nothing even after a thousand years of what I’m really doing here. I only know death.

I have hard earned knowledge to pass onto the younger Guardians as they arrive. A warrior’s knowledge though, not how to maintain hope after a thousand years. I am not that wise.

We are immortal, but we can be killed and the younger Guardians need to learn to be more careful. They are too newly changed to have lost hope, as I have for so long. But they will someday. We all do for a time. Even Lucio went through something similar, but not quite. He is a Demigod and as such, was never human. But he is more humane than almost all of the humans I have ever known combined. If it were not for he and the Goddess’s hope and their love for your race, you would be lost forever to the Shadows. They would consume your world and your souls like a plague. I don’t care about human beings the way Lucio does. I just kill and occasionally take pleasure at Dark Heart. Aptly named since some of the immortals that walk that club are no better than the Shadows. And that was fine….until today.

But today….today altered me in the way all Guardians wait for. I have watched as Guardians younger than me have gone through this and I always wondered if I was being punished. If the Goddess saw fit to make me suffer for the wrongs I had done in my human years. Today, there was a quickening of my heart which has been all but non existent these last few centuries, and feelings, also non existent, surged through me when I saw you. I felt your delicious soul as it licked mine unknowingly, weaving in and out like a gentle breeze. No, not a breeze, a raging storm full of cracking thunder and lightning that brought the fire to my steel, cold eyes again. That is what your soul felt like. I felt your apprehension and your own quickening heart. I felt the connection that made you weak enough to faint and made me roar inside with need. The entire world has opened up and once you let one feeling in, you must feel all things again. I am flooded with your love and beauty and there is not a Guardian that exists that can shut this off when they feel it. It has taken so long for you to come, but you are worth every second of the thousand years of waiting. You will be the one that brings love back into my soul. My purpose for fighting and for coming home.

Because you are not the Darkness. You are the Light.

And because you are Mine.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Ha, um…spare time? What the heck is  that? I’ve heard of this elusive thing….but I do not have any of it. When I vacation however I do allow myself to go all out. I love red wine and reading…obviously writing….music…Anything that allows your soul to dance really.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? I would want to be the Amele for a day. She’s one of my characters from Immortal Dreams and Immortal Bound and she is just so snarky and strong. She rocks.

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Just that I love you, and thank you so much for all your support.

Want to know more? She can be found at the following social media sites. Website:

http://www.jennifersage.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjennifersage Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jennifer_Sage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jennifersage583/

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Charisse Reid

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1.What got you into writing? Actually, it’s really strange how I started writing. I started out as a reader. I fell in love with ebooks on my iPad. Started with iBooks and went to Kindle app. Somehow I found Goodreads when I started purchasing and fell in love with it. I found this book Wake Up Call by Victoria Ashley in the Kindle store and started reading it. Once I reviewed it on Goodreads, she connected with me and a relationship developed. She trusted me enough to send me Chapter 1 to This Regret, which is now live, to get my opinion. It made me realize I wanted to edit romance books for a living and to see if I really liked it she allowed me to become her full time editor. It has been an amazing journey. Anyway, a few chapters in she suggested that I try and write a book because writing seemed to come naturally as I made edits to This Regret. We probably don’t have a standard editor/author relationship because we’ve become friends. To begin with I didn’t think I had the creative ability to sit down and form a plot so I brushed it off. A few days later a plot just popped into my head and I ran it by her. I sat down and gave it a shot and wow, am I glad I did. I feel like I have finally found my niche in the world and once I started the flood gates opened and my mind went crazy. Now, here I am a published author!

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? Since I work full time I have to write when I can. I am hoping my book does well enough that I can come home and write/edit full time. I absolutely love to write. When I write, I lose myself in the lives of my characters. I am probably not the standard writer. I don’t outline my plots. A general idea comes to my head and I sit down at my tablet and write on my storyist app. Each chapter develops in my mind as the story moves along. Nothing is premeditated but the basic plot. My mind creates the story chapter by chapter. One thing that I have found that bugs me is when people ask me how many chapters are in the book because I can’t answer that question. I know where the book needs to end but everything in between is created during the process. As I write my characters are acting the scenes out in my head based on the models I chose and I love it.

 3. Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Luckily I have not experienced writers block so far and the reason being is because when I sit down to write my mind becomes the character I am writing for. I don’t sit down to write until my mind starts formulating the event of the chapter. I have found that if you escape into the life of the character you become them and not your own mind so it’s easier to avoid writers block, but I’m sure each writer is very different.

 4. Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I think I jumped the gun and answered this in an above question but I’ll be glad to answer again. No I don’t plan my story. The general plot comes to me and as I write, the story completely develops in my mind. For example; if you have read Accepted Fate you will meet Preston. Preston literally was created when I started writing the chapter he appears in for the first time. I ended one chapter and my mind created him. Once I wrote him in the plot it formulated the main events for another book in the series. I will not elaborate on it because you’ll have to read.

5. What was the publishing process like for you & any advice to aspiring authors? Publishing can be very tedious but it’s fun if you have the time. I had to take a week off from work on vacation to get it out there so I wasn’t rushed. It has been a very meaningful experience and an amazing journey. I won’t lie; writing is hard work and sometimes emotionally draining because for me, my characters have completely taken over my mind. If you notice on Goodreads I currently have seven books scheduled for the Fate series if no more are added and two other projects as well. I really need to be able to write full time but that is not a possibility right now. I have to give credit where credit is due; I could not have done this on my own. I had step by step help from Victoria Ashley along the way and also my cover designer Clarise Tan has been a major help as well. As an Indie author I believe STRONGLY in paying it forward. There is no reason not to help others when someone has helped you. I will help anyone that needs help. I can be found on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Google plus. I have met some amazing people through networking from fellow authors, reviewers, and bloggers.

 The advice I would give to aspiring authors that actually have a love for writing and books is to go for it. The sky is the limit. I don’t think writing is something that someone should attempt just to make money; It’s an art. Don’t get discouraged because you will meet people that will try to bring you down.  I personally have had awesome support, BUT I did experience negativity along the way and I have decided to cut my ties with that person. It’s not worth surrounding yourself with those kinds of people because you will already get negative feedback along the way with reviews. Keep your head up because it is impossible to make everyone like your story. Each person has their own taste when it comes to what they like to read; remember that and you will do great.

Words I live by and this actually came from a post by another author and one of my favorite, JL Mac. “Don’t choose your story let your story choose you.” There is so much truth to this statement it’s unbelievable. Be original; own your story and it will show when you transfer it from your mind to the manuscript. Don’t worry about wanting to please readers when you are telling your story or you will ultimately end up with writer’s block.

6. What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? The highlight to me was discovering that other people actually like my story. This project has been my baby and it is amazingly motivational for others to like it too.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My debut novel Accepted Fate was just published to three major channels: Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. It is a journey of a girl that doesn’t want to fall in love to avoid the risk that comes along with loving someone. She is a planner and wants to achieve her dreams with no one standing in the way. She finds that we can’t always control our fate, but that it’s ultimately thrown at us whether it’s the fate we wanted or not. I absolutely loved writing this story and there are more to come in the series. I am about to start writing book two, Twisting Fate. For teasers and excerpts you can check out one of my pages and you will find them there.

8. Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I have ultimately become a book junkie. The only downfall of writing is that I don’t have the time to read like I did before and I miss it. Reading has been an escape for me and I love it. The thought of parting with books sends me into a panic. If I can ever come home full time, I’ve even considering dabbling in things like blogging but we will see. Write now time is my enemy.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Probably Jessica Sorensen. She is my favorite author and the woman has a brilliant mind. I’m obsessed with her stories. If you haven’t read them you should check them out. To name a few of my favorites are: The coincidence of Callie and Kayden series, Death collectors series, Fallen star/souls series, Breaking Nova, The secret of Ella and Micha and I can’t wait to finish the ones I’m still in the middle of.

10. Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?  I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. If it wasn’t for the support of the readers, Indie writing wouldn’t be where it is today. I didn’t realize this until I became a writer. Always leave a review after you complete a book on Goodreads or the channel you purchased the book from. It doesn’t take much time and it really helps self published authors that don’t have anyone marketing their work. It doesn’t have to be anything long and that’s understandable unless you are a blogger. Just a few sentences telling what you like or what you didn’t necessarily like. With this said, I do not support author bullying. If you genuinely didn’t like a book, there is a classy way to getting that across for things that may need work such as grammar, dialogue, structure, etc. Even before I became a writer I would run across reviews that were utterly ridiculous and even slander. It doesn’t matter if you are a top selling author or Indie; not everyone will like your story but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. People that make it sound horrible just because it wasn’t for them is unnecessary and if it was done to them they would understand. Since I was young I was taught to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Think before you review is all I advise and ask yourself this question. Would it hurt you if you were the author reading the review? Authors have feelings too and they read them for feedback.

If you purchased Accepted Fate, thank you for your support. I want to say a special thank you to Sophia Valentine for supporting me as well and asking for this interview. You are awesome!

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Carlie Pettit

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1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I LOVE writing, and I have a very vivid imagination. It was round about this time, two years ago, that I woke up and told myself; ‘I am going to write a book.’ And that is what I did. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I’m not the sort of person who can do a 9-5 job. I needed something which I could do anytime, day or night. And wherever I am. Preferably in a hot, exotic location, sipping something ice cold and bubbly. . . MATCHES has delivered on all of these things, but I didn’t realise how hard you have to work. Writing is not for the feint hearted!

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I don’t have one. I write either during the night, or during the day. It depends on my mood and where I am.

 3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I write through it. Even if I think it’ll all be deleted. I don’t believe in writers block. I just write, write, write, till I get to where I need to be.

 4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Big plotter at the start. I think planning is fundamental for continuity. But, my plots/plans are very rough. They are a guideline. They constantly change, develop and grow! It’s amazing what you end up with, compared to what you start with.

 5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advise to aspiring authors? I self-published. It’s hard work! Be ambitious, committed and confident. Take the low times in your stride, dig deep and keep writing till you finish.

 6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? I have literally just become a published author. So my journey is just beginning. . .  but the highlight is without question having my book out there, available to all, across the world. I am so excited to find my audience, and to drive MATCHES forward.

 7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish.

Victoria is broken, lost and neglected. Her philandering older husband, Ralph, has spiralled out of control. The multimillionaire tycoon is on a journey of self-destruction, destroying everything in his way.

 Ultra-cool Kim doesn’t do love – until she meets Omar. But her unconventional arrangement and a dark secret, turns her world upside down. James is naive, and too nice for his own good. Married to the neurotic and psychopathic Amanda, who will stop at nothing to satisfy her desire to destroy Victoria, taking all that she has. From mansions in Wimbledon Village, exclusive parties in Mayfair, to penthouses in Knightsbridge and first class travel across the world. Matches sizzles with passion, jealousy, greed, betrayal, sexual hedonism and secrets. Dramatic events rock their moral compasses. Explosive living leaves many wounded. Their decisions and actions will dictate who can forgive and who will get out alive. . .

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? When I’m not writing a sizzling novel, you can find me sipping a freezing cold flute of champagne in an exotic, preferably hot location. Or eating in some of the finest restaurants in my beloved London. At all other times, I am either shopping, reading, watching box sets, or taking long strolls on Wimbledon Common with the love of my life.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) I am still learning this. . .  but social media is a great tool! I have met some wonderful people.  

 10.How would you describe your writing style?10.How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? I was inspired by a collection of things, but I always think your imagination needs to be based and contextualised by some reality. I write about places that I know, and whilst my characters are not based on anyone individual, I have taken character traits from many people I know and exaggerated some of them. . .

 @MatchesNovel http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carlie-Pettit/e/B00J7OW3X2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 http://www.amazon.co.uk/MATCHES-Carlie-Pettit-ebook/dp/B00J7C1O2A/ref=la_B00J7OW3X2_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395707468&sr=1-1

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Steven Donahue

Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel, Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. Steven currently resides in Bucks County, PA with his wife, Dawn. He released three novels in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications), and Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure (Createspace).

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? As a kid, I loved the sports books by Matt Christopher. His work inspired me to write. As I grew older, I also discovered the works of Ernest Hemmingway, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell and Isaac Asimov. I tried several times through my teen and young adult years to write something of quality, but it took me until my 30’s to finish my first book, Amanda Rio (2004).

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?  With a full-time job, it’s difficult to write every day. Still, I tried to find an hour or two when I can. I sit in the little office in my apartment, block out every distraction and try to write two to three pages per sitting. It is usually quite challenging.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I am lucky in this aspect. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. In fact, I have so many ideas for short stories and books, that it will take me the rest of my life to write them all.    

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I start with an outline (sometimes 14 or 15 pages for a novel) and use it as a guide, making changes as needed along the way.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? Frustrating. I had two different agents for two different books early in my career, but neither agent could find me a publisher. Then I self-published Amanda Rio before finding independent publishers for The Manila Strangler and Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom. Still, I wound up self-publishing my latest book Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure. My advice would be to shop around for an agent and hope for the best, but be prepared to look for a publisher on your own.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? I have had three books signings during my career (with various successes at each one) and I thoroughly enjoyed attending each one. I liked meeting other authors and signing copies for readers.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My latest book is Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure. It tells the exciting tale of two of Santa’s famous reindeer and their efforts to stop an evil witch from ruining Christmas. Comet and Cupid fall into a trap set by a witch named Ezrica, who abducts the reindeer and strips them of their magic powers. She then sends two trolls to Santa’s village to carry out the rest of her diabolical plan. It’s up to Comet and Cupid to stop the evildoers and save Christmas. Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom is about twelve-year-old Amy Sutter, who steals the experimental spacecraft Liberty Bell to rescue her father and his colleagues from alien captors called the Crownaxians. She is pursued by Lt. Yale Brown, the officer in charge of the ship’s security, who has orders to bring back the Liberty Bell at any cost.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love the NFL. I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. I also read as much as I can, and watch some TV. Perhaps too much TV.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Social media is a key to any marketing plan. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other outlets helps get the word out.

10.What is the hardest thing about writing? For me, it is finding the time, the energy, and the quiet atmosphere to sit down and write. Once that hurdle is conquered, the process usually goes smoothly for me.

Websites:http://cometandcupidschristmasadventure.yolasite.com/   http://amytheastronaut.yolasite.com/   http://themanilastrangler.yolasite.com/   Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/856233.Steven_Donahue/blog   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manilastrangler   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-the-Astronaut-and-the-Flight-for-Freedom/114764062028217

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Melissa Rolka

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1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? For me it was all the reading I did.  I used to be able to read 6 – 10 novels a month.  I love getting caught up in a story… the more I read the more I started to concoct my own story about Reed, Kate and Kyle.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Bwahahaha, Ok I’m not really laughing, but smirking.  I feel like I’m very untraditional compared to most writers.  I don’t have designated times or sit down and force myself to write so many words in a day per se.  I write as it comes to me.  It has to be flowing from my mind easily.  I don’t ever force it out if it’s not natural.  Sometimes I have to sit back and really think about my characters and where the story will go next.  In general though I do write a little each day, some days more than others.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?Sure, every writer does at some point, but I always have some story floating through my head begging to get out.  So maybe I can’t get out the exact chronological scene I’m suppose to be at out, but can write another scene or story.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? My first book was definitely not planned or plotted out I wrote as it came to me.  Actually, it was a completely different story in the beginning and not what I had originally envisioned, but I went with what came to me.  Now book two was a continuation of the first so I definitely did more plotting and planning with it.  I even did a very rough outline.  I am in the beginning stages of writing book three and will be plotted and planned out because it all has to come together now!

5.What was the publishing process like for you, & any advice to aspiring authors?Well, I still like I am still an aspiring author myself!  Of course, looking back I would have done something differently, but you learn along the way.  Before I even started writing a romance novel I did a ton of research to see what options were out there.  Being Indie can be great and challenging at other times.  I think the sooner you do your research, build relationships and grow your fan base the better off you will be.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?The highlight has always been and probably will always be the fans of my work sending me messages about their love or hate of my characters.  Being able to hear back from someone who has read my work does something to my insides… it inspires me to keep writing, encourages me to move forward and gives me the confidence to develop my work.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. I have two books out, The Perfect Distraction and The Perfect Emotion.  It’s a series and I’m currently work on the third book, as well as a spin-off novella from one of the characters from The Perfect Series.  Aside from this I have a new project with a fellow author and good friend, Michelle Lynn, called Project M & M.  We take turns writing chapters from a different point of view.  Also, we allow the readers to vote on what should happen in the next chapter and we throw each other curveballs.  It’s free, interactive and a fun love story!

Here is an excerpt from my recent book, The Perfect Emotion:

“Jesus, Katherine,” he mumbles as I kiss my way across his jaw and over to his ear.  “What are you doing to me?”

“Kissing you,” I whisper in his ear and brush my lips against his ear lobe.

“Mmmmm hmmmm.”  His hands move to my waist and guide me onto him.  I’m straddling his lap and his fingers dig into my hips.  I rush my hands into his hair and his head presses all the way against the couch, the leather giving in to my demands.  Our tongues clash against each other exploring as if it’s our first kiss, yet knowingly anticipating our next ridge or groove.  My heart races in ways I never knew possible.  My hands run down to the hem of his button down shirt and to the top of his pants.  I start to pull at his shirt to un-tuck it, but his hands come around and lock around my wrists restraining me from pulling anymore.  I whine into his mouth.

“Why?”  I mumble against the softness of his lips and smile.

“This is the first time I’m in your house and I just met your parents… maybe the second time,” he jokes and then nibbles on my bottom lip.

“Grrrrr,” I grumble in his mouth.  “You are always being too good.”  His eyes narrow at me and he let’s out a rough chuckle.

“Katherine, I think you know that’s not true and I’ll show you just how bad I am when we are back up at school.”  His hands snake up to my shoulders wrapping around the back of my neck.  Pulling me towards him and his lips find mine again.  Softly he kisses me across my jaw to my ear.  “Patience,” he whispers.

“I don’t want to be patient,” I pout as I push my body into him.  He laughs into me and un-straddles me from his lap.  We face each other and I smile shyly at him feeling a little funny by my boldness.

“Stop,” he says, and his hand latches onto my pinky finger gently rubbing it.  “Don’t be embarrassed.  I don’t like you having to be patient either,” he says, just before he plants a firm kiss to my forehead.  I lean myself against him and rest my head on his chest.  His arms wrap around me tightly making my insecurities fade.  As I take in his familiar pine and masculine scent he shifts us back against the arm of the couch allowing me to snuggle myself even closer.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I have two kids, my son is seven and my daughter is four.  I’m a stay at home mom and am pretty involved in their schools.  It keeps me constantly busy!

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Connect with your fans.  If they reply to you about your books make sure to respond back.  Also, make sure you are always reaching out to the bloggers.  Having the bloggers share your work is crucial and can really increase your wingspan of who you reach.

10.How long on average does it take you to write a book? Well, it’s looking like it takes me roughly about four to six months.  I try really hard not to worry about the time frame and focus on what works for my style of writing.  It’s also important for me to focus on staying true to the story and the characters that I’ve created.

Facebook: “https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaRolka” https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaRolka
Goodreads: “https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7224466.Melissa_Rolka” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7224466.Melissa_Rolka
Project M & M: “https://www.facebook.com/groups/Projectmandm/?ref=br_tf” https://www.facebook.com/groups/Projectmandm/?ref=br_tf

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nicolamayNicola May

Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her misbehaved cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. For more information about Nicola and her writing please go to http://www.nicolamay.com

1.What got you into writing? I sort of fell into it really. Eighteen years ago I worked in PR and loved to party. My work colleagues dared me to run a half marathon as they didn’t think I’d stick to the training. I ended up writing a comedic diary about it. From this, I was bitten by the writing bug. I also finished the half-marathon in a commendable time too!

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? When I start a novel I cannot stop! I find it’s the best way to retain character continuity. I always write in bed. I may have a radio on, but I’m usually so engrossed I don’t always hear it. Time flies. 6 hours is my usual stint but if the story is flowing I can write for longer. I just stop to get food and drinks, but consume them in the bedroom too!

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t get writer’s block as such. My problem is actually starting a new novel. Procrastination is a terrible thing! Once I’ve started it I’m fine, I get in the zone and off I go. If I am having trouble working through a plot, I go walking somewhere with open spaces. I can then think and sometimes even talk through out loud all scenarios in my head.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? The idea for my novels comes to me first, usually at very random times. I sort of plan in my head but then dive in and different plot lines seem to happen as I go along. I have a rough idea of a character in my head but as the plot develops so do they. I actually see a book as one continuous draft until I write The End. character in my head but as the plot develops so do they. I actually see a book as one continuous draft until I write The End.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? When I first started writing, I did get amazingly get myself an agent straight away who thoroughly believed in my novel Star Fish. They however couldn’t get a publisher to bite and after a couple of years we parted company amicably. I then started contacting publishers directly, which is really hard without an agent as most of them don’t take unsolicited material. It was when one very big publisher said they hoped it wasn’t a big regret turning Working it Out down that I knew it was good enough to be out there. So I took the plunge and published myself. 6 books later I do not regret this decision at all. My advice to inspiring authors is keep writing and just don’t give up. It may not be the first novel that gets you noticed. And, if you struggle to get published in the traditional way, look at the self-publishing route. It is a great platform now for debut authors, especially now the digital age of publishing is at an all-time high. I offer very reasonable one to one consultancy on the self-publishing and marketing and PR process. Details of which can be found on my website http://www.nicolamay.com.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? There have been two. First seeing Working it Out in print in the window of Waterstones and winning the Best Author Published Read award for The School Gates at the Festival of Romance.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My most recent book The Unconventional Angel sees manless and jobless Evie Harris striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves. She goes through an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I enjoy going to good restaurants and drinking anything with bubbles in. I also love to power walk in Windsor Great Park. Devon is one of my favourite places. So, when I get time to escape, I head down there to go on long walks by the sea and relax. In fact The Bow Wow Club ends at a favourite watering hole of mine, The Ferry Boat Inn, which is in a beautiful little estuary village called Dittisham.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? I would love to be the Duchess of Cambridge. Be able to choose beautiful outfits, have my make-up done professionally and of course wake up to Prince William every day!

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Just thank you so much for all of your support and for taking the time to put reviews up, they really do help. Not being traditionally published is not always easy and it really does boost me to know that people are appreciating my work.

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Jennifer Joyce

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. A Beginner’s Guide To Salad is her first novel.

1.What got you into writing? I can always remember scribbling down bits of stories when I was little, but I was suppose it was my love of books that inspired me to write my own. My mum bought me loads of books and I used the library regularly. When I was 9, I had a brilliant teacher who really brought stories to life and the following year, he took us to the library where a children’s author was doing a talk. It was then, aged 10, that I realised I could maybe write stories as a job when I was older.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? I drop my children off at school in the morning and usually stop off at Asda on the way back (oh, the glamour). I then switch on my laptop and write until lunchtime (with the odd sneaky Twitter and Facebook break). After lunch, I’ll either write again or do other writing-related jobs, like designing covers, organising blog tours or catching up on emails. I usually spend one afternoon a week scheduling blog posts too.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Unfortunately, yes! I don’t have a cure (if only!), but I find setting myself small goals and focusing on those instead of the bigger picture takes the pressure off. For example, I could set myself the goal of writing 250 or 500 words, which doesn’t sound as bad as 80,000 words! Those mini goals soon add up and it feels like I’ve achieved something every time I tick one off.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I’m definitely a planner! I plan and then I plan some more, down to each individual scene in each chapter. It takes quite a while – usually around a month – but I’ve found this is what works for me.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I self-published my book, A Beginner’s Guide To Salad. It was never in my plan to self-publish and I went down the submissions route. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out but I couldn’t bear to shelve it so I hired an editor and put it out there myself.

Self-publishing can be hard work, especially when you’re starting from scratch, but it’s rewarding too. My advice would be to definitely hire an editor and if you’re ever stuck, Google is your friend.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Hearing that people are enjoying my book has been my highlight, whether through email or on Twitter/Facebook. It’s lovely whenever somebody goes out of their way to let me know, and it really does make my day.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. This is a small extract from A Beginner’s Guide To Salad, as Ruth embarks on her very first diet. Ruth was bullied as a child due to being overweight, but she’s determined to lose weight in time for her school reunion.

I used the rest of my morning productively, researching diets on the internet. In the end I chose the Simply Salad Diet as I was a terrible cook and Simply Salad required no real cooking at all. For breakfast, I was permitted one slice of wholemeal toast and then I could eat as much tomato, cucumber, lettuce and red pepper for lunch and dinner as I wanted. Snacks, which I would definitely need to get me through the day, were carrot sticks and apples.

Slipping out of work dead on five before Kelvin could throw a last-minute task at me, I hopped off the bus early to pop to the supermarket to stock up on my salad components. I felt immense pride as I swerved past the crisps and chocolate aisle, my basket full of nutritious goodness. They called out to me, and pretty loudly too, but I said no. I may have been a duckling now, but I was determined to flourish into a swan.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love reading and always have a book on the go. I also like crafts and use any excuse to get the craft box out, as well as the odd attempt at baking.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Ooh, tough question. I think I’d quite like to spend a week in Henry VIII’s court, although I’d spend the whole time fearing a beheading!

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?  Just thank you to everyone who has read a copy of A Beginner’s Guide To Salad. It’s bizarre (in a wonderful way) that people are actually reading my book.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at

www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk,

www.facebook.com/jenniferjoycewrites

or follow her on twitter: @Writer_Jenn

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Rebecca Berto

rb1 Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her books, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.  Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

1. What got you into writing? I’ve been writing stories ever since I was old enough to remember, so nothing in particular sparked it. I’ve always been fascinated by fictionalised stories, especially books. I was lucky enough that when I was 19 I finished my first full length, adult manuscript after years of half-finished documents. I researched and learned more about developing my writing to publish it somehow and have been professionally writing since then.

2. What is a usual writing day like for you? From morning to afternoon I convince myself to write something, only succeeding in superb procrastination. Early afternoon I try to write and get distracted by my design business work or Facebook, and then late afternoon/night I finally write. On a great day I get in a few blocks of writing, and sometimes even in the morning! :O

3. Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Oh, gee. I’ve recently been in a prolonged stage of writers block since November (2013). You can’t rush it, or force the words to come back. I find trying my best to move on and be happy with my life again helps. I read lots for ideas and focus on making book covers for my clients. It’s a good distraction to free up the weight in my mind for whatever reason I’m being blocked. I’ve learned that I’ll only come out of that stage when my mind is ready, and sadly I can’t foresee when that’ll be.

4. Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Do you mean a plotter or a panster? I’m a plotter. I think of my story idea and the type of leading characters in my head and then on paper I note down the several structural points in my novel. I don’t plan scenes though. Just the bones of the story and “pants” it fleshing out the story between the structural points. For me it’s a great blend of fun and creativity, mixed in with some hard work to save my time and sanity later by getting the overall story arc right.

5. What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? Traditional publishing was the go when I started out. For manuscripts I’ve submitted, I’ve probably queried over 90 publishers and agents. Once I heard about self-publishing, I figured luck was on my side that I’d be more successful anyway in that route if I tried it as best I could. I’m thankful now though that I was rejected by so many before I published because it helped me learn to improve my weak qualities in ways I never could without that. So my advice for beginner writers is even when you think your manuscript is perfect, always strive to improve and it’ll take your career a long way in the right direction.

6. What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? But there are so many moments! guhh

7. Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My next series, an erotic romance, to come out is about The Rental. It’s a for hire business where clients book rentals for company, much like a date except no sex is allowed. It’s full of fiery foreplay, thrilling sexual tension and is deliciously naughty. Book 1 is up on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18745190-the-rental

8. Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Spend a pathetically long amount of time patting and talking to my cat and dog. Yeahhh, I’m *that* person.

9. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? As long as they aren’t as confusing, moody or weird as me, I’ll be happy. lol

10. Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Hi? Um, yeah, I’m fairly bad at this. 🙂 Oh, and please sign up to my blog or newsletter if you want to stay updated on my book news.

rb2Emmy Yoshida

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1. What Got You Into Writing? I have always loved reading from a very young age and had a vivid imagination. My mother distilled a love of books in me by reading to me every night before bed and making up stories; a special surprise from her would be a book with a loving message written in it. I have done the same for my 3 year old son Enzo since he was a tiny baby and as a result he can already read a lot of words. We enjoy trips to the library together and his favourite Christmas present this year was an animal encyclopedia I gave him which I hope he will keep forever.

At school I loved inventing stories and writing poetry, I was often lost in my own little world and thoughts and used to get told off for being a day dreamer in class; that’s something I have never grown out of I am usually oblivious to what is going on around me which can cause problems sometimes but it does help me to immerse myself in writing.

I started writing my book Corrupted after I had my little boy. As a single mum I had a lot of time on my hands in the evenings and I wanted to use it constructively so I started going to a writing class. Before long I was writing almost every night as soon as I put my son to bed.

 I self published my novel which is fictional but loosely based on some of my experiences as an exotic dancer in Sydney and I have now almost finished the first draft of my second novel, a suspense about drugs and deception.

2. What is a usual writing day like for you? I am lucky to be able to have two whole days to dedicate to writing a week while my son is at nursery; on those days I will have a coffee, sit in the living room and write non stop until it is time to pick him up. I spent a lot of last year organising book signings so some of my day is devoted to calling book shop managers and promoting my book with social media and any other ways I can think of.

I also spend about three or four evenings a week writing after I put my son to bed. Usually I sit in bed with my lap top and keep going for as long as I can keep my eyes open or the creativity is flowing.

I know that becoming a successful author can be a tough thing to achieve but I have always believed in following your dreams and doing what you love, and I admire anyone who has the courage to do what they want to do.

3. Who Influences You? I think everything influences and moulds a person and whether you realise it or not a person you’ve met or a song you’ve heard can come out in your writing just as it can in a dream. I am influenced massively by books I read, films I watch but mostly by the people I meet in everyday life. Their traits and habits often influence the characters I write about and inspire ideas for plots. Everyone has their own unique story and I love hearing about different people’s lives, beliefs and cultures. That’s why I think it is important to experience as much as possible as an author, and for me that means travelling as much as I can, living life to the full and treating everyone I meet with respect and compassion.

4. What Is Your All Time Favourite Book? I have so many favourites, ones I have read recently include the Shining Girls, The Room and The Devil Of Nanking. My favourite book of all time however is Anne Of Green Gables, it was a childhood favourite that I read many many times so it will always have sentimental value for me.

5. Do You Get Writers Block. If So How Do You Overcome It? After publishing Corrupted I spent a lot of time promoting my novel and as a result I did neglect my writing. I don’t necessarily regret this because as a self published author it is important to try to get an audience and push yourself, however it meant that I did get out of the habit of writing regularly and when I started to write the book I am on now I struggled to get back into it. I think it was psychological because I have high expectations of myself and am very critical of my own work as I’m sure many authors and artists are. The only way around it I found to was to stop re-reading what I had written and analysing every sentence and to just do it.

6. Besides Writing What Do You Enjoy Doing? I love food in general, I will try anything and I love cooking different recipes and eating out at restaurants. I enjoy doing things with my little boy; taking him for days out, swimming, the park but there’s nothing better for me than just spending the day on the beach and sitting in the sunshine, I feel my happiest when I am by the sea. I like to go out when I can, get dressed up and dance all night long, it’s about the only exercise I have ever enjoyed doing so I make the most of it when I get the chance to. I also love spending time with my boyfriend Mark who I have been with since last year, we are madly in love and have a lot of fun together.

7. Are You A Plotter / Planner When It Comes To A Story? I always begin with a general idea of the plot but I don’t plan everything meticulously. I start writing and jot down a plan for the next few chapters but then I find more inspiration comes to me as I write and it often changes. If I am stuck then I will spend a bit of time plotting but usually no more than about ten scenes at a time. I like to have a rough outline of where I am going with a story but I don’t think you can ever know every last detail.

8. What Reasons Did You Choose Self Publishing Over Traditional Publishing? I decided to become self published as I didn’t have the patience and persistence to get a traditional publishing deal. I was introduced to a self publishing company called Gibson Publishing by several members of my writers group, I met the director and what he was offering sounded like it would be good for me and it seemed like fate. They helped me edit the book, got the ISBN, designed the book cover, registered me with Nielsons and got my book Corrupted onto several retailers websites. They have also helped me and advised me with the promotional side of things. I am glad that I decided to self publish as I have gained a lot of knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise and learnt how to do everything from designing my own website to writing press releases and arranging book signings but if the right opportunity come up and I was offered a publishing deal in the future than I would happily accept it. I think it is exciting that we authors have the choice and we should try every avenue we can.

9. Do You Have Any Advice To An Author Wanting To Get Published? Make sure you do your research on the agents and publishers you are sending your work to and don’t rush anything. Be sure that you are as happy as you can be with your manuscript and synopsis etc before you send it out and then don’t be disheartened by rejections; if you are determined to get a publishing deal I imagine it takes a lot of perseverance and hard work to get there.

I think that in the mean time self-publishing is a good option because it gets your work out there and creates more opportunities than you will have if it is just sitting in your drawer at home.

If you do self publish be prepared to put in a lot of time and energy to promoting your work. Some people get extremely lucky and their books are hugely successful but I have realised now that for most authors this doesn’t happen overnight and it is best to just enjoy what you do and hope for the best.

10. Where Is The Best Place You’ve Visited Or What’s Your Best Experience? My favourite place in the world is Sydney where I lived for two years. It is a beautiful place; I love the laid back lifestyle, the cafe culture and the nightlife. The best experience for me however has been becoming a mother, it has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, has made me grow as a person and I think doing it alone has made me a lot stronger than I ever was before.

Amazon links: http://www.amazon.co.uk/CORRUPTED-Tale-Scandal-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00B05VVZC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372969289&sr=8-1&keywords=corrupted+emmy+yoshida http://www.amazon.com/CORRUPTED-Tale-Scandal-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00B05VVZC/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372969166&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=corrupted+emm+yoshida My website http://www.corruptedbook.com/ My blog http://emmyyoshida.wordpress.com/

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Adrienne Vaughan

adrienne Adrienne Vaughan has been making up stories ever since she could speak; as soon as she could pick up a pen she started writing them down. No surprise she wanted to be a journalist, ideally the editor of a glossy magazine where she could meet and marry a rock star! Today she runs a busy PR practice writing novels, poems and short stories in her spare time. Adrienne was brought up in Dublin and now lives in rural Leicestershire with her husband, two cockers spaniels and a retired dressage horse called Marco. The latest addition to the menagerie is a rescue cat, Agatha Christie. She has now published two novels, The Hollow Heart – shortlisted for a reader award at last year’s Festival of Romance and her latest, A Change of Heart. Adrienne still harbours the secret ambition to one day be a Bond Girl!

1.What got you into writing? So long ago Sophia, I can hardly remember! As very young children my sister Reta had difficulty sleeping, so I started telling her stories to help her drift off. She was a tough audience however, and would never allow me to repeat a plot or character and always knew exactly where to take up the story again the next night. Wonder if that’s why my first foray into publishing is a series?

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? There’s no usual writing day for me, I’m not a routine person at all. I currently balance two careers, my career as a busy PR professional specialising in property and construction and my fledgling career as a novelist. So for my creative work, I set the alarm for very early in the morning and try to write in bed before getting up to start my day. When I’m not at work, my time is spent writing. If we’re on holiday I write all the time, stopping for lunch, trips, dinner, swimming, it works really well for me, although while staying at a fabulous hotel in Majorca – Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were there – sitting by the pool writing, I was actually in Downtown New York (in my head). I write long hand with a fountain pen – my husband has just bought me a jewel of a pen for Christmas as my last one, bought at JFK Airport and now over ten years old, gave up the ghost. My first edit is when I type up my handwritten work, well that’s the plan!

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t think I’m long enough at this author-lark to suffer writer’s block but being a commercial writer certainly helps, as I have no choice but get something written otherwise I would be jobless. However, I did get stuck trying to come with the final twist for The Hollow Heart. So I pulled on my wellies and took our spaniels Winston and Wellington on a punishing walk. The twist came to me halfway across a field and I ran all the way back to my desk – still in wellies – in case I forgot it. I do suffer from the other extreme though …disgorging huge amounts of drivel onto the page, ask anyone who has read my early drafts!

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I come up with a rough outline of vaguely what’s in each chapter then run with it. I read somewhere authors should trust their characters, so I try to do that. In my latest novel, A Change of Heart, one of my characters made a surprise appearance. I tried to change that aspect of the story, but the story and the character refused to be altered. I am happy to say, that particular twist has been applauded by lots of readers so far …so my character was right.  

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? Like many aspiring authors I did the synopsis, three chapters, Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook trawl for years and achieved little beyond a few encouraging letters. Then two momentuous things happened; I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association (New Writers’ Scheme) and had my manuscript appraised by someone I can only describe as an Earth Angel. I also met Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford, forming the New Romantics Press and together we decided to author publish. (My husband had been telling me to do this for some time, after all, he said, that’s what Charles Dickens did!). The publishing process was exasperating, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time, as well as the best fun ever. Definitely a life-changing experience and my advice is never, never, never give up. If you are denied the traditional route to publishing, try another way.  If you believe in yourself and your work you will find readers but if you have not published, they cannot find you. Spend time with other authors, invest in learning your craft, take criticism on the chin and work to improve.  

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Every email, review or handwritten note from a reader is a high point. It’s thrilling and humbling at the same time and this, together with the book launches we hosted locally, was without doubt a high point, nerve racking and at times, hilarious too. My debut also helped me reconnect with old friend flung across the globe, when people hear you’ve written a book, they’re really supportive and many chums use it as an opportunity to get back in touch. Then to cap it all, The Hollow Heart was shortlisted for a reader award at the Festival of Romance last November, amazing.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? With pleasure. (To read a FREE excerpt of Adrienne’s book – ‘A change of heart’, go to the ‘Book News’ page of this blog.

8.If you could be a superhero, what powers would you possess? My favourite superhero is Batman, I love his sexy, troubled, darkness, however Superman’s ability to spin the globe backwards and turn back time really appeals, as I would love to write some historical novels but haven’t time to fit in the research at the moment. I could do it really quickly just by pinging back to my chosen period and then quickly nip back again.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Definitely Queen Elizabeth I – I love the Tudors, and to experience a week of her life would be amazing – the power, the intrigue, the clothes and the jewels. I would make sure I went sailing with Sir Francis Drake, took a carriage ride with Sir Walter Raleigh while puffing on a small cheroot and had dinner with the dashing Earl of Leicester. The Virgin Queen? She knew a thing or two about branding!

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Apart from a huge, heartfelt thank you, I would ask ALL readers, not just mine, if you have enjoyed a book, please take five minutes to thank the author. It is almost as if my readers know when I am filled with self-doubt, up pops a positive review and I push on again. Amazon’s facility to publish reviews is so easy, it really does make a difference.

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Marissa Carmel

marissa2 1.What got you into writing? I have always loved to write. For as long as I can remember. I took a slew of creative writing classes in college, but I never thought It would go beyond that until my first book idea grabbed hold of me. It was history after that. Six years of studying the craft, building online relations and relentless reading and writing I am working on publishing my 4th novel.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? I cram it in whenever I can! With a full-time career, house, husband and kids my writing time is precious. So any minute I can get to myself, I’m writing. Even if it’s at midnight.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? YES and I hate it. I just tell myself it’s my brain’s way of taking a break to regroup. I always do my beat writing right after it lifts.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Yes and no. I have a mental outline when I write, but I deviate sometimes and let the story take it’s own course. I love when my subconscious surprises me.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? It’s a hard, long, lonely, journey. Research, research, research. Know your market, get an editor and develop thick skin!

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Having my newest release, Strip Me Bare hit Kindle’s top 100 in Contemporary romance!

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My newest release, as I mentioned before is Strip Me Bare, a contemporary, second chance romance about a law student and a male stripper. These characters absolutely gripped me and I love writing them. Their love is very powerful and they are totally committed to one another to spite the challenges they face being together. Here’s the blurb: “I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.” Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone? Five years ago Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without leaving so much as a post-it note behind. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to, and her virginity to.  So imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male revues as Jack the Stripper. Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again.  But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle. She finally has Ryan back; but how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City? I’m working on the prequel now, Stripped From You

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Read, cook, hang out with my family, listen to music. Normal stuff. I do love to let my hair down and go clubbing every now and again. I was just at Royal Jelly in Atlantic City and it rocked. The burlesque show was amazing!

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Miranda Lambert. Southern culture fascinates me and I know nothing about country music. I think it would be fun to walk a mile in her shoes!

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Buy my book! You’ll love it! LOL!

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Lynda Renham

lyndarenham3 1.What got you into writing? Boredom at school, to be honest. I hated most subjects. I would write stories under the desk until my mum was asked to meet with my teacher about my extracurricular activities under the desk. She told my mum that I wrote a good comprehension but doing it regularly under the desk was unsatisfactory. If I could remember her name I would send her a copy of one of my books *she smirks*

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? Can I have it in print that my publisher won’t see this? I drag myself from bed at about eight. I always intend to drag myself from it earlier but I’m such a bad sleeper. My mind never shuts down. I then stumble to the kitchen and make coffee. This is usually followed by a lot of procrastination. Mostly trying to make my home look like one of those pictures in ‘House and Home’ magazine, you know the kind of thing. Then, I look at the clock, shriek and grab my lap top. The rest of the day is an endless cycle of writing, popping to the fridge, writing, popping to the fridge and so it goes on.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Oh, yes I do. I usually find popping to the fridge a bit more is the answer.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I tend to get a concept and then throw ideas around with my husband. I then jot down notes, all over the place and my lovely husband then sorts them all out into some kind of organisation. I add to these as I go along. So I guess that makes me a plotter of sorts doesn’t it. I can’t truthfully say I plan the whole novel from start to finish. But the plotting as I go along is really useful and of course a husband who understands the messy plotting is just great. I would recommend a good husband when it comes to plotting and planning.

5.What was the publishing process like for you and any advice to aspiring authors? The usual thing. I wrote a book, sent it to agents and they sent it back with a rejection letter. I sat with a razor blade over my wrist but then decided no it’s not worth it, just try someone else. Out it went again, and of course back it came again and out came the razor. Finally I decided to self-publish. This was after twenty years of on and off writing. I self-published a book titled ‘Wedding Cake to Turin’ which astoundingly went to number one in the Kindle humour chart without hardly any promotion. I was stunned. I wrote my second novel ‘Croissants and Jam’ which was published by a small publishing house ‘Raucous Publishing’ and I haven’t looked back. My advice to all aspiring authors is ‘never give up’ once you do, all is lost. Try everything, ask everyone. Don’t let the knock backs destroy you because there may be many but one day your dream may very well come true and most of all step away from the razor blades.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Being termed ‘The Queen of comedy’ that is such a compliment and I still find it hard to believe someone said it. Also being compared to Sophie Kinsella, those two things were real highlights for me.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. I’d love to share my recent book with you because it is getting a whole new revamp. It was originally titled ‘The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties’ which is a bit of a mouthful on reflection. The cover has changed too. It’s now called ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ which is a fab title I think and really matches the main character’s personality who is a down to earth young woman.  This is the blurb. ** Battersea girl Harriet meets Downton Abbey ** On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet finds her life irrevocably changed as she discovers her flat ransacked and her boyfriend missing. In a matter of hours she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgment becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds.  The Dog’s Bollocks is Lynda Renham’s funniest novel so far. A cocktail of misunderstandings, three unlikely gangsters, a monkey and a demented cat make this novel a hysterical read. Follow Harriet’s adventure where every attempt to get out of trouble puts her deeper in it.’ As one reviewer termed it, it was ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ hence how the new title was born. 8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? Aside from trying to make my house look like something out of ‘House and Garden’ you mean? I love photography and I have a photography blog if anyone wants to have a look. http://lyndaphotography.wordpress.com/ I use to enjoy cross stitch but that is something I never find time for anymore but one day I hope to get back to that.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Lady Gaga. It sounds like an odd choice when there must be hundreds of famous people I could have chosen. Why? I admire her very much. Not just for her music which is astounding but her intelligence and her amazing ability in creating The Fame Monster. What an iconic image she created for herself at such a young age. I love her rawness. I also admire anyone who stands up for gay rights and she goes above and beyond. Her activism for LGBT is admirable (Initialism that stands for lesbiangaybisexual, and transgender) and something that is important to me as I have many gay friends. Can I choose two? I’d also have to say Nell Dunn, the author of the iconic novel ‘Up the Junction.’ Two amazing women, I’d be honoured to trade places with.

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? You’re all fabulous. I cannot thank you enough for making my books successful. I wish I could send you all a Christmas card. But you can have a copy of my Christmas newsletter which features a card of sorts. Just email me at newsletter@renham.co.uk I so enjoy chatting to you all on Facebook and Twitter so keep those messages coming. I have found a lot of new friends in my readers. Lynda Renham writes romantic comedy novels and has a growing fan base. She has been likened in style to Sophie Kinsella but writes with a down-to earth humour. Lynda’s novels are popular, refreshingly witty, fast paced, and with a strong romantic theme. Lynda lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and when not writing Lynda can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook. “Lynda Renham is right up there with chick-lit royalty! I’m no talking princess either, for me, the Queen of Chick-lit”. – Booketta Book Blog http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dogs-Bollocks-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B00

     Facebook Author Page http://on.fb.me/18PWKwO
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Abbey K Davies

Abbey K Davies, her pen name, is a business owner, a life coach and an author. She published her first work in the ‘self help’ genre, Kristen L Baker, having three books out.

She has also written three fiction books under the name Abbey K davies. She loves to read and make a difference in lives.

1.What got you into writing? This is a bit of a long story. In 2002, my husband I bought a house in a new town. We sold our home in one day. We were blessed. A week before closing, our buyers backed out. I was hit with anxiety out of nowhere. I became debilitated with it for nearly a year. Always being the one who people came to for advice, a listening ear, compassion; I was a literal lump laying in the fetal position for months, afraid of everything. In my journey to help myself heal from the thralls of anxiety, I decided the best way to help myself was to help others. I had never written a book before, but always thought it would be cool. I sat down at my computer and started typing. With each strike of the keyboard, I shared my story of anxiety and then depression. The title is, “It’s Okay To Have Anxiety…Really!” I had no idea at the time how to format or sell the book, so I created a website. The local newspaper did a story on me and my struggles, which many thought it was very risky as I am a business owner. I had no care about that, I wanted to help others that were going through what I did. That began my writing, under my real name, Kristen L. Baker. I continued on to write in the self help genre. I was asked to write a book for a publisher, 30Day Boot Camp To Eliminate Fears & Phobias. That was the hardest book I ever wrote. I didn’t have the freedom as I did with my first book which was self published. I then wrote, Invisible Pain, What you Can’t See is Real! After much criticism and fear from my father writing non-fiction, he kept telling me to use the gift of my imagination and write fiction. In late 2011, I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a whirl. I had to use a penname because it was a different genre and I had become a Certified Master Life Coach in 2005 and I was known for non-fiction. I sat down one day and said, “This is the day!” I had no idea how to start, so I just started. I had had a story in me for over 20 years and that was when PASSION was born. I spent months locked away writing and loving every second of it. So that is how my writing started.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? A usual writing day for me is in my office at home, with my water nearby. Complete quiet and the windows shades open looking out to my beautiful sprawling front yard. When I am in the groove, I can write 5000 or more a day.

3.Who influences you? I would have to say, from the very beginning, my mom. She has always been my support and made me believe I could do it. Since I started Fiction writing, my husband has influenced me as well.

4.What is your all time favorite book? This is tough; I read at least 30 books a month. I would have to say my all time favorite book though is “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield.

5.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Most Definitely, I am in it right now. What I usually do is to stop writing and read a book. I also sit in quiet and let the thoughts come to me. The block can be long, weeks even. Clearing my head is the best thing to come out of it.

6.Besides writing, what do you enjoy doing? I own a catering business and I really enjoy that, especially creating fruit and vegetable carvings. I love to read. I enjoy watching my kids play sports more than anything. I love to redecorate my house. I enjoy snuggling with my husband and watching a good movie. I enjoy beyond measure, coaching people all over the world and helping them improve their lives.

7.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to starting a story? This is a funny question to me because I can sit at my computer and write a 350 page book in less than a month with no plotting and planning. I am completely off the cuff. I usually do not have any plan. It just comes to me.

8.What reason(s) did you choose self publishing over traditional publishing? Honestly, for me I have gone both ways. I have been published and I hated everything about it. In 8 years, I have still not seen a red cent or have control over my book. I love the freedom of self publishing and being able to go back and make changes and re-edit as needed. Lord knows I have had to do that many times. I’m not in it for the money, it is my passion.

9.Do you have a particular writing space? I do, my home office. It is my space that my English Cream Golden shares me with. Hehe This is where it all comes to me.

10.Where is the best place you’ve visited, or what’s your best experience? I don’t travel much, being a business owner. I have lived in Hilton Head Island, SC for a while before I got married. I flew to Colorado and toured the state by myself and it was amazing there. I have been to Florida a few times. My favorite place was Colorado though, the people there were so courteous and nice, not like the East were I am from, New Hampshire. My best experience and memory was when I was about 25 and my uncle, my sister and her boyfriend and two other friends went canoeing down the Saco River in Maine. It was breathtaking and beautiful. We canoed for 8 hours and then camped out on the river’s edge. The constant laughter was an amazing gift. 20131110-201425.jpg

JD Stockholm

Non fiction author. Check out the blog below:- http://www.jdstockholm.com

1.Can you share a little of your book with us? Of course. An excerpt – This is pretty much how it is written throughout, although he does age and I hope that can be seen in the young boys voice. I wanted to write it this way, I wanted to really show people. My dad says I can play with my truck tent downstairs. But I don’t be allowed to make a mess. That makes my mum mad. Then she shouts lots of times because she has to clean more and more. “And you know what she is like when she gets mad,” my dad says and he does the eye thing. Maybe they will fall away inside his head when he makes them roll back. I try to make my eyes roll away. But I don’t be able to. I don’t even be able to make them cross-eyed. My Nan says I got to follow my finger. I do it. But my eyes don’t ever go across. My Nan can do it. She puts her pretend teeth out and makes her eyes cross. Mr. Ted can’t do it either. Me and Mr. Ted try to make Sheba do it. But she doesn’t look at my finger. I get Mr. Ted and make him do it. But then she tries to bite him. I pull Mr. Ted away all fast. Then she doesn’t eat him. I get him away fast like Superman. Then I put my finger at her. I tell her no. “No Sheba, you don’t ever, ever bite Mr. Ted.”

2.What was the hardest part of writing your book? The end of book one was the hardest, I could feel what I was writing, I broke down so many times I had to walk away and keep coming back to it. I could never proof read that part either.

3.Do you have a writing space/place? My desk in the corner of the lounge really. More like an explosion of books with a pc in the middle. I also like to write everything by hand first so I have this massive stack of spiral notebooks.

4.Physical book or e-book? They are available both ways.

5.What made you take the self-publishing/traditional publishing route? I wanted control over my words. I didn’t want someone coming along and saying, no change this, this will read better if you do this and this. It wasn’t fiction, so I wanted it as it was.

6.Name 5 uses of a stapler without staple pins? A stress toy, to hold in your hand and click, annoys work colleagues no end. Paper weight. Makes for a good toy when you’re bored, rolling things down it. Good for squashing your fingers inside for something to do. Good for tapping when thinking new plot ideas.

7.If you could become a superhero, what power would you possess? I’d be Wolverine and have awesome claws.

8.Do you have another book coming out? If so, please share? I’m working on some fiction right now. Of course Scars is an ongoing thing and is available free on wattpad too. But my fiction is about a man, struggling to come to terms with a tragedy in his life, but its making him mentally ill, and he’s bordering on schizophrenic, so his reality is a little broken as well as his heart.

9.Who designs your cover(s)? Me.

10.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Just thank you. Thank you for all the support. Thank you for all the messages I get. Thank you for every time someone posts something on my wall, or in my email, it means more to me than they can ever know.

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Emma Bennett

EMMAB 1.What got you into writing? I started writing soon after the birth of my first son, when my mother-in-law convinced me to read my first romance. I was hooked on the genre, and soon had several plots busily working themselves out in my head all vying for my attention!

My first novel was published in June last year.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? With four young children, there is no usual writing day for me! I fit my writing in whenever I can, often in the evenings. I can often be found scribbling away madly as I wait for one of my boys to finish Judo or Cubs! I’ve learnt to always have a pad and pen with me.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I don’t get writers’ block, but I think that’s possibly because I usually have several projects that I’m working on at once, so I tend to pick whichever one I’m most interested in at the time to work on.

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I do try to carefully plan my writing. However, things generally go a bit array when I get carried away and write my favourite scenes all at once and then sort of fill in the blanks! Unfortunately this means that the editing process is long and laborous – a labour of love as it were, but more than worth it when everything all comes together!

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I published my novel using Amazon’s KDP and Createspace services. I loved having complete control over my work and discovering the ins and outs of each stage of the publishing process. My beautiful cover was designed by my clever husband whilst I was out one afternoon! My advice for aspiring authors is to believe in yourself and just keep writing whenever you can. Don’t wait for someone to give you your ‘big break’, if it isn’t happening see what you can make happen yourself!

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? First holding a paperback edition of my debut novel was a pretty special experience, that’s when it all suddenly became real!

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My book is called ‘The Green Hills of Home’ – it’s a very traditional love story about a young Welsh writer called Gwen Jones. Gwen is desperate to save the family farmhouse from being sold from under her critically ill mother and herself. When she lands a lucrative three-book deal with an eminent publisher, she thinks her problems are all over. However, Gwen’s need to be near her sick mother means she’s unable to travel to London to work with her devilishly desirable editor, John Thatcher, and he must come and stay with her in Wales. Handsome and eminently capable, cosmopolitan John is used to getting his own way and has plans for the future which certainly don’t include being distracted by pretty Welsh girls; nevertheless when he journeys into the country to work with Gwen it’s not long before he finds himself falling in love with her, as well as the house she’s so anxious to save. But is John capable of loving anyone as much as his job? And when he has to decide between his goals and Gwen, which will he choose?

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? A fair bit of my free time is taken up with reading and reviewing for my website http://www.bookwormink.co.uk. I also love watching films and I knit and am learning to quilt (it’s not going well!). I’m a feeder and love to bake, my speciality is my chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache – it’s pretty good!

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? Hmmmmmm, probably Kate Middleton, mainly so I could experience having hair that swishy!

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Thank you so much to everyone who’s bought my book, and especially those who’ve taken the time to write such lovely reviews on Amazon and Goodreads – they really do make a difference. Emma grew up and lived in London, before falling in love and moving to Wales to be with her own hero. Emma now lives with her husband, children, and many animals in a small Welsh market town.The beautiful landscape around her home gave her the inspiration for ‘The Green Hills of Home’. Her second novel, ‘The Spaniard’s Secret Daughter’, will be available mid 2014. Emma likes (in no particular order): cake, books, Cary Grant films, prosecco, chocolate, guinea pigs, knitting, quilting and happily ever afters!

Website: http://www.emma-bennet.co.uk  Twitter: @romanceemma Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emmabennetwriter Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Green-Hills-Home-Emma-Bennet/dp/1490526560

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Julie Ryan

jr Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a dippy cat with half a tail.  She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance! “Jenna’s Journey” is her début novel set in Greece, a country to which she has a strong attachment. She is now working on a second novel in the series, “Sophia’s Story.”

1.What got you into writing? I think to be honest, Sophia, it’s always been there as a part of my life. It’s only now that I have more time to fulfill my dreams that I actually thought about writing a novel. In the past it’s mostly been short stories for my eyes only.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? In the morning it’s the usual rush to get my little boy off to school. After chatting with the other mums at the bus stop it’s back home for my second coffee of the day. Suitably fortified I might re-read what I’ve previously written or just launch straight in if I have a good idea I want to get down on paper. I fit my writing in between running our local Post Office and teaching English to French companies online. Mornings are usually the most productive time for me.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I sometimes have a block when I can’t seem to get the book to go where I want it to. This is because I can’t plan in detail and my characters often decide they don’t like the direction I’m trying to pull them and go off at a tangent. I usually find that I need to go back to where the writing seemed to flow and perhaps delete the last scene in order to move forward. Of course copious amounts of coffee and chocolate always help!

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I would love to say I plan my novel in minute detail but try as I might, it doesn’t work for me. I do a lot of research and have a general idea of how I want the book to end. Getting there is the fun part and I end up with a totally different novel to the one I originally intended to write.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? I never even thought about approaching a publisher. My goal was just to finish writing a book, Then a writer friend encouraged me to self-pub on amazon. The hardest part is the endless editing and formatting required to get the book into the best shape possible. Tedious but well worth it in the end.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Being able to say I’m a published author. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved even if I haven’t gone down the traditional path. Of course, getting a good review makes it all worthwhile.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? ‘Jenny’s Journey’ is the story of a young woman in the 1980’s who escapes her failing marriage by fleeing to Greece. It’s part romance but not a typical one as there’s a mystery involving stolen artefacts, suspense and a killer as well as dealing with domestic abuse. It’s part Shirley Valentine and part Sliding Doors set on a beautiful Greek island.

8.What do you enjoy doing besides writing? I’m a member of our local amateur dramatic group. We recently put on a pantomime and I played Queen Alexandria, the mother of Sleeping Beauty. It’s a great way to meet new people and get new ideas. Apart from that I enjoy travel and have been fortunate enough to work in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand.

9.What is your all time favourite book(s)? Ooh Sophia, that’s such a hard question as there are so many books that have made an impact on me. I love ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop, the Cousins series by Philippa Gregory, but if I had to choose a favourite, ‘The Magus’ by John Fowles is a book I can read and reread and still discover something new in it.

10.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? I’d love to have swapped places with Liz Taylor in her heyday. Not only was she stunningly beautiful but a great actress as well. Of course I wouldn’t have passed up the chance to see what Richard Burton was really like either. It seems such a glamourous time in Hollywood and to play the part of Cleopatra must have been superb too.

Blurb:  ‘Jenna’s Journey’ – When Jenna decides on a whim to go to Greece, she’s trying to escape her failing marriage.  Will Greg let her go so easily though? Can she make a new future for herself and how did she get involved in an antiques smuggling ring? Is fellow holidaymaker Tom all he seems and will it be happy ever after with Nikos?  It’s not until twenty-five years later that some of the questions are finally answered.  

Excerpt from ‘Jenna’s Journey’ She knew something had to give. They’d been skirting around each other for weeks now. It should be simple, she thought sadly. Two people in love who want to have a baby. But life is rarely so simple. After more than a year of trying, they were no nearer to achieving their goal and finally she’d plucked up the courage to see the doctor. He’d offered to run some tests to see if there were any obvious problems but Greg had been reluctant to do anything about it. “It’s only a question of dropping off a semen sample at the hospital,“ she told him. When he didn’t answer, she knew she couldn’t let it drop – it was far too important. “So will you?” “Will I what?” “Drop a sample off at the hospital?” “Look Jen, just leave it for a bit, will you?” “But I don’t understand why you won’t do this one thing.” “Have I got a clean shirt? – I’m running late, I haven’t got time for this now.” “But it’s important – we need to talk about it. You never seem to have time these days.” She knew she was starting to nag and she hated herself for it, but the issue had to be resolved once and for all. “Shit – it’s not even ironed, Jen.” “You’re perfectly capable of ironing your own bloody shirts!” As soon as the words were out, she knew she’d only made matters worse but he did take her for granted at times.  She saw a look of fury cross his face and wondered for one awful moment if he was going to hit her but he walked away turning his back on her. She only did the ironing because the last time Greg had tried to iron a shirt he’d burnt a hole in the sleeve and blown the iron up. She wondered now if it had been a devious plan to get her to do it. She couldn’t let him walk all over her though—no matter how much she loved him. He turned round and she saw how the expression on his face changed as he steeled himself to say what had to be said. “Look Jen, I think we should let nature take her course – we’re getting far too het up about the situation.” “You mean I’m getting all het up!” “It’s just that …” “Just what?” “I just don’t want to go down the road of constant tests, temperature charts, intervention, all that… – it’s well …it’s too clinical.” “Well, we don’t seem to be getting very far on our own.” “I’m not sure, Jen.” “But you do want kids, don’t you?” The thirty-second hesitation before he answered told her all she needed to know.

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Layla Stevens

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma but moved to Pensacola, Florida in 1996. I have a huge family who I shocked them when I told them I was writing my first book. I have had a love a reading since I was young. Reading has always been my escape. I can read and be a princess or a warrior. Reading for me was always something magical. And I hope to pass that on to you all. I am 34 years old and writing my first book. I am married to my husband David who is being very supportive of my choice to write a book. {I think he likes the fact that I run ideas off his head.} But he would never tell anyone that. I also think he likes to tell his buddies my wife writes porn. {he he} I am blessed to be the mom of a little girl named Sage who is the light of my life.{I call her Olga, and she hates it} I did not give birth to her but I choose her. I am also trying to adopt another little girl named Lily but we all call her Bug who holds the other part of my heart. I am blessed with great friends who have always had my back. I have a lot to learn in this world of writing but, so far I am enjoying the ride. I have a fantastic Four that are my true loves. No names will be mentioned as they know who they are. I Love you all very much. {I didn’t included alters in that comment} I am always willing to help out anyone who is in need all you have to do is ask. I never knew that writing a book would show me so much about myself. I have learned so much in a short amount of time. And I can’t wait to learn more.

1.How did you start writing? Well to be honest I was doing a BETA reading and I hit it off with the author, who added me to her select group of friends. We were bouncing ideas off eachother and the girls in the group said ‘hey have you thought about writing your own,’ and the rest is history.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? Well I am a full time mom, wife and I work fulltime and go to school online. So some days there is no writing unless it’s just a few words here and there. I get the most done when everyone is my house is asleep. So 2am – 5am is perfect for me. It’s quiet!

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I do unfortunately, and the best thing, I can whack away and close the laptop. I do listen to music though as I am brainstorming. I have my music when nothing is working for me.

4.Are you a plotter / planner when it comes to writing a story? Actually, I am a fly by the seat of my pants type. If I plan or plot, I will not use any of that info. It’s like my brain laughs at me.

5.What was the publishing process like for you, & any advice for aspiring authors? Well this is my first book so I have not got to the publish part yet. The best advice I can give is go to your friends that have been through the process.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming an author? I am not published yet, working on it. But the highlight so far is working with amazing authors. I love the friends I have met so far.

7. Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours? This book is my debut novel , and this book has everything: love, hate, angst, sex, romance and all in between. Broken Love and Forever Bound will be a trilogy eventually. It’s dark, dirty and daring. I def push the limits.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love to read. Last year I read over 1,000 books. Holy cow, now that I see that it’s a lot. But reading helps me escape. I can tune out the world and all the problems with a good book.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? This is a funny question as I have actually thought about this. I would want to trade places with Marilyn Monroe. She was a sex symbol, beautiful on the inside and out, and who don’t want to say they had a ‘relationship’ with not only a ball player but the president.  She is classic even after her death.

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Writers spend lots of time writing for your enjoyment. And all that we ask is that you get something out of our hard work, so always appreciate an author because we have put so much into writing. Will we all be bestsellers, most unlikely not, but we did put our heart and soul into giving what we call a master piece. We love to hear from our fans as they are reason we are authors. So with that being said, we love our fans very much and thank you for reading what we call our master pieces. http://laylastevensauthor.wordpress.com https://www.facebook.com/authorlayla.stevens Twitter @authorlayla

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Skye Turner

Skye Turner is an avid reader and an editor turned Amazon Bestselling Author of Sexy Adult Romance. She attended SoutheasternLouisianaUniversity and LouisianaStateUniversity where she majored in Mass Communications, centering her studies in Journalism. Unfortunately, life intervened and she never finished her studies. She lives in small town Louisiana with her husband, two children, and five fur babies. When she’s not chained to her laptop pounding out sexy stories she can usually be found playing ‘Supermom’, reading, gardening (playing in the dirt), listening to music and dancing like a fool, cooking, baking, crafting, or catching up on her family oriented blog. She loves to incorporate pieces of Louisiana into her writing.

1. What got you into writing? I’ve always written just for me. Short stories and poems, but I’ve been an Indie editor for a few years now, so about eight months ago I decided to sit down and write my own ideas down.

2. What is a usual writing day like for you? First and foremost, I’m a wife and mother to my husband and I’s two young children. After getting them off to school, I typically sit down and write for a few hours if I feel like it. I don’t force myself to write, but when it’s flowing, I’ve been known to stay on the computer for hours and hours and write as many as ten thousand words in a day.

3. Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? Some days, I don’t feel like writing, so I don’t write. If it’s not flowing, I do something else. Then, when I feel like I have something to say, I sit down and write again.

4. Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? Not really. I do make a general outline, but my stories are constantly evolving, so I just roll with it. I jot important points into my notebook for reference reasons, but no for the most part, I just roll with it.

5. What was the publishing process like for you, & any advice to aspiring authors? I’m an Indie author, so I do everything myself. I had no idea that so much was involved, but I’m an old pro now. (Not really. I just act like I am. LOL) The most important piece of advice I can give anyone who wants to jump into this pool is do your research. Spend the money. If you invest all of the time and energy into putting something out, then invest the funds too. Take a risk. Believe in yourself. Have a professional cover made, but research them! Have your manuscript edited. Research your editor too. Have it formatted correctly. Again, research. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Readers can be cruel and with the huge selection of books out there, invest in yourself. If you don’t believe in you, why should anyone else?!

6. What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Having people send me messages, Tweets, etc. The feedback from people who have read and loved my books is amazing. It’s the best feeling knowing that something you put yourself into and worked so hard on is touching a chord with your readers.

7. Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My 3rd book, Alluring Ties, will be out in three weeks, on March 7th. It’s a companion novella to my Bayou Stix Series. The novella is about two (really three) supporting characters from my books that I absolutely fell in love with. Readers fell in love with them as well and demanded more about them. It was by far, my hardest book to write. I expanded on three characters that I never really intended to expand on and cover seven years of their lives in only thirteen chapters. It’s a very different book and was pretty emotional for me to write. It is not recommended to be read as a standalone.

8. Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I’m a full time wife and mommy. My husband is amazing and our children are 6 and 4.5, so they are very demanding. We do a lot of family things with them and pride ourselves on quality time. We’re a fun family. Family is very important to us, so we spend as much time with the people we love as we can. Music and reading are also on my favorites list. The occasional date night is rare and highly coveted.

9. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? No one. I love my life and while it’s crazy and chaotic and stressful, it’s mine, and I don’t want to be anywhere else.

10. Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? Just thank you for taking this crazy ride with me.  It’s been a whirlwind and I sincerely appreciate each and every person who’s taken a chance on me and fallen in love with my books. I have BIG plans for the future and I want all of you to join me on the roller coaster. Facebook: www.facebook.com/SkyeTurnerAuthor Twitter: @SkyeTurner_Auth Blog: www.skyeturnerauthor.com

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Isabella Rae
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Isabella Rae has been writing for over 10 years but never published because she was discouraged by the publishing process. Recently a friend of hers released a book through self-publishing and inspired Isabella to release her first book. When Isabella is not writing she is busy being a single mom to 2 beautiful girls, and continues to bake despite becoming a full time author in December.

 Isabella was born in Peachtree City, Georgia, a suburb south of Atlanta, where she still resides. Her love of reading inspired her to move into writing. She uses personal experiences with baking and life in general to inspire her work. As a unique touch to each of the books in her Atlanta Affair series, she has chosen to include personal recipes to give it a personal touch. Isabella is active on social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

1.What got you into writing? Honestly I started writing because I was bored in math class in high school, but it took eleven more years for me to get up the courage to publish.

2.What is a usual writing day like for you? A usual writing day for me is full of distractions. I will sit down to write and get distracted. I usually set a goal of 1000 words per sitting, and I crank my music to make it happen.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? YES! I hate writers block and it happens to me most when I’m stressed about other things. To get rid of it I will take a long shower and just think, if I’m still blocked after that I’ll try reading or talking to my closest friends

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I kind of am, but when it comes down to it, the characters and story write themselves. With A Sweet Affair I had one direction planned for the story and was struggling with it until a beta reader made one comment that sent it in a whole new direction. A direction I hadn’t even thought of much less planned on.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? The publishing process for me was confusing at first. I was constantly contacting another author with a million questions. Once I figured it out, I was set. I would tell aspiring authors to connect with another indie author to help you through that first publishing process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? I was very excited when I hit the Amazon Bestsellers List, but I would have to say the highlight for me has been meeting some amazing people. Best friends I’ve never even met in person.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. Sure! Here is part of one of my favorite scenes from A Sweet Affair. “You brought me here to throw cheesecake on me again didn’t you?” I laugh, half out of embarrassment. “The only cheesecake I have is already baked.” “Well that’s a relief. So what’s for dessert?” Instantly my mind goes into overdrive thinking about what I’d like for him to have for dessert, but I don’t think I have a silver platter large enough to serve myself on. I can feel the blush rise to my cheeks and mentally kick myself; I have never been embarrassed like this before. I’m not sure I like the effect Connor is having on me. “Take your pick.”

And how about the prologue of A Wedding Affair releasing 4/12/13 (unedited) Something seems off tonight. I’m on my third date with Victoria, and things are going okay, but something is definitely different. When I signed up for a profile on MeetAtlanta.com, I never expected to really find anything. I mean, Internet dating doesn’t really strike me as a viable means of finding the love of my life, but I gave it a shot. Two weeks later, I came across Victoria’s profile, and after reading all about AtlPeach84, I found myself typing a message to her. Her profile stuck out because of how well spoken she was, and it didn’t hurt that she is gorgeous. We spoke online, and on the phone for over a month before she agreed to go on a date with me, and when we finally met in person, it was all worth it. Every picture on her profile, while striking, failed to do her justice. That first night, she took my breath away. Looking across the table, I still can’t believe my luck. Victoria looks especially beautiful tonight, in a simple black dress that hugs her curves. Her hair is up, exposing her neck where a simple silver chain sits delicate against her skin, and her classic beauty is highlighted by a small amount of make-up. Her beauty is natural, and so mesmerizing. Searching her eyes, I try to find some clue about what she’s thinking, what thought has her so distracted. Too curious, I decide to ask. “What’s on your mind beautiful?” She laughs slightly and looks down at her hands, fidgeting with the table cloth. When she lifts her eyes to meet mine, I find no trace of the distracting thoughts I saw only seconds before. As if the playing with the deep burgundy cloth erased them from her mind, her eyes are clear. “I’m sorry I’m so distracted, I just have a lot on my mind.” “Don’t be sorry. Anything you want to talk about?” “No, but thank you for the offer.” Her smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes this time, and I wonder how far back she pushed her thoughts, and change the subject. “Okay, how about some dessert instead?” “That sounds great.” I look around the restaurant until I find our server and signal for her to come to the table. We order dessert and sit in companionable silence while we wait for it to arrive, I can almost see the gears turning in her head. When the server sets our desserts in front of us, I finally settle on a topic of conversation; taking a risk. “I have some vacation time coming up in a couple weeks.” “Oh yeah. What are you planning on doing?” “I was thinking about taking a trip to Savannah.” She dips her spoon into the crème brulee and savors the rich flavors, running her tongue out over the smooth metal, teasing me. As her eyes close in enjoyment, I fight the urge to lean over and kiss her, tasting the flavors for myself. “That sounds like a good time. I’ve never been to Savannah.” “Do you want to go with me?” I’m pretty sure she almost chokes at my question, but she recovers quickly. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to. When are you trying to go?” “Any time in the next six weeks or so. Let me know when you are available and we can plan something.” She shifts in her chair, and I can tell that she is feeling uncomfortable. I knew I should have waited. It’s too soon to take a vacation together. “Okay, I’ll see what I can manage and let you know.” I merely smile in response, and accept the bill that the server brings to the table. I quickly slide my creditcard into the folder and hand it back to her. Not ready for the night to end, I grab Victoria’s hand across the table. “Will you take a walk with me?” “A Walk?” “Yes, a walk. It’s so nice outside, and I thought it would be nice to spend a little more time with you. I promise to have you home by curfew” “Sure.” Signing the bill, I stand and offer her my hand; she accepts and we make our way out of the restaurant and onto the busy streets of Atlanta. The stone and concrete surrounding us, is so different from the plush restaurant, and I enjoy the simplicity of the city more. All around us people are busily talking on cell phones, too distracted to notice the amazing night. Walking with a beautiful woman beside me, I am enjoying every moment of it. We turn the corner and walk in the direction of PiedmontPark, remaining hand-in-hand as we go. No words are exchanged as we walk, and I can tell that Victoria is sinking deep into thought. As we approach the park, I’m beginning to regret asking her to go to Savannah. “You don’t have to go to Savannah with me. It was stupid of me to ask.” She stops walking and turns to me with a sad look on her face; around us the park is quiet and the night air begins to feel heavy. Letting go of my hand, she gives me a pleading look, and I do my best to prepare for what comes next. “It wasn’t stupid Nick; I just don’t think I’m ready for that. Maybe I’m not ready for this.” And there it is, the thought that’s been on her mind all night. The big mystery is revealed, and I can feel her slipping away. She turns away from me, and gazes out into the emptiness around us. “It’s okay if you’re not ready for this.” When she looks at me, my hope is mirrored in her eyes; but I realize that we hope for very different things. “Really? You’re not mad?” “Why would I be mad? Honestly I’d be more upset if you continued to date me knowing you weren’t ready.” ‘You’re a really great guy Nick. I hope that we can be friends at least.” “Sure we can, and hey, maybe one day things will work out between us.” She smiles and turns away avoiding my words. Not wanting to lose hope I take it as a good sign. As her friend, I can take all the time I need to make her fall in love with me. I’ve already waited twenty-six years to find her, so what’s a couple more months. Holding on to my hope, I stand back and look at the woman in front of me. Everything I ever wanted to find is wrapped up inside her, and now I just have to be patient. In my heart, I know that one day we will be together.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I run a swag making business and take care of my two daughters.

9.If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be & why? I would want to trade places with Nora Roberts. I would love to get inside her head and see where she gets her wealth of ideas from, and I’d also like to be as successful as her one day.

10.Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers? I would love to say a huge thank you! You all have shown my amazing support and I would love to get to know you. I know I can’t get to know everyone, but I would love to connect as much a possible.  

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3 Responses to Self Published Authors

  1. evabielby69 says:

    Hi Sophie, Check out my page and “Going Up and Going Down” by Eva Bielby on Amazon! http://www.facebook.com/evabielbylady69 regards, Eva

  2. glamorousbooks says:

    Hi Eva! Great page! Please follow my blog if not already doing so, and like my NEW author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SophiaValentineAuthor

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