Monday, October 8, 2012

We have a winner!

I have awarded a free copy of Maiden's Mistake to one of the participants in our Musa Publishing 1st anniversary blog hop. And she has a blog of her own: http://happy-booker.blogspot.com/. Check out what she has to say about books! We'll be back with more give always soon! Thanks to all who participated!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Musa 1st Anniversary Blog Hop

I'm helping my publisher, Musa Publishing, celebrate one-year of bringing great books to readers by participating in Musa's 1st Anniversary Blog Hop. 

WE ARE GIVING AWAY A KINDLE FIRE :)

And I'm giving away a free copy of my latest book, Maiden's Mistake, published by Musa.



Rules to hop!

1) HAVE FUN!!!

2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!

3) THIS TOUR STARTS: October 1, at Midnight (pst)
    THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 7, at Midnight (pst)

    Winners will be drawn and posted October 9th! ***

Come Join the Party on October 7th at The Romance Review Forum to enter to win more prizes. http://www.theromancereviews.com/forum/

4) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER, THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP and COMMENT ON, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES. EVERY AUTHOR & BOOK PAGE IS WAITING TO MEET AND INTERACT WITH YOU, SO PLEASE BE SURE TO SHOW THEM SOME LOVE!

The links to all the other blogs in the Musa 1st Anniversary Blog Hop appear below my book information!  


REMEMBER: The more blogs you participate in, the more chances you'll have to win!

5) Grand Prize of a Kindle Fire is for Us and Canada mailing addresses only. I nternational winners will receive a $50.00 Musa Gift Card.

6) To win the free book from me, you must post a comment to this blog post and include a way for me to contact you so I can quickly get the book to the lucky winner. ***

 ***Authors & Book Pages have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***


Fire stole his future, until she reclaimed him from the ashes.

Knowing he can never have children of his own, Jonathan Everleigh, Earl of Mercia, marries scandal-plagued Juliette Markham, saving her from disgrace. But when he finds his ruined bride is still a virgin on their wedding night, Jonathan vows to annul their marriage. But when Juliette discovers that she actually is with child, this time from her wedding night, she is as determined to stay married as he is to leave her. When Jonathan’s past catches up with them, the Earl and Lady Mercia must navigate their marital problems, countless dangers, and a final confrontation with the madness plaguing them.  If they can make it out alive, love might be there waiting for them on the other side.





Thursday, August 9, 2012

Writing with one hand tied behind my back!

Or, more accurately, writing with one hand in a sling.  It's been an interesting experience to have my left arm in a sling after shoulder repair.  The surgery itself was no big deal...no serious pain after, no complications.  Just the dang sling.  Ican use my fingers and can even type for a while with both hands.  But that gets tiring with my arm stuck to my side.  So I'm mostly writing with one hand.

This is a metaphor for a bunch of handicaps that writers deal with everyday.  For example, I also have a full-time day job.  Those hours spent there, and the long commute to get there, put a serious crimp in my writing plans.  But it's something with which I've learned to cope, because I have always had this day job.  I've also had back injuries.  When that happened, and during recovery, I learned to write while lying flat using a special laptop desk that allowed for that.  Now the shoulder (yes, degenerative bone problems are no fun!).  But my own stories are nothing compared to others!  I know people who write while struggling with the most difficult ailments and situations.  People who write while raising children, while traveling for their jobs, while waiting for the next round of chemo, while coping with insomnia, while going through dialysis.

It is amazing to me that we humans are so adaptable!  When we have passion about something, we will find a way to pursue that passion.  Almost nothing can stop us.  And this must be doubly true for writers.  If we let any adversity get in our way, success is doomed.

I would love to hear your stories of writing with one hand tied behind your back, metaphorically speaking.  What have you had to overcome to still keep on writing?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest blog from fantasy author Nancy DiMauro

Today's guest blgger is a fantasy fiction auther, Nancy DiMauro. I notice from her web site that she is also a lawyer, like me! In fact, we have quite a lot in common, from pen names to living on a small farm to writing at night. Here, she responds to Ten Questions for Authors:.
 
1)  A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!)
 
I write stories about characters that interest me. These tend to be stories that generally fall into some portion of the fantasy genre and include strong romantic elements. The story dictates the heat level for the romance. I’ve written everything from sweet to sizzle. My protagonists tend to be female, but not always. I’ve written about a disinherited princess turned spy, a psychic whose talent is limited to reading memories from corpses, a few Greek gods and goddesses, a gorilla in a phone booth, and many other intriguing characters. Watch in the upcoming months for many of these stories as Musa Publishing has them under contract.
You can find me at FalconsFables.com and Fictorians.com. I tweat as kings_falcon@yahoo.com - that's an "__" between "kings" and "falcon".  
 
2)  What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer?
 
I often write at night. The kids are in bed and the house is relatively quiet. I put the television on as background noise and type out the scene I've been playing with in my head. Unless I'm in a strong burst, I'll stop writing about 11 pm and average about 1000 words a session. If I'm burst writing, all bets are off and I growl at my husband when he says it's time to stop and go to sleep.
 
3)  Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)
 
Underwire. There's just no real comparison between banded and underwire once you hit a certain size.
 
4)  If you use a pen name, why?  If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?
 
By day, I'm  a trial and business lawyer. So I  write under my maiden name - Nancy DiMauro- to keep the fiction writing separate from my day job. Clients are generally looking for a conservative lawyer, Some of my writing isn't very conservative. My short story - Gorilla in the Phonebooth - published by Doghorn Press in the Woman Writing the Weird anthology is romantic fantasy that borders on erotic. One of my novels in progress is erotic as well. So, in theory, using a pen name makes me a bit like Clark Kent and Superman. I take my glasses off and now I'm a superhero, but no one knows.
 
5)  What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?
 
I write while I wait for the court to hear my case. Most of the courts will have a motions' day docket with somewhere between 30 and 100 cases to be heard. Often, the court will take time estimates and hear the shorter cases first.  I usually have time to wait. Continuing to prepare for (stress about) my matter isn't productive at that point. I'll take out my handy note pad and write a scene or two in the time I have before my case is called. I've written a novel this way.
 
6)  Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your chracters, please?
 
When I chose a name, I'm either looking for a sound association, meaning or a feeling. I have a character that loses his family in a civil war. He's the 15 year-old heir to the throne and next likely assassignation target. He needs to hide and change his name. When he's informed the kingdom is his, he says that death rules the land. So, he picks a namethat sounded connected with death - Mordent. His name also resonates  with the word "mordant" which is a fixative - a substance used to set dyes on fabrics  by combining with the dye's elements and then attaching to the fabric. The character "Mordent"  brings the other plot elements together and binds them in a way that changes the original.
 
7)  Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career?
 
It's a battle. Just like you need to make finding writing time a priority, you need to make getting out of the chair and eating properly a priority.  I'll do little things during the day like parking farther from the building since getting a large block of time is difficult.
 
8)  Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative!)

Yes. I live on a small horse farm so I have a somewhat smallish zoo. The husband would argue on the size designation. We currently have 3 cats, 2 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 2 horses.   
 
9)  If you research, what's your method?  If you don't, how do you get away with that?
 
Wow. That's a really great question. The answer depends on what I need to research.  I research characters pretty much every day. I have a love/hate relationship with waiting for the court to call my case. Because I despise waiting, I keep a note pad with me at all times. When I have to wait, I crowd watch. Notes of what I see and histories I make up for the people passing by end up on the note pad. So, crowd watching is a critical part of my character research.
For historical or setting research, my location helps me. I live about an hour outside of Washington, D.C. and the Smithsonian museums. A trip to the appropriate museum is a great research tool. I also read a lot about the time period I’m using as a pattern for the world I’m writing. I’ve read a lot on medieval warfare and have taken fencing lessons.
I also try to consult experts. Most people love talking about what they do for a living. As an example, I have a work-in-progress that’s an urban fantasy murder mystery. I’ve done all the “book” research I can do without having diminishing returns. Now, I need to consult a homicide detective.  I’ll ask my contacts if they know a detective who would be willing to talk to me.  I  also always say “thank you” to those who help me.
 
10)  What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?
 
I think the most interesting comments I've received relate to my voice.
One reader told me that my legal writing and fiction writing "sound" nothing alike and he never would have known I'd written both. I have two very distinct voices depending on whether I'm writing to persuade (legal writing) or entertain (fiction writing).
I’ve had a similar comment about my fiction. I tend to under-describe surroundings because I’d like them described with light brush strokes rather than layers upon layers of paint. A group of beta readers wanted more detail about the world. So, I’d gone back into a story to flesh out some description. It was a struggle for me. Satisfied I’d added more details, I sent it off to my next reader. He, a prolific and very successful writer, flagged the new section. He said that it read as if someone else had written it. I had to go back and lighten the touch so it was consistent with the rest of the narrative.

Thank you for your blog, Nancy!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New guest blogger - Wendy Soliman

I've asked some authors to respond to ten questions, some of them a little off center, just for fun. Here's what Wendy SolimanI've, author of regency romances has to say:

Ten Questions for Authors:

1) A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!)

I started life as an author writing regency romance. I now write contemporaries, too, and also a series of marine crime mysteries. You can find me at http://www.wendysoliman.com and http://www.wsoliman.com

2) What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer?

No such thing. Every day varies. I have to clear the decks, so to speak, get all the boring daily stuff out of the way first – like cleaning, shopping or whatever – then the rest of the day’s mine and I can lose myself in a world
of my own creation.

3) Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)

Underwired. I’m an inverted pear-shape so carry most of my weight up top! Enough said.

4) If you use a pen name, why? If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?

I write my contemporaries and marine crime novels as W. Soliman, just so that readers of my regencies don’t get confused. I’m certainly not trying to hide who I am – far from it.

5) What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?

Went to an Abba tribute band concert a while back and as they sang ‘The Name of the Game’ I thought it would be a great title for a book. (Us writers are never off duty!). That book will be published later this year.

6) Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please?

If I’m writing regencies I refer to my Penguin book of names and then check on line to make sure the name I choose existed in the time period I’m writing about. A Lady Jenna wouldn’t really cut it! With contemporaries, I usually just choose names that I think fit the personality of the character I’ve created, or a name that I like, but with eighteen published books under my belt, I’m running out of those.

7) Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career?

I walk – fast - at least an hour and a quarter every day with my dog. (A great activity for plotting, by the way), I pump iron at the gym twice a week and have just acquired a push bike.

8) Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative! )

I love all animals but have had dogs for years. My latest is a rescuee from a shelter in Spain. We paid more than the price of a business class seat to have him flown out to Florida, where we spend half the year. Couldn’t be without him and didn’t think twice about the expense, which is more than can be said for my husband, who had to
foot the bill!

9) If you research, what's your method? If you don't, how do you get away with that?

I mostly use the internet for research but also have an impressive library of research books, mostly centred on the regency period.

10) What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?

When my first book was accepted for publication, someone very close to me who ought to have known better, asked if I was actually being paid for it!

My name is Wendy Soliman. I’m a Brit but now divide my time between Andorra and Florida. I live with my husband Andre and a rescued dog of indeterminate pedigree named Jake Bentley after the hero in one of my books. They’re both good-looking mongrels with independent spirits and naughty streaks! I love all animals, enjoy walking, decent wine and generally making the most out of life.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

And we have a winner!

My first effort at joining a blog hop was a success! Denise @zdz59001 was my winner and I've sent her a free copy of my ebook, Maiden's Mistake. I also learned a great deal about blog hops and will make it easier on you next time, by using a random drawing program as soon as i figure out how to get it operational on this blog. I hope all of you had fun, too.

Huge thanks to Selena Blake at http://site.selena-blake.com/ , Reading Between the wines at http://readingbetweenthewinesbookclub.blogspot.com/ , and Bitten By Paranormal Romance at http://www.bittenbyparanormalromance.com/ for organizing this blog hop. You have done a great job and I very much appreciate you allowing me to participate.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Fling blog hop - enter to win!

Spring Fling Blog Hop





I'm participating in the Spring Fling blog hop 23 - 27 April 2012. Sign up with me during the blog hop period for a chance to win a free copy of my latest ebook, Maiden's Mistake, and a chance to win a Nook!

RULES: All you need to do is follow me on Twitter @eashtreebooks then send me a Twitter message with your email address and the words "Spring Fling" in the message between 23 and 27 April. One email address will be selected at random and I'll send the free ebook to that address.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dealing with Dad

I actually mean my real father. He's being moved to assisted living by me and my siblings this weekend. And not just regular assisted living, but a memory care unit. The place is nice, but he'll still be in lockdown. This happened very suddenly, and yet we knew it was coming. He'd been in bad shape for awhile. But one day, a few weeks ago, he started hallucinating. My brother and sister took him to a hospital to see what might be causing them. But there was no real cause. His mind simply isn't working right anymore. There was this frantic search to figure out what to do with him as the hospital prepared to discharge him. The reality that he could not ever go home again bore down on each of his children. And when we found a temporary place (respite care, it's called, and very expensive) we were both relieved and horrified. Moving him there, where he could get the care none of us were qualified to give him, was so very difficult. He'd have lucid moments when he'd say he didn't belong there, making us wonder if we were doing the right thing, making us doubt and second guess. Then he'd drift away again, or see puppies and kittens in his room (and, yes, we've been grateful he doesn't see monsters). When that happened, we'd look at each other and know we had to stay the course and leave him in capable hands there, no matter how hard it was to do. He said to me that everything he didn't want to happen to him was happening to him. But he couldn't have prepared better for this moment. Because when he was my age, he could not have expected to live as long as he has. The extension of life-expectancy too him, and us, by surprise. He's 83. In his day, he was a robust, lively, outgoing man. Strong, sometimes obstinate, often overbearing. Now reduced to reviewing the names of his five children and trying to remember if he has more than three grandchildren (he has 13 of them). We appreciate that we've been able to find him a lovely permanent place to live, affordable and well-staffed. But when we move him this weekend to his permanent new home, my siblings and I will be thinking about how this is my father's last abode, a place where he will gradually lose all the memories of his long and full life, until he departs this earthly plane. And I will strive to channel the heartache and tears into my next book, giving my father some tiny measure of immortality that way. Because I'm a writer. And that is what we do with our sorrow.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

10 questions answered by author Mary S. Palmer

I'd like to answer your ten questions. My book, TIME WILL TELL is science-fiction. It is scheduled for release by Musa Publishing Co. Mrch 9, 2012.
 
1) A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!) In TIME WILL TELL, earthling Mona Stewart finds herself in another world of warring factions. One group, the Svarians, holds the key to cures for fatal diseases and immortality. In the inner space of outer space, Mona discovers that living almost forever in idleness, and without challenges, is much worse that having too much to do. The only reprieve from boredom for the Svarions is outwitting their enemy, the Aliens.
 
2)  What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer? A typical writing session for me may be several hours long. When I begin to develop plots or characters, I become intensely involved and I don't stop writing till I've used all of my ideas. Otherwise, they're gone forever.
 
3)  Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)Underwire (This question surprises me because I don't see how it's relative to writing). [note from Telling Tales: this was just for fun. A humorous call out to the young person who very famously asked The President of The United States Bill Clinton "Boxers or briefs?" taking him totally off kilter.]

4)  If you use a pen name, why?  If you don't, do you worry about stalkers? I use my real name. I don't worry about stalkers. People can find out who you are anyhow.
 
5)  What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write? The oddest thing about the way I write is what I write about. I like to jump genres. I've written and published biographies, mysteries, crime stories, historical screenplays, poetry and now, science fiction.
 
6)  Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your chracters, please? I try to choose characters' names that are not too common but not difficult to remember, unless I want a name that is allegorical.
 
7)  Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career? Since I do sit at a computer a lot, I try to get exercise. Walking is my favorite. I have a treadmill and make it a habit to walk around the house whenever I talk on the phone. I also love to travel. I've been to all 50 U.S. states and to every continent except Antarctica. When I take trips, I walk and only take taxis when absolutely necessary.
 
8) Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative!)I don't currently have a dog or a cat. I prefer dogs but I don't feel I have enough time to spend with one right now.
 
9)  If you research, what's your method?  If you don't, how do you get away with that? When I research, I exhaust every avenue. I use primary sources whenever possible, such as contacting a person who knows about an event or place or reading old letters. I was writing about Johnny Reb once and found letters from Confederate soldiers in a museum to quote from. I feel that setting should be authentic and often travel to places to see exactly what is growing there or how the sidewalks are laid out or what statues are in a particular park. It goes without saying that I also use the internet.
 
10)  What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing? I think the most outrageous comment anyone made about my writing was that they didn't like it "because it didn't have a happy ending."
 
 
I have another book entitled TO CATCH A FISH, coauthored with David Wilton, which is scheduled for release April 6, 2012. If you like, I can send information on it a little later.
 
Mary S. Palmer

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sleep apnea and the writer.

I used to say I wrote novels because I didn't sleep much. That was true. I have a power job as a Federal executive for a tense agency in the Department of Defense and I raised two boys to be responsible adults. Plus, I wrote novels. Okay, I never watched much TV, but honestly, there should be only so many hours in a day! The truth is, I've never been a great sleeper and I'd get up in the night and write some scenes, maybe crash for awhile, then get to the intense day job. But as the years went on, this lifestyle took its toll. The older I grew, the more I realized my sleep habits could kill me. Plus, my husband's sleep was being disturbed by my crazy, often loud, breathing when I was attempting to sleep. I say "attempting" because people with sleep apnea don't actually get the healing sleep normal people get. And that lack begins to catch up with you. Succinctly put, sleep apnea can be on your death certificate.

So here is my sleep apnea saga:
We moved to rural Pennsylvania in October of 2010. We love it here on our six acres of nature. But running a place like this while commuting two hours one way to work began to affect me in unexpected ways. I became desperate for sleep. I thought I could just tough it out until I retired in two mor years, but the tanking oconomy began to put that time frame in doubt. So, before I endangered someone on my long drives to work, I started to explore my sleep problems. First, i tried a mandibular advancement retainer in my mouth. That worked for awhile. But then it pulled my front teeth so far back that my back teeth could no linger touch. I had to have orthodontics at 52 years old! They made me another one that wouldnt allow my teeth to move out of alignment, but which gave me excruciating TMJ after a few months. I had to choose between wearing it or chewing food. Could not do both. About the time I stopped wearing the mouth piece, I also began staying over in a hotel near work sometimes, to give myself a break and to let my husband have an occasional night of peace.

Yes, I snore. But that isn't necessarily apnea. You have to STOP BREATHING more than 15 times an hour for insurance companies to find you suitably in trouble to agree you have apnea. My first sleep study was hard, but I managed to sleep enough to get some results. At first glance, I did not qualify. But my wonderful doctor noted that if you took my episodes from when I was on my back, I qualified for severe obstructive sleep apne (OSA). He told me there were devices to keep me on my side as I sleep, but having had two back disk fusions, that idea sounded awful. I need to change positions in the night or wake up crying. So the doc moved on to the idea of a CPAP. We were both eager for this to work. I knew others who'd used them with great success. So he set me up for another sleep study, this time with the CPAP. I was very sure this was the answer to my prayers and went to the study center with a very positive outlook. Four hours later, I was on my way home sobbing. We tried a variety of masks and pressures and the people were so nice, we all wanted it to work. But my heart raced uncontrollably for the entire four hours I tried. It was basically torture. I couldn't catch my breath or calm my heart for long enough to actually sleep. And the air kept going into my stomach and choking me, making my heart race faster. Finally, the kind attendant came in again and asked if she could do anything else for me. Frankly, I think they were terrified of what my heart rate was maintaining. I begged to be set free. This felt like defeat and like the end of all hope as I drove home in the wee hours of that morning before dawn.

But my doctor wasn't defeated. He said my reaction is called phobic - like claustrophobia almost. It can't really be controlled or managed and isn't all that uncommon. He suggested I'd be a good candidate for OSA surgeries. Two parts, one for my severely deviated septum (yup, broke my nose in a couple of places during college) and swollen sinuses, the other to de-obstruct my throat. Sounds as awful as it has been. The nose surgery was first and quite awful while the packing was jammed inside. Surgery on Friday, packing out on Monday. It was just like giving birth out of each of my nostrils, the packing felt like golf balls, but the migraine left me after that so I could keep my eyes open and swallow without suction pressure making my ears pop. A few weeks out from that and I could tell I was sleeping more soundly. So worth it!

But not soundlessly. Still snoring and breathing inconsistently, so one more surgery to get through. This was to remove tonsils, uvula, and harden palate and base of tongue. I'm now a week post-op from a UPPP and improving. I only got fluid up my nose from the back of my throat one time - funny how adaptable we are. They tell you plainly how much this will hurt, but until you do it, you just can't imagine. I took everyone's advice and answered 10 whenever asked what my pain level was at the hospital. Funny, though, the morphine didnt do much and so i stopped asking for it. Vicodin worked best, but the elixir is alcohol based and like red hot fire going down. Plus, if you take too much, other parts of the body start to hurt. Or maybe it was the oxycodone that gave me the muscle spasms after awhile. Got off all the pain meds by day three and have stuck to Tylenol and occasional vicodin since. Seems to be working. As long as I don't swallow, I'm feeling okay. But who cannot swallow for long? And the liquid diet is no fun at all, except for the lost weight I hope to keep off. My OSA wasn't from weight, but the less weight, the better, say the docs. Now that a week has passed, things should improve quickly. Looking forward to the annoying stitches dissolving in a few more days, but they don't really trouble me as much as I'd feared.

The jury is still out on whether the snoring is gone. It takes awhile for swelling to go down. But I'm hoping. And I'm looking forward to writing for the love of storytelling and not because I just can't sleep. Plus, it would be lovely if my commute felt safer through my improved alertness. Doubtless I will comment on my progress as things develop. Meanwhile, if you're not sleeping well, figure out why. No one should have a death certificate that gives sleep panes as the cause.

Ten questions answered by Sara Daniel!

I love that Sara uses an Alphasmart - a tool that should get far more credit.

Ten Questions for Authors:

1) A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!)
I write contemporary romance fiction--irresistible romance with captivating family drama.  Not only do I aim to entertain, I also want to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after.  So, if you're looking for a warm fuzzy feeling and hoping to come away a little less cynical about the world, visit my website at www.SaraDaniel.com.

2) What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer?
I sit in front of the computer and catch up on my email and social media with a cup of coffee.  Then I open my writing file and stare at the screen.  I write for a while, then wander the house, reheat my coffee and find some food.  I write some more, rewarm the coffee, get another snack, etc., etc.

3) Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)
Who wants to know this???  Okay, I admit to being totally curious about the boxers/briefs quandary, but that's different, right?

4) If you use a pen name, why? If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?
I don't use a pen name, except for my children's books to avoid confusion.  But honestly, with the internet, I'm convinced anyone can find anyone if they really try hard enough.  And I'm too transparent to keep my name a secret.

5) What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?
I've found lately that I'm most productive sitting at my children's extracurricular activities with my AlphaSmart.  Yes, I really still use one.  There are no email or internet distractions, and the screen only shows four lines of text, so it's too small to edit.  I can only write.  So I do!

6) Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please?
I think about the type of person my character is supposed to be.  If a name doesn't pop into my head, I pull out "The Baby Name Survey Book:  What People Think about Your Baby's Name" and use that as my Bible.  And I work very hard to make sure I use a different letter to start each name, and they don't rhyme or end the same or anything corny like that.

7) Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career?
Sometimes I'm really good about taking a break to exercise.  Lately, not so much.  But my eyes definitely need a rest from staring at the computer screen.  When I take time to exercise, I also free up my brain to consciously think of nothing and let my muse start mulling over fresh ideas.

8) Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative! )
Cats.  We have one cat, and I like that she's around but does her own thing.  I feed her and scoop her litter, but I can leave for the weekend without thinking twice about leaving her alone.  I have enough demands on my time, and frankly, dogs and I have never mixed well.

9) If you research, what's your method? If you don't, how do you get away with that?
If I could get away without researching, I would!  It's the reason I've never written a historical.  I'd have to do a massive amount of research to get the details right.  What I need to learn for my contemporaries is usually only a keystroke away on the internet.

10) What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?
My grandmother constantly laments that she can't get my books for her friends because they have -- gasp! -- love scenes in them.  Fortunately, my other grandmother was a voracious reader of romance and had no such qualms about sharing my books with her friends. 

www.SaraDaniel.com
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ten Questions Answered by Author Stephanie Campbell

I'm happy to welcome Stephanie Campbell to my blog. I particularly love her answer to the final question! Too funny!

I'm Stephanie Campbell, the author of Dragon Night at Musa publishing. Thank you so much for providing us the opportunity to be interviewed! I have also enclosed a picture, just in case.
 
1) A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!)
I got my first book published at the age of seventeen. Now, I am the author of multiple novels with many more on the way for this upcoming year. I mostly write YA novels in all genres, but I’ve written in pretty much every genre. One of the reasons why I became a writer is so that I can experience different types of situations that I can’t in real life.
http://stephaniecampbellreleases.weebly.com/
 
2) What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer?
I actually do different things, so a “writing session” for me is hard to define. I am very much a creature of habit. I sit down and I re-read the last two paragraphs of what I was working on last to get my scheme. I then pick up the scene in my head again. Sometimes I wonder if other writers see their work in the same way—for example, I actually see my scene. I barely notice that I’m actually typing. I edit my work at a different time.
 
3) Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)
Both. I run in the morning and use a banded bra to keep from chafing. I swap out for an underwire later. I’ve been stabbed by underwire bras a few times, though. They make me nervous.
 
4) If you use a pen name, why? If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?
I have different pen names. I use them to separate writing interests for my readers. People expect Stephanie Campbell to write YA. It’s more simple that way. I suppose I’m worried about stalkers—I have a handful to speak of right now. I once had a set of anonymous letters on my doorstep. You have no idea how chilling that is.
 
5) What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?
I take on the personality traits of my book characters. If my character is angry, so am I. The more intense the scene, the more intense my personality gets in real life. I don’t run around stabbing people, but people have noticed the changes in my personality. I guess I don’t have a line between my work and reality. You can’t take the writer out of me.
 
6) Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please?
I have a lovely book of character names that has meanings. If I write about a mean, vindictive character, I will find a name that means mean and vindictive.
 
7) Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career?
I run every morning. I stand ten minutes out of every hour. When my writing hours are done, I stay on my feet. I am actually not that sedentary. I even write on my dresser so I can stand up.
 
8) Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative!)
I prefer dogs, but I like cats. I like it because a dog wants to cuddle and get hugs. (At least my dogs do.) They also remind me that there is a life outside of my office.
 
9) If you research, what's your method? If you don't, how do you get away with that?
The internet is such a wonderful thing. If I have an idea, then I get a piece of paper and write a school-style report. I use that to keep my book up to par.
 
10) What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?
Someone once told me that my books made them hungry…I still can’t figure out why. I haven’t written a single book about food.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ten questions answered by Rebecca York!

I'm so pleased to post answers to my Ten Questions for Authors from my friend and mentor Rebecca York. She's a best selling author of romance and paranormal books that are a delight to her fans.

From Rebecca York

1) A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please?
I write mainly paranormal romantic suspense. I love plotting stories featuring men and women falling in love against a background of suspense and danger. My latest series is Decorah Security, about a detective agency where the agents have paranormal powers or take on paranormal cases. The first three are out on Amazon and B&N. Dark Moon has a werewolf hero. Chained is a novella with a hero who’s a ghost–or maybe he isn’t. Ambushed is a short story where the hero relies on his special instinct for danger.

2) What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or less?
I get up, check e-mail, tweet, finally get to writing and work until I’ve written ten pages. That might take three or four hours, or I might still be working at ten p. m. I start each session editing yesterday’s work. I write fast, knowing I will revise later.

3) Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded?
Banded

4) If you use a pen name, why? If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?
I picked my pen name years ago when having one was the industry standard for romance writers.

5) What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?
I never work at a desk. I always use a laptop. Either in bed or in a comfortable chair. I never write with a pen or pencil if I can avoid it.

6) Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please?
For first names, I look at the Social Security baby name data base and pick a name that’s either popular or one I like a lot.

7) Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing a sedentary career?
I try to exercise for at least a half hour to forty-five minutes every day. I get up and do work around the house to break up writing sessions. If I’m on a phone call I know will be long, I get up and walk while talking.

8) Dogs or cats, and why?
I like both dogs and cats, but I travel a lot and it’s easier to have someone come in and take care of a cat.

9) If you research, what's your method? If you don't, how do you get away with that?
I try to visit the location where I’m setting a story to pick up details unique to the area. These days, I do a lot of research on the internet.

10) What is the most interesting or outrageous comment made about your writing?
I once read an article I’d written to my critique group. When I’d finished, one of the women said, “That was discombobulated, unstructured and boring.” I think she was feeling hostile because she was having trouble organizing her work.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ten question for Cornell Deville

Welcome YA Musa author Cornell Deville! He has a book trailer on YouTube. Pretty cool and something I need to learn more about. He and I use similar techniques for naming characters.

Ten Questions for Authors:
 
1)  A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!) I write middle grade and young adult fiction. I primarily focus on urban fantasy, a little paranormal, and a bit of thriller for the younger readers. My website is www.cornelldeville.com. I also have a mini website devoted to my new release, Lost in the Bayou. You can also find a book trailer on YouTube if you google the title.

2)  What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer?
I typical writing session for me usually begins by reading the last paragraph I wrote during the previous session and doing some editing on it. I'm one of those writers who edits as they go. It saves me tons of time at the end when I actually start on the real "editing" portion. I sometimes connect with Pandora and find some music that inspires me, depending on what I'm writing at the time.

3)  Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!)
It depends on my mood that day.

4)  If you use a pen name, why?  If you don't, do you worry about stalkers?
I do use a pen name. I wanted something unique, and I learned there are several famous people with my name running around out there. 

5)  What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write?
It may not be exceptionally odd, but I usually picture the screenplay in my mind as I'm writing. I even select the actors to play the various roles and keep them in mind as I write the action and the dialogue.

6)  Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your chracters, please?
Naming characters is a hard activity. I visit the baby name sites, but I usually just wait until something pops into my head that sounds right. My innocent heroines typically have what I would consider a "soft" name constructed with soft sounds like "ch" "sh". Villains can take a harder consonant like a "K" or a hard "C" or "Qu". It just has to sound right for the character before I use it.

7)  Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career?
I quit smoking a year and a half ago. That was a huge help. Other than that, just take a break every couple of hours and get some exercise and fresh air. And put the dark chocolate in the other room so you have to burn a few calories to get to it.

8)  Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative!) Both, actually. We have a bichon-poodle (poobie) named Hannah and a white Himalayan Persian cat named Billy (Sir William if you please.)

9)  If you research, what's your method?  If you don't, how do you get away with that?
Googling is my weapon of choice for research. Then making certain to verify everything before incorporating it. Wikipedia is also a good source.

10)  What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?
One reviewer recently floored me when she said my writing in Lost in the Bayou reminded her of Stephen King and he'd better watch out. It made my day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome, Musa Publishing author, Cordelia Dinsmore!

An author of YA and children's books joins us today as a guest blogger today. Cordelia Dinsmore has some really fun responses to our ten questions!

)  A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? (don't forget your web page address!)  I write for kids, from picture books to young adult. I love writing rhyming picture books, especially for the kids in my life, but I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult for my own enjoyment. I’ve been a foster mom to many young people, and I use my writing to come to terms with the experiences I’ve had in that area of my life. My website is http://cordeliadinsmore.blogspot.com.

2)  What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer? I use the BIC method – sit with my butt in the chair and make my fingers move. Sometimes I think it would be easier to go outside and relocate my house.

3)  Men: boxers or briefs? Women: underwire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!) I’m a free spirit. Need I say more?

4)  If you use a pen name, why?  If you don't, do you worry about stalkers? I do, but only because I thought it would be a fun thing to do. Mine is a combination of one of my favorite childhood favorites – Elsie Dinsmore – who was old before my birth, and Cordelia, because I just love the sound of that name.

5)  What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write? It may not be odd, but my characters actually talk to me. A brand new character may first approach me while I’m soaking in the tub, and she (I don’t allow males in the bathroom while I’m bathing) will just start telling me her story like we’ve been best friends forever. It freaks me out at times, but it also makes my characters completely real to me. Except for the purple elephant. She’s still a bit iffy.

6)  Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please? It depends. Some of my character names could be interchanged with any other name, but certain ones have to be exactly who they are. Sometimes I will know a character’s name, and what her/his role is going to be. Then I’ll look up the meaning of the name on a search engine, and it completely fits with that particular character. Weird? Maybe. But that’s how it’s happened so far.

7)  Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career? Eat one piece of chocolate every hour.

8)  Dogs or cats, and why? (don't say "neither" because even if you don't have one, choosing is informative!) Both. My menagerie of one dog and two cats keep me company while I write. If I don’t know where they are, I can’t concentrate.

9)  If you research, what's your method?  If you don't, how do you get away with that? I haven’t done a lot of researching yet, but I use Google periodically. For a YA novel that is temporarily on hold, I made numerous telephone calls to Tennessee Technical College and the county extension office in Cookeville, Tennessee. They were amazingly helpful, and I still owe one of the ladies there a signed copy (when it eventually is publishable).

10)  What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing?
HA! It was in regards to a rather unique bovine star of a Chapter Book I wrote. I had a dairy farmer friend read it, and he said I absolutely nailed the cow personality. I don’t know if that was a compliment or not. This has certainly been a lot of fun. Thanks for having me!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Guest blogger, Dominique Eastwick

I recently asked the authors at Musa Publishing to be guest bloggers by answering ten questions. Some of the questions were for fun, but all got interesting results. Here is my first guest, Dominique Eastwick. With more to come, this may be another way to find yourself some new beloved authors!

1)  A short paragraph on what you write about and the genre, please? I write erotic romance Heavy on the Romance. I write both Contemporary and Paranormal romance, with strong heroine to help control those stronger alpha males. 
 
2)  What is a typical writing session like, in 300 characters or fewer? I don't think I have a typical writing session I write when I can and edit when I take my son to Tae Kwon Do. But when I do write I tend to write to instrumental music and have to turn everything off including the Internet.
 
3)  Men: boxers or briefs? Women: under-wire or banded? (apparently people want to know this!) Boxer briefs :) Hows that for decision, and for myself Banded unless I am going out then its under-wire.
 
4)  If you use a pen name, why?  If you don't, do you worry about stalkers? Yes I use a pen name I don't feel I need the PTA giving me a hard time. And they would.  Silly women with nothing better to do.
 
5)  What is the oddest thing about your writing or the way you write? Odd? Hmmm lets see the oddest thing is that my Muse and I do not seem to be on the same schedule.
 
6)  Give us a glimpse into how you choose the names of your characters, please? For my men I always pick a characteristic then find what the meaning is.  But for the Sherman Series all the mates for the siblings there names had  to fit into the title. Hunter for Hunting JC, Haven for Tony's Haven, Killoran for Killing Lucas ect...
 
7)  Any thoughts on staying healthy while pursuing such a sedentary career? I do a lot of chair dancing LOL
 
8)  Dogs or cats, and why? Both... sorry, I love that my dog is always at my feet when I write and makes me get up from the computer every now and then to play with her, and I love that my cat curls up behind my monitor to watch me work :)
 
9)  If you research, what's your method?  If you don't, how do you get away with that? I love research, I research mainly on line these days but every now and then I have to get out there and do it. I went to Boston and ate at restaurant I plan to use in my book, walked the routes I have my characters walk and remember what the city is like. I try not to write about places I haven't been to first hand.
 
10)  What is the most interesting or outrageous comment you've heard/read about your writing? Honestly it was the comment about a short story they complained that it was too short that I hadn't gone into depth about the couple and their back ground. And that they wanted more. Compliment about the more part, but it was supposed to be a short story no more then 8000 words. But the best was that she complained that the book was a hook up book. I am not really sure what she expected from a series names 1 Night Stand.
 
My Links
Website http://www.dominiqueeastwick.com/
Blog Spot http://dominiqueeastwick.blogspot.com
Facebook http://facebook.com/dominique.eastwick
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