Monday, August 31, 2009
I love the paranormal romance genre. It's my all time favorite. Even when I write other stories, romantic suspense, etc, paranormal elements tend to find their way into my writing. What can I say? I write what I love.
I think that's the most important thing for a writer to do. If you're not writing something you are passionate about, how are you going to convey that feeling into the writing? How is the reader going to be passionate about your story? Even if you're a fantastic writer, I think it's important to write what you love, because if you don't, it's going to show through.
In my new book, Love Can Be Murder, I've included my most favorite paranormal characters. Vampires, ghosts, and witches! Love to read them, and love to write them. So, I figured, what could be better than having them all together in one book?
I really enjoyed writing this book. It never lost my interest, the way some stories do. I enjoyed myself the whole way through, and I hope it shows.
I'm very excited to have my first release with The Wild Rose Press. And I'm thrilled to say that as of last night, my book was at #4 on the bestsellers list for paranormal romance! It's very thrilling! I hope that you will find it to be an interesting read, too.
Without further ado, I give you Love Can Be Murder...
Alexander Forsythe, a one hundred and three year old vampire, has an unwelcome house guest- a ghost by the name of Abbie Cowan. Not only does she throw temper tantrums on a regular basis, but she’s trashed his home and belongings. It’s time for her to be evicted.
Willow Cowan, the local witch, is a descendant of Abbie. Although Alex can’t stand witchcraft, he knows he needs Willow’s help to remove the spirit. Willow is not so sure she wants any part of a ghost hunt, until she sees a priceless family heirloom on display in Alex’s home. She agrees to help him in exchange for the necklace, though Alex is reluctant to part with the expensive jewelry.
Can they learn to work together and get past their differences? Or will Abbie be the one obstacle they can’t remove?
Be sure to check it out at The Wild Rose Press!
For more information on me and what I'm working on, stop by my website. I'd love to visit with you!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Yahoo Group: Gayle
I will be in touch with each of you today via email with further instructions.
For those who joined the Yahoo Group, I look forward to having a great time.
Thanks to everyone who participated - it was fun.
Remember: Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele
Friday, August 28, 2009
I'm giving away a Kind (green) or Purple P Rose (purple) t-shirt or one of my eBooks. To automatically be entered in the contest, comment below - tell me a little about what kind of paranormal romances you like to read, your favorite type of shifter - and remember to leave your email address so I can reach you.
PART TWO: The names of my 4 furfriends have been scattered throughout my website http://www.sovereignkind.com/ (orange is the color of the day-HINT!) To win a special prize of a shirt and eBook, leave the name of all four of my cats in the comment box along with your email address.
PART THREE: I have a Yahoo!Group that I'd like to use as a posting place. To do this effectively - I NEED MEMBERS. While looking for furry names, click on the JOIN NOW button on any web page. This contest started yesterday and there are quite a few new members. Your name will be entered in a separate drawing for the shirt or eBook of your choice. I want to wish each of you luck
Yes, you may participate in all 3 events: leave a comment and tell me about your favorite shifter, name my cats AND join the group. That's THREE chances to win!!
The drawing will take place at noon on Saturday, August 29th. Winners will be listed on my website's Favorite Places page and I'll contact you by email to get your choice of shirt and/or eBook.
In the meantime, you can buy HOT TIN ROOF here: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1221.
Corinne Nelson loves her new home and her new job as a waitress at the Coffee Swirl, and she’s really hoping she won't have to move on this time. Life’s finally looking up -- until the hottest man she’s ever met walks into the shop -- and licks her hand?
Mating is not something Leron is looking forward to. Yet the minute he tastes the new waitress, he knows he’s in serious trouble. She’s a flavor he could find addictive. But she’s not who she says she is, and everything’s falling apart around them. He’s starting to feel like a cat on a hot tin roof…
Leron spoke quickly. "It was my fault. Are you okay? Let me look." An angry red blister had already formed. His cat instincts took over and he brought her hand to his mouth and began to lick the red welt. His tongue lapped at her like she was today's special. He had lost his mind and didn't know where the fuck to find it.
Her body trembled and she tried to pull away. "Mister..."
"Let her go."
Jag's tone was soft and non-threatening, but Leron saw red. Best friend be damned. He had no right to tell Leron he couldn't touch her. Suddenly, some sense came back to him. "Cory, right? I'm sorry... I..." He never got to finish. She left so fast, his head spun. He watched her tight ass move away down the aisle. Son of a bitch!
Confusion rained down on him. His heart beat out of control, his lungs were full of her scent, and his dick was ready to explode. The taste on his tongue was divine. He heard Jag's laugh from a million miles away. "What?" The sound of the swinging door to the back drew his attention. Barb stormed their way. Hell.
Jag said, "You're in for it now."
She stopped at the table, and her brow quirked up. He looked down at the spilled mess still there. "Look, you can't come in here and lick my employees. Keep that catty stuff outside. And you," she wheeled around to Jag, "are no better. Why didn't you stop him?"
"For the same reason he couldn't stop me when I wanted you."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Today's leading men are a little different, often with youth at the center of the showcase and adolescent naivete (think Zac Ephron) still prevalent in most adult male roles. Well, I want to give a nice salute to all those men out there in the background. The ones who exude that raw sexuality and strength of a man but I'm going to post some guys who haven't been at the forefront of moviedom but ones you still may have seen them from time to time.
Films: Resident Evil Apocalypse, Blade II, Wanted, Immortal Ad Vitam, Valkyrie, Next, King Kong (2008), The Pianist, U-57
A friend of mine and myself were recently chatting about this studly fellow from Germany and I had to pop in some faves that he was featured in. I first saw him in Resident Evil Apocalypse during the time of my first novel and he was the perfect corporate villain for my heroine. With a sleek accent, suits and a calculating demeanor I didn't like his character as a person but yet I was so oddly fascinated by him at the same time. Since then he's popped up in various roles to leading, villains and supporting but Thomas K has always exuded that strong sex appeal. I couldn't even recognize him in Blade II as the heavily prosthetic villain Damaskinos but man did he play that role like nobody's business!. I'm reading my friend's book now and her hero is inspired by Thomas K and I'm just loving this story so much, seeing him is just the cherry on top!
Thomas K was the lead in the futuristic sci-fi cgi eye feast Immortal Ad Vitam and he never looked good. Check out a great fan vid of the movie.
Films: Serenity, Children of Men, Inside Man, American Gangster, Dirty Pretty Things, Talk to Me, Four Brothers, Kinky Boots, 2012
This handsome multi-talented hottie first came to US via Joss Whedon's Serenity, the big screen adaptation of the Firefly universe. Chiwetel was the cold-hearted killer The Operative yet he still exuded a charm even as he valiantly defended his lethal actions.
After leaving his stage career behind, Chiwetel has been coasting through various UK and US roles often dropping his accent (bummer) with ease. I love love loved him Love Actually (the whole movie is win) and it was quite a shock to see him as a gangster in Four Brothers. No matter whether he's a villain or a hero, he has a quiet passion about him and can take charge of the situation in any way needed. Chiwetel is one of the stars in the upcoming 2012 movie and I can't wait to see him. Sadly enough he'll have his US accent but a gal can always pretend otherwise. ;-)
Films: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers & The Return of the King, 300, Van Helsing, Australia, Public Enemies, Better Than Sex
Oh David, where have you been all my life. I first saw this very yummy Aussie like the rest of the world in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and he really shined in . David's Faramir was the whipping boy to his older brother Boromir. Always in the shadow of his brother (played by fellow manly hottie Sean Bean) I couldn't help feeling poor Faramir's dejection and watching him being berated by his father which lead to him signing up for a suicide mission was all the more heartbreaking.
David has that sexy, sophisticated charm like the other gents. He can show vulnerability in his characters, strength and ultimately take charge of things when it all comes down to it. Sadly I haven't seen David in much else but I've got my eye on other things to check him out in, including a certain romantic comedy. ;-)
Films: Bootmen, Terminator Salvation, Avatar, Clash of the Titans Remake
Sam is a newbie to the blockbuster side of cinema and a welcome addition indeed. I first saw this Aussie babe in this summer's Terminator Salvation and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen if I tried. Throughout the movie, Sam had this raw animal nature from when he was on death row even to when he was unsure of himself and his place in the near future when he wakes up not quite human. He's a strong hero who radiates heat, sensuality and machismo, the good stuff we like in our heroes. ;-)
I can't say enough good things about Sam. But actions speak louder than words and you can check out Sam in this winter's Avatar directed and written by the man himself, Mr. James Cameron.
Lastly, to found out the five (or else this could be a very very long post!) we got:
Films: The Last Drop, Kill Your Darlings, Generation Kill, Zoolander
What can I say, I'm on a True Blood kick and what better way than to go out on a paranormal note then with an actor bringing a sexy Alpha vampire to life! Alex S. first caught US audience's gaze as a male model in Zoolander. Not unsurprisingly, Alex's tall, lanky figure got him many runway appearances and a good amount of movie roles in his native Sweden.
Recently, Alex bulked up a bit to become the sexy, cold yet (as we saw a few episodes back) sensitive vampire Sheriff; once a Viking warrior in the middle ages. Alex is one sexy guy through and through and he can jump into intimating an Alpha with a snap. One of the draws in the Sookie books is , a guy who can take control and who's been around so long, he just no longer cares about piddly little human ways. Alex embodies this well on the show and I can't wait to see where he takes Eric and what roles he plans to take on next.
Okay, I have to sneak one more in there and it's:
Films: The Mummy and its sequel, The Mummy Returns, Resident Evil: Apocalypse & Extinction, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
I loved him since the Mummy movies and Resident Evil and I've so wanted to see more of him as a sexy leading man. He also has a strong masculine presence that's irresistibly charming and confident. I was so bummed to not see him in the Mummy 3 (which paled in comparison to the other movies) although I knew they were switching locations. A shame because we never knew what happened to his character after 2. Hopefully we'll see more of Oded in the future. Shirt optional.
Let's hear it for your fave manly men that aren't really A-listers, but they are out there making waves all the same. ;-)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Hi everyone, I’m so pleased to welcome the amazingly prolific and multi-talented author Paige Tyler to Paranormal Romantics. Welcome!!
Let me start out by saying, that I first became acquainted with Paige through Liquid Silver Books. Her book Protective Custody, available now from Liquid Silver books is a great read. The heroine is strong and interesting and her hero is memorable and easy to fall in love with.
Here is the blurb that actually made me buy the book:
“Paisley McCoy is a sexy reporter who writes about the San Francisco club scene for a local magazine. Having a dad on the police force has led to one hard and fast rule--she doesn’t date cops. She likes her men sensitive and intellectual, two qualities in short supply in any cop she’s ever met. However, when her safety is threatened and her life in danger, she gets stuck with a standard-issue cop for a bodyguard--aggressive, opinionated, and certain he’s always right. In short, the complete opposite of the kind of man she usually goes for.
Gray Beckham is a no-nonsense cop who’s peeved about being taken off a major burglary investigation to babysit the captain’s bratty daughter. Just because she’s gorgeous doesn’t change the situation. His career is important and she acts as if the whole situation is a joke and insists she doesn’t need his protection. While she might be sexy as hell, there’s no way he’s going anywhere near her, not if he can help it.
Despite their differences, though, Paisley and Gray can’t deny the chemistry between them. As that connection turns into a romance neither can avoid, they find out that the stalker is a far greater threat than they originally thought. They’re dealing with a crazed lunatic who has decided that if he can’t have her, no one will.”
Tell me how you came up with your idea for this book.
Well, first let me say thank you for the compliments! I'm so flattered! And so glad you enjoyed reading Protective Custody!
Now, onto your question! I love writing about alpha males and I think everyone would agree that guys in law enforcement are about as alpha as you can get! LOL! When you read my books you'll definitely notice that cops are the heroes in quite a few of them. For Protective Custody, I started out with this seed of an idea involving a girl who needed police protection. At the beginning I didn't know why, I just wanted to base my story on that. I also didn't know she was going to be the daughter of a police chief or that she'd have a crazed stalker, just that she was going to fall for the hunky cop protecting her! I just started with my basic premise and tried to be logical from there. How could a girl get some private one-on-one police protection? That led me to the whole "her dad's a chief in the police department" angle. From there I just had to come up with a bad guy who was menacing and shadowy - i.e the stalker. Once I had those basic facts in place and started working on the outline, the story just started to write itself!
One of the things I was so impressed about when I went to your website was the sheer volume of work you have completed. I know how hard it is to write even one book and yet you have written a whole collection of varied work. How do you do it and how many works have you completed now?
Well, for one thing, I spend a lot of time writing. I think my hubby would probably say I'm a little obsessed. But I just love the act of sitting in front of a keyboard creating and I'm very fortunate in the amount of time that I get to spend doing it. But one thing I discovered about writing is that you have to be organized. I use to just start writing a story and tried to create a coherent storyline on the fly. That didn't work out too well for me. I would write for months and end up with a long, rambling pile of stuff with no direction. Now I keep a notebook just for my story seeds - just a line or two about anything that pops into my head. As I get a chance, I add details to the seeds until they grow into outlines. I don't usually really start "writing" a story until I have a complete outline to guide me. That keeps me from getting stuck on a scene and spinning my wheels. With this way of writing, I already have another outline ready to go when I finish a book. As far as numbers, in the past five years since I've been doing this, I've written about twenty five books.
When I get asked this question, it always feels like someone is asking me to pick between my children, but do you have a favorite work?
I'm with you on that! It's really hard to pick a favorite! All of them are like real people to me, like my friends. I love all of them! Some works have special meaning for me because of their significance in my writing career. For example, Samantha and the Detective was the very first book that I got published. Every time I look at the cover, I can't help but think how excited I was when it was first accepted by the publisher. I literally jumped up and did a Snoopy Dance! Then I called my hubby, yelling and screaming like a crazy person. Protective Custody was the first book I pitched in person to an editor, so seeing that book out there reminds me of how nervous I was during the pitch and how elated I was when the editor said she wanted to see it! You'd be very proud of me, I didn't do the Snoopy Dance right in front of her - I waited until I was outside the conference room!
As a matter of fact, speaking of chosing a favorite, I just so happen to be in a quandry of sorts over just such an issue. I entered a whole bunch of my recent heroes in the The Romance Studio Hero Competition. I couldn't force myself to vote for just one of them, though, so I ended up voting for them all, just so none of them would get upset! LOL! Maybe you guys can help me decide who's the best? If anyone would like to vote, the link is http://theromancestudio.com/summer2009/hero.php BTW, Nik Evans, the sexy hero from my contemporary erotic romance Librarian By Day is in second place and could really use more votes! Just thought I'd mention it! *wink*
Not only have you written a lot, but your work varies from the contemporary erotic to science fiction. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
Not really. Remember when I mentioned those little seeds that I write down? Well, after adding a page or two of notes to go with them, the genre usually picks itself. I feel comfortable with contemporary, sci-fi, paranormal, and even a little historical/time travel. It really depends on where the story takes me. In Valuable Cargo, the hero is on a space ship and is accidently put into cryo-sleep for seven hundred years before he is revived on a deep space salvage ship crewed completely by beautiful women - sort of screams sci-fi, huh? LOL!
How do ideas come to you?
They just pop into my head! I'll be putting on my make-up or jogging or doing Pilates or at the beach and a small little snippet will wander on by. The secret is to not demand a full storyline all at once. All you need for any kind of romance story is the two people coming together for a reason - any reason. I come up with an interesting idea that would throw the hero and heroine together, write it down right away (before I can forget) and then worry about coming up with the rest of the story later! Just remember - don't fence yourself in! Write the thought down and worry about the details later. I have seeds that I've been trying to get to grow for years and they're still sitting there staring at me. I don't worry about it, though. They'll grow up at some point.
What is up next for you?
As I mentioned above, I have a sexy new sci-fi erotic romance called Valuable Cargo coming out in August from Liquid Silver Books, When that hunky astronaut wakes up from hypersleep, he finds out that a lot of things have changed in seven-hundred years, but not the most important things - like the attraction between a man and women and the pleasure of hot, steamy sex!
I also just finished a , which is part of a new series, and now I'm working on a contemporary romance. I'd like to give you some more details to whet your appetite on these two stories, but I'm sorry to say, that information is still classified! Keep an eye on my website, though, and I'll fill you in as soon as I can!
Just so you don't get too upset, I can tell you that I'm just about done with the outline for the second book in my Modern Day Vampires series. It features the hero and heroine (Savanna and Kaige) from the first book, Vampire 101, picking up where that left off, with the couple going on a new adventure - right in the middle of their honeymoon! And this time they're up against a lot more than just a few nasty rogue vamps! I hope to have this book wrapped up nicely before the end of the year.
Some of our readers are relatively new to e-publishing. Can you give our readers, a lot of whom are writers, any advice on the subject?
First, I would recommend joining a few different writing groups, like Romance Divas. Talk to the other writers and find out which ePublishers they trust and most importantly which ones accept your particular kind of work. Don't be afraid to ask other writers for recommendations! Check out the ePublishers' sites that the writers mention as well, get a feel for the kind of books they promote and what they are looking for. Once you find an ePublisher that you think is interested in your kind of book, put together a submission (in the format they require) and submit your work! And then the hard part - wait!!! In short - submit it and forget it! Move on to another story - don't sit around checking your e-mail every day, you'll go crazy! And if you ever get the chance to attend a reader/writer get together, I would recommend it. You get a chance to rub elbows with a lot of industry people and that really helps.
Here is the question I ask every writer I interview. Here at Paranormal Romantics, we talk a lot about our muses. Tell me something about yours.
Well, my husband would certainly fall into the category of a muse. He encourages me and supports me, and even reads my stories without laughing too much. Just kidding about that last part! He's really great about my writing! But my biggest muse would probably be my laptop. Yup, that's right! My laptop talks to me, lets me talk back to him (yes, it's a him - I can tell because it's very stubborn), tells me when I'm spelling something wrong, even tells me to get rid of that extra comma that's sitting out there for no reason. And best of all, my laptop connects me to readers out there who constantly remind me why I love writing so much!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Paige and for being here today.
Thank you for having me! I really enjoyed it!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday through Friday, August 24 – 28, they’ll feature author and editor profiles on the LPI Blog. Many author profiles will include giveaways, so please come visit for your chance to get to know Lyrical Press and win prizes.
You can catch me at the blog on Tuesday 25th at 10 am. I’m giving away a Paranormal Romantics polo t-shirt. My book, The Omegas, with Lyrical Press won’t be release until Jan. 2010.
Our very own Sandra Sookoo has some titles with them.
1. Foodies Guide to Kitchen Magic
2. Exiles from Christmas 11/18/09
3. Not Just Make Believe 12/09
4. Cupid in Blue 01/18/10
5. Five Leaf Clover 2/10
Here is a list of participating authors:
Dara England, Rebecca Rose, Piper Denna, S.D. Hintz, Stef Szymanski, Cat Grant, Darcy Campbell, Mark Patrick, Ann Simko, Sutton Fox, Gary Starta, Emma Wayne, Antonia Tiranth, Brynna Curry, JD Williams, Candice Gilmer, Aubrey Leatherwood, Chris Stevenson, Sean Cummings, Karen Hulene Bartell, Nancy Wald, Susan Palmquist, Grayson Reyes-Cole, Rae Lori, Camila Londono, Debbie Herald, Mary Murray, Pamela Tyner, Ellie Moonwater, K.Starling, Elle Parker, Charlotte McClain, Savannah Chase, Jade Twilight, Morgan Q. O’Reilly, KC Wildwood, Joshua Scribner, Roxy Harte, Toni Zuma, Natasha Bennet, Rhonda Leah, Icy Snow Blackstone, Chandra Ryan, Syd McGinley, Ericka Scott, Nyki Blatchley, Linda Lattimer, JJ Keller, SW Vaughn, Yeva Weist, Wendy Ely, Malcolm Ducard.
Whew. *wipes sweat from forehead* That’s a lot names.
To top off all those blogs, they’ll round out the week with two live blogcasts:
Saturday, August 29, 6 – 9PM Central Time: Author Chat
Many, many LPI authors will be joining in the fray while Editor in Chief Emma Wayne Porter announces giveaway winners and hands out even more free goodies. Readers are invited to ask questions, hang out, and get to know the people behind all those stories.
Sunday, August 30, 6 – 9PM Central Time: Editor Chat
During this live blogcast, the LPI editorial staff gets its day in the hotseat. Readers are invited to give their opinions on what kind of stories they want to read. Authors are invited to ask questions about submission guidelines, and maybe even pitch an idea or two. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to speak directly to publishing staff, and be heard!
Come have fun. Come read my story of the bat, the chocolate eclair, and the butterfly net.
Friday, August 21, 2009
So, instead of this amazing thing that I wanted to write about, which never occurred to me, I would instead, like to share with you my own little secret on creating the Alpha Male. My favorite books all include the elusive Alpha Male. Lora Leigh, Stephanie Meyer, and even a few other greats that I can't think of this early in the morning without another cup of caffiene have did it wonderfully.
When I started writing seriously and full time, I tried desperately to create a well rounded hero with absolutely no flaws. Mistake #1. As I have learned with reading other works and living with my own Alpha DH, the perfect alpha is the farthest thing from perfect you could possibly get and still call him hero. In fact, between the villian and the alpha, for me, there is often a fine line. We often think of the hero as the knight in shining armor and the villain should have an evil third eye.
When I created Jax, the hero in the first of my Alpha Team Soldiers series, Ivory's Addiction, I threw out the rule book and studied my husband. Now, writing about soldiers and the kind of man it takes to be a soldier, I realize I had an inside view. I lived with one! But there were other qualities that Jax needed that my own DH didn't display. He was just too nice, and Jax needed to be a bad-ass all around. Sean, my hubby, couldn't be cold if I begged him to. He'd look at me with his adorably raised left eyebrow and smile. It would all be over from there, unfortunately, because I melt like a puddle. Instead, I looked to his team members to discern the rest of the unique personality aspects of the ultimate bad-ass.
Sean is strong and silent. Check. But the innate coldness I envisioned for Jax had to come from somewhere else and I couldn't describe it myself until I saw it. Voila! I met a soldier who gave me the willies just by being around him, even though I knew deep down he was a good guy. So instead of taking you through burning out the impurities of each of my husbands friends, I'll just let you know the end product: A complete and total A-hole.
So what makes creating this alpha male any different than the villain? As I was writing Ivory's Addiction, I let Jax have his head. Instead of dictating what kind of man he would be, I gave him his personality traits and let him have his way. This is often hard for a writer because more often than not, I wanted him to be a different way than he was! Jax stayed true to himself throughout the progress of the story. He never lost that coldness that made him so dispicable in the beginning of the story, but he did show me, and Ivory, that beneath the layers of crud and steel, lurked a man with a big heart.
I sat back after I read the last chapter and I thought, WOW! He exceeded my expectations! The truth is, creating the alpha male doesn't happen because the writer says, "Okay, Jax, you're an alpha male." It happens because I gave himt he tools and he became the alpha male himself. To this day, Jax is my favorite character that I've created. Since I wrote Jax and Ivory's story, I've gone on to finish the first draft of the second book, Axel's Obsession and am currently working on the third installment, Loving Luke.
All these men are hard to write, hard for my heroines to live with and worse, they're foul mouthed with a devil may care attitude! They're stubborn and unique, but, I couldn't dream of a better male lead if I tried. I went looking for an alpha male and discovered the truth is, he's got to find me. I'm supposed to be working on my paranormal romance, The Stone Angel, but Luke came knocking. Not only did he knock, he broke down all the mental doorways and stormed his way into my creative process.
The only problem with creating alpha males, once they have control, they never give it up!
I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. Alpha Males are my favorite character hands down in any romance, and as I set out to create my own, I wished someone had given me a formula for making the perfect man come to life. Truth is, they existed already, right there in front of me in every soldier I knew! I just had to look, and Jax, Axel and Luke were born.
Thank you to the Paranormal Romance bloggers for giving me this time today to share with you and I hope that I did you all justice with my rambling blog. Have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Brain overload and exhaustion.
Have you ever been gripped by such a thing? Can a brain be tired? I’m here to tell you that it can. Mine has taken a holiday and I think it took my muse with it. Normally, I set my daily word count at anywhere between 2 and 3 thousand words, which roughly means I can get a chapter typed in a couple of days. Since the start of August, I’ve only typed a chapter and a half.
Does blogging count?
And it’s not normal for me and neither does it make me happy. I just don’t feel “right” if I’m not writing. On the other hand, I haven’t really given my brain time to reset or adjust to all the information and creativity that’s been ebbing and flowing through in the last eight months.
Everyone I’ve talked to says it’s okay to take a break from writing. It’s perfectly natural to not write and just…be. What does that mean for me? I’m going on vacation in three days. Yes, I’m taking the laptop, but probably not to write. I need external stimulation to jar—I mean coax—my overworked brain into wanting to write again. My muse is demanding some time apart so she can do whatever muses do when not lurking over a writer’s shoulder.
Two years ago when I started “getting serious” about having my work published, I knew I’d succeed on sheer, stubborn determination alone. It’s a personal drive kind of thing. And I did it. Now, I’m on the hunt for the next level of success, but in order to do that, I need a clear head.
So, the dialogue goes like this: “Sandra Sookoo, you’ve signed (fill in the blank with a number) contracts in the last year, now what are you going to do?” And I say, “I’m going to Disney World.”
Who knows, maybe I’ll come back home with 15 new ideas! I'll buy my muse a silly t-shirt and by the first of September, butts will be in chairs and work will commence.
Until then, happy writing!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I had the pleasure of interviewing fellow blogger Joann. Grab your favorite snack and dig in.
SS: Tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been writing?
JHS: First, I’d like to say thanks for having me and I know we’ll have a good time.
My first writing project was a greeting card for my parents. My sisters made out on that deal – they never bought another card! I made them all, and loved it. *grins* My mom would read them aloud, over and over. She was so supportive, she always gave me her books when she finished reading. I did a book report in the 6th grade on East of Eden that caused quite a stir. Seems a girl my age wasn’t supposed to be reading such ‘literature’ As for major event…hmmm, had to be Atlas Shrugged. Wow! Was I hooked on what I thought was a romance. You know it wasn’t until a few years ago I read it was also considered a Science Fiction story. What a surprise that was for me. But the love of my life for years was John Galt. Still is. No one will ever measure up to him.
SS: What is your favorite genre to write?
JHS: Paranormal. My favorite genre mixed with erotic. I’ve tried my hand at a few contemporary and I like them, but nothing like the vampyres and the shifters. They are so dang exciting to me. There are so many things you can do with them as far as story line and character. I have a ball pushing the envelope. Like with my Kind. They’re cats infected with vampyre blood. Some of them refuse to recognize the gift of vampyrism, some embrace it wholeheartedly. So I’ve ended up with two factions that are so different. They are a lot of fun to write.
SS: Is it difficult for you to get into the writing mood?
JHS: I think I’m always in writing mode LOL. Really though, not hard at all. I get up early, feed the cats, put coffee on and start wading through emails so I can hurry up and get to the writing part. I don’t often let something pull me from it. Edits will, occasionally my sisters make me get away from my house, otherwise, the ‘mode’ is on.
SS: Where do you do your best work?
JHS: I’ve got a bar-height table with my laptop, printer and my CDs. Usually my calico lady, Patches, sits in my lap and my big boy, Grey, sits at the bottom of my chair and sleeps while I work. My other two cats are more outgoing and surf the neighborhood seeing what they can get into. The CDs are whatever music I’m listening to at the moment and that depends on what I’m writing. If it’s a sex scene, you can bet Tango of some sort, by somebody, is playing. Since I write erotic stories, that’s often. I’m chuckling to myself because my baby sister, Barbara, who is such a rock in my life, comes in and hears the music. If it’s tango, she’ll say “I’ll come back.” I laugh, but she can pretty well tell what kind of scene I’m on because of the music. In my house there is always music playing when I’m writing. Otherwise, I’m watching TV or reading.
SS: Did any one person influence your writing style?
JHS: I’m not so sure. I’d love to say Ayn Rand but there’s nothing philosophical about my stories unless you count the fact that I bash humans for their treatment of animals. Jeez, I guess in some way I’m making a statement there about the human condition and what they’ve done with all God’s creatures. Kerrelyn Sparks – I love her comedic ability but my guys usually come off more sarcastic. If I could write half as good these two ladies, I’d be ecstatic because to me they are both awesome. So, there you have it: Ayn Rand and Kerrelyn Sparks have both influenced me tremendously.
SS: How do you find ideas for your books?
JHS: Gosh, everywhere. I tell all my friends be careful, I’ll use that. *smiles* Really, I’m always finding stuff in the weirdest places. A cookout, talking to a stranger in line at the grocery store and they say something that turns on my ‘idea’ switch. And once that’s on, I’m done. I start digging for a scrap of paper, my phone to record a message about the latest idea. It’s crazy! Some nights I wake up and reach for a tablet I keep beside me. My last idea came from watching ballroom dancing – Rhythm of Love was born, and my editor at Ellora’s Cave liked it for the Dance of Desire Theme. Everywhere, I find ideas everywhere.
SS: So, tell me about your new book.
JHS: Hot Tin Roof – It’s being released by Changeling Press August 28th .and is, in fact a companion piece to With Extra Cream. I love the title and yes, I was thinking about Liz and Paul in the movie based on Tennessee Williams’ book. They were hot! My characters are hot too. Leron is a jaguar infected with vamp blood and he uses his abilities to his advantage. He’s kind of broody. Cory is running from an overbearing father and other indiscretions - she shot someone. When the two of them come together, the sparks fly.
SS: How did the inspiration for this work come to you?
JHS: Basically, after writing Jag’s story and mating him to Barbara, I felt sorry for Leron and his being without his partner. Do not laugh at me. After I finish a book, the characters stay with me. They’re a part of me and I feel like their life goes on and I hear them talking away in my head. Leron got very loud about wanting his own story, so, Hot Tin Roof was born. You’ll have to read it to see who’s screaming for attention now. *grins*
SS: You have several books out. Do you have a favorite?
JHS: Oh, my favorite hasn’t been published yet, but it’s contracted to Ellora’s Cave. It’s Hope in Love. The story is about an archangel sent to earth to put man back on the path to righteousness. Why? Ramiel is HOT, and sexy. Lord, I’d love to be Yael, the heroine in that story. I think quite a bit of me sneaked into her character.
Hmm, but my favorite could be Leron who doesn’t take no for an answer. Or Jag who is just so playful, and sexy too. Wait, it might be Purple P. Rose. She’s one kick ass lady. Some of me in there too. Lordy, I love ‘em all, Sandi! My fav, fav is still in my head, quiet and deadly, which is why I love him so much, but he’ll be let out soon. This guy will be the best of the best. Yes, he drinks blood, yes he’s a cat and yes there’s another animal involved in his makeup. That’s all I’ll say about him.
SS: You’ve just sold another book. Dish the details.
JHS: Well, just sold the 7th and 8th and I talked about one in favorite characters. It’s the archangel series I just contracted to Ellora’s Cave. Ramiel’s story, Hope in Love, will be first in the series. The 8th sold, Rhythm Of Love, was just contracted for Ellora’s Dance of Desire theme coming in February. No solid release dates for either yet, but as soon as I know, I’ll let you know.
SS: What do you love about your editor and/or publishers?
JHS: I’ve got 3 editors and publishers. I have been so lucky in getting the best. Eirelander Publishing was the first I contracted with and had no idea what to expect. My editor over there is super. The lady taught me things I’d never heard about. Changeling Press, my second editor and publishing company gave me the same good treatment. She took time with me and helped me understand so much. My editor at Ellora’s Cave has been awesome, just so helpful every step of the way. Between the three, I’ve grown in leaps and bounds. They’ve each given me something that I’ll carry with me always – excellence. And I hope each one can tolerate me, LOL, because I intend to be around for awhile.
SS: If you could interview any of the characters in your books, which one would it be, and why? What shocking thing might that character say?
JHS: Actually, I let two of my favorite characters take over my blog. Jag and Leron. Needless to say, there was a brawl of epic proportions LOL. Who would I like to interview? Phoenix. He doesn’t say much, he’s more of an action guy. He appeared briefly in With Extra Cream. What shocking thing would he say? Most of what Phoenix says couldn’t be printed here. Ahh, there is one line I can think of: “If you even breathe the air she expels, I’ll smell it on you. Start moving *expletive*.” He’s rather possessive, meaner than Satan himself, whom he knows personally. And, dayam! the sexiest thing walking this earth and beyond. That’s my opinion. I’m 40K+ into his story. It’s my favorite and I’m treating him like the ‘favored’ son. He’ll be perfect when I let him out.
SS: Thanks Joann, for taking the time to drop in for an awesome interview. Kids, here's the blurb for Hot Tin Roof:
Leron Wilder feels like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Nothing has gone right since his best friend mated. Not something Leron looks forward to. He loves his freedom. But his life is out of sync. Stuck training a new cat who's a badass wannabe, he stops by the Coffee Swirl to talk with his ex-partner. The minute he licks the new waitress, his life goes to hell.
Corinne Nelson is on the run. She likes her new home and her job. She hopes she won't be found again. Life's looking up until the hottest man ever licks her hand.
You can be purchase this book at: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1221
Readers can find Joann at http://www.jhalisteele.com or www.sovereignkind.com
Also here on Fridays: http://www.paranormalromantics.blogspot.com and monthly at http://www.trampyvamps.com
Or, look her up on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/purpleprose
Sandi, thank you for having me in, it was fun. I enjoyed sharing some of myself with the readers.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Hi, I am so honored today to have as my guest Lee Morris, the owner and editor-in-chief of Eirelander Publishing. Lee, thank you so much for joining us here at Paranormal Romantics.
Thanks for having me.
Now, for the sake of honesty, I have to tell our readers that four out of the five authors here have contracted books with Eirelander Publishing. My book, Love Beyond Time, comes out December 4th. Rae, J. Hali, and Sandi have also sold books to Lee, so we are all big fans. All right, now that I’ve gotten out the disclosure, I can get going here.
Lee, what I wanted to discuss with you today is about the publishing industry. I think there is a lot about publishing that people don’t understand, even people who have been published don’t know the ‘ins and outs’ about what it actually takes to get a book from manuscript to published novel.
So, let me start out by asking you when the idea started to blossom in your mind that you might like to start a small publishing/e-publishing house of your own? When did that happen? Was there a catalyst?
Eirelander was two years in the making, though it took a lot of soul searching on my part before I really went into formulating this company. It all started with my utter frustration with the lack of truly intriguing stories coming out of what I feel is the next generation of publishing. Eirelander is dedicated to a high level of quality that still showcases the author’s own voice and concept but delivers excellence you see coming from a mass market publishing house.
What was the first thing you did when you decided to pursue opening Eirelander as a reality and how, this is really just for my own curiosity, did you come up with the name?
The first thing I did was talk to friends in the industry. This was more for my own self-assurance than anything else. Through the discussions I was able to pull together a great support staff including my senior editors, Zaynah Monodee and Natalie Owens. Both bring great talent to Eirelander. Our cover artist, Buffi BeCraft is an author in her own right and delivers excellent graphics to our authors. Our most recent member to join our staff is Pierre Roustan who handles Urban Fantasy/Sci-fi and Hard Fantasy. Each of them is an asset to Eirelander and all are extremely talented.
LOL to the name. The truth is I originally liked the name Ibernian. The fact was nobody knew what or where Ibernia was. Unfortunately, I also liked the name Dubliner, but that was already taken by a bar in downtown Washington DC. So after much consideration, I returned to the name of a starship I once penned about – the Eirelander. That became the name of the company. By the way, it’s pronounced air- (as in what you breath) lander.
How have you seen writing change over the years and in what ways do you think Eirelander can bring some of what has changed or been lost?
That’s the great thing about this industry; it’s rarely the same for long. I’ve seen the hayday of head hopping and the loss of the passive voice/adverbs/--ing verbs. I’ve heard all the supposed rules and normally I went out of my way to break them.
The thing about Eirelander is I want a lot of what was old style with the set-up and enough back story to get the tale going but I like the new voices I keep seeing pop up. There are a lot of great writers out there who are outside the box, and I’d like to give them a chance to shine.
The one thing that seems to stumble some of the authors submitting to Eirelander is that a firm plot is required for all stories published by Eirelander Mainline and even the Heat Line. For the Heat Line gratuitous sex is frowned upon. We appreciate heat scenes that propel the plot forward but don’t read as filler. This is very old style in that all stories are focused on plot and character development.
Tell me about the process at Eirelander. What happens when an author first submits a book and, let’s say for the sake of argument the book is accepted, what happens after that? In other words, what is the path the book takes from contracting until publication?
Eirelander has a straightforward contracting process. In our acceptance letter we’ll tell you what you should expect your editor to focus on. This may be character development, head hopping or a plot drop. I, personally, think this makes it easier on the author since they can make a determination of signing with us on editorial issues as well as our contract.
Also, in the letter of acceptance an author is assigned a tentative editor and given a tentative release date. From there the author can expect at least three full edits (based on the NY model of going from broad notes to detailed items) from their editor, a full copy edit and an errata. The fact is that at Eirelander your editor is as invested in a story as the author is.
I think, from my own experience, that most authors I speak with feel that they spend nearly 1/3 of their time in promotion of their novels. Do you have advice for authors pursuing that important but obviously time-consuming process?
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. Promotion is about being on your game more than being behind the eight ball. If you have all your stop and drop excerpts ready, you’ll be better equipped to handle the daunting task.
At Eirelander we have a designated author preparation/promotion liaison. Her job is to set up certain dates for an author to promote her/his work so they aren’t totally lambasted by promotion. Our cover artist provides all authors with a banner to use for promotion. We try to ease the daunting task but we can’t do it all.
When you look at the literary market, how do you make the decision about what to put a call out for and what to say has saturated the marketplace?
The market place is an ever changing landscape. It’s made up from what is selling, what has sold to its limit and the maybe that the story sitting on your screen might be the next best thing.
I never say a sub-genre has totally saturated the market. If I did that, Eirelander would be rejecting vampire stories left and right. There will always be readers for specific sub-genres.
Eirelander puts out calls based on what is missing in the market and readers’ request. Our open calls are a bit more detailed and off the map of what other publishers are looking for because there are defined holes in the market. This is where we focus our attention.
What are Eirelander’s current submission calls?
We have three specific open calls but are currently open to any and all genres except non-fiction.
Unto Tomorrow. If you love Dr. Who or Sliders this is the line to write. It is a modern day traveler or a near modern day traveler who can go to anywhere from the future to a parallel dimension. It’s a fun call because the future is only limited by the author’s imagination.
Legacy 2150. This is our signature line of Hard Sci-Fi stories. Yep, that would be the hard side of Sci-Fi (think Asimov here). These stories don’t have to be romances but I think romance lets readers down on this aspect. This ain’t your watered down sci-fi or Star Trek on hormones. Focus on all the things that make a real Sci-Fi story intriguing and wow me.
Revenge is Sweet is our Heat Line’s special call. Ever been burned by love? Well, take it to the next level. These stories focus on getting over the hump and putting your character back in the saddle. These stories focus on character development and the arc which takes the ‘burn’ victim back to trusting in the often painful emotion of love. They should be either carnal or above on our heat level and include an HEA or an HEA for now.
If there was one thing you would let potential authors and readers know about Eirelander that you think they don’t, what would that be?
Eirelander is dedicated to quality. We want everybody to be satisfied. Though we recognize that not every story is for every reader, we try our utmost to honor the relationship between publisher/author and author/reader.
We’ve tried to establish ourselves for publishing stories that take a reader by surprise. Multicultural Anglo-Indian, Dragons in disguise, Urban Fantasy mixed with a true thriller, unusual time travel with paranormals involved – this is what we adore. We look for unique plots or characterization. We want the best of what’s not done or what’s been spun. We ask our authors to give us intriguing stories that don’t necessarily fit the NY or common e-publishing/small press mold.
Okay, final question, and I ask this of everyone who I interview, since I know you are an author as well as a publisher, please, if you would, tell me about your Muse. What is she like?
Sadly, my muse went MIA years ago. I think she got tired of being stuck in the vacuum of outer space. The biggest thing to me about writing is the challenge. That comes from writing for as many years as I have. I want to take on myself and push the limits I’ve written before. Whether it’s a historical, multi-cultural, paranormal or bringing fanta-historical into romance makes little difference to me at this point. To me the proof is in the final product.
I’m a writer who will try anything at least once. As long as I have a brain in my head, I’ll be stretching my imagination.
Thank you so much for joining us here and doing this interview.
Thank you very much for having me. It’s been a joy.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I want to discuss Deep POV vs First Person.
Another term for “Deep POV” is limited Third Person. It’s a technique that infuses Third Person POV with the intimacy of First Person. It is intended to create intense journey for the reader. Dialogue tags and verbs such as see, notice, understand, feel, realize, and think are considered a ‘no-no’ since it is considered telling not showing. The character’s thoughts are an intimate part of the story, drawing in the reader close to the story as if sitting on narrator’s shoulders the whole time.
First POV is the story narrated by only one character at a time, who use the word I to refer to him-herself. This, like deep, is an intimate relationship with the reader. Opinions, thoughts, and feelings of the main character are shared to the point where the reader experiences the story through their eyes.
Okay, I’m taking my teacher’s hat off and getting to the reason for this blog. I’ve been experimenting with both POVs and enjoy them equally. I have a project waiting for its turn but can’t decide on which POV to write it in.
Which is your favorite and why?