A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh my! Time does get away from me these days!  Seems Halloween was approaching and now Thanksgiving has blown by. 

Yikes! Christmas is knocking on the door like a big, bad wolf. Speaking of wolves, Pita and Niko are quite annoyed with me at the moment along with some other characters I've left in limbo.  It's time I get back to it, ya think?

Life sometimes becomes too overrun with...well, issues that take us away from our comfort zones. Mine is writing and gardening, neither of which I have spent much time at.  Ah well...

Pull up those bootstrings, my dear, and get a move on. The only one who can get it done is...




Saturday, October 23, 2010

Woo Hooooo!!!

OMG! I am so excited.  I just got a 4.5 diamond review on my erotic short, Eternal Obsession!  Snoopy dancing over here.  I have to tell you guys that this couldn't have come at a better time as I am heading off to surgery on Monday and have been a bit of a nervous wreck.

Anyway check it out: http://gotromanceholiday.blogspot.com/2010/10/eternal-obsession-by-dayana-knight.html


Sunday, October 3, 2010

October is upon us...

...and the weather here will be much cooler and dryer. Yay! The reason I live in Florida.  I love this time of year and as you are all well aware, Halloween/Samhain is my favorite holiday.  As I dig out my Fall decor, I think how fast the years flash by.  I have been on an unscheduled sabbatical this year, it seems, from writing.  The reason not any one thing or event but a multitude of things.  It seems that I have had to deal with many life-changing things this year, but such is life.  A writer's life is hit or miss so with that said, I hope to be very busy with the muse in the coming new year and the last part of this year. 

Today was the first time in forever that we could work outside and clean up our much overgrown backyard. It felt wonderful to be outside for much of the day!  I am very motivated with the freshness of the coming season to spend a lot of time outdoors.  Funny, people up in the northern states hide in the winter and here in Florida we thrive.  The AC is a thing of the past. Fresh air blows the stagnant air out of the house and life seems nothing less than perfection.

And oh! I haven't even broken the news of my new arrival to you all!  Labor day weekend we rescued a Sheltie/Collie mix and Bea now has a brother!  His name is Shane and he is thriving.  He looks a lot more Collie but is much smaller than a standard Collie much like my GypsyLee who passed over the Rainbow Bridge almost three years ago.  He had a horrible skin issue and the previous owner had shaved him. You NEVER shave a Sheltie or Collie!!!  But since I had to give him two medicated baths a week I have to admit I was kind of glad for the mistaken shaving:)  It definitely helped in getting the soap where it needed to go and now the infection is 99% better.

Bea(right) and Shane(left) get on quite well and one more dog has been rescued into a loving 'forever' home.  We have rescued two dogs now from The Mid Florida Sheltie Rescue. If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting a Sheltie, please give Barbara Davis a holler. The web address is: http://www.midflsheltierescue.com/. Unfortunately, there are plenty of dogs that need to find their 'forever' homes. If you can't adopt a Sheltie at this time, and maybe just want to donate, Lord knows, they could use whatever you can find it in your heart to give.  They are a full non-profit shelter and take wonderful care of the dogs from shots, neutering, grooming--everything the dogs need. Some even receive life-saving surgery.

Sorry to bend your ear but as you all know animals--expecially canines--are closest to my heart.  Thank you for letting me share as always.

I hope you are all faring well.  I'm off to work on something. Not sure what... But mark my words, it will be a story plot of some sort:)

Have a wonderful week.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

No... I haven't lost my way:)

I'm here and working behind the scenes.  I am working on breaking out full throttle.  I am working at bringing Dayana back into the limelight.  I will not get lost in oblivion.  Isn't keeping yourself visible the hardest part of writing? Hmm...not sure of that.  Sometimes the entire art of being creative can cripple.  But hey, LIFE happens and talent/motivation sometimes ebbs and flows like the tides. We all must deal with the cards we're dealt, right?  Well, look out 'cause I'm shooting high and I'm going to be lighting up the internet, LOL


Sunday, August 8, 2010

So much going on lately!  You know about me but one of my best friend's just underwent major surgery in which they ended up taking her entire lung.  She'd been diagnosed with a nodule in one of the upper lobes of her lung and best case was just pluck the bad boy out but as with cancer diagnoses nothing ever goes as planned, so she is presently convalescing, and I am along to do whatever necessary.  She is such a motivated individual! I am so impressed with her sense of will and spiritualism.  She does have her moments as would anyone but she is doing great. Not one pain pill! Can you imagine?

Remember all my Three Dog Nights and Doggie sleepovers? Well, that friend and bestest neighbor in the world just left for Colorado yesterday.  She and I became quite close over the years, and I have to tell you it hurt to watch her go.  But such is life. People come and people go and of course all my and Bea's furry friends with her!  But the good news is, it's only temporary.  She left Florida to take care of her mom who is failing.  She will be back when... Well...
you get the point.

Writing, writing, writing...

Oh how I wish I were... But let me tell you, I certainly and collecting lots of fodder to write something!  All the recent events?  Something is bound to take hold and ramble its way onto paper.  I will be visiting some blogs this fall and getting some teasers out there as well.  My holiday(Halloween) is fast coming, and I hope to have something going on for that. Just wanted to let you all know what's happening in Dayana's world:)

As always, thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

It seems the wolf is at the door. The writing bug still evades me but then it's looking like I'll have some quiet down time to get something going in the very near future.  I have been doing some diagnostic testing of late and will be considering some invasive surgical options to handle my issues. The least invasive will give me about seven to ten days down while the bigger more invasive procedure can put me out of work(the day job) for three to four weeks! Plenty of time to mull over some writing ideas, you think? Nice quiet time to tie some projects, that are already in the works, up?  What will I do with myself all day while I convalesce. I plan on finishing those blasted projects, at least that is the plan.

Don't get me wrong, I am not happy about having to deal with procedures and/or possible surgical
interventions but hey, isn't it better to look at the positives as opposed to the negatives.  This may just give me the time and space I need to get the writing bug going again. What else am I going to have to do? Life just seems to get away from us, and I don't know about you but I never seem to have enough time in a day.  I have so many good intentions but I don't seem to be able to get to everything on the "To Do" list ever!

I looked out my picture window this morning and the weeds have taken over my poor garden so densely I don't know where the flowers begin and the weeds end. Yikes! I'd been planning a weeding escapade it seems for several weekends...  I just don't seem to find the time or energy to get out there in the heat and get it done.

Now that's embarrassing, LOL I did, however, tackle several wonderfully nagging projects today. One was to move myself back into my office and out of the family room! Even cleaned up both spaces and got rid of stuff I hadn't looked at in years!  Feels good to accomplish things like that, you know?

Now that my workspace is clean, organized, and in a comfortable environment once again there is no excuse to get something accomplished.

Thanks as always for stopping by.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Have you ever been caught in a quandry as to where you wanted to take your story?  The characters fall silent and no matter how you think, consider, review, study past events nothing seems to surface? Nothing just feels right?

You've got a beginning, some solid threads and ideas even some scenes written yet can't seem to move forward?

Well, it seems that's where I am and have been for some time now.

Frustrating yes!

But I am one who can not by any means force myself to write.  So I wait... and wait... Mull things over and try to be patient as I know that one of these days the muse will once again knock me upside the head and then I will be in the zone.

Point I am making?  I guess I am trying to say that when your writing seems to be at a standstill and you feel like perhaps you should toss in the towel. Don't!  I do speak from experience.  I once shelved a project for three years before I moved on. 

I sincerely hope that is not the case now but life does tend to toss us odd curves at times.  So... We'll see. I have several projects at different stages and hopefully inspiration will settle in and I'll tie at least some of them up real soon. Like this year would be good.

Until then, I will mull and consider and jot things down. Move on, I chant.  It will come...

Thanks for dropping by:)


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Whew! is it hot!  Summer is upon us and with it hurricane season.  Amazing how fast time flies.  Graduations are in full swing and school's out for the summer.

Spent the day doing computer housekeeping.  Should be writing but hey... The old files need to go, you know?  I cleaned and backed up all files onto disc from the desktop and next project will be the laptop.  You know its been years--in fact, I have never cleaned the old files off that poor desktop. 

One reason I got motivated was my husband utilizes that system so I thought it would be nice if I freed up some space for him.  You would not believe the stuff I had on there!  Whoa!

Felt wonderful to get rid of all those things I just thought about getting rid off. LOL  Yesterday, joined the neighbors in a yardsale. Made $45.00 I didn't have when I awoke yesterday morning and got rid of a lot of stuff that had been hanging out in the garage for months.  After the sale we took all to the Goodwill drop nearby and voila! no more gazing upon that stuff.  Then I really got motivated and cleaned out the linen closet!  Can you stand it.  I have a whole pile of sheet sets that I never use ready for the next garage sale.  And whatever is left will go to my vet's office, who never have enough of those type of creature comforts. This really feels good *grin* Could you tell?

I have been procrastinating on this stuff for so long... What made me suddenly move on the dormant thoughts?  Don't know.  Just suddenly motivated. A good thing, I'm sure. Next weekend is the closet. Can't wait.  The garage will be on the To Do list when the heatwave breaks which should be around October, LOL

Anyway, overall a very productive weekend.  Still working on plotting RWT book II. But life happens, you know?


Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Please let's take a moment to thank those who have given themselves to protect our country and our freedom.  Let's remember those who have given their lives in the same pursuit, as well.

I hope you all are having a wonderfully relaxing and restful weekend.  Whether you are celebrating the official beginning of summer, attending Memorials or BBQ'ing in your own backyards have fun and be safe.

I have been busy in the background working on some things and cleaning up other things so I may more easily pursue writing.  Sometimes its so hard to spread ourselves around.  Something has to give and of late it has been visibility for me.  Life tosses us all kinds of surprises, and we never know what is on the agenda for us from day to day do we?

I will tell you that I enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach on Saturday.  As I lay soaking up the sun and surf, I wondered why I don't take advantage of my environment more often, after all I do live in paradise.  What a beautiful and peaceful place to get the juices flowing.  As I reclined drinking up the sun's warm rays, I vowed that I will take myself to the beach more often than not on Saturday mornings and just relax and veg and write.  I will not leave home without some means of jotting down whatever comes to mind. People, imagery, and the senses in abundance!  Yes, food for thought...

Current read: My own book, Curse of the Marhime.  I am busy making a timeline and story thread log to delve into the sequel currently untitled:)

So yes, I've been quiet but I am working:)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Author Spotlight: Brenda Huber, Romance Writer

Wow! just look at that book cover! It definitely gives me the jist of this story. The cover alone makes me want to rush and buy the book, then the title just closes the deal, don't you think?

Sorry, it seems I got sidetracked...

Hello everyone!  Please welcome author Brenda Huber my guest today for my Author Spotlight segment

Brenda, thank you so much for joining me today. Tell me about yourself.
Ah, we’ll get the hardest question out of the way first…It’s much easier for me to talk about my books or writing style than to talk about myself. Let’s see… I’m a stay-at-home mother of two (they are the sunshine in my day and my wishing stars at night), and I have a terrific husband. I come from a relatively large family. Before staying home with my kids, I was a Youth Counselor at a placement facility for troubled youth. I’ve recently become a driver on my local ambulance crew, and I’ve signed up to take the EMT course. My ideal day depends on my mood, but I’d have to say I love to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book or a movie on cold, rainy autumn days. For hobbies, I like scrapbooking and photography…I also enjoy creating book trailers as well.

Whoa! You've got a lot going on, Brenda! What makes you angry, happy, sad, snoopy dance? Snoopy dance?
Lol. Well I guess you could say I snoopy dance when I get a contract for a new book. What else makes me happy…finding a new book by one of my favorite authors and having a little quiet time to actually read it, and spending time with my family. Sad…when my kids outgrow clothes (it means they are growing up too fast on me). Angry…inconsiderate people, especially inconsiderate drivers.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always been a very avid reader. I remember discovering my first romance novel at my local library--I was maybe 15 or 16--it was “Captive Bride” by Johanna Lindsey. I was immediately hooked. I also dabbled with writing while I was still in school. Somehow the two meshed until I had this secret desire to see my name on the bookshelves. I think it was pure impulse that pushed me to actually sit down and start typing though.

How many books have you written?
 I’m currently working on my sixth book now. It’s the sequel to “Mine” and is centered on one of the secondary characters, the mysterious, sensual Vampyre named Styx.

Geez, another awesome cover.  Truly expressive artwork, Brenda. How do you decide on their topic?
I don’t know that I really decide. The storylines just sort of come to me at odd moments…when I’m driving the kids to school, or working around the house or something. Then they slowly evolve as I write. I think sometimes that the story takes me where it wants to go rather than the other way around.

Oh, I understand where you are coming from with that, Brenda. My characters seem to take the reins at some point and will not allow any deviation. They can be willful and very, very stubborn! When was the first moment you felt comfortable saying, “I am a writer?”
I think when I signed my second contract with The Wild Rose Press. I think it finally hit home that something I’d dreamed of for so long was finally a reality.

Who would you say modeled your career? Who would readers compare your work to?
Wow, that’s really hard to say… Johanna Lindsey, I think, gave me the initial interest. It’s difficult to say “I modeled my career after…” because I’ve had so many different and wonderful influences over the years covering everything from historical and paranormal romance and to suspense, murder mysteries, and thrillers. I don’t know that I am comfortable comparing my work to someone else’s. I guess I’d like to be able to say that I have my own distinct voice.

When do you write (daytime, nighttime, on your lunch hour, before the kids get up, after everyone is asleep? In large chunks of time or stolen snippets?)
As a mother of two young children, I’d say my writing time greatly varies. A majority of it happens now while they are in school. Otherwise, usually at night after they are tucked into bed. I try to write as often as possible, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes my muse ends up accumulated on piles of sticky notes until I can get to my computer. lol

Are you someone who can write on demand? Or do you have to stew and coax an idea before you sit down and write? Or maybe you write when the muse knocks you upside your head, like me?
For the most part I can sit down and stare for a few moments at a blank screen and ideas just start pouring out. Occasionally I’ll hit a spot where things just aren’t flowing right…or it seems like a struggle to get the right words to come…then I’ll take a break, a couple days/a week or two and either let things stew or I’ll just put it out of my mind all together and when I come back the kinks are gone and I start writing again.

Where did you get the inspiration for (your current book)?
 I like to listen to music when I write, and sometimes I’ll call up a playlist on Youtube. I was actually working on a different book at the time when I called up the song “Slither” by Velvet Revolver. There’s like a five second flash where Duff McKagan steps up to the mic and the lights flashed red and I thought, Man, he’d make a really sexy vampire…and “Mine” was born…lol.

How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?
For the characters names, instinct mostly. It’s like…this guy feels like a Cole or an Ethan, or she really feels like an Alex or a Kate. The main rule I try to go by on names is not to make them too complicated. (Not only do I have to keep them all straight, but I also don’t want my reader to fall out of the story because they have a difficult time identifying with or sifting through odd names (or pronouncing them) …especially the hero or heroine.) As for the title, sometimes that’s the most difficult. You want to pick something that really catches a reader’s eye, yet something in sync with the book. I like to find a certain word I actually used somewhere in the text, something that holds meaning and really sticks out.

Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?
I think it’s impossible for a writer NOT to put at least some bit of themselves into their stories.

What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture:)
Synopsis, definitely. Condensing is not my forte. I envy people who can write short stories, I don’t think I could get my point across in that limited amount of words.

The cursed synopsis seems to be the winner. LOL Do you have an upcoming release?
  Yes. It’s titled “Mine” It’s about brilliant songwriter, Alexandra Sinclair, who left the entertainment business after a…well, let’s just say a bad experience (wouldn’t want to give too much away now would we?), and ancient Vampyre warrior, Cole Gunnarrson. He’s been recruited by the Vampyre Task Force for Rogue Apprehension to identify and neutralize an enigmatic Rogue targeting the Human music industry. Cole decides he needs Alex by his side to maintain his cover and refuses to take no for an answer, but the Rogue soon sets his sights on Alex, and Cole realizes he’s lost his Immortal heart to a Mortal woman. It becomes a race to decipher the Rogues puzzling clues as time runs out and Alex’s very life is put on the line.

Sounds awesome, Brenda. Where can we find your upcoming release?

In the Black Rose Line of The Wild Rose Press. When will it be available? My release date was actually moved up and “Mine” is now available, release date was April 30, 2010. I have another book with the Black Rose Line coming out in September of 2010 titled “Shadows,” and I also have one with the Cactus Rose Line coming out soon titled “Texas Blaze.”

What do you do for relaxation?
I read… (preferably something I didn’t write :)

What TV shows do you watch?
I love Criminal Minds, CSI Miami, and The Bachelorette/The Bachelor.

What type of music do you favor?
I have very eclectic tastes. It depends on what I’m writing and my mood. I listen to everything from H.I.M. and Velvet Revolver to Michael Buble to Patsy Cline. I don’t really do much Jazz or Classical, though.

Just a note, I will be holding a book give-a-way on my blog so come on over, check out the details and register to win!

More about Brenda Huber:
Always a voracious reader, Brenda closed the cover on a book by one of her favorite authors, and said to herself…I can do this! Ever fascinated by all things mythical and mystical, Brenda decided to try her hand at Paranormal Romance and discovered her second great passion…writing. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two small children.
Author of Mine available April 30, 2010 at The Wild Rose Press.
And author of Shadows, coming soon to The Wild Rose Press.

Brenda, it's been a pleasure having you here today.  Thank you so much for stopping by. Don't be a stranger. I'd love to have you back.  Now I'm heading over to try my luck at your book give-a-way!  See you soon:)

And for all you readers, please check out past author spotlights and look forward to new ones.  Meet the people behind the books you read. They are an awesome group aren't they? Thank you, as always, for following this blog!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Attention: Readers! Opinions and thoughts please...

Good Sunday morning, all!  If you haven't already, please do visit with my good friend Jo Hall. She was my author spotlight this week.  Very interesting and warm author who writes Fantasy.

I've news!  I'm working the sequel to Curse of the Marhime as we speak. Actually, I'm reading Curse--yes, I am reading my own book *grin* --and making notes so I am refreshed of all the minute details and story threads so the sequel will be fresh and contain all the things YOU the reader want to know.  And of course, lots of new twists and turns.

What do I need from YOU the readers?  Simply this.  If you've read Curse, I'd like to know your thoughts on what you'd like to see moving forward.  Who was your favorite character? What parts of the story did you feel you wanted more information? To continue? As added incentive for your comments and thoughts:  Anyone whose suggestions I use or ideas I expand upon in the sequel will be 'acknowledged' within the credits! Yes! Your name will appear in my book.

If you haven't read the books, please do.  I would love to know your thoughts. Without the reader an author is nothing.  

I have lots more in store for you, and of course, if you've read Bestial Cravings, my companion short story, also part of the Roma Wolf Tales series, we have more of Vesta and Torr! So in short, new adventures, new characters, suspense, discovery, history, and future. What more can you ask for?

Back to work now.

Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Author Spotlight: Joanne Hall, Fantasy Author

Please welcome a very special friend and peer author who I met back in my beginning days at Writers' Village a dynamic writer's site.  We have crossed paths and been in touch over the last ten or so years since. 

Joanne is a writer of Fantasy and has to my knowledge three books available and another coming, I believe.  Anyway, without further adieu...

Welcome Joanne!  I am so happy to have you with me today.  It is a great pleasure to spend some time on my patio just gabbing with you:) Grab a nice glass of that Mint Tea and some of those beaufiful tea cookies and let's get started, shall we?

How many books have you written?

I’ve written three published novels (The New Kingdom trilogy), half a novel that’s currently on hiatus, and I’m about one-third of the way through a novel that ambushed me when I didn’t expect it and is now demanding to be written! Prize offer – A signed paperback copy of “Hierath”, my first novel, to the first person to name the heroine of the New Kingdom Trilogy – answer can be found somewhere on my website!

Ooh, that sounds like fun, Joanne!  I love a good hunt. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Oh, for the love of writing, absolutely! I write because if I didn’t, the stories rushing around in my head would drive me completely crazy. When I’m writing, I’m a happy person. When I’m prevented from writing, people better stand well back from the angry explosions!

LOL Right now I'm in the midst of missing muse but I do keep busy so I do understand that. If I didn't have other projects going, I would definitely be one cranky non-productive author. Do you write every day? Or when the muse strikes?

I try and make myself write every day. The muse is like an old Morris Minor engine; it often needs to be cranked by hand to get it going. And once it’s going it can be quite hard to apply the brakes!

Where do you write?

Anywhere and everywhere! I have an office at home where I write in the mornings, to put myself in a businesslike frame of mind, but I’m equally happy writing curled up on the sofa, in bed, or in a cafĂ©. I’ve even been known to scribble story ideas on napkins in restaurants!

Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?

I think, as an author, everything you experience is writing fodder. Pieces of my life, my friend’s lives, things from TV, overheard conversations in the supermarket… It all goes into the big melting pot of Story where it gets churned around, often beyond all recognition. I know which parts are inspired by real life and which just come out of my head, but that’s my secret!

Oh, I hear you.  My novel, Curse of the Marhime, came from a quick stop at a supermarket when a little gypsy-looking psychic approached me and told me she must talk with me. I would never go to a psychic but Pita did:) What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture:)

Writing a synopsis is just about the hardest and most stressful thing I’ve ever had to do as a writer. It’s like taking your brilliant idea, stripping all the fun creative part out of it and boiling it down into glue. And my ideas always look terrible in synopsis form! I write a synopsis, look at it, and go “Well, that looks like a heap of nothing, I wouldn’t buy it!” It’s a massively disheartening process.

Why do you write?

Because I’m a horrible person to live with if I don’t write! And because it’s something I love to do, above everything else. It’s how I express myself creatively. I can’t draw, or craft, so I write.

Do you have an upcoming release?

I do! It’s in early stages now, but I have a collection of short stories called “The Feline Queen”, due to be published by Wolfsinger Publications. Some of the stories are set in the world of my novels, some in this world, and others somewhere entirely different. There are even a few unpublished stories in there that have never seen the light of day before, so I hope people will enjoy them.

Where can we find your upcoming release? When will it be available?

“The Feline Queen” will be available in 2011, through Fictionwise and from Amazon.com. Look out for it!

Tell us about your Hero. Do you have a favorite, if you’ve written multiple books?

My current hero is always my favourite. I always fall in love with my heroes, just a little bit, then move on to the next one. I’m a fickle lady! And my heroes always seem to have a certain endearing, scruffy charm about them.

Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?

Some of the minor characters are. My high school history teacher makes an appearance in my new novel, as a cadet instructor. He was a wonderful character, terrifying if you did something wrong (I once saw him pick a boy up by his ears for chewing gum in class), but when he taught you something, it went in and stayed there!

LOL My first vehicle ended up in my first novel.  A 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible. When you looked over the front seat you could see the street, *grin* but I loved that car.  What do you do for relaxation?

I find writing quite relaxing, I’d do that all the time if I could. But when I’m cajoled into resting, I like to watch movies, read, play console games, and listen to music.

Do you use music as a motivational source when writing?

Although I take a lot of inspiration from song lyrics, I can’t listen to music while I’m writing because I end up listening to it, rather than working.
Okay I'm going to rattle off a bunch of things: Favorite music? Author? Hobby? Movie? Pass time? Food? Perfume/cologne? Time of year and why?

Music – indie guitar, although I’ll listen to almost anything! Movies – Star Wars, Labyrinth, Dogma, The Terminator. Food – lasagna (I have been nicknamed “Garfield” for the amount of lasagna I can put away at one sitting!) Time of year – Spring – when the daffodils bloom I know it’s around my birthday!

Fun question (possible blackmail material down the line, LOL) What is the most uncharacteristic thing you have ever done? Please, no censoring? I have no qualms about placing a content warning on my blog!

Ok, silly story time! I was at a gig watching a band. I was squashed into the front row, it was very hot, I had stupidly decided to wear skintight PVC trousers, and I fainted. And you know what it’s like when you faint, you don’t really KNOW that you’ve fainted. So, one minute I’m fine. Next second it’s all black and I’m lying on my back on a bed while a green shape shines a light in my eyes. “Oh my god!” I thought. “I’ve been abducted by aliens!” The aliens are shining lights in my face and poking me and trying to get me to drink something which I KNOW is some nasty alien drug because it rattles… So I sit up, yell “No, you’re not going to impregnate me with your alien fetus!” throw the cup of water (with ice) all over the nice ambulance man in his green boiler suit, and bolt from the room…*blush* He must have thought I was crazy!

LOL that is a funny story:)  Wow! I'm thinking I would never want to run into those paramedics again:)

More about Joanne:
Joanne Hall lives in Bristol, England, with her partner. She enjoys writing fantasy, and has been lucky enough to have short stories accepted by From the Asylum, Quantum Muse, Art and Prose, and Afterburn SF, among others. She has also had her New Kingdom Trilogy published by Epress Online ( www.epress-online.com) and a short story featured in Colin Harvey‘s “Future Bristol“ anthology. In her spare time, Joanne enjoys listening to music and going to concerts and the cinema, when she can be coaxed out from behind her keyboard. Her personal website can be found at www.hierath.co.uk, and she’s always happy to hear from readers.

Joanne's link: http://www.epress-online.com/HALL/By-Joanne-Hall.htm

Joanne this has been so much fun and I've even learned more about you and have seen another side of you!  Thank you so much for coming.  Don't be a stranger, ok?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Well, the muse still alludes me but I haven't been idle.  I took last weekend and reworked my orchid arbor.  Many of you know I am an avid gardner as well which is my other stress reliever:) So rather than brood over the inability to tap something worthy into my laptop, I began my Saturday at Home Depo and purchased my needs to begin my much needed arbor refurbish project.  I'd moved many of the plants out the week before and cleaned up the area so it would be easier to work within the space off my patio. 

I replaced the dilapidated bamboo reed fencing, cleaned plants of dead roots and leaves, etc., repotted them with new orchid media, and moved onto placing them neatly into the arbor.  Finished off with cypress mulch and my statuary and ornamentation and voila! my beautiful and peaceful escape is complete.

I love to sit on my patio and gaze at the arbor and my spacious backyard.  It is so relaxing.  The birdsong, the fresh air, blue skies, all that green!

Check out the do over:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Author Spotlight: Barbara Monajem, Romance Author

Hello, Barbara!  Welcome to my humble patio garden.  Make yourself comfortable. Aren't the orchids beautiful this time of year?  I've made a special batch of Hibiscus/Green Iced Tea with a hint of mint from my own garden for us.  There are some wonderfully sinful double dark chocolate chip cookies as well.  Help yourself.

Tell me about yourself. What makes you angry, happy, sad, snoopy dance?

Angry and sad: People being mean and nasty to one another.

Happy and dancing: People being kind to one another.

It’s not complicated: never be mean and nasty, even if you’re hurt or upset. I’m not saying everything’s all sweetness and light; unfortunately, it’s not. Sometimes kindness backfires, and sometimes it’s misinterpreted, but as long as you mean well, that’s what matters.

I have to agree with your theory here, Barbara.  My basic rule of thumb is to treat people as I would want them to treat me.  I really strive hard to practice this no matter the situation as eventually it will come back in a positive light:) What inspired you to write your first book?

Reading. On my first day of school, I came back ecstatic, telling my parents, “I can read!!” In third grade I wrote my first story.

Wow! We've something in common. I began writing at a very young age as well. How many books have you written?

Long answer: One children’s book which was published long ago. One romance which is under the bed. I submitted it to Harlequin years ago, but they returned it saying to send it again later, as they were snowed under with submissions. Dummy me, I just put it under the bed and forgot about it. First paranormal, which I wrote twice and am now writing again. Hopefully this time it will be good! Then two more paranormals. Then three regency romances and a regency short story (which was released as an e-book by Harlequin in January).
Short answer: 8.25 or 9.25, depending on whether the same character’s story written twice counts. :)

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

A page count goal. It’s best if I have to report my progress to someone else. I first realized this when my local RWA chapter, Georgia Romance Writers, held a writing challenge. I promised 15 pages per week, and about killed myself to get there, because I didn’t want to confess to the coordinator that I hadn’t lived up to my pledge.

That's a very attainable goal and no stress! I like the way you think. Even I could do that if I put my mind to it:) You know? I'm think I may just work on utilizing that goal. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Money would be useful, but I can’t help but write. It’s so much fun! (Oh, and it keeps me sane, more or less.)

What is your favorite holiday? And why?

Halloween. I love spooky stuff.

Something else we have in common *grin*  Everyone that knows me knows how I feel about Halloween. When do you write (daytime, nighttime, on your lunch hour, before the kids get up, after everyone is asleep? In large chunks of time or stolen snippets?)
Whenever, wherever. I get a lot done on road trips (with my husband driving) because there are no distractions. I’m a morning person, so I’m better at first drafts in the daytime. I can revise anytime.

Do you write every day? Or when the muse strikes?
Whenever I have time. Most days, I write something – original text, revision, blogs. The muse tends to wake up *after* I start writing. He (yes, my muse is male, and I adore him) shows up in mid-scene, being a pain in the butt sometimes, but he’s usually right. (I daren’t say always… can’t let him think he has control.)

Oh, I get that, LOL Are you someone who can write on demand? Or do you have to stew and coax an idea before you sit down and write? Or maybe you write when the muse knocks you upside your head, like me?
Both. If I have to write something right away, I do. However, once I’ve written something, I really *have* to let it stew for a while. A day, a week, maybe longer. I hope I never have a deadline that doesn’t account for “stew time.”

Me, too.  I once put a manuscript away for two years, pulled it out, blew the dust off and got to work again. Where do you go to think?

I have to go somewhere? LOL.

Maybe I should rephrase, LOL Where is your favorite place to mull over things?
I try to think all the time, but long walks are good.

How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

The title of my current release, Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, came from my genius editor.
We brainstormed the next one, Tastes of Love & Evil. It was originally called Vamping the Chameleon, because I was entering a contest (this was several years ago) and needed a title, any title, right away. I really do need “stew time.” :)

Characters’ names tend to show up as I’m writing, so I guess my muse gets the credit, although sometimes I can’t stand his choices, so I change them.

What is your least favorite thing to do as an author? Allow me to clarify: query, write a synopsis, write a blurb, market, you get the picture:)

I loathe synopses. My muse deserts me, so they’re boring to write, a real chore. I can write a decent synopsis of a completed book, but as for writing one just on a concept – it’s torture. And it shows.

How long did it take you to get your first project sold? And was the project your first actual completed manuscript?

I don’t count the children’s book (because that was pure serendipity, and I wasn’t really trying to sell). Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil (my 5th finished manuscript, if you count the two versions of my first paranormal) finaled in the Daphne contest (under the title Love in a Twisted Garden). Chris Keeslar of Dorchester was one of the judges, and he requested the full. Three years after I sent it, he emailed to see if it was still available, and made me an offer the next day.

Wow!  that's quite a long time between.  You must have been estatic and pleasantly surprised. Do you have an upcoming release?
Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil was just released.

You do! Oh please tell us all about it.

 Here’s a short blurb:
Dark secrets abound in the town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, from blackmail to fetish clubs to murder, and when blood-and-love starved vampire Ophelia Beliveau calls in the police to scare away whoever is desecrating her garden, Detective Gideon O'Toole unearths more than he ever dreamed...
It’s the first in the Bayou Gavotte series, and is available at the usual places for books: bookstores, online bookstores, Amazon.com, and of course from Dorchester Publishing (www.dorchesterpub.com). The second in the series, Tastes of Love and Evil, will be a September release.

Sounds like a very interesting read, Barbara. I may just have to put that one on my TBR list asap.
Tell us about your Hero. Do you have a favorite, if you’ve written multiple books?

My absolute favorite hero is the one I’m writing now. He’s a part-Native American rock star with telepathic abilities. He appears in the first two books of the series as a secondary character, but now he gets his own book. I’m working on it now, and I’m totally intimidated trying to write him. I need my muse’s full support for this one!!

Contest info:

One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, and will also be entered in the contest I’m holding all through the month of April. I’ll be giving away signed copies of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil and various other prizes. (Including socks. If I have a fetish, it’s for socks. But there’s lots of other stuff, too.) You can get extra chances to win by signing up for my newsletter, or by posting links to any of the blogs I’m doing this month (see the list on the Events page of my site, http://www.barbaramonajem.com/) on Facebook, MySpace, and/or Twitter. Just fill out the form on the Contact page of my site to sign up or to let me know where you've posted links.

Bio: Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she writes paranormal and historical romance for grownups. She lives in Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays. Barbara can be contacted via her website at http://www.barbaramonajem.com/

Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil is available in your bookstore, or here:

www.tinyurl.com/sunriseingarden from Amazon
as well as directly from Dorchester Publishing: at http://www.dorchesterpub.com/

Notorious Eliza, a short regency historical e-book, is available here:
http://tinyurl.com/notoriouselizahhu from Harlequin,
or via Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble for various formats.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Author Spotlight: Debra St. John, Romance Author

Hello, everyone!  It is so good to be back and talking to my fellow authors again.  I hope the passage of time has freshened these segments.  Pull up a comfy chair grab a tall glass of iced raspberry tea or whatever your preference and enjoy.

Today I am welcoming Debra St. John writer of sultry romance and sexy heroes whose ultimate challenge are taming spunky heroines.  Oooh la la! I can't wait to get into this interview. Oh and...Debra told me that she will be giving away a copy of one of her books in .pdf format to one lucky commenter today:)  Wait! I heard the front door.  Yoo hoo! Debra! We're back here on the sun porch...
Are you comfy now, Debra?  Isn't the iced tea refreshing?  Now I suppose we should begin.  And let's get down to the nitty gritty...

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

I definitely write for the love of writing! And for the pleasure of holding a book with my name on it as the author in my hand.

And oh what a feeling that is every time, don't you agree? The first book is special but the feeling is never lost on the following ones, at least for me:)

Do you write every day? Or when the muse strikes?

Usually I write when the muse strikes. If I try to write when there’s no muse flowing, I don’t accomplish much at all. If I’m working on revisions or edits, I make myself write every day.

Are you someone who can write on demand? Or do you have to stew and coax an idea before you sit down and write? Or maybe you write when the muse knocks you upside your head, like me?

My ideas usually need to be coaxed and coddled into fruition before I sit down to write. I spend a lot of time working through things in my head and jotting notes everywhere when I first start working on a story…or even in the midst of one. I’m telling you, I have literally hundreds of little yellow sheets lying around filled with scribbles. That said, I really am more of a pantster than an actual plotter. On some days that muse does knock me upside the head, and I can sit at my keyboard all day and pound the words out.

Oh I hear that. I am a sit down and go with it type girl.  I don't plot and plan. Once I get into a story idea in my head its off to the finish and once the characters come alive, most times they run with it. Have you ever noticed how the characters do that? I mean I've literally hit a brick wall with one book trying to take things one way until I finally gave in and followed my hero's lead.  Whoa! I'll never ignore a character again:)

Where do you write?

I’d have to say I’m the most productive when I’m working on my lap top. I tend to migrate while I write: front porch, back porch, patio, living room, etc. Sometimes a change of scenery helps to push past those annoying episodes of writer’s block.

I will move about as well depending on the mood. Yes, environmental stimulants and scenery changes can make all the difference at times.

When do you read? Where?

In the winter I curl up in bed right before I go to sleep. In the summer you’ll find me cozied up in a rocker on the front porch sipping lemonade or out back on a bench by our pond. Early afternoon reads when the weather is nice are my favorites.

Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?

I like to use places I’ve actually been as the settings for my books. I also like to put people I know in my books as minor characters.

Do you have an upcoming release?

“Wild Wedding Weekend”, my second book with The Wild Rose Press, came out last week! This was a fun story to write, as it involves two people who get married under unusual circumstances. While faking their way through a wedding and honeymoon for the cameras, they learn something about life, love, themselves, and each other.

Tell us about your Hero. Do you have a favorite, if you’ve written multiple books?

For Noah life is all about fun and adventure. He’s completely content living a carefree single life. That is until he meets Abby and discovers being with her is all the adventure he’ll ever need.

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for (and a little bit of a crush on) all of my heroes. Logan, from “This Time for Always”, is trying to prove he’s a better man than the boy he used to be. Noah, from “Wild Wedding Weekend”, discovers falling in love is better than any other adventure in life. Zach, from the upcoming “This Can’t Be Love”, wants nothing more than to love and cherish the unexpected woman who comes into his life. And Chase, from my WIP, is learning how to balance fatherhood and falling in love. My heroes are all very special to me. Not to mention sexy as all get out!

Tell us about your Heroine.

Abby is perfectly content to live a life without any adventure at all. But when she finds herself married to Noah, she discovers a little adventure in life makes it worth living.

Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?

I had a bit of fun using friends of mine as minor characters in “Wild Wedding Weekend”. I think they’ll get a kick out of seeing themselves in print!

What type of music do you favor?

I am a huge country music fan. To me no other type of music evokes as much emotion or brings characters and stories to life like country does. Each song is like a mini-novel unto itself.

Wild Wedding Weekend Except:

“I really am sorry.” Abby's mind whirled. The thoughts tangled. The Noah she’d spent the last couple of days with wasn’t anything like the man she’d imagined him to be. The man even he claimed to be. Who was the real Noah?
She didn’t have time to ponder the question, because he took both her hands in his, drawing her attention back to him. “Know this. While we’re married. For this week, this trip, this asinine show, I am committed to you.” He paused and raised one hand to tuck a wisp of hair behind her ear. “Totally. Completely. Committed. To you.” With each word his voice and head lowered, until the last was a whisper against her lips.

His hand slid around to the back of her neck, then up into her hair, unfastening the clip and tossing it aside. He tangled his fingers in the strands that fell free, using enough force to keep her from pulling away as he deepened the kiss.
Abby had no thoughts of moving even the slightest bit away. She wrapped her arms around him as the tip of his tongue teased the fullness of her bottom lip. When she opened to him and he dipped inside, she almost melted from the instant flood of liquid heat that suffused her body. The warmth spread to her limbs and made her pliant as, his mouth never leaving hers, Noah lowered them both to the bed.
More about Debra:

Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel some day. She lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband, who is her real life hero. Her debut release, "This Time for Always" is a Champagne Rose and Rosebud bestseller at The Wild Rose Press. "Wild Wedding Weekend" was released last week. "This Can't Be Love" is coming soon from TWRP.

Feel free to visit her at her website http://www.debrastjohnromance.com/, or at The Acme Authors Link, where she is the Sunday Blogger http://acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com/.

Links to buy:




Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let's Talk Twilight

Writer to writer...

I never really had an interest in the series because I imagined it was geared toward teens, Young Adult which I typically don't read.  I listened to all the hype. I saw all the fuss. I've seen and heard a million reviews from stellar to trashing the author, the books, the editing. But I had no opinion as I had not read any of the books so why would I have an opinion.

I have to very honest here.  I admit I wondered what this author did with her story, how she made her vampires different, what the twist was that shot her to near-overnight success and movie deals! And I will also admit to being a wee bit envious.  Yet I still wasn't compelled to check it out.

Two years later, a co-worker at my day job, actually our office manager who is in her thirties, was totally drawn in and talked about nothing by Edward and Bella with pure AWE.  She was bowled over and living the story.  Mind you, this woman is NOT a reader.  She saw the movie, Twilight and liked it so much, she ran out and purchased the books--the entire series of books. To date she has read the series no less than seven times! 

Now my curiosity peaked and was getting the better of me because I wanted to know how Stephenie was able to draw someone in so deep that they didn't sleep at night because they just couldn't put the book down. She literally came into work happy, smiling and giddy(because of the books) and did I mention totally exhausted.    What is so special about this series that would drawn someone who is not a reader to such total devotion? 

I decided the only way I would find the answer is to take the time to check Ms. Meyer's work out for myself.  So the first thing I did was order the movies, "Twilight" and "New Moon" and I sat and watched both a couple of weekends ago. At first I wasn't so impressed but then something happened. I began to feel for Bella and Edward, and I fell into the story.  Actually swan dived...

The love growing between Edward and Bella was beautifully laid out and  so very tragic--a no win situation.  It just pulled you in so that you wanted the HEA so badly for them. But how can it be? How in the world can these two people so different secure any type of future together. One a mere human and one a monster--a vampire? So there you have it.  You need to keep going in order to see how poor Edward and Bella can make this work.  And it's not as simple as all that. There are so many other factors flying around this story that seem to work for and against the couple.  This author has done her job and done it very well.  Oh, and did I mention, this is not the typical YA.  This series works for any age.  It is such a wonderfully written love story full of sadness, humor, happiness, tragedy, every emotion will be tested and experienced.

Did I mention after I watched the movies, I got my hands on the books as well.  I have completed Twilight and Midnight Sun, which by the way, is a partial manuscript from Edward's POV following Twilight, that Ms. Meyer will sadly never finish because it somehow ended up published on the internet before its completion. Something we writers all fear. You can only read this draft on the website. If you would like more information on this draft please visit Stephenie Meyer's website. I do suggest you read it after your read book I because it gives you Edward's point of view and it will give you so much more insight into how much pain and confusion the brooding Edward is dealing with.

I look forward to New Moon which I will begin to read next weekend. Why you ask would I wait until next weekend to begin the next book?  Well, I read Twilight in five days(I do work a full time job) and Midnight Sun this weekend. Need I say more?  I really need to get some work done *grin*

Next question you may be wondering.  Why am I posting this?  Well, I wanted to give Stephenie Meyer kudos.  She is an exceptional writer of a genre I love, and I hope that someday my work will be accepted and loved as hers is and for good reason. 

If you are skeptical like I was because of what critics or peers are saying about this series, the only advise I have for you is to sit down and read it.  The movies are fine but they are nowhere as deep or well-rounded as the books.  As everyone knows, the books are always better.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and whether you have experienced this series.  BUT and this is a BIG but...Please donot give anything away as I am only just beginning New Moon and do not want to know anything past Twilight or Midnight Sun.  Do not ruin this for me:) My heart thanks you:)

Thank you Stephenie Meyer!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Author Spotlight: Jason Barrett, Paranormal Romance

After several weeks we are back with my Author Spotlight segment, and I have to tell you that I am very excited to not only have a paranormal romance author but a MALE paranormal romance author for my new season of interviews.  How cool is that?  I can't wait to sit down and drill Jason about his great new book, Dead or a Lie, and dig into a male's take on love and romance, what's hot and what's not.  This is going to be alot of fun. So grab a cushion, something to drink and let's get this party started! 

Tell me about yourself. What makes you angry, happy, sad, snoopy dance?
Snoopy Dance? I don’t do the Snoopy Dance. Although the ladies in my romance group, CNYRW, are always taking about it and writing it on the loop I’m trying to keep some semblance of masculinity so I refrained from using the term. I use: That’s Great, That’s Awesome!, I’m so happy for you!, but, no, never the Snoopy Dance.

Oh, Jason, you know? I get that. Watching a guy snoopy dance... *shakes head and grimaces* well... just isn't a pretty picture, LOL

Angry? I suppose still social injustices and prejudices. It’s been that way since I was a youth, It’s a core value and I can’t understand hatred fostered by appearance or beliefs.

I hear that and whole-heartedly agree.

Happy? I’m just the opposite of the Dr. Phil’s saying, “When Mama’s not happy ain’t nobody happy.” I prefer to think of it in this way, “When the family’s happy, Papa’s happy.” Nothing that makes me happier than happy faces, especially those of my family.
Sad? I get sad from not being able to “fix it.” As a husband and father I’ve almost always been able to “fix” the problem, whether it be a broken heart, skinned knee, broken doll or broken furnace. When I run into things I can’t make right for my family it seems to threaten my place in the world and that makes me sad.

Spoken like a true father, Jason.  That's what dads do:)

Also, I get sad when I think of the kind of world my children will have to raise their children in. There’s way too much violence and a certain disconnection between the people that make up our society, whether it’s our neighborhoods or the world. The heart is missing. I can only hope that things will change for the better.

Oh Jason, you are so right. I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other and noone's doors were locked.  Kids could wander the neighborhood and play in anyone's house without a worry! Today our neighborhoods are closed and most times you don't even know who lives next door. Fortunately, for me, my immediate neighbors are wonderful but that is within a three house radius in all directions. I have no clue whose around me further out.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Social injustice inspired my first book. I never finished the book as I was seventeen at the time and other things took precedence, yes hormones and dating, but social injustices still make me angry. As soon as one starts to be resolved another one jumps up and rears its ugly head. Sadly, it’s been that way since the beginning of time and doesn’t appear to be ending soon.

How do you decide on the topics for your books?

Usually it’s something I’ve seen real life that catches my interest. For 'Dead Or A Lie' it was an episode of Extreme Home Makeover. The crew made a sun safe home for a family with a child with a sun allergy. I thought about it for days and began to create my new world accordingly. The book has nothing to do with that Home Makeover episode but the situation and the onset of the affliction gave birth to my new world.

Ooohhh...great fodder for a vampire story. Sun-safe dwelling. I see how that could get the juices going.
 Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

The first book I actually finished was a story that needed to be told. So that was for the love of writing. The characters and story rattled around in my head for years and it needed, demanded to be written. So I wrote it, and I will always love that book more than any other book I’ll ever write. I break the process of writing a book into two distinct parts. Writing the book is pleasure, and I love to do it. When the book is written it then becomes the business end of the process but I still feel that I’ll always write whether I make money or not. And I think anyone reading this knows exactly what I’m taking about.

Absolutely.  And we writers know that unless really fortunate, most of us will make some income but may never become rich.  I totally get what you are saying. I love to write stories because for me each little world I create and each character is my escape from the nasties of reality.  I know I'm in deep when I seem to stay in the fiction world even when I am living real life. It's like that movie you loved and you just can't shake.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
Of course I have a website, http://www.jasonbarret.com/, and have contracted with several romance sites for online advertisement. I also have an ad in the February edition of the RWR and one in the March RT magazine. As far as drawing attention to myself I plan on doing interviews and author spotlights on Long and Short Reviews, The Romance Studio, Coffee Time Romance and the Vampire Romance Books site, but this will actually be my very first author interview, thank you Dayana!

OMG! A virgin too?  I love it, LOL  You are very welcome, Jason.  I love having you here. You are always welcome here.
What is your favorite holiday? And why?

I love Christmas. Not for the presents but for the family side of it. I loved seeing the kid’s faces on Christmas morning when they came down the stairs and saw the tree all lit up with the presents under it. It was a time of wonder, and I could see it in their eyes. I still see that wonder in my grandchildren and when I play Santa each year at an elementary school, K-2nd, where my wife works. I suppose it’s selfish because the children are so unconditional with their love for Santa. I guess that’s my present to me.

It is such a beautifully festive time of year. It and Halloween are my favorites. I remember being that child who couldn't sleep for anything and who ran to wake my parents up who had just gotten to bed because I just couldn't wait a moment longer!  Then the only light was the beautiful Christmas tree and the mountains of presents! OMG! It seemed truly like mountains when you are so small.  Also, the crumbs on the plate and the milk gone where we'd set them out for Santa.  Oops! Sorry, got carried away...

Do you write every day? Or when the muse strikes?

I work as a construction inspector from spring to late fall, even winter. This year I was in the field on December 28th working with a crew in a minus 14 degree below zero wind chill factor. It was cold, and I was very happy to leave it all behind and start writing again. Normally I try to write whenever I can but long days at work sometimes interfere with my writing. Now, during the winter, I will try to write daily in the quiet solitude of the empty house.

I hear that.  Working a full-time job can crimp a writer's style:)  I live in that world as well.

Are you someone who can write on demand? Or do you have to stew and coax an idea before you sit down and write? Or maybe you write when the muse knocks you upside your head, like me?

I can write on demand but only if I can get myself to sit down and open the darn book! That’s my hardest part- avoidance. I’m not sure where it comes from but I’ve spoken about it with other authors, and they too have experienced this. One actually told me she’d rather dust the house with a Q-tip rather than sit down to write! She does have several books published though.

Wow! That's heavy... I can not write on demand and only sit down to have at it when something needs to be written.  Unfortunately, sometimes a lot of time passes before that happens. Once I get into a project, I'm usually okay.
Where do you write?

We have a study upstairs where my wife works on her photograph and I write. It’s quiet and away from the rest of the house. I can’t write with distracting noises like the radio, or TV. I just loose total concentration when I hear those things and it takes me some time to get back into the moment.

When do you read? Where?

I just got a Kindle and I love it. It actually read my book to me. How cool is that? I normally read while on vacation usually in a beach chair; sunglasses on, Pepsi to my side and a willingness to nod off whenever I want. I enjoy reading books by fellow authors from my romance group, CNYRW, like Alee Drake, Mary Reed McCall, Gayle Callen, Christine Wenger, Maggie Shayne and CJ Barry. Unfortunately, I had to stop reading Maggie’s books in fear that it would influence my thoughts when creating my world of vampires. There are so many wonderful others in our group I can’t name them all here. I try to sneak in some reading on my lap top, now my Kindle, while on break when substitute teaching in the winters.

Where do you go to think?

I do my best thinking while driving. One of my daughters lived in Virginia and it was a 10 hour drive so I would have my trusty recorder available to record any good ideas I came up with while driving. I also go to sleep while plotting my books. I don’t know how beneficial it is because I probably forget half of what I was thinking but it helps push out the day to day stressors.

How do you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

The title to Dead Or A Lie was recognized by one of my critique partners, Alee Drake. We were in critique one night and while I was reading a dramatic scene from the heroine’s black moment Alee stopped me and said “That’s your title, Dead Or A Lie.” She was right; I hope everyone loves the book as much as the title!

Oh, I'm sure they will and the title begs me to read it. I really must get a hold of it. Do you put pieces of yourself or your life in your stories?

Yes, I think my values are always part of my books. I really don’t like a lot of violence and I love a happy ending, and that’s why I turned to Romance. My first book got a little too close for comfort. I tried to write in the same way some actors prepare for a part by using method acting. In method acting you bring yourself to a point in your own life that is associated with the emotional you need to portray. That first book had a lot of conflict and sadness so I was continually bringing myself to different points in my real life that stirred emotions needed for that scene. Bad idea- won’t do that again.

Funny you should say that, Jason.  A really emotionally distressing time brought me back to writing in the year 2000. I'd lost my father and my first Sheltie, Kazzy both to cancer within months of one another and writing through the grief is what helped me. So I can definitely relate to what you are saying.

 Do you have an upcoming release?

Yes, 'Dead Or A Lie' released on February 19th by the Wild Rose Press. It will be in both e-format and paperback. In 'Dead Or A Lie' I create a new genre of vampire. A group of vampires caught somewhere half way between man and beast. An ancient ritual promises to produce a savior, the Sacrosanct. She will bring those unbound by the shackles of hell back to the world of the living. The vampire hero has waited centuries for the coming of the Sacrosanct but now that she has arrived can he help her fulfill her destiny before the evil Lord Trevacular captures and destroys her? I really thought the day would never come but now that it has come and gone I am so excited. You can find me at The Wild Rose Press or you can always look on my site.

What do you do for relaxation?

I like to kayak with my wife, Janice. We paddle up some streams where you can almost believe no man or woman has ever traveled before. When we get close to a picturesque site or we spot some sort of wildlife she puts down her paddle and picks up her camera. Then says, “Scout, get me in close.” We’ve paddled up to within a few feet of a doe (female deer) resting under an evergreen tree on the edge of the stream. We also like to golf without keeping score and I personally enjoy restoring my 1972 MGB European sports car.

Dayana you’ve asked me how and why a man actually got involved with romance so here it goes.

Yes! and that is a question we hit on when we talked about this interview and I am so glad you brought it up, Jason.  This is something I'm sure would interest readers and authors alike.  Please do tell all:)

I had just finished that first tragic novel, Unrequited Love. I think the title was a give away to everyone but me, but what did I know. I was a guy who primarily read Sci-Fi and mysteries but was now writing a story I needed to tell. I bought a copy of Writers Guide and from the short description I knew I was holding a Romance novel. So out of the blue I looked up a local romance author, Mary Reed McCall, and asked her advice. She was so nice just to take a phone call from a total stranger, but she did and suggested that I go to a conference that was hosted by the Central New York Romance Writers in Syracuse, New York. So I did.

I walked into a room with 80 or more romance writers and slapped a name tag on my shirt. I was greeted very warmly and introduced all around, you see, Mary had called ahead! I was in awe. I wasn’t prepared to be in a room with so may other authors, it’s a memory and feeling I’ll never forget. There were Sci-Fi writers, paranormal writers, time travel, historical, you name it they were there and all there to listen to Deb Dixon speak about GMC, a lucky day for me in so many ways.

Then came lunch, I was waved to a seat at a table by my future critique partners. We all ate and talked excitedly about the conference and our works in progress. When it was my turn I jumped right into a verbal short synopsis of my book, then it happened. I told them that my heroine died at mid-book. Gasps, forks dropped, and a deadly silence enveloped the table. At my best memory there were ten little pairs of unbelieving eyes just staring at me in utter disbelief. I thought I swore and didn’t realize it. Finally, my soon to be critique partners, Alee Drake and Jenna Gray, took pity on me and delicately told me that my book was not a romance but, not a problem, everyone is welcome at the CNYRW group. I came to understand romance writing with their help and I’ve been a member of the RWA and CNYRW since that day. A reviewer once said to my editor, Amanda Barnet, “you can tell it’s written by a guy!”
“Thank God,” I thought to myself.

Great story, Jason. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself here today.  I am so glad to have had the chance to get to know you better and you can be sure I will be purchasing my copy of Dead or a Lie right away.

Below is an excerpt from Dead or A Lie:

“If there’s a scenic route back to Astoria, I guess we took it. Here let me get your door.” He stepped out of the car.

“I can manage.” But as she opened her door, he was already there. “Now that was quick. I suppose in the rest of your spare time you do a little sprint training too? Okay, Mr. Sir Lancelot, you win.” She gracefully extended her hand, which he took. On the way up the dark walkway to her front door, she took her keys from her jacket pocket. Instinctively, she let several of them slide between her fingers, allowing them to protrude past her knuckles. She made a fist, transforming her hand into a formidable weapon.

As they approached the foyer, the warnings she had gotten from the stranger on the internet, Man O War, and Charlie raced through her mind. A battle raged within her, a battle between those warnings and her heart. She gripped the keys tighter, all the while cursing herself for doing so. When they reached the door she turned and when she did, their eyes locked. However, she saw no threat in his dark gaze. Despite the closeness of the foyer and the shadows surrounding them, she loosened her grip on the keys. First, allowing them to dangle with her pinky through the key ring and finally she slipped them back into her pocket. For this moment, the battle was over.

“It’s been a wonderful evening, Lee. I hope we can do it again.” He paused and she saw his eyes grow vacant, like when he looked out the window at the sea, but this time he was staring into the depths of her eyes—her soul.

I wonder what he’s thinking. Is he afraid to make the first move? Oh to hell with it.

She leaned into him and her hand rose to his cheek. He didn’t retreat. He didn’t protest. Instead, he turned and gently kissed her fingertips. Lee let her hand slide to the back of his neck and pulled him closer. He smiled as she gently played with his long hair. Her breath quickened, and the heat rose within her. She kissed him gently. When she released him he lingered at her lips barely touching them with his and then he kissed her cheek. “Beautiful,” he whispered.

Hmm… me or my perfume. Either way is fine with me.

He embraced her, his powerful arms pulled her as close as two bodies could get without being one, and she felt his passion rise. His need obvious. As they kissed his hand slipped down and pulled her into the cradle of his thighs. A too long absent heat raced through her. She wanted more and pushed forward against his hardness, their burning desire now only separated by the delicate threads of their clothing. Yes, she wanted more of his touch—more of him.

“Luke,” was all that quietly escaped from her lips. This time there was no questioning his passion in their kiss, but just as quickly as it peaked, and he pushed himself away, removing her arms from around his neck. He brought her hands to his lips, kissed both palms, and gently released her.

“I’d better go,” his words were barely audible.

She delayed speaking for a moment. “Yes, I suppose so. Maybe it is a little too soon to get things messy.”

“You’re right. I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry.”

“Well, I wouldn’t actually say that,” she said giving him a demure smile, “and don’t be sorry. I enjoyed every minute of the evening.”

“I’ll see you at work tomorrow, Lee. I had a great time too,” but his sad smile told a different story.

“Me too, Luke. I’ll see you tomorrow. We can do that blood sample thing. I’ve been thinking that I should put the lab level on my security rounds anyway. After all, the autopsy room is right next door, and we don’t want any of those bodies walking off on us, now do we?”

“Yeah, that whole walking dead thing, doesn’t it just creep you out?” he asked, followed by a gallows laugh. “See you tomorrow. Good night, Lee.”

“Night.” Lee slipped her key into the lock and entered the building, looking back one last time at Luke through the glass pane. He gave her a playful salute and headed back to his car. When he got in, she saw him hit the steering wheel with the heel of his hand.

Once inside her apartment she heard the predictable greeting from Rocky. “Hello, Doll,” but she was also greeted by something that took her by complete surprise. A fragrance so enchanting, so lovely, she stopped for a moment and inhaled it, as Luke had her perfume. Wanting to make the moment last, she slipped into a warm tub and the heavy, moist air mixed with the scent of the jasmine in an intoxicating way. “Thank you, Luke,” she closed her eyes and allowed herself to slip further into the water until it was just below her chin. With her eyes closed, she inhaled the steamy elixir. “Could you be the one?”


The tires only chirped when he drove away from the curb, but as soon as he was a short distance from her door he slammed the gearshift violently into second, then third, and right on through to fifth gear. He rocketed towards the quickest route out of city and to a winding country road he had visited countless times before. He attacked each curve, each bend in the road as if it were his enemy. At every turn, he tempted fate with his ungodly speed. The scream of his tires echoed through the mountains like a lonely mournful cry. His tires cried for hours that night.

More about Jason:
Jason grew up in Upstate New York at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains where he still resides with his wife and high school sweetheart, Janice. They now have two married daughters, and two grandsons. Jason enjoys activities like kayaking with Janice, candle making, and restoring his antique MGB, a European sports car. The experiences he’s accumulated over the years with his first and only love, Janice, and then their wonderful children help him write of relationships. His college background in math and science inspire him when writing Sci-Fi and Paranormal.

He started his first unfinished book when he was seventeen and has had a few other starts before actually beginning a book that he eventually finished. That book still awaits publication but he’s moved on to other projects, including his new release, Dead Or A Lie, published by The Wild Rose Press . Jason enjoys writing of relationships, real science twisted enough to make a new world come to life, and things belonging to the realm of the paranormal.

Jason’s site: http://www.jasonbarret.com/
Purchase Dead or a Lie

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Author Spotlight: Dayana Knight Answers All

Hello, everyone. Welcome and thank you all for joining me today.  I am also doing a simulcast with The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers Blog today, so hop over and check them out, too. Who knows what questions are going to be asked of me:)
As promised I am open and ready to answer whatever question you toss at me to the best of my ability, LOL  Many people have responded via email. I have posted each of the questions below along with the name of the person who asked it.  Feel free to shoot questions at me today as well if you just dropped by and hadn't had a chance to email me one.  If I receive a lot of questions within the comments section, I will set up a second post so everyone is visible on the blog and readers don't have to peruse the comments for Q&A.

I will drop in this evening(day job you know) and over the next couple of days to catch up with people who may drop in later.
Something tells me that these questions will have nothing at all with the craft of writing and everything to do with...


well shall we begin?

Jennifer Mathis asks:

Well since it is April Fools, I have to ask are you a practical joke kind of person and if so what do you think is you best practical joke?

Actually, Jennifer, like the clipart at the beginning denotes, no, I'm not really good at that kind of stuff.  I was always lingering in the background so as NOT to be the brunt of a practical joke. But, hey! You know, this stunt here might change things up a bit.  LOL I'd have to say this is my best practical joke--and it's on me!

Mary Marvella asks:

How old were you when you lost your first tooth? 
Geez, I truly don't remember but I do remember the agony of the tooth hanging by a thread and why is it you couldn't help but to play with the darned thing with your tongue.  I also remember placing the errant tooth under my pillow, the Tooth Fairy visits and finding some  cold hard cash in the morning in place of that pesky tooth:)

Do you remember your first boy friend?
Absolutely!  He was awesome and probably all but 12:) I used to go to the Little League field to gaze upon him.

Who was the first boy you kissed and how old were you?
His name was Joe and he lived in the next town over. I think I was 13 and he was 15.  He gave me my first piece of jewelry too.  It was a small garnet birthstone pendant that was simple and very pretty. I still have it.  He broke up with me by telling me I was too good for him. My translation: He was wanting more than  I could give:)  A gentleman at a very young age. A very special memory.

Do you have a tattoo, where, and of what?
No. Not a one.  I have wanted to get one for years--a tramp stamp which is the low back one, LOL but I am too chicken:) I don't like needles all that much.  Do what I have to but the thought of being poked at a constant rate for a long period of time... I don't think so. 

What is the strangest food combination you like?
M&Ms and cornflakes in milk(weird when I did it but now we have Chocolate Cheerios, so... And yes, I like them*grin*)  I also used to put maple syrup in milk as a kid.

Sharon Donovan asks:

What birthday was hardest for you to deal with and what did you do that could be considered zany to combat it?
Clever way to ask me how old I am, LOL.  Let's see. No birthday was really that hard for me but with age comes other changes that are very painful for me.  That midlife spread around the middle is haunting me now and I just cannot seem to get rid of it.  I find time has stripped some of my energy as I get into things I did without any thought and now realize I'm not as--shall we say-- spry as I used to be, LOL  BTW: I stopped aging/celebrating at thirty-five, just so you know *grin*

Mary Ricksen asks:

Do you have dreams involving sex? In color?
Absolutely!  Where do you think I get some of those sex scene ideas?  Color? Not sure. I think they are but I'm usually too busy to notice:)

Do any of your stories have a basis in reality?
Yes. Actually I mention or use several things from my life in my first book.  I do model character's morality, thoughts, mannerisms around people in my life. And sometimes things I myself have experienced.  In fact, my second book Curse of the Marhime was born of a real life rather strange experience. I believe that there is a certain realism added through "real" life in fiction.

Lisa Finch asks:

What is the freakiest paranormal thing that ever happened to you?
I would have to say messing with a Quija board when I was probably at the cusp of my teen years.  My neighbor had a board and a creepy house.  She was older than me(late teens, early twenties) but she tolerated me, LOL We were playing with the thing one night and it began to take a life of its own which totally freaked us both out and needless to say we abandoned the thing, and I never touched another board in all these years!  I have to add I never will expecially after watching Paranormal Experiment.  That just plain freaked me out!

Keena Lykens asks:

If you could time travel with any fictional character, who would it be with, where would you go and would you eat the local cuisine?
I would have to say Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.  I would go anywhere with him, LOL  As far as partaking in the local food, it would definitely depend on what the local cuisine was.  I do draw the line at organs and bugs, etc. As well any animal in depicted in the story Bambi:) But generally, I'm not a picky eater:)
Jackie Sajonjo asks:
What is the scarriest thing you've ever done?
You may not believe this but I have to say my scariest moment was when I posted my first piece of writing to a critique group(my first) and hit the 'send' button.  I was so nervous, I shook and was near to panic and remorse as I awaited the first response.

My next panick-filled fearful moment was when I sent my first manuscript to an editor per her request.  I beat myself up and refused to open her eventual email for fear of what it would say. LOL she asked my why I was hiding my work.  She loved it and wanted to contract it.  As FDR said, "the only thing to fear is fear itself." And I firmly believe that, LOL Though each time I put myself out there I am honestly afraid.  Afraid I or my work will be rejected.  Natural, but significant.

Paranormal fright?  Well...the Quija incident I mention above and I used to have nightmares that I awoke bodily harmed afterwards--meaning I would have bruises and marks on my body in the exact places I was hurt in my dreams which were all very strange.  I discovered that the root of my very frightening dreams were all the hardcore horror books I was reading.  When I stopped reading them the dreams stopped. 

Oh and once my brother hid under my bed in the dark. I came in (I never worried about turning lights on, still don't to this day. Good night vision. Must be one of shifter traits:) sat down on the bed he grabbed my ankles.  If I weren't so young,  I would have died on the spot of a heartattack.  What are brothers for? I ask.

Catherine Bybee asks:

Where was the most outragious place you ever.....???
On the X-ray table in my office.  It was cold and very uncomfortable but we had nowhere else to go. I wondered what the heck I was thinking...  I mean geez, all kinds of people touch and lay on this table.  Why in the world would I ever...

Oh! No!  you are all thinking...

No... no... I'm talking about having lunch in the X-ray room because the kitchen was already full of people and...

Oh get your minds out of the gutter. Next you'll all be thinking I lured some unsuspecting hunk of a patient into my lair on the pretence of an extended x-ray exam and well...you get the picture I'm sure;)

Thank you for all the wonderful questions. And, not a one about writing! This has been a blast. Please be sure to tune in on Thursdays and check out who is in the hot seat each week. Also, if you'd like a heads up on what's going on here, please join Dayana's Happening. Just scroll down on the right sidebar of the my blog and click Yahoo Group "Join this group".

Oh and thank you Fuzzies for inviting me to simulcast this event on your blog today as well.