A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

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: