Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meet - Holly Lynn Payne


SUMMARY:

Holly Payne's spellbinding tale brings the unparalleled poet, Mevlana Rumi, to life, and transports readers to the enchanting world of 13th century Persia. Simply but elegantly told, the story unravels the mystery surrounding a legendary orphaned girl, who discovers her gift of turning roses into oil. Named after the flowering rosa damascena, the girl reluctantly assumes the role of a living saint for the miracles she performs-longing for the only one that matters: finding her mother. Deeply wounded by the separation since birth, Damascena undergoes a riveting transformation when she meets Rumi and finally discovers the secret of the rose. Imbued with rich historical research and inspired by the devastating disappearance of Rumi's most lauded spiritual companion, Shams of Tabriz, Holly Payne has courageously opened herself to receive Rumi's teachings and offer a timeless love story.





What inspired you to start writing, and when?  I was a child poet.

Tell us your latest news?
I'm the CEO and founder of a tech start-up for book discovery launching this year. We believe books are medicine and we're helping readers find just the right book for them. I'm also working on my first young adult novel—set in modern times in the houseboat community of Sausalito, CA, near me.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work? 
Damascena is a work of historical fiction set during the time of Rumi. I 'met' Rumi when I was in Konya, Turkey, doing research for my first novel, The Virgin's Knot. I had no idea who he was but was accidentally led to his tomb. After that, I wanted to know everything about him, why so many people respected and revered Mevlana, which means 'our master.' I had no idea that by writing this novel, I was writing my way through the trauma of an impending divorce. Sometimes life really is stranger than fiction. During the darkest days, I asked, "What would Rumi say?" He would tell me to 'find joy in the midst of my despair.' That is a true Sufi. Rumi became a teacher for me in a way he also taught Damascena. This book felt like I was like living two lives simultaneously.

How long did it take you to complete? 
That's a great question. I had the idea while I was working on my first novel, but that was 15 years ago. I think in many ways, I had to live more in order to write Damascena. I had to go through my own fire. As Rumi said, "I was raw, I was cooked, I was burned." This book probably took more than a decade and I spent two years of that rewriting it. I cut more than half. The published draft is very tight, very minimal compared to my other work. 

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances? 
Maybe in a past life, if you believe in that sort of thing. I do.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?   
The cover was designed by a talented local designer in San Francisco, Ayo Seligman. He had about a dozen renderings to show me. They were all beautiful. He told me he was saving his favorite for last. When I saw what he choose, I was baffled. He totally understood the need to go subtle and the Getty image he found is a wall carved in stone with sacred geometry—the stars and the sun, each one looking like a flower blossoming. I was thrilled! If you stare at it long enough, the image becomes 3-dimensional. I didn't want any pictures on the cover. No people. I wanted it to look authentic to its time, the 13th century. I wanted it to be very subtle, non-genderized, and yet express a much deeper complexity to match the tone of the story. It's a very quiet but surprising cover. 

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover? 
I had wanted to use Beth Moon's Raven picture. When I saw it years ago, it was the one image that inspired the character Damascena. Her solitude and depth and all the things that haunt her. Beth is a local photographer but was unable to give me the rights to use it without raising alarm for her collectors. I love her photography and the poetry she captures. So, after that, I went through one more cover designer before I was introduced to Ayo. He's the one who came up with the sacred geometry carved in stone. It had a timeless quality to it.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I'm a big believer in the power of intuition and write from those powerful instincts and insights, however, I'm also a huge fan of narrative design. That said, I always figure out the character arcs, which guide the plot. Many writers forget that the only real rule for writing good fiction, or telling a compelling story, is cause and effect. What a character does to get her/his needs met is the plot. Once you know what your story driver is—what the character needs or wants, you can fill in the blanks. You might not know how they get these needs met but you know some obligatory events. I knew there was going to be a fire in Damascena. I sensed where in the story it would happen, but I didn't know why. I had to write my way through the story to know that.

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?  
Finish. No matter what. Finish what you start. Energy's neither created nor destroyed, so even if it's a horrible first draft, it's something to revise. Keep going!


Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea?   Tea. By far. Philz coffee black tea. Pure mental jet fuel.

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate? I'm a jelly bean girl!

What is your favourite colour? Green

Winter or Summer?  Summer

If you could have one superpower what would it be?  I snap my fingers and a Food52 inspired dinner  appears on my table after a long day working.

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?   Jon Stewert. Or Terri Gross. To meet all those fabulous folks they interview and be filled up with inspiration!

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?  Lip gloss. Water bottle. Hand wipes (I'm a mom of a 4 year old) and some safety snack (not for her, for me!)

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?  Ironically no. And yet I'm creating technology to help people find the right book for them. Are you laughing?

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?   The Theory of Everything. The perfect date film. So sweet. So endearing. And to know that Steven Hawking is still with us on the planet, that his genius still thrives among us is pretty freaking incredible. What a gift!



Friday, December 19, 2014

Meet - Mark Healy

Pinky's is pleased to have Mark Healy on the blog today. For those of you who follow Pinky's Favorite Reads, I reviewed Mark's novel After the Winter a few weeks ago.


Sit back and see what Mark had to say ...


What inspired you to start writing, and when?
I’ve been writing since a very young age.  One of my favourite things to do as a kid was to staple together sheets of paper and write stories and accompanying illustrations which I’d sell to my mum.  The motivation back then was the same as it is now – I just love to create.  I get a real buzz out of the whole process, and I love the feeling of satisfaction when a project comes together at the end of it all.

Tell us your latest news?
I have lots of things on the boil right now!  The next book in my Silent Earth series, ‘The Seeds of New Earth’, is coming out on December 22, 2014.  I’m currently writing the third and final instalment, as well as bringing the album version of ‘After the Winter’ together for my Hibernal project.  I’m working with some voice actors right now, and I’m very excited about where that’s headed.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
My latest release is a novel called ‘After the Winter’, which is the first in the Silent Earth trilogy.  This series follows the story of Brant, a synthetic human who survives the apocalypse that wipes out mankind.  Brant is on a quest to bring humanity back into the world, all the while trying to evade the cannibalistic Marauders who are seeking to use his body to prolong their own lives.  The book also deals with themes such as despair, loss and hope as Brant explores his own ideas of what it means to be human.

How long did it take you to complete?
This novel actually began its life as a short story for my Hibernal music project at the start of 2014, and was only about 2500 words in that format.  I loved the story so much that I decided to write a novel about it, and by that time I already had a very good grip on the themes and the characters I wanted to explore.  I wrote the first 90K draft in only six weeks, and then spent another month polishing and revising it based on some feedback from my beta readers.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
The character of Zade is based very much on my son Hayden, who is an energetic three year old who loves pretty much anything life throws at him.  He’s always laughing and smiling – except for when he’s chucking a tantie.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
I’ve designed the cover for all three books in the Silent Earth series.  I’m definitely not a great artist, so the final product was the result of a lot of trial and error and experimentation.  To get the end result, I brought together a bunch of stock images and stacked them into one image, using a few blending techniques in Photoshop to make them all look like they belonged together – colour matching, using grunge textures over the top, gradients etc.  Once again, it was something I enjoyed doing so I didn’t feel the weeks I put into it were wasted.

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?
There are a few basic principles you want to adhere to when designing a book cover: it needs to catch the eye, it needs to clearly identify the genre, and it needs to look good as a thumbnail (as most prospective buyers will first see it that size before they decided to click on it).  Keeping that in mind, I simply played around until I got something I liked.  I did go through a lot of concepts that didn’t work before arriving at the final image.  I also posted a work in progress over on Kboards where a lot of other writers hang out, and they gave me some good feedback on grunging up the font and a few other finishing touches.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I am definitely a plotter.  The scary thing is, I have been writing novels for over twenty years and I only just realised I was a plotter when writing ‘After the Winter’.  When I was 18 years old (long before Google) I read somewhere that authors never have the whole plot fleshed out when they start writing, so I took that approach with my own work.  Unfortunately, this led me to a lot of failed projects as I became unhappy with the direction of the story, sometimes after I’d already spent months writing.

As I mentioned before, with ‘After the Winter’ I already had the plot largely outlined through the short story – I knew my characters, their motivations, the plot arcs, and everything else.  That allowed me to be very true to my vision right from the start.  After that, I felt a bit silly that I’d never figured out before that I’m a ‘plotter’.  Better late than never!

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?
My advice to beginners would simply be to keep writing.  Like anything else, it’s a skill.  My first novel was rubbish – terrible pacing, paper-thin characters and clich├ęs all over the place.  But I learned through the process and the second novel was better, and they’ve continued to get better as I go.  I’m still improving now.  The great thing in the new world of self-publishing is that there’s nothing to stop new writers reaching an audience.  Anyone can write a story and have it published.  I would add the caveat that writers should still use some self-moderation – keep your standards high and publish only what deserves to be published.  Readers won’t respond well to poor writing, and in the end you’ll only damage your name and your brand.  Hire an editor and a proofreader to make the finished product shine.


Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea?
Definitely coffee!  We have one of those Nespresso thingies at home and I couldn’t live without it.

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Usually milk chocolate, sometimes white chocolate, but rarely dark – it’s too bitter for a sweet tooth like me.

What is your favourite colour?
I’m gonna go with violet for that one.

Winter or Summer?
Given the humidity in the Brisbane summer right now, that’s an easy one – winter!!

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Super-Patience, so I could deal with the two small super villains who live with me –Destructo Boy and SmashGirl

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?
My wife, so that I could bask in the radiance of such a wonderful husband for a few hours.  Uh, ok, all jokes aside, maybe Adam Jones from the band Tool.  I think it would be great to play with musicians like that and experience the thrill of rocking a big crowd with some great tunes.

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
My pants.  I always remember those, except for the few occasions when I don’t.  I also like to carry a surly disposition around with me as it keeps people out of my way.  I also take a hankie around everywhere, which isn’t very manly, but it was a habit encouraged by my mother from an early age that I haven’t been able to shake yet.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?
I work in a very technical IT job so I have to say yes to that, but I’m also a tightwad so I’m very choosy about how many gadgets I buy.  I buy a few guitar pedals here and there, and I recently splashed out on some nice headphones and studio monitors for recording and mixing my music.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?
I saw a really good low budget sci-fi movie called ‘Coherence’.  It’s about a group of friends at a dinner party who experience a blackout during the passing of a comet.  When they go outside to investigate, they find that only one house in the street has its lights on – and when they go to check it out, strange things begin to happen to their own house.  It’s really well plotted and keeps you guessing and I highly recommend it.


If you want to check out my review of After the Winter, Click Here



Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet - D.J Donaldson

Today on the blog I am pleased to have 
D.J Donaldson, Author of 
the Andy Broussard /Kit Franklyn Mystery Series




Synopsis:

When Kit goes to meet an anonymous stranger—who’s been sending her roses—the man drops dead at her feet before she could even get his name. Game on. 

Andy Broussard soon learns that the man carried a lethal pathogen similar to the deadly “Ebola”—a highly contagious virus, feared worldwide for killing its victims (grotesquely) in a matter of days. When another body turns up with the same bug, widespread panic becomes imminent. The danger is even more acute, because the carrier is mobile. The man knows he’s a walking weapon and… he’s targeting Broussard

And when Kit Franklyn investigates her mystery suitor further, she runs afoul of a cold- blooded killer, every bit as deadly as the man searching for her partner.


Bio:

D.J. (Don) Donaldson is a retired medical school professor.  Born and raised in Ohio, he obtained a Ph.D. in human anatomy at Tulane, then spent his entire academic career at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  In addition to being the author of several dozen scientific articles on wound healing, he has written seven forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to start writing, and when?
Oddly, the thought that I wanted to become a novelist just popped into my head one day shortly after my fiftieth birthday.  Part of this sudden desire was a bit of boredom with my real job.  I was an anatomy professor at the U. of Tennessee and had accomplished all my major professional goals: course director, funded NIH grant, teaching awards, and many published papers on wound healing.  So I guess I needed a new challenge. And boy did I pick a tough one.  

I wondered, how does a novice like me learn to write fiction? Taking a few writing courses is an obvious answer. But I had the vague feeling that there were a lot of unpublished writers teaching those courses and I worried that all I’d learn was how to fail.  I’m not saying this was the best way, but I decided to just teach myself.  I bought ten bestselling novels and tried to figure out what made each of them work. What tricks were the authors using to hold my attention?  What made these books so popular?  In a sense then, maybe I didn’t teach myself.  Maybe Steven King, Robin Cook, Pat Conroy, Michael Palmer, Larry McMurtry, and James Michener did.  In any event, eight years later, I sold my first book.  So, it took me about as long to become a published novelist as it did to train for medical research and teaching. 

What is your preferred genre?
My first book was a mystery.  As a beginning writer, that seemed like the best genre for me because mysteries have a classic structure that guides the behavior and direction of the main characters. In a very general way that structure provides those characters with goals and motivation: Goal: find the killer.  Motivation:  It’s their job. The genre also provides a structure for conflict: The killer doesn’t want to be found, so he will try to thwart the investigation.  I had no idea that my first book would lead to six more with the same characters.

After six series mysteries I took a break to try my hand at writing stand-alone thrillers.  (Stand-alones have a different cast of characters in each book.) Someone once asked me what the difference is between a mystery and a thriller. There can be a lot of overlap in the two, but generally thrillers put the main character in danger throughout the book. In mysteries, the danger often arises only when the protagonist begins to close in on the killer.

I have to say I like series and stand alones equally well.  If you look at my list of published novels (seven forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers), it’s obvious that I’ve drawn on my academic background to write both kinds of books. They say to “write what you know”, and I have.  Except that for every book, It’s taken about six months of intensive research to learn a lot of necessary material, both scientific and otherwise, that I didn’t know when I started the book. That research has been a lot of fun.  For one book, I spent a week in Madison Wisconsin, visiting dairy farms... even had a milk cow poop on my shoes. (Okay, I didn’t like that part much.) 

What was the hardest part of writing LOUISIANA FEVER? 
Did you learn anything from writing that book and what was it? 
My intention in each book is to reveal more about my two main characters, Andy Broussard and Kit Franklyn by putting them in situations that cause them to change and grow. And the more books I write about them, the harder it is to develop these little character arcs. LOUISIANA FEVER was number four in the series, so my two protagonists were already fairly well fledged out when I began work on the book. At that time, I had no idea what would face them in the new story, or how they would react. But as pieces of the project took shape, opportunities appeared, as they always seem to do. In fact, those arcs for Andy and Kit turned out to be more significant than I ever expected. Strange as it sounds, in each book my characters teach me something new about themselves.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I do a lot of planning and thinking before I start writing.  In my mysteries I always know who the killer is and why he did it.  Knowing who he/she is establishes a lot of the story and tells me who some of the other characters should be.  If I didn’t know who did it when I started writing, it would be impossible to scatter the appropriate red herrings and real clues throughout the book. Even my medical thrillers all have a surprise reveal at the end. Those revelations have to be carefully set up.  Having done all that planning, I then have to be sure I don’t make it all too obvious. Many of my readers who write Amazon reviews say they were surprised at the end. Occasionally though, a reader will think the story was too predictable. I’m never sure exactly how to take that.  If they mean all the loose ends were tied up and everybody got what they deserved, fair enough.  Because that’s exactly my intent. Our real lives are full of unresolved conflict and irritation, including hearing about killers and rapists who get off on technicalities. I think people read to escape that world.  I want my readers to smile with satisfaction at the end of my books.     

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
I’m sure my characters contain parts of many people I know.  At first I was worried that they might recognize themselves and not like what they read.  But I soon discovered that no one sees themselves as others see them, so any similarity goes completely unnoticed even when it’s there. 

Tell us your latest news? 
I’ve always wanted my books to be available on audio.  I’m excited to tell you that my entire New Orleans forensic mystery series is now in production with Audible books. I haven’t yet heard any of it, so I’m really looking forward to listening to what they’ve done.  The narrator is Brian Troxell, who has narrated about 75 other books for Audible. I’ve listened to some of those and I think he’s going to do a great job. When he asked me for some hints about how to portray Broussard, the greatly overweight New Orleans medical examiner, I told him to think of the character actor, Wilfred Brimley.  From the moment I wrote the first words about Broussard I pictured him being played in film by Brimley.  

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t write for wealth or fame because most writers in the world, even those who have sold books to major publishers, can’t claim either of those status symbols.  There’s an old quote that says, “You can get rich in this country by being a writer, but you can’t make a living.”  Write because you love it.  If you don’t love doing it then you can be crushed by the difficulties inherent in the pursuit.  

Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, unless we’re talking about mango or blackberry-flavored iced tea. Ever notice that when you put cream in your coffee it doesn’t stain the cup as much as black coffee does?  Why is that? 

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Dark… preferably surrounding a big fat almond.  For some reason, I can never remember if it’s Mounds that has the whole almond in it, or if it’s Almond Joy. I keep thinking the mound in Mounds is an almond (which it isn’t). Can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought the wrong one. (I know, you’re saying to yourself, how hard can it be to remember?  The one with the almond has almond in the name.)  The problem for me comes when I see Mounds without the other one around so I can compare the names. I’m sure now that I’ve written about it I’ll never make that mistake again. (We’ll see.)

What is your favorite color?
For a shirt… white…. Crisp and white.  To me it shows you respect yourself and wherever you’re going that day.

Winter or Summer?
Summer when it’s winter, and winter when it’s summer. Yes, I’m a malcontent.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
I’d like to be Captain First Draft, where the words come out exactly right the first time I write anything. (I even had to revise this sentence twice.)

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?
I really wouldn’t want to be anyone else.  Everybody has difficult things to deal with.  We usually just don’t know what they are for someone else. Better to learn how to deal with your problems than spend time wishing them away.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?
I’m definitely a technophobe. I love my computer, but hate to upgrade anything on it because I know it’s just gonna create problems somewhere. About a year ago, I replaced my eight-year old computer.  Now I can’t open any of the files I created in FINAL DRAFT, the screenwriting software.  One of my favorite lines in a TV show was from Homicide: Life on the Street, where Yaphet Kotto, the head of homicide looks around at all the drop cloths, ladders, and painters in the squad room, scowls, and says, “I hate change.”  Amen, to that.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?
For recent TV, I’m hooked on Game of Thrones.  …. Loved the scene where… No, I better not say, because I might ruin that episode for anyone who hasn’t seen it.  (Here’s a hint:  It involved fossilized dragon eggs.) 


If you want to own your own copies of the series, the four e-books (Louisiana Fever, Sleeping with the Crawfish, New Orleans Requiem, and Bad Karma in the Big Easy) are on sale of $0.99 each on Amazon throughout the month of October. 



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Meet - Mario Saincic - Author of My African Dream


Author Bio:

Recipes are rules meant to be broken!
Mario Saincic was born in 1970, and has a passion for life. Starting off in restaurant kitchens and ending up as an architectural designer, he has managed to turn his creativity into a career. Writing is one such desire, and since the release of Infirmity, there is hardly a day that goes by without characters sitting around discussing their lives with him.

"Inspiration appears at the strangest of times, and we need to embrace it."

His desire in life is to be as perfect an example to his kids as his father is to him.


What inspired you to start writing, and when?

A bad separation. It was a way to put my feelings down on paper, and soon after it turned into a book which led to another...and so on.

What is your preferred genre?

To read: various. To write: romance – it gives me a chance to tell stories about people in a way that focuses on real life.

Tell us your latest news?

Uhm...I have two new books almost complete...

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work?

Inspired by a friend, the character of Milly developed over time and she eventually started dancing across the pages. When I booked her ticket and sent her to Kenya, I had to introduce her to the reality of African life, and the brutal act of rhino poaching and how it is threatening the extinction of a beautiful beast. She developes as a character and eventually surprises herself when she ends up saving her man.

How long did it take you to complete?

5 months

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?

I write about people so each book will have characteristics from someone I know or have met, even if the waitress at my favourite coffee shop or a granny I chat to at the green grocer.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?

That worried me more than completing the book. The story is filled with heart and passion and nothing less than perfect would be good enough. I got in touch with Heart Covers, a new design company, and the process and final draft was perfect. It incorporates everything I wanted to portray, and Natalie really paid close attention to what I wanted. To be honest...I still smile when I look at the cover.

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?

My heart.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?

I don’t start a book without playing it out in my head like a movie. So far everything I have written had the closing line and scene before I started writing ‘Chapter One’

Do you write under a pen name?

No. I am the only Mario Saincic in the world, and I’m proud of it.

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?

Don’t stop no matter what. Follow your heart, and be prepared to get raised brows when you tell people you are a writer. Very important...take edits and comments as a way to better yourself and not as a personal attack.

Ok, now some fun questions…. My favourite kind...

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?

I very rarely eat anything sweet, but when the craving drags me to the pantry or closest store, it is milk.

What is your favourite colour?

Green.

Winter or Summer?

Depends who I am with...

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Teleportation.

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?

Nelson Mandela, so that I could try and rectify the mess that has arisen since his death.

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

A smile, a tune in my head, and a longing to get back to the ones I love.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?

I still use a map book instead of a GPS.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?


The Tomorrow People on TV, and Hansel and Gretal Witch Hunters.

Social Media Links:




My African Dream

My African Dream finds Millicent Cramer in the heart of Kenya, a world she only ever dreamed about. Even her wildest imagination could not have prepared her for life on African soil, but what she experienced there changed her life forever. She found the harsh beauty overwhelming; the people comforting; and even found love…but the biggest thing she discovered was a purpose for her life - a calling far beyond anything she had experienced before.

Keep your eye out over at Pinky's Favorite Reads for my review of My African Dream.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Meet - Victoria Bright



Pinky's Favorite Authors is pleased to have Victoria Bright, author of The Daring Assignment here today. 





What inspired you to start writing, and when? 
I actually started writing in the 8th grade. It was the only thing that resembled “doing classwork” when I was bored out of my mind and couldn’t concentrate. I actually thought I was Harriet the Spy!

What is your preferred genre? 
I love Romance!

Tell us your latest news? 
I just released my first erotica, The Daring Assignment, which is the first book of the Curvy Assignments series.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work? 
The Daring Assignment is the first erotica I ever wrote. It’s about a woman who feels stuck in her every day life and is tired of having her life controlled with money and status. She gets this risky writing assignment from her literary agent that sends her on an erotic adventure and she quickly realizes that she can’t lead double lives. In the end, she has to make the ultimate decision. Does she stick with what she’s familiar to, or does she continue following the path she stumbled upon?

How long did it take you to complete? 
Probably about 2 months.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances? Yes. Every character that I ever write about are either based on different faucets of my personality, or people I know in real life.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself? 
Ha, I’m not talented enough to design something that sexy. My best friend Laura, who owns Bookfabulous Designs, is my cover designer. Isn’t it awesome?

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover? 
My covers reflect my storyline. My character, Arianna Donatelli, is very shy and reserved when it comes to sex. In other words, she’s a prude (as am I). The cover reflects that she still wants to be sexy, but in a teasingly shy way. I think that it portrays her nicely.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? 
I have to outline or else I’ll be all over the place and nothing will make sense.

Do you write under a pen name? 
Nope! I write under my actual name!

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out? 
Always look at the bigger picture. Don’t stress over whatever milestone you’re currently at. Think about reaching the finish line at all times and imagine how accomplished you’ll feel when you see YOUR book for sale in the online market place!



Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea? Neither. I’m obsessed with Gatorade.

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate? Milk chocolate

What is your favourite colour? Pink and purple

Winter or Summer? In the south, NEITHER! Give me spring all year!

If you could have one superpower what would it be? The ability to heal people.

If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why? Beyonce because she’s awesome!

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)? Chapstick, gum, and ...

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)? I guess so? Well, I mostly have a ton of Apple products. My ipod, iPhone, ipad and Macbook. And a Kindle. And a PS Vita.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed? I think it was Property Brothers on HGTV. I love HGTV!





Grab your copy now !



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meet Tessa Marie

Today I was lucky enough to sit down with Tessa Marie, author of Home is Where You Are that is being released on September 30. We talked all things writing. 



Tell us your latest news? 

Home is Where You Are will be releasing on September 30th. It is up for preorder and is $0.99 now through release day.  


What are your current projects? 
Home is Where You Are has been my main focus the last couple of months, but I’m excited to go back to other projects and to start some new ones. I will be writing a companion novel to Home is Where You Are that will focus on Anna’s best friend Katie. Also currently working with Becca Ann on the third book in our Beds series, Bumpy Roads and Lonesome Beds.  


What books or authors have influenced your writing? 
So many! I would say top three Sarah Dessen, Simone Elkeles and Toni Blake.  


Is there an Author that you would really like to meet? 
Last year I got to meet that author. I met Sarah Dessen at BEA and totally fangirled. She was so sweet and it was definitely a highlight in my life.  


Tell us a little about your background. When did you start writing? 
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a writer. But I started writing seriously about 6 years ago. 


Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. The most random thing can trigger an idea. Home is Where You Are started with me remembering a line for a soup kitchen I used to walk by with my mom when I was a kid. I also wrote a book based off of a sign I saw on a tree.  News stories have triggered ideas as well as my own experiences. 

What is your writing process?
I don’t really have one. I’m a total pantser. I let my characters steer the wheel and just take me wherever they want to go. I have a day job so I try to write whenever I can squeeze it in. Usually at night on the couch or on my deck wrapped up in a blanket.   

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel?
Home is Where You Are is about Dean, a homeless boy, and Anna, an overachiever, both struggling with their pasts. Slowly they let each other in, but when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away  

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Not based, but I do tend to pull little quirks and traits from a bunch of people and put them into one character. 

Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
I do. I don’t do it intentionally, but all my characters have little pieces of me in them. 

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
I tried... I found the image and thought it was perfect, and attempted the font, but it fell flat for me. Thankfully author Cassie Mae said she would do it and brought it to life.   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Author Spotlight - Eva Marie Paulliere

A little while ago, I was approached by an author to read their latest book. That Author was Eva Marie Paulliere. I was scrolling through my Facebook Feed the other day, and a new book by this amazing author popped up and I thought I would contact Eva again and find out what has happened since we last chatted. This is what I found out 

What inspired you to start writing, and when?
Although I write nothing remotely resembling his works, when I started reading Stephen King as a teenager, I wanted to write novels too.

What is your preferred genre?To write: Romance, Comedy, Thriller, Satire. To read: Almost anything.

Is there anything in the works now?
I am currently working on a comedy about a broken marriage entitled “Bitch Control”.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
My last work was “The Player” which completed the Two Stories Trilogy. The first book was my first novel.

It ends the zany love story between two people who meet and fall in love under bizarre and roundabout circumstances. A lot of other stories revolve around the two as well.


How long did it take you to complete?
That’s a tough one to answer. I tried writing it immediately after the second book, but it didn’t work out. I attempted that book so many times before I finished it, that at one point I almost decided not to write it.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
I did! With some help from free stock photos online.

Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?
I wanted a sexy, faceless woman in an Asian dress. If you read the book, you’ll see why I chose it. Until then, I’m keeping my mouth shut.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I have written both ways, but err on the side of plotting and outlining, mostly because I cannot write as fast as my thoughts. For instance, the entire plot for my second novel, once I decided what it was, came to me in about an hour.

Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?
Until you finish the first draft of your first book, don’t tell anyone what you are working on. It kills your motivation to write if you start telling the story instead of writing it down.

Ok, now some fun questions….

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Dark chocolate, especially the ones that have 90% real cacao in them.

What is your favourite colour?
Red

Winter or Summer?
I live in Florida, so they are the same.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Telekinesis.
 
If you could be somebody else for a day who would you choose and why?
I’d be Jesus, so I could ask my Dad a few favors.

What are three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
My Kindle, headphones, and an 8mm cord to patch it into my car stereo.

Are you a technology buff (i.e have every electronic gadget known to man)?
I am, to a point.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and enjoyed?
Game of Thrones.

If you want to find out more about Eva, checkout her website: