AuthorPhoto

Interview with Ann Whitely-Gillen

AuthorPhotoI not only had the pleasure of reading Mrs. Whitely-Gillen’s novel, Last Train to Omaha, but I also got the chance to ask her some burning questions that I had floating around.  Hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!

  1. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I absolutely love Martin and Frank and they will be making cameo appearances in my next novel Egan’s Will. As far as a theme goes, I’m addicted to people’s personal journeys – like James’s for example.

  1. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

At the advice of many, I self published and my goal after I establish a good readership is to have a publishing house pick me up. Having never written a novel before it took a lot of research and trying to find the right connections took a lot of weeding through names and businesses. I was extremely lucky to have found my editor Elizabeth Bond from the Canadian Editors’ Association who also worked for Simon and Schuster and has many connections in the publishing field. I found the entire process extremely challenging but worth it. I’ve learned a lot from the process.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

The one thing I can say is to write what you feel and what you know. Use your experience to ignite your imagination. My favourite authors are those who are not afraid to express themselves and their vulnerabilities through their characters. Anais Nin said “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” I believe this to be true.

How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?

I do my best writing in consistent chunks – hours upon hours, because I feel that’s when I feel I’m totally “in the groove” of it and my best work starts to flow. Having a very busy life doesn’t always accommodate this but when I do get to sit down to write, I’m normally gone for most of the day.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

There are some things on a personal level I would change yes, like getting more into the background of Stephen’s psyche. Also, I wouldn’t rush to have my book launched so quickly. We had some last minute editing issues that lapsed into our first round of publishing the book. Totally my fault of course…

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I too suffered from a few traumatic experiences that altered the course of my life much as James. Also, James’s anxiety was very real for me as I do suffer from mild anxiety and my best friend growing up was actually hospitalized for extreme agoraphobia and so his attacks were representative of my surroundings and myself growing up. I also believe that there is a part of me and everyone I know in every one of my characters. My life has been my inspiration for the creation of these characters.

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to walk away with? If so, what is it?

Love your life, right now in the moment and be true to yourself. Embrace your relationships and learn from them. Never stop trying to explore your path.

What books did you read when you were kids? Any books you found inspiring?

Dr. Seuss (lol!).  I actually wasn’t an avid reader until my late teens. I did love to write my own stories as a child however. I come from a very artistic family. My dad is a painter and philosopher and my mother was into poets, including Dostoevsky and French Canadian singer Jacques Brel, so we were constantly exposed to art. For me, my biggest inspiration from my childhood comes from listening to Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles.

What does your Main Character think about you? Would he want to hang out with you, the author, his creator?

I’m not sure about that. Excellent question. I don’t think I’m logical enough for James but I do think he would at least like me.

What project are you working on now?

I just got back from New York City where I attended a workshop with Syd Field on screenwriting, so my husband and I are teaming up to write the screenplay for Last Train to Omaha. So many of my readers have indicated that they would love to see this story on the big screen so we’re going to attempt to create something tangible and film worthy. I’ve also started my second novel, Egan’s Will. I’m really excited about this book as it will be more of an epic novel and this time, the protagonist is a girl.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I loved writing about Martin’s time in Vietnam. Having grown up in that era, it fascinates me. I remember everyone coming together to protest – creating a revolution to end war. I’m a huge World War II Vietnam War buff. I have so much love and respect for Veterans and what they have sacrificed for us all – the pain and suffering they must have endured is completely unfathomable to me.  I also really enjoyed James’s journey thorough South East Asia with Ted – it brought lightness to the storyline I felt. 

What is your interesting writing quirk?

Sometimes I talk or laugh out loud to myself when I’m writing dialogue. It makes me feel like I’m a part of the conversation somehow. Quirky – I know!

Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?

All of the Veterans – each and every one of them. I love them all. I feel connected to them and I think it’s because of my deep love and appreciation for what Veterans do and what they stand for. But mostly, I want to meet Martin. His soul is so rich and worldly.

Use 3 words to describe each of the following characters:

  • James- intelligent, vulnerable, broken
  • Rebecca- light, loving, forgiving
  • Kitty- fierce, loyal, fun
  • Ted- soothing, relaxed, brotherly
  • Frank- sexy, charming, loving
  • Martin- philosopher, witty, giving
  • Stephen- narcissistic, funny, deep

LOVER’S SMOOCHES:

You’ve been given the task to host a last minute dinner party. Which authors are on your ultimate dinner invitation list? Alive or Dead.
D.H. Lawrence, Jeannette Walls, and Charlaine Harris (to lighten up the mood because she is so much fun!) 
Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
Some kind of weird dipping sauce – I don’t even want to know what the ingredients are!
Favorite childhood toy you wished you still had?
My stuffed donkey
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Toss up between Jamoca Almond Fudge and Pralines and Cream
Shopping weakness?
Designer boots
Superpower you wish you had?
To fight evil

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To Connect with Mrs. Whitely-Gillen, you can visit her at her website:  http://www.anngillenbooks.com/

Gwen Jones Author Pic

Interview: Gwen Jones, Author of Wanted: Wife

Gwen Jones Author PicCan you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a born and bred Jersey girl, and darn proud of it. I live in a small town on the edge of the Pine Barrens (what are they? If you read the book, you’d know!),as well as my family’s “ancestral” home at the Jersey Shore. I’m married to my husband, Frank, no kids but a nieces and a nephew I spoil shamelessly, and the cutest cat in the world, Gracie. You know, just your ordinary, everyday genius.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I read in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers that one must work ten years or 10,000 hours honing their craft to become successful. Well, I’ve done that and more. Although this is my debut book, I’ve written at least ten more before Wanted: Wife, that are in various degrees of expertise from “Under Consideration” to “Never Will See the Light of Day.” Wanted: Wife, to my great surprise, was easy. The first editor who read it bought it, but I had to swim though a lot of previous rejections to get to that point.

Do you have a day job as well?

Oh yeah! (My name’s Gwen Jones, NOT Nora Roberts!) I’m a college English professor, which also often turns into my night job as well. #gradingpapers

Is there a message in Wanted: Wife,  that you want readers to walk away with? If so, what is it?

If there is one perhaps it’s there is no one way to define marriage, that each couple has to find their own logic within it.

What does your Andy think about you? Would he want to hang out with you, the author, his creator?

Andy LOVES me, but hey—I’m taken.

What was your favorite chapter in Wanted: Wife to write and why?

I’d have to say Chapter Eighteen, “Reentry,” as that’s where the stakes were really raised to the point of no return. I also think it was there I had the chance to stretch myself as a writer and write more lyrically. Some of my favorite lines are in that chapter.

Who is the biggest literary influence in your life?  

It’s too hard to say one, as there are several for different reasons. William Faulkner for the beauty of a turn-of-phrase, Anne Tyler for quirkiness,  David Sedaris and Carl Hiaasen for humor, Diana Gabaldon for her epic sweep, and Lisa Kleypas for showing me The Way of Romance.

 ~ Six Smooches ~

Is sexy a tight dress or t-shirt and jeans?
Tight and slinky.

Late night or early morning?
So late it’s early.

Light or dark chocolate?
The darker the better.

Light side or dark side
Life is too serious not to be light.

Perfume or au natural?
Freshly scrubbed and soap-scented.

Shopping weakness?
Gourmet food stores! (And of course, any indie bookstore.)

Connect with Gwen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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S.L. Scott

Good Vibrations by S.L. Scott Interview

Good Vibrations CoverTitle: Good Vibrations
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: Romance/New Adult

Book description:

I grab her exploring finger just as it reaches my happy trail—a trail that if I let her wander down further will lead us to do things we can’t take back. Things like three-word phrases being confessed that would end me if I was rejected. Things like selfishly wanting to own her body and doing things to her that would make my fantasies blush. And things like making her promises too soon that won’t do either of us any good. She makes me want a future that’s not possible, and one I don’t deserve.

Listening to my ego got me into this situation. Will listening to my heart get me out?

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Interview with S.C. Stephens ~ Author of the THOUGHTLESS Series

Author S.C. Stephens at a Seattle book signing in December 2012.

In October 30, 2012, we celebrated S.C. Stephens’ Day and without a doubt had to celebrate it again today, the official release day of Reckless, the third and final book in the Thoughtless trilogy.  Since I personally am not a fan of character interviews, I was thrilled when S.C. graciously gave us another personal interview, especially when I know how busy she has been.  Yes, I love talking to the mastermind and boss of Kellan Kyle.  (You can read our previous interview here.)

How did you come up with the three titles Thoughtless, Effortless, and Reckless?

Thoughtless came up because Kiera kept doing things without thinking.  It fit her character. Effortless was in my mind after hearing it in a song (I’m losing you and it’s effortless). I decided to use it as the title after Kiera mentioned that loving him was effortless.  Reckless was the hardest of the three to name. I had a list of dozens of “less” titles.  It was the one that was the most unique, but still fit the story.

If you could describe the Thoughtless series in three words, what would they be?

Accepting true love

What have you been were you working on from the time Reckless was returned to the publisher with final edits completed until now?

I’ve been working on the second book in the Conversion: The Next Generation series. I’m almost finished with the rough draft. Then I’ll be rereading the two books and making sure they are consistent. After that I’ll be starting a new book while working on the final edits for the original Conversion series which I’ll be publishing in the fall.

Who or what inspired Kellan’s character?

Kellan was inspired by music. He was my generic fantasy guy who I pictured as the singer of whatever band I was listening to.  His character grew and evolved as the story progressed, and now he’s so much more than just a fantasy guy to me.

Were there any earlier written versions of Kellan that fans don’t know about?

No, Thoughtless was Kellan’s very first appearance.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Answer emails, PMs, Tweets, Facebook comments, Authorgraph requests, and plan upcoming signings…that’s almost a full-time job, lol.  When I’m completely out of the writing zone, I hang out with my children, spend time with my friends, and try to find a little time to read books by other people.

One of our favorite reads this year has been Beautiful Bastard.  How did  your quote make it on the front of the cover?  Did you write fan fiction with the authors?  Any thoughts of ever co-authoring book with anyone?

I was a HUGE fan of The Office when it was on Fanfiction.net. Huge! I was obsessed with that story, and I was so bummed when they pulled it. When I found out that my publisher was going to be publishing it, I immediately contacted my editor and let her know how happy I was and how much I loved the story.  She emailed me back and asked if I would be interested in providing a quote for the book. I was thrilled to do it!  Giddy, even.

I’ve tossed around the idea of co-authoring a book with someone before, but I honestly have no idea how people do it.

Note:  We had a fan chat with Lauren and Christina a few weeks ago, and I asked them if they knew SC’s quote was going to be on the front of the book.
Lauren:  “We did know that Michelle! It was one of the first things we knew about our cover.  SC Stephens is so so sweet.
Christina:  Michelle!  We LOVE her!!! We died when our editor told us about the quote.  :)


Knowing Reckless is the most anticipated sequel of 2013, emotionally, how did it feel when you completely finished writing this book? 
As a writer, do you go through a grieving period?

Haha, I don’t think it’s the most anticipated sequel of the year, but there are a fair amount of people waiting for it. Honestly, I’ve been an excited/nervous wreck since finishing the book. This is the first one I’ve published without sharing it with hundreds of people first, so it’s a new experience for me. There is also a lot of expectation around the book, so I’m hoping fans are pleased.

Oddly enough, I didn’t experience any sort of grieving period once it was over. Probably because I had a deadline to make. I think I’ll feel that later, once it’s been published and the fans have read it.

Now that Reckless has been released, what is next on the horizon for S.C. Stephens?

I’m going to be publishing the Conversion series later in the year, then early next year I’ll be releasing the rest of my older stories. At the same time, I’ll be writing new stories to release, so hopefully you’ll have a lot to read from me for a long time to come.

6 Smooches

Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
Vegemite. A fan sent me a tube of it. Seriously, what is that stuff? And how are you supposed to eat it? Lol.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Zzzzzzzzz. My life really isn’t that interesting, lol.

Shopping weakness?
Hmm…I’m not a big shopper. I’m too impatient. It irritates me. I do have a long list of songs and albums I want to buy though.

What was your mom’s pet name for you?
No pet name that I can remember.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
Oh boy. No, no movie, please, lol. I’d rather see Kellan’s life on film than my own. :)

Can you roll your tongue or tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue?
Haha! Yes, I can roll my tongue. No, I can’t tie a cherry stem. A friend has actually been trying to teach me how to do it. He’s an expert, but so far I’ve failed miserably.

SC Stephens at the TFEiC author meet & greet at Palmer House in Chicago September 29, 2012

Author Interview ~ Jessica Scott

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, Jessica?

You mean other than I’m crazy? Not much to tell. Mom, wife, army officer, author, and hamster wrangler. The hamsters are the fun part, lol.

Do you have a day job as well?

Yep, full time active duty army officer.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Oh it’s all a mish mash of reality and fiction, lol! But I’ll never tell which is which!

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to walk away with? If so, what is it?
I want to give readers a glimpse of military life that’s not special forces, you know? Normal soldiers adjusting to coming home from war that isn’t always violence and PTSD. It’s more nuanced than that, you know?
 
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Well, there was this one time a reader said she didn’t believe one of the disputes in my book because a sergeant wouldn’t talk to his lieutenant that way. I laughed because it totally happens that way all the time.
Best compliment was being written to by a 30 year breast cancer survivor and having her tell me that I nailed it. That touched me in so many ways. It was truly humbling.
 
What sort of books do you enjoy as a reader? Are those any different from the books you enjoy as an author?

I really love a good urban fantasy or paranormal. I adore Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series.

What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caffeine-nightmare?

Caramel latte, skim milk.
 
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Of this story? I have to say I love writing scenes between Carponti and Shane. Carponti just says the craziest stuff. I really get to take the filter off with him and it’s lots of fun.

Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?

Carponti because he’d be a riot to hang out with.

 

6 Smooch Database

Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
Other than moldy cucumbers? Greek yogurt.
 
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Nope. Lust at first sight yes, but insta love? No I think it takes more than a first look.

Do you have any birthmarks?  If so, where?
Nope:)

Favorite Actor?
Hugh Jackman.

Shopping weakness?
Lipgloss
 
What was your mom’s pet name for you?
Pumpkin.

Join us for a “live” FAN FAN CHAT with Jessica Scott on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 9:00 PM EST.

Getting to know the “real” J.L. Mac ~ author of Seven Years of Bad Luck

314739_124626191042333_1143005000_nCan you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I wish there was something fun and exciting to say about myself, but I am afraid there isn’t. I am twenty-six years old. I am married to a soldier in the US Army. I have two children. I am left handed. I like purple best. I hate driving. I love Sci-Fi movies and westerns. I am competitive. I am a scorpio and I like long walks on the beach and dancing in the rain. Okay, I joke.

At what point in your life did you realize that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
I will let you know when I get there. ;)

How does your writing process look?
Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while? I am pretty meticulous with just about everything I do. I plan and prepare. It drives my husband insane. I write down everything and make lists for everything. My writing process is no different. For each novel I have a one-subject spiral designated for brainstorming and notes. Each spiral is filled with scribble-scratch writing that is eerily similar to that of a mad scientist. I usually write between 3k-10k words per writing day. 11,000 words in 14 hours is my best record.

Some authors listen to music while writing, others prefer a quiet space. Which is your preference?  If you do listen to music, do you have a playlist? Care to share?
I listen to music. Loads of it. I am a bit of a music guru. I love many types and I play what best suits the mood of what I am writing. I listen to Miles Davis almost daily. He is and always will be one of my favorites.

What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting, or editing?
Editing. I despise editing and I don’t mind admitting that I can be quite the lazy writer when it comes to editing as I write.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The beginning. I feel like the start of a book is huge. I am introducing characters to the reader and I feel proud in that moment in the beginning of the book.

What is project is next for J.L. Mac?
Wreck Me is on deck for release. I can’t say what is after Wreck Me since I have not yet officially announced anything, but I will say that I have three other novels in the works. All three will be completed and released by the end of summer. That brings the total to five novels.

You’ve been given the task to host a last minute dinner party.  Which authors are on your ultimate dinner invitation list? Alive or Dead.
Oh my. Jane Austen, J.D. Salinger, James Patterson, Jodi Ellen Malpas (I want her to count down when it is time for dinner hehe), Katie Ashley, JB McGee (if she brings her inhaler. I am bad with emergencies.), Emily Snow, Michelle Valentine, Michelle Leighton, AC Marchman, Raine Miller, there are so many. Can I just say the entire list of authors attending The Naughty Mafia Rocks Vegas event??
6 Smooches (first thing that comes to mind)

Cowboy hat or cowboy boots?
Boots.

Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
Moon shine.

Do you have any birthmarks?  If so, where?
I have a dime size birthmark in the shape of the recycle triangle on the side of my right knee.

What was your mom’s pet name for you?
Jaimi. No pet name.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
I really like Emma Stone.

Can you roll your tongue or tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue?
Sure can. In less than 30 seconds.

Author Interview: J.B. McGee

jb mcgee photoTell us a little bit about yourself, J.B.

I have been married for 11 years to my husband, Chad.  We have two special needs children, Noah (7) and Jonah (5).  We all suffer from Mitochondrial Disease, so my hope is that my books will not only help our family financially, but also help raise awareness for that disease.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I enjoy spending time with my family, monogramming, graphic design, crafting, and reading.

In addition to writing, do you have a day job as well?

Not really.  We have a small graphic design business, but I have pretty much had to stop taking new clients since I started writing.  We are trying to sell the business, or we will close it at the new year if it hasn’t sold so I can write full time.  Of course, caring for two special needs children is a full-time job too but not one that I get paid monetarily to do.

When did you first start writing, and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing my first book, Broken,  on August 12, 2012.  It was pretty much something I did on a whim.  I decided I wanted to try it and see if I could do it.  I was finished two weeks later.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I had been told when I was in middle school that I could no longer do book reports on Nancy Drew.  So I quit reading for pleasure for the most part.  Once I read Fifty Shades of Grey, I fell in love with reading contemporary romance and the erotic romance genre.  Writing erotica intimidated me, so I leaned more towards the contemporary romance genre.

Do you work with an outline or just write?

With Broken, I started with an outline and quickly tossed it to the side.  For the most part the story came together so quickly and easily  that I just wrote and wrote and wrote.

With Mending (the sequel), I really thought and thought about where I wanted the story to go.  I wrote an outline, but I can tell you I have reworked it multiple times as the story has grown and evolved.  The final outline is very different from my original outline.  I will say though that I definitely have relied on this outline because there is so much more drama and depth to Mending.
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Interview: Victoria Michaels

Victoria Michaels TreeI’m so LUCKY to have interviewed another one of my favorite authors. Not once…but TWICE this year!! Here’s my second interview with Trust in Advertising and Boycotts & Barflies author, Victoria Michaels! :)
Have fun!

Writing
1. What was your favorite pastime as a kid? Did you like reading/writing?
I loved to read. I read all the Nancy Drew books, the Little House on the Prairie books and I loved, loved, the Trixie Belden books. I enjoyed a good mystery. I also played softball and swam. My summers were swimming, softball, and books :)

2. Is there any book that influenced you in any way? Any books that you found inspiring?
I can’t say there was a single book that inspired me, but what I love in general about books is being taken away into this other world the author has created for a while. I love the emotions reading can bring out in you and I guess that’s why I initially started writing to try and make people laugh and have fun.

3. At what point did you realize being an author wasn’t just a dream but something you wanted to turn into reality?
I think it’s all still difficult to wrap my head around that I have two published books. I never set out to be a writer, but it turns out it’s something that I discovered I had a knack for and I went with it.

4. What’s a typical working day for you like?
I’m typically a hot mess. I have my spot on the couch where I like to sit and I’m usually flanked by a glass of ice tea. I’m not someone who will disappear for hours and write three chapters. I write, then take a break. Either because one of my kids needs something or just to clear my head. Then I’ll think of something during that downtime and go back to writing. It’s kinda scattered, but it works ;)

5. Who or what motivates you to write?
I do better when I’m on the hook to someone. When I know they are waiting for me to send them something that motivates me more than anything. I do have a dear friend who has been with me from the beginning of all of this and she just helped me get through NaNoWriMo which was no small task. She’s a great motivator, cheerleader and I adore her. Plus she gives me honest criticism which I think is extremely important when you write. Knowing she’ll be straight with me helps.

6. Do you have a favorite place/time to work?
The place is my couch. Time of day, typically early morning. 7am on a Saturday before the rest of my family wakes up is golden time for me. Also late at night some good things pop into my mind. Driving in the car is strangely inspiring at times. I have many notes I jot into my phone at stop lights.

7. What type of book/authors do you read for fun?
I read romance a lot and YA, there is a ton of great YA out there and I’m often the one suggesting books to my girls. Romance authors I adore: JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lori Foster, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Christine Feehan. When I’m in a bad mood I pull out my Janet Evanovich and laugh my butt off and get a Joe Morelli fix. I really could go on and on. There are so many amazing authors out there and I read waaaaay too much…

8. How did you get involved with Omnific? I had a previous relationship with Elizabeth the owner and she offered me the opportunity to publish Boycotts & Barflies and then Trust in Advertising and so I took it. It was a great opportunity and one I will always be grateful for.

Check out the B&B trailer by Omnific: CLICK ME

9. What would you say makes your writing different from other authors?
I think there’s a lot of ‘me’ in my books and that’s what makes them unique. I think five people could all write the same story, but it’s the bits of themselves they put into a book that make it different and special.

10. Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to walk away with?
That love is a fun and amazing thing when you find it. And in the end, you find that the two people are better together than they are apart. That’s what true love is to me anyway.

11. If you could describe your books in 3 words what would they be?
Fun, flirty, and snarky.

Boycotts & Barflies

12. What inspired you to write Boycotts & Barflies? How long did it take to finish?
Before I wrote B&B I had written some funny pieces, ones that I really enjoyed but I wanted to see if I could pull off writing a love story from beginning to end. Two people meeting, falling in love and finding a way to make it work. It was a challenge to myself, one that I think paid off. It took me probably 4 months to write? Maybe a little longer.

13. Was B&B harder to write or did it just come together easily? How did it compare to TiA?
B&B was easier for me because it was light and fun. TiA had some more tense situations, but B&B was fun from beginning to end as far as the storyline went and it was a fairly smooth write.

14. How did you choose Portland as the backdrop for the story?
I have some family in the areas and I mentioned those little pieces of ‘me’ in the books…

15. Is anything in the book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Not much is based on real life, a lot of it is what I wished I would have done a few times in my life, like ordering all the pizzas and things like that, but most is pure imagination. The songs I used in the book though, those are all some of my favorites :)

16. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I loved writing the bar scenes. They were fun and I wished I could have been there to watch it all play out. Especially when the guys did their bar tricks!

17. Who were your favorite characters to write? The parents are just as hysterical as the kids!
Parents and kids are always fun to write because they change the dynamics between the characters so easily. Whenever parents are in the room we turn into those 13 year old kids, praying they don’t embarrass us, so that’s always fun. And not being the mom of teenagers, I know how easily I can wield that power over them so it’s fun. But I think I loved writing the guys because I could just let them be ridiculous with that hint of oblivious that makes us love them.

18. If you could meet any of the characters from B&B, who would it be & what would you be doing?
Dancing with Michael. Hands down. *insert my Chris Hemsworth fantasy montage here*

19. Susan is one of my favorite characters & she LOVES Christmas too! Do you have a favorite Christmas memory?
One of my favorite memories of Christmas is going to sound odd, but my dad passed away two years ago, so it’s very sentimental to me now. It’s of my dad, surrounded by yards of ripped up wrapping paper on Christmas morning. Whenever the last gift was opened, he’d wait all of thirty seconds, then pull out a big, black trash bag and start cleaning up all the paper. It drove him crazy. It’d take him longer to clean up than it did to open everything and every year, he’d be so proud because he’d find one or two gifts my brothers and I hadn’t opened because they got lost under all the paper.

20. Both the girls and guys have great bailing methods. Do you have a go-to move with your hubby?
With four kids we typically ‘need to get home.’ When they were little it was to save the babysitter .Now that they are old enough to be home themselves we leave to make sure they aren’t killing each other. :)

21. We know you’re a fan of football just like Grace & the boys. Are you a fanatic for sportswear like
Meg? Do you have a collection of foam fingers? ;)

I am a sports nut and superstitious. I have been known to rearrange the sitting positions of my children on the couch if someone moved and the momentum of the game changed. Pro football mainly and everyone in my real life knows what team I like so yes, I think I am a bit fanatical about it. Every dress down day at school I’m decked out in Black and Gold. It’s a given. If I didn’t, the kids would ask me why I’m not wearing it.

22. I noticed there are little details related to numbers, i.e. movie theater 12, number 7 buckle, room 315, etc. Do they mean anything or just random?
Sometimes those are little pieces of me again, a theater my husband and I went to a lot when we were dating, a highway in town where I live. Somehow those familiar number sound better to me as I’m writing.

23. If B&B were a movie, in my dream, I’d play Grace, Julia Louis-Dreyfus my mother & Stanley Tucci my dad. Haha Do you have anyone in mind to play your characters?
I love your casting! They would be fabulous!! The one I have in my head, and it has to do with my fan girl style crush on him, I’d die to have Chris Hemsworth play Michael. *fans self* I might not survive some of the bar scenes with him in it though. For Grace I’d go with someone like Jennifer Lawrence who could pull off that down to earth girl and the unassuming sexiness that she has. Plus, my son thinks she’s “a babe.”

24. If you could picture any of the characters from TiA and B&B meeting, who would they be?
Ohhh Vincent and Lexi could do an ad campaign for Michael and they guys at the bar! Now that would be a scene to write :)

25. You mentioned before you were working on a YA book and a Romantic/Suspense. We’re excited to read your next project! *squeals* How are they coming along? Any sequels in the works *hint hint* ;)
Sadly there are no sequels in the works. There is a sequel to B&B but it was a short pile of goofiness that I write. I doubt it will ever see the light of day. As for new projects, I have been a busy girl since last we talked. I still have the YA and the Romantic/Suspense I was working on and I’m hoping to get back to them  over the winter but I had another idea for a book that kinda came to me and after talking to a friend of mine, I decided to sit down and write it. I used NaNoWriMo as my motivator and right before I started answering these questions I was finishing up one of the last two chapters! Now, I literally sat down and typed it out like a crazy woman so I have to go back and do a lot of editing work but I am really excited with the story and how it’s turned out so far. It’s another Romantic Suspense; I must be in phase or something. I just like to try new things and this is one I’m really excited about so when I have something solid, I’ll have to give you a sneak peek.

26. What question have you always wanted to be asked? What would your answer be?
No one has ever asked me how many copies of my books I own. The answer- one of each :)

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7 Smooches Showdown

  1. Favorite movie food?
    Popcorn, extra butter and twizzlers (yes that part of me made the book too ;)
  2. Manolo Blahniks or bragging rights?
    Bragging rights, I’m stubborn like that.
  3. Shopping weakness?
    Purses- Michael Kors purses.
  4. Favorite football team?
    *waves Terrible Towel* STEELERS! WOOT!
  5. Peacock lust or blue?
    Peacock lust of course ;)
  6. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
    Left
  7. Do you believe in love at first sight?
    Yep. Lived it.

Since it’s Day 4 in our Christmas Reads week (and I can’t get enough of Victoria and her books) there’s another giveaway! Just like yesterday it is only going to be up for 24 hours; and who ever wins gets an ebook of Boycotts & Barflies…along with bragging rights! (Sorry no Manolo’s! ;) )

ENDS MIDNIGHT!! HURRY!!
ENTER HERE :)

Interview: Jessica Park

Jessica Park LLLI got to chat with one of my favorite authors, Jessica Park. *squeals*!! Here is the exclusive interview with the NY Times best-selling author of Flat-Out Love! Enjoy! :)

Writing

1. What’s a typical day like in the life of Jessica?
Lots of laundry and cleaning up after pets. Oh, and sometimes I write. When I’m really in the throes of a book, I’ll write for 12-14 hours a day. During those times, there is minimal showering, odd outfit choices, and frequent trips to a very understanding Starbucks.

2. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
My mom has been writing a dog lover’s mystery series since I was about 15. She lured me into coauthoring a fun culinary mystery series with her, and we did five books in the series. After that, I branched off on my own and wrote Relatively Famous, my first YA book.

3. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
In fifth grade, I wrote a very long piece on Clara Barton… and the “soilders.” That was not a big hit. That same year I did a long creative writing piece about the day that my mother and I adopted an orange kitten from a particularly dirty house. I included lots of details about how exactly the house was unfit for humans. Or pets. Also not a big hit.

4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?
Two authors who I really admire are Pat Conroy and Elinor Lipman. I think both are undeniably gifted writers, each able to capture characters in really remarkable ways. Conroy, in particular, has the ability to absolutely tear a reader’s heart out, and I love that. If I can pull off a shred of what they do, I’d be happy.

5. How does your family feel about being related to a NY Times best-selling author? ;)
They’re not particularly happy because I make them all address me as, “Princess New York Times Best-Selling Author.” It’s a mouthful, so sometimes they shorten that to a four-letter word.

6. Where do you get your ideas from? Do they come to you or are they inspired by true events?
Oh, gosh… From everywhere. Sometimes I’ll get the spark of an idea from real life, and then twist it into something fictional. Listening to music, letting my imagination run and build on a theme… Sometimes that gives me a scene that I want to write and then I build a story around that. I’m not a quick plotter, so it can take me months to really get a handle on a story idea.

7. Do you work with an outline or just write?
I used to work off of a very detailed outline, but the more I write, the less I seem to need that detail. I’m getting more confident that I can handle a scene without knowing exactly what it’ll be before I get there. It actually makes writing more fun because I’ll get to a new chapter and think, “Well, here we are. I can’t wait to see how this plays out!”

8. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you get out of the funk?
I get bouts of writer’s block in terms of coming up with book ideas. I really envy authors who are just overflowing with tons of stories that they want to write. I’m getting fussier and fussier about what is worth my time to write. Music helps a lot to combat that, and finding the “right” new song can pull me out of a stupor. Falling asleep is a great time to come up with book ideas, although the danger is that you fall asleep and forget them. I have emailed myself from my phone before with late-night notes.

9. What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting or editing?
The plotting. I love this part in some ways because I enjoy puzzles, tying everything together. But it’s a tricky, tricky process and can be very frustrating. My real struggle is coming up with the concept that I want to focus on in a book. Once I have that down, so much else falls into place.

10. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to? (btw just downloaded “Shallow Cars” cue the awwws! SOOO good)
Constantly. I don’t think I could write without music, which is funny because I used to need total silence. These days I’m so dependent on setting a mood to really capture what’s going on with characters that silence would be tough. I have a Spotify list for my latest book: For new work-in-progress At some point I’ll break it down to match up chapters and songs. “Litost” by The Ambassadors was on repeat for hours one day as I wrote a particularly emotional chapter. Ditto for “The Chain” by Ingrid Michaelson. In Like Lions is a local Boston band who I totally adore, and they were kind enough to let me use their music for the enhanced edition app version of Flat-Out Love. Seriously, they are addictive. Troy Ramey is the lead singer, and his voice will knock you to your knees. He could sing the damn phonebook and I’d swoon.

FOL

11. What inspired Flat-Out Love?
The original storyline was a play on Snow White (you might see some remnants of that still!), but my plot got crazy complicated and I bagged it. I’d also seen this bananas blog some couple had done that featured a video of the two of them with a Flat Rick Springfield, carting him to stores, having him stand behind their lawn mower, hanging out of the car window… It was very odd. Funny, but also not totally funny because there was a creepy, sad element there that fascinated me. I started obsessing about WHY someone would have a Flat Somebody. What if it was a family member?

12. Did you have a “glamorous college life” like Julie hoped for? What was your experience like?
Um, glamorous? Beer-soaked? Yes. Kidding, kidding… I loved college. Really loved it. I went to a small liberal arts college in Minnesota, and despite the disgusting weather, I had a blast. I’m still close with a bunch of people from college.

13. Are you still planning on releasing chapters from Matt’s POV? *SQUEALS*
I hope so… I’d love to do this! I’ll have to see if it makes sense to do this now or to write another book first.

14. Are you an adrenaline junkie like Matty? If so, what’s the craziest thing you’ve done?
Oh, hell, no! Years ago I had a brief spell where I thought it’d be a barrel of monkeys to go jumping out of a plane, but that insanity did not last long. I hate heights. I hate danger. I hate fear.

15. Do you like to travel like Finn? ;) Where would you most like to visit?
I’m such a homebody in so many ways! I’m not nearly as adventurous as Finn, but I’d love to go to England and Ireland one day. Or a tropical island. With a resort. And cocktails. And no work.

16. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
I had so much fun writing the chapter when Julie puts hinges on Finn while Celeste stands by. I can still hear Celeste yelling, “Flat Finn is having second thoughts! Flat Finn is having second thoughts!” It’s a special chapter because although it’s very funny, it’s also pretty poignant. That day was a big deal for Celeste. The hardest was probably the night of Celeste’s sleepover. I loved writing it, but there is so much intensity there and a whole array of emotions to cover. I had to manage the shift from one to the other in a way that felt natural. Lots of late nights of tweaking went into those scenes.

17. Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?
Flat Finn. I think he’s particularly charismatic and charming.

18. What would you say to that person?
“How YOU doin’?” ;) *wink wink*

19. You’ve been working with DigiGlyph to release a very fun, unique app for Flat-Out Love. Congrats! Like a movie on the go; it’s a very modern way of storytelling. What made you want to create it? How did that come about?
DigiGlyph approached me with the concept, and I was floored. Nothing like it has been done before, so we are really breaking new ground. While I don’t like bungee jumping, I do like taking other kinds of risks. I love the whole idea that storytelling can be multi-dimensional… reading the way we are used to is wonderful, obviously, but the idea that readers can experience a book in an entirely different way? I couldn’t say no to that. The book essentially “plays” with scrolling text (you can control the speed) while beautiful images, music, and sound effects fade in and out for different scenes. There is so much stuff packed into this app, and that’s why it’s been taking so long to get it out. The team is frankly too smart, and the app is actually more advanced than the devices are (iPad, Kindle, etc.), so they are having to write code that tricks the iPad into understanding the app. It’s bananas.

20. What project are you working on now?
I just finished writing a monster of a book that will be published by the YA/NA division of Amazon Children’s Publishing on May 21st. (I don’t think I’m allowed to reveal the title yet!) It’s a whopper love story set during my characters’ senior year of college. It’s very intense, very graphic in parts, and hopefully very moving. It’s a big step up from Flat-Out Love, but I’m hoping that my readers stick with me!

21. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
I got really beat up over the two days that Amazon had a feature story about me on their gateway page last spring. It was such an honor for them to do that for me, but the downside was that I had a stream of reviews post based solely on the Kindle preview. I got absolutely torn apart by people who really had no business rating a book like FOL, but I’ve still got reviews up there saying, “Well, no wonder she didn’t get a publishing deal. She can’t write.” I had line-by-line criticism of the first chapter… Oh, on and on. It was brutal, and I cried more than once. I’m pretty tough, but some of those reviews were pretty awful.

22. What has been the best compliment?
A number of people have written me and shared their own stories about their family history and loss, and to hear they felt I handled the issues in FOL well and with respect meant the world. It’s really one of the reasons that I write; to connect with readers, to touch them and move them deeply. Hearing that I’ve accomplished that, and sometimes helped people to heal, means the world.

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7 Smooches Showdown

  1. New Year’s resolution
    Write another book. Prove those nasty reviewers mentioned above wrong.
  2. Bagels or Lox?
    Lotsa lox! With capers.
  3. Pet name for you as a kid?
    Birdie.
  4. Favorite sandwich?
    BLT with fried egg and extra mayonnaise.
  5. Flat Adam Levine or 1 online chat date with Adam Levine?
    FLAT ADAM! I don’t care for his chit chat.
  6. Craziest thing in your fridge right now?
    Leftover risotto with three kinds of mushrooms, cream cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, basil, and scallions. Made myself. Yes, I did. For real!
  7. If you were a superhero what would your power be?
    The power to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Or the power to clean the house in a matter of minutes. I know, these are scintillating, right? But, man, what I’d give… Oh, and to go a more traditional route, I’d like to be able to fly at top speed. I have friends around the country who I’d love to see more often, and a number of close author pals who I haven’t even met yet! Tracey Garvis-Graves, I’m coming for ya’! Then Colleen Hoover! Then Tammara Webber! Then…. Well, flying would be awesome.

I’VE DECIDED TO DO A GIVEAWAY!! Because it’s Christmas and it’s Day 3 of #ChristmasReads week,  one of you lucky subscribers will win an e-book copy of Flat-Out Love!! But there’s a catch, it ENDS MIDNIGHT!! Happy Holidays!

ENTER HERE :)

Spotlight: author and poet Kat Bastion

1. What inspired you to write poetry, and publish your work.

First, thank you, for the opportunity to interview with Literati Literature Lovers, Karen, and for sharing in the cover reveal of Utterly Loved. Actually, Sylvain Reynard’s guest post on Literati Literature Lovers in early September 2012, inspired me to write poetry. He shared Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice. Until that moment, I’d never been impacted by poetry. Somehow, a switch got flipped. Lost in a blissful moment days later, Heaven…Found, my first poem ever, flowed unexpectedly into my mind. Now, the switch appears to be stuck in the “on” position. {laughs}

I’m publishing a romantic poetry collection, Utterly Loved, for the sole purpose of sharing love with the world for charity. I want to help those who desperately need love to feel…Utterly Loved.

2. What makes (poetry) so special? Who is your favorite dead poet and living poet.

For me, poetry flows from the heart and mind in one colorful ribbon, perfectly capturing a moment. For all the facets that a tiny poetic snapshot reveals, the beauty experienced while writing and reading poetry is magnificent.

Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

3. What do you do when you are not writing?

I work in an unglamorous paper-pushing job. {whispers} I change in a phone
booth when my characters desperately need me.

For fun, I spend time with Mr. Bastion every chance I get. When I’m on an actual writing break, I love to read.

4. What books did you read when you were a kid? Any books you found inspiring?

I picked up Piers Anthony’s Split Infinity in the library because it had a unicorn on the cover. I was in junior high. His fantasy worlds ensnared so completely, I quickly devoured everything he’d written. In high school it was romance novels by Danielle Steele.

No books I’ve ever read inspired me on a visceral level until I read Sylvain Reynard’s Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture. I read them for the first time at the end of September 2012, and both the books and author instantly became favorites for the underlying themes both the books and author promote: Hope, redemption, and the amazing transformation of the soul through selfless acts of love. The poetry and purpose of Utterly Loved shares those same themes.

5. What books do you read now?

I’m reading Karen Marie Moning’s ICED, and I loved her Fever Series. I’m a paranormal romance fan at heart with a particular weakness for Highlanders… and now a particular Professor. ;)

6. Some authors listen to music while writing, others prefer a quiet space. Which is your preference? If you do listen to music, do you have a playlist? Care to share?

I need a quiet space to relax and write.
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The Wild Ones Blog Tour: Character Interview & Giveaway

“Pick ‘treat.’ Please, for the love of God, pick ‘treat’.”

We have the pleasure of having an interview with the sexy Trick Henley from The Wild Ones

Q. Favorite movie/actor/actress?
Favorite movie? Bullet with Steve McQueen, for obvious reasons.

Favorite actor? Sam Elliott. I love that guy’s voice.

Favorite actress? At the moment, it’s Jennifer Lawrence. That girl’s got some skills!

Q. Favorite song/singer?
Favorite song would probably be Cat Scratch Fever. It’s what I used to learn to play the guitar.

Favorite singer would probably be Chris Daughtry. There again, I love that guy’s voice.

Q. Favorite place you would love to visit?
Hawaii. Cami was made to wear a grass skirt and a coconut bra.

Q. One item you cannot live without?
Item? My razor. I’m not a beard kind of guy. But if you’re talking anything, including a person, it’d be Cami. Without a doubt.

Q. Who would you like to meet? (dead or alive)
My father. I’ve already met him but there’s so much I’d like to say, so much I’d like to ask. So much I want him to see and know now.

Q. Favorite hobby?
Working on a resto with Rusty probably. I can’t really count working with the horses now, since that’s more business nowadays.

Q. Guilty pleasure?
Patron tequila. Damn, how I love that Patron!

Q. Favorite author and/book?
*laughs* Uh, I don’t really read much. The last book I read was a text book in veterinary school.

Q. Do you collect anything?
Not really, unless you include horses.

Q. Favorite color?
Blue. Definitely blue.

Follow the tour (click on the banner or here):

Giveaway
SIGNED The Wild Ones Paperback & T-shirt and SIGNED Blood Like Poison Paperback & T-shirt
Click here to enter.

Where to find Michelle Leighton
Website: Blog
Twitter: MleightonBooks
Facebook Page: M. Leighton
Goodreads: Author page

Where to buy The Wild Ones
Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Interview: Sophie Morgan

Jessica and I had the opportunity to interview Sophie Morgan, author of Diary of a Submissive. We hope you enjoy getting to know Sophie a little better.

1. Some people insist you are not a woman, but a man due to the lack of emotional language used. They say a woman wouldn’t use words such as “slit” or “arse.” They also say that women are great at using emotion in writing and while you do an excellent job in the descriptive category you don’t do so well in the emotional department. What’s your reaction and what would you say they to them?

It’s a question that has come up a couple of times and surprises and depresses me in pretty much equal measure because it seems to be underpinned by the stereotype that women can only talk about sex in deeply emotional terms. In Diary of a Submissive I have three major relationships, one of which is a love story of sorts, the other two of which are more sexual fun with like-minded and trusted partners than conventional romantic relationships. I’d argue that there are points where I’m very emotional – just not all the time. As in my real life, I’m quite happy being laid back about sex where possible. As for the ‘arse’ conundrum – it’s nothing more than a linguistic choice. I’ve always found euphemisms around sex really awkward. My arse is my arse. I’m not going to call it my ‘behind’ and I’m not going to talk about sex in terms of ‘down there’ or ‘lady parts’ or whatever. It’s a personal choice, but I don’t think I’m the only woman who feels that way (I hope I’m not!) – it’s certainly not a sign I’m a man!

2. It’s touched upon with James, but not fully explored. Men growing up with mothers and sisters who are strong and independent…how does a Dom reconcile hurting someone he loves? Can you give us an insight based on your own experience?

I think the key for this is the emotional context it sits within. Hurting someone in an erotic context, when it’s something they get off on isn’t abusive and doesn’t reflect a dislike of or wish to demean women. The dominant men I have met are for the most part respectful, polite and pro-equality in every other kind of context, it’s just in the bedroom they enjoy playing out the same power play elements I do. For me and the people I’ve played with those are the distinct boundaries – my boyfriend and I live together, make our decisions equally and have the kind of partnership you’d expect from any kind of long term relationship. It’s just (sometimes) in a sexual context this shifts – and we both enjoy it.

3. You mentioned you grew up with no corporal punishment. Do you think if you had, your first experience wouldn’t have been so shocking? Do you think you might still be attracted to the lifestyle if you had?

I don’t know it would have made any difference really. People have their kinks, and the fact that BDSM goes back so far historically suggests that even in the days of corporal punishment there was some kind of allure to D/s!

4. Some say there’s a difference between sexual fantasy portrayed in BDSM books and those in a real submissive sex life. Ultimately they say no one should live in a context of fantasy and yet think your lifestyle is just that. In their eyes they view it as an unhealthy attachment to fantasy since it’s an abusive lifestyle in practice. How do you respond to that?

My lifestyle isn’t abusive. That’s one of the major points I’m trying to make in my book. Some BDSM books are more fantastic – in the way that Mills and Boon books are, or sci-fi. But a major part of the reason I was inspired to write my book in the first place was to show you can work, have a social life, be sarcastic and silly and obsessed by Modern Family and still be into D/s without it all being sex contracts and red rooms of pain. People misconstruing D/s as abuse firstly do a grave disservice to victims of real domestic abuse, and secondly are judging me for choices it’s within my rights to make.
Continue reading

Meant to Be Blog Tour: Karen Stivali Interview & Giveaway

Which author influenced your writing the most, and how do you prepare yourself to write an erotic love scene?

I don’t know that there is one single author who has most influenced my writing. As a kid I read almost constantly. I was one of those cliché kids that hides a flashlight under the pillow and reads until all hours of the night. Even at a very young age I gravitated toward adult novels and I read everything I could get my hands on. My biggest influences were probably writers such as Judy Blume and Erica Jong, who taught me that not only can women craft fabulous stories, but those stories could (and should) be free to discuss all aspects of the character’s lives, the good, the bad and the sexual. Other writers, like Anton Myrer and Erich Segal, made me realize that my favorite stories are those in which you learn so much about the characters you feel like you know them personally. And countless writers from novelists to poets taught me to write about love, in all its most wonderful and most painful moments.

As far as erotic love scenes go, I prepare myself for them the same way I prepare to write any scene. All of my stories play out in my head like movies. I watch them over and over, taking in the details and listening to the dialogue until I can transcribe the whole thing. Then I write. I try to make sure that I have put myself in the mind and body of every character so I know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling. It doesn’t matter if I’m describing a meal they’re having, a laugh with a friend, a flirtatious moment, or the steamiest of sex scenes. The method of writing is the same: be in the moment with the characters.

Do you have a daily writing goal or do you stick to an outline?

I don’t have daily writing goals (unless I’m working on some sort of deadline). There are some days where I practically write nonstop and others where I don’t write at all. If I’m in a good groove on a particular story it’s not unusual for me to churn out 3-4k words in a day. Other days I can’t put together a paragraph. On those days I know it’s best to do something other than write.
Continue reading

Interview: S.C. Stephens

Tell us some things about yourself that readers, like myself, may not know, as well as how you got into writing?

I’m very private and writing is very personal, so, in the beginning, I didn’t tell a whole lot of people in my life that I wrote a book.   My close friends didn’t know I self-published until I showed them the physical copy.   My family didn’t find out until after that.   For a long time, it just wasn’t something I talked about.   I’m a lot more open about it now.

I started writing because I got a story stuck in my head, and it wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it out.   I thought about it nonstop and wrote it whenever I had free time, which was usually late at night or early in the morning.   I hadn’t planned on ever letting anyone read it; but once it was finished, curiosity made me post it.  I just wanted to know if it was any good.  The bug bit me, and I couldn’t stop writing after that.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person and why?

I think the natural answer here is Kellan, but that isn’t who I would pick.   For one thing, I’d be even more of a mess than Kiera was when she first met him.   I wouldn’t even be able to speak to him.   I’d just stupidly stare at him while possibly drooling, and that’s not good.   No, I’m going to say Teren Adams from Conversion.   He’s such a gentleman, and so sweet, and incredibly handsome, but not on such an overwhelming scale like Kellan.   I think I’d feel more comfortable around Teren, even if he does have fangs.

Is there a particular theme you wish you would have explored in any of the books or a theme you’d like to work with in the future?

Hmmm, I don’t usually set out with a theme in mind; I just go where the story takes me.  I tend to gravitate toward angst, since I love the tension that comes with wanting someone you can’t have or shouldn’t have.  I would love to someday do another darker, more serious book like Collision Course, but it all depends on what storyline hits me.

I HATE KIERA!!! should be a t-shirt.  How do you feel that so many readers dislike the female lead character from the Thoughtless series?

It stings a little since Kiera and I have a lot in common, but I understand it.   She does some very hurtful things.   It’s also very hard for her to make a choice.   She doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she’s torn.   Out of all of my characters though, she’s the one that has grown the most.   I’m very proud of her.

Besides the Conversion series, It’s All Relative, and Not a Chance, are you working on any new titles that we are not aware of?

Not at this time.   I’m working on sequel stories for Conversion Next Generation and Not a Chance. After those are done, I’ll start working on new books.   I’m so far behind in publishing my older pieces though, that it may take a while for new stories to be released.

Having moved from the self-publishing industry to the more traditional route back in August 2012, what are some of the benefits, as well as the drawbacks, of both processes?

Exposure is the biggest benefit.   I’ll be in bookstores all over the U.S. after November 6th, and that’s something I definitely couldn’t have done on my own.   Being published also helps with getting movie studios to look at the book.   It’s still a long shot, but I’d love to see Thoughtless on film one day.

The major drawback is the loss of control.   The release dates were pushed back, and there was nothing I could do about it.   While I had a lot of input on the covers, the final design wasn’t up to me.   I also have to wait a certain amount of time before I can self-publish again, so it pushed back the release dates on all the rest of my books.   I’m happy with my decision though.

The original ending to Thoughtless is quite different from the one we’ve read.  Why did you change your mind and write an alternate ending?

While I was writing Thoughtless, I debated all of the different scenarios—girl with boy A,  girl with boy B,  girl all alone.   But then a different ending struck me, and I typed it out to see how it would work.   I had a love/hate relationship with it and posted it with my eyes closed, waiting for the backlash.   And there was a LOT of backlash, LOL.   I really listened to the reviews coming in and was moved by some very well written objections.   Then a fan shared the song Run by Snow Patrol.  I started seeing Kellan singing with his eyes closed while Kiera walked through the crowd toward him. That scene did me in, and I knew I had to change the ending.   And I’m very glad I did!  (Aren’t we all?   I (Michelle) have to say that although I know what the ending is and have shared it with numerous people, I have never read.  And I’m not sure if I ever will.)
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Interview with Kristen Painter Part 2

Q. As a writer do you think it is the harder or easier to write urban fantasy/paranormal fiction?

Yes. Hah! Actually, it’s both hard and easy. Easy because there are really no boundaries. Hard because the more complicated your world and plots, the more there is to keep track of it. (Which might be easy for someone who’s organized, but my idea of organization is, well, not that organized.)

Q. When you are not writing what do you read?

Graphic novels, comic books, cookbooks, YA, biographies, research books, the occasional historical romance.

Q. Which one of your House of Comarrè characters is your favorite, and why?

I call dirty pool! That’s like making me pick a body part I’d least like to lose. But okay. Mal. He’s just such a delicious mess.

Q. Who is your favorite author, and why?

Again, that’s a crazy hard question. And I refuse to answer it on the grounds that it may cause me to angst for days.

Q. Of all of your books which one was the hardest to write?

Flesh and Blood, the second book in the series. I wrote Blood Rights to entertain myself, then all of a sudden, I was writing with an audience and an editor. Played some head games with me for a while.

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Interview: Kristen Painter

I really enjoyed reading the House of Comarré series. I was very excited when Gothic Urban Fantasy author, Kristen Painter, agreed to an interview. I hope you enjoy getting to know her better.

Q. As a writer do you write your books in scene format or do you write linearly like a movie?
I write like a movie, which is kind of how I seen scenes before I write them. I’ve tried writing scenes out of order and it doesn’t work for me. By the time I get to that scene, it’s not that scene any more.

Q. Do you use an outline? If so do you ever deviate from the outline?
I do a brief synopsis for each book because my publisher requires it, but when I write, I’m always open to possibility. I often purposefully try to write myself into corners. I feel like the most interesting stuff comes out of those desperate situations. I call this “the path of least saneness” – I always make the decision that makes things worse for my characters, not better.

Q. Will we ever find out why Chrysabelle has mini fangs?
I’ll tell you now! It’s just a side effect of her blood sickness brought on by the over abundance of blood in her system.

Q. Why have you chosen to end the House of Comarrè series with Last Blood?
Because it was time. I’ve never wanted to write a series that went on too long, you know? I’d much rather readers want more than have them think the last few books weren’t necessary. And I think Last Blood does a great job of giving the characters closure without completely slamming the door. That way, if I ever want to write another novella in the series, I can.

Q. Any hints on what is in store for Mal and Chyrsabelle?
Oh, you know, some bad stuff and then some good stuff. ;o)

7 Smooches Showdown
1. Favorite Ice Cream? When I eat it, chocolate peanut butter.
2. Favorite Drink? Seltzer with lime.
3. Favorite place to read? In bed. Or by a pool under an umbrella on a tropical island. So yeah, mostly in bed.
4. Favorite time of year? I love fall and spring. Those are the seasons when we can have our windows open here in Florida and it’s glorious.
5. Favorite book as a kid? All of them. I read everything. Even won first place for reading the most books one year.
6. Why do you love cats? They’re gorgeous creatures, but they’re also so full of personality. People think cats are aloof, but when a cat loves you, you know it.
7. Favorite Cake or Pie? I’m typically a cake girl, but I’m off sugar at the moment so let’s go with crab cake.