Archive of ‘Special Guests’ category

Guest Author: Zoe Winters and Indie Publishing

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I Don’t Want Your Poopie Ice Cream Anyway!

Save My SoulDionne asked me to talk about being an indie author. I’m pretty much off the indie rah rah train for the most part, except when someone specifically asks me to talk about it, then I can be persuaded. :)

There was a time when I had the plan to get a “real publisher”. It was the proper and respectable way, and I took my writing very seriously. I’ve been writing since at least junior high and I wanted to be a published author. I wanted to be “validated”.

I wrote a lot of books I’ll never publish and did not submit because I knew they weren’t ready. This wasn’t a fear of rejection. I’d submitted short stories before and gotten rejections. Some of them form letters, some of them nice. I’d never understood the whole “crying over a rejection letter” thing. The most I’d felt was a little bummed/disappointed. I knew it was just part of the process.

As I got closer to having a novel that I thought might be ready for publication, something funky happened with my writing. I stopped doing as much of it. Because now it meant I had to submit stuff to agents. And then after that I had to get a publisher. And then I had to lose control of everything from my title to the way editing was done, to my cover art. Then I would live in this mystery land where I had no idea about my sales for months and months at a time. And I’d have to deliver books on someone else’s deadlines. And if I someday started writing fast, I’d have people trying to “slow me down” due to their publishing schedules.

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Anna Katherine on Inspiration

Salt and SilverWoo-hoo, free autographed copy for one random commenter. Go for it!

Inspiration is a tricksy thing. There are many authors out there who will say that it is a glorious god come from on high, or maybe a muse who drifts down on occasion and drops off morsels of characterization for the poor frazzled author who must then ration it for the dark, blocked times ahead.

I don’t particularly like the muse theory. This is largely because I don’t like giving credit to anyone other than me for whatever nifty things show up on my computer screen. I may not entirely realize all the bits I’m putting in, but it’s definitely all me. “Muses” can suck it.

I keep fairly good track of what comes from where (whether it’s research, coauthors, editors, or that weird dream I had that one time with the carrots). I’m a magpie of a writer. I collect facts, images, details, names — I take all the shiny things. Practically speaking, I can “get” inspiration from just about anything — or everything, if you’d rather think of it that way. Every little thing that we humans experience gets folded into our heads, just waiting to be used for whatever reason. To keep the process a bit more useful and direct, though, I keep composition books full of character essays; I keep binders full of cut-out articles and photographs; I even keep a small notebook specifically for those tiny scraps of whatever that would inevitably get written down on cocktail napkins and shoved into pockets indefinitely if I didn’t have a specific place for them.

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Shiloh Walker’s Chains of Luuuurve Contest

Want to win $100 in free books?

To help promote her upcoming release, CHAINS, author Shiloh Walker is doing a dash through some of the blogs in romanceland, leaving behind excerpts. If you’d like to get entered to win a gift certificate for $100 (your choice from the online booksellers), all you have to do is visit the blogs, read the excerpts and leave a comment. The excerpts are in order, just visit the first blog, Karen Knows Best and go on from there!

Chains

An all new novel of erotic suspense

They weren’t friends. They weren’t enemies. The only thing the three girls had in common was the high school they went to in Madison, Ohio–until one tragic night. Now, fifteen years later, they’re returning home where passion–and danger–await…

Renee Lincoln was the homecoming queen–with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life. After that horrible night, she rebelled the only way she knew how: by submitting to her wildest fantasies…

Tall, blonde, and athletic, Lacey Talbot was a golden girl with a bright future. She’s found success as a photographer, but no man has ever been able to satisfy her. No man but the bad boy she left behind…

Sherra Salinger has always looked like a princess out of some fairy tale. The books she writes, though, stem from the nightmare of that one night. And she shrinks from any man’s attention–especially the one stalking her…

They’re coming back to Madison–and it won’t be happy reunion. There are three men, all dangerous in a different way. And when each of them surrender their bodies to the heat, when they succumb to desire, they’ll find the safety they desperately need…

Excerpt (part five)

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Guest Author: Dee Tenorio

The Town Where You Live

I like to think of myself as having had two childhoods. My first, where I was born, was in Fresno, CA, the “dodgy end” to put a polite spin on it. I laugh when people describe Fresno as “the sticks” or something like that. I was in the city proper, which is a bit more like East LA. At the time, it was typical, I thought. The only white people I saw were teachers and police officers and a very few unfortunate that lived in our neighborhoods. Generally, everyone was brown and a few were black and that had virtually nothing to do with how they were treated. What would make or break you was what street you lived on. Mom had us situated on the safe parts of the blocks. In one neighborhood, all the gang members and shootings and such happened way down the block. In another, they were on the street behind us. Drug dealers were always a street over and if you just didn’t step on the drunk homeless guy sleeping against the Esee Market wall on the way to Kindergarten, you were fine.

So you can imagine my utter culture shock when my parents moved to San Diego county (I won’t even tell you about the Reservation where we lived a few times). They divorced and my Mom proudly took most of us kids with her back to her hometown, Poway. (Pronounced Pow-way, not Poh-why, btw.) [Bam: Ugh, Poway. I grew up there, too. I don’t know if we should high-five or give each other commiserating hugs.] Population…well, it felt like about 500. Mom was so excited because the town newspaper had expanded beyond one page to six! Oooooh! And nary a brown person to be found. Let me assure you, folks, I’m BROWN. Almost cocoa. And I was in a sea of cowboy hats, boots and had to share the crosswalk with five year olds riding their horses. The highlight of the year there was the Rodeo day parades in September. RO-DE-O.

I was pretty sure that I was in Hell.

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Jill Sorenson Reveals the REAL California

You’ve got your ball
You’ve got your chain
Tied to me tight, tie me up again
Who’s got their claws
In you my friend
Into your heart I’ll beat again…

My family moved from a small town in Kansas to Oceanside, California when I was twelve. It wasn’t what I’d expected—palm trees and white sand beaches. My neighborhood, ten miles inland, was more of a concrete jungle with gangs and graffiti. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten over the culture shock. California is a strange place, full of contrasts. The line between fantasy and reality has always fascinated me.

DANGEROUS TO TOUCH, my first book, is set in Oceanside. I really enjoyed incorporating some local flavor, and I didn’t hesitate to include details about the seedier aspects of the city. In June, when the book was released, I did a photo tour on my web site, sharing pictures of the lovely beaches I still frequent, and the not-so-lovely toll bridge in my old neighborhood.

My current release, CRASH INTO ME, is set in La Jolla, California. This coastal community is like the Malibu of San Diego [Bam: Ah, yep]. Multimillion dollar homes and breathtaking beachfront properties. Big money. My hero, a world class pro surfer (and murder suspect), was born here, in the lap of luxury.

Starting January 27th, the release day for CRASH INTO ME, I’ll be posting photos of La Jolla on my web site. If you’re in the mood for some surf, sand, and sunshine, please stop by. And be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of CRASH INTO ME.

In romance, do you want pure fantasy, or do you appreciate a touch of reality? Do you like stories that are dark and edgy, or sunny and light? What about settings? In the dead of winter, are you in the mood for a beach read, or would you rather get “snowed in”?

[Bam: Thanks for getting Dave Matthews stuck in my head, Jill!]

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