Destiny, The Secret Watchers, book five. Owen’s final adventure! http://thesecretwatchers.com/destiny/
Watch for the roll-out at all retailers! http://thesecretwatchers.com/shop/
If you’re local… Please join me at The Red Mitten Christmas Bazaar in Canby Oregon! The bazaar runs from Dec. 2nd until the 13th.
Wednesday preview from 5 – 8 pm (a small donation goes to local charities)
Thursdays from 10am to 6pm
Fridays from 10am to 6pm
Saturdays from 9am to 7pm
Sundays from noon until 5pm
Author signings – local artisans, artists and craftspeople – amazing desserts and soup at lunch time!
Learn more here – https://www.facebook.com/The-Red-Mitten-Christmas-Bazaar-440789499299653/?fref=ts
Warner Grange Hall – 10100 S. New Era Rd. (Just north of Canby – 1/4 mile off of 99E.)
See you there!
If I could, Lauren, I’d like to tell you about my new story Two Hearts Surrendered, which is featured in the Magical Weddings Anthology – due to be released on June 16.
The first thing that popped into my head when I was asked if I’d like to contribute a story was this: why not try writing something a little different from what I’m accustomed to? Military stories are very popular these days. But with some of the terrible things happening in the world today, what I wanted was to get into the head of my character, who was returning home as a wounded warrior. Luke Bryant had struggles to begin with – he was abused as a child. It’s my heroine’s ability to believe in their love and to stand by his side, even though my hero is effectively attempting to shut Kelly Callahan out of his life – that eventually leads them to an enchanting happily-ever-after.
Here’s our blurb for the anthology:
From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.
Our headliner is Leigh Michaels, a national bestselling author who’s written over 100 novels. Leigh’s story is a lovely historical romance – Her Wedding Wager – about a heroine whose future is dependent on a bet. Aileen Harkwood has been coordinating this project, and her contribution is The Last Wedding At Drayhome – an enchanting story about a witch and warlock – and a love too long denied. Eve Devon’s captivating love story, The Dress, spans time – through a dress weaved with magic, while USA Today bestselling author Raine English has written Second Chance Bride, a charming story about a bride who just might’ve chosen the wrong groom – as communicated by a telepathic rescue dog!
The other highly talented, USA Today, best-selling, and award-winning authors featuring stories are: Lynda Haviland, Jody A. Kessler, Jane Lark, Bess McBride, L.L. Muir, Jennifer Gilby Roberts, Jan Romes, Heather Thurmeier, Elsa Winckler, and Sarah Wynde.
I can’t tell you how I excited I am to be part of this group!
Having gotten to know you, I’d say you’ve earned your spot! Congratulations, Tamara!!!
Right now, Magical Weddings is available for pre-order at only 99c. It’s already reached bestseller status at Amazon – at #3 for Hot New Releases, and #14 for anthologies!
Magical Weddings is available at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magical-weddings-leigh-michaels/1122015285?ean=2940151303484
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1F7a8rY
Besides the fact that I’ve loved old movies my entire life, with the suspense and romance, this one has it all. There’s a twisted plot; the couple fall in love and Coleman can’t remember his past. Coleman’s in an accident and develops amnesia again – this time remembering his former life and returning to it. But eventually – of course! – the couple find love with each other again.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
That’s a no-brainer – gardening. But I’ve been so busy, my yard is looking like a jungle these days!
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?
I think romance suspense will always be my favorite to write. Even my new adult romances involve a mystery – the stories just seem too simple otherwise. I’ve always loved reading romance and suspense too. But what’s funny is, I have to be in a certain mood to read a different genre. When I was young, I loved light and funny. But these days, it kind of bores me, and I need to read something deeper and more intense.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?
I use both! I write up my outline in a college ruled notebook, and add to it – by detailing my chapters with one or two lines as I move along through the story. It’s the only way I can stay on track, cause I tend to wander off into different directions, as I consider what’s next ( and with whom ) in the next novel of each series. I prefer writing with the computer, of course. But I always carry a small notebook – ideas seem to pop up in my mind at the strangest times.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
No doubt about it, I’m a much better writer! I’ve become more articulate with practice. My sentence structure used to twist up quite a bit and I had to do a lot of heavy-duty proofing. But now the right words and new ideas for the next novel are spinning through my mind even when I’m not actually writing.
What draws you to this genre?
I was never as enthused with contemporary romance as I was with historical when I began reading it. I finally figured out that, to me, it just wasn’t as romantic! So, I guess, I decided that I wanted to write contemporary romance because I wanted to make my stories more romantic than the authors I was reading – and more like what I would want to read myself!
Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?
I do a little of both – I begin with a simple outline and plot. Usually I have the story in my mind already, and begin by writing my epilogue, and setting a scene from the past. Many times conflictions in the past are what greatly affect my characters’ future, as well as challenging their ability to make a commitment and fall in love! Rather than expose too much information about my characters at the beginning, I like to reveal bits and pieces moving forward. And I do like to trick the reader a little – my favorite characters to develop are those who appear to be unlikable on the outside, but actually have redeeming qualities on the inside. Maybe because they were abused or molested . . . usually there’s a reason for their attitude or behavior? I guess because I search for the best in people, I want my reader to be able to find it as well.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
On the surface, my writing appears simplistic – but I write a complicated story! I put a lot of depth into my characters’ backgrounds, and my heroes and heroines, in particular, never have it easy. Through the story, there are challenges aplenty to overcome before they can finally reach their happily-ever-after. I’ll never write a story without an HEA! I want my reader to finish my story feeling positive (and maybe even with a smile on their face.)
Why do you write?
I’m one of those crazy people who just decided to write. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. But even back when I was a teenager, once I finished reading a book, I remember thinking about how I would change the story to make it better! And, most particularly, the mysteries—I seemed to always be able to pick out the villain.
And I’m a full-time caregiver to a severely autistic and mentally impaired son who has Type I Diabetes. Once he graduated from school and I discovered his vocational programming wasn’t going through because of Illinois’ budget cuts, I was somewhat overwhelmed when I realized my life would probably never be my own again. (There’s a twenty year waiting period for placement into an institution equipped to handle his type of problems.) And now there’s the potential for an even worse problem – our new governor is trying to cut out programs and funding for my son and others like him! At the back of my mind, I’ve been hoping to become a successful writer so that I’d have another source of income to fall back on since I can’t work away from home now.
Plus writing occupies my mind. It keeps me from considering the what if’s. No matter how difficult my circumstances are, there is always someone out there who has it much worse. And here I am, now, beginning to experience moderate success as a writer.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why?
Music has always been a big inspiration in my life. I sang in a choir from the time I was nine as a first soprano, was a madrigal in high school( we won a first in our state) and even sang through my freshman year in college. And I have a little secret – my Tales of the Dragonfly stories?- they were ALL created with the inspiration of particular songs (Foreigner, Journey, Maroon 5, Jefferson Starship + MORE!)
What else do you have in the pipeline?
I’m inventing my next Kissed by Fate Story – That Unexpected Kiss – while I’ve been working on my next installment of Romantic Suspense – Tales of the Dragonfly Book III: Emergence. This is the story of Lucy Callahan, the eighteen-year old girl who was kidnapped and assaulted in Book I: In Tandem. The members of the human trafficking ring who were responsible for capturing her have remained at-large. It’s nearly a year later, and Lucy’s still having troubles recovering from her ordeal when she realizes she’s being stalked by the man who raped her. Her inner strength shines through when she assists the FBI and confronts her rapist – while falling in love with the former FBI agent who’s acting as her bodyguard. Lucy lives and works in Gabe Giordano’s home, as his seven-year old daughter’s nanny, while attending the college where Gabe is a professor.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Twitter @Tammysdragonfly https://twitter.com/Tammysdragonfly Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamara-Ferguson/579374595502809
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/tamara-ferguson/94/a05/946
A big warm welcome to the one and only… Laurie Bell!
“I’m a writer, blogger and all round creative nut.
I muse and ramble and write whatever I feel like… Visit my blog www.solothefirst.wordpress.com, head on over to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell or visit me on Twitter @LaurienotLori
I love a good prompt, love an interactive audience and love to write serials, novels and anything in between. I’m a huge movie/television buff and I think Joss Whedon is a genius!”
What is your favorite place to eat? Why?
Anywhere that is out and someone has cooked for me! I am an awful cook. It is my aim in life to not have to cook for myself!
I’m still waiting. Therefore my favorite place to eat out is a little restaurant about ten minutes from my house. A little Italian place that I love. They have the most amazing deserts!! Ahem and meals, the main meals are terrific too. Did I mention the deserts?
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Aha, chocolate and coffee. Honestly, I am not picky, any type of chocolate I will eat it. But I do prefer Australian Cadbury (I make the distinction because I have lived overseas and there IS a difference.) And I have a real weakness for Easter eggs. Yeah my fridge is usually full of eggs a good month before Easter and at least a month afterwards!
What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?
Typical day? Work unfortunately but one must pay the bills. At every opportunity I can be found writing in a little notepad or parked in front of the TV catching up on all the shows I missed during the week. It’s all research of course! In fact the best advice I ever read was an interview with Joss Whedon who actually said that. Everything you watch, read, do, experience can be considered research. (I’m paraphrasing of course.) As for a weekend? Well typically either out with the boyfriend or in front of the TV. If I’m not catching up with friends and their babies, I am out at a café by myself. If I am out by myself I can usually be found with a notebook writing away on my next story.
Favorite book or film? Why?
Well, these are two very different questions.
Favorite Movie is tricky – because there are so many, though at the moment it would be The Avengers – Joss Whedon. Seriously, my writing hero, you might have guessed that huh?
Book? Well, I guess my favorite would be Cyclops by Clive Cussler. I think I have read it several times. It just stays with me. Great tension in the action scenes… even more in the waiting for the action scenes. Dirk Pitt Bathtub – is all I’m saying.
What’s on your reading list right now?
Soooo much, I’m not sure I’ll get to it all. Book four of the Secret Watcher series! Haha but also several new books by friends who are authors (or soon will be) some amazing work coming out…. Keep an eye on Helen Valentina, and Linh Nguyen-Ng.
Oooo and I recently read a book called Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith… Very fun – I’m looking forward to book two.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
If I can get lost in it. I think that’s probably the most important thing and if I can hear the character’s voices in my head. If I can continue the dialogue in my head after I’ve finished a book then I know it’s a great book!
Who is your favorite author?
I have a few – a lot of friends of course. I would change the question slightly and say my favourite writer is Joss Whedon (I’m sure I’ve mentioned that) Ha ha. I have a whole room of bookshelves at home. And you can find every style of book within. I guess the authors I am most sure of buying when I see a new release would be Clive Cussler and Janet Evanovich.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
Creative, fun, nuts, professional, weird, Introvert, Extrovert. (You would think those last two can’t go together but I think they do. I am a very loud, chatty person in public and can make people laugh but I also love my alone time and can sit at home in front of my tv for days on end too.)
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why?
Scifi/Fantasy. But I can and will spend hours walking around a bookstore. I cover every area from young adult to kids, picture books to new releases, adult to romance. I spend two hours a day on the train. It gives me a lot of reading time. If I’m not writing on the train I am reading. I love books.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
Still working. Am yet to publish though I do have two books at the editor right now. Keep an EYE out for White Fire and Blood Fever by ME.
I work as a PA (personal assistant) to an IT manager in an insurance company. Funnily enough I also volunteer at my local theatre, and often work as assistant to the director… I seem to assist a lot!
What do you do when you are not writing?
Reading, reading and more reading, a lot of TV and movies too… As Joss Whedon says, everything is research! And I’m very lazy, so yeah, TV mostly! haha, oooh and eating out, I’ve mentioned that before right?
Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?
Ooooh, both actually. I roughly jot out chapters on sticky notes and then going off two or three points just start writing.
What am I working on?
Well I have two books I am working on at the moment. Two different series of Science Fiction/Action. Very Female James Bond meets Star Wars with a very Guardians of the Galaxy feel. One is a YA the other is a little darker and older.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why?
Mate, He is an android canine and the partner to my heroine. He is just my favourite character! I love his “Voice” and his loyalty.
Why I Like Reviews!
A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore… Just kidding. I truly love reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly. It doesn’t matter. I bet you‘re asking yourself, “What is wrong with you?” I will tell you this; I did get my feelings hurt in the early days when I got a one or two star review. To me, five stars was like getting an A on a project, so therefore a one star was an F. An F, really? I spent months on that book, it has my blood, sweat and tears in it and you gave me an F? Why??? But I get it now, it’s part of life. Not everyone will like you and not everyone will like your work. So what can you do? Learn from it, my friend! Quit focusing on that low rating and look at your average. Read your reviews and see if they are telling you something. What messages can you use to improve your writing?
A five star rating still feels like a Christmas present or that feeling you get when you first pass through the gates at Disneyland, but all reviews have value. Some have way more than others. Still, at the end of the day, remember it is all a numbers game and listen to the averages not the extremes. What do most people want from you? Make an effort to be that writer but no matter what you do… ALWAYS be true to yourself.
Happy writing and may the muses always hold you in their favor!
Want to see some of the reviews I’ve given and gotten?
Please visit me at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5808133.Lauren_Lynne
Author Interview of Lisa Montanino
Welcome Lisa and thank you so very much for being here! You know me, fun stuff first! What is your favorite place to eat? Why? I don’t even know where to begin… between my staples on West and East coasts, that’s a tough one. I’ll mention a few from my favourite cities: London – Oxo Tower for the views alone, food’s okay and The Ledbury for extraordinary food. New York/Brooklyn – Il Mulino, Morimoto, The River Café quintessential Brooklyn, and I love Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights, great Italian family run eatery. In Los Angeles – Little Dom’s for chill Italian and Ruen Pair, hands down the best Thai food in LA, despite it being in a strip mall.
What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? Usually starts with a home cooked breakfast and gobs of coffee. Then migrate to bike riding (depending on weather) to the beach and chilling out with my boyfriend/family… outdoors is a must. Having friends over for dinner or meeting them out. If inclement weather, usually home entertaining… playing cards or catching a movie or friends music show. The occasional sports game for my nephews. At some point in between I’m writing and catching up on my favorite shows like House Of Cards, Luther, etc. since I rarely have time during the week working. I’m not the typical chick who likes to shop at the mall all day… can’t stomach it! Though I do love to food shop.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? Pretty much any activity outdoors, especially cycling to the beach. Spending quality time with my loved ones laughing and cooking.
Who are your favorite authors? John Irving, Chuck Klosterman, Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson, Agatha Christie… and so many others I can’t think of at the moment.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
(Extremely) congenial (pride myself on getting along with everybody)
Reliable/stable/independent (for some reason I count this as one…)
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why? Usually the psychology section… I guess because I’m fascinated with the human psyche and what makes us tick.
I also love it when my guest authors share about their approach to the writing craft. What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? Promote yourself on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform out there because they usually have other marketing options that are affordable and effective. Also, join a writers group if you’re not in one already… wonderful outlet for new readers and fellow creative folks that you can spread the word to. Promoting fellow authors on your social platforms.
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? I love chick and male fiction literature e.g. Chuck Klosterman – Killing Yourself to Live kind of books… humour, heartbreak, and hysterics all wrapped together. And as I mentioned before, I’m drawn to psychology and self-help books… love learning about that topic.
What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting? Editing by far takes the cake; it’s gruelling and takes way too long. Most exciting would be the how the audience reviews the finished product, how my readers like and interpret my work. I don’t find anything exciting per say about writing but the freedom is glorious.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? I use both actually. Usually it’s on my laptop but when I’m out and about and get an idea I write it down in my journal. Aside from writing professionally, I feel everyone should keep a journal of their thoughts; it promotes wellness among many other positive things.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? It’s just easier as the years go by… flows out more naturally. Nothing really has changed on my style of writing… self-deprecating narrative at your service!
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? What has worked well for me are my writing groups in NY and London… as well as my social networks. Word of mouth from family and friends, and traveling… I sold a few books just by other passengers noticing me writing on my laptop and learning I’m an author. And of course, promote fellow authors and work on your online outlets… I love doing it and it’s been very helpful ten-fold.
What advice would you give to a younger you? How has reading influenced you? Li Li, you should have started yesterday! Why did you put off writing for a while when you could have been on your third book by now. Reading has influenced me in being comfortable with what I like and don’t like. There was a time when you would hear about the “must read” from best sellers lists… interestingly some failed to deliver, especially the writer’s prose. Now because I’m immersed in the independent writer’s world, there are so many amazing books to choose from off the beaten path, like yours for example.
Aw, thanks! Flattery will get you everywhere. Now tell us; are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in? Usually a planner but spontaneity is also a dear friend, especially in the last few years.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? If only half the readers of my book put their reviews on Amazon.com for me! I receive thoughtful emails with their feedback but having them cut and paste that into a review is like pulling teeth… I don’t know why? The ones that have been kind enough to review me, I’m in debt to. I recently joined a review swap with other writers where we read each other’s work and review… that definitely helps and I recommend it. Lauren, do you have any advice on how to get more reviews? I could use all the help I can get.
Why yes, I have a bit of advice. I’ll share it at the end. For now, how do you think you’ve evolved creatively? For me, life has been the greatest teacher and each day as I get older… each experience shapes me in one way or another which in turn helps me expand creatively with ideas and such.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? John F. Coffey and Patricia Coffey, a second set of parents to me, who unfortunately are no longer with us. They shaped my life so much in the 20 years I had the fortune of knowing them. John was a Columbia County judge and partner of a law firm and when I tell you he treated a doorman the same as any judge he ever dealt with, that left a very positive impression on me. I abhor arrogance and a nasty demeanor! I don’t care how smart or rich you are, there is no excuse to treat anyone less than any way you would like to be treated. People with noses in the air not only aren’t respected, they’re pathetically pitiful. John and Pat felt the same and worked hard for their education and job status… and like my parents, their work ethic was unmatched. I pride myself following in their footsteps, especially in being a sincerely kind humanitarian like they were. They also inspired my charitable and philanthropic endeavors as well.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why? Pandora is amazing… and Europe needs to have it! Some of my favorite stations are Genesis, David Bowie, Massive Attack, Pharell, The Beatles, Bebel Gilberto, Madonna, 2 Cellos, Nirvana, The Police, The Pretenders, My Morning Jacket, Duran Duran, Spoon, The Who, Fiona Apple, and countless others… though by the list I just gave, classic rock wins! I also play albums from my collections too.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it? My novel is a must read for anyone who wants to laugh, think, and be moved by a compelling story about a woman who is conflicted and needs to find her way back to stable ground. Life and the people in my world were the inspiring forces.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why? Shane Salinger, because he’s the most audaciously confident soul that lives life on his terms no matter what, completely true to his convictions. And he’s really… really funny!
What else do you have in the pipeline? Writing my second and third novels… one is the sequel to Feedback, my current novel for sale and a fictitious memoir of little vignettes from a fun disgruntled at times character. And promoting authors like yourself on my blog. I want to take this time in thanking you again for being lovely and interviewing me. It means so much to share my thoughts with you and our amazing fans – another source of inspiration! I can’t wait to read your next one.
Thanks Lisa! You made my day!!!
Buy my book here: http://www.amazon.com/Feedback-Lisa-Montanino/dp/0615972500/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426207729&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+montanino
Follow my blog here: http://lisamontanino.wordpress.com
Follow me on twitter here: https://twitter.com/LDMontanino
Friend me on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/lilmountain
1. Ask. AND I mean everyone. Be kind, and do say please and thank you.
2. The more you have the more you get so don’t give up. This is an oddity, but I think people are less afraid to leave a review when they see that you have some.
3. Encourage people to leave them everywhere that they are a member.
4. Become a member of Goodreads if you aren’t already. Join some groups and offer your book for their read for review programs. I did it for my first two books and I can really see the difference in the quantity of reviews.
5. Don’t take it all too seriously. Some people will like you and some won’t. It’s okay. Focus on your average and take into consideration what folks say. What did they love, what did they not love. Just remember to stay true to you. If you try to make everyone happy you will make no one happy.
6. Become a reviewer yourself. Be careful here. In the early days, I traded reviews. I ended up being bombarded and did not have time for my writing but we all have to start somewhere. Some books I read were truly amazing; others not so much. If I felt that anyone deserved less than three stars then I emailed them privately with my thoughts and declined leaving a public review. I want to be honest when I review and it pains me to hurt people’s feelings. Go with your gut on this one.
7. Use that social media. Recently I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I offer free PDFs for anyone interested in trading for a review. That brought in a few new folks. All they had to give me was their email. I do not email them promo stuff after I send their PDF. If I get a decent review and they request the next book, they may have it.
8. Those are the things I’ve done that have worked pretty well. I do not consider myself an expert. I have published four books and I see some money roll in every month. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen regarding marketing is worry less about that part and write more books. The more books you have the more credible you look and the more you sell. Guess what? More books also means more reviews.
NOW, GO GET ‘EM and best of LUCK!!!
A big warm welcome to fellow author Wendy Van Camp!
I love to start with fun trivia. Tell me, what does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? I start my day in my home studio/office. I check email, do my basic daily marketing for the blog and tend to any questions that have come in via email. Then things shift depending on what I’m working on. If I’m drafting, I take my Alphasmart Neo to the local coffeehouse and draft 2K words or more. An Alphasmart is a lightweight, digital typewriter without internet connections. If I’m editing, I will work at home on my desktop. My writing program of choice is Scrivener. I also use copy editing software such as Rightwriter, Smart-Edit, and Hemmingway. I find that editing or writing short blog articles are easier at home. I like to take a lunch break around noon. When I return, unless a story is grabbing me, I’ll work on house projects, make jewelry on my bench, or even cook a gourmet meal for dinner. After dinner and a little television watching with my husband, I return to my office. This is when my true creative time is. I create the best stories late at night. I’m not sure why. At least my husband seems to accept my night owl behavior.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? I love to ride my bicycle or take my dog walking in the park. Connecting with nature is important to me and this allows me to feel the wind and the sun on my face.
Who are your favorite authors? Jane Austen, Robert A. Heinlein, Diana Galbaldan, Anne McCaffery, Andre Norton, Brandon Sanderson, Carla Kelly, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it? I am an artisan jeweler and have been in business for 18 years. I create jewelry from semi-precious stones, sterling silver, copper and handmade art glass. My work has a Celtic theme, but with contemporary style. I sell my jewelry at Highland Games, Science Fiction Conventions, and Concerts. I currently do not have a webstore and frankly I am not sure if I want one. While jewelry is my day job, I am more focused on shifting to being an author these days. I suspect that I will be making jewelry for years to come, but gradually I will be making items for myself and friends instead of being a business.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? I start with a fountain pen and a composition notebook. I brainstorm ideas for the story there. The next step is to write out an outline on paper based on the ideas that I’ve come up with. Once I have a rough outline, I use these to create files in my Scrivener program. I fill those files via my Alphasmart Neo, a digital typewriter that can send the text I type into any word processing file. Once the draft is completed, then I am working completely in Scrivener. When it comes to organizing a writing project and doing revisions, Scrivener is my tool of choice.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? My writing style was learned before the age of the internet. Over the years, the rules for writing have changed. Today, authors include more white space, do not overwhelm the reader with large amounts of description and avoid passive voice at all costs. I’ve had to unlearn many writing habits over the past few years and still struggle when I fall back into old patterns. I ended up taking several refresher classes in grammar and I found that it helped counter the problems in my writing.
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Person to person contact is best. Shaking a reader’s hand and talking one on one about your stories puts you in their mind and helps them to remember you. That is why I like to do speaking events or book a table at a festival. It gives me that personal branding. Social media is good too, but not as effective.
What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why? I consider myself a science fiction and fantasy author. Most of my work falls into these two genre. I also dabble in regency romance connected with Jane Austen and the occasional memoir.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? I dedicated my first novel to my husband. Although I started writing at a very young age, my parents were not supportive. They wanted me to go into engineering or be a teacher, something steady and respectable. My husband has always been supportive of all my creative efforts and this means the world to me.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
The Curate’s Brother is a short story about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.
Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.
At first Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.
Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.
At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?
What authors inspired you to write this particular novel? Why? Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I love all her books, but Persuasion is my favorite. I started to read fanfiction based on Austen’s novels and eventually, ideas for a story of my own developed. Letters from the Sea was a Nanowrimo novel project a few years ago, but I was never happy with it and set it aside. However, I enjoyed the first chapter of the book where Edward Wentworth viewed his brother’s romance from afar and this became the bud that bloomed into The Curate’s Brother.
What else do you have in the pipeline? I am working on a sequel to The Curate’s Brother called Letters From The Sea. It is an extensive revision of the original project. Like The Curate’s Brother, it is more a character study than a true regency romance. I am also at work on my Opus, a steampunk science fiction trilogy, but due to its scope and length, it will be awhile before it is published.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
No Wasted Ink: http://nowastedink.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/wendyvancamp
Wendy, thank you so very much for joining us!