Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Brooke. E. Wayne, author of the Vineyard Pleasures Series. This interview is especially exciting because Brooke is one of my dear friends. We both dreamed of becoming writers when we were young, and when we were in college together, we were always spinning ideas while on our adventures (shocking for English majors, I know). After graduation we traveled all over Europe and the UK together packing away ideas for the future. Now, I have the pleasure of seeing her dream unfold.
BROOKE E. WAYNE is a Contemporary Romantic Comedy novelist who lives the RomCom dream in California. She is married to a South Philly, Eagles-obsessed Italian who she met online before it was cool. They have two young daughters who flood their happily-ever-after lives with girly giggles and immeasurable love. When she is not dribbling sticky sweet/sensual romance with a lighthearted, witty twist all over the pages of a RomCom manuscript, she teaches English Language Arts.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Apart from poetry, which I’d been scratching out since I was a wee lil girl, I actually wrote my first “novel” when I was eleven.
On lined paper.
All eighty-seven pages of it. Bahaha. The MC [main character] falls into a portal and goes on a crazy adventure with her older self as a mentor. I made sure the new cute boy in town moved in across the street from her in the end.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
I write ‘Romance with a Kiss of Humor’ aka Romantic Comedy. While romance novels tend to evoke lots of page-turning swoon, I actually endeavored to write a sexy book without any actual super-descriptive sex in it. Oh, it’s swoony, but it’s not get-my-butt-fired swoony. I like my day job. (Teacher, eep.)
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?(more…)
Welcome to my blog interview with novelists, Camilla Ochlan and Bonita Gutierrez, authors of THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER SERIES.
Camilla Ochlan grew up on fantasy and fairy tales, finding David Eddings, Katherine Kurtz, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Mercedes Lackey early on. To thedismay of her parents, she spent her high school weekends playing Dungeons & Dragons. College split her time between Theatre Arts and English Literature.
Camilla still occasionally acts but focuses the majority of her time, energy and (in)sanity on writing. Her interests revolve around activities that add to her writer’s toolbox — travel, the arts and voracious reading.
Bonita Gutierrez found her way to the stage at the early age of five. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to get into “The Biz.” Over the years, she’s played many roles from actor to producer, screenwriter to filmmaker — and now novelist.
A mixed martial artist, Bonita has a background in Jeet Kune Do Kung Fu (Bruce Lee’s art), Kenpo Karate MMA and Kali Escrima (stick and knife fighting). An avid runner, student of film and lover of music, Bonita is a self-proclaimed hamburger connoisseur with a passion for all things Star Wars and Buffy.
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, BMB Johnson, author of the Melody Jackson (or, It Happened on Lafayette Street) Series.
BMB Johnson lives in Portland with a family of humans, too many cats, and just enough Guinea Pigs. Thinks the only valid sports are bowling, table tennis and pinball. Reads comics, plays vintage computer games and new designer board games and is a gigantic slobbery fan of Doctor Who.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well, I think I’ve always been a writer, especially since I’m not particular fond of speaking out loud. Writing has a way of conveying your thoughts without interruptions or that nagging voice of dissent or reprisal, It also gives one the wonderful added ability to edit and review. There is no “White-out” for physical conversations, after all.
I suppose the above makes me sound like a bit of an introvert (which I kind of am.) Just let me state for the record that I don’t have anything against conversing with other humans, I just feel more comfortable clacking out my thoughts on a keyboard than from my own tongue.
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Janet Elizabeth Henderson, author of The Invertary series—Lingerie Wars, Goody Two Shoes, Magenta Mine and Calamity Jena. With Bad Boy and Caught coming soon.
I have read three of her novels and loved them. If you need some seriously fun brain candy–read these books.
A portrait by Janet’s husband dubbed, “Janet Smurf”
From Janet’s Bio:
I’m a Scot, living in New Zealand and married to a Dutch man. I write contemporary romance with a humorous bent—this is mainly due to the fact I have an odd sense of humor and can’t keep it out of anything I do! If I wasn’t a writer, I’d like to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, both these roles have already been filled. Which may be a good thing as I have no fighting skills, wouldn’t know a precious relic if it hit me in the face and have an aversion to blood. When I’m not living in my head, I’m a mother to two kids, three pet sheep, one dog, two cats, three alpacas, two miniature horses and an escape artist chicken.
What genre do you consider your books?
I write contemporary romance. Some people tell me that I write romantic comedy. I didn’t realize my writing was humorous until I started getting reviews for my first book.
I agree with the romantic comedy. There were several times I laughed out loud in public and had people giving me strange looks.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Comedy is a funny thing to write. (Pun intended!) There are lots of things in real life that are hilarious, but if you put them in fiction they read as unbelievable or ridiculous. Often, when I use real life experience as an influence for a scene, I have to tone it down to make it believable. People who read my blog, or follow me on facebook, will recognize parts of my books as being based on real events in my life. I find life funny, ironic and downright ludicrous. Inspiration is everywhere.
Welcome to my blog interview with writer, Kathleen Ann Gonzalez, author of A Beautiful Woman in Venice and Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.
Kathleen Ann Gonzalez started out as a teacher but was surprised to discover that she is a writer and dancer as well. While she spends most of her time trying to infect teenagers with her great enthusiasm for literature and writing, she still squeezes in time to write about her work and her travels. Her first book, Free Gondola Ride, is about the gondoliers of Venice, while her second book, A Small Candle, includes interviews with participants in the Camp Everytown program. Her 2013 guidebook Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, takes readers to over 90 locations Casanova lived and loved, and it has been published in Italy as well. Gonzalez has published several other essays and articles over the years and has recently completed a book about Venetian women, titled A Beautiful Woman in Venice.
(Courtesy photo by Laura Rice) Kathleen Ann Gonzalez’s curiosity about the mythical figure Casanova resulted in her new book “Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.” It is both a guide to Venice, which she visits annually, and an insight into the legendary lover.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Free Gondola Ride, was born from my love of Venice. I fell in love with the city within the first five minutes that I was there, on a 1996 spring break trip with my students in Europe. I returned to the city that summer and met a gondolier who piqued my interest in his unique profession. Wondering how to get back to Venice again, I thought, “Why don’t I write a book about the gondoliers?” No one else had done it yet, and I thought I might as well try. I definitely doubted myself along the way, but since I had successfully published some essays and other articles, I decided that I should at least try.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Free Gondola Ride was trying to be a couple genres—history, memoir, and travel book, which is perhaps its biggest weakness as its purpose isn’t so clear. I learned from writing that book that I should have a clearer concept of my purpose for the work. Not that a book has to fit neatly into a single box, but I do believe the writer should know what she’s trying to do. Seductive Venice is a guidebook that I tried to make accessible for armchair travelers as well as those on foot. My latest book about Venetian women is really a history book, with biographies about a host of historical women. I never knew I was going to become a historian.
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Lauren Lynne, author of The Secret Watchers Series.
Lauren Lynne, formerly known as Lauren Klever, is the author of the young adult fantasy, action-adventure series, The Secret Watchers. She graduated from both Oregon State and Portland State universities with degrees in education. Writing has proved to be a great stress reliever and escape. Lauren focused this series toward teen reluctant readers but has drawn in enthusiasts of all ages. She’s passionate about sharing her love of reading and writing with them.
The Pacific Northwest, with its vivid and varied panoramas, is where Lauren makes her home. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, working with students, reading, gardening or hiking around Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge or the Oregon Coast. Watch out for the lady with the camera, it may be Lauren scouting out the perfect shot for her next cover.
Thank you for agreeing to do the interview. To start, what genre do you consider your books?
I find this to be an interesting question. You didn’t ask what genre are they but what do you consider them to be. Kudos, Robin! The truth is that, what we as writers believe something to be is not necessarily what the public takes them to be, right? I wrote my books to target young male reluctant readers with the hope that they would appeal to all young readers. The great irony is that my adult audience is even larger than my kid audience. My protagonist is in eighth grade in the first novel. With each book he is a year older. I believed I was gearing my books to students in sixth grade and up. They are filled with action, adventure, suspense, a dab of paranormal and a touch of romance all wound together in the contemporary world.
What are your current projects?
I have many things happening all at once. I’ve come to realize that I thrive on a certain level of chaos. Life has put me behind in the goal I set for myself and book five of The Secret Watchers series, Destiny, was not ready in December. It is still with the editorial team and has not yet gone out to beta readers. While that is percolating, I am working on my first dystopian. I am in negotiations with another writer for a co-authored Pirate novel for middle graders. I also have a co-authored fantasy and a children’s book up my sleeve. The keyboard never gets a rest!
Do you write with music or in silence? If you prefer music, what kind?
I can write in silence but I much prefer music. When I started I listened to rock, alternative and pop. Some of my favorites are Nickelback, Maroon 5, Coldplay and Hinder. I still listen to those on occasion but sometimes I found I was listening to the song and not letting it do its job of helping me think. Now I listen to soundtracks or epic movie music. Which leads us right into…
Do you have playlists for any of your books or characters?
Why yes, I do! I’m listening to The Hunger Games soundtracks as I write my dystopian. As I wrote The Secret Watchers books, I listened to music from the TV series Arrow, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and some miscellaneous Epic Action & Adventure tunes from iTunes. Yep, I’m totally into the moving instrumentals right now. I can almost see the action when I hear it!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Most of my writing life, I have been plagued by too many ideas. Now that I am going through a particularly busy time in my life, I find that sometimes when I sit down to write I’m blank. I think I have too much life in my head and not enough story. When that happens I know it’s time to take a break. I need to go for a walk, read or do something with friends. It’s time to live. I talked a lot about music earlier and that really helps me too. Sometimes just rereading a passage helps me ease it into the next piece of the story.
How are you the same/different from their main character?
When I first started The Secret Watchers, my focus was on Owen, the protagonist. I’m not like him. He is the best parts of my boys, their friends and my students. He’s not perfect and he struggles with integrity, honesty and making good decisions but he has a really good heart. Owen’s mentor, White Eagle is a bit of my dad, my dad’s best friend, who is a karate instructor and a grandpa who was one of my boy’s scout leaders. Owen’s mom, is… me. She says what I would say if Owen was my son. As the mother of a junior in high school and a sophomore in college, I can tell you that it is difficult to balance letting them grow up, learn and explore on their own and still protect them from the world. The trick is teaching them to take care of themselves. It is not an easy task.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has been very supportive. My parents have helped to fund some of my endeavors and my boys have not only given me many ideas, but they have done some beta reading and delivery of books to school libraries.
What is your favorite motivational phrase or positive saying?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou. I often see this quote in the school where I substitute teach. It means a lot to me too and I keep working on myself to be that kind of a person. I want to be a positive influence.
Thank you so very much for having me over and I look forward to sharing your interview with my fans.
I would like to leave readers with one last thought. Please share what you think about the work of indie authors. I, like many indies I know, really do listen to my fans and non-fans. I read every comment that is written about my books and continually try to learn from them and work on myself. Having said that, I also believe that it is important to stay true to myself and the stories I have written. Please share with me – for how can we grow without fertilizer?!
THIS OR THAT—The Speed Round Which do you prefer – Reading or writing? Both, it depends on my mood. Writing during the night or writing during the day? I see the beauty and advantages in both. Writing from home or someplace else? Most of my writing happens at home but many ideas happen away from my desk. Reading an ebook or print? Print! Buy books online or buy in a bookstore? Yes! Kidding – either is fine. Weather: Hot or Cold? Warm? A week of snow is plenty but I do love to watch it fall. Not too hot but I love the idea of summer. Music or Silence? Music please. Classic Fairy tales or Fairy tale retellings? Retellings. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla, so I can add goodies! The Beach or The Mountains? Beach, though the mountains are nice too. The World being taken over by zombies or sexy blood sucking vampires? Vampires seem cooler but I think I’d have better luck outsmarting a zombie. I have no personal experience with either. (Thank goodness – I’m afraid I’d be the dead body.) Time travel to the future or past? Future. Facebook or twitter? There are things I like about each of them and things I’d change if I could. Being able to fly or being able to go invisible? Invisible, I get motion sick. Bookmark or Dog eared? Bookmarks and Post-its! 1st character POV or 3rd character POV? 1st character POV. I like being in the protagonist’s head. City or Country? Suburbs. I love the country but I like good restaurants and movie theaters. Pen or Pencil? It depends on what I’m doing and love choices. Polk-a-dots or Stripes? Solid or a little print. Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles and a side of bacon. Books or Movies? I love them both. Coffee or Tea? Depends on my mood. Elbows the size of pumpkins or knees the size of watermelons? Um? Neither. It would interfere with my hiking and picture taking.
Where to Visit Young Adult Author Lauren Lynne and the Secret Watchers Series
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Braxton A. Cosby, author of The Star-Crossed Saga and The Sect Series.
Braxton A. Cosby is the CEO of Cosby Media Productions and is a life-long learner who loves the experience of creation and wishes to inspire others to embrace it as well. He is an award-winning novelist and health and wellness specialist who has created various series and books to inspire people to think, live, act, and love. His health care programs have helped thousands to achieve their goals and his many endeavors include various forms of entertainment from acting to screenplay development. He lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and three girls.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?Right after I finished the first two chapters of Protostar. I fell in love with the challenge of creating a story and the love/hate dichotomy of weaving good characters into an awesome backdrop. (more…)
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Heather Hildenbrand, author of the Dirty Blood & Imitation series. I recently discovered her when I was given review copies of Imitation and Deviation. I had a blast reading them and was thankful to be able to interview her. She is witty and funny and her books are definitely worth checking out.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I like the silence. No music or white noise for me. I can write that way if I have to but most of the time, I like the quiet. I guess the voices in my head are that loud.
Do you have a specific writing style? Probably not. I’ve done such a variety. But I really like present tense, first person POV. It feels more edge-of-your-seat. I do that in my Imitation series and it amps up the tension and suspense that way. Really fun!
How did you come up with the title? For Dirty Blood, I wanted something that got your attention, something almost violent. I don’t know, it just came to me. I think it suggests action and intrigue—at least enough to hook someone’s interest.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? For Dirty Blood, it’s that family isn’t just who you’re born related to. It’s more about the people you connect and bond with along the way. The people who are there for you when you need someone to have your back. Half of my “family” in my life have been made up of those kinds of people. I think it’s important to learn to look for those kinds of relationships in life and hang on.
How much of the book is realistic? HAHA Werewolves are totally real….right? (more…)
Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Roy Sakelson, author of The Heroes of Valmar trilogy (Gwendolyn and the Seeds of Destiny, Aethelred and the Wand of Woe, and Monsters of the North).
Hello, Roy, I am pleased to have a chance to interview you. I have read your first two books and loved them! I have to say that I am a huge fan. This says a lot since I generally don’t read middle-grade books. The world you created brings me back to the epics I read when I was a kid, like The Chronicles of Narnia. Okay, enough gushing, let’s get down to the interview.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always loved to read to my kids. After sampling many different stories and fairy tales, I would sometimes make up tales of my own to share with them. When my daughter was six years old, she asked me to write her a story. So, I began writing what I thought would be a short story, but it kept growing . . . and growing. It took me much longer than I anticipated, but when she turned eight, I gave her Gwendolyn and the Seeds of Destiny. More than two years later, I wrote a sequel for my son when he turned eight (it was either that, or pay for counseling later on when he realized he never got a book dedicated to him). They liked them so much, that I wrote a third (Monsters of the North) to create a trilogy. But I must admit, if I hadn’t promised my daughter that initial book, I probably wouldn’t have finished. Writing is hard work.
I am certainly glad you did! What genre do you consider your books?
Fiction, Children’s Fantasy … but as C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I try to write with both children and adults in mind. (more…)