Romance on Wheels

Writing is a dream come true for me.  Reading was something that helped me escape unpleasant things in life.  Being able to blog about books that transport me to different times and places, well that's another dream come true.

PJFiala
Followers
502
Following
103

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: P.J. MacLayne, author of THE MARQUESA'S NECKLACE!

Reblogged from MATEGUAS TALK!:
The Marquesa's Necklace (Oak Grove Mysteries) (Volume 1) - P.J. MacLayne

 

P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and uses that as the setting for many of her stories. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

 

The Marquesa's Necklace, Book 1 of the Oak Grove Mysteries, started as the tail end of a dream. I don’t remember the beginning of the dream, but the end is the beginning of the book. Originally Eli, my hero, was a ghost and the book was titled “The Ghost Who Loved Me,” but my characters wouldn’t stand for it. Eli soon convinced me he was alive and well. I still think there's a book to be written with the old title. I just haven't stumbled across the storyline yet.

 

If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

 

This is a tough one. I've had the opportunity to interact with some great writers on line, but if I was going to co-write a book I'd like to work with someone face-to-face. So I'm going to take a leap and Cornelia Amiri. I've had the opportunity to do some critiquing for her. Although we write in very different styles, I think we could work well together and balance out each other's skills and faults.

 

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

 

I just recently became a grandmother! The little one arrived two months early, but is doing fine. In the week after he was home, while I was at my daughter's helping out, I was able to see his personality developing.


I actually have other creative outlets besides writing- I do needlepoint and embroidery. In fact, I was embroidering a baby quilt for the grandson and had to set aside my writing and spend all my time getting the blanket done so it was ready for him when he came home. It was continuing a tradition because I made one for each of my children when they were born.

 

What do you do for a living?

 

I had a variety of careers before I found myself where I am now. In my latest incarnation, I’m a computer geek. I’ve gone through a variety of computer related jobs, and my current job is tied to security. And I can’t tell you much more than that—because security, you know. But the variety of jobs has exposed me to a large range of people, and I can draw from my varied experiences for my characters.

 

What part of the world do you live in?

 

I live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. If I had my druthers, I’d find a cabin somewhere in the mountains to spend most of my time in, but there’s this little thing called a “real job” that requires me to stay where I am—at least until I win the lottery or one of my books hits the big time.

 

How long have you been writing?

 

If I told you that you’d know how old I was, so I’m not telling. Let’s just say I made the switch from poetry to writing fiction about five years ago, and I’m still having fun. I haven’t run out of stories I want to tell. In fact, I’m getting ready to release the next book in the Oak Grove series — probably at the end of April. That book is titled “Her Ladyship’s Ring.” I need to do some more editing before I share it with the world.

 

What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between?

 

I’m definitely a pantster. I start off with a general concept, and maybe a subplot, but I let my characters tell me the story as I’m writing it. Does that make me a transcriptionist instead of a writer? I do have to nudge my characters sometimes when they aren’t talking to me. Threaten them with taking the story the way I want it to go if they don’t start talking to me. That usually solves the problem. I didn't have that problem with “The Marquesa's Necklace,” in fact, just the opposite. There were several times the words were coming faster than I could type them out.

 

When and where do you write?

 

I do most of my writing at nights and on the weekends, although I find myself planning the next couple of paragraphs in odd moments when I’m at work. Sometimes I even sneak in some writing at lunch. Just between you and me, if I'm into a really exciting part of the story, I've been known to scribble notes while I'm taking part in a boring on-line meeting. Don't tell my boss.

 

What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity?

 

For my best productivity, I need to be alone and listening to music. I’ve tried sitting with my husband and working from my laptop while he watches TV, but it’s too distracting. I can do editing in the same situation, but for writing my first draft, it doesn’t work. The type of music I listen to depends upon my mood, but classic rock is my fallback genre.

 

What's your favorite aspect of being a writer?

 

Writing “The End” at the end of the story. Even though I know I’ll need to go back and edit the heck out of what I’ve written, I get a lot of satisfaction from completing that first draft. And I’m a sucker for a happy ending, so it makes me happy to finally see my characters happy after all the trouble I’ve put them through. In fact, I’ve found myself talking to my main characters, assuring them it’s going to get better as I write them into yet another sticky situation.

 

Your least favorite?

 

Publicity. I’m a private person and I have a hard time asking people to buy my book. It feels like I’m asking them for money. And the time I spend on publicity I could be spending writing the next book! However, I want people to read my books, and that means I have to put myself out there to get my books in front of potential readers. Even answering some of the more personal questions in this interview is hard for me.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?

 

Procrastination. I wrote my earliest books out longhand. Yep, on paper. (Those books are unpublished but maybe one day I'll revisit them and see what I can do to clean them up.) But now that I sit in front of a computer and write, it’s far to easy to get distracted by the internet and put off that next paragraph I know will be tough to write.

 

Who are some of your favorite writers and why?

 

There are so many good ones that I feel guilty naming any. I love Jenna Bennett and her Cutthroat Business mysteries. They may have, to some degree, inspired me to make a series out of The Marquesa's Necklace. And I enjoy Terry Odell's book, especially the Blackthorne mysteries. She's another writer living in the Rocky Mountains, so I feel like I should support her although we've never met. Then there's L.j. Charles and her Everly Gray adventures. The scenario that the overall series is based on is so unique and she does such a good job of surprising the reader throughout the whole series that you can't help but stay involved. In fact, I need to check and see if the next book is available yet. And there's so many writers I've had the pleasure of meeting on-line, and my budget can't stretch far enough to buy all the books I'd like to check out.

 

What are your favorite books?

 

I love the Dragonrider series by Anne McCaffrey and The Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey because of their strong female characters. But I also enjoy the Longmire series by Craig Johnson. I read his books before the TV series started, and found the differences between the books and the shows interesting. He's a Wyoming writer and his books are set in an area near where I use to live.

 

What writing tools do you use, if any?

 

I use whatever I can get my hands on. From paper and pen to Office 2013 to LibraOffice. It just depends upon what I happen to have handy at the moment.

 

How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft?

 

I've written a first draft in as little as a month and as long as six months. It all depends upon what else I've got going on. But I feel as if taking longer on my first draft cuts down on the revisions I need to make in my later versions.

 

Your final draft?

 

Another five-six months after I've finished my first draft. I know many writers like to set their books aside for awhile after completing the first draft, and I've tried that, but it doesn't work for me. I want to see the story though to completion. I''m frequently working on more than one book at a time so that makes the time frames longer.

 

Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

 

Truly, it depends on what book I'm working on at the moment. In my current book, “Her Ladyship's Ring,” I can't decide between Harmony and Jake. Harmony the heroine of the Oak Grove series, a feisty ex-librarian and Jake is her ex-boyfriend who got her into trouble with the law. He's a rogue with a big heart and a smile to match. But he's not as innocent as he appears. I love them both, and enjoyed writing their interactions.

 

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

 

Healing. I would love to be able to relieve people of their pain. Modern medicine has made great strides, but it can't fix everything.

 

About The Marquesa's Necklace

 

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

 

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers

.

Because it might.

 

 

And here's an excerpt:

 

Officer Felton left me in the barely-furnished lobby. It was a place you don’t want to stay in too long—several hard plastic chairs, a beat-up fake wood end table and a few old magazines scattered about. It smelled like stale cigarettes, and appeared not to have been cleaned for weeks. I perched on the edge of a chair and put my hands between my knees to keep from touching anything. Thankfully, it was only moments until Detective Thomason appeared. I gave him the once over—brown hair still cut short—check. Glasses hiding those dark brown eyes—check. His shirt rumpled and in need of an iron—check. No wedding band in his finger—check. Yep, nothing had changed.

As I stood, his eyes wandered from my face down to my shoes. The corners of his lips curled upward, but I wouldn’t say that he smiled. A smile would have looked odd on his normally grim face.

 

“If you would come with me, please?” he said.

 

He even put the please in there, unlike our previous encounters. Of course, those times, I had been either in booking or in one of the interrogation chambers. I know, I know, they’re interview rooms. Whatever. I followed him through a maze of desks and hallways and into a small but comfortable office, my heels clicking on the tile floor.

I’d never noticed before what a nice behind he had. I wondered if it was just the pants he was wearing, or if I’d just not looked before, having other things on my mind. Like calling a lawyer.

 

“Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.

 

“Harmony,” he said tentatively.

 

“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.

 

He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.

 

“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.

 

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched.

 

“Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.

 

“Besides a certain insufferable cop?”

 

Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question.

 

“I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”

 

He took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and exhaled. “Bear with me a moment. Did you go anywhere today?”

 

I couldn’t figure out where this line of questioning was going, but I answered anyway.

 

 

“No, I woke up with a killer headache, realized it was going to rain, and decided to stay home and work.”

 

“And when was the last time you saw your car?”

 

“This morning. I planned to go to the library, but it started to storm as I was leaving. Why?”

 

He swiveled his chair so he was facing away from me. I fidgeted in my suddenly uncomfortable seat and waited. He turned back around and leaned forward with his forearms on his desk. “Your headache may have saved your life. We’ve asked for help from the state police to verify our theory, but our preliminary investigation and accounts from a few eyewitnesses indicate your car exploded.” Sitting back and rubbing his forehead, he added. “A tall man in a brown suit was seen in the vicinity.”

 

I sputtered. “What do you mean my car exploded?”

 

“In a fireball. Burnt to a crisp. If you had been in the vehicle, you'd be dead.”

 

The Marquesa's Necklace is for sale at major ebook retailers and is also available in paperback.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LF11HB4

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marquesas-necklace-pj-maclayne/1119886265

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marquesas-necklace-pj-maclayne/1119886265

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id894246916

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-marquesa-s-necklace

 

P.J. can be contacted at Facebook: https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne

And on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/pjmaclayne

And on TSUhttps://www.tsu.co/PJMacLayne

And on her blog:http://pjmaclayne.blogspot.com/

 

ALSO, CHECK OUT MY REVIEW OF THE MARQUESA'S NECKLACE RIGHT HERE ON BOOKLIKES! http://lindawatkinsauthor.booklikes.com/post/1110793/book-review-the-marquesa-s-necklace-by-p-j-maclayne

 

Linda Watkins stopped by to talk all things Mateguas!

Mateguas Island: A Novel of Terror and Suspense - Linda Watkins

 

  1. What inspired you to write this book?

 

  1. At the time I started writing MATEGUAS, I lived on an unconnected island off the coast of Maine. Access was only by private boat or ferry. I also had recently purchased a new invention called the iPad. I had a lot of "down time" either on the ferry or waiting for the next one so I decided use the iPad to try to write a novel. I'd written songs and poems before, but I always had stories rattling around in my head and it seemed the right time to attempt to actually put one down on virtual paper.

 

  1. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

 

  1. That's a hard one. In my genre, one of the obvious choices would be Stephen King. I love his early writing (THE STAND, IT, SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING) and his collections of short stories. But I think, if I had to make a choice, I'd pick Shirley Jackson. Her THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is, in my opinion, the best haunted house story ever written. I also loved her very dark WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. And she was born in San Francisco and grew up in Burlingame, not far from where I used to live on the Peninsula.

 

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

 

I'm a retired, single lady, living in a big rambling house with three special needs rescue dogs - Splatter, Spudley and Jasper. I was born on the East Coast but my family moved to Michigan when I was very young. After college (Carnegie Mellon, '70), I moved to the San Francisco Bay area where I lived most of my life. I think I will always consider the Peninsula 'home'.

 

I worked at various jobs before ending up at Stanford University School of Medicine, staying there for twenty wonderful years working as a Senior Financial Analyst in the Department of Pediatrics. When I turned 50, I was lucky enough to be able to take early retirement, sold my home in Belmont for a bundle of money, and moved to the high desert in Central Oregon. That's where I adopted my three dogs and became involved in animal rescue. From there, I moved to the aforementioned island in Maine and then, full circle, back to Michigan where I live now.

 

  1. What do you do for a living? 

 

  1. I'm retired so the only "work" I do is writing and promoting my writing. My dogs - one blind, one with difficulty walking, and one diabetic - take up a good deal of my time, too.

 

  1. What part of the world do you live in?

 

  1. Right now, Michigan. Tomorrow, who knows? I'm thinking about the southwest - maybe Sedona.

 

  1. How long have you been writing?

 

  1. Novels - only about four years. Before that, I wrote mostly songs and poems for fun. When I was quite young, my sister and I used to write comical plays based on popular TV shows of the time. When we were finished, we'd record them on a big old reel-to-reel tape recorder my father had. My sister, by the way, is also a writer.

 

  1. What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between? 

 

  1. I am definitely a pantster. Outlines, index cards and stuff like that make me cringe! I write in my head late at night, then sit down at the computer in the morning and regurgitate it. Or I just sit down and write.

 

  1. When and where do you write? 

 

  1. I write directly into the computer. I used to use the iPad a lot but not anymore. Since I'm a morning person, I do most of my best work before noon.

 

 

  1. What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity? 

 

  1. I like it quiet. I don't play music or anything. And I take lots of breaks. I'll stop and play a computer game or do something around the house or walk the dog, then come back to what I've written and read it aloud to see how it sounds.

 

 

  1. What's your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

 

  1. The fun stuff I get to do with my characters. You can't do those things to people in real life! I get to kill them off, put them in horrible situations, ruin their lives, make them fall in love with the wrong people, etc.

 

  1. Your least favorite?

 

  1. Marketing and promoting - I don't know any author who really enjoys that stuff. It takes up so much time that could be better used for writing!

 

  1. What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 

 

  1. Right now getting the third novel in the MATEGUAS SERIES written! I've have the prologue, the epilogue, and some pieces of the middle done, but I'm having trouble with the beginning. It was the same with RETURN, getting everyone to the island is difficult and not the fun part of writing a supernatural novel.

 

  1. Who are some of your favorite writers and why? 

 

  1. John Fowles because he wrote my favorite book of all time, THE MAGUS. Stephen King's early work because I love his characters, especially the younger ones. One of my favorite books of his is THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON, a story about a young girl who gets lost in the Maine woods. Baseball plays a big part in it, too. And, last but certainly not least, Vladimir Nabokov because he wrote LOLITA!

 

  1. What are your favorite books?

 

  1. My all time favorite book is THE MAGUS by John Fowles. I don't know how many times I've read it, but each time I come away with something new. Another favorite is THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein. I'm a dog lover so this book has a special place in my heart. A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson is another great and fun read. SHADOWLAND by Peter Straub - very dark horror. And THE STAND and THE SHINING by Stephen King - both masterpieces.

 

  1. What writing tools do you use, if any? 

 

  1. If by tools, you mean writing programs, I don't use any - just the computer and WORD.

 

  1. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft? 

 

  1. The first draft of MATEGUAS ISLAND took me two seasons - from April to September. RETURN TO MATEGUAS was done in pieces. I wrote about two-thirds of it in a couple of months then left it for six months or so. Then I rewrote the whole thing.

 

  1. Your final draft?

 

  1. It took me about three years to get to a final draft of MATEGUAS ISLAND that I was happy with. RETURN was quicker, probably about a year and a half. I was actually working on both of them at the same time - polishing MATEGUAS while writing RETURN.

 

  1. Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

 

  1. Gotta be Karen. Many people don't like her, but I do. She's not your average heroine - she's selfish, bitchy and sometimes mean. But she grows and learns - and that's why I like her.

 

  1. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

 

I'd like to be able to teleport! Not fly, but be able to just move through space instantaneously from one locale to another. I'd like to get up in the morning in Michigan and, if it was snowing, be able to transport myself (and my dogs) to a tropical beach for the day. Or maybe to the wilds of Australia. No driving to the airport, going through TSA screening, struggling with luggage, missing connections - none of that. Just one moment I'm here and the next, I'm there!

  

ABOUT THE MATEGUAS ISLAND SERIES

 

What could be more idyllic than to live on an island off the coast of Maine? That's what Bill Andersen thought when he moved his family to Mateguas. But Mateguas is more than just pristine beaches nestled between rocky shores. No, Mateguas is something quite different....

 

WEBSITE:  http://www.mateguasisland.com

 

MATEGUAS ISLAND:  On a remote island, a troubled family is trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and start over. But unbeknownst to them, the property they have inherited is steeped in ancient magic - magic that could seek to consume and destroy them.

 

An arcane locked box, a strange and foreboding trail into the woods, a seductive young woman, and tales of a malevolent Native American spirit are just some of the perils Karen Andersen must face in order to find a way to save her family.

 

MATEGUAS ISLAND was the 2014 Gold Medal Winner in Supernatural Fiction awarded by READERS' FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK COMPETITION and the recipient of an Honorable Mention in Fiction from the 2014 HALLOWEEN BOOK FESTIVAL.

 

MATEGUAS ISLAND is available:

 

In print or eBook on Amazon, http://bit.ly/MATEGUAS

In print only, Barnes&Noble, http://bit.ly/mateguas-bn

As an eBook, iBOOKS, http://bit.ly/mateguas-iBooks

As an eBook, GOOGLE, http://bit.ly/mateguas-googleplay

As an eBook, NOOK, http://bit.ly/mateguas-nook

As an eBook, KOBO, http://bit.ly/mateguas-kobo

 

 

RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND: A young woman searching for answers...a man trying desperately to remember what he has forgotten. What secrets lie buried? What really happened that night of the storm?

 

Journey with Karen Andersen and her family back to Mateguas Island - a return to the mythos, passion, and magic that lie sleeping just beneath the surface - waiting and longing for this chance to be yet again reawakened!

 

RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND is currently only available as an eBook on Amazon, http://bit.ly/ReturnToMateguas. The print version is expected to be available by mid-March, 2015.

 

SECRETS, A STORY OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL: SECRETS is a short prequel to MATEGUAS ISLAND. It fleshes out the two years prior to Bill and Karen's move to the island, giving the reader more insight to their characters and motivations.

 

SECRETS is available as an eBook only on Amazon, http://bit.ly/amazon-secrets

 

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Linda Watkins moved to Michigan when she was four years old. After graduation from college (Carnegie-Mellon University '70), Ms. Watkins relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived most of her adult life. A Senior Clinical Financial Analyst at Stanford University School of Medicine, Linda was always writing. At work, she created 'long forms' and business plans; at home, she wrote whimsical stories, poems and songs for the delight of her friends and family. In 2006, retired, she moved to Chebeague Island, Maine where she wrote her first novel, MATEGUAS ISLAND.

 

Today, she resides in Western Michigan with her three rescue dogs (Splatter, Spudley and Jasper) and has just completed the sequel to MATEGUAS, aptly titled, RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND, which was published in December 2014. She is actively at work on the third full-length novel in the MATEGUAS ISLAND SERIES that she hopes to have ready for publication in late 2015.

 

For more information, please stop by her personal website, http://www.lindawatkins.biz, or her novel website http://www.mateguasisland.com

 

You can also follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Watkins-Author/412758982152044

 

Source: http://www.pjfiala.com/blog/2015/2/8/linda-watkins-discusses-writing-her-life-and-her-dreams´╗┐

Rydin' out the Storm with Author P.J. Fiala

Reblogged from Xpressions!:
Rydin' the Storm Out: Book 2 of the Rolling Thunder Series - P.J. Fiala

I enjoyed learning what makes author P.J. Fiala tick! She's a great writer and this is how she does it!

 

MEET Patti!

 

1. What inspired you to write this book?

a. I was and am inspired by life. Have you seen the news? Read the papers? Good grief, life is complicated, unusual, interesting and mind boggling. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear or read something and think, that is some crazy stuff. Keep in mind that my day job is as a paralegal, so I hear some crazy stuff. So, back to my inspiration. Because of the complexities and unusualness of life, I write stories that have a little angst (not too much, life gives us that), a little adventure and a lot of love (sometimes, life doesn’t give us enough of that).

 

2. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

a. I love Sylvia Day. She is my inspiration and I would absolutely love to know how her mind works, what her writing process is and how she puts it all together.

 

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

a. I live in Wisconsin, just outside of Green Bay, though I was born in Missouri and spent my summers with my grandma’s family in Kentucky. I call Kentucky home more than Missouri. I still have family in Kentucky, and visit at least once a year to see them all. I have four children, all grown and three beautiful grandchildren. My husband and I ride motorcycles. We ride whenever we can. We’ve been on some fabulous trips and are looking forward to so many more. With retirement only about a year away, we are hoping to be on the road several months each year. I come from a long line of Veterans. My great grandfathers, grandfathers, father, brother and two of my sons. My two sons both have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and my youngest is still in the Army Reserves. I have a concealed carry permit and believe strongly in the right to keep and bear arms and do so proudly, but not without the understanding of the awesome responsibility of carrying. Our whole family will go to the gun range together, or as many of us who can, to practice. It’s a fabulous privilege. And, lastly, I love to write steamy romances.

 

4. What do you do for a living?

a. As I mentioned, I am a paralegal. The law office I work in deals mostly with business related law. I have my bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management with a minor in ParalegalThe law I work in is heavily geared to employment law, business law, and litigation.

 

5. What part of the world do you live in?

a. I live in the United States, just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

 

6. How long have you been writing?

a. I have been writing for about three years now, though I have wanted to write my whole life. I let fear stand in the way for a very long time and finally decided I deserved to do what made me happy. My husband has been a huge supporter and encourages me to follow my dreams.

 

7. What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between?

 

a. I’m totally a pantster. When I sit to write, I usually have my basic story in my mind, never on paper. When I have the basic story in my mind and sit down to write, I can go all day. The story just flows and usually takes me places I didn’t intend to go when I first started. My characters usually misbehave, but if I left them go, I’m usually happy with the direction. That’s not to say there aren’t major revisions along the way.

 

8. When and where do you write? a. I write when the mood strikes me, as long as the mood strikes me when I am not at work. When I have a story mostly puzzled out, I will set aside a weekend and let everyone know this is my writing weekend – Leave Me Alone. I have a dedicated office at home, but lately have found that I prefer to stand while writing, so I will often take my laptop into the kitchen and stand at the counter for long periods.

 

9. What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity?

a. I like having music on or the television, especially home DIY shows. I need noise or music. I find that when I need to, I can tune out things I don’t want or need to hear. When I need a break, I have the background noise to fall back on.


10. What's your favorite aspect of being a writer?

a. The creativity. I love being able to invent people that I would like to know or be related to. I love inventing scenarios and situations.

 

11. Your least favorite? a. Marketing. YUCK. It is so dang time consuming. There is so much out there and it’s so darn frustrating sometimes. And, it takes away from my writing time.

 

12. What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?

a. Time, always time. Still working full time, I have to fit the writing, marketing, editing, cover design, teaser creation, formatting, uploading, swag creation, etc. into a few short hours a week. It never seems to be enough. My to-do list seems to grow rather than shrink.

 

13. Who are some of your favorite writers and why?

a. I mentioned Sylvia Day before. I love her books, her characters and her writing style. I like Jill Shalvis. She is so darn funny and her characters are light-hearted and fun. I like S.C. Stephens. Her writing style grabs hold and hangs on. Lauren Dane is fabulous. Gosh there are so many fabulous writers out there.

 

14. What are your favorite books?

a. I love steamy romances, not necessarily erotic, but I love being titillated and some steamy, panty melting scenes. But, I want there to be a story to go along with it. I love it when two people need to fight to stay together. Not always fight with each other, but there areusually outside forces to battle and win.

 

15. What writing tools do you use, if any?

a. My mind and my laptop. I suppose you could say Pinterest. I create boards for every book. Any inspirations I have for characters, clothing, places, foods, drinks, houses, bikes, anything, I locate and pin to my Pinterest boards and look at them often for additional inspiration. I also create music lists on Spotify to go with my books as well.

 

16. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft?

a. It depends. My first book is 455 pages. That took me about a month to write. It went through many revisions and, even recently, another revision as I am republishing it this month. Dog Days of Summer took about that same about of time for the first draft. Rydin’ the Storm Out took about three weeks. I have others coming soon, that have taken about 2-3 weeks. I like to write them and then put them away for a little while. I’ll pull them back out and look them over in a few weeks and usually make some changes. Two weeks ago, I wrote a short story for inclusion in an anthology n a day. I started on Saturday morning and before six o’clock Saturday night, I was finished with it. That was a fun day.

 

17. Your final draft?

a. Oh, that can be a while. As I mentioned, I’ll put them away a bit and come back to them. I would say another month or two after the first draft.

 

18. Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

a. Grayson Kinkaide from Second Chances is my favorite H. He was my first and he’s simply unforgettable.

 

19. If you could have one superpower what would it be.?

a. Ooooo, I would like to be Storm from X-Men. I could control the weather. I would like that. People I disliked would find themselves in perpetual thunder, lightning and just plan crappy weather all the darn time. While people that I cared about would enjoy all the warmth and sunshine they wanted.

 

Book Info:

Title: Rydin’ the Storm Out
Publication Date: January 9, 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary RomancePages: 226
Publisher: Rolling Thunder Publishing
Format: eBook and Paperback
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RI9I4DQ
Universal Amazon Link: http://myBook.to/RydintheStormOut
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/zpLuVr
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24146271-rydin-the-storm-out

 

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Rydin-Storm-Out-Rolling-Thunder-ebook/dp/B00RI9I4DQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1422980184&sr=1-1&keywords=rydin%27+the+storm+out

Rydin' the Storm Out received another 5 star review!

Rydin' the Storm Out: Book 2 of the Rolling Thunder Series - P.J. Fiala
I found this review on Amazon and I couldn't wait to share it.  
 
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this story January 11, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
 
Rydin" the Storm Out is the second book in this series. I haven't read the first one, but this can be read as a stand alone novel.

I really enjoyed this story! It was refreshing to have a male MC (Ryder), that was just a decent, kind and sensitive man!

The female MC (Molly) was a sweetheart too (although somewhat damaged by her past (which catches up to her).

I just love how shy Ryder was able to grow into himself. Family was such a huge part of his life, and he wasn't afraid to ask them for help when he needed it, or advice.
And how Molly tried so hard to be the person she wanted to be.

There was a lot going on in this story, but it was put together in a way that you weren't overwhelmed and confused.

The struggles that Molly and Ryder go through left me on the edge of my seat at times! And the hot steamy bedroom/living room scenes... just WOW!
I hope to see Danny and Tammy's story soon!
I would recommend this book!

I was given this book as a gift from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Romancing the Genres 2015 Predications for Authors and Readers - reblog

I recently read this blog article written by Madelle Morgan.

I decided to repost it here.  What do you think? Let me know.  

 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Predictions for Authors and Readers

 

by Madelle Morgan

 

One age group in particular has the biggest impact on book trends and sales. No, it's not young adults. Baby Boomers - the generation of post-World War II babies - are now in their fifties and sixties. The enormous spike in the U.S. population between 1946 and 1964 is shown in red in this graph(scroll down the linked page).


As they grew, those millions of extra people had, and continue to have, major economic and cultural impacts. As children they drove construction of new schools and suburbs to accommodate them. In their twenties and thirties they adopted computer technology quickly, thus transforming the workplace. 

They generated a huge demand for consumer goods and entertainment (music, movies, television, books) targeted to their demographic, through their teens, young adulthood, and child-rearing years. The buying power of Boomers in their early senior years is stronger than ever.

Now the youngest Boomer is in her early fifties, with more free time. Her children - the Baby Boom Echo generation, akaMillennials - have hopefully flown the nest. Millions of Boomers are retired but active. They're computer literate and know their way around the internet. They're better educated than any generation before them, and like to learn. They read on their phones, on tablets, on e-readers, and in print. Soon their eye glasses will have built-in screens!

1. The Rise of Boomer Lit

What type of romance does a typical woman in her fifties and sixties like to read? I predict that Boomer women will apply their massive buying power to novels that engage emotions and brain, and are relevant to their stage of life.

I don't need a crystal ball to note that Boomers are driving the popularity of historical romances set in the twentieth century. We're already seeing the emergence of movies (The Great Gatsby), television (Downton Abbey) and novels set in the early 1900s to WWII. USA Today bestselling author Sharon Page's latest novel is an example of this trend.



2. The Decline of Erotica Sales

There's a one word explanation for lower sales: menopause. When estrogen drops, so does hormone-fueled lust. I'm not saying that all Boomer women will stop reading erotic romance. However, I predict the number of Boomer readers of erotic romance will decrease in tandem with the amount of estrogen flowing through their collective veins.

3. Second Chance at Love

Unfortunately many women in their fifties and sixties have lost partners to death and divorce. Who of a certain age doesn't fantasize about a second chance with a high school or college sweetheart, or the one that got away? Jove's series in the 1980s was possibly thirty years too early!



4. Search for the Meaning of Life

Wisdom arises from living more than half a century. I expect authors will fictionalize their personal growth and life lessons, helping readers put their own experiences into perspective.

5. Multimedia Trends

Surge in audiobook sales and subscriptions
Boomers will like to listen while gardening, exercising, walking the dog or doing crafts.

E-books will incorporate more media links, enriching the reader experience. 
Boomers are familiar with YouTube, Pinterest, music streaming services, research links, etc. Yes, Boomers will save their retirement dollars by increasingly tapping into subscription services rather than buying e-books outright.

Virtual reality systems will take off as the technology becomes affordable.
Game graphics are already incredibly realistic. The next evolution is virtual interactive and immersive experiences via headsets. Boomer gamers will snap up games that include romantic relationships, exotic settings, and great storylines. Others will love the opportunity to virtually "travel" without leaving the comfort of their armchairs or emptying their wallets.

Readers, do you think these predictions are way off base? What are your predictions?

About Madelle

Madelle's romantic suspense, Diamond Hunter, will be available in January on Amazon KDP Select. To receive notification of free days and deals, "Like" her Facebook page. Please ensure you take the second step of using the "Like" pull down menu to "Get Notifications".

Source: http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.ca/2015/01/2015-predictions-for-authors-and-readers.html

What do bikers do in the winter?

I'm sitting in my living room, watching American Idol and wishing like hell it was summer. Yesterday, our weather here was down right brutal.  It was -30 to -40 with wind chills and absolutely inhuman.  Today, we managed to get 4 inches of snow.  It's here, winter is here. But, I'm optimistic.

 

We didn't have snow for Christmas, it's the first time I can remember not driving through a snowstorm or at least snow blowing across the road on the way to church on Christmas Eve night. And, I was encouraged.

 

Last year we had snow in October and it didn't let up until April.  Then we had the rainy season and we didn't pull the bikes out of the garage until the very end of May.  Not having snow at Christmas this year, I thought the Lord was giving us a reprieve.  After all, we paid for it last year, this year certainly will be better weather for us, right? We are anxious.

 

You see, we've been planning our big biker vacation since October.  That's what bikers do during the winter, we plan for summer.  We buy bike parts and put them on in the garage. On the bike, not ourselves.  We polish our bikes, we add doo-dads and pretty things.  We add all the little things we got for Christmas presents to our bikes, because, let's face it, we all ask for Harley parts and paraphernalia for presents.  Shirts, pants, gloves, bandanas, jewelry, shot glasses, wall hangings, glasses, coffee mugs, bag liners, new mirrors, shift linkages, stereos, GPS, new bags or organizers.  You see, Harley makes something for everyone.  We feel excited.

 

We get together with friends and maps and drinks and we plan our routes.  We call hotels or rentals by owners and find a place to stay while on the road. We discuss food and beverages, whose bringing what and we organize.  Then, if winter is still blowing around us and showing signs of staying longer, we plan some more.  Because, at the first green bud of spring, sometimes before, when the roads are no longer wet from melted snow, the birds are singing and the bees start to buzz, we are loaded up and heading somewhere for the day, the weekend, a week or longer. Riding where we can, even if to the grocery store. And we are exhilarated.

 

Laugh Out Loud Funny.

You Really Are Full of Shit, Aren't You? - Karl Wiggins

I loved this book. I laughed at Karl's comments and I wish he really were an advice columnist so I could read him everyday. His common sense approach to the questions posed to advice columnists is refreshing. He is not politically correct - he is simply correct. If you want a good laugh I highly recommend this book.

The Writer

Reblogged from KarlWiggins:

Between the innocence of infancy and the recklessness of humanity lies a wild-eyed unsung hero known as a writer. I detest the word author, it sounds far too pretentious. I’m a scribbler. Thanks to the plethora of recent self-published books, there are many misconceptions about the writer’s role and what he is really like.

Writers can be found in bars, in arguments, in bed, in debt, intoxicated and sometimes in their study. They are tall, thin, dark, fair, but never normal. They hate tax returns, sympathy, and the written word presented poorly. A writer’s secret ambition is to be loved by everyone who reads his books. A writer is a psychoanalyst with a battered old copy of Reader’s Digest on the table, Don Quixote on his days off, the saviour of mankind with his back teeth awash and democracy personified when dealing with the authorities, whatever form these ‘authorities’ take.


No one is subjected to so much abuse or wrongly accused so often or misunderstood by so many people as the writer. He keeps the Brazilian coffee plantations, the aspirin factories and the midnight oil manufacturers in business. He writes his truth quietly and never backs down.

On a daily basis he converses with people who are convinced they know more about writing than he will ever know. He can never be right. When he simplifies, he's patronising. When he gets a little technical, he's talking over their heads. Half the people wonder what he does for a living while the other half think they know exactly what he does but are convinced he's doing it wrong! He has more critics than Osama bin Laden, Colonel Gadaffi and Barack Obama combined.

A writer is a provider when you want something to read and a parasite when he wants paying for the hours he puts in. He has the patience of Job, the honesty of a fool, and the heaven-sent ability to laugh at himself.

At varying stages at the computer the writer will feel irritable, confident, tired, emotional, intelligent, articulate and isolated. Until finally he is weary of the whole human race.

I know because I am one of these great men.

Would you Work for Free?

I would like to share a fabulous post by a fellow author I respect, D.K. Cassidy.  What do you think?

 

http://www.dkcassidy.com/2015/01/03/would-you-work-for-free/#comment-19

 

"There seems to be a trend among readers to only download free eBooks. I understand wanting to save money especially when it involves buying a book from an unknown indie author. But I ask, would you work for free? Writers, artists of all kinds, work hundreds of hours honing their craft. Although we do this because we love to write, in reality, being paid is nice as well. In our society money is a sign of value. If we give away all of our books, what does that say about how we value art?

What if the book is a dud? That’s what reviews are for. Leave a constructive review about why you didn’t like the book. Also, some vendors have a return policy. Readers wanting a free read abuse this policy sometimes, but overall I think most customers use it when the book is terrible. Instead of writing a long post about this, I would like to share one by friend and fellow author Karl Wiggins. By the way, if you like to read funny, raw (no holds barred) books, he’s the guy."

ttps://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6729065-free-giveaways—two-sides-of-the-same-coin

 

Call me a Cougar.

Rydin' the Storm Out: Book 2 of the Rolling Thunder Series - P.J. Fiala

5 Stars from Danni List Werner!!!

 

Call me a cougar, but, Ryder has just taken the place of his dad, Jeremiah, as my new book boyfriend. The story focuses on Ryder (Jeremiahs son) & Molly (Jocis friend who we first heard about at the Veterens Run). Shy Ryder, who could not talk to women & Molly, (who is afraid of being like her mother), meet at Jeremiah & Jocis wedding. Although sparks fly, they deny their feelings until they cant anymore & finally give into them The story takes a few twists that I was not expecting, & without giving any spoilers, Ill just say that sometimes you really dont know who you are, until you know your whole background & you need to trust those who love you, with everything. This is a true love story (with hot, scorching sex) that you will thoroughly enjoy & not want to put down. Cant wait for the next book to come out, for more about these 2 & the rest of the crew !! AWESOME book. Bravo PJ Fiala.

Unusual and Suspensful

A House Without Windows - Stevie Turner

Unusual Suspense/Romance story, the characters felt real to me. I see why is was rated Readers' Favorite 5 star award winner. Wonderful book by Stevie Turner.

Fabulous!

A Dead Husband (Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery #1) - Anna Celeste Burke

Jessica Huntington, a rich California girl, caught up in dining, socializing, shopping and her cheating husband Jim Harper. She is also smart, energetic and witty. She holds a law degree and soon begins to investigate the murder of her best friend’s husband. Jessica soon finds all kinds of trouble to keep her busy.

 

I found myself engaged from the first page and couldn't put it down. The plot is full of action, suspense and mystery and I found I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This is a wonderful story that I am sure you will enjoy. Bravo.

Dog Days of Summer

Owning Rolling Thunder Motorcycles, Inc. and raising his twin sons was top priority in Dog’s life. That was until he met Jocelyn James, the sweet, loving single mother of Gunnar, a young man who works for Dog.

 

Joci raised Gunnar alone after her cheating, dickhead of a boyfriend ran off with another woman. She finished school, started her own graphic design business and hung out with friends and family. The last thing on her mind was men! That is until she met Dog.

 

The chemistry is undeniable. The passion is incredible. The family bond is like no other.

Dog Days of Summer trailer.

 

Owning Rolling Thunder Motorcycles, Inc. and raising his twin sons was top priority in Dog’s life. That was until he met Jocelyn James, the sweet, loving single mother of Gunnar, a young man who works for Dog.

 

Joci raised Gunnar alone after her cheating, dickhead of a boyfriend ran off with another woman. She finished school, started her own graphic design business and hung out with friends and family. The last thing on her mind was men! That is until she met Dog.

 

The chemistry is undeniable. The passion is incredible. The family bond is like no other.

 

myBook.to/DogDaysofSummer  

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LCPZCD66d0

Wonderful!

Conditions -  Wanda Hartzenberg, Christoph Fischer, David Lawlor

"Conditions" is the story of two estranged brothers brought together after the death of their mother.  Now both middle-aged they discover just how different their lives are.  One married with children, the other single and struggling with mental illness.  

 

Christoph is a master at dealing with sensitive subjects in such a way that you can't put his books down. The emotions his writing evokes is stunning.  His writing will leave you waiting anxiously for his next book.

 

 

Highly recommended.

Time To Let Go - Christoph Fischer

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain. Deciding to take leave from her job and spend time with her elderly parents, Hanna finds her problems cannot be left behind. To add to that, her mother has Alzheimer's disease. Not the respite Hanna had hoped for. Realizing that she must take stock of her situation and that of her mother, you will follow this family as they together and separately deal with their demons, the disease and each other. 

 

Fabulously written and inspiring.  Highly recommended.