Sunday Sit-Down: Renee Grace Thompson

Author of all things romance, Renee Grace Thompson, um… graced me with her presence!

MG: Let’s start with an easy one! How do you relax?
RGT: Haha! Well, I suppose it’s obvious that I would read a book. That’s probably true for any writer. And I like to soak in a bubble bath in the dark with nothing but candle light. Other than that, I love hanging out and goofing off with my kids. They always make me happy.

MG: Where is your favorite place to write?
RGT: It probably sounds silly, but I like to sit on my bed and write. It’s the only place I can shut myself off from the rest of the world, and my family. I can close the door and feel comfy and cozy in my room. I have two big windows on adjoining walls that I can stare out into the woods when I’m struggling to find just the right word. I can’t really explain it, but my bedroom is my haven. It’s where I’m the most comfortable and the most creative.

MG: Have you ever written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so, why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales?
RGT:

MG: Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
RGT: 
Sure. The reader would have nothing to lose, so they’d be more enticed to try it. If they don’t like it, they can always toss it aside. At least that’s how I feel about it. And then the reader who likes that writer’s style will be apt to seek out more work from that writer. To me, it’s a great tactic.

MG: What do your fans mean to you?
RGT: 
Having readers follow you because they enjoy your work is an incredible feeling. To me, that’s more exciting than any paycheck from the work. It means you’ve touched someone and made them laugh or cry, or maybe both. You’ve made a connection with them. And that’s pretty awesome.

***

Renee lives in the Midwest with her husband and four kids. She worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for many years, but now manages her family-owned business. Her spare time is spent hovering over her laptop, trying to transcribe the romance novels playing out in her head. There are several going on at once though, so keeping up with them is hard. She hopes to have her first novel published sometime this winter.

***

Renee can be found:

On her Website
Twitter
And Facebook!

Sunday Sit-Down: R.A. Winter

This week, I sat down with well-traveled romance author R.A. Winter.  Let’s get down to it, shall we?

MG: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
RAW: Hmm. There are so many historical people that I would love to meet. From a caveman, a Neanderthal, Cleopatra, Methuselah, a ruler of Anchor Watt, a ruler of Teotihuacan, DaVinci, George Washington, Christopher Forts (my gggrandfather), Tecumsah, Sitting Bull, a slave, an alien (If they exist), all the way to Clint Eastwood and Johnny Depp. Everyone, no matter whether they were famous or not has a story to tell.
Yeah, I have lots of interest. But, I’d like to know about each of their lives, their thoughts and actions. I’ve always hoped and dreamed that when I die that I’d be able to ‘see’ history from the beginning. I mean, you have eternity, right? What could be better than reliving history? Chose and average Joe, follow him through life. See his choices or lack there of and their consequences.
Ok, sounds odd, I know. But, people interest me and there are so many fascinating things about history that we don’t know about.

MG: Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it?
RAW: Walk away for a while and read other works. I’ve also finished a round on Bootcamp and joined the Ubergroup on Scribophile. These groups force you to write and putting down words on paper, no matter how bad it is, it can give you an idea on how to continue.
Sometimes I’ll work on the cover. Once you have a cover to your work, it adds an element of excitement. It pushes you to finish.

MG: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
RAW: Computer and longhand. I keep a pad by my bed and write in the dark as ideas come to me. Some of my best one-liners have come at 4 am!

MG: Would you or do you use a PR agency?
RAW: I’ve never used one. Honestly, the thought never crossed my mind.

MG: Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
RAW: Contact reviewers and bloggers in your genre. Look up books similar to your own and ask them for reviews in exchange for a free copy. I also love onlinebookclub.org but they no longer offer free reviews but they do have a large following. Another resource is bookvetter.com. There you have to read five or six books to ‘unlock’ your reviews which are then posted on Goodreads. Another great place is ReadersGazette.com. They tweet your books for you! Wonderful site. Also, if you are doing a promo try AskDavid.com. Wonderful site and they had a large following too.

MG: That’s all the time we have for today! Thanks for sitting down with me today, R.A.!

***

RA 1RA Winter, began her writing career under her married name, writing genealogy books. However, her love for reading romance novels intruded in on her daily activities. She started writing “Little Sparrow” and fell in love with her characters and is writing many more books in the Romantic Western series, ” A Kiowa in Love”. Each one of Grandfather’s grandchildren will have their story told, as will Grandfather himself.RA 2

RA spent many years travelling the world and has lived in many different countries. Turkey, Egypt, Germany, and Jordan, have all been called “home” at one time or another. She’s even been employed as a Federal Agent. Now you can find her quietly living in Pittsburgh, Pa, with her husband, writing her next novel.

https://wordpress.com/post/rawinterwriter.wordpress.com/289
amazon.com/author/bywinter

Sunday Sit-Down: Sue Seabury

Sue 04Another fantastic author interview! This week, I feature Sue Seabury. When she’s not making up stories, she’s working to solve the problems of cold fusion, wireless power transfer, and chocolate that imparts all necessary nutrition. She also has a new book coming out in the next couple weeks, called Shear Luck, about a hair dresser who hopped a plane to the wrong Juneau, and a sexy Tlingit Indian named Mario. Continue reading “Sunday Sit-Down: Sue Seabury”

Sunday Sit-Down: JR Creaden

Another author interview today! This week, I talked with JR Creaden, a YA/SF author.

MG: Who was your favorite author as a child? Do they influence your storytelling now? Continue reading “Sunday Sit-Down: JR Creaden”

Sunday Sit-down: Devin Harnois

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with author Devin Harnois, who’s snarky characters and relevant (and often humorous) plots are something I can only hope to achieve some day.

MG: Thanks for sitting down with me today, Devin! We’ll start with a fun one, how does that sound?

DH: Yay!

MG: Where is your favorite place to write?

devin-harnoisDH: My office… which is also my bedroom. I have it set up to be comfortable and functional, plus, I have fun things to look at.

MG: Cool! I do like to ask this one, too. Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

DH: Gift, definitely. I mean, it can be hard sometimes, but why would you view something so wonderful as a curse?

MG: So very true. Speaking of gifts and curses, what do you think about social media for marketing? What works best for you?

DH: Umm, I’m really terrible about marketing. I have no idea how to do it. I’m on Twitter all the time becaise I like it. It’s a place to hang out and hear about things from all over the world. I’m not there to be a sell bot.

MG: I love Twitter, too. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

DH: Discipline. LOL. If I sit and make myself focus, it’s usually not too hard.

MG: Oh, discipline is definitely a hard one for me, too! So one last question. What are you currently working on, and what is it about?

DH: It’s a romance called Shadowmancer, about Marius, a man cursed with dark magic who is actually a precious cinnamon roll. He meets a guy who… well, I like to describe Ayodele as a Griffindor who was raised by a Slythering and left to create Hufflepuff.

MG: Oh, my! That sounds interesting!

DH: Thanks! It’s got themes of “weak” people finding strength together, and belonging, and fighting for each other.

MG: Fun! We need more “team” books; it seems like it’s always about that one person saving the world (or whatever it is they’re trying to save.) Well, I think that was everything. Thanks again for sitting down with me tonight!

DH: No problem! Thanks for having me!

MG: You’re welcome!

*******

Devin Harnois has several published novels and he’d have more if he spent less time on Twitter and playing Dragon Age Most of his books involve magic, monsters, and hope. They’re also getting progressively more queer. He collects skull items and only a strong will prevents his apartment from being overrun by them.

In second grade, he wrote his first story, a romance about two mice falling in love. He still has the original draft.

Devin lives in Minneapolis

Find Devin on Twitter

And on his website, devinharnois.com

Sunday Sit-down: Fanni Sütő

As a romance and New Adult author, February is the month of love. Today, I discuss the love of books with fairy tale re-writer, Fanni Sütő.

MG: Let’s get started! What is the best book you’ve read lately?

FS: I got Wonder and Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda for my birthday, I read both of them very quickly. I started Me Before You yesterday and I can barely break away from it to get some work done, so I think that qualifies as pretty good as well.

MG: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of either of the first two, but definitely the third. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would it be?

FS: Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. It’s a bit of a cheat because it’s pretty long and probably I would forget some parts of the beginning by the time I get to the end, so I could start again. I love Neil Gaiman’s work in general but the Sandman series is really something which is close to the thing I try to do in my own writing, creating a mythology, depicting a world which is like ours but it is also different and so on.

MG: That is a bit of a cheat, but I’d do the same thing, so we’ll pretend we’re not cheating. Do you read outside your genre?

FS: Sure thing! I read basically everything, it really depends on my mood. I’m not a big fan of crime stories or thrillers but I always try to widen my horizon.

MG: That’s okay, I’ll read those for you. If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose? Why?

FS: The first answer coming to my mind was Harry Potter, so I’ll stick with that. It’s the world of my childhood and knowing myself I’d surely be a little Hermione Granger. I wonder what amazing things I could do with the help of magic.

MG: If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?

FS: Neil Gaiman for sure, I admire his work and I had the luck to hear him live twice and he really came across like the kind of person with whom I could understand myself well. I would also have a go at old Shakespeare just to see what is behind all the mystery and how he was in real life. I’d also like to meet Steven Moffat, the creator behind Sherlock and Dr. Who because I think he did a hell of a job with these series.

MG: Oh, my, Benedict Cumberbatch. *swoon* Those are definitely some interesting and eclectic favorites! Well, that’s all we have time for today, folks! Thanks so much, Fannie, for sitting down today!

*****

fannieFanni Sütő is a writer, poet, dreamer who believes in fairy tales even if they are dark, disenchanted and deconstructed. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She has been published in Hungary, the US, the UK and Australia.

She is very happy to do collaborations, art exchanges, cross-art projects, so if you’re interested in such things, please get in touch.

Website:www.inkmapsandmacarons.com

Sunday Sit-Down: Bren Kyveli

It rhymes with “sky deli”. I normally post on Sundays, but yesterday was a versy special day to me, and one that I old near and dear. I couldn’t let the light of one post over-shadow the other, so Ms. Kyveli was gracious enough to have her interview today instead of the typical Sunday. With that in mind, let’s have a seat with Bren, and see what she has to say about being an author!

 

MG 02.jpg I always like to ask – do you read much, and who are your favorite authors?
bk.jpg I read all the time, usually two or three books at a time. James Rollins is my favorite; in fact, I’m such a fan girl, I can’t even bring myself to reply to his tweets. But I pretty much read everything across all genres–well, except sci-fi and fantasy. I enjoy watching them, but don’t have the patience reading them.

MG 02.jpg Personally, with sci-fi and fantasy, I find the covers too busy to get past, so I never even bother to pick them up. Tell me – is being a writer a gift or a curse?
bk.jpg Both. It’s a gift because not many people can perform the magic of taking their imagination and putting it in the hands of others in a tangible form. And really, that’t exactly what writing is – magic. It’s cathartic, therapeutic, it fills the holes in one’s soul. But it’s also a curse because like any good magic, it’s very addicting. If I don’t write for a few days, I get antsy and irritable and a bit depressed. Then I’m almost compelled to write regardless of life’s obligations. So writing is definitely both a gift and a curse.

MG 02.jpg I know the feeling of it being both curse and gift. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
bk.jpg I do. I still have it, actually.
I was always in the mindset that I hate writing, even though I’ve always kept a journal, talkint to myself and working out emotional issues. But real writing was something you had to do for college; it was nothing but regurgitating shit that a dozen other people with initials after their names already wrote a dozen other times.
But a few years ago, my hubs was on yet another deployment, I had a 5 month old kid with not a drop of kid experience under my belt (seriously, my own kid was the first diaper I changed in my whole 28 years), no physical family support – they were all at least a couple thousand miles away, and I was on a string of about five shitty books in a row.
Suddenly, the journal entry changed. It wasn’t me bitching to myself. Characters started emerging, and they were the ones dealing wtiht he loneliness, the isolation, the maddening horniness, the stress of being a new mom… all of it.
That night, I couldn’t write in the journal fast enough; I wrote until there we tears pouring from my eyes and I was laughin maniacally at the same time. If anyone saw me that night, I would’ve been locked in the psych ward. I wrote and wrote until I fell asleep on my journal, and slept the two hours before dawn when the kiddo woke me up.
The next day, I felt like a whole new person, like I really could take on the world. I felt like me again.
So I read the story and was completely surprised to see a story like that came from my fingers. My mom convinced me to type it up and submit it somewhere, so I did. Drummed up my courage, typed it up, edited it to the best my little novice mind could, and put it on the internet.
Literally almost threw up when I hit the submit button.
But within a day, I got feedback saying things like, “Wow! This can’t be the first thing you’ve ever written, this was amazing,” and “I could see everything and feel every one of her emotions, I couldn’t stop reading, even though I was crying my eyes out,” and “Miss Kyveli, I teach college creative writing classes, and this was better than some of my advanced students’ work.”
I was hooked from then on. Not on the praise, but on the way writing gave me a way to expel stress and all the negative energy roiling inside.

MG 02.jpg Wow. That’s incredible! Now that we’ve learned how you got started writing, tell me a bit about your process – how do you brainstorm story ideas?
bk.jpg I’m a plantster, so I make a list of all the things I want in the story, write down what type of ending I want – happily ever after/happy for now/cliffhanger/question/etc. Then after that, I let my Muses just kind of take over.

MG 02.jpg Oh, the muses. They’re a special lot. But they get us to the end, often despite their crazy antics. Speaking of the end, do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
bk.jpg From what I’ve seen from other indie authors, and even big name authors, it’s simply flood your social media feed with chatter about the struggles of this vice or the difficulties of that character, then once it’s ready for the world, just keep reminding people about it. People have short memories, and even shorter attention spans.

MG 02.jpg Phew! Good to know that’s about what I do already! Thanks, again, to the amazing Bren Kyveli! That’s all the time we have for this week, but stay tuned for more author interviews in the weeks to come!

***

Bren Kyveli is a stay at home mom of a spirited three year old little girl and a couple of rescued mutts. She’s been happily married to her highschool sweetheart since 2005. She’s had a deep love for the written word since she was a toddler; reading everything she could get her hands on and always writing in fancy journals with pretty pens. Bren writes contemporary Romance, Erotica and drama in the hours left at the end of the day when her house has gone to sleep.

You can find additional stories and poems at thepolkadotcoffeecup.com (https://thepolkadotcoffeecup.com), or follow her on Twitter at @AuthorBKyveli (https://twitter.com/AuthorBKyveli) and if you’re really brave you can check out her Muses at work on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/brenkyveli30)

Sunday Sit-Down: Becca Patterson

Becca Patterson writes Young Adult fiction in the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and her works include Hero’s Call, Daughter of the Revolution, and Daughter of the Queen. We had time, recently, to “sit down” and do a quick little interview. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than chatting with another author!

MG: As a fellow author, I can’t imagine you not reading. How much do you read in your spare time, and who are some of your favorite authors?

mreThen there’s Mercedes Lackey, Lyda Moorehouse, Michael Mirriam, Ash Litton, Patricia Briggs and Kristin Kathryn Rusch, all for different reasons. I scour other authors’ profiles for who they read. I say “it’s for when I run out of things to read.” but the reality is I’m never going to make it through my “to be read” pile.

 

MG: What? Not me!? I know we’ve talked about it before, but what is the hardest thing about writing for you?

mre The hardest part is sticking with one project all the way through.
There is always the new idea that just wants to be started. So you think I’ll just write a couple of notes and then there’s that other idea just over there and another one beyond that and the next thing you know you’re in deep with no idea how you managed to open ten different projects and all you’ve done is start them all. So, then you have to drag yourself back to the first one, which isn’t all shiny and new anymore and finish it.

That’s just getting through the first draft. Then you have to … edit it.

Editing hurts. During the drafting process, you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself how wonderful you are. But in editing you have to take off the rose-colored glasses and really look at what you wrote. What you actually wrote, bad spelling and all. After that come the critiques, and you have to acknowledge that you didn’t say what you think you said. At least you can fix it. That’s what the editing process is, fixing it. It’s hard, but at the end of it all, you have a book and someone reads it without looking for all the flaws.

And they like it.

That makes it all worthwhile.

MG: Writing is quite the process, isn’t it? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

mre Every book is different, so very different it’s like learning to write all over again when you start a new one. And every time is different. A lot of it depends on what’s going on in real life.

My fastest draft took just nine days. It was spring break, I was broke and my husband was out of town for the week. I had housework and writing. I put everything else on hold and powered through just to see if I could do it. It was two years later before I finished editing Daughter of the Queen though. Daughter of the Revolution took twenty-five days (during NaNoWriMo) to get a complete draft and only a year and a half to edit.

I have a whole list of books that are still waiting their turn to be edited. Most of my drafts come in around thirty days. I don’t like to spend too much time between the beginning and the end because so much can change that would influence how I tell the story.

MG: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

mre My cats. They insist that they need to have a turn in the middle of the bed and that means I have to get up.

On a more serious note, I have ideas that need to live. Not just stories either. There’s the garden, and my blog, and I have students who need me to get them through. There is just so much to do. Oh yeah, and I have to get the laundry done. Somedays though, I get up because I’m hungry.

MG: Yeah, that food thing can certainly be a motivator. Give us a little insight into Emalynn. What does she do that is so special?

mre Emalynn has all kinds of inner strength. She grew up in the care of a mercenary who never hid the fact that Emalynn had been kidnapped, and if Baba (the Mercenary) ever found the people who hired her, she’d hand Emalynn over without a second thought. There wasn’t money for babysitters, so Emalynn tagged along on smuggling runs and whatever other jobs Baba could come up with. Baba wasn’t heartless, and cared for Emalynn as best she could, teaching her self defence, and “home schooling” her when they weren’t able to enroll Emalynn in regular schools so she wouldn’t fall behind. Baba always told Emalynn to be smart, learn everything you can from anywhere you can and become a citizen.

Emalynn took that to heart. She looks everywhere for lessons and learns as much as she can about anything and everything. No one can tell her what her limits are. Nor can they tell her not to be compassionate for the unfortunate ones. One lesson Baba never intended to teach, but drove home harder than anything else, was just how unfair the universe could be. For Emalynn that meant it was her responsibility to even the odds whenever she could. So when Baba is murdered, Emalynn jumps into action to protect herself from that same fate, and takes up the task of finding the people who held the contract Baba never got paid for.

She brings all the wit and wisdom required of life in the seedy underbellies to bear when she finds herself standing between the Prince of the Galaxy and his would-be assassin. When they figure out that they are actually twins, she uses that against her enemies and does the impossible to get them both home safe.

MG: Wow! Sounds like she’s had to make some life-choices at an early age! I think that covers a decent array of writerly topics for this week! Thanks so much, Becca, for “sitting down” with me today!

***

Sci-Fi and Fantasy are just two of Becca Patterson’s preferred genres. An author hailing from Minnesota, she has been writing for as long as she can remember, and takes much of her inspiration from the teenagers she works with. In her spare time, Becca enjoys making her husband laugh, and playing string with her three cats. You can follow her on her website at http://becca.mreauowpublishing.com/ , on Twitter @mreauow or on Amazon

Sunday Sitdown: Anna W. Aden

It’s that time again! Another interview, this time with romance author Anna W. Aden!

MG: Most authors I’ve had the privilege to interview read outside their genre, and I’m assuming you’re no different. What other genres do you read?

AWA: Right now I’m in a the middle of a memoir-read-a-ton. I’m reading Frederick Forsyth’s ‘The outsider: my life in intrigue’ which is haunting because of his time in an African civil war and the treatment of children in war zones – there is a particular harrowing scene which stays with me today. He is an exceptional writer. Next on my list are Bert Reynolds’ Enough About Me and Chrissie Hynde’s Reckless. I even have Z by Zayn Malik (ex One Direction member) which is more of a picture book. I was just curious about what he had to say, and thought it might help with a YA or new adult romance research.

MG: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

AWA: No because I’ll probably overlook lots of mistakes. Right now, Sister Dearest has volunteered to do it for a wee fee. She is a voracious historical romance reader and does professional proofreading so I’m lucky there. However if she’s too busy, I’ll just get someone else.

MG: What is the hardest thing about writing?

AWA: Making up surprises, twists and cliffhangers. I find those hard to do though they can bring some satisfaction to a reader, and I admired writers who do this with their stories. I don’t mean cheating or random twists where a writer has a random alligator crash through the ceiling, I mean good solid ones that have been methodically worked in into the plot and when it comes it would be like ‘Wow, I didn’t see that coming and yet I did.’

MG: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

AWA: I’ve also had mixed reviews since I started writing. Even from writing tutors – some would just write banal comments. Then again, I write urban romance (street lit) so I’m used to the scrutiny and criticism that comes with the genre.

So while it’s nice to get good reviews, bad ones aren’t the end of the world.  With that said, some bad online reviews are interesting especially the random ones like ‘I didn’t like the hero’s hair cut so did not finish,’ or a classic amazon one ‘The paper quality was so bad had to return/ I hate reading on Kindle.’  I mean what does that have to do with the book? Really?

MG: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 

AWA: Yes, yes and oh my gosh, yes! I confess I’ve chosen or eliminated books based on their covers. A cover’s style can give a sense of what the books is about – sexy, mysterious, sweet, intrigue etc. It’s quite funny we say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but we do! We are visual creatures so I guess covers do play an important part in that.

***

Anna W Aden lives in the UK. She also blogs and writes under the pseudonym Biggaletta “Bigga” Day. She is a self confessed cake-aholic who loves a bargain in the sales, discovering London’s open green spaces, the occasional music concert, and libraries.

And once in awhile she catches up on reality and Youtube shows.

Blog: https://applesandpeanuts.wordpress.com