Spotlight

GUEST POST From Erotica Writer Angelica Dawson

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

As I mentioned in my interview with Karen, one of the biggest hurdles for me in writing erotica (or anything else for that matter) is my precocious daughter. She is a reader. As I write this, she is sitting on the floor with a book of bible stories. I’m not sure why she’s reading that, it has illustrated keywords and she knows all those words…. Maybe I don’t have a more mature one for her.

Did I mention she’s five? Yeah. Read her birthday cards on her second birthday. She can read. Which brings us back to my problem.

Have you ever had that guy on the bus or the train, or God-forbid a spouse, that reads over your shoulder? Doesn’t it drive you insane? Now imagine someone doing that while you’re writing something. Once she corrected my spelling mistake when I made a typo. I kicked her out of the office and locked the door.

Do you know what my favourite thing with in 6 feet is? Well, actually it’s my daughter because she’s sitting beside me, but if she wasn’t, it would be the lock on the door. It’s my special “writer-in-residence” sign. Keep on walking, I’m working in here.

My husband is actually the one that uses it the most. He’ll hear me chatting with her when I’m supposed to be writing, usually sounding rather exasperated as my daughter continues to needle me with questions and requests. Then he comes in, suggests she come out and watch TV, play on her computer, play a game with him, etc. And when she goes, he reaches around and turns that little switch that makes me smile and say, “Thank you.”

My daughter has been stretching her bedtime further and further. When I started writing, she went to bed at eight. That gave me a glorious 2.5 hours for writing! Now she gets her pyjamas on at 8. Then its snack requests and kicking around for another thirty minutes and bed at 8:30, no I need to go pee, 8:45, no, I need a drink of water, 9:00, will you tuck me in? So my writing time keeps shrinking.

This is the place where I tell you that have the most awesome boss in the world. When she hired me she only wanted someone part-time. I really wanted a job in my town and in my field, so I hashed it with the hubs and we figure, sure, I can work part time and do errands, cleaning, cooking, etc. on those days off. There were only two of them. It was agreed that if money became a problem, I could pick up another part-time job. Well, it’s happened. I have a second job, writing. Not only is my boss totally on board with this, she’s down with me taking a day off here and there where I need it for things like conventions and signings. She is awesome! Part of the reason she’s coming over tomorrow to play MahJong. We don’t have a typical boss/employee relationship.

Okay, I think I’ve meandered enough. Bottom line, my daughter isn’t allowed to read over my shoulder. I wish I could disallow her from the office entirely, but that’s not going to happen. One day, she’s going to be a writer. She already tells the greatest stories in the world, like “I’m going to sleep in my own bed all night” and “I’m going to bed right now!” Uh-huh. Sure you are.

Angelica Dawson has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards — mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires. 

Be sure to pick up your copy of Blue Moon House at these following sellers, Amazon, and Smashwords. You can find Angelica at her website or follow her on Twitter

 

Julia has the opportunity to become one of the Vampire Dominants of Blue Moon House. Before they accept, however, the seven vampires must all gauge her worthiness as an eternal companion. Each will test her, sample her, and decide her fate.

GUEST POST: SHAY FABBRO ON WRITING YOUNG ADULT

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Oh happy day! My good friend and author, Shay Fabbro, stopped by my little pub for her blog tour! Check out her post and leave a comment and you may one of the TWO LUCKY PEOPLE WHO WILL WIN ONE OF HER TWO YA e-BOOKS! 

Now, without further ado, ladies and gents, please welcome Dr. Fab to the pub!!

 

When I ventured into writing, it made sense for me to stick to what I knew and loved: scifi/fantasy. My first novels were in this genre and while there were some tricky things to it, the ideas flowed naturally.

Then one day while getting ready for work and staring into the mirror, I had a thought. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the reflection change to someone else’s face? Of course the idea of being terrified never entered my mind. I stared at my reflection (which only had make-up on one eye, mind you) almost as if I could force my reflection to change. It never did. I thought about the idea all the way to work and by the time I got to my desk, the idea for Dangerous Reflections was taking shape.

Now, for this book, the heroine was going to be very different. Rather than being an alien from some distant world, or a magic-wielding elf from a forest, she was going to be an average, ordinary, human girl. And to add some depth, I decided to have her be a fifteen year-old girl rather than an adult.

Little did I know how out of my element I was heading!

I have never really read much young adult (YA). When I was younger, I tried to read Judy Blume and all that but it just didn’t hold my interest (epic fantasy was the only thing that kept me turning pages). When it came to starting on Dangerous Reflections, I tackled it like I did my scifi/fantasy novels.

And boy, was that the WRONG way to do it!

I had the opportunity to send several sample chapters to an agent (through someone’s blog) and she gave me some invaluable advice. I made the huge mistake of trying to write a YA book without understanding what elements make a YA book, well… a YA book!

The biggest thing I had to deal with was the point of view (POV). For my scifi/fantasy books, I had many different POVs since I had more than one main character. Each of them is important and showing the world through their eyes in a vital component in letting the reader catch a glimpse into their motivations and helps with empathy. Some of my characters seem harsh and despicable until you read things from their POV. I personally think the real world needs to take a lesson in POV; if we spent as much time seeing the world from an “enemy’s” eyes, we may find we have much more in common than we realize.

Now, in the case of YA, the POV is the main character and that’s it. I was making the mistake of adding the POVs of Alex’s mother AND aunt. This lovely agent pointed out that teens don’t care about what adults are thinking or feeling, in real life and especially in what they read. I had to use some creativity to let the possible adult readers (and they WILL care about what the adult’s motives are) know what makes the adults in the story tick. I ended up having Alex overhear (well, more like eavesdrop actually) a conversation between her mother and her aunt where she learns some very disturbing news about her father. And it worked brilliantly! The reader then knows what caused the rift between the mother and aunt, and they then get to read about Alex’s reaction to hearing an adult conversation that was clearly not meant for teen ears. Haven’t we all done that at some point? You get all hot and sweaty and can’t breathe. You don’t WANT to hear more and yet you can’t move from the spot.

I also had to really think about what motivates teens and think back to when I was that age (and it was a long time ago! LOL) and what things were important to me. And it was much different than what’s important to an adult character. I had to dredge up some painful memories of how I treated my folks and times when I hurt them deeply because I lashed out about some stupid thing or other. But that’s the thing! To a teenager, everything is the end of the world and it’s all about the drama.

What books have you read recently that really captured the YA voice and pulled you into the story? Two commenters will be chosen at RANDOM to win one of two e-books: Dangerous Reflections or Twisted Reflections!

Dangerous ReflectionsTwisted Reflections
Connect with Shay on her website, Facebook fanpage, or Twitter! She loves chatting with people about books they love, favorite fictional adventures you taken with a character, or anything else you’d like to chat about

Romance Genre Challenged! Is There a Support Group? by Holly Bush

Monday, January 30th, 2012
Holly Bush

Good day and happy Monday, friends! Today I'm shining the spotlight on Holly Bush author of Romancing Olive. To say that one is a romance writer is no longer enough, there's always that follow up question of, "But what kind of romance do you write?" In Holly's post she discusses the genre and the influx of sub-genres that seem to be taking over. Enjoy!

Romance Genre Challenged! Is There a Support Group?

Let me preface this by saying I don’t care what anyone else reads or does in the privacy of their own bedroom or spaceship.

But the new sub-genres of romance books are downright confusing and sometimes I have to think really hard  to imagine, envision or even process the categories of cross-genres. As I was trolling the other day on a book selling site, I found an author that billed herself as LGBT Dystopian Paranormal author. Doesn’t it get crowded with this many people or vampires in the same bed/coffin? Will the government be watching and take away one of the participants leaving . . .  uh . . .  I’m not sure who we started with or who they had an affinity for.

One part of me just wants to tell folks, hey, read the jacket blurb and see if you’d think you’d like the story. Don’t be hemmed in by search sorting on the internet. On the other hand, there are just so many books out there, especially with the boom in the self publishing world that a poor reader needs to narrow down the 20 gazillion books to ones they might be interested in. So authors try and help the reader along by identifying their book in a variety of searchable categories.  (more…)

11 Questions of Badassery by Jesse James Freeman and SPECIAL GUEST

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
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Ladies and gents I'm super excited at the complete badassery that is happening in my bar today. It's Wednesday so that means I hand the reigns of my site over to last week's featured author and how could anyone forget the awesomely badass, Jesse James Freeman? Well, because Jesse is amazingly awesome he's changing things up a bit and I'm all for it. Over on Jesse's own site he runs an interview series called, "11 Questions of Badassery" that he is transplanting for the day into my little corner pub. The fact that he deems my humble establishment worthy of such badassery makes me want to get on top of the bar and do a little jig. I know what you're saying, "But Karen, you do that every night, how is this different?" The difference my friends? ... Well, I don't know, but this time its for a reason, not just because! Anyway, grab yourself a drink, settle in and get ready to witness some serious badassery at the Writing on the Rocks pub.

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GUEST POST: Indie e-books: A Fantastic Opportunity or a Disaster Waiting to Happen? by Rachel Abbott

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Rachel-Abbott

It's Wednesday, friends! Today is the day that I open my blog to the author I featured last week. Rachel wanted to share her thoughts on the self-published movement and I think you're going to find a lot of what she has to say interesting. Just please remember that everyone is entitled to their opinions and if you find yourself disagreeing with Rachel, myself or anyone in the comments that you express your differing opinion with respect. So without further ado, here is Rachel Abbott's post.

Indie e-books: A Fantastic Opportunity or a Disaster Waiting to Happen

I must start by saying that I am a huge fan of indie e-books – but I needed to get your attention!

I love the fact that writers everywhere are now able not only to publish books, but to take the vast majority of the revenue too. Unlike in a traditional bookstore, each book is given the same prominence – the same amount of “shelf space” – so even though most indie publishers, myself included, are working to a tight budget for publicity and have to rely on their own hard marketing efforts, I think it’s a great step in the right direction.

However… (more…)

You Can Call Me Al by Jeff Davis

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Happy Wednesday, friends! Last week’s featured author, Jeff Davis, stopped by the bar the other day and shared a little story with me that is inspiring, heartwarming and share-worthy. So I asked him if he wouldn’t mind putting his words down and posting the little story on my blog. Here it is friends, sit back and relax and meet a man called Al. 

You Can Call Me Al

 

Looking back on the past year, I can see how much my life has been a whirlwind of random events: from a serious car accident, doing disaster recovery work for the victims of the Mississippi River flood late spring and most of the summer, to finally finishing and publishing Preying Angels and meeting a lot of great people along the way. All in all, I won’t say the year was a success, but I can testify that it was never predictable.

I would have never imagined that during the year I would become better friends with a local contractor named Al. Al and I hit it off when we first met, but when I returned from nine months in Nashville, we really became close. During my roughest times he would encourage me and help me get through them. I don’t remember ever telling him about Preying Angels and my desire to write and publish but it came out sometime last spring when I was still trying to polish, edit, and get everything together. (more…)

Sex and Car Crashes: The Making of Headhunters by Charlie Cole

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy Monday and Happy New Year, friends! I thought I’d start the year off by letting my dear friend Charlie hijack my blog for his post.

Ok, lets face it, I’m still hung over from the weekend so anything from me would just be the random letters my forehead hit as it slapped against the keyboard. So, instead of making you read that drivel, Charlie was kind enough to supply content for my blog today. Thank you, kind sir, I owe you one! 

Without further ado, here is Charlie’s post, enjoy! 

Sex and Car Crashes: The Making of Headhunters

They say “write what you know”. It’s good advice. It’s meant to enhance the credibility of your writing, make it sound more authentic. The painful reality though is that even if you were a lawyer like John Grisham, chances are your firm didn’t try to have you murdered. You still have to make a leap from the mundane, everyday life to the tales of mystery, murder, mayhem, undying love, loyalty, and passion.

I came from a background as a professional headhunter. I recruited top talent from competitors. Does that make me uniquely qualified to write about covert government agencies and gunfights?

Hardly, but I came from a home where it was commonplace to spend time at the gun range. My father was a member of a range that was owned by the government, so I had the opportunity to not only shoot, but be taught by the US Marines that practiced there. Nothing like taking down targets at 600 yards with a Remington 700 rifle. (more…)