Posted in authos, readers, romance, WFWA, womens fiction

Author, Celia T. Rose

Please click on this link to see the latest article about my Women Fiction Writer friend, Celia Rose,

Way to go Celia with your new book

Welcome Guest Author, Celia T. Rose!.

Posted in cowboys, family, fiction, love, novels, readers, romance, small towns, the west, westerns, WFWA, womens fiction, writers, writing

High Cotton Country by Leta McCurry

Leta McCurry           High Cotton Country

It is a pleasure to have Leta McCurry with us today for an Author Interview.  Leta and I have become friends through WFWA, Women’s Fiction Writers Association.  I am still amazed at how technology can bring people together from opposites sides of the country, or even the world.

Leta,  when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

I think I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer but I actually started writing at about twelve – from a twelve year old’s perspective obviously. The adventure, companionship, comfort and inspiration I received from being an avid reader is what first inspired me to put on paper the stories that were bouncing around in my head.

Do you have a background in writing or have you taken  any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

No. The biggest help to me has been honest and forthright critique readers. Feedback from readers always gives me clarity about y writing and is a big help in my on-going endeavor to become a better writer.

What other work have you done, and how has it impacted your writing career?

Sales. I think sales taught me to take risks and put myself out there. And not to take rejection personally. And, while not work in the strictest sense, I think raising five children.

How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?

About a year and a half from writing the first chapter through to publication. 

Do you always write in the same genre?

My interest is in general/women’s fiction. I never intended to write non-fiction but at one point Prentice-Hall, New York offered me a contract to write a college textbook which I did and they published. That was just an unexpected side trip. I refer to my genre as women’s fiction but I have been told it is more general fiction. High Cotton Country has actually been read by several men and I’ve had really good geed back from them so I guess it is a cross-over between general and women’s fiction.

Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Women’s fiction.

Do you have any special time or place you like to write?

I have a little cubby hole office hardly big enough to “cuss a cat” as my grandpa would say, but it works for me.  Nice big windows with a view out at the green Oregon trees and foliage and blue sky (when it isn’t raining).

Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher?

Yes. Non Fiction. College Text Book. Publisher Prentice Hall sought me out based on a recommendation from a college professor.

Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication on this project? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?

I went the self-publishing route almost entirely because of the time factor involved in getting a book on the market via traditional sources. It just seemed that two years was a long time.

Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?

I like to switch it up because everybody has their own perspective on events and situations. The same incident can and does have a different impact on different people. I have read books written from a one person perspective and they worked for me as a reader. I don’t know that I could make it work that successfully.  To me, the difference is one perspective is like mashed potatoes and multiple perspective is like a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and chopped bacon.  Having said that, I’ll probably end up writing a one point of view narrative someday.

Authors and publishers are always talking about finding your “Voice”. Exactly what does that mean to you and how did you find yours?

I think an author’s voice is that life and world point of view that is particular to each of us. That voice is the culmination of our circumstances of birth, the “imprinting” we received as we grew to adulthood, and the experiences that are unique to each one. And, the voice is always changing, growing, expanding, because as long as we are alive we are continually influenced by the world and people around us and our responses to those circumstances.

Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time or different POV’s

I don’t follow an exact chronological order but I do follow a loose time framework. I do write in order though, each chapter in sequence. I have writer friends who may write chapter 20 then come back to 5 then write chapter 18 then 35 and come back to 6.  That would drive me crazy.

What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?

Query and synopsis. Lot harder that writing a novel. Now that I am in the midst of the process, writing is the easy part.

It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?

Right now, personal networking. Exploring possibilities. Marketing has turned out to be a sharp learning curve for me and I’m still finding my way through the jungle. As I said, writing Cazzie’s story was the easy part.

Are you a pantser or a planner?

About 50/50 I think.

What advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

Sit down and write. Edit later.

Who are some of the authors whose work you admire the most, and why?

Elin Hildebrand – she entertains me.  Susan Crandall and Robert Morgan because I love their “voice”. They are from my neighborhood. And Ayn Rand – she makes me think. James Clavell and Lincoln and Childs– they transport me to other worlds.

Complete this sentence….. My first ever published piece of writing was….. “A poem.”

Please share a brief synopsis of High Cotton Country.

Secrets. Hidden they can destroy her from within. Revealed they can explode her world.

 Come hell or high water, Cazzie Randle is determined to leave the past behind along with the hardscrabble life of a small hill country town but finds she can’t elude the secret trauma that haunts her – an act of unspeakable horror by her mother and abandonment by her father.

A message that her father is dying sends a reluctant Cazzie to his bedside but not to reconcile a lifelong estrangement. She must make him finally reveal the secrets of the memories that haunt her. He must answer questions of “Why?”

An explosion of truth in a dusty Texas hill country town reveals old secrets and demands choices. But will she be able to choose or will she be paralyzed by all the old hurts, cruelty and betrayals that have driven her all her life? To find the answer, Cazzie must confront the very essence of who she has become and question whether the price was too high.

 

  High Cotton Country is the story of one woman’s journey to self-discovery. It is about the inherent dignity of the human being, of the burning desire to be in command of one’s own destiny, of the will, not only to survive, but to achieve, and to face adversity with courage and honor. This is not only the story of one woman’s fighting spirit, but also of the people who influence her self-esteem, shape her self-image and participate in her destiny.

Where can readers buy High Cotton Country?

Readers can read the first chapter of High Cotton Country at http://www.letamccurry.com/free-read/ and check out my blog at http://www.letamccurry.com/blog

Copies are available https://www.createspace.com/5060373 or

Thanks for having me, Joanne. It’s been fun. Leta

 

Posted in authors, books, characters, conflict, family, favorite books, fiction, friend, love, mystery, novels, pain, publishing, purpose, readers, romance, series, small towns, support, WFWA, womens fiction, writers

Multi-published Women’s Fiction Author Kathleen Paterka says “don’t give up.”

Kathleen Irene Paterka Author

A very special welcome to Kathleen Paterka. We met through the wonderful group, WFWA, Women’s Fiction Writers of America.  Kathleen, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

I fell in love with the written word in the 2nd grade reading my first Trixie Belden® book. In case you’re not familiar with the series, Trixie was a girl detective who teamed up with her brothers and best friend Honey Wheeler to solve mysteries occurring around their little town in the Hudson Valley area of New York. Trixie Belden changed my life. It was the first time I’d read a book with a plot and no pictures. I devoured the existing series (12 books), and anxiously waited for the next one to be published. It was around that time I made the decision that someday, I would be an author and write more Trixie Belden novels. While I never did tackle the world of Trixie Belden (the last book was published in 1986), I did start my own series. The James Bay novels (Fatty Patty, Home Fires, Lotto Lucy, and For I Have Sinned) are set in the fictional resort community of James Bay, Michigan. After finishing those four stories, I wrote another two books set in different locations. Royal Secrets is about a family-owned Las Vegas wedding chapel, while my upcoming release, The Other Wife, is set in Chicago. For my next book (which I’m currently researching), I’ll be taking readers back to James Bay.

I too well in love with writing over Trixie Beldon, as you can see from my own tattered copy. It is one of my treasured possessions.

Trixie Belden

Do you have a background in writing? What other work have you done, and how has it impacted your writing career?

In school, my teachers tried steering me toward Creative Writing classes, but I dug in my heels, screaming “No, no, no!” I didn’t like being forced to write poetry or short stories. I knew I wanted to be a novelist, and I couldn’t see any point in wasting my time by writing Haiku (sincere apologies to any Haiku-enthusiasts who may be reading this). While I concede that there are basics to the craft that must be mastered (sentence structure, proper grammar, plot elements, etc.), there’s simply no way another person can ‘teach you’ how to write a book. Want to know the secret? Sit down and start. It’s as simple as that. Caveat: notice I did not say it was ‘easy’. It may be simple, but it’s definitely not easy. After graduating college with a degree in Sociology, plus a few years spent working for a local newspaper, the Catholic church, and the law, I finally settled down where I belonged: in a beautiful castle located in Northern Michigan. My job as staff writer at Castle Farms (a century old French Renaissance castle listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is like a fairy-tale come true.

Kathleen, what advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

The best advice I can pass along was given to me by an author friend when I was just starting out. This highly successful NY Times bestselling author told me: “Perseverance and persistence, along with discipline, determination and confidence, are EVERY bit as important as talent. Your belief in yourself… is THE ONLY THING that separates you from the hundreds who will fall by the wayside without their dreams and goals realized. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Work hard, work smart, work tirelessly. Be tough, be brave and be persistent. All clichés, yes. But when they apply to you and how much you want to realize your dream, they are very apt.” I’ve kept my friend’s message tucked close in my heart through all the ups and downs of my publishing career, and it’s served me well. Today, I’m sharing her message with you. Don’t give up!

FattyPatty ForIHaveSinned HomeFires LottoLucy RoyalSecretsCream

Tell us about one of your book in 3 sentences. Fatty Patty (my first novel) is semi-autobiographical. Though I’m now at a normal weight (and have been for over 35+ years), I weighed three hundred pounds while in high school. Fatty Patty tackles the issues of dieting, dating, self-esteem, and exposes the gritty honest truth of what it’s like to be overweight in a society that worships thin.

What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today? My upcoming release, The Other Wife, will hit the shelves (and the cyber-world of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, plus Kobo) in February 2015. What happens in a woman’s life when her husband dies? What kind of secrets might be revealed? I came up with the idea when my own husband, Steve, actually died in front of me early one morning. I was sitting at the end of his bed in the semi-darkness when he made a strange sound. At the time, I thought it was the oddest snore I’d ever heard. Turns out, it was the infamous ‘death rattle’. Believe me, if you’ve never heard it, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up! Luckily, Steve was in the cardiac unit of our local hospital. They called a Code Blue, and the medical team managed to resuscitate him. He’s since had a triple by-pass and doing well, thank you! But that hospital experience in 2011 got me to thinking: What if Steve had been at home, asleep in our bed? What if he’d let out that horrible sound, and I’d assumed it was only a loud snore? I probably would have poked him, rolled over in bed, and gone back to sleep… what a horrible thing to wake up to in the morning. And what would my life have been like after that? Thus, a new storyline was born.

Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to whet our appetite?

Here’s the Prologue from The Other Wife… I hope you enjoy it!

It wasn’t much of a sound. Later, she would remember it as an odd sort of grunt. Still, it had been loud enough to wake her. Eleanor rolled over in their king-size bed, stretched out an arm, and nudged him. Richard’s snoring had worsened in the past months. She lay there in the darkness, waiting to see if another nudge was necessary. Just the other day, she’d read how snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, leading to other, more serious, health problems. Perhaps tomorrow, depending on what kind of mood he was in, she’d mention the subject over breakfast. Maybe she should insist that he see a doctor. Not that it would do much good. Richard rarely listened to her. For most of the thirty-eight years they’d been married, he hadn’t listened to much of what she had to say. He’d probably give her his usual shrug, tell her to quit worrying.

Quit worrying. It wasn’t until five hours later that she realized she’d had good cause to be worried. She should have known that sound was different. She should have stayed awake. She should have tried to rouse him. Instead, she waited another minute, surrounded by silence. Then, turning over, she laid her head back on the pillow and curled up in her spot, still warm from sleep, snuggling into the clean, fragrant smell of freshly laundered sheets changed by Martha the day before. Closing her eyes, Eleanor drifted off into the most pleasant dream… only to wake the next morning to every woman’s nightmare.

Richard, in bed beside her, was dead.

Readers, go to Kathleen’s website. There is a place where you can enter to win a FREE copy of her new book, The Other Wife. I have read Fatty Patty and Royals Secrets.  They are both fantastic.  I can’t wait for The Other Wife to come out.

Thank you, Kathleen, for being on Author Interview Friday on Writing Under Fire.

Author website:          http://kathleenirenepaterka.com/

Facebook:                    https://www.facebook.com/KathleenIrenePaterka

Twitter:                       https://twitter.com/KPaterka

Amazon:                      http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Irene-Paterka

Barnes & Noble:         http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/kathleen-irene-paterka

 

 

Posted in authors, characters, family, readers, romance, WFWA, womens fiction, writers

Karoline Barrett brings us The Art of Being Rebekkah

Welcome Karoline. I am sure you are excited about your book coming out December 9th. Congratulations. Let’s start by learning all about you.

Karoline:  Thank you. I am excited. As for about me: I love reading and writing women’s fiction, romance, and humorous cozy mysteries. Right now I’m working on a cozy set in upstate N.Y.

My short fiction has been published by various places:

Every Day Fiction.

The Visit published back in 2010 by Eastown Fiction.

 L’Chaim was  published by All Things Girl, October 2013.

I was born in upstate New York and have lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. At the moment, I live in a small Connecticut town with my husband.

When I’m not writing, I love reading, spending time by the water, traveling, and doing anything that has nothing to do with math.

 Other random facts about me:

  •  Favorite colorsRed, pink, yellow
  •  Dog or catDog. But cats are okay, too
  •  Favorite go-to authors: Ann B. Ross, Debbie Macomber, Jane Heller, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Anne George 
  •  Favorite place to be: The beach!
  •  What I really needA maid
  •  I wish I livedOn a beach in New Jersey
  •  Favorite places I’ve livedSão Paulo and New Jersey
  •  Favorite moviesNacho Libre, Coming to America, My Cousin Vinny, Ushpizin, The King’s Speech
  •  Wish I could writeDeep literary fiction
  •  Favorite poet: Sylvia Plath
  •  If I wasn’t writing I wouldBe a math person, maybe

Joanne:  I always love to hear how everyone got started in this crazy world of writers.  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

Karoline: I’ve always been an avid reader, and writing was always in the back of my mind. One day I decided to stop thinking about it and actually do it. I started with short stories and eventually wrote The Art of Being Rebekkah.

Karoline Barret book cover

Joanne: That is a big leap from short stories to a novel. Some people  may not realize that. Easy to say, sometimes hard to do. Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Karoline:  I took writing courses through Long Ridge Writers Group.

Joanne: Do you always write in the same genre?

Karoline: I tend to gravitate to women’s fiction and romance, but my second novel, in progress right now, is a humorous cozy mystery. I can’t see myself ever writing science fiction; my mind just won’t work that way!

Joanne: Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Karoline: The Art of Being Rebekkah is a romance at its heart. I’d place it with women’s fiction.

Joanne:  Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher?

Karoline: In the fall I’m going to be published by E-lit books, a company  started by my agent, Frances Black of Literary Counsel. My book was finished in November of 2011, I began querying agents in January 2012, and signed with Frances in October 2012.

Joanne:  What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?

Karoline: Oh, the synopsis, definitely! I love outlining and building the story.

Joanne:  I can certainly agree with you there. The synopsis can be brutal. Are you a pantser or a planner?

Karoline:  Planner! I have to outline, even though my outline evolves as my characters and story evolves.

Joanne:  Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to wet out appetite?

Karoline:  Of course! Happy reading-

The Art of Being Rebekkah

“I do want children, a lot of children,” Rebekkah cried, unable to stop herself. “I don’t have a career. Being a wife and mother is all I want to do.” She didn’t know why she continued to sit, spilling out her private life to this stranger, but she couldn’t seem to get up and walk away.

It was Ellen’s turn to pale as her eyebrows rose and her mouth formed a surprised O. “Then you don’t…” She closed her eyes then opened them slowly. “I’ve upset your life enough as it is in the last few minutes.”

“I don’t what?” asked Rebekkah, grasping Ellen’s forearm. “You were going to say something. What could be any worse?”

Ellen squirmed in her chair and murmured something Rebekkah didn’t catch, then ran her fingers through her bangs, causing then to stick out at pointy angles. “I know it’s not my business, but it’s obvious you don’t know anything about this. How old are you? If I wasn’t sure it was pretty much impossible I would think you were his daughter.”

“Twenty-five,” Rebekkah replied quickly. “What were you going to say? If what was impossible?”

“I don’t think I…” By this time Rebekkah was sitting so close to the edge of her chair that another inch and she’d be on the ground. “Please, just say it.”

“God forgive me if this is wrong of me, but you so obviously want children.” Ellen paused and played with her wedding ring. “You’ll never be pregnant. Not by Avram, anyway. He’s had a vasectomy.”

Joanne:  Thanks Karoline.  Oh boy. And just how did Ellen know that? That certainly wets my appetite for your book. Where can readers get your book?

Karoline:  I love connecting with other writers. My website is karolinebarrett.com.

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Art-Being-Rebekkah-Karoline-Barrett/dp/061592056X/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385167117&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+art+of+bein+rebekkah

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/the-art-of-being-rebekkah/vmxYO9xpDUK6xkplKcVckg

Website:           Karoline Barrett

Facebook:         Karoline’s Facebook author page

Twitter:             @KarolineBarrett

Pinterest:          Pinterest

Email:                karoline@karolinebarrett.com

Agent:              Frances Black, Literary Counsel

Publisher:       E-Lit Books

Publicist:         CHARLEEN FAMIGLIETTI  charleen@djccommunications.com 

Where to Buy:      AMAZON PAPERBACK

                                    AMAZON KINDLE

                                    B&N NOOK

                                    KOBO

Posted in authors, characters, conflict, editing, fiction, WFWA, writers

You’re never too old to pursue a dream

Today I have women’s fiction writer, Novelist Sharon Struth with me. She believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, received first place in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest and second place in the Golden Heart. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companions. She’s a graduate of Marist College.

Sharon Struth
Sharon Struth

Her other writing credits include essays in several Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, the anthology A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers, Sasee Magazine and WritersWeekly.com. Her current work-in-progress Share the Moon received second place in the Unpublished Beacon Contest. She is represented by Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency (http://www.blueridgeagency.com/).

Prior to writing full-time, Sharon worked for thirteen years at the headquarters of Waldenbooks/Borders Books. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and Treasurer of The Romance Writers of Southern Connecticut and Lower New York (CoLoNY).

Joanne:  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

Sharon: When people think “writer” they think Hemmingway or John Grisham, but I always loved to write anything; papers for school, the minutes to a meeting, a fun birthday poem. In fact, I never thought about becoming a writer because I was always a practical kind of gal. But when I turned forty, I gave my lifelong career in accounting and financial systems some serious thought. Is this what I want to do for the rest of my days. The answer was a big fat NO! Eight years later, during an adult education writing class, I found my passion in writing. All the made up stories in my head while on the grocery store line suddenly made sense.

Joanne:  Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Sharon:  I didn’t start out writing a book. I enjoyed the process of learning how to write through personal essays, taking classes in adult education and on-line classes. Then, within a year, I landed in a national anthology with one of my essays. Then another. After a few publications I decided to tackle a novel.

My success came from three things; 1) learning every little thing I could about the craft and industry, whether in a class or Writer’s Digest or a book on craft and 2) writing every single day 3) having the patience to know writing success doesn’t happen overnight.

Joanne:  How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?

Sharon:  My first manuscript sits in a drawer. I call it my practice book. But while writing that one, I came up with the idea for The Hourglass. When I finished my “test drive” novel, I began The Hourglass. The first draft took a year. I then fine-tuned it for close to another year until it felt perfect. As the saying goes, writing is rewriting. I submitted it to RWA contests along the way and learned a great deal about how to improve what I’d done. Many complain about contests, but if you learn to filter through the advice (because some of it IS wrong at times) you can learn a great deal as a new writer.

Joanne: Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher?

Sharon:  I found an agent after about thirty rejections. My agent was listed in the Women’s Fiction RWA files. She had only started out about three years earlier, but she had signed quite a few contracts. Her authors loved her and she had success with many mid-sized and smaller publishers; none with NY. But I decided to go with her anyway, give her a chance like she was giving me one. I’m so glad I did. She now has signed more contracts than I can count with quiet a few big NY publishers.  She’s also turned me into a better writer and helped make The Hourglass a book I’m proud to have my name on. She’s currently shopping my next book Share the Moon.

Joanne:  I love the cover of your book. What is the premise of your novel, The Hourglass we are promoting today?

This book is mainly for my generation…middle-aged folks, baby boomers, those of believe 50 is the new 40. Yet my thirty-something year old neighbor loved the book and so did an eighteen-year-old daughter of my friend. My novelist tagline is “Stories about life and love…for the ageless at heart.” I write stories where life doesn’t always go according to plan, but the hope for a second chance always lingers.

The Hourglass
The Hourglass

Here’s a blurb from The Hourglass:

Can forgiveness survive lies and unspoken truths?

Until Brenda McAllister’s husband committed suicide, she appeared to have the ideal life: a thriving psychology practice, success as a self-help author, and a model family. But her guilt over her affair with Jack’s best friend prevents her from moving on. Did Jack learn of her infidelity? Was she the cause of his death?

The release of Brenda’s second book forces her into an unexpected assignment with arrogant celebrity author CJ Morrison, whose irritating and edgy exterior hides the torment of his own mistakes. But as she grows closer to CJ, Brenda learns she wasn’t the only one with secrets—Jack had secrets of his own, unsavory ones that may have led to his death. While CJ helps Brenda uncover the truth about her husband, she finds the path to forgiveness isn’t always on the map.

Joanne: Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to wet out appetite.

Sharon:  Sure. Here’s an excerpt:

An unexpected gravitational pull swelled Brenda’s anger. Her cute quip ran into hiding. She no longer cared about winning this man’s favor. His rudeness left her feeling as if she’d been doused with hot coffee this time. Brenda clenched her fists. A year of internal browbeating over Jack’s suicide had left her easily irritated.

Brenda gripped the frail edges of her self-control. “I once again offer my apologies for the accident, by definition an unplanned event with lack of intent.” He looked down his sturdy, Grecian nose at her, so she stood and put her hands on her hips. “Shouldn’t you, as a writer, know that?”

Every line on his face tensed. “I could do without your sarcasm.” He leaned closer. “Thanks to you, I missed my meeting. Maybe tomorrow morning you could get room service.”

The brunette unleashed a tight smirk. CJ motioned for them to move on.

Brenda fumbled for a good retort. As he stepped away, the last word went with him. The same way Jack had the last word in their life together. A silent explosion went off inside Brenda’s head and propelled her anger forward.

“Mr. Morrison?” She raised her voice to be heard above the crowd.

He looked over his shoulder and arched a questioning eyebrow.

Brenda crossed her arms and fixed a phony smile as she nodded toward his companion. “It’s so nice of you to bring your daughter to the conference.”

***

Joanne:  Where can readers go to buy your novel?

Sharon:  Author Website and blog: www.sharonstruth.com or THE HOURGLASS Webpage; Book Trailer, Excerpt and Book Group Questions: www.thehourglassnovel.com.

Books can also be purchased at these retail links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+hourglass+struth

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/romantic-nook-books-ebooks/379003088

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thehourglass-1173513-149.html

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Hourglass/book-bZt6Dbk3kkuXEZC0m2PStg/page1.html

Joanne:  Thank you so much for being with us today on Writing Under Fire. I know I am going to order my copy right away.  I hope to see you around the block at Women Fiction Writing Association.

Posted in authors, characters, conflict, fiction, Indie, KIndle, love, romance, WFWA, writers

International Consultant and Author, Jerilyn Willin

Today on Author Interview Friday, I have Jerilyn Willin. She writes both fiction romance and non-fiction self-help books. Jerilyn is an international consultant, author, and speaker. She helps organizations and individuals discover their unique strengths, develop their talents, and deliver solid, more satisfying results.

Willinheadshot

Joanne:  Jerilyn, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

Jerilyn: I have been writing various things since high school. In fact my current novel, Unless A Love Be Free was born from a story I wrote as a high school senior. My college and grad school years saw me take a hiatus from writing for pleasure, but soon after graduating from grad school, I collaborated on a play for YA that was actually produced at a local Jr. High. Seeing my characters come alive on stage is what got me back on the track of writing for pleasure.

Joanne: Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?

Jerilyn: I took some seminars at the Iowa Writer’s Festival in the early 2000’s. They really bolstered my confidence. I’ve also had seminars with Debra Dixon and Jennifer Greene.

Joanne: How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?

Jerilyn: Do you hear me laughing? In 2001 I signed with a NY agent and just as she was beginning to shop Unless A Love Be Free around, Sept 11 happened. All of NY (and the world) was in shock. Needless to say, nothing happened with my manuscript. In 2003, I received a breast cancer diagnosis and for a year I did nothing but work to get and stay well. When I got a clean bill of health, I worked to re-build my consulting business. In 2008, a colleague and I collaborated on a journaling/self-help book titled Deep, Deeper, Deeper Still. It is a “guided journey for people who journal”. We went directly to POD. The relative success of that book and what I learned when I joined a writer’s marketing group got me re-interested in having Unless A Love Be Free see the light of day. I decided to publish it via CreateSpace for paperback and as an ebook through Barnes and Noble (for Nook) and Kindle Direct Publishing. I started that process at the start of 2012 and Free came out in May 2012.

 Unless a Love Be Free

Joanne: Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?

Jerilyn: I would definitely recommend CreateSpace to a friend. I choose a professional to format and upload the manuscript for me. His name is Donnie Light. donnie.light@gmail.com He came highly recommended and lived up to his reputation. He formatted and uploaded both the paperback and the ebook. I chose the indie route because basically I was tired of rejections that said, “we love your story, but it is not right for our line.” It’s true that Unless A Love Be Free is not a typical romance. It is not set in England/Ireland/Scotland, and while the hero is noble, he is not a nobleman. Traditional publishers are skittish to go with something different than the tried and true. The writer’s marketing group I joined (www.author-author.org) opened my eyes to indie publishing. As a member of RWA I thought traditional publishing was the only way to go. Thank goodness groups like RWA are seeing that indie publishing is a viable alternative today. While it would be wonderful to be on the shelve of Barnes and Noble, I am “on the shelf” of amazon.com and bn.com and that is just fine.

Joanne:  Do you always write in the same genre?

Jerilyn:  In terms of fiction, yes. I love historic romance. As I said earlier, I have also written a non-fiction book.

Joanne:  Many of us cross over genres and it is difficult to pinpoint one to fit our books. For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?

Jerrilyn: It would be in Romance area. I call it an historical romantic adventure.

Joanne:  Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?

Jerilyn: Right now I don’t have different stories.

Joanne:  Author, Jennie Nash was quoted on Writer Unboxed that she reads other novels to study structure. Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time or different POV’s

Jerilyn:  One of the things that makes Unless A Love Be Free different is that the “prologue” and Part II of the book are set in the same time period. Part I takes place five years earlier. There are four point of view characters in Free: the hero, the heroine, the antagonist and the heroine’s best friend. When I change POV, the POV character gets the entire scene. I work hard not to head-hop.

Joanne: What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?

Jerilyn:  I don’t use an outline. I am a seat of the pants writer. The hardest part for me is the synopsis. Yuck!

Joanne:  It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?

Jerilyn:  Social media, signings. Had a few days of free books through Kindle. Literally thousands of people downloaded it. I was shocked. Hope they all read it. Wished most would have reviewed it on amazon! I travel a great deal for my job and confess that I leave bookmarks in magazines in the seat pocket.

Joanne:  What advise would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

Jerilyn:  Keep writing. NEVER say, “What makes me think I can write?” and don’t listen to people who say it. We all have stories inside us. One of my favorite quotes is “Most people go to their grave with their songs still in them”. Song or story…get it out there.

Joanne:  What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today?

Jerilyn:  That everyone deserves a second chance and many times we don’t give it to ourselves. Free is a story of redemption and love through self-acceptance.

Joanne: Where can readers go to buy your book and learn more about your writing.

Jerilyn:  I have a blog as mentioned below. I also have FB and amazon links below. The books are available at bn.com and amazon.com. If a reader would like an autographed copy, they can contact me at Jerilyn@speakerwritercoach.com. I add $3 to the cost of the book for postage.

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/SpeakerWriterCoach

Blog:  http://speakerwritercoach.wordpress.com

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0085OVXL8/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=1848399725&ref=pd_sl_6sy03nl53g_e

Joanne:  Thank you Jerilyn.  I am sure authors that are considering the Indie route will be very interested in your comments above.  I am sure that the romance buyers will want to get a sneak peak into your story. Can you share a few paragraphs from your book with us?

A “taste” of

Unless A Love Be Free

“Wait.” McKenzie closed the distance between them, laying a restraining hand on his arm. “Garrick, I…there is something I must say.”

Her look wrapped him in soft velvet, warm, rich. It got inside him, and set his blood racing. Did she know what she risked touching him like this, looking at him as she did? His defensives, already weakened, shook with the pounding of his heart.

She looked away, and he knew she was changing her mind, backing away from what she wanted. “Say it, McKenzie.”

“I realize circumstances might have been quite different these past weeks. I want you to know I’m grateful for…your honor and protection. You have nothing to fear from me, Garrick Stuart. Whatever happens, I won’t betray you. I know the man you are.”

Before he could stop, before he could warn himself that to act on his feelings would bring disaster, Garrick brought his lips to hers. To his amazement, she did not pull away. The havoc her response wreaked stunned him. Rocked by a surge of emotion, he could contain neither his will nor his words.

“There is something powerful between us. Do you feel it?”

“Since the day on the dock.”

She tilted her head and their lips met again. This time he kissed her as he hungered to, deep, long, filling his senses. His arms came around her and his heart missed a beat as her body melted into him. His loneliness and need poured forth. It was too much. As quickly as he embraced her, Garrick pulled away. He needed time to think, distance to clear his head. Ignoring the questions in her eyes, he left her standing in the circle of light.

Garrick didn’t stop until he reached the ledge just above the water mark. He crouched down, watching the incoming tide. The canoe fought the ropes securing it, battling to join the tide surging around it on all sides.

“Damn it all!” Garrick ran fingers through his hair in frustration. Caring about this woman was not in his plan.

 

Posted in authors, editing, fiction, support, WFWA, writers

Editing Tip: 10 Words to Search For in Your Manuscript

Posted by Juliet Madison

I found these tips on Juliet Madison’s website. Thank you Juliet.  This is  a great tip.

When I’m editing, and before I do a final read through and tweaking of my manuscript, I use Microsoft Word’s ‘find’ feature to search for the following ten words. These words can usually be deleted in order to tighten up the writing and focus on ‘showing vs telling’.

1. almost

Sometimes ‘almost’ can work but often it’s not needed. Eg: With his sunken eyes and pallor he almost looked like a ghost. An example where it may work could be: She almost slammed the door in his face. Or instead of that, it could be changed to: She resisted the urge to slam the door in his face.

2. very

Usually there is a stronger word available to replace the need for ‘very’, or the phrase can be changed completely to something else. Eg: ‘very sad’ could become ‘despondent’. Eg: It was very sunny. Better: It was sunny. Even better: She squinted as the sun’s glare rebounded off the pavement and hit her eyes.

3. started

When this is used alongside ‘to’, as in ‘started to’, it’s probably not needed. Eg: She started to get dressed. Better: She got dressed. Even better: She zipped her jeans and put on a t-shirt.

4. began

This is similar to ‘started’. Eg: It began to rain. Better: Droplets of rain dampened her hair, or: He flicked on the windscreen wipers as rain blurred the road ahead.

5. stood up

Remove the word ‘up’. If someone stood, it’s obviously up.

6. sat down

Remove the word ‘down’. If someone is going from a standing position to a sitting position it is obviously ‘down’. Except if the person is lying down and then changes to a sitting position.

7. heard/hear

Removing ‘heard’ or ‘hear’ gives the reader a more vivid experience. Eg: She heard someone call her name. Better: A voice called her name. Eg: I could hear the rain pelting against the window. Better: rain pelted against the window.

8. saw/see

Same as with ‘heard’. Eg: She saw his face through the window. Better: His eyes glared at her through the window. Eg: I could see him coming towards me. Better: He came towards me.

9. felt

Telling a reader what a character felt is not as powerful as showing them. Eg: She felt relaxed and happy. Better: She leaned back in the chair and a smile eased onto her face.

10. just

Eg: If she could just find a way to get through to him, he might understand. Eg: “The shop is just around the corner.”

Posted in authors, conflict, fiction, WFWA, writers

The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe

The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe.

via The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe.

via The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe.

Posted in authors, characters, children, conflict, fiction, love, parents, WFWA, writers

Toot, Toot, Yes I am tooting my own horn

My book, ACCIDENT, is available in print copy at Outskirts Press. From Outskirts, price is $12.56. It wiill also be available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon for $13.95 but not showing up on those sites yet. I am soooo excited.   http://outskirtspress.com/bookstore/9781478705369.html
You can also order the e-version on Amazon for $2.99 at  http://www.amazon.com/ACCIDENT-ebook/dp/B00BXOTYX6
Photo: http://outskirtspress.com/bookstore/9781478705369.html</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><p>My book, ACCIDENT, is available in print copy at Outskirts Press. From Outskirts, price is $12.56. Will also be available on Barnes & Noble and Amazon for $13.95 but not showing up on those sites yet.

When soccer-mom, Susan Jennings is convicted of vehicular homicide, she is destined to spend the next ten years in a prison. Her seven-year-old son is dead and her teenage daughter is left without a mother – and her left leg. She must find a way to survive the dangerous prison world while trying to win her daughter’s forgiveness. When she discovers that the handsome and charismatic pastor of their church is pursuing her daughter, Susan must face her fears in order to be granted an early parole and save Deanna from the same fate that caused her own downward spiral into alcoholism.