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 children, coming of age, education, etiquette, family, help

Is Etiquette dead?

 th

Emily Post

Oct 27, 1872 – Sept. 25, 1960

This post has nothing to do with writing, it has to do with living. With the holidays over, I have been thinking about etiquette. What faux pas did I commit by either not following etiquette or by using out-dated protocol that showed my age worse than the wrinkles on my hand?

Without Emily Post to direct me, how do I know what is still current and what is passé?

Below is a list of etiquette I was raised with. I’m not saying I remember to use them all. What do you think is still proper and what ones should be thrown out with the bath water. (I realize that statement will only make sense to certain people – oops dating myself already.)

  1. Men (and I include boys whenever I say “men”) should open doors (including car doors) for a lady. (i.e. girls)
  2. Men should give up their seat on public transportation to women and the elderly. Note: I think women should also give up their seat for the elderly if they are younger)
  3. Men should walk on the outside (curb side) when walking down the street with a lady. Note: Did you know that before indoor plumbing, the rule was the opposite, so if someone threw dirty water out the window of their apartment, the water would hit the man, not the woman?
  4. Men should either place the hand on the small of her back or gently hold her elbow when walking. (Note: I’d settle for holding hands if appropriate.)
  5. Men never let a lady lift something heavy when they are around.
  6. Men stand up when a lady enters or leaves a room.
  7. Always RSVP to an invitation, even if it does not require one.
  8. Shoes and shirts at the table (No shoes, no shirt, no service applies in peoples’ homes too)
  9. Bring a thank-you gift when invited to dinner.
  10. If given a dish to take home, always return it full, never empty.
  11. Women should sit with their feet crossed at their ankles, not at the knee.
  12. When not eating at the table, hands should be in your lap.
  13. Napkins always placed on the lap.
  14. No elbows on the table.
  15. No slurping your soup.
  16. Children should never interrupt an adult. (Arguing with an adult is never appropriate)
  17. Respect your elders, even if you think they are wrong.
  18. Guests to wait to pick up their utensils to eat until the hostess is seated. She picks up hers first. (this applies to dessert served as well)
  19. Never leave the table, even if you are done eating, until the hostess says you are excused.
  20. Never say “I don’t like that.” Always, “No thank you. I don’t care for any.”
  21. Thank-you notes for gifts. Hand written was protocol, but I would assume an email would work today.
  22. Crude or inappropriate language does not belong at the dinner table.
  23.  This is a new one I made up – No electronics at the table.

This isn’t everything I learned. Mom, I swear there are more. But, this is what came off the top of my head. I’d love to hear what you think of these and if there is any etiquette that I grossly forgot, or perhaps a new etiquette that arose in the last century.

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, favorite books, fiction, Indie

Happy Birthday to Me

 

The earliest photo I have with Mom
Mom,  my  brothers  and  me

Today is my birthday, so I’m allowed to post about myself.  Life has taken me thousands of miles and blessed me with hundreds of friends, acquaintances, and family along the way. They haven’t all stayed in touch and that is okay. People come in and out of your life for a reason and I accept their time with me as a gift and their absence as a sign our time together has naturally come to an end and we each have different people to meet, to love, to aspire to be.

I usually ask authors questions about themselves and their writing. Today, I’ll ask myself the same questions.  Don’t worry. I will only pick a few.

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

I wrote my first short story at the age of ten, but I am not sure now that I really thought through the idea of being a professional writer. That didn’t really happen until fifty-two years later, in 2010, when I realized that I would like to make a profession of the passion I have always loved.  (okay, you can do the math)

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

I have no formal training.  The only college classes I took were for my real estate career. But once I decided to take this seriously, I havent’ been able to stop learning. I read hundred of blogs, endless amount of books, attend every conference and workshop I can.  Since I am the president of my local writer’s group, I often have to fill in when a speaker suddenly backs out. If I am going to get up and teach a workshop, I am going to research until I know everything I can about the subject.

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

I wrote my first published work in 30 days during a NANOWRIMO challenge in 2010. It took another  two and half years before it was even close to being ready to publish.  I look at it now and know I could do so much better today.

Are you published through a traditional publishing house or Indie published?

I am Indie published through Create Space and as far as self-publishing, you can’t beat it. But, I would love to find a traditional publisher and my desire it to secure one for my current work in progress. It is currently in the editing and re-writing stage.  I hope to complete that within the next six months so I can start sending out queries.

Are you a pantser or a planner?

I am a planner. I write and outline and a timeline. Then I search photo sites like Istock and Photo.com for pictures of my protagonists. If I can see them, it is easier to write about them. I also write a character sketch for each of my main characters. All this said, once I start to write,  things sometimes take a life of their own. When that happens it is like someone else’s fingers are typing, and all I can do is sit back and say “WOW, How did that happen?”

Was there a mistake you made in your writing process you could share with us?

The biggest mistake  I made was publish too soon.  Even with tons of beta readers and an editor, there was more work that needed to be done on that first book.  My second biggest mistake was getting discouraged too fast and self-publishing.  I  hope I have the stamina to keep seeking an agent for as long as it takes next time.

What genre of book do you love? Do you write in that same genre?

I love women’s fiction, stories about women’s journey’s in life.  My favorite writer of all time is Jodi Picoult. I can only hope to write as well as her. Yes, I do write in that same genre.  My books are current events (typically within the last ten years). I get my ideas from watching the news.  Accident is about an alcoholic soccer Mom from the suburbs that causes a fatal car accident. Town Without Mercy’s inspiration came from the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.  My WIP (work is progress) is about international adoption.

Tell us about one of your books in one sentence.

I’ll give you a peek into my current work-in-progress.    Re-homing Pigeon is the story of a Louisiana Cajun woman and an orphaned Russian child that must lose everything, including each other, before they can find what family really means

Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to whet our appetite?   A sneak-peek into the first chapter. of Re-Homing Pigeon.

If it weren’t for the voodoo curse, she would have been a terrific mother. Cecile Lafayette Boudreaux stroked the Gris-Gris amulet around her neck, and then the mound around her middle. We’ll get through this, Junior, don’t worry. Born in the Louisiana bayou, she wasn’t supposed to scare easily. The weatherman had drawn spaghetti lines that snaked through the Gulf of Mexico, all heading straight toward the mouth of the Mississippi. They named her Katrina. The die-hards planned hurricane parties. Fire up the outdoor cooker; them mud bugs were waiting for cayenne pepper, hot sauce and ‘taters. Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll.) Mayor Ray Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation. Governor Blanco told anyone refusing to leave to write their names and social security number on their arms in magic marker so they could identify the bodies.

Cecile told herself that she’d be safe in their sturdy home in Saint Bernard Parish. Armand had boarded the house so not a sliver of daylight peeked through the plywood sheets. This wasn’t the first hurricane in her thirty years, and it wouldn’t be the last. No matter the warnings, she couldn’t leave without her husband, who had responsibilities as drilling manager for the Murphy Oil Refinery.

She opened the door and stared at ominous dark clouds and things that had no business being airborne. Thousands of mosquito hawks (dragonflies) flew in a frenzy, forming a gossamer purple and green funnel. It’s coming . . .

Thanks readers, for letting me indulge in a little self-promotion. Where can people buy my books?

                   https://www.createspace.com/4441710
Posted in books, characters, editing, fiction, purpose, readers, thanks, womens fiction, writers, writing

The Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks to Patty Campbell for inviting me to be a part of the “Writing Process Blog Tour.   Reaching her goal to be published by a royalty paying publisher, Jelly’s Big Night Out, was released in 2012, and Once a Marine was released in late 2013. And that’s just the beginning. Her newest novel Still a Marine will be released soon. To check out her answers to these four questions, go to

http://pattycampbellauthor.blogspot.com

PattyWebsitephoto

My answers to the four questions:

1.  What am I working on?

My current work in progress is now in the final draft stage where we authors bury ourselves behind closed doors to edit, kill our darlings and tighten saggy middles. The premise of my novel, Re-homing Pigeon is about a Louisiana woman who wants to be a mother more than anything in the world. The problem?  She believes she has a Voo-Doo curse. Still her husband talks her into adopting a child from Russia. Things don’t go well and they have to make the decision whether to give the child up through disruption – commonly called “re-homing”.  That’s all I am willing to give away at this time.  No spoiler alerts.

2.  How does my work differ from others in the genre?

That’s a big one. I write women’s fiction. At a glance I fit into the typical mold for women’s fiction – a woman protagonist that experiences an emotional, spiritual or psychological journey. Where I stray from the norm is the subject matter. I always write about controversial, current day issues that force the reader to question what they thought they knew about a subject.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

First, I have to say that I don’t write to change anyone’s mind. But I do write to make people aware that sometimes (usually) there are two sides to a story and before you start to judge someone, walk a mile in their footsteps.  More or less, life is messy and it takes tough decisions.

4.  How does my individual writing process work?

I usually get my ideas  from watching the news. Then it stews around in my head for awhile to morph into a story.  I start by writing a character sketch for the major characters and a time line. Then I work on a very basic outline.

Once I start writing, the characters take over and  it always makes some detours. My outline goes through many revisions in the process. I spend a lot of time on research, trying to stay as accurate as possible about my subject matter. There is nothing worse than reading a book and thinking, “This author has no idea what she is talking about.”

Some stores fall flat on their faces. Others make it to final drafts and so far, two have made it to publication.

Want to know more about my books? Log on to my website.  http://www.joannetailele.com 

Lg cover from Creat Space      Town Without  Mercy 2.27.14

 

Posted in children, coming of age, family, humor, love, writers

In Honor of my Mom, Bernice Hammar Simon

Her Wedding Day Sept. 14, 1940
Her Wedding Day
Sept. 14, 1940

Because I can’t wrap my arms around her and tell her that I love her, I dedicate this day to my Mom, Bernice Hammar Simon.

August 28, 1918 – January 17. 1997.  Rest in peace Mom.

15  Things I remember about Mom  (I could do a hundred more)

1. Seeing my Dad’s face when he came home from work and found my brothers, me and MOM, all lined up in the hall doing a head stand.

2. Mom riding my brother’s mini-bike right up a pine tree – and being madder than a hornet that nobody told her the gas was on the grips of the handlebars.

3. Mom sticking her head, full or rollers  in the oven to dry her hair.

4. Me, sitting on the red stool,at the red Formica counter-top, in the red plaid kitchen, watching my mother cook, dressed in her favorite red sweatshirt, shorts and saddle shoes.

5. Hearing my Dad tell me stories about Mom riding in open cockpit planes when she was a teenager.

6. Her love  for her 1966 Mustang, red, of course.  And how she liked to drive fast.

7. Mom dressing up like a beatnik , all in black with me and my girlfriends when I was a teenager and  driving us around looking for boys. (because I was too young to drive)

8. Her laughing until she cried or peed her pants (or both.)

9. Going to Mother-Daughter luncheons at the Swedish church with Mom and Grandma Hammar the week of Mother’s Day.

10. Her meatloaf – the best ever… and her baked macaroni and cheese  OR  letting me have spaghetti and pumpkin pie for my birthday.

11. Hearing her tell the story of when she sewed my sister-in-law’s bridal nightgowns together and let Pat’s sister take the blame for many years.

12. Her face when she was with the grand-kids – she loved them so much.

13. Her sitting on the floor playing with the grand-kids – or doing board games on the card table.

14. Her love for family genealogy, and her bumper sticker that read “I collect dead relatives.”

15. Her holding me when I had a broken heart /  Me holding her when she struggled to breath.

Okay, so I squeezed a couple favorites together because I could not choose. So shoot me. Mom was a 5 ft. 2 ” fireball most of her life. But she was a smoker, and spent the last decade of her life gasping for air with only one quarter of one lung.  She coughed until she turned blue, and each time we wondered if it would be her last breath. But it wasn’t  until she fell and broke her hip, that she never recovered. Her last words , spoken before going into surgery, after the doctor asked her if she  had dentures out, panties off, etc.  “Yep, I’m as free as a bird.”  Fly free Mom, we miss you.

The earliest photo I have with Mom
The earliest photo I have with Mom
Our family, seated MOm & I standing Dick, Gene, Dad, Don
Our family, seated Mom & I
standing Dick, Gene, Dad, Don
Mom and Dad with their 1st grandchild, my Candy
Mom and Dad with their 1st grandchild, my Candy
Out little family kept growing with baby Dru.
Out little family kept growing with baby Andrew.
Mom in her favorite color
Mom in her favorite color
Mom and brother Don
Mom and brother Don
Mom's "Famous Cake" Every candle with a name "Worlds Best ...."
Mom’s “Famous Cake”

This was just a few of the candles. She had a candle for every member of the family.  The cake was blazing with candles.  Each candle had a different tag. “World’s Greatest ….. ” My son Dru’s , who was 15 said “Andy – World’s Great Break Dancer”.  She had something special for everyone. That is just the kind of person she was.

her happiest time with all her children and grandchildren
her happiest time with all her children and grandchildren
Mom and the grandkids
Mom and the grandkids
Mom. me Candy and first Great Grandchild Chelsea
Mom. me Candy and first Great Grandchild Chelsea
last professional photo
last professional photo
Last photo I have of Mom
Last photo I have of Mom.

Of course,  she was in a red bathrobe.

 

 

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, books, family, womens fiction, writers

Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper.

I simply love the title (and the cover) to this book. Please help me welcome Jessica Topper to Author Interview Friday.  Jessica, When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?

Jessica Topper
Jessica Topper
photo credit to Jay Blaskesberg

Jessica:  I wrote stories all through junior high and high school on an old clunky Underwood typewriter. They were mainly adventures starring my friends, with an evil teacher or a celebrity thrown in for good measure. Some kids excel in sports; other kids are the class clowns. I was the scribe. I entertained my friends with my tales and would custom-fit the stories to their wishes. And I enjoyed doing it in the process!

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

Jessica: I went on to earn my B.A. in English, but I focused on the classics and shied away from most of the creative writing courses. I didn’t think I knew enough at the time to write a book people would take seriously. For graduate school, I surrounded myself with books once again, earning a Master’s in Library and Information Science. I still dreamed of writing a book (or ten) of my very own, and working in libraries was a great motivator.

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

Louder Than Love photo credit Jay Blakesberg
Louder Than Love 

Jessica: It took me about five years to write Louder Than Love, my first full-length novel. I wrote it in fits and starts, and I vow never to take that long on a book again! Ironically, the publication process was rather speedy compared to the writing. I landed my agent the same month I finished the novel, it sold to Penguin within a year of completion and released digitally nine months after that.

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?

Jessica: The book sold as Women’s Fiction, but it is very romantic in nature. Still, I think it would land on the regular Fiction shelves. Many readers commented that they were drawn to the cover and assumed it might be New Adult, but I assure you, it’s not!

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

Jessica:  I’ve been experimenting lately. Louder Than Love was completely first person POV, one character. I’m not as comfortable in deep third person, but I think it’s a good exercise. Currently I am playing around with two alternating first person narrative in a story. It’s a comedy of errors tale so it’s been fun to take those liberties.

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

Jessica: I think author Chuck Wendig said it best: “You will never find your voice. It isn’t a car and you aren’t a dog chasing it. It’s not a pearl in an oyster or an elk in the forest. Your voice is who you are. The way you think. The way you speak when you’re not thinking about how you speak. You are your voice. If anything it’s like a lost key. It’ll turn up just when you stop hunting for it.”

I love the way words sound and I love manipulating them. Music and reading have always been important in my life so marrying both loves to create lyrical fiction speaks to me. It speaks for me. I adore alliteration. The classics I studied were all about imagery. I love stringing readers along a path of pretty words and then dumping them into the brambles with harsher truths. That’s the “me” that has always been there.

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?

Jessica:  I have no idea if it is directly increasing sales, but I have worked hard at creating an online author presence that is genuine and engaging. I’d much rather chat about music, for example, than share my daily word count. I’ve been posting bonus deleted scenes from Louder Than Love on my web site as well, which has been fun. It provides a bit of a cure for readers who were crying “book hangover” while at the same time, might pique the interest of someone who hadn’t yet heard of the book.

Joanne:  I love the idea of the deleted scenes. I think all writers have a lot of them on our cutting room floors. What advice would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?

Jessica:  Write for an audience of one: yourself. Keep reading: for joy, for fun, for inspiration. Trust your process. What works for you may not work for others, and vice versa.

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

Jessica:  Louder Than Love is a love/loss/love again story set in Manhattan and the quirky comfort of a fictional suburb called Lauder Lake. It stars a young, widowed librarian, a charming, recluse rock star and a comically lovable 5-year old girl with a full-blown addiction to PBS. It’s about second chances and opening your heart to the possibility that there are all different kinds of love.

Joanne:  Please share with us where readers can get your book.

Links to buy: website: http://www.jessicatopper.com

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

Twitter: @jesstopper

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jessicatopper

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Louder-Than-Love-ebook/dp/B00AR49H2Q

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

Jessica:  Sure! I think this one echoes what I shared in the premise.

My life had followed the grid of good grades, decent colleges, and impressive résumés, which landed me professional nine-to-five employment with solid benefits. I had lined up and shelved those accomplishments as deftly as books on a library shelf and stood back with the calm and cool satisfaction of a job well done. Next came Pete and love . . . then Abbey. I watched her streak past after the balloon, shrieking with uncontrolled delight. And then nature’s cruel curveball: the un-navigated fork stabbed in the middle of the road. The sun kink. Whatever you wanted to call it.

Despite all my organizing and arranging, I had never noticed the logical order to it all. The Dewey Decimal System placed Marriage and Family at 306.8. And Death and Dying at 306.9. How very tidy. Grief and love, hand in hand. Yet beside me sat Adrian, and what I felt for him defied classification.

“You look troubled, luv.” Adrian’s brow wrinkled in sympathy.

“I’m trying to figure out where you fit into the order.” Was there a place for reclusive rock stars?  For a heavy metal hero with a heart of gold? “You,” I kissed each temple, then nose tip and chin. “You are glorious chaos.”

Posted in authors, conflict, family, fiction, love, romance, writers

Author Patricia Campbell writes contemporary romance

For today’s Author Interview Friday, we have Patricia Campbell.  Welcome.

Patty
Patty

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

Patricia: I had a part time employee who was published by Harlequin American. We became friends over the years, and I’d often read pages of her works in progress. She belonged to a critique group, but wanted the opinion of a non-writer. I enjoyed giving her plot ideas. One day she told me to quit giving away all my good ideas and write the stories myself. After my husband died, writing became a wonderful outlet for my emotions.

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

 Patricia: For many years I’d written articles for my travel agency newsletter, and other business related pieces. I knew nothing about writing a book, only how to read them. I’ve always had at least two books going at the same time. I don’t remember when I wasn’t reading. Once I attempted novel writing I knew I had to learn the craft. Attending writer’s groups and going to conferences put me on the path. Now I consider my critique partners and feedback from other authors essential.

 Joanne:  Do you always write in the same genre?

 Patricia: Yes, I write contemporary romance because with each book I get to fall in love with another wonderful man.

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

 Patricia: I’m published by Etopia Press, a royalty paying small publisher. How did I find them? Query, query, query, query – ad nauseum.

 Joanne: What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend them?

Patricia: I had no interest in self publishing. I knew there was somebody out there who would recognize that my books were good enough to publish. That’s why it took me over ten years. Yes, I have recommended Etopia to other writers I know.

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

Patricia: I write mostly in the POV of the two main characters. In the book I’m currently revising, I’ve also added the POV of my villain because his mind is so twisted. One of my books, not yet published, is written in first person POV by two characters and everyone else is in third person. I do love to read books written in first person.

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

 Patricia: Haven’t a clue except to say that one should never try to emulate the style of another writer. I’ve often been told by people who know me, “That sounds just like you.” I write as I speak.

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?

Patricia: I read for pure pleasure. But the bad news about being a writer is that it’s very hard not to notice mistakes and typos in published books. It takes away from the enjoyment of the story.

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

Patricia: Outline? Surely you jest. I detest the query, blurb and synopsis part once the story is completed.

 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?

Patricia: The advent of electronic publishing has increased the number of published writers beyond imagination. I mostly use social networking and email, as well as Facebook and my website to get the word out there. And interviews like this one. Then just hope the word spreads. As to the money rolling in – I can dream, can’t I?

 Joanne: Are you a pantser or a planner?

Patricia: Definitely a pantser, but about halfway through the story I have to put on my big girl panties, slap my characters around a bit to let them know it’s me telling the story, not them.

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

Patricia: Keep writing, learn the craft, but don’t expect your very first manuscript to get published. Unless, of course, you happen to be writing the Great American Novel.

Joanne: How important do you consider critique groups and networking with other writers?

Patricia: Essential. There is no substitute.

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

Patricia: Individual goals don’t have to be the death knell of finding love and romance. As in real life – dynamic, powerful strong-willed people tend to attract someone with those same qualities. Once a Marine is the story of two such people. He’s a retired marine who owns and operates a charter airline, and has a hidden dark and dangerous life. She’s a determined dynamo on an upward career path. It’s the secrets he keeps from her that may destroy their relationship.

Joanne: Can you share a peek at your story?

Once a Marine
Once a Marine

         .       Once a Marine –

Is it a one night stand or the first day of forever?

BD James is on an upward career path. She works for a tyrant whose erratic demands have already cost her a broken engagement. Her personal life takes a dramatic turn when she meets Rafael Cruz, a retired Marine who lives a secret and dangerous double life.

When she learns Rafi has deliberately kept her in the dark about his black ops missions, she questions whether her passion for him is strong enough to overcome her fear and mistrust.

Rafi believes BD is the one woman who is strong enough to challenge him—a quality he values highly. He’s reluctant to change his footloose life, but BD’s much more than a plaything. He would give his life for her. He’ll do whatever it takes not to lose her.

http://www.amazon.com/Once-a-Marine-ebook/dp/B00D8AXZWY/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1370981294&sr=1-3&keywords=once+a+marine

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-a-marine-patty-campbell/1115521298?ean=2940016708171