Q & A with author Wend Petzler

Thanks for being here today, Wend. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

Well, I’m 42 and have a daughter who just 21. Our household includes the ‘triplets’, two brothers and a sister cats we found abandoned, and Bear, whom they think is daddy. I’ve been writing professionally for several years when my first novel, Curse of the Scarab King, was released Halloween 2007. I usually blend historical, paranormal, and fantasy.

Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

I am a shy person, more comfortable around my animals than people. Yet, when I get around people who love books and movies as much as me the shield comes down.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?

Book signings. I haven’t worked up the courage to do this. My brilliant daughter is planning to force me to go to a few conventions and become use to be center of a crowd.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

I am more focused, giving more to my characters and the story.

Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

A The hardest part of publishing is the promotion. The internet helps a lot, but it still is expensive when the economy is hurting so badly.

Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

Sex scenes are difficult for me. I can write a battle scene that can make you gasp and cringe, yet sex scenes are more intimate which really has to come from within you and share with the reader. My series, the Borne Vampires, has taught me a lot about stepping out of my shell. They are a bold, passionate lot and they don’t take no for an answer. I am very grateful to them because the fear of writing a terrible scene has faded.

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

Never give up. If you want something badly enough and people tell you it’s not possible – study, learn, keep going. It will work out in the end.

Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?

The blurb I’ve included today is for Water Witch. It’s a fun adventure, time travel combined with fantasy. I had an absolute blast writing this story. Here is the blurb:

Some legends should be left buried in the past, others should never be forgotten ….

Ridiculed his entire life because of his name, Anakin Walker finds purpose when he becomes a knight at the Faires. Still, there was something missing in his life and he wants more than just being a weekend warrior. Careful what you wish for because when the Hand of Destiny selects you there’s no telling which century --or world you’ll find yourself in.

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?

Ok, that’s the scariest part of being a multi-published writer – I’m everywhere now. Google my name and pages and pages pop up. At http://www.wendpetzler.com/ is home, but I spend time on Facebook and at the chat at http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/ where I and many of my fellow writers are holding monthly contests. Come on over for a chance to win free books and meet some really nice people.
Thanks so much for being on the blog today, Wend!

Q & A with author Sharon Noble

Thanks for being here today, Sharon. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me. I live in Los Angeles with my family, which include two very large mutt dogs. We're not sure what they are, but they take up a lot of space in the bed. I took my B.A. and M.A. at the University of Colorado and taught in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada before moving to Toronto to pursue an acting career. We moved to L.A. to escape the winter snow, and one day I started writing. I'm probably not the usual personality type for writing, but, surprisingly, I really enjoy the process. I still do the occasional commercial or film or TV-- not enough to boast about.

Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

Marketing, without a doubt. I hadn't anticipated that promotion would be the responsibility of the author, so it came as an enormous surprise. But I'm learning ---- gradually. I've approached a couple of local newspapers to review my books, and they responded with a review and photos of the cover art, along with my photo. I'll be conducting a workshop on how to write a romance and get it published at the West Hollywood Book Fair. I'm a dead failure at Facebook and blogging on my own, so I really, really admire those of you who are good at it and who pursue it diligently. I'm computer challenged, so Twitter is out of my league altogether. Sometimes I consider standing on the sidewalk at the freeway exits and just waving my books in the air in an attempt to attract attention to my work.

Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

Oh, that's easy. I recently began narrating erotica (available on Amazon.com and Audiolark.com) for an audiobook company in Canada, and I thought it would be easy and fun, especially since I've done lots and lots of voiceover work, and I write erotic romance. Boy, what a surprise when I got the first script. There were words that had never before passed my lips and situations that gave me pause. I found myself embarrassed at actually speaking the dialogue, uneasy at the narrative, and stymied at the storyline. But my husband, ever helpful, said , "Just Go For It!" So, I gathered myself together and gave it my absolute best. BUT I use a pseudonym.

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

A Well, I'm not introverted, but I have two children who are, so I know the stumbling blocks. I think the most important thing that helped me throughout my life was my mother's reminder that "Sharon, the world is not focused on you. They have their own lives to deal with." When we keep that mantra in our heads, we can relax with the knowledge that we're not being scrutinized, appraised, or judged. And if those shy people are writing, they're in a safety zone that's like sitting in a hot tub in the dark under a magnolia tree with a glass of chilled white wine. If they don't want to risk exposure, there are always pseudonyms. It's like protective cloak.

Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?

Velvet and Topaz is available at Freya's Bower and Amazon.

When Caroline Benning's husband summarily divorces her on the eve of her 40th birthday, she's devastated. Best friend Marjory treats her to a month-long visit to England to visit castles and historical sites. At Hampton Court a bearded cavalier in black leather and velvet moves Caroline to unexpected sexual longing. In a shadowed closet, they make anonymous love unlike anything she has experienced. Adam Carruthers is a high-powered attorney who enjoys reenacting Tudor history. When he sees Caroline, he can't resist her and soon finds himself in an unlikely but highly-enjoyable position. Later, at a protest rally over gentrification of London's East Side, they find themselves on violently opposing sides, fueled by a trauma in Caroline's childhood. Can their passion overcome their differences? Or will their fundamental beliefs keep them apart?

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?

A My highly out-of-date and unfinished website is http://www.sharon-noble.com/. My husband began building it a year ago when I had only one book, then abandoned it when he got very busy. So my other two books are not there, but there are a few of my paintings on the website.

Q & A with author Mary Corrales

Thanks for being here today, Mary. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

I'm very glad to be here. I live in the southwestern U.S., where all things hot come from. Lol. Sorry, it's 110 degrees outside, so it's hard to ignore the weather. Anyway, I've been writing for over a decade but have only been published for a couple of years. I write erotica and erotic romance in different genres including paranormal and contemporary suspense. Most of my work is short stories, but I do have two novellas out, my latest being Love's Demon Ways.

Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

A I definitely consider myself shy…an introvert. I mostly resemble wallpaper in social situations. Lol. Especially, if I don't know anyone at a gathering. Moving around a lot in my childhood made it difficult to make friends so I tended to stay to myself and my books.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?

A My first writer's conference experience wasn't that great. I attended for one day, but it was so difficult to get up the courage to talk to anyone that I really think I missed out on an incredible experience. It was sad because the ladies were all really nice at the luncheon; my mind was just blank on contributing to the conversation. Thankfully, I was able to go to another conference a few years later with my best friend, and it was a lot less stressful and so much more fun.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

A Thanks to being an introvert, I'm a people watcher. I'm able to read people's body language and therefore it is much easier for me to write scenes and convey emotion non-verbally. I listen to conversations and the way people talk, it's all very useful to file away in the mind.

Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

Promotion. I'm still learning the best ways to do it. I recently got a Twitter account, and it's been fun chatting with people that way.

Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

A In college I had to do a five minute speech. Despite feeling sick to my stomach and blushing for no reason, I got through it. Know your material, because that goes a long way to not passing out. Lol. I'm somewhat kidding about that, but it's very true as well.

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

A Volunteer somewhere to build a comfort zone. You get to know the other workers, the building, and have responsibilities. This puts you in control, which is what you need in order to talk to people. The purpose is to get you used to smiling and saying hello, which is easier when others are looking to you for guidance.

Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?

A Alexine Coridan is lonely and unlucky in love. Vowing to live her life with no more regrets, she decides to have a one-night stand with the Nightfall Art Gallery’s reclusive owner, Ren Aloysius, but is he more than she is looking for? What forces will be unleashed when she sheds her inhibitions for a man who promises ecstasy with just one touch? Readers can get my book from my publisher, Siren-Bookstrand.

Where can my readers find you on the web?

A Readers can contact me via my website and on Twitter.

CHELLE CORDERO: Facing her shyness head on

Growing up, I always tended to be the shy introvert who was comfortable just being part of “the group”. Maybe that’s why I set my sights on a career in theatre – at least I could pretend to be someone else and could still remain hidden.

I had a steady boyfriend for a while during high school, I met him at a city summer theatre project, we did not go to the same school. Since I didn’t wind up with him for the long haul I’ll just use his first name. Jeff. I remember a date where Jeff (nicely) admonished me for being so shy and he decided to “butt me out of it”; Jeff himself was anything but shy. In the middle of NYC’s Time Square, Jeff stopped in the street, holding my hand so I couldn’t run the other way, and sang (LOUDLY) the song from Fiddler “Do You Love Me?”. All of the bystanders stopped to listen, I turned bright red, and when he finished the song, everyone applauded.

Yep, that was the last time I ever allowed myself to FEEL shy. Since then I try to face whatever I find intimidating head on, I think it works.

I find that I always get a bit nervous before an author event or a live interview. Shortly before the interview I try to organize my thoughts and even re-read the book we’ll be discussing so that I sound as familiar with the subject as I should be. I take my time responding to questions and make sure I understand the question being asked. If things really get beyond my nerves, I resort once again to my acting classes and just pretend that I am an author, lol.

I’ve never had a problem with the actual writing process, I tend to flow once I get started. It’s the selling myself afterward where I hesitate. Luckily, I have a great relationship with my publisher (my novels are published by Vanilla Heart Publishing) so that takes some of the pressure off. A writer must feel very confident in order to promote her work and convince people to read the latest novel.

Fortunately I believe in my work so it’s easy for me to feel right about promoting.

My latest novel: Hyphema
Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors... Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

My website: http://chellecordero.com/

My blog: http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chelle.cordero

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ChelleCordero


by Kelle Z. Riley

Whew. Let me catch my breath. I just returned from the RWA (Romance Writers of America) national conference in New York City. And I totally forgot—until our fabulous moderator Becky reminded me—that I was going to drop by and post a few “words of wisdom” about public speaking. Luckily I just returned from the RWA National Conference (I did mention that, didn’t I?) where I did a ton of public speaking. So I’m ready to go.

Who am I, you ask? I’m Kelle Riley. Kelle Z. Riley, to be specific. (I’m sure fellow author Kelly Ann Riley likes me to be specific so we don’t get confused. Kelly Ann was nominated for a RITA this year, so for my part, it’s kind of cool to be confused with her, but I digress.)

Now that you know who I am, you’re no doubt wondering why I was doing so much public speaking. If you check your conference workshop schedule you’ll have figured out that I’m not a keynote or luncheon speaker. I didn’t emcee or play any role in the awards ceremony, and I wasn’t even picked to give a workshop this year.

So what kind of public speaking was I doing? The best kind. I was talking with fellow conference attendees about things that excite me. Specifically, reading and writing novels. It’s a misconception that public speaking is mostly about standing up in front of a crowd and giving a “talk.” Sure, there are times when you are asked—or allowed—to do that, but most of the time, public speaking is about making one-on-one connections with strangers and finding common ground. It’s about complimenting someone on the awesome pair of shoes she’s wearing (and meaning it). Next thing you know she’s telling you where she bought them and you’re joking about wearing dress shoes when you mostly work barefoot at the keyboard the—voila!—you’re suddenly talking about writing.

Once you start talking about your writing, it’s easy to keep the excitement going. Your new friend will ask what you write (and you’ll ask her the same) soon you’ll be promising to buy each other’s books or cheer on each other’s manuscripts. I came home from the conference with several new friends and most of the getting-to-know-you conversations started out a lot like the one I described above. Sometimes it was awesome shoes. Other times it was a conversation about a great workshop we’d chosen to attend. A couple of times it was even a discussion of the length of the wait for an elevator.

Really, that’s all public speaking is. It’s talking to someone who is interested in the topic you’ve chosen, whether it’s shoes or how to create the perfect plot arc. Once you’re comfortable with one-on-one discussions, you naturally expand to talking to small groups of people, some of whom you know and others you’ve just met. And, like the one-on-one conversation, it’s a discussion about things all of you have in common. Even when you “graduate” to speaking to large groups, such as during a workshop, the dynamics are similar. The larger the group the more you have to plan your topic but in the end it boils down to the same things you’ve always done: you chat about what you love with people who are also interested in the subject.

So, for all you aspiring public speakers out there (even the timid ones cringing behind their computer screens) those are my words of wisdom. Start small. With a conversation. And enjoy yourself.

Oh, and if you want to hear more, join me at the Georgia Romance Writer’s “Moonlight & Magnolias” conference Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 where I’ll be presenting “Public Speaking for Shy Writers” along with my friend and fellow author Michael Charton.

About Kelle: Dr. Kelle Z. Riley is a 2005 Golden Heart Finalist whose first book—a romantic suspense entitled Dangerous Affairs—was published in 2006. Kelle believes in the magical power of storytelling to entertain, educate and enthrall both readers and writers of all ages.

She frequently speaks on women’s issues and writing topics to various audiences. A Ph.D. chemist by day who holds more than 10 U.S. patents she also speaks on science topics at international conferences and seminars.

She is also a third degree karate black belt, and a certified women’s self defense instructor who teaches workshops on safety, self defense and, for her writer colleagues, how to write convincing action scenes.

A list of her other workshops can be found on her website.

Q&A with author Gail Barrett

Thanks for being here today, Gail. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

Thanks for inviting me!!!! Okay, I’m one of those people who knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer. It was the only thing I ever wanted to be, although I fell into teaching along the way and spent a lot of years as a high school Spanish and E.S.L. teacher. Once I started actively working toward publication, it took me twelve years to sell a book, so I wasn’t exactly an overnight success . Since that first sale, I’ve had seven books published with Harlequin, and three more are coming out within the next year. I currently write romantic suspense.

Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

A I’m not shy, but I am definitely introverted. I don’t mind public speaking, for example, which comes in handy in the classroom. But heading into a cocktail party where I don’t know people fills me with dread.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?

A Being introverted makes it hard to feel relaxed and network at conferences. I also have trouble remembering names and faces, so I’ve made some gaffes over the years. Fortunately my husband understands this about me, so I rely on him to whisper reminders when he’s around. I really prefer to have an in-depth conversation with someone rather than a short, superficial chat, so I don’t consider this a flaw, just not a useful trait for networking.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

A I don’t know that being an introvert has helped me in any way, except that I don’t mind sitting at my computer all day, and I rarely feel lonely. The advent of email and social media has also been a boon because I can feel connected without having to actually go anywhere.

Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

A The hardest part of this business for me is maintaining my perspective and not comparing my career path to others. For every success I’ve had, I’ve probably had five set-backs that most people don’t know about. I’ve had more rejections after that first sale than I did before it. I’ve had to learn that my career will unfold the way it’s supposed to, and success will either come or it won’t, so there’s no point comparing myself to anyone else. All I can do is work hard, write the best books I can, and let life happen.

Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

A Okay, this was really embarrassing. We were living in the Bahamas, and my husband was the Coast Guard Liaison Officer at the U.S. Embassy, so we got invited to all the State Department events. One day we were invited to a reception at the British High Commissioner’s residence. Usually at these events I would corner one person I knew and spend the evening with them -- typical introverted behavior. So this time I decided I was going to do something different, really reach out and go beyond my comfort zone. I was going to make an attempt to meet new people and mingle.

We arrived at the British High Commissioner’s residence. My husband started speaking to someone he knew, and I spotted two Bahamian couples standing nearby, chatting. So I took a deep breath, walked over, and introduced myself. And... They snubbed me! They were total snobs. They looked me over as if I were a cockroach, and then turned their backs on me. I was mortified and offended. I slunk back to my husband and didn’t leave his side for the rest of the night.

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

A You want tips from me after the above anecdote? Seriously, smile and take solace in the fact that the majority of writers are introverts, and that no matter how outgoing they might look, most of them are suffering the same angst you are.

Q Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?

A Here is the back cover blurb for Meltdown, the book that has finaled in the Rita:

With terrorists hot on her heels, nuclear chemist Zoe Wilkinson races to elude capture. The last person she expects help from is her ex-boyfriend Cooper Kennedy. But when their plane crashes, stranding them in the desert, the stifling heat pales in comparison to the scorching desire Zoe still feels...

On undercover assignment for the navy, Coop can’t believe the woman who ruined his life is back. Zoe’s always been trouble. And nothing’s changed -- not even the consuming lust she sets off in him. But when Zoe’s kidnapped, Coop must race against the clock to protect the woman he loves.

You can buy it online (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.).

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?

A At my website, Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for the great interview, Gail. I love hearing stories of writers who persevered for years before selling (me, too!).