Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Q & A with author Jennifer Ann Coffeen

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

Thanks for having me! I am a historical romance author, freelance writer and performer. I live in Chicago with my husband and small son and love the city life. My newest regency is a holiday short story, Five Golden Suitors, available from Musa Publishing.

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

No, though I do like my quiet time.




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

Finding the time to write! Being a mom and working at home can be hard to juggle. I would love a few extra writing hours each day.

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

I’m currently stepping outside my comfort zone right now! I’m teaching for the first time this year and it’s exciting and scary. I’m also pushing myself to take more risks when writing.

What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you (whether you’re shy/introverted or not)?

Confidence is a state of mind. If you don’t feel confident about something just fake it until it comes. You’d be surprised at how many people feel less confident than they look.

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

Five Golden Suitors: Given an ultimatum from her father, Lady Penelope Waveland is forced to choose a husband from a list of five lovestruck suitors before midnight on Christmas Eve. Penelope isn’t the type of lady to quietly obey. She creates a list of her own rules that her potential suitors must follow in order to win her heart.


Available December 7th from Musa Publishing

Where can my readers find you on the web?
www.JenniferAnnCoffeen.com 



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Q & A with Maria Buscher

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

Thank you for having me, Rebecca. I’ve been writing in one form or another for most of my life, but it wasn’t until my Rock ‘n Roll dreams of stardom erupted in flames that I decided maybe I’d write that book after all. After several starts and stops, I finished my first romance novel in 14 months. Somewhere in the course of that year I figured out what I was doing. The second novel was much better, and so was the third. I have high hopes for the fourth. I think I’m on a roll.


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

The hardest part of this business is the rejection. There are so many great writers, so I try to remind myself when I get a rejection it doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer. In some ways it could mean I’m not quite “ready for prime time”, but beyond that it could also mean my particular voice is not quite right for the publishing line or maybe they already have an author with a similar voice and style.

And also perhaps when I arrived in the slush pile, the editor might have just finished reading four stories in a row about secret babies and marriages of convenience, and one more was the last straw. Or maybe she had a bad day because she ran out of chocolate. All good things to keep in mind.

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life? 
I will tell you that once I had the misguided idea that I could be a sales person. A friend convinced me of this fallacy. I wound up in a networking group in which I was required to speak in public and make a presentation. And a funny thing happened – I didn’t die. I’m not saying I was very good, but somehow I got through it. And each time got a little bit easier. So this is also good for shy authors to know. Even if it feels like you’re having a heart attack you are more than likely not.

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

Just remember that no matter what it looks like, even that loud and boisterous funny lady in the crowd (it won’t be me) worries what you’re thinking about her. We’re women, and it’s what we do.

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

My book is sitting on the desk of a Harlequin editor, so perhaps a letter writing campaign insisting that I be published post-haste? I’m just kidding. You can see an excerpt of my latest work in progress on Nanowrimo, called Loving the Enemy.

I have a self-published Kindle short story, which won Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 2010 Awards. It’s called Pink Shoelaces, it’s YA and based on a tragic event that occurred in my small town several years ago.

Available now at Amazon.

Where can my readers find you on the web?
Twitter @mariabuscher

Maria Font Buscher (Facebook)

www.romancingthewriter.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My indie adventure...

Here it is, my new cover!


It's my favorite of all the books I've written, yet it wasn't quite right for the Big 6. So...after thinking about it for many months, I've decided to do it. I'm going indie.

SHAMELESS will release in early December. Exactly when, I'm not quite sure. It's with a copy editor right now (the fabulous Jen Gracen) and I am in the process of lining up a formatter. I'd planned to hire a cover artist, but as I started making mock ups to show her, I realized I'd pretty much designed it already. I have a major in Graphic Design from a million years ago, so I knew I could create a cover I liked, but producing it? That's another story. So I hired Rachel Conner to tweak and perfect it and give me the correct sizes.

As for how I plan to promote it...well, um, we'll talk about that another time. (In other words: I have NO idea yet!!!!) As a shy/introverted author, you KNOW this is not my favorite topic.

Will keep you posted on SHAMELESS's progress!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Q & A with author Lola Karns

Thanks for being here today, Lola. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?
I always find it strange to talk about myself, sort of like being on a blind date. After having a variety of jobs ranging from bartender, concierge, file clerk, document translator, shipping clerk as I moved up and down the East Coast and Midwest, I decided I needed a more portable career. Remembering how often I daydreamed through my various jobs, I decided to try and make a novel out of some of the stories I told myself to make the day go faster.

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

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

I’m sure being shy has hurt some of my promotional opportunities. I have a hard time networking and reaching out to people even after I have met them. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have Joanna Bourne read some of my work in an anonymous review group. She loved my writing and complemented me personally afterwards. I was too shy to ask if she would read and blurb for me on Winter Fairy.

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

Until I’m really comfortable with someone, I tend to be more of a listener than a talker. I also must give off a trustworthy vibe. As a result, I’ve been part of conversations that give me a window into other people’s lives, people who experienced the world in a different way than I did. I’ve learned a lot by being quiet and I draw upon that knowledge to create believable characters.

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

Promotion. I want people to find my book and fall in love with the characters, but increasingly, authors have to be PR people as well. I find it hard enough to call people I know and ask them to help support my book, much less to cold call people and do the same. It takes so much energy for me to work up the nerve to dial the phone or send an email to someone I don’t know that I’m emotionally worn out by the time I get a response and I fear my nervousness overpowers my passion for my characters and the story.

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

Just one? I try to force myself outside of my comfort zone on a semi-regular basis because more often than not, it works. I went to college out of state rather than going in state with a lot of my friends. I also found a great preschool and pediatrician for my children by walking up to a group of women at the playground and saying “Hi, I’m new in town.”

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

See above. Sometimes it’s worth stepping outside your comfort zone. At best, you’ll have a terrific experience and at worst, you’ll appreciate the quiet even more when you’re done.

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?
Winter Fairy is available as an eBook through Amazon, Crimson Romance, iTunes and Barnes & Noble. Print version forthcoming.

Widowed doctor Carson Langley didn’t know what surprises him more at his six-year-old’s dance recital, that his reticent daughter is the star of the show or that the attractive teacher, Penelope Glazier, seems to have gotten through to his girl. Too bad she considers teaching a temporary job before she returns to her professional touring company. Even if he were willing to take a risk with his heart, he has to protect his daughter, Eloise.

Free-spirited Penelope Glazier doesn’t believe the stories she heard about Eloise. All she sees is a creative girl who needs some direction and she’s the perfect person to provide it while she recovers from a near catastrophic injury. After spending time with Eloise and her by-the-book father, she recognizes that despite their differences, they have a connection.

When Penelope lands a plum part will she dance out of Carson and Eloise’s life forever? Or will she take on her riskiest part ever?
Where can my readers find you on the web? 

I’m on Facebook and Goodreads as Lola Karns, Twitter @lolakarns and my website www.lolakarns.com

Thanks for having me and giving me a reason to step outside my comfort zone. I look forward to hearing from your readers.


You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Q & A with author JM Stewart

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

Thanks for having me! I live on the west coast of Washington state, where it rains something like 300 days a year. I've been married for sixteen years now, and we have two teenage boys and two very spoiled puppies.

I’ve been reading romance since…I can’t even remember. Somewhere around high school, I think. I’ve always loved it. I started writing a little over ten years ago. I think it might even be eleven now. but it all began with a dream that demanded to be written down. I fell in love with the process!

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

I consider myself both. I’m almost painfully shy. I’ve never really learned how to be social, and I’m scared to death of saying the wrong thing and making a fool out of myself. I get so nervous my heart races and my palms sweat and I stand there saying absolutely nothing, because my mind has gone completely blank.

But I also just prefer to be by myself or in small groups. I don’t mind my own company, and I find large crowds very disorienting. I’ll go out of my way to avoid them if I can.

In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career? 
Self-promotion is extremely difficult. I don’t like to talk about myself. I’m convinced that nobody wants to hear about me or what I have to say. So getting up and saying, “Hey! Look at what I did!” goes completely against the grain for me. So, a lot of the time, I hold back, when I probably shouldn’t.

In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career? I’m perfectly okay being by myself, so sitting for hours alone and writing is a wonderful day for me.

What’s the hardest part of this business for you? 
See the third question above. The self-promotion. Having to toot my own horn. I don’t do it well, so the two years since I’ve been published have all been a very long learning curve. LOL

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

For me, anytime I have to talk to a stranger is stepping out of my comfort zone. When I call the doctor’s office or the vet’s office, to make an appointment, I have to talk myself into it. I have to plan what I’m going to say. It takes me ages to email someone. But most recently, emailing other authors and/or blogs to ask if they would be willing to host me.

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

Ignore the fear and do it anyway. If you feel like a fool, laugh at yourself. I’ve often found that if a) do it anyway, and b) laugh and admit how nervous I am, it warms people to me.

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it? 
The Playboy’s Baby

They can't forget the past, but is it enough to create a future?

When an accident leaves her guardian to her six-month-old niece, Emma Stanton must return to her small hometown of Hastings, Montana, to find the one man she's spent the last eight years trying to forget. She and Dillon had grown up together--he was her sister's best friend. But that hadn't stopped him from sharing a kiss with Emma that had followed her through the years. Now, not only must she break the news of her sister's tragic death to Dillon, but she must risk the only family she has left and tell him he's the baby's father.

Wealthy nightclub owner Dillon James has been used for his name and money one too many times, so when he comes face-to-face with Emma Stanton and her gorgeous lips, he's determined to keep things light. All he wants is to be the father his daughter needs, to make up for not being there for her and her mother. But spending time with Emma, as she shows him the ropes of caring for his daughter, is wearing down his defenses. Perhaps it's time he took a chance on love.

If only he can convince Emma to take a chance on him...


Buy links:

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Playboys-Baby-ebook/dp/B008RPKBMM

All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theplayboy039sbaby-905734-149.html

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-playboys-baby-jm-stewart/1112343120?ean=2940014920773

Where can my readers find you on the web?

Website:
http://authorjmstewart.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JMStewartWriter

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorJMStewart

Blog: http://jm-stewart.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3159044.J_M_Stewart
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Q & A with author Chantilly White



Thanks for being here today, Chantilly. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?
Thanks for having me, Rebecca! My name is Chantilly White. I'm originally from California, but moved to the Pacific Northwest—by way of Wisconsin—about ten years ago, with my husband and three children.

I have always loved stories—whether reading or writing them—and wrote my first book when I was eight. It was a two-hundred-page treatment of what my life would be like, including a detailed description of every room in my future house, my eight (!!!) children, and all the animals I would have. My plan was to rescue every single animal from every single shelter on the face of the planet and give them all a place to call home. Every species would have its own house, where they'd all live peaceably, happily ever after.

Since the logistics of that plan proved beyond my capabilities, I settled for giving my fictional characters (and their pets!) happily-ever-afters in my stories. I have a degree in Creative Writing from the University of California at Riverside and am currently indie publishing short and novella-length romances, with novels coming soon.

Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
I do consider myself a shy person. I don't understand why the people who know me laugh when I say that! I'm very introverted in most situations.

In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?
Being shy has hindered me in that it has gone hand-in-hand with a serious lack of confidence in myself and my work. It even kept me from joining Romance Writers of America (RWA) for decades. I was too afraid, and felt too unworthy, to belong to the same organization as all of my romance-author idols. I regret that now, because the moment I walked into my first RWA meeting, with the Olympia chapter, I knew I had found my tribe. The room was full of amazing, fabulous women who immediately welcomed and accepted me, put me at ease, and who have been an integral part of my life ever since. They are a continual source of support, knowledge and friendship. It was their belief in me and my writing, rather than my own confidence, that finally pushed me to take control of my career and get my work out to readers.

In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
Being shy—and sensitive to a fault—has helped me in my writing because I am very attuned to emotions, whether my own or the emotions of those around me. I've been told that I write with emotional intensity, which was such a lovely compliment, and I hope it's true. I want to bring as much authentic emotion to my stories as possible, and I work hard to really dig down into my characters' psyches to discover their personal truths.

Also, introverts tend to be natural observers. There's not much else to do when hiding out in those corners! I think surveying the scene—the people, their actions, body language, conversations and emotions, the setting—helps fill the creative well in ways that might be harder to achieve from center stage.

What’s the hardest part of this business for you?
Promotion! No question. I absolutely hate it. I'd much rather promote other people than myself. It's very hard to stand up and say, "Look at me! I wrote this book, isn't it fabulous? Don't you want to read it?" But I love saying, "Look at my friend! She wrote this fabulous book! You must go buy it!" It's something I continue to work on, because I know as an author it's part of the gig—we have to do it if we want to find our readers and make a living. But I sure wish they'd just accidentally stumble across my stories (in large numbers, of course), love them instantly and beg for more. That's my writerly fantasy.

However, as a devotee of Dean Wesley Smith (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/), author and indie publisher extraordinaire, I love his promotion plan, which is (paraphrasing), "Don't bother. Write another book. And another one. The best promotion is another story to sell." I like the way he thinks. That sort of promotion is a natural fit for me. Writing another story, and another and another, is what I most want to be doing in the first place.

Having said that, I LOVE to hear from readers and build relationships with them that are not incumbent upon me constantly "selling myself" to them. I want to get to know them as people, not as buyers. If they like my stories and choose to read more of them, great! I so appreciate the support. But let's get to know each other, too.

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?
I stepped way outside my comfort zone when I decided to indie publish. I don't think I have been as nervous as I was that first publication day in years. Maybe decades. It felt like, by putting my work out there, I was suddenly in an enormous spotlight and the whole world could see me standing there with my soul bared. I was so jittery I could hardly concentrate as my friend helped show me the ropes of publishing. I had all the classic signs of a massive panic attack: sweaty palms, racing heart, rapid breathing, icy tremors. It was awful! But the sense of exhilaration once my story went live was incredible, and made the nerves totally worth it.

What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you (whether you’re shy/introverted or not)?
Find your tribe. That's what helped me the most. I am very shy, very introverted in most situations, but there's something about being an active part of my personal tribe, the writing community, that freed me from my usual angst. There's a real sense of comfort that comes from being surrounded by a group of people all focused on and experiencing the same things, no matter what stage they're at. My writer friends "get" me on a deep, dark level because they've all been in my shoes at one point or another. I get them for the same reasons. The details of our journeys may be different, but the emotions experienced along those varied journeys are shared. When you have that sort of unquestioning empathy and support, you start to feel like you can tackle anything. And if you feel like you can tackle anything, well then, you can tackle anything.

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it?
Sure! They're available on Amazon, B&N and anywhere ebooks are sold.

Pearls of Passion:
Shy librarian Sabrina has had her heart set on Robert, her hunky, reserved colleague, for months. Now she's taking matters into her own hands. . . and anywhere else she can manage. But once she's had her way with him, will she end up with the love match she craves even more than his luscious body?

A short, H-O-T contemporary romance, Pearls of Passion is 6,000 words (about 15 pages).
 

 
Pearls of Wisdom:
A long-simmering love. A proper proposal. One incredible night.

Billy Wingate has never been with a woman. He’s never held a gun. In fact, he’s never been outside his home state of Indiana. But it’s 1942. The world is at war, and Billy’s life is about to change forever.

On the eve of departing for the war, Billy finally gathers the courage to ask his dream girl, sexy town librarian April Collins, to be his bride. But when his proposal turns into a steamy night of passion, Billy is determined to make every moment count. They both know his first time may be his last. . .

A short, H-O-T historical romance, Pearls of Wisdom is 15,000 words (about 35 pages).


Pearls of Pleasure (Available September 24, 2012)
Gwen Coffey's marriage is collapsing. When her fireman husband, David, nearly died in a blaze that took the lives of his friends, she devoted herself to his long, painful recovery. Three years later, he's healthy and back to work—but now, when they make love, panic attacks send Gwen into a spiraling abyss of terror.

His marriage turning to ash around him, David struggles to help his wife. Gwen's pain tears him apart. But despite her attempts to shut him out, he won't give up on her, or their relationship. Desperate, he convinces her to see a therapist.

As Gwen and David work toward a solution, one question burns in their minds—will the doctor's treatment plan save their once fiery passion, or will the flames of Gwen's fear devour their sex life and incinerate the bonds of their marriage?

Pearls of Pleasure is a 40,000 word hot contemporary-romance novella (about 100 pages).


Where can my readers find you on the web?
My website is http://ChantillyWhite.com where readers can find out about current and future projects or contact me via email.
 

 

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Q & A with author Erin McCauley


I'm delighted to have my friend Erin McCauley on the blog today. Thanks for being here today, Erin. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, but as a military wife, I was able to experience the beauty of Alaska, the tundra of Iceland, and the warmth of North Carolina and California, and am able to use all of these locations in my writing. In the years that followed, I worked as a Bank Officer, and a Regional Sales Manager for a local winery, before settling down to work towards my dream of being a writer.  

 
I’m an active soccer mom, who spends hours in my car driving my little jock around. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my three children and my dedicated writing partner, Maxx, a three pound Yorkie who never leaves my side.

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

Not at all, but I used to be. Anyone who knows me now doesn’t believe me. But we all have our moments of insecurity.


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

After the constant rejections and “we loved it, but” aspect?  It is the actual business part itself. Did I sign with the right publisher? Did I miss anything in my contract? Am I on the right media sights, am I marketing myself correctly? For me personally, I wanted to write a fabulous book, have it become an overnight success and hire a wise assistant to do the rest. Well, it doesn’t happen like that (unfortunately) and I’ve had to, and still have to, figure the rest out as I go. Thank goodness I have so many wonderful author friends to hold my hand and guide me a bit.

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

To be honest, it was my first book signing. I’m not shy, so you’d think it would be easy, but it wasn’t. I was nervous, afraid I would throw up. What if they all walked past my table? What if I couldn’t talk to anyone, or answer their questions with any sort of intelligence? I could picture myself being asked “what’s your book about?" and my having to excuse myself to go be sick in private - Or worse, totally not remembering. I made it through, so here’s hoping the next one is a bit more comfortable.

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

When it comes to your craft, you have to believe in yourself and your work. Shy or not, if you project any sign of confidence it will shine through to people, whether agents, editors, other authors or readers. In knowing your story, or your craft, it will project itself as confidence and allow you to be more open when discussing it with others. You know how excited you get when you talk about your latest WIP, or a book you just finished reading, or a great movie? Harness that excitement when you need to slip out of your shyness for a while. Excitement is contagious.

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it? 
THE CONFESSION: A confession turns successful handbag designer, Aimee Morrison’s world upside down and lands her on the doorstep of Emily Sinclair, the woman who could possibly be her birth mother. In a case of mistaken identity, she impulsively accepts a job as her personal assistant. To complicate matters, she falls in love with Marcus Lee, a sexy, moody, damaged man who believes all women are incapable of telling the truth.

Marcus Lee has spent most of his life on the Sinclair estate, and watching woman after woman claim to be Emily’s ‘long lost daughter’ in an effort to be her sole heir, he trusts no one and believes everyone has a hidden agenda. Upon meeting Aimee, he is surprised by his strong physical attraction to her, and even as he begins to fall in love, he knows she’s keeping secrets.

Tangled in her own deceptions, will Aimee lose everything she loves once the truth is revealed?   


The confession is available on






Where can my readers find you on the web?

 
http://Erinmccauley.com


Thanks so much for coming on today, Erin!
Wishing you many, many sales!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Q & A with author Sandra Dailey

Thanks so much for being here today, Sandra. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me, Becky. I’d love to.

I live with my husband in North Florida. We have a combined family of four grown children and seven grandchildren. On the weekends I work as a home healthcare provider, but on weekdays I close myself away to write. I’m most comfortable in pajamas and usually work on my enclosed front porch.  As a hobby, I like needle work. I’m currently working on a hand-stitched quilt for my daughter.

Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
Shy no, introverted definitely. I have six siblings that tend to overwhelm me. I learned at a very young age how to be invisible. However, I’m a good listener and people watcher because of it. My husband is very understanding. He has seven sibs.

In what ways has being introverted hindered your writing career?
I don’t do the legwork I should for my research. I avoid leaving my house at all. Besides my huge book collection, the internet is my best friend.

In what way has being introverted helped your writing career?
I spend a lot of time at my computer. I’ve been known to write for sixteen hour stretches. The only thing that distracts me is social media. I have to keep telling myself, facebook is the enemy.

What’s the hardest part of this business for you?
You probably hear this all the time…PROMOTION. I’m not one to toot my own horn. I finally gave myself a good talking to. “You don’t have to promote yourself; you have to promote your books, reading and writing.” I can talk about my characters and storylines for hours. Standing in front of any group doesn’t bother me, and I love answering questions. However, I can’t see myself speaking on television or radio, like some of the authors I follow. I don’t know why that’s different, but I think it’s a control issue.

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life.
I can be pretty territorial about my writing. To push that send button when it’s time to submit is still the hardest thing I do. That’s when I start second guessing myself and my stomach ties in a knot. I’m not good for anything for the rest of the day.

What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?
Ask your family and friends to share your info with their friends. The network of romance writers are a tight group and your family loves to get involved. Then, don’t forget to return the favor.

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

Ginny Dearing has finally realized her goal of teaching, but finding a position is proving impossible. After exhausting all possibilities, an Internet ad is her only hope. In a small town hundreds of miles away there is a job with one huge string attached...a husband.

Burned by love once, Brett Silverfeather finds his bachelor life more than satisfying. He’s facing re-election for sheriff, but this time the voters are looking for a family man. Brett finds himself pursuing a marriage he doesn’t want.

Available:

The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/PSiSNR

Amazon for Kindle http://amzn.to/MCNbDU

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/RTDJ01

Where can my readers find you on the web?

Contact me at:

http://facebook.com/sandradailey.author

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Q & A with author Carol Kilgore

Thanks for being here today, Carol. Would you please share a short bio about yourself? 
Thank you for hosting me. It's a real treat for me to spend time on your blog. I'm a Texas native, but I've lived in many different places around the U.S. as a military spouse. We now live in San Antonio with two active herding dogs that share their sofa with us every once in a while. Most of my novels are set in Texas because it's the place I know best. Besides, I want readers to see my view of Texas. I write a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance I call Crime Fiction with a Kiss. There's always at least one crime, and there's always a romance or a love story.

Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
Introverted, yes. Shy, no.

In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career? 
I like people, and I enjoy meeting new people both online and in person. But I also enjoy Me Time, and I cherish my privacy. Perhaps I should say I did cherish my privacy. I stayed away from social networking until last year. Not only did I resent the time I knew it would take, I didn't want everything about me out there for anyone to see. But I knew becoming socially connected was a necessary step if I wanted any sort of success for my novels. Now I enjoy the interaction, and I'm somewhat comfortable with people knowing more about me.

In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
Because I'm an introvert, I enjoy spending time by myself. Writing a novel requires a lot of alone time, so the actual planning, writing, and editing parts of creating a novel benefit greatly from my being an introvert.

What’s the hardest part of this business for you?
Self-Promotion. I'm happy to promote and talk about other writers and their books all day long. But promoting myself is a different ballgame. It's much easier for me to be a cheerleader for other writers and their books than it is for me to cheer for myself. So my own self-promotion doesn't make much use of pom-poms or cartwheels.

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life? 
This is a difficult question for me to answer. Stepping outside my comfort zone has been a part of my life for a long time. Basically, I just pull up my Big Girl Panties, take a deep breath, and plunge in. The same with publishing a book. There's no other way. You can't let fear paralyze you into doing nothing.

What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?
Build bridges to others, no matter who they are. Treat people the way you would like to be treated. Take the responsibility for establishing relationships with readers and writers—don't wait for them to reach out to you. Bottom line: Be a friend.

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

No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.


IN NAME ONLY is available exclusively at Amazon:
Where can my readers find you on the web? 
I do most of my communicating on my blog, Under the Tiki Hut, and on my Facebook Author Page. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to best utilize Goodreads. And I tweet sporadically. I'm always open for LIKES and FOLLOWS where they're an option!

Website:
http://www.carolkilgore.net
Blog: http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carolkilgore.author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/#!/carol_kilgore
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094110.Carol_Kilgore
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/ckilgore



Thanks for visiting us today, Carole! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beyond my comfort zone

I'm starting a new series on this blog about stepping outside of my (or your) comfort zone. We've touched on this in our regular Wednesday guest postings and interviews, but I thought it would be fun to focus on this aspect of being shy and/or introverted. Every Tuesday (that's the plan anyway--I'm also lazy, forgetful and unorganized by nature), I will tell you how I am stepping outside my comfort zone. Even better, you can come on as a guest and tell the readers how you are stepping outside your comfort zone.

Being shy and/or introverted can really hold us back sometimes, often manifesting itself as fear. Fear to try new things, fear to put ourselves "out there." Personally, I'm sick and tired of letting fear run my life. If you know me personally, you may not necessarily think of me as a wimp, but I am. Trust me. If you know me personally, you know that I teach group exercise classes, including Zumba. Now, how on earth could I do this if I'm shy or introverted? Practice, baby. Practice. Fake it till you make it. And any other cliche you can come up with. Years ago, when I was just a personal trainer and not also a class instructor (one on one, I'm fine, but put me in front of a group...yikes.), my gym was in desperate need of a kickboxing sub. Somehow, my boss knew I had a background in martial arts (mainly because my hubby was a martial artist). They asked me to sub the kickboxing class for several weeks while the regular instructor was on leave. Holy #$@%! I said yes, because I'm a nice person and often do things just to be nice (remember, I told you I can be a wimp), but I swear to God I had a horrible stomach ache and insomnia for days leading up to that first class. I'm pretty sure I wet my pants a bit that first day, but somehow I muddled through, and somehow subbing that class led to a second fitness career as group exercise instructor. Right now, I teach Zumba, Pilates, yoga and a fitball sculpt class.

I've been teaching for about 8 years now. But you know what? I still get nervous before EVERY class, especially Zumba where I really have to be "on" and energetic (so not my personality). Before every class, I give myself a little pep talk beforehand. I have to remind myself to make eye contact with students. I have to remind myself to smile. Luckily, my sister takes my classes--if I look too serious, she'll break out into a HUGE grin to remind me to do the same.

Even though teaching still gets me nervous, I'm SO glad I didn't let my fear prevent me from accepting that first teaching opportunity. Being a group exercise instructor is one of the most rewarding and fun jobs I've ever had. I mean, seriously, I get paid to work out. I get paid to work out with other people. I get paid to help people get fit, get more energy, get more self-confidence. Those benefits far outweigh my pathetic little fears.

So...tell me one little thing you'll do this week to step outside of YOUR comfort zone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baby steps to overcoming shyness

Please help me welcome author Kathleen Mix to Once Written, Twice Shy.

Kathleen is an avid sailor and former charter boat captain whose stories reflect her love of tropical islands and the sea. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romances. Her computer engineering degree helped her research cyber-security for her latest book.

Here's Kathleen:

Hello, fellow introverts.

This is a wonderful blog for me to visit because I am a recovering introvert. All my life, I’ve been painfully shy. Reading and writing for hours alone at my desk were enough to keep me happy. But when my first book was published, I knew I had no choice but to go out into the public and promote.

I have, and today I present workshops and love doing book signings. All without shaking.

The method I used to escape from hiding involves determination and baby steps. I wanted my books to be noticed, so I stiffened my back and came up with a plan to increase my name recognition and readership and help my books stand out from the anonymous crowd.

As my first baby step, I volunteered to be an officer for my local Virginia chapter of Romance Writers of America. At every meeting, I had to stand in front of our group to conduct the business portion. Each meeting was a baby step. Thankfully, talking to friends became easier each month.

I wasn’t ready to face the reading public alone yet, so as another baby step, I asked to be included in multi-author book signings. With other author’s at the table, I could feel less exposed.

After a year of public speaking practice in front of friends, I felt ready to expand to other audiences. I developed two workshops: a writers’ workshop on how to write dazzling dialogue and a workshop for aspiring writers on how to get published. I gave my first workshop at Virginia Romance Writers. I practiced for weeks. That Saturday morning, my stomach was tied in knots. But the group was small (mid-summer vacation weeks) and supportive, and somehow I survived. That success gave me the courage to contact a library and offer to present a workshop for aspiring writers.

As I developed and presented more and more workshops and did more signings, my confidence slowly grew. I no longer need company at book signings for moral support. Recently, I was thrilled when a new author doing her first signing asked me to join her. I was the experienced author who could help her feel more comfortable as she sat behind that table and faced her fear of the public!

My transition from a shy person who hid in the shadows to an author who seeks out opportunities to give talks and workshops and sign my books has been a slow process. I started small. Every baby step was choreographed carefully. Occasionally, I tripped or took a step backward. But my journey has been rewarding and worthwhile. Lately, my baby steps have turned to leaps.

I’m still an introvert, but I’m proud to be able to promote my books in person. My newest workshop is for writers who want to overcome their fears and learn to promote in public. I’ll be taking my biggest leap soon when I propose that workshop to RWA, hoping I can present at the 2013 National Conference. I’ve spoken at smaller conferences, but presenting at a large national conference is my ultimate measure of success. 

Wish me luck! I wish each of you luck on your own journey. You can overcome your shyness, and I hope hearing my story will help.

Thanks to Rebecca for letting me visit.

You can see pictures of my boat, read my full bio, and learn more about my books at my website. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter (@KathleenMix). My new release, Deadly Memories, is available from The Wild Rose Press. Please stop by my blog to read more tidbits about my writing life.

Blurb for Kathleen’s new romantic suspense release, Deadly Memories:

When an extortionist threatens to compromise Trish Flaherty’s top-secret software project, only one cyber-security consultant has the expertise to identify the culprit in time to prevent a national disaster. The problem is, that one man is Greg Erickson, a former lover whose rush to judgement nine years ago changed the course of her life. Just thinking about him has unleashed a cache of painful memories, and the last thing she wants is his help.

To find the extortionist, Trish must work by Greg’s side. To save her heart, she must keep her distance. Because if she gives him a second chance to desert her, this time her heart won’t survive. 

Greg has an agenda: he wants an explanation for recent events that have damaged the reputation of his consulting company. His new assignment could be the key. But Trish appears to be involved in the subterfuge, and the extortionist doesn’t hesitate to kill. Can he listen to his heart and trust the lover who once betrayed him, discover the truth about the past, and disrupt a devious countdown before it climaxes in another murder?


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Q & A with Alexis Morgan!


I'm so excited to have you on the blog today, Alexis. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

Alexis Morgan has always been an avid reader, and she loves spending her days with hunky heroes and gutsy heroines. She has published over twenty-five books, novellas, and short stories, including contemporary romances, American West Historicals, and Paranormal Romances. Her newest release, My Lady Mage, is her first venture into fantasy romance. It’s the first book in her new series from Signet Eclipse, Warriors of the Mist. She has been nominated for numerous industry awards, including the RITA© from the Romance Writers of America, the top award in the romance genre.

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

Yes, although people who know me tend to laugh at that idea. However, in a lot of ways I’m still the shy person I was back in high school. I’m just better at hiding it.


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

It’s the amount of energy it takes to put myself “out there” to promote my books, which has become an increasingly necessary part of the business.

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

I think it is why I enjoy spending so much time alone at my computer with my characters and stories. It’s one of the few jobs where you can be hard at work while staring out the window.

So true! What’s the hardest part of this business for you?

Waiting—and there’s a lot of it. It’s often well over a year from when I start writing a book that it actually comes out. 

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

The first time I agreed to give a talk at a local conference. One of my chapter members convinced me to do a talk with her. I’m not sure I would have ever done it on my own. I still prefer to give talks with someone else or to do panel discussions, but I’ve learned I can give talks that people seem to enjoy and learn from.

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

Take baby steps. At a meeting or a conference, choose to sit with someone you don’t know, introduce yourself, and ask what they are working on. Among writers, that’s always a safe place to start. I’ve made some of my closest friends in this business in just that way. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who cheer you on and that you can support in return. 

Would you please share a short blurb of your book and where my readers can buy it? 
My Lady Mage will be released July 3, and will be available through all the usual booksellers.

A cursed destiny. A band of warriors. And one troubled kingdom.

It is whispered in Agathia that the legendary warriors of the mist—cursed by the gods—can be summoned only when a champion is needed and the cause is just. Gideon, their captain, knows this to be the one path that will lead his men to redemption—lest they face an eternity of damnation.

Years have passed since anyone has journeyed to the river’s edge, but times are desperate. Oppressed by a cruel guardian whose dark magic threatens to destroy her people, the beautiful and courageous Merewen calls upon the bespelled warriors. In Gideon she finds more than a champion, and in his arms, more than protection. However, their enemies are fighting with a power darker than anything than they imagined, and should Gideon fail, she will lose everything she holds dear—including her heart.


Where can my readers find you on the web?

Here are my links:

Website:
www.alexismorgan.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AMorganAuthor
Twitter: @Alexis_Morgan

Alexis is giving away a copy of her newest book to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave your email addy when you comment.