Q & A with Carina Press author Cathy Perkins

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

Hi Becky, thanks for inviting me to be part of the blog today. I spend most of my time submerged in a financial geek day-job and escape into stories – mine or one of the millions of authors whose stories I love – in the evenings. I was born and raised in South Carolina, but moved to the Pacific Northwest when my kids were in high school. They survived. J

About a year ago, we bought land in the mountains (to the intense amusement of more than one of my friends, I’ve learned to drive a tractor and do battle with the beavers over the height of the pond). It’s a writer’s paradise though - weekends this winter included snow outside, a fire inside and my trusty laptop.

Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person? In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career? In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

I’m not sure if you’d call me an introvert (I do!) or just a quiet person. After mumble, mumble years in consulting (and playing the corporate-wifey role), my husband has a hard time believing that claim. He’s seen my Chatty-Cathy mode.

With the day job, I’m doing two things: I’m listening to what the client needs – introverts listen well – and I’m ‘selling’ a product or solution to a known issue. With the corporate requirements, it really is a role. Again, it’s listening to people who are more nervous than you are about meeting the Boss’s Wife. Trust me, I’m not intimidating!

Once I started writing, I found it easy to network because we were all excited about a common passion. People who don’t roll their eyes when I talk about my story or struggle with a character arc or motivation or… I’ll stop now.

The promo aspects of writing are another story. Whew, I had to talk about my book and myself, instead of something tangible and separate from my personal identity. Social media was like an introvert’s nightmare – a giant cocktail party where you didn’t know a soul! I’m sllllooowwwlllyyyy finding I enjoy Facebook and Twitter – the impromptu conversations can be a lot of fun. 

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 went to Bouchercon (a huge mystery reader/author conference) for the first time last fall and didn’t know a soul. On the plane, I had a major case of ‘what am I doing?’ compounded by crossed wires (and a dying cell phone) over where I supposed to meet my new roommate. I’d only spoken with this woman on-line, but she and her friend graciously allowed me to crash on the sofa in their suite. They both turned out to be wonderful people who let me tag along to all the parties they were invited to. As soon as we entered the room, though, I knew they needed to ‘do their thing.’ I peeled off and acted as if I knew what I was doing. Rather than treating it like that introvert’s nightmare, I simply walked up to a lost looking person and started talking. And guess what – they were so happy someone broke the ice and talked to them! I ended up working the room and met so many fantastic people. While I’m terrible with names, I’d see them later in a session or the bar and it made it easy to meet whoever they were talking to. Sometimes, it’s forgetting about your own worries and just relaxing. Maybe that’s my ‘tip’ – focusing on the other person makes it easier for me to forget I’m nervous. 

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

Set in South Carolina, stopping the serial killer who is terrorizing college campuses drives the plot of THE PROFESSOR. The tension and stakes build as the characters’ wants and needs set them on a collision course: Charismatic State Agent Mick O'Shaughnessy wants more from life than work and a pretty face. Fiercely independent graduate student Meg Connelly always wanted a loving family and professional success, but has to learn to trust in order to get either. The Professor knows the only way to get what he wants is to take it—and taking Meg’s life will destroy Mick with the same stroke of his knife.

Buy links:
Link to amazon   http://amzn.to/tm7uf6
Link to B&N  http://bit.ly/rQKCHp
Carina http://bit.ly/AeUQWx

Where can my readers find you on the web?


HONEYMOON BITE by Sharon Hamilton

I don't usually post promo on this blog, but today I'm making an exception (right, Sharon?). Please check out this fabulous new release by romance author Sharon Hamilton. It's Book 1 of her Golden Vampire series.

Anne caught her husband cheating with the maid of Honor before their wedding cake was cut. She decided to take her planned and paid for honeymoon in Tuscany, alone. On the evening of what was to be her wedding night, she gets bitten by a female vampire.

Marcus Monteleone has waited three hundred years to find his fated female, only to discover her dying in his arms. He saves Anne's life by turning her, and then works to gain her trust, to cope with being a newly-formed golden vampire.

But when Anne finds out Marcus has not been completely truthful about his past, she vows to live as a human, and shuns the vampire world. Alone and unprotected, she falls prey to the very villainess who took her human soul, and who now takes the only man she’s ever loved.

Which lover will have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the other before they both are lost?

BUY: Kindle|Nook

Sharon's website: http://www.sharonhamiltonauthor.com/home.html

Q & A with author Marcella Rose

Thanks for being here today, Marcella. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?  Thanks for having me, Becky. As a D.C. native and only child, I was my Daddy's girl, going with him to Redskins and Terps games, playing golf, bowling, and reading. I desperately wanted to be the first woman on the moon, or at least the first female test pilot. But obviously, that didn't happen. I got married and moved to the Deeeep South. Talk about culture shock! I went from rush-hour traffic in the Capitol city to living at the end of a gravel road. I've sung professionally, taught computer, and sold just about everything – pools, burglar bars, long distance, cars, mobile homes, students. After a layoff several years ago, and the first period of time when I wasn't working eighty-hour weeks, I decided to write the stories that had been spinning in my head and see what came of it. Now, I live by the bayou, no noise, no traffic, just herons, deer, alligators and hunters ambling by my writing space. It's an introvert's dream.
Do you consider yourself and introvert?In what ways has it hindered your writing career?  Yep, introvert, though my mother couldn't understand how someone who was in front of others in sales, singing or training could be an introvert. In those jobs, though, communication had a purpose, to sell, to entertain, to instruct. Put me at a table with one person and I'm on it, but ask me to socialize, meaning casual chit chat and, ugh, I'm a disaster. So this solitary life of writing was perfect for me until I realized I had to get on the online version of the big group party - Twitter and Facebook. (Is there a book called Social Media for Introverts? Send me the link, lol.)

In what ways has being introverted helped your writing career? It's made me more of a nurturer and able to see the individual. When we experience difficulty we tend to recognize others in the same predicament and want to help. We hear that this is a solitary profession but the writing community is like a village with a very social core. And that's the most difficult part for me.

Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone? Recently, I made the decision to self-publish. I didn't realize what a big learning experience it would be – not just about the work but what I would learn about myself, the boundaries I would have to establish in order to stay strong toward my goal. We introverts tend to let others do the talking and sometimes the pushing. I envy those who have been able to make it traditionally but for me this was the right decision, for now, and it seemed like I had to expose and defend parts of myself for the first time. Getting through it was scary but very satisfying.

What's one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that's helped you?  You know, for years I felt there was something wrong with me. My mother and her sisters were extreme extroverts and just didn't 'get' us introverts. I felt like a misfit, until my uncle introduced the women in the family to the MyersBriggs book Please Understand Me. Sharing that book as a game with other members of the family and at work was very eye opening. Mom scored a 20 on the Extrovert scale; I was a two. I suspect writers who hit the middle of the scale are the most successful at balancing the solitary with the social. But whether you're a 20 or an 8, on the introvert/extrovert-o-meter, my hope is that each of us can learn to make the best of our talents, and accept that, "hey, this is how God made me, and I'm okay." ;))

Fire in My Blood is a sensual romantic adventure starring Cass McKay, a sexy Aussie gem hunter, and Elektra Charpentier, a New Orleans Art and Antiquities dealer. When Cass appears unexpectedly at Elektra's design shop, her reasons for sending him away become…complicated; their passion for each other and her dark secret, intricately entwined. One year ago on the eve of Carnival, Elektra broke their engagement after the "Blood" opal was stolen from them. Now, staying out of Cass' bed isn't an option if she's going to keep him safe, but coming clean might make things worse. Elektra is walking a tightrope between desire and deceit, and the truth will endanger not only their love, but their lives.
Fire In My Blood is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance Ebooks

Follow Marcella on Twitter or Facebook or her blog: http://marcellaroseauthor.blogspot.com

Polish, Prepare & Pitch!

Please welcome Jordan K. Rose to the blog. Her first book, Perpetual Light, releases in March of 2012 from Crescent Moon Press.

As conference season is almost upon us, I think this post will be very interesting to you all.

Here's Jordan: Hi Rebecca. Thanks so much for having me on Shy Writers today.

I thought I’d talk a little bit about the dreaded task of pitching. I think most writers will agree they’d rather hide in their hotel rooms or take every seminar offered at any conference they attend rather than pitch.

I have found a few things to be quite helpful in this process. My first two tips are very basic.

1. Finish, scrub, and polish your manuscript. Have it ready to go at the pitch. Then, when you get the request, march back to your room and send it. Don’t delay. Get it done. You want the agent/editor to remember you.

2. Know your audience. By this I mean research the agent or editor to whom you’re pitching. Don’t pitch your hot paranormal romance to an editor who only accepts sports biographies. What are you, nuts? Don’t waste your time, his time, or your precious opportunity to network with the right editor, the one who wants that romance.

This next one is probably the most difficult tip I have because it’s all about you and your mindset. But it’s really, really important.

3. Take control of the pitch. It’s your pitch, your story, your eight minutes of uninterrupted time with a publishing industry professional who wants to hear with you.

Did you get that last part--“wants to hear from you.” Yes, that’s right. The agents and editors who agree to take pitches at conferences want to hear your pitch. They want to buy books. They want to sell books. And why is that? Because that’s how they make their money.

This is a business. You hold multiple cards in your hands. They hold one.

You’re the creative manager, the artiste, the person who gets to decide who will publish your book. You drive this process. Without you there is no book.

They get to say, “I’d like to buy your book.”

You still have veto power. You decide if this house is the best house for you or this agent is the best agent for you. Just because Pamela Publisher is one of the Big Six doesn’t mean she can help you achieve your goals.

Know your career goals. What is it you’re hoping to achieve by publishing this book? Be realistic. Very few careers have flown into the stratosphere on one book. Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed.

Put it all in perspective. The pitch is an opportunity to meet an industry professional who wants to meet you. Don’t panic, just prepare. Bring notes in case you fumble. And realize that everyone does it.

Everyone has that moment of, “Oh my God, why am I doing this to myself?” But the successful pitch is made by the writer who shoves that question to the far recesses of her mind with the swift answer, “Because I want this.”

If you truly want to be published, polish, prepare, and pitch! You can do it!

Blurb for Perpetual Light:
Fate is cruel. Especially when the one you’ve sworn to love for all eternity, the very soul who changed your destiny is the last person you should trust.

After more than three hundred years of running, Lucia Dicomano must make a choice.

Forced to take her place as a Pharo of Redemption, the divine slayer needs to master her forgotten powers. Lucia turns to Vittorio, the one vampire she’s failed to deliver from eternal damnation. But overcoming smoldering remnants of love, lust and anger aren’t their only obstacles.

Samuel, who may know Lucia better than she knows herself, hunts her with a fervor stoked by a thousand years of vengeful hatred. His plan—capture and enslave the weakened Pharo then take control of her elusive power.

Can Lucia trust Vittorio long enough to reclaim her powers? Or will she have no choice but to kill him and battle Samuel alone?

About Jordan: After trying her hand at many, many things- from crafting and art classes to cooking and sewing classes to running her own handbag business, Jordan finally figured out how to channel her creativity. With an active imagination and a little encouragement from her husband she sat down and began to write, each night clicking away at the keys with her black Labrador, Dino curled up under the desk.

A few short years later she’s entered the publishing arena with no plans to ever turn back.

Jordan’s a member of Rhode Island Romance Writers, as well as RWA National, and the New England (NEC), Connecticut, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FFnP) Chapters.

Find Jordan on her website at http://www.jordankrose.com/.

Follow her tweets on https://twitter.com/#!/jordankrose

Friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jordankrose


Thanks for being here today, Calisa.
I’m really thrilled to be here, Rebecca! Thanks for inviting me.

Would you please share a short bio about yourself?Small-town country girl Calisa
Rhose lives in a semi-remote area of Oklahoma with her husband, five dogs, one cat and one horse. All of her three daughters and their families live within throwing distance. She’s a member of RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. She intends to nurture and continue to grow as an author with the help of her family and supporters.

Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?
A You know, I did think of myself as shy. I don’t like to be in the spotlight, people staring at me, judging me. But then I stood in front of 20 women and read a sex scene at a recent local RWA meeting and let Sharon Sala judge my writing. Not judge--what she did was tell me how to improve and I felt so wonderful about me afterward! For standing up and reading MY work, a sex scene... I’ve said many times that I do not write those scenes and will definitely not let anyone read it if I did. And I did it. Wow.

Recently I took a quiz. Am I an introvert or extrovert? I knew which I am so the results surprised me. I am an introvert, but I’m also a bit of an extrovert. I was amped after reading that scene, I love attention, the spotlight- just don’t look at me! LOL

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?
A I’ve been writing since I was a teen but the only person to have ever read anything I’ve written is my sister until in 2005 I took the plunge and wrote and submitted my first ‘real’ manuscript to Harlequin. I think if I’d had more confidence and less shyness I’d have done that a lot sooner. Being shy also affected the heat levels of my writing. Until my last submission last year there was no sex in my writing. Closed doors, you know.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?
A It forced me to concentrate on the craft to learn. I didn’t just jump out there and act like I knew all there was because I didn’t want to be judged or laughed at for not knowing what the heck I was talking about. I needed to know.

Q What’s the hardest part of this business for you? A Writing sex scenes. Writing hard scenes, emotional ones. I invest so much of me into them that I have to really let go and I don’t like to let go. LOL

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 Besides the afore-mentioned reading a sex scene out loud and to Sharon Sala for a critique--who, if you aren’t aware, is a NYT Best Selling author!?

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?
A Just clench your eyes and do it, jump in. Whatever ‘it’ may be, you can do it if it means enough to you. That goes for your writing as well as personal life. You will never experience the great things in life sitting on the sidelines. I know I couldn’t have.

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

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

Get your copy of HOME at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon and B&N.

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?
A Find Calisa at her website/blog .

On Twitter @Calisa_Rhose and Facebook @Calisa Rhose

She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at calisa.rhose@gmail.com.