Q & A with Isabella Macotte

Thanks for being here today, Isabella. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?
I love romance novels with a paranormal twist. I’ll read everything from light to dark paranormal, but especially enjoy a lighter humorous tone. Everyone I know needs to escape from their everyday world, and what better way than a romantic fantasy place starring a hunky hero and a strong heroine?

My latest release is The Heart Gem, a historical romance novel set in England. The story incorporates paranormal elements, a heroine who plans to be a businesswoman, and a sexy hero who needs to wed to leave the Fae world behind.

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

Probably depends on the situation now. As a child I was very shy, but as I get older not too much bothers me.  

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

I think the most difficult part was venturing into the marketing and social media world. There was so much to learn! Once I got the hang of things, I started to enjoy the different platforms. The nicest surprise has been the wonderful people I’ve met along this journey. I’ve connected with readers and writers all over the world, none of which I’d have met outside of the social media outlets.

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

By writing romance novels, you really open yourself up to the reader being in your head. As a writer, you can’t let yourself be intimidated by that fact. Don’t tailor your novel based on what your mom or boss may think about your story. Write solely for the reader’s enjoyment.                                                                              

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

Most people are happy to get to know you. Be natural, never pushy, but trust your intuition.

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


In 1885, a proper Victorian woman's place was in the home. Convention never appealed to Hallie Pinefoy.

But plans for financial independence through a successful doll-making venture have one impediment. She's inherited a curiosity shop and a handsome business partner who's proving to be a delicious distraction.

When Bremen Tyler inherits a shop in coastal England, he breaks from the mystical Ancestral clan to live a normal life. The only way to guarantee a permanent break is to marry his Heart Match, a perfect soul mate. Bremen recognizes the captivating Hallie as his true love, but she isn't cooperating with his courtship.

If he can retrieve the stolen Heart Gem, an Artifact of Love, he can use it to prove their match. The surface of the Gem reflects the essence of a couple's future life, but the risks are great. More importantly, will Hallie realize true love doesn't need proof?

Available now!

Where can my readers find you on the web?




Q & A with Amie Louellen

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

I’m a wife and a mother, working toward being a full-time writer. I adore my family—husband and son—and I love spending time with them. We’re one of those dorky families who do everything together. I love to garden and to read, watch movies and read. Did I say read already?

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

No, not at all. I love talking to people. In fact, I used to get into trouble when I was younger for talking to just anybody. I still do that a lot, but I don’t get in trouble with my mom anymore.

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

I love this business. Though the hardest part might be the paperwork. The questions about the hero and heroine, what I think the cover should look like. I have a hard time making a choice and in the end, I to go overboard, pasting pictures and links to websites. I’m sure the editors and art staff think I’m crazy. 

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 not a confrontational person so negotiations of contracts and the details of writing are hard for me. I’ve had to learn to say that I don’t like something or tell people I like a different change or different idea. That’s always uncomfortable for me.

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

Everyone gets nervous; it’s only natural. But a person who is nervous is bound to be more careful and make less mistakes than someone who’s overly confident. So use that shyness to your advantage and proceed with caution.

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

Suzanne Rose never intended for Brice Van Sant to drink a cup of her homemade herbal shampoo. And she certainly didn’t expect an impromptu marriage proposal from the hunky CEO.
After an incredible wedding night, Brice wakes unable to remember his bride’s name or why he proposed.

Too late they realize the bright blue shampoo is responsible. Almost like...a love potion!

Brice doesn’t believe in love. But as chief executive of the area’s largest pharmaceutical company, he needs that formula. He strong-arms Suzanne into reproducing it for him, demanding that she pretend they are happily married until it’s recovered.

As Suzanne struggles to remember the shampoo’s ingredients and forget their perfect wedding night, she finds herself falling for her husband. Can she convince Brice that love is a chance worth taking before she loses her heart to him forever?

Available now!

Where can my readers find you on the web? 


@AmieLouellen on Twitter



I'm so excited to have you here today, Dawne. Would you please share a short bio for our readers?

I currently have many erotic and contemporary romance books. My writing in the romance genre varies from sweet and sensual all the way up to four flame heat erotic.

I am the Promotions Director for a publisher, and a freelance writer for a newspaper. I oversee and contribute to thirteen blogs weekly, twelve facebook fan pages and am in the process of writing a promotional eBook for authors.

I do reviews books for Coffee Beans and Love Scenes, Simply Erotic Reviews, All-Girls Reviews and Sexy Reads.

Wow, I need a nap after reading that bio. Okay, I think I know the answer to this next question, but do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

No, not at all.

That's what I thought. So, what’s the hardest part of this business for you?

Balancing my time between my personal writing, promotions for the publisher, reading for reviews and finding some leisure down time. I love the behind the scenes aspects of the business just as much as the writing and being a published author. I am having an identity crisis. 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?

I wanted to challenge my writing style and prolific writing so I had a vision of a F/F novel one day. I thought, I can do that. How hard can it be? So I set to writing and within one weekend's time, I had produced a 6k F/F about love and connection. I submitted the work to Secret Cravings Publishing and within a few days it was accepted. I never told my husband until after I had the cover in hand. Needless to say, he was quite surprised with my writing ability. He read it and immediately said, "Now I need a cigarette." I took that as a huge compliment.

Another time (even though I have over a decade of newspaper writing background) I was asked by a USA Today editor to write an article about erotica and its advances within the e-reader world. Now, keep in mind, I have written hundreds, if not thousands, of newspaper articles but this one had me fumbling. This was BIG! This was USA Today. I wrote it, no editing, and it came out in the fall of 2011.

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

Building self-confidence is key. No matter the person, if you are comfortable with yourself and your writing, use that as a stepping stone to expand and elaborate any aspect of your life. If you have confidence in yourself, roll with it.

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

Rand Bartlett, tall, dark and a loner, is not a man to be reckoned with – but tell that to Darci Hart. According to Rand, Darci would try the patience of a saint. After a one-night stand, Darci finds herself pregnant. Rand, a loner, wants to marry Darci, but she has other plans – and they don’t include Rand. Despite all of Darci's attempts to keep Rand out of the picture, his persistence pays off. It's a love-hate relationship that keeps Rand and Darci on their toes.

Where can my readers find you on the web?

Thanks so much for being here today, Dawne!

Stepping Out There: A Guide For Shy Writers

by Judith Ashley

Thanks, Rebecca, for having me here today as your guest at Once Written, Twice Shy. I’m going to share a process for shy writers who want to more easily and effortlessly ‘step out there’.

People who know me don’t always believe I am a shy person. Why is that? Because they see me ‘stepping out there’ - in front of people, doing workshops, speaking to groups, approaching others and striking up conversations. Because they know my professional background as a child protective service worker and emergency responder for adults and people with disabilities, they assume I’m not shy and it’s easy for me to ‘step out there’. However, in some situations I am a consummately shy person.

How can you ‘step out there’ if you’re shy? 
In some ways it’s easy. None of us are any one thing all of the time. Our roles shift constantly. One minute we’re writing, the next we’re parenting. One minute we’re an employee, the next we’re interacting with a customer. There are times and places where we are ‘stepping out there’ and anyone who saw us would not believe we’re shy.

1. What would be different for you if you did not see yourself as shy? How would your life be better?
2. Where in your life have you ever been Outgoing? Dynamic? Assertive?

3. How does being shy ‘serve’ you? What benefit is there for you to see yourself as ‘shy’?

I’ll answer the last question from my point of view. I come from the perspective that all behavior/choices are purposeful. And, in general terms our choices either support something we want or protect us from something we don’t want. I really do not like people to see me as incompetent (not that anyone really wants to be seen that way but for some of us, it is more important to be seen as competent than it is for others).

Being ‘shy’ is protective. I can be shy until I know the situation, the people well enough to feel safe, to let them know that I’m not always so on top of things. I can size up the other people, compare myself to them, see where I fit in, and then step forward. If I’m challenged, “I’m just shy” explains it all.

If we want to change anything in our life, it’s important to understand how our life will be better when we are successful. (It’s impossible to successfully change anything if we think our life will be worse). Here are a couple of questions to help you inventory your ‘shyness quotient’.

A. Why do you think you’re shy? 
B. What specifically do you do when you are shy? 
C. What are you thinking at your shyest?

D. What are your emotional feelings?

E. How does being ’shy’ show up in your body? (Tip: blush, sweaty palms, etc.).

 F. On a scale of 1 – 10 rate your desire to change.

If your desire to change is an 8 or higher, your chance of success is high. You have the internal motivation to do something different. It isn’t that you can’t succeed if you’ve a 7 – it’s just you’ll work harder because of your own doubts that this is the path you want to be on.

In the end, there is nothing wrong with being shy. If you like where you are, then you should stay there. You may find that being shy helps you in new situations and that as time passes, you are less shy.

With more and more emphasis on doing your own promotion, from time to time, you’ll need to face people, especially when you are published and at a book signing. If you are truly shy and in looking back over your life there is no time, place, or situation where you are not shy, then you may want to seriously consider hiring someone to do all of your promotion for you. However, if you see glimmers or even periods of time when you were not shy, then read on and make your plan.

Below are a few tips to assist you in stepping out there.
A. Think of times in your life when you have successfully stepped out there, been assertive, dynamic. What was going on then? How can you replicate some if not most of that situation in the present? Pay attention to what you were thinking and doing at those times.

B. Give yourself a goal, something to strive for so you know you’ve been successful. It could be as simple as introducing yourself to someone new or passing out your business cards at a meeting, conference, or grocery store. (I keep them in my purse so when someone asks me what I do, I whip a card out. I’ve passed them out at coffee shops, my doctor’s office, and shops).

C. And, have a reward for yourself when you do step out there. What do you want enough to take the risk? I often treat myself to a ‘day off’ where I don’t have to meet anyone.

D. Have a plan for taking care of yourself if you are overwhelmed. A trip to the Ladies Room for a time out, stepping outside the room and taking a deep breath, pacing a hallway, looking for a friendly face (it is okay to pair up with someone and try these things out).

Most important? Make sure you remind yourself of the long term dream you support when you are ‘stepping out there’.



© 2012 Judith Ashley All Rights Reserved

Amy Atwell: An Introvert's Guide to Social Media

by Amy Atwell

Big thanks to Becky for inviting me to join you all today. I don’t think of myself as shy, although I tend to be very quiet in situations where I’m a newbie. I’m so fearful of offending or doing/saying something “wrong” or “dumb.” 

I’ve recently been researching the social networks for my new website Author E.M.S. (Entrepreneur. Management. Solutions.). I’m building an online library of business resources for authors so they can find answers to their questions and get back to writing. As I thought about blogging here, I recalled how awkward I felt (still feel, to be honest) on some of the social networks out there. So, here it is—
An Introvert’s Guide to Social Media

The cool thing about online social media is that it allows you to connect with other people without that live interaction some of us find overwhelming. No speeches, no cocktail parties, no worrying what to wear or whether you’ve got spinach in your teeth. And in today’s world, if you’ve published a digital version of your book, social media provides a relatively low-stress, free way to promote your book.
But where do you start? And if you’re not naturally outgoing, how do you go about broadening your connections so you really take advantage of a social network’s reach?

1. Identify which social networks will work best with your personality. There are many social networks, and each has a slightly different approach and feel. You’ve probably heard of most of them: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads, Shelfari, KindleBoards, eHarlequin. 

 2. Focus on one social network at a time as you get started. By focusing your time and attention, you’ll learn to develop efficiencies faster. You’ll also avoid that overwhelmed feeling when your email receives two dozen notifications and you can’t even figure where exactly the messages are coming from! (Been there, done that.)

3. Create a short profile bio for yourself. So many introverts hate to talk about themselves, but on a social network, people want a feel for who you are. Choose details you’re willing to share across the world wide web (hint, I avoid sharing my exact birthday, my current city, I don’t mention family members by name). Have a little fun with it. You should also get a photo, what we call a headshot is best. But you can also use your current book cover or find a public domain photo of an animal or bird or sunset or some strong visual image. Work from this same bio for each of the social networks you join. You want people to recognize you from network to network.

4. Seek out friends by being social and supportive. This is key. Don’t join a social network and start blasting promotional messages to visit your blog or buy your book. You want people to pass along your social messages, so pass along theirs. Congratulate others when you see their good news. Visit other people’s profiles to view and comment on photos, leave birthday wishes. Repeat things you find clever or funny—and always thank whoever provided it. These people will want to be your friend. Plus people who receive it from you may pass it along, and those people will want to be your friend. Hey, you’re the life of the party now!

5. Be consistent. This is another reason to start with one social network. You want to check in every day if possible. Once you get efficient and consistent with one social network, you’ll be ready to add a second one.

6. Be positive. We’ve all seen people rant on social media, but remember that thousands of people might see anything you post. It might get shared well beyond wherever you post. As a published author, everything you say becomes part of your brand. Be cool, be generous, be upbeat.

7. Join groups. Most social networks have some way of creating groups. Even Twitter allows people to group by creating a hashtag for their Twitter stream of conversation. (Check out things link #RWA2012 or #NINC or #fridayreads.) Find people in these groups that you want to connect with.

8. Introduce your promotional messages and good news with joy. People love to share in good news. Just released a book? Share how excited YOU are. The focus here is on you, the person, while the book is secondary. See? Social. Amazed by your new book cover? Share the picture. Got a terrific review? Link to it.

9. Not sure what to say? Ask questions. Others on a social network will be happy to answer your questions. In fact, you may be surprised at how many people rally around you if you ask for help or admit your newbie-ness. People join social networks because they want to make connections, and most people will remember how awkward they felt when they first joined. (Confession time here: Twitter scared the living daylights out of me when I first joined!)

10. If you try social media and you don’t like it, then stop doing it. It won’t be a career killer if you don’t Tweet five times a day or have 2,000 Likes on Facebook. Put the energy and angst you save into your next book. Find more traditional ways to promote your book that don’t require the personal connectivity and time, like buying ads or requesting book reviews. But forcing yourself to be on social media if you don’t enjoy it isn’t necessary. 

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I hope that helps take some of the mystery out of social networking and gives you some concrete ideas on how you can broaden your circle of contacts and spread the word about your books. If you’re looking for a source of regular information on topics like social media, business, promotion, website and blogging and more, check out the

Author E.M.S. site or watch our Intro Video. We have a Daily Tips blog and lots of public (free) resources. We also offer our full library of resources and a searchable database of book reviewers to our paid members.

Feel free to ask any other questions you might have. My question for you would be: Which social network is your favorite or the one that you feel you’ve conquered?

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Amy Atwell worked in professional theater for 15 years before turning from the stage to the page to write fiction. She now gives her imagination free rein in both contemporary and historical stories that combine adventure and romance.
When not writing, Amy runs the

WritingGIAM online community for goal-oriented writers and has recently launched the Author E.M.S. online resource library. An Ohio native, Amy has lived all across the country and now resides on a barrier island in Florida with her husband and two Russian Blues. Visit her online at her website, Magical Musings, Facebook, Twitter and/or GoodReads.
If you want more of Amy, visit her here today.