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.