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!