Category: 7 Minutes with an Author

7 Minutes with an Author - Rachael Johns - Part 2

HELLO AND WELCOME RACHAEL JOHNS! 

Thank you for coming over to chat about your writing life in this two part special of 7 Minutes with an Author. 

1. How do you balance your writing day?

Often not well! But writing is my full time job, so for me this means dedicating school hours (most of the time) to my profession. I drop the kids off at school, then come home and head into my cabin (office). I check emails, social media etc, then usually read through the writing from the day before, tweak/edit that a bit and then get stuck into new words. Writing is only one part of being an author, so I have to juggle deadlines for other things such as edits, blog posts, promo articles, etc. Often I’m writing one book, editing another and thinking about the one I’ll be writing next. Oh and promo-ing the latest release. I’m not very organised, so I wouldn’t say I have a specific method to juggling these things, I just get it done! (A bit like an organised madness that works eh?) 

2. What time do you get to bed when writing a new story? 

Whether or not I’m writing a new story, I go to bed between 10-11pm every night. I rarely write at nights these days, so it’s not really a factor. Saying that I’m actually ALWAYS writing a new book! Breaks are few and far between in my life at the moment. 

3. If you knew then what you know now, about writing, what advice would you have given yourself? 

Don’t be impatient to get published. Take time to learn your craft and listen to feedback but don’t take it all on board as gospel. Protect your writing voice and keep at it. You’ll get there eventually. I think today we are so lucky to have the option of self-publishing but I think a trap many new writers fall into is self-publishing their first books because they are being rejected by traditional publishers. Sometimes this is because a book doesn’t fit a publisher’s imprint, but often it’s because they are simply not at publishable standard yet. But with it being so easy to self-publish, the option is very tempting. I’m so glad it wasn’t around when I started out as I’d hate for some of my earlier practise books to be “out there”. Saying that, I’m not against self-publishing – it’s definitely a viable option these days, but people need to be sure they are doing it for the right reasons!  (All good advice. I know I have made every mistake possible with my first self-published book.) 

4. What types of stories do you like to read?

Of course I love reading books about relationships – whether that be romance or the complicated relationships between friends or family – but I also really love a good crime novel. I find I can enjoy these books much more than I can books in my own genre, as when I read WF and romance, it’s hard to switch off my internal critic. As I’m reading, I’m always analysing whether I think things are working and how/why the author has done certain things. 

5. What are you reading now?

I’m almost finished Monica McInerney’s A TRIP OF A LIFETIME. I love her book LOLA’S SECRET and this one is linked, so it’s fab to read about Lola again! 

 

6. What T.V. shows do you like to watch or binge on?

I need to make more time to watch TV as I have so many recommendations from friends. I love Offspring, Nashville and Packed to the Rafters. Currently though I’m watching The Handmaid’s Tale with my hubby! It’s so disturbing! (I haven’t watched Handmaid’s Tale yet, but everyone is saying the same thing about it.) 

7. If you could be one superhero who would you be?

Hmm… you know, I’m not really a superhero fan so I have no idea!!! Sorry :) (OMG! We have to convert you!) 

If you want to know more about Rachael you can find her here at: 

WWW.RACHAELJOHNS.COM

 

TALK OF THE TOWN

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.



But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.

But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns. 

Buy links: 

Booktopia     Amazon      iTunes     Kobo 

7 Minutes with an Author

Hello and welcome Rachael Johns! 

Thank you for coming over to chat about your writing life in this two part special of 7 Minutes with an Author. 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I’ve just finished editing my November book, called THE GREATEST GIFT. I’m very excited about this book – the main theme I guess is family and how it comes in all different shapes and sizes. The book deals with egg donation and what it means to be a parent or want to be a parent. There’s also a fun hot air balloon theme, which I had a hoot researching! (I have a feeling that this one is going to pull at our heart strings, Rachael.) 

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? 

To be honest, at some time during the writing of EVERY book I write, I want to throw it into the fire. I keep hoping writing will get easier, but the more books I write and the more I learn, I think the tougher I get on myself. I question every thing I write these days and so the hardest challenge I find is overcoming the self-doubt, trusting my gut and not letting negative thoughts stop me from finishing. (What you say rings true for so many authors at every stage of their journey.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a plantser – it’s a term I recently heard that basically means I sit on the fence. I am in the middle. I like to know a few key things about my characters and plot before I start – like the premise and the black moment and what the conflicts are – but I don’t really make many notes about these things, or outline the book before I start. If you’re holding a gun to my head and I have to choose one or the other, I’d have to group myself in with the pantsers!! (Ha ha ha ha, I think I might come pretty close to what you say here.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Well, this depends on my mood at the time of reading reviews. But yes, I do read reviews and I know not all authors do. I try to remain objective when reading them and I really appreciate the readers and reviewers who take the time out to explicitly explain what worked and what didn’t. I’ve learnt a lot about my writing from reading my reviews, however I’ve also learnt to take everything with a grain of salt. In the end, reviews are only one person’s opinion. Some can be quite harsh, but unless I’m in an overly emotional mood, these are more likely to make me laugh than cry!

The only reviews that really make me cranky are those that are actually nothing about the story – like one star reviews given because someone couldn’t get the ebook to download properly OR the book had too much God stuff and it was an inspirational! Come on people! Be fair! (Very true.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

Whenever I have a new release, I send out a newsletter to my reader list, I run a #shelfie contest on my FB page and I try to do in-store signings and library events. In the beginning I did a fair bit of blogging, but these days, I prefer to spend my time actually writing the next book. I’m lucky that I’m also with a big publisher who promotes my books heavily through their own social media outlets and through magazines and other avenues as well. I’m not huge on self-promo – could have never been a salesman – so I try to link any blatant promo to a contest so that the reader has an opportunity to win something! That makes me feel better :)   

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I love hanging out on Facebook where I have an active page and a reader group (Readers of Rachael Johns). It doesn’t feel like a chore to me – I share bits and pieces from my everyday life, my reading tastes, fun links I find, and also book related stuff like cover reveals and new releases. The best thing about this though is meeting Facebook readers at events; whenever I do an event there’s usually at least one or two people who I have “met” via Facebook and meeting them in person is such a buzz. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads but don’t spent as much time on these mediums. My one tip with social media is have fun with it – choose the platform that you enjoy the most and don’t stress too much about it. I know social media is important these days, but in the end the most important thing is still writing a good book and then another and another. You just have to look at some of the bestselling authors out there who aren’t active at all on Twitter or  Facebook to see this is true!

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do! (Great saying!)

If you want to know more about Rachael you can find her here at: 

www.rachaeljohns.com

 

TALK OF THE TOWN

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.



But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.

But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

A moving story of secrets, love and new beginnings from bestselling author Rachael Johns. 

Buy links: 

Booktopia     Amazon      iTunes     Kobo 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Lee Piper!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

Rock My Body, Book #2 in the Mondez series, is due for release through Evernight Publishing on June 3. I’m really passionate about eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness, so decided to write a novel from the viewpoint of a heroine who has been medically diagnosed with Anxiety. It’s a great way to not only highlight the (many) challenges of this illness but to also celebrate the strength of someone who lives with it through a combination of humour, music and love. (What a wonderful thing to do. Anxiety can be crippling to a person.)  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

The hardest thing about writing Rock My Body was the fact I was pregnant with severe morning sickness (19 weeks, people. 19 looooong weeks) while also trying to work full time and raise a three year old. It was so unbelievably hard. Strangely, I was really happy with the manuscript itself, it was just the extenuating circumstances surrounding its creation which really knocked me around!  (Oh Lee, that is quite a load to be juggling and morning sickness…yuk.)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a combination of the two. At the start of every book, I plot out a basic storyline, the characters, their motivations, and their relationships with one another. Then, (pregnancy aside) I go for a jog along the beach while listening to heavy rock music. This is when I think up each chapter of my WIP. Most often, I will let the ideas sit with me for a while—overnight works best—and then get up at 5am the next day to put pen to paper until 7am which is when I get ready for work. In the evening, I then go over what was written that morning; I type it up and spend the next day or so tidying it up until I am happy with it.

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

I do read the reviews on my books and, like many authors, sometimes wish I hadn’t. I figure if they’ve taken the time to write about my work, regardless of it it’s positive or negative feedback, the least I can do is read it. I’m curious by nature, so it’s really hard for me not to! If nothing else, the negative reviews teach me resilience and the positive ones make me feel awesome. However, I have decided that unless the reviewer is brave enough to become an author themselves, I’m not going to pay too much heed to their opinions either way. Reading is so subjective and trying to please everyone is beyond impossible. (We all need thick skin.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

I’m very active on social media. Facebook is my go to marketing tool and to be honest, I find most new reads by my favourite authors on Facebook too. I love reviewing and blogging on Goodreads, updating my website/blog, creating YouTube book trailers, taking part in Facebook parties, running giveaways, writing a monthly newsletter, contacting fellow authors for blogging/interview opportunities etc etc. It’s non-stop but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Love, love, love. I’m trying to find the happy medium between marketing my books and building rapport with my friends/followers. I hate the thought of continuously flogging my latest novel to the point of turning people off, however know it is a very powerful tool if done correctly. So, I carefully take note of what the big names are doing and, if I agree with their methods, follow their lead as much as possible.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ – Stephen King.  

This sounds like the perfect life to me. (It sure does.)

Lee loves connecting with readers and fellow authors, here are her links:  

Website: http://www.leepiperauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leepiperauthor/

Blog: http://www.leepiperauthor.com/blog

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Piper/e/B01NAS0IBO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16304661.Lee_Piper

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNhPr2s7QOf5B-1NiaHq5Dw

My latest Newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/20ded2dd0312/lee-pipers-april-newsletter

 

 

7 Minutes with an Author - Georgia Carter Mathers

WELCOME Georgia Carter mathers!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

At the moment, I’m working on The Miana Prophecy. The themes will follow on from Trelloran Seduction, but some of the themes will be accepting our own weaknesses and deficiencies, even if this means accepting that we’re struggling against something we can’t control—things like mental illness. Of course, the other overarching theme will be deepening intimacy and trust between Kaitlau and Pietah. I’ll also be talking about poverty, wealth and war. Those are deep themes Georgia.  

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like Frodo?) 

The hardest thing about writing is struggling against the chaos of life, long enough to put words down on paper. I often find myself in the position where I am off in a story world, experiencing what the characters are experiencing, but in reality, I’m sitting at green lights with the cars behind me beeping. A teacher said the following when I was surprised to learn that she reads fantasy, “Reality sucks.” What you’re saying here Georgia is so true, our stories are a wonderful way of escaping the harsh pressures or every day life. 

3. Because everyone wants to know, are you a panster or a plotter? 

Lol, I am both. I use a combination of inspiration (dreaming, mental images, videos, news events and current affairs) and consciously plotted material to create my stories.

4. How important are reviews to you?  Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

Reviews are important to me. I haven’t had a bad one yet, but that’s only because people are polite, I think. Everyone has their own way of viewing something. Obviously, I get upset when people treat my work as though it were crap. That has happened to me, just not in a review. As an intensely sensitive writer, the thought of a bad review makes me feel ill. As a publisher, a bad review is a chance to see where I went wrong. I can do better next time. Not everyone is going to like what we write so we do have to come to terms with the good and the bad. 

5. How do you market your books?  (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or singing? (If you haven’t got any that is fine.) 

I market my books in a variety of ways. The key is to create word-of-mouth buzz about it. Of course, that is easier said than done. You can see my website for updated events, but I will be available for book sales and signings at the Arts and Design Kirribilli Markets on 8 January, 12 February, 12 March. I am attending the ARRA conference in Melbourne (24-27 February), and I’ll be signing books there as well. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, get in now. You don’t want to miss out. I bought an extra ticket for my husband—he wanted to come to the Awards Dinner—that was a surprise. I will be signing books at the Writers Unleashed Festival on 19 August 2017. More dates will be added to the calendar as I go, but 2017 is filling up fast.

The Facebook party for Trelloran Seduction is also happening on December 16, 12-1 pm! Be there; I’ll be giving away prizes. 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

Hmmm. Social media. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I like it because interacting with other writers and readers gives me support, but often, I don’t use it as effectively as I should. Facebook is the easiest for me, so quite often I go there if I need a break from something. My social media tip is that the algorithm owns you now—if nothing is happening, blame the algorithm. It works for me. Hahahaha. True. 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying? 

I am different, so what! It’s okay that I’m different.

If you want to know more about Georgia you can find her here at: 

 http://www.darklovestories.com

 

Trelloran Seduction

It begins on the 300th day of 2195 on Volen …

There is no such thing as an individual. All the humans think of themselves as units with predetermined roles, and they do not grow old with their lovers. The females are sacrificed when they turn thirty, leaving their male counterparts behind.

Princess Kaitlau is a nymph who can take any form. She is also a refugee. She came to Volen through the charmed window after escaping her prison on Trellora.

King Ganim, the vampire who is thought to have created Kaitlau, must be punished. She had thought he loved her as a father, but that could not be. Although he was never present in the chamber, the king had ordered the priests to repeatedly rape her. Merely punishing her father is not enough. She wants him dead. It will be done.

Kaitlau has been observing a particular rebel killing priests on Volen. He is just the one to help her. But feelings for the rebel start to emerge when he agrees to carry out her assassination plans, and gradually as they work together, love begins to matter more than revenge.

Buy link: https://darklovestories.com/books/trelloran-seduction/

 

 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME LEE MURRAY!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

Hi Efthalia! Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I’ve been a Fan of 7 Minutes with an Author for a while now, so it’s a thrill to appear here. (I’m glad that you’re here.) 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I’m currently working on the stand-alone sequel to Into the Mist, another military thriller with mythological and cultural connections. (Oh, I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.) 

2. What is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it in the fire  like Frodo?)

I’m a slow writer. It’s so frustrating. I see other authors posting comments about their daily word-count and I feel so inadequate. I’ve tried all sorts of brain gymnastics—nothing seems to work. It might have something to do with the editor in me, which, for the life of me, I can’t switch off. And yes, I am the annoying person in the group who points out the misplaced apostrophe in street signs. (Hahaha. The truth be told Lee, we need some annoying friends.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

Definitely a pantser, although I like to have a vague idea of where I’m going. It’s a bit like my life really: I have an end point in mind, but with the freedom to go off and explore the tangents. (It’s about what works best for you.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

They’re important, but mostly because of their effect on the discoverability of our writing. Of course, I’m not immune to a bit of flattery: I glow when a positive review comes in, and anguish over what I might have done to improve the work and please the naysayers, but as many other 7 Minutes contributors have already said, you can’t please everyone. Readers are just part of the story. At its essence, as writers, I believe each of us has a responsibility to ourselves, to write the story that resonates for us and in a way which best tells the story we intend to impart. We write the books we want to read—we’re our own target audience—and if we want to stay motivated, if we wish to continue craft work that we are proud of and can stand behind, then perhaps the only review that counts is our own.

5. How do you market your books? Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing?

It’s a good question, because even traditionally published authors are required to contribute to publicity these days, which means blog posts, podcasts and radio interviews, guest articles in magazines and newspapers, and readings and appearances at conventions and conferences. Whenever I can manage it, I like my publicity to add value in other ways, so I tend to jump at opportunities to judge writing competitions, edit charity collections and mentor young writers. It’s good publicity for me and also important work, helping to develop writers and writing and promoting their work to a wider readership. Where am I appearing next? In a few months, I’m heading across the ditch to participate in Book Expo Australia in Sydney (8-9 October, 2016), contributing to a panel on mythology and appearing alongside some of my Cohesion Press colleagues like Greig Beck, Alan Baxter and Kaaron Warren, all of whom I’m excited to be meeting in person. If you live in the region, please stop by and say hello. (Sounds exciting!)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the opportunity to connect friends, but there is a superficiality to it, which is frustrating. It’s understandable: after all, it’s human nature to want to put our best foot forward, but are we seeing anything real? On the other hand, some of what we see is simply too real: the brutality of recent news reports almost undoing me. I’m on Facebook and most days people can find me there, talking about my family life and, occasionally, my latest book projects. One caveat, if you’re tempted to join me there—I’m almost afraid to say this—I’m not a big fan of cats.  

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful, 100%.” — Horton the Elephant (Dr Seuss). (Love this!)

If you want to know more about Lee you can find her here at: 

leemurray.info

Into the Mist

Buy link: Amazon

When NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. 
Militant Tūhoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. 

Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. Death incarnate. 
They backtrack toward civilisation, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival. 

Desperate to bring his charges out alive, Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left? 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Juanita kees!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

Home to Bindarra Creek is a small town story about a girl who has loved and lost, and a guy who thinks he’s lost everything until he finds love where he least expects to. It’s time for both of them to leave the shadows behind.

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?) 

Midway I want to rip them to shreds. By the end I want to burn them, and somewhere during the edits, I’m always convinced they’re not publishable. The hardest thing is trying to get your characters out of a situation that wasn’t written into the plot. Characters often develop a mind of their own :) (Oh I totally understand!)

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m a plotpantser, a hybrid author who sometimes gets the plotting right until the characters decide to fly by the seat of their pants instead. (Ha ha ha, you gotta love those unpredictable characters!)

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Reviews are important. They are the yardstick other readers use to decide whether or not to buy your book. A bad review can rip your heart out and destroy your spirit, but reviewers don’t have to be mean, nasty trolls. A good constructive review can help an author give the reader what they want in the next book or a revised issue. Not everyone will enjoy your writing. I have to remind myself of that often. The only time I get upset is when a reviewer leaves a one star review and doesn’t take the time to tell me what it was they didn’t like about the book. (We do need thick skin, don’t we?)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) 

I believe in doing everything in moderation because the most effective marketing tool is still word of mouth. So if you loved Home to Bindarra Creek, please tell your friends about it. :)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I’m not so keen on Twitter and Instagram. I’m on LinkedIn, but seldom even look at it. I love Facebook because it’s a mix of interaction, pictures, quotes etc. I can always find something there I can relate to or share. (It’s the hotel California, where you can check in and never leave. Lol) 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

Many years ago, racing legend Peter Brock told me to live my dreams … so I did. (Brilliant!)

 

If you want to know more about Juanita, you can reach her here: 

Website: https://juanitakees.com/

Home to Bindarra Creek

Buy Links: https://juanitakees.com/shop-now/

Park Ranger, Alice Pritchard lives with the ghosts of her past. As long as she has her rescued wildlife to rehabilitate and Bindarra Creek parks to care for, she’ll never need a man again. Now, with rejuvenation of the town in the pipeline, she has no choice but to let go of the past.

Dan Molyneaux roars into her life in his high-powered V8 and reopens the Riverside Pub forcing her to face her ghosts, his possum problem, Curly the cockatoo who swears like a sailor, Old Man Jake who’s appointed himself caretaker of the property, and Grandad Charlie who’s determined to find her the man he thinks she deserves. Alice would love to ignore them all and keep living in the cocoon she’s created for herself in sleepy Bindarra Creek, but fate has other plans for her.

Dan isn’t looking for love or the friendship of the two crazy old men who appear to have ‘adopted’ him. All he wanted was the peace and quiet of the country, away from the city highways. Soon he’s swept along by renovations, fundraisers, hell-raisers and the problems of a small town coming back to life. But it’s the park ranger he’s curious about. Why would a girl as beautiful as Alice bury herself in a backwater town so far off the main highway, it was merely a blip on the satellite map? What he uncovers raises some of his own ghosts from the dead.

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Erin grace!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? 

I’m working on the Sequel to my Scottish time-travel romance Love in Ruins. THe new book, called ‘From the Ashes’, will features some of the favourite characters from the first story. From the Ashes is also a time-travel romance, but this time the hero is from the future. (I’m very excited about this book.)

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

To answer your last question…every single day. The hardest part I found was trying to make the book stand alone from the first and not let the original ‘cast’ take control, as they are not the main characters this time. It’s harder than you think. Characters really do have a way of controlling the story if you let them. (You really have to slap them back in their place. Don’t you?) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know, panster or plotter?

Bit of both. For me, the story usually starts of as a type of synopsis (which I love doing, by the way!), and it doesn’t always start at the beginning. Quite often I get a ‘scene’ in my head and flesh it out from there. I use plotting like breadcrumbs, scattering them ahead through the book, as its a lot less scary than facing an empty page. Yet, I’m flexible enough to move or change ideas when I get to them (in the plotting) or delete them altogether.

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Reviews are important to me, especially if they contain good, constructive feedback – good or bad. Anyone can be a critic, but it takes a special kind of reader to give a ‘critique’. In any profession I believe you benefit from different points of view, but it’s also about the inner satisfaction of knowing how you made a reader feel and how they reacted to the characters you worked hard to evolve. (Makes what we do so worth while when a reader nails your story.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?)

I probably don’t do as much marketing as a I should, but after 9 years I’ve found the best kind of ‘marketing’ is to keep producing books. As I once heard, you can’t stock a store with only one shirt. If your customer likes the shirt, they may want pants, etc. And, the best time to give them what they want is while your ‘goods’ are fresh in their mind. My initial advice is to always start off with at least one book ready to go and one waiting in the wings….and keep writing! 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

Good in moderation. It can become a time-vampire (as I’m sure many would agree). I rarely tweet, as the lines are so saturated with people promoting one thing or another. I prefer to ‘hang out’ on Facebook as this gives me an open and direct contact with readers and fellow authors. I’m always happy to answer questions from readers and try to engage in many events. My only advice to anyone is to keep the tone pleasant, never make it personal.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”  ~ Anton Chekhov

If you want to know more about Erin you can find her here; 

http://www.eringrace.info/#!

 

Love In Ruins 

Buy at AMAZON

Eager to escape a disastrous relationship, archaeologist, Ellie Harper, jumps at the chance to travel to the remote Scottish Highlands, and excavate the ruins of Castle MacKinnon. However, no matter where she goes, the shadow of her ex follows her, promising she will never be free of her painful past. 
But, when a mysterious stranger turns up half-dead on her doorstep in the middle of a violent storm, Ellie is thrust into the realm of ancient secrets and impossible magic that challenges everything she holds dear. 

Faced with a heartbreaking decision, Ellie must put her emotions and logic aside to help Laird Ewan MacKinnon find a way home to the thirteenth century – if one exists. What she doesn’t expect is to journey to a past more astounding than history, find a love more precious than ancient treasure, and survive the deadly wrath of an evil man’s revenge. 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Ann b. Harrison!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on? (Note: this can be your current release too if you want to talk about that instead) 

Can someone in the present right the wrongs of the past when they little connection or knowledge of what happened? In The Summer House, Billie finds herself being catapulted back in time and she feels she’s finally lost her mind after the sudden death of her husband. The only person who can help her is a tweedy professor of psychology who she thinks wants to commit her. Her life unravels in front of her eyes as she tries to hang onto the final threads of her sanity.

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

Making it all tie in together because it covers two different time lines. (I guess the more complex the plot the more you need to map it out eh?)

3. Because everyone wants to know, panster or plotter? 

Generally I’m a panster but with this story I plotted it out fairly well because I had a dream about it and I didn’t want to get it wrong. 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Seriously, I rarely look at reviews. They’re for other readers, not me and what’s the point of getting upset. My story wont be for everyone, the same as I don’t like every book on the market. It pays to grow a thick skin and not let it get to you. (Wise words Ann.)

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?)

I’ve tried all different types of promo when I first started writing and I doubt any of them really work that well. They cost you time and money that I feel is better spent writing the next book. (It’s so easy to fall into the promo trap and spend ridiculous hours trying to make a go of it. Like everything, nothing in excess.)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I love Facebook https://www.facebook.com/annb.harrison.7 and generally check in a few times a day.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

You cant edit a blank page. I think that was Nora Roberts and its true. Bad words on a page are far better than no words. (I have to agree with this one hundred percent.)

If you want to know more about Ann you can find her here; 

http://www.annbharrisonromance.com

 

Latest release – Outback Cafe

Buy from Here: Amazon

Blurb

Lena Hawkins has spent her every waking moment building her reputation as a top chef and when her money grubbing husband takes the credit and tosses her aside she calls it quits for the sake of her son and returns to the country town where she grew up thankful for the support of her close knit Italian family. Coerced by the local community she opens a restaurant in a disused dairy. 

Adam Chapman, one time Sydney lawyer now deer farmer, is more than happy to provide the premises and have an outlet for his produce. Little does he realize that they have unsavory connections that have nothing to do with the restaurant business. Old secrets are uncovered that rock the small town and drag them both into the world they thought they’d left behind them. 

When Lena discovers Adam was involved in her cousin’s court case, she sees red and tries to back out of the lease but her father convinces her to follow through. It wasn’t Adams fault – his father did a deal to keep him out of trouble. Now Adam feels responsible for Simon’s jail term and joins forces with the local police to set a trap for the people who were ultimately responsible for the money laundering. For it to work though, Simon has to die. 
Lena is rocked to the core when she discovers her ex-husband used her and love never was a part of their all too brief marriage. She was in the right place at the right time, nothing more. 
Can Lena be convinced to start again and conquer her demons?

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME SUSANNE BELLAMY!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

1. What is the theme of your new release?

Trust is integral to relationships and has to be earned. In Long Way Home (Hearts of the Outback bk 3), Sarah Tait will neither trust nor forgive Detective Caleb Richards. The first time they met he slapped handcuffs on her and now, he’s asking for her help to find a kidnapped thoroughbred stallion. But sometimes it’s easier to trust when you dislike a person because there are no rose coloured glasses to distort the picture. (Sounds like fun. Looking forward to this one.)

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing your current release?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

I needed to do quite a lot of research on horses, endurance riding, and plants of the outback. While I rode a few times as a teenager, I’m not a rider but I was fortunate to connect with Sandy Vaile, whose help with the equine elements was wonderful. The tricky part was to use her information and make it sound realistic. I actually enjoy research because I love to learn. (Same here Susanne. I love research.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I’m an organic writer. Each story begins with seeing a ‘meeting’ between the protagonists followed by asking questions to get to know them and what they are doing in that place. The story grows as I get to know the characters and see them interacting with one another. I wish I could plot more than a brief outline, but after ten or so stories, I realise that I have to do what works for me. A story ‘grows’ in its own way and reveals itself when it’s ready. (I like the term ‘organic.’) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

No writer likes to read bad reviews that offer nothing by way of constructive criticism. That said, I try not to pay too much attention to negative statements, although it’s brilliant when a reviewer absolutely ‘gets’ my story. Those reviews, I read again, just to remind myself that real people actually enjoy my book babies. 

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?) Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing?

I use social media, FB and Twitter, and my infrequent newsletter to let readers know. Friends and fellow authors often share these posts for me, which is greatly appreciated. My experience with blog tours is that they can be fun, but not to expect too much from them. 

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

By nature I’m more of an introvert. I’m also a technogumby so you could say I have a love/hate relationship with electronic devices and the Web. Best tip: deal with people as you would like to be dealt with; and keep your posts positive! 

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?  

Don’t worry, be happy. To a fair degree, happiness is a choice for most of us so, as much as possible, I choose to be happy and look for the good.

As for my writing, Nelson Mandela said it best: It always seems impossible until it’s done. (Both are very good quotes and true.)

If you want to know more about Susanne, you can visit her here; 

http://www.susannebellamy.com 

 

Long Way Home 

Available 30 June. Pre-order on: Amazon

Blurb

The first time they met Detective Caleb Richards snapped handcuffs on Sarah Tait and she vowed never to forgive him. But when he seeks her help to find a kidnapped thoroughbred stallion she becomes his unwilling assistant. 

Sarah sets out on a marathon endurance ride. As Caleb tags along, he realises that the horse whisperer has deeper secrets than he’d ever suspected.

Can he uncover Sarah’s secrets and win her trust? 

 

 

Other books in the outback series,

Book 1
Book 2

 

 

7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME Ebony McKenna!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.   

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I wait until I’ve finished a draft to see what themes my subconscious has let through. It looks like my forthcoming novel, Robyn and the Hoodettes, has themes revolving around family bonds and good friends supporting each other, especially when Dad’s off fighting a war in the Middle East.

In 1916-Ish, I didn’t realise until I was done that the theme is about dealing with everyday conflict – between friends and between countries. And also that you can never escape your fears, you have to face them. (It’s rather universal isn’t it?) 

2. What was/is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript?  (Did you or do you want to throw it into the fire like frodo?)

I am easily distracted. In my current manuscript, Robyn and her mates keep having little adventures and side trips that delay the proper action. I let them play, but now I’ve had to slash and burn to get things back on track. It’s a stronger book for it – I know the characters much better and I’ve cut the waffle. 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

I love to plot. I’m a huge fan of structure. Before I write too much of a story, I like to know what the midpoint is, what the black moment is, and how they ‘storm the castle’ and get the result they need. (although not always the result they want). 

There’s something to be said for letting the characters off the leash to see where they end up. It helps me write my way into the story and get to know them. Then I edit it out later. (Very true and I agree. I think utopia is a mix of both.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)  

Reviews are incredibly important, and it’s wonderful when readers take my characters to their hearts. I’ve never had a particularly nasty review (thank goodness) but I’ve had careless ones, where the ‘reviewer’ has left a single word (‘boring’) and one star. I know nobody reading the rest of the reviews will change their purchasing opinion based on that, but it does stuff up my average.

What did I do about it? I started a fun facebook page called ‘My one-star review is better than your one-star review.’ It’s a place where authors can laugh and gently mock those utterly pointless reviews. (I need to visit. I was thinking along the same lines…the Darwin awards for reviews. Let’s face it, some of them are way off base. Truth be told we can giggle about it.) 

Catharsis is good. 

5. How do you market your books? (Stand at the top of a building and shout buy my book?)

I use a third party to send review copies out to readers – so I can get a few reviews up. I promote the title via my newsletter, which is growing steadily, and I will casually mention the book (but not too often) on social media.

I’ve also joined four awesome writers (Maree Anderson, Vanessa Barneveld, Robyn Grady and Sara Hantz) for our Dangerous Boys anthology. Teaming up is wonderful because I can recommend people buy the book for everyone else’s stories rather than mentioning mine.

Competitions are good for promotion, but the prize must be tied in to the books in some way, otherwise you’ll just get competition seagulls, who fly in, take the prize and fly off. For example, offering an Amazon voucher is no guarantee that the winner will be interested in you or your books. They’ll be very happy with the prize, but the value isn’t linked to the author’s ‘brand’.

I’ve given away copies of my books and not received a review afterwards. Some winners do read them and review them, but others are gone and never heard from again.

My four Ondine novels are about a girl whose ferret starts talking with a Scottish accent. They’re fun and full of swooning and magic. I’ve run competitions to win ferret pins, cards and jewellery. I might not get as many people entering the competition, but at least I know the entrants are interested.

I’ve used book promo places like E-Reader News Today and seen my book rocket right up into the bestseller lists. It’s an amazing feeling, and I’m happy to use them again. I’d love to get into BookBub, but I might have an easier time catching a unicorn. (All good advice here, thanks Ebony.)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it?  Where do you hang out the most?  Any tips to share? 

I adore social media, it’s where I am very sociable. I hang out the most on facebook and twitter. I keep the ‘buy my book’ talk to an absolute minimum. I hate being spammed, so I don’t like doing it to other people. But I love facebook for chatting and sharing funny pictures, and I love twitter for the witty hashtags – they are so much fun. I also love to join in the organised chats – when the time zones are kind. I love #UKYAChat but now that the UK is in daylight savings and we’re out of it, I have to get up at 5am on a Saturday.

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

“Keep going.” (Simple yet wise words Ebony!)

If you want to know more about Ebony, you can find her here;

Website: www.ebonymckenna.com

 

1916-ish by Ebony McKenna

“Romance, time travel and daring adventure await Australian exchange student Ingrid Calloway as she journeys to France. When she joins in a war-games re-enactment with Luc and Marianne Durand, it turns into the real thing. Real guns, real dangers and real bullets put them in mortal peril in the midst of the First World War. Suddenly Ingrid’s fighting two battles at once; one for her personal safety and another against her growing attraction to Luc, who looks super-hot in uniform.

Life in 1916 France soon takes a nasty turn – because the Eiffel Tower isn’t even there. They’re not just stuck in the past; they’re in a parallel world. How can they dodge the dangers of history when history won’t follow the script?

1916-Ish. History, with a twist.”

 

Links for books

iBooks : https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/ebony-mckenna/id429033242?mt=11

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ebony-McKenna/e/B0057PRSL2

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