November 30, 2013

Terry Ambrose



Say Aloha with Terry Ambrose
 

Terry Ambrose started his business career as a skip tracer and bill collector. He’s been writing mysteries and suspense novels for more than 25 years, but only recently became serious about publishing. His debut mystery, “Photo Finish,” was a 2013 San Diego Book Awards Finalist. In addition to writing fiction, Terry also writes about real-life scams and cons, profiles authors, and does book reviews as part of the featured content at terryambrose.com

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I began my business career as a skip tracer and bill collector. During twenty years in customer service and business management with financial institutions, local governments, and public utilities, I wrote documentation, training materials and articles for newsletters and trade publications. I’ve also studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming to learn more about human communications. The trouble is, that's boring. It's a lot more fun to say I started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. I never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark to “help” when negotiations failed.
Please tell us your latest news!
My latest news is about “Kauai Temptations.” This is my second McKenna Mystery and it's a book that I almost lost. I mean, as in gone-forever lost. Fortunately I found one backup copy on my old laptop in the trash. I think I have 10 backup copies now. Anyway, it’s about what happens when the search for an identity thief takes a wrong turn. Wilson McKenna’s bank tells him he’s written $4,000 in bad checks on an island he’s never been to. That makes him one unhappy haole. Things get worse when he’s nearly arrested for impersonating himself and the woman who trashed his credit turns up dead. Before he knows it, McKenna’s up to his ‘umi’umi in hot lava.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I know who every character is before I start writing, but not in detail. I'll have the basics, but as they go through the story I get to know them better. In my current WIP, I have a 12-year-old girl named Lily who is supposed to be in one scene. Her story fascinated me so much that before I knew it, she'd become an integral part of the overall plot.
What main genre do you write in?
I write in the mystery genre, but in different sub-genres. The McKenna Mystery books are classified as cozies. They're funny and set in Hawaii. The “License to Lie” series books are thrillers set in Carlsbad, CA. It's a completely different writing experience when I switch.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I've always enjoyed writing. Most of my career, however, that meant writing training and marketing materials. I started writing fiction in my late 30s when I was under a huge amount of pressure at work. Partway through my very first “novel,” I realized the process of writing was a release and decided to get serious about it. I joined a critique group, learned just how many beginner mistakes I was making, and began writing in earnest. Twenty-five years later, I decided it was time to get serious about publishing.
Do you have a specific writing style?
In “Scene and Structure,” Jack M. Bickham described stimulus and response as the driving force behind good conflict. I strive to put that conflict on every page. In a review of “License to Lie,” The San Francisco Book Review said, “The author writes a thriller that instead of gore, utilizes intellect and emotion, in an action packed story line to propel readers to an unexpected, but very satisfying, conclusion.”
I also like to have realistic-sounding dialogue, characters that are three dimensional, and twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end. No POV “head hopping”, no “plot cheating.” That's not my style.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
McKenna is my alter ego. I think it would be fun to be him because he gets to say all the things I might be thinking, but am too chicken to say. He also gets to live in Hawaii—who could ask for more?
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
“Con Game” is the sequel to “License to Lie.” The complicated relationship between Skip Cosgrove and Roxy Tanner continues in “Con Game.” Their relationship is complicated because they're in love, but neither trusts the other. With a man Skip once helped send to prison for armed robbery coming back to kill him and the mark in Roxy's latest con dead, their options are limited. Their only good choice is to split up to find a killer and a would-be murderer—and help a homeless girl from falling into a life that could get her killed.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
I write more than fiction. I also do author interviews in which I look for the story behind the story, book reviews, and tips on how to avoid scams and cons. Everything is published to my website at terryambrose.com, where there's also information about my books. And, for those who like newsletters, I have a monthly newsletter called “The Snitch.” It includes a recipe—typically gluten free, a tip to avoid a current scam, and contest information—including links to some of the best giveaways on Goodreads.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I've belonged to critique groups off and on since I began writing fiction. The only times I haven't been in a group have been when we moved and I hadn't yet found a group. I've been in a few groups that just didn't work for me, but a good group is invaluable. I find that a critique group keeps me grounded. As authors, we get ideas that we think are fantastic, but the group is a great sounding board. For instance, I recently had a joke in an upcoming McKenna Mystery that I thought was hilarious. When I read for the group and nobody reacted, I realized it wasn't that funny after all. There's no doubt about it, writing is hard enough without doing it in a complete vacuum.
 

Wilson McKenna has never written a bad check in his life. So how did he end up with $4,000 in returned checks from an island he’s never been to? Now, the bank wants their money and he’s determined to track down the crook who’s ruining his life. Before you can say “aloha,” he’s nearly arrested for impersonating himself, the woman who trashed his credit is dead, and he feels like he’s up to his ‘umi’umi in hot lava. McKenna had better watch out—some temptations can get you killed.






November 23, 2013

G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive)


The Greatest Poet Alive Takes Revenge
G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive) is the Phenomenal Poetic Unsub and most Electrifying Man in Poetry. He comes with God given talent, relentless aggression, and ever growing electricity. There has never been anyone like him, nor will there been anyone like him ever again.
G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive) is the author of four books of Poetry (The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Book of 24 Orgasms, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub, and Revenge of the Orgasm), contributed to several anthologies, and has released one cd (The G.P.A. Experience). He is the winner of the Moth Storytelling Slam, Poetry Pentathlon, and Black Essence Award, as well as having been nominate Poet of the Year for three years and Book of the Year twice. Currently, G.P.A. has added acting to his resume with two movies (Persian Version and Animals) and television shows (Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Mind Games). G.P.A. proudly claims Chicago as his home.
Please tell us your latest news! Just appeared in a feature role in the independent movie, “Persian Version”, and Revenge of the Orgasm has gone over 73 reviews (53 five star an 20 four star).
Please describe your writing environment. My writing environment is arranged messiness.
What main genre do you write in? I am a Poet that writes in all facets of the genre.
What are your hobbies? Working out, playing video games, reading, and walking with Scooter the Beagle.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why? I’d like to have dinner with my father. He passed away in 2000, and I’d like to bring him up to speed on everything that I have done since he has been gone. And there might be a chance that he would say, “Son, I’m proud of you.”
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Instead of a book of Poetry, I would have made Revenge of the Orgasm a full length novel.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do? Now I do write full time, along with acting. So glad that I discovered both of these things because I couldn’t go on stealing government funds.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? A combination of both are necessary for me. I write like I’m Jimmie Johnson in a NASCAR race, but then to put it into a book, I organize similar to an unsub on Criminal Minds.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place. I have realized that drinking Heineken and Jim Beam with Coke are great stimulants for writing. Having a beautiful woman around or interacting with one or a few is also quite helpful.
Who is your perfect hero? And why? Batman is my perfect hero because he has a steely reserve and could be anyone. He has no super powers, but if he did, that would take away from his aura.
When you have writer's block how do you break free? Writers’ Block is a myth.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet? I plan on writing a young adult novel. It is called Bobo’s Middle School Adventures.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group? www.iblowyourmind.net, G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive) on Facebook.
How can readers find out more about you and your books? Besides the above website, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received? My father to me to be the best at whatever I do. A lot f dumb people suggested I be more humble (smirks).
What's your favorite genre to read? Fiction is my favorite genre to read and a huge fan of comic books.
What type of book have you always wanted to write? I have always wanted to write a gripping novel that lasts forever, like Catcher in the Rye.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step. In 2007, I decided to submit my Poetry based on a suggestion from my friend Elwood Pegram (RIP).
What was your first published work and when was it published? Under the name Harold Bains, I published my poem “Beautiful Ones” in Rolling Out Magazine.
Is there anyone who really mentored or inspired you to keep writing until you were finally published? I wasn’t mentored by anyone but inspired by James Livingston Elwood Pegram to get it done.
 
Beautiful woman is wearing a black, Donna Karan dress that was long but short enough. My thumb is short but was found to be long enough. She sat demurely like a lady would; her legs were spread wide enough. Thumb did not enter fully, yet it made geometric shapes, occasionally grazing seventh letter spot, and causing chasm to drip nectar, so I guess thumb had delved deep enough. Her moans were inaudible to all around us; however, I could hear them clearly and discern my name as she spoke it, and this told me they were loud enough.


 


November 9, 2013

Julie Lynn Hayes


Julie Lynn Hayes Discovers Revelations
 

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler someday. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.  

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Some might call me Southern, and others say I’m Midwestern. Either way, I’ve lived most of my life in St. Louis, except for a brief period in Jackson, Mississippi. Married twice, and have five kids, but only one is left at home, along with two cats. Writing is my passion, but in my spare time, I enjoy music and movies and crafts, such as cross stitch, needlepoint, crocheting and knitting. At 56 years young, I still have a lot of living to do, and more of the world to see.
Please tell us your latest news!
I just signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press for my novella, Yes He’s My Ex, which is very exciting, and I look forward to working with them again!
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I develop my characters as I write. I learn about them, as they reveal themselves to me. Sometimes I take notes beforehand, but I never completely flesh them out until I’m writing them. I think it makes them more realistic, and fresher, if I just allow them to grow and develop on their own.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
It depends on the book. For My Fair Vampire, an historical set during the 1904 World’s Fair, I did a lot of research. Other books less so. I like to check facts, make sure I have things right, even if I think I do it’s better to research than take a chance on error.
What main genre do you write in?
Primarily m/m romance, but not entirely. Within that genre, I like to write paranormal, but I also enjoy historical, supernatural, and contemporary. I’m writing my first detective novel, as well as my first BDSM novel. I find it interesting to branch out and try things I haven’t tried before.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My kids are very supportive of me. Well, four out of five are. The girls read my books, but the boys would rather not. As for my family, I’ve not spoken to them in about three years. They aren’t supportive at all. They probably couldn’t tell you what I write, assuming they remember that I write.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy cross stitch, needlepoint, crochet and knitting.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
Right off the time of my head, and assuming you meant a living person as dead people don’t eat, I would choose author Mike Carey. He wrote the Lucifer graphic novels that I simply love, having introduced the character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman books. He’s currently writing The Unwritten. I simply love his stories, love his imagination, and love the way he thinks. I would like to explore his psyche over dinner.
Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?
Not yet, but I hope to someday. I work for a temp agency, and have been at my current assignment about six months. My last full time regular job was as an office manager, where I primarily did payroll and bookkeeping.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
A combination of both. I find that even if I fly by the seat of my pants, I think ahead, plus I keep notes, so I don’t forget what I’ve already written, or what I’m planning to write.
Do you have a website recommendation for other writers?
Before you sub to any publisher, check them out thoroughly through Google, but in particular go to Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write Water Cooler, and Piers Anthony’s site, to see what people are saying. A few minutes’ research could save a lot of heartache.
Current Release Details:
My newest release is Trapped in Time. It began as a flash fiction on my blog and developed into a novella. It’s rather quirky, a combination of time travel with a hint of steampunk. My heroes are accidentally thrust back in time to the days of the dinosaurs, and must find their way back, if it’s even possible. This is released by eXtasy Books, my third release with them.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
How about a little bit of Yes, He’s My Ex, my m/m screwball comedy that was just accepted by Dreamspinner. The heroes names are Sonny and Time. Sometimes Sonny forgets that he’s Tim’s ex.
Sometimes I think that Sonny forgets that he’s my ex. As in past tense. Done and over. Finished and moved on. In the past. And by ex I mean ex-boyfriend, not ex-husband. If it’d been legal for us to do so, do I think I’d have ever married him and made that particular legal commitment? Taken that big step and harnessed myself to him heart and soul—in for the long run, the whole for better and for worse thing? 

God help me, I think I would’ve. 

Luckily, I saw the for worse thing happen before my very eyes, even as the for better thing shrank into a reality so infinitely tiny it would have taken the largest emotional microscope in the world, with a magnification capacity that even I did not possess, to find it. It shriveled up and died and submersed itself somewhere deep inside my chest, within this over-abused, under-appreciated muscle known as my heart. Unfortunately, it’s still there, ‘cause I can feel it and it hurts a helluva lot. 

So let me get back to my point. Sonny is undoubtedly my ex. If I don’t make that clear, then nothing else I say will ever make any sense, and for a writer, that would be the supreme tragedy indeed. 

Well, other than the whole broken heart thing. But I think I just covered that. 

Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Out of my heroes, I would choose Judas, from Revelations, because he is such a prickly thorn, and yet beneath that lies a valuable flower. He’s snarky and grumbly, but he has a good heart, one that he hides, but he grows and develops in the book. And he works hard at saving the life of the man he loves, no matter what he has to do to accomplish that.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Usually be reading something, or watching something. Or even by playing FreeCell. Luckily, it doesn’t happen often.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have a blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com. I can be reached by email at tothemax.wolf@gmail.com.  I’m on Facebook as Julie Lynn Hayes. Those are the best ways to reach me.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Through my blog or my Facebook.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have a few friends who beta what I write. I trust them to tell me when I’m doing something wrong, or need to change something. I beta for them as well. It’s a great system.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I don’t think I have a favorite genre. I love all sorts of books – mysteries, romance, science fiction, drama, classics...

Contest info: Julie will give two copies of Revelations, e-book. All you have to is comment and leave an email address. Julie will contact the winners.

 
Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years. 


 

 


 

November 2, 2013

Ron Corbin


Ron Corbin Gets Personal in Beyond Recognition

Ron Corbin served two tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter and instructor pilot.  He received numerous unit and individual ribbons for combat action, to include being awarded the Air Medal 31 times, once with a “V” device for valor.  Honorably discharged in 1969, he joined the LAPD as a policeman and pilot/instructor pilot for the Air Support Division.  Retiring from LAPD after an on-duty helicopter accident, he finished his college and graduate education.  He holds a Masters in elementary education and a Ph.D. in security administration with an emphasis in terrorism threats to America’s nuclear resources.  Joining the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 1993 as a crime prevention specialist, his specialty was Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  He attended training in this discipline at the National Crime Prevention Institute, University of Louisville.  His CPTED subject matter expertise led him to be interviewed in Reader’s Digest, Sunset Magazine, PetroMart Business and Las Vegas Life magazines.  He also was responsible for publishing Metro’s in-house training journal, the Training Wheel.  Ron has been a contributing columnist to Las Vegas Now magazine as well as a guest lecturer on Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines, addressing citizens’ personal safety issues.  He is the previous author of stories published in several anthologies, and recently authored BEYOND RECOGNITION (Oak Tree Press), a memoir about his helicopter crash with LAPD.  Ron retired as LVMPD’s academy training manager in 2011.  He and his wife Kathy have three children, six grandchildren, and live in Las Vegas. 

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I’m a 67-year-old “Country Boy” at heart, born and raised in a small farming town in southeastern Kansas. I’m retired now, living in Las Vegas with my wife of over 47 years. When I tell you of the careers I’ve held, it will probably make one think that I can’t hold a job. So, who am I? Would you believe … an Army helicopter pilot, Los Angeles police officer and helicopter pilot, school teacher, principal, body guard, private investigator, counterterrorism trainer for Department of Energy, director of security for major jewelry company, guard service manager, crime prevention specialist, local city magazine columnist, police magazine editor, police academy training manager, and a special interest lecturer for a cruise lines.
Please tell us your latest news!
I was humbly honored this summer to have won two “First Place Awards” for writing at the Public Safety Writer’s Association  (PSWA) conference.  One was for my book, Beyond Recognition,  in the category of Non-Fiction Book Published. The other was in the category of Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Non-Published for a short story titled, Shadows of the Heart; a heart-warming chronicle of how a wife received the news that her police husband had been critically injured in the line of duty, and how she endured the aftermath of his physical and emotional recovery.
What are your hobbies?
Flying helicopters and airplanes was (and still is) always my first love. But my loss of hearing has precluded me from doing that activity anymore. I also umpired baseball for twenty years, from youth through college and minor league. When my children were growing up, I found enjoyment in coaching youth baseball and Pop Warner football. I always like to participate in sports myself; baseball, basketball, golf, racquetball. But after my police-related accident, my physical health has pretty much eliminated that kind of participation.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
My dad. At the age of 35, he died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. I was just ten years old. I have limited memories of him. I never got to the age where I could understand the things that he experienced in life; his childhood, his WWII service. There is so much missing in life when a child is devoid of a parent at such a young age.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My in-progress venture is titled Bullet Points. It’s a historical fiction account of a retired LAPD officer who, after his wife commits suicide, retires and moves back to his small home town in Kansas (guess who?). Wanting to put his law enforcement years and sad memories behind him, he soon finds himself involved with a serial killer who shoots his victims in their heads. The wounds are not through-and-through, but no bullets are recovered. And no, it is not an “ice bullet.”
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Ø PSWA Listserv group:   policewriter@yahoo.com
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a “critique group,” but more of a local group of authors and writers with varying backgrounds who meet twice monthly to discuss each other’s individual’s works, and to give encouragement and advice for publishing. It’s called the “Wednesday Warrior Writers,” or commonly referred to as “The W-3.” Most all the W-3 members are former military and/or law enforcement.
This group recently compiled and published an anthology of stories about America’s heroes and patriots. Titled, I Pledge Allegiance…. All the W-3 authors’ proceeds from book sales are being donated to the USO here in Las Vegas. I have a couple stories in this book, one about Bob Hope visiting our basecamp when I was in Vietnam, and another about the young Army warrant officer helicopter pilots and their daring deeds. This book can be ordered through Amazon or the publisher at www.houdinibooks.com
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
When I retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD/Metro) in January 2011, I found myself not adjusting to the “leisure life” of not working each day. I felt “unproductive.” So to keep from driving my wife insane with telling her how she needed to organize her kitchen better (you see where I’m going with this, right?), she started encouraging me to write a book. (Now I know it was her way of getting me “out of her hair” for a few months.)
What was your first published work and when was it published?
For nine years, I wrote many magazine articles for LV Metro’s in-house training magazine, called “The Training Wheel.” I also was a contributing columnist for a magazine called, “Las Vegas Now”, writing personal safety articles.
My first nationally published work was a story in a police anthology called True Blue –Police Stories By Those Who Lived Them. Proceeds from this book were donated to the surviving police families in New York who were loss in the WTC attack on 9-11.
Is there anyone who really mentored or inspired you to keep writing until you were finally published?
My friend and colleague in the W-3 and PSWA, Keith Bettinger, was a great influence on me. A retired Suffolk County, NY police officer, he’s been writing for law enforcement publications for over twenty-five years, and has received eighteen awards for his articles, stories, poems, and books.
 

Beyond Recognition is the memoir of Ronald Corbin, a former Army combat helicopter pilot and Vietnam veteran who becomes a Los Angeles policeman, and later, a pilot for LAPD’s Air Support Division (ASD). 


 

October 26, 2013

W.S. Gager


W.S. Gager Searches for Volatile Deeds
W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels.

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I’ve always been a writer and have been able to do many things with it from writing speeches, promoting nonprofit organizations, and writing crime for newspapers as well as lots of other interesting things. Most recently my love of writing has been used in a college-classroom setting helping students build their writing skills to be successful in college. This has been the most satisfying as they realize they do have something to say and can learn the skills to make it happen.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
My characters are very independent and many times I feel like I am losing control all-together. I have characters that only are supposed to have a small part in the book. In A CASE OF ACCIDENTAL INTERSECTION, octogenarian Elsie Dobson’s role was to be a witness in the first chapter only, but she wasn’t happy with that. She took cookies to Mitch Malone to get him to investigate when the police weren’t interested. She made so much fuss, she became a target. One of my favorite scenes ever is Elsie outwitting a killer. I laugh every time I think about it. I wish that was my creativity but it was pure Elsie not letting me rest with my own ideas. 
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
I love research. I usually find the coolest and weirdest things that people would think I made up. Some of my books require more research than others. I try to do as much of the research before I start to write but more often than not, the book takes a different turn and I need to do more. In A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS I did quite a bit of research about explosions. I needed something that would scare a city silly but really wasn’t more than flash powder in a high-rise building. Through a professional organization I belong to called the Public Safety Writers Association, I found an explosives expert who gave me all kinds of information about different types of explosions. I had no idea there were so many ways to blow things up. I might be on a watch list for that research. LOL.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My family is pretty evenly split on the writing. My husband has dutifully read the first two books and became stalled on the third. My son has never read any of them and my daughter is a big fan and hounds me to finish each one.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My mom said I always made up stories but I don’t remember that. My first memory is when I was named editor of the eighth grade newspaper. I was selected because my teacher liked my journal entries. Every week we had to write two whole pages on anything we wanted. Most kids hated that assignment and I loved it.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I love to hear from readers. Check out my website at http://wsgager.com or my blog at http://wsgager.blogspot.com or contact me directly at wsgager@yahoo.com. I also am on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wsgager or Twitter @wsgager
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I ever received was before my critic group. I’d written a romance because that was what I had read a million of. I thought it was pretty good. It was the first manuscript I’d ever finished. I was a member of Romance Writers of America and one of the ladies in my local chapter read it for me. She told me that I wasn’t a romance writer, which made my stomach drop. She grabbed my hand so I couldn’t run away. She told me I was a mystery writer and to forget about the romance. After I got used to the idea, I realized she was right. The worst advice I ever received was that writing was a solitary enterprise and writers didn’t need others. I would never have been published had it not been for my critic group.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have the most fantastic critique group in the world. We meet once a week and we each bring a chapter. We have been meeting for at least six years. Some members have changed but we each have different strengths and weaknesses. We also write in different genres from romance to paranormal. Their influence has made my writing stronger, more vivid and filled with action.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I decided to submit A CASE OF INFATUATION to a contest. I’d written it, edited it with the help of my critic group and didn’t know what else to do with it. I wanted feedback from professionals to improve it. My book won the contest and the prize was a publishing contract. I would never have done that without my critic group telling me it is good enough.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I worked at newspapers for a dozen years and I am so much better with a deadline. If I don’t have deadlines or set goals, I will take forever to finish something. I also do much better if I have a ton of things to do instead of only a couple. 

Mitch finally scores dinner with a cute receptionist, but an explosion makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive. His date is the only casualty in a botched robbery. When femme fatale Patrenka Petersen returns, Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date isn’t what it seems. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.

 

October 20, 2013

J. Gayle Kelly


J. Gayle Kelly, a Gold Miner’s Daughter
I was born a gold miner's daughter in a dusty old mining town in Nevada a long time ago.  My paternal grandparents came to America through Ellis Is. from Italy.  My great maternal grandparents crossed the plains in a covered wagon to Utah.  It is said I am related to President George Washington through his wife, Martha.  That would make me also related to President Thomas Jefferson, Martha's half-brother.  With so much history behind me, is it any wonder I became a writer?  I have always loved to read and create, inspired in my writing by my family, animals, life experiences, anything and anyone in general.  I have written hundreds of newspaper articles and features from WA to NV, and had my own column in one newspaper I called, The Way I See It.  I am a self-taught writer and most of my seven novels were written on the typewriter.  I am a deep thinker and a deep writer  but find a lot of joy in getting my readers to laugh as well as cry.  The Watermelon Patch is my first published novel, set in rural Nevada in the 1950's.  An Apple for the Teacher, my second, is a contemporary romance, set in Wenatchee, WA.  My third, Dust Devil Darlin, another contemporary romance, is set in central NV and Bishop, CA.  I am currently penning an historical fiction I am having a lot of fun with:  The Outlaw(s) and the Mail Order Bride.  I wish I could say that life is perfect; alas it never is.  Death has taken two adult sons from my husband and me and there was that dratted flood, and other challenges.  Life has certainly been busy; we raised four great kids, many dogs and cats.  I love being with people, those who are pleasant to be with and make me feel good about 'me.'  Life can be--and is--good.   

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I have been writing something most of my life.  I have written seven books, published three.  Except for my last book all were written on the typewriter and then retyped to a computer.  I have published hundreds of newspaper articles and features; some of my human interest stories have appeared in national magazines. 
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
My characters are mine until I begin writing.  As I continue writing, I realize I am not completely in charge of them.  They take me to a far different place than I planned; they lead me.  They can change right before my eyes. 
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I never outline to begin with. I know that is not suggested, but I guess I do it a little backwards.  Most of my story ideas come to me in the middle of the night.  I do my best “writing” then. 
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My historical novel is titled The Outlaw(s)and the Mail Order Bride.  My heroine crosses the sea from Yugoslavia to marry a man she has never met.  He takes her to a mining camp in the wilds of Nevada.  That may sound mundane, but not for Katarina!  The title gives a hint.  A book I am currently retyping I call Guns and Roses, a romantic suspense, set in Las Vegas, Nevada and involves the Mafia.  
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
My website address is: http://www.gaylescreations.net/.  My email address is: jgaylekretschmer@sbcglobal.net.  I am also on Facebook.  I write under the name of J. Gayle Kelly.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best:  Write what you know and believe in yourself.  Worst:  Change your writing style.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I belonged to three critique groups at one time. Two were helpful, one did more to discourage than encourage. I am mostly a self-taught writer, but people I have met along the way have inspired me to keep writing.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
If we’re talking about my first published book that would be TheWatermelon Patch; it was published in 2009.  I believe it was my best effort and a book I longed to write for many years.  It is a story set in rural Nevada in the 1950’s, a coming-of-age mystery.  A high school English teacher in Las Vegas uses my book as a writing tool, which is the highest compliment I have ever received on my writing.
Is there anyone who really mentored or inspired you to keep writing until you were finally published?
Me. 

Jennifer is an eight-year-old girl who is different from most kids. She was born with hemophilia, a blood disease. She is a lively girl and a bit rebellious. When she hurts her ankle while barreling down the slide at the neighborhood park and has to go to the hospital, she feels very sorry for herself. Mostly, she is confused and doesn't understand this thing she has. A Junior High boy also in the hospital wheels himself into her room after hearing her sobs. She is shocked to see that he has huge red scars on his face and bandages over his eyes. Jennifer realizes that she is not the only one with problems. Can these two youngsters help each other?
 
 

 

October 12, 2013

Marilyn Meredith



Marilyn Meredith Chases Spirit Shapes
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?

I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, but my first book wasn’t published until I was a grandmother. I’ve seen a lot of change in the way authors write and publish: from typewriters and carbon paper to computers and sending manuscripts in as attachments; querying my mail to email queries. Believe me the new ways are much easier.

Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Because I write series mysteries, I know my main characters very well. Of course I always introduce new characters and yes, I plan a lot about them ahead of time, but as I write, they often change—even to the point of who I thought was the murderer was wrong, and it is someone else.

How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?

For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series I’ve done ride-alongs with law enforcement officers, examined a resident deputy’s truck and equipment, learned a lot about Indian legends, done some exploring on our local Indian reservation, and I always ask a lot of questions. Probably the coolest tidbit I’ve learned is about the Hairy Man, a Big Foot type creature who lives in the mountains on the reservation. I’ve seen pictographs of him, his wife, and child in a rock shelter.

Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer? Or Still do?

Yes, I consider myself a full-time writer—and I was even when I had my last job which was living in and running my licensed facility for developmentally disabled women—a job I loved, by the way. My residents went to a sheltered workshop all day and in-between doing laundry etc., I wrote.  I’ve been around for a while and I was a telephone operator, and a teacher in a pre-school for developmentally disabled kids, a day-care center teacher, and a pre-school teacher for non-English speaking kids. (By the time the semester was over they all spoke English.) No matter what I was doing, I always found time to write.

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

First, I always start thinking about the story. What will Tempe be involved with—what kind of crime, how will it affect her and her husband. As ideas become clearer, I start jotting them down. I don’t outline, but I do make a lot of notes. Before I know everything, I start writing. As I write I jot down more notes about where I think the story is going, so it kind of a combination of plotting and going by the seat of my pants.

Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place.

I do most of my writing in the early morning hours at my computer in my office. Usually I have a cup of Chai latte, or will get one when I need to take a break.

Current Release Details:

In Spirit Shapes, ghost hunters discover a dead body in a haunted house. When Deputy Tempe Crabtree arrives on the scene she soon realizes the house not only is inhabited by ghosts but also evil spirits.

When you have writer's block how do you break free?

To tell the truth, I never have true writer’s block. Sometimes I have a bit of trouble getting started, but I always have something that needs done, could be editing whatever I’ve written previously or perhaps some sort of promotion.

What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? How can readers find out more about you and your books?

I love to hear from readers. My email address is mmeredith@ocsnet.net and yes, I have a website where you can read about all my books and me: http://fictionforyou.com/.  My blog is http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/ and I have guest authors, write about what I’m doing, give writing tips, and anything that I feel like writing about. I also have a monthly newsletter. If you’d like to subscribe, just email me and let me know. I’m also on Facebook under my name, Marilyn Meredith.

Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?

I adore my critique group and have belonged to the same one for years. I consider them my first editors. They write on copies of my chapter, tell me what I need to fix etc. I never defend anything, but take what they’ve done home and work on the chapter. Sometimes I do exactly what was suggested, other times I do something totally different, and once in a while, ignore what was said or written. Most of the time, they are spot on.

Contest:   Two people who comment on this blog post will be chosen at random by Marilyn to receive a copy of Raging Water, the previous Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

 



Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.

 

 

October 5, 2013

Kathy L Wheeler


Kathy L Wheeler Whispers Lies That Bind
 
Kathy L Wheeler (a.k.a. Kae Elle Wheeler for her historical) has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music.  As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents.  Other passions include fantasy football, NBA, musical theatre, and jazzercise.  Because to quote Nora Roberts to a one time question, if she worked out?  Her reply, “You have to get off your ass.”
Kathy has been a member of Oklahoma Romance Writers of America and RWA since March of 2007.  She grew up in the Dallas area and definitely considers herself a city girl.  She does not limit her travels to Writer Conferences in San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Dallas, New Jersey, New York City and Atlanta because Jazzercise has fun conferences too (Denver, Palm Springs and Orlando). You can’t keep her home!
She is a member of several other RWA Chapters, including DARA, The Beau Monde and Passionate Ink.  She has served several positions in the OKRWA Chapter.  As an avid reader of romance and patron of theatre, her main sources of inspiration come from mostly an over-active imagination.  She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I love to travel. This summer I went to Nationals in Atlanta. Then my friend Amanda and I drove to Pensacola for three days, stayed in a fabulous bed & breakfast that was so historic, we put on our dresses from The Beau Monde Ball and took pictures.
Please tell us a little about your new release without giving too much of a spoiler away.
Here, I’ll just give you the pitch. Would a modern day woman marry for convenience to protect the identity of her daughter?  Yes! But, Kelly Mancer doesn’t want a man. Any man. But danger has a way of changing a woman’s mind.
Alex Gentry needs Kelly Mancer, but convincing her to help him in his pursuit of a dangerous enemy who’s enamored his younger sister would not be easy.  Soon the tables turn and Kelly becomes the prey. Alex may save his sister, but at what cost?
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
This book I ran into a snag when I got to about Chapter 7.  I was just at a loss. So my critique partner at the time said, “You have to address the villain!” Well, duh! After that it was smooth sailing.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
For me, it’s usually the characters. My strong points are emotion and dialogue. My critique partners are great at plot.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
No. I usually see the character in my head and they develop through dialogue and how they feel
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place. 
Not really, just my handy laptop with my neoprene board on top of my lapboard . hahahaha. I guess I do have a teeny ritual, after all.
Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Well, I write historical and contemporary. I wouldn’t say the theme is the same, but I do see a common thread throughout my stories. And that is the hero is going to make sure he loves his girl no matter how difficult she is.  We do write fiction!
How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
It can be as short as four months or as long as seven months. I do try to set them aside once I’ve completed it for a little bit. Editing can take forever. Lies That Bind took me about six months. I edited it as I went along. Then I put it aside for three years before going back to it. Boy! Had I learned a lot! In the meantime, I was picked up by two different publishers for four different books.  And, completed another two in those three years. I was not idle by any means.
How do you go about naming characters?
The name has to feel right to me.
What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
Ebooks are here to stay for sure. But I don’t see physical books going away for a very long time. Too many people love the feel and smell of them. I think the big publishers have to adjust more than us little people. Too many options.
What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
©              The historical under Kae Elle Wheeler include:
©    The Wronged Princess – book I (this book is free everywhere)
©    The English Lily (A Tale of the Scrimshaw Doll & the 4th book from the Cinderella Series)
©              Contemporary Romance
©    The Color of Betrayal (A Tale of the Scrimshaw Doll)
©    Quotable (Bloomington Series, Book 1)
©    Maybe It’s You (Bloomington Series, Book 2)
©    Lies That Bind (Bloomington Series, Book 3)
 
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Goodness, so many things. I hold season tickets to both Thunder NBA Basketball and the Broadway Series in Oklahoma City. I play fantasy football (but I’ve limited myself to only two teams this year). I love to socialize so I’m really never home. Not to mention traveling.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Um, I think we’ve covered just about everything. . . Thank you so much for having me.
Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?
©              http://kathylwheeler.com
©              http://facebook.com/kathylwheeler
©              http://twitter.com/kathylwheeler
 CONTEST ALERT:  One commenter, chosen by Ms. Wheeler, will win a copy of Lies That Bind. 
 
Would a modern day woman marry for convenience to protect the identity of her daughter?  Hell yes! But, Kelly Mancer didn’t want a man.  Any man.  Danger has a way of changing a woman’s mind.
Alex Gentry needs Kelly Mancer, but convincing her to help in his pursuit of a dangerous enemy who’s enamored his younger sister would not be easy.  Soon the tables turn and Kelly becomes the prey. Alex may save his sister, but at what cost?
~~ Coming this Fall ~~