Marilyn Meredith Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I am the author of over 17 published books including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree series (latest is Calling the Dead) and the Rocky Bluff P.D. series written under the name F. M. Meredith (Fringe Benefits).
I've been married to the same man for over 50 years, have 18 grandchildren and 12 greats.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I've been writing since I was a child. I wrote plays for the neighborhood kids to star in and a magazine where all the stories were by me. As a young mom, I wrote plays for my Camp Fire group and the PTA newsletter. After most of my children were grown I wrote my first book length novel, an historical family saga based on my own family genealogy.

What was your first published work?
And that was my first published work--the second was another historical about the other side of the family. Because I loved reading mysteries, I switched to writing them. I've also written psychological horror, Wishing Makes It So and Christian horror, The Choice, Deeds of Darkness and Cup of Demons.

What is your dream as a writer?
I'm published by small independent publishers so my books don't have the wide distribution I'd love to see.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
My work in progress is another in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, but there are two other books in this series in line at the publishers, Mundania Press. Promised for summer is the next in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Smell of Death from Tigress Press.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
I didn't know a thing about promotion with my first books. The publishing houses didn't offer a bit of advice. Now, all the publishers want to know your marketing plan before they even take you on as an author.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
If you can get a legitimate agent that would help a lot. Though I've had several agents, none of them were able to find publishers for me, I've always done it myself.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
The only way to become a published writer is to write and never give up.

See what's new at: http://fictionforyou.com
NEW BLOG at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/
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Bragging

I've recently updated the Weissmann Guide to Rome published by NorthStar Travel Media and have just finished translating some legal contracts for a company here in Rome. I'm also busy organising things for PROMO DAY! which will take place on Saturday 23rd June 2007 (see http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/promoday/ for full details) and preparing for my virtual tour which will take place between 5th and 12th May 2007 (see the mediaroom at http://jolinsdell.tripod.com for full details- I'm also still looking for more stops to add to my tour so if any of you have a website or blog and would be interested in hosting my, I'd love to hear from you :))

Well this is a summary of my recent assignments and projects. What are you? Do you have anything to brag about? Have you been working on a big assignment? won an award? organising an event for writers? If so this is your chance to brag and let us all know the details.

Don't be shy, leave a bragging comment
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Michelle Morris Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Michelle Morris. I'm seventeen years old, eighteen in June. At the moment I live in Wales, the smallest country in the UK, however, I hope to move when I am slightly older. I was in education studying higher tier levels in English, Media, Drama and the Sciences, while I was working part time as a dancer. Sadly, due to a very recent bout of bad health and having been diagnosed with a life threatening illness just over a week ago, I've had to give up both aspects of my life. This reason alone has made me so glad that I can write - It's something that I will never have to lose. One of my biggest ambitions was to set up my own Pole Dancing Studio, to promote the Dancing Style as an Art, and not a sleazy sex show. I still hope to do that, just using other Dancers to take the classes.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing years ago, when I was nine to ten years old. I started writing because I was being bullied in School. I felt I had nobody to talk to, and even if I did, I believed nobody would understand. So,I turned to writing. During those years, writing poetry helped me deal with my pain, confusions, frustrations and all my ill feelings. When the bullying stopped, so did my writing. But then, months later I decided I wanted to start again. Only this time my inspiration came from writing about other people's situations and the traumas people see every day that were rarely spoken about. I progressed from not just writing poetry, but short stories too, and even novels now.

What was your first published work?
when I was about twelve I started publishing online, then throughout the years I bgan publishing in magazines and e-zines. Which I do still do. My first book however, was a poetry book. My next two are novels.

What is your dream as a writer?
I write about subjects people are still too afraid to discuss. I do this for a few reasons. To acknowledge and get other people to acknowledge the problems we try hard not to see. If people know about something, they can go about changing it. I also write about things people do not understand, and one of those things will be the illness I have just been diagnosed with. If people do not understand something, they choose to judge. I hope, as a writer I can stop just one person doing that.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
At the moment, I am working on my third book.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Not particularly. Writing and publishing has been a hectic but enjoyful experience. I have made mistakes, but learned from them to. I have succeeded in more than I had planned to. Writing has been a massive learning curve in my life, and I feel blessed to have had the chance to embrace it.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Writing requires time, dedication and committment. You also need patience. It can be a hard and enduring proccess, but worth every ounce of energy to see your name printed, and knowing you have contributed to a world people can venture into for years to come.
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Elaine Cantell Interview

Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader. My mother loved to read, and every Friday she carried my sister and me to the public library. Getting new books was one of the highlights of the week. Some of my favorite authors are Elizabeth Peters, Frank McCourt, Larry McMurtry, and Jennifer Weiner. I’m sure they all influenced my writing. If nothing else I think they set a standard to strive for.

How do you handle family and your writing career? Is your family understanding of the time that you have to give your career? Is it sometimes difficult for you? How did they react to fact that you are a romance author?
I’ve been super lucky. My husband is my biggest fan. He told me for years that I should write a book, but I told him I didn’t know how. Since I’ve signed four contracts now he has said I told you so a couple of times. My biggest challenge is time. I teach social studies at the local high school, and that’s a time consuming job. I got a few chuckles from some family members when I told them I had written a romance novel. My brother-in-law wanted to make a joke of it, but when I offered to put him in a novel he backed off.

What does your writing day look like?
I like to get up around eight and have some breakfast. Then I sit down at my computer and deal with my email. Afterwards, I’ll write for a couple of hours. Then I’ll take a break, have lunch, do errands, etc, and then I’ll spend another hour or so writing. After dinner I’ll read what I’ve written and do a little polishing on it.

Your characters come to life in your books. Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life?
I think of my characters as real people. So much so that sometimes I hate to finish a book! I’ve created one family that I especially love. I have two books already written and am thinking about a third. I’m hunting just the right publisher for them.

How long did it take for your first book to get published?
Actually, it didn’t take long at all. I heard about a contest sponsored by a small publisher. The winner of the contest won a publishing contract. I sent a book in and forgot about it. Three or four months later I decided to look at the web site to see who had won, and my name was at the top of the short list! I woke my husband at one o’clock in the morning to tell him. A few months later, the publisher called and told me I had won. I had a carton of ice cream out of the refrigerator, and I was so excited I forgot about it. The whole thing melted and ran everywhere, but I was too excited to care.

What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine and why?
I think my favorite published book is A New Leaf. I like it because it shows that people can learn from their mistakes and find happiness in places they never dreamed of. I also like it because the characters are ordinary people who might live next door to any of us. My favorite hero is Richard Lovinggood or maybe his son, Hank. Those books don’t have a publisher yet, but I’m looking. My favorite heroine is Betsy McLaughlin. You can read Betsy’s story in A New Leaf.

Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
A New Leaf was the easiest because I think there’s a lot of Betsy, the heroine, in me. The hardest one is yet to be finished. I started a fantasy novel and got stuck so I put it away until I get inspired.

If you could change places with one character from your books, who would it be and why?
It would have to be Betsy from A New Leaf. As I said, I see a lot of Betsy in me, and I also enjoyed seeing her grow and mature as the story progressed.

How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?
I started writing in 2001 because my son wrote a book. I figured if he could do it so could I. I think his work is spectacular.

When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers’ reaction to it? How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author? What do you hope readers get from your books?
I’m scared to death that people won’t like it! I want my readers to immerse themselves in my work and come away feeling that their lives are enriched because of what they read.

Would you share an excerpt from your current WIP?
I’d be delighted to. This book is titled The Captain and the Cheerleader. If you like this excerpt, check my web site at http://www.elainecantrell.com/. Each month I’m featuring a new excerpt from this book.

The Captain And The Cheerleader
Chapter 1

“I think that Kurt Deveraux is gay,” announced Robin Landford as she plopped down in the seat beside Susan English.
It was Friday afternoon, but Robin’s statement halted the teacher exodus from the faculty lounge.
“Why do you say that, Robin?” Susan coolly asked. Fresh out of college, Robin seemed to think that she was God’s gift to men; Susan guessed that Robin had made a play for Kurt’s attention and been rejected. Not that many women wouldn’t make a play for Kurt Deveraux. There might be a man somewhere who had more sex appeal than the blond, blue eyed coach, but Susan doubted it.
She watched as Robin tossed her hair and pouted. “If I can’t get his attention he isn’t interested in women.”
Several people rolled their eyes. “Oh, I don’t think that’s the problem at all,” Susan informed her irritating colleague. “You just don’t know how to attract a man like Kurt.”
“And you do? If that’s true why haven’t you already gone out with him? Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t be interested in him. He’s hot.”
“Until recently I was involved with someone else. I wasn’t interested in seeing Kurt or any other man socially.”
“Well, I think you’re full of it. If I couldn’t get him to notice me, I know that you can’t.”
Around the faculty lounge a murmur of delightfully horrified voices broke out.
“Actually, I could make Kurt ask me out if I wanted to.”
“Yeah? Prove it. Get him to ask you out. I’ll bet you fifty dollars you can’t do it. All he’s interested in is football.”
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Jessica Temple Interview

Tell us a little about yourself, when did you decide to be a writer?
I am in my early sixties and a retired great-grandmother.
I decided to become a writer as young as probably nine or ten. Born in great poverty could not afford to buy a pen although they only cost a penny - the problem was the ink. Living in the middle of the country there was almost no transport. I had a great idea to crush berries from the trees and make ink, it turned out red and I was worried that my teacher would beat the Hell out of me, she was in fact delighted and thought my family had gone to Dublin to buy it specially, who was I to spoil a good story? that was until she looked at my hands covered in red. That was it I was interested in writing from that day on.
What is your dream as a writer?
My dream as a writer is to reach as many people out there as possible and to invite them to read my poetry and short stories, There is no having to follow my thought but if they see things from a different direction then I will be happy. God does not always pay His wages in money. The spiritual uplift I get from writing is amazing and I believe that education is the tool we need today and I am learning all the time. My writing makes people laugh, cry, and at times feel a bit scared.
Is there anything you wish you knew in the beginning?
Yes, I wish I had seen the importance of the use of English words, I was taught Latin and Gaelic at school and Latin has helped me but Gaelic is only used to write up my diary...
Any advice for others just starting out?
My advice to those starting off writing as a career is to plan where you are going and who you are taking along that road, decide whether the characters are going to be admirable, or a let down and try to create that real feeling in your writing.
Anything else you want our readers to know?
I have had my first book published by PA last year entitled Mrs Reatha Hassan O B E and my next one shall be out soon called...Fifty World Greats which has excited me so much, refers to Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, and many more....My greatest regret is that P A are not taking on any more United Kingdom authors, I have manuscripts ready for publication and I just wonder if there is a `Ghost Writer ` in the U S who could have them published for me via P A...Just a thought...
www.freewebs.com/jt1writer
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Joyce Anthony Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a mother who homeschools, a writer and photographer, and genealogist. I was born and raised in PA and I share my home with my son and a whole host of critters. My background is in Psychology, which I believe helps in both my life and my writing.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I had wanted to be a writer when I was very young, but I listened to the older (and supposedly wiser) people around me who said that wasn't a practical occupation. I put the dream aside until I was in my mid-thirties. About that time, I underwent a major change in how I looked at life and the world and decided I wouldn't know unless I tried. The dream has grown into a goal over the past five years.

What was your first published work?
I have had a short story published in a Rocking Chair Reader book--this was my first print piece. The first I shared my writing was in in pieces I wrote for Bi-polarBears. Storm is actually my first full-length book.


What is your dream as a writer?
At the moment I have three books I want to get out. I want to see Storm reach the New York Times bestseller list. My ultimate goal, however, is to one day have someone tell me that something I have written has made a positive difference in their life.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I am currently working on Spirit of the Stallion, a non-fiction book detailing the life of a bipolar child and those in his life. After that, I have two additional books waiting to be written and published.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
I wish someone had told me to follow my dream--that being an author was hard work but possible. Practical isn't all it's made out to be :-)

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Don't give up!! Don't listen to the critical voice inside that says you can't do it. Keep constantly in mind that a rejection is on a piece of work, not you as a writer--and most of all, don't allow life to get in the way of your work--there is time to write, you just need to make people respect that time. If you take your writing seriously, others will too.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
Part of the proceeds of Storm will be going to a wonderful organization called Stop It Now. They deal with preventing childhood sexual abuse. I ask that everyone take a few minutes to visit their site http://www.stopitnow.org/ and see what you may be able to do to help the cause.
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Lea Appreciation Day!

Lea Schizas is a person who has helped me enormously in my writing career and together with others that she has helped (there are lots of us) we decided to show our thanks by organising a Lea Appreciation Day.

Lea was born in Montreal , Canada and has been writing for years. She seriously start up again in 2000, when she picked up her first Writer's Digest magazine in a very long time. Within three months she had written her first screenplay, and the below accomplishments are just some of the many endeavors she found herself in.

Lea's Accomplishments:

~Author of the YA Fantasy Novel, The Rock of Realm,
Top Ten Winner in Book Art Work in P&E 2005 Polls

~Author of the Paranormal/Thriller, Doorman's Creek, soon to be released by eTreasures Publishing in both ebook and print formats.

~Co-author and Editor of the nonfiction writer's reference book, The Muse On Writing, published by Double Dragon Publishing.

~Co-author and Editor of the Fantasy, Aleatory's Junction, published by Double Dragon Publishing.

~Editor in Chief and co-founder of Apollo's Lyre, (Preditors and Editors award-winning Zine and one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Writing Sites of 2005 & 2006)
First Place Winner in the P&E 2005 Voting Polls for Poetry Zine

~Founder of The MuseItUp Club (Writer's Digest 101 Best Writing Sites of 2005 & 2006 and Preditors and Editors Most Useful Site Award recipient)

~Founder of The Muse Marquee
TOP TEN WINNER IN THE P&E 2005 VOTING POLLS

~Founder of The Muse Book Reviews

~Founder of The Muse Online Writers Conference

~Copy Editor for Double Dragon Publishing

~Reviewer for AllBooksReview

~Co-Founder of Coffee Cramp eZine

~Instructor at The Long Story Short School of Writing
Lea will be teaching two courses: Writing Children's Fiction and Writing Fiction Express

~Regular columnist for Mike's Writing Newsletter

Lea is a friendly and helpful person, who despite having all her own projects to work on, always finds time to help other writers and people in the writing industry.
Thank you Lea for all your support, help and advice!

For more information about Lea, please visit her website http://leaschizaseditor.tripod.com/
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TL Schaefer/ Kiera Ramsay Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
Well, I’m 39 and holding and live in northern Oklahoma . I grew up in northern California , met my hubby, and traveled the world with him before we settled here. In that time, I’ve worked as a secretary, a firefighter, a waitress, the front desk manager for a five-star hotel, the housekeeping manager for a 200-unit lodge, a hospital appointment clerk, a commander’s secretary, and finally a risk manager. Geesh, sounds tiring even to me!!
Let’s see, what else? Oh, I have a total split personality *g*. I write paranormal romantic suspense as TL Schaefer and erotic romance as Keira Ramsay. I did it so that the folks who read my TL Schaefer stuff didn’t have heart attacks when they picked up an erotic title…LOL. And of course, vice versa!

When did you decide to become a writer?
I think I’ve always been one, but the real inspiration came to me in 1998 when we were heading home for a family reunion and I got the magic idea. By the time we got back to Oklahoma , the story was already fleshed out in my head, and I put my fingers on the keyboard, hoping what I wrote wasn’t total crap.

What was your first published work?

The Summerland, through Atlantic Bridge Publishing.


What is your dream as a writer?
While I’d LOVE to make enough of a living to write full-time, right now my first and foremost love is with telling the story itself. I write about offbeat characters, and concepts that are really hard to shelve (I’ve had Berkley tell me that twice…grrrr!), but they’re the ones in my heart and mind right now, so if that means I continue with indie publishers for the time being, I’ll plod away at the day job!

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
Right now I’m working on a romantic suspense/paranormal trilogy about a school for “talented” children…and their subsequent use by the government after their extrasensory powers have been enhanced. Working titles are View to a Kill, Live and Let Die and Die Another Day. Once I’m done with the proposals on those bad boys, I’ll finish up my RuneQuest novellas (as Keira Ramsay).

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?

I was one of those folks who was extraordinarily blessed by mentors of uncommon good sense. The only thing I went into writing not really understanding was the “category” and “shelving” concepts, and how rigid they really are. As I said above, I’ll continue to write the stories of my heart, instead of writing to a particular guideline, but understanding that what I wrote wasn’t easily definable might have saved me a bit of frustration early on.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Keep working at it, and practice, practice, practice. Find yourself a good critique partner or group, and really listen to what they say. When you’ve got a “great” group, their suggestions will make your work shine, and even though you might grumble a bit, in the long run, you’ll see they were probably right.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
I run a monthly contest off of my newsletter where I give away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon or Fictionwise. Check it out at http://www.tlschaefer.com/ to see if it sounds good! I also blog Monday through Friday about various things of interest, some of it even writing related *g*. You can find me there at http://www.musingsfromtheblondeside.wordpress.com/ Lastly, if anyone has any questions about independent publishing, I’d be happy to answer them at tlschaefer1@gmail.com
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Phylis Campbell Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I have been writing for a while, but only seriously for about seven years. I work full time, I'm a full time mother / wife, and I write full time. In the past three years, I've had fourteen of my stories published with electronic companies, and a few of my companies also have published my book in print form and are available at the bookstores. It's such a thrill to hold my book and know that I wrote it!

When did you decide to become a writer?
I was actually watching a movie -- it was a love story that had a very bad ending. I went to bed that night and had a dreamed that was in the form of a movie. When I awoke and pondered on this dream, I wondered what it would hurt to give it a try. After all, I'd been reading romance for quite a while. So, I tried it. I had so much fun, I've written 45+ stories since then.

What was your first published work?
The first book I had published was a contemporary with New Concepts Publishing. My story is called, WOMAN SEEKING MAN. One month later, I sold them them my second story that went into an anthology. What a thrill that was!

What is your dream as a writer?
Three years ago, it was just to become published. Now I want more. I want to write for a living. I want to quit my day job and stay home and do something I love. I'm taking baby steps now to see that it happens, but I'm determined!

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I'm looking to be published with the big houses - Avon, Dorchester, Kensington, St. Martins, NAL... Any ONE will do. I've made it a goal this year to find an agent so that my final goal will be met, too.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?

I was actually told...just never listened, I guess. I was told this isn't an easy business. I believe it now!! Writing and getting published takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Well, I'm ready for it now.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Never give up!!! If you love to write and you want to get published, then do everything you can to get it accomplished. If that means learning more about writing, then do it. Don't give up on your dream!

Anything else you want people to know?
Please visit my website - http://www.phyllismariecampbell.com/ And I'd love to be your friend on Myspace - www.myspace.com/phyllismariecampbell If you'd like to join my newsletter, join my Yahoo Group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PhyllisCampbell/
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Tannia Ortiz.Lopes Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and currently live in Germany with my husband and my two sons. From 1988 until the year 2000 I participated in the following Spanish poetry anthologies published by “El Editor Interamericano” located in Buenos Aires , Argentina; “Americanto”(1988),
“Poetas Hispanoamericanos Contemporaneos” (1989),“Patria Plural”(1990),“América Poética” (1992), and “Expoesía 2000”(1996). These secular poems were published under the pen name of Thánatos Lopés. In 2004, I published my first free-style inspirational poetry book, The Window to my soul, My Walk with Jesus, with Tate Publishing under the pen name of Mary Magdalene. On March 2006, the book was voted “Best Poetry Book” by www.christianstoryteller.com. On May 2006, two local newspapers in Germany published one article each regarding my book. During 2006 I broke some grounds in Germany and had my book stocked for several months at Daub Buchhandlung, a local book store in the city of Menden , Germany . Mr. Wallentine was the first German’s book store owner who welcomed my English book. He took a chance considering the narrow market for unknown American writers in a small city in Germany . Nevertheless his risk was rewarded since the books sold very well there. Locally the book is currently available at FeG Iserlohn Evangelical Church in the city of Iserlohn , Germany .
From 2006 until present time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to publish my poetry and stories at “Storytime Tapestry Newsletter” and “Wt In Spirit” Christian magazines, both located in Canada .
In February 10, 2007 at 10:00 am EST I was interviewed by Denise Turner, host of the internet radio show, “Off the Shelf” at www.blakeradio.com. In March 10, 2007 at 6:00 pm CET (Central Europe Time) I was the guest writer at Jo Linsdell’s Chat Room at http://jo.linsdell.tripod.com. This chat room is located in Italy. During the chat I talked about my book and poetry in general. It was an hour full of fun and exchange of information.
For those of you interested in buying my book, it could be purchased directly from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com and at all major online stores worldwide.
My webpage: www.myspace.com/tanniaortizlopes. My blog at www.amazon.com

When did you decide to become a writer?
Since my adolescent years I had a dream: “I want to be a writer.” I first started by writing verses for friends’ Valentines cards at school. Then my verses grew into poems. And finally my poems found rhythm and became songs! I also wrote some essays and adolescents short stories. Those stories helped me to cope with all my growing pains!
After graduating from high school, I went to study at the University of Puerto Rico , Ponce Campus. It was there, under the guidance of my Spanish professor, that I found my poetic voice. She also opened a door of opportunity for my young voice and poems by recommending me to the editor of “El Editor Interamericano.” I published with them from 1988 until the year 2000.
Most of my earliest writings had a secular theme. The evolution from secular writing into the inspirational genre emerged later on in my life. It all started on May 2003 with a change reaction of events totally out of my control and the beginning of a middle age identity crisis. I also had what I called “a prophetic dream” in which God called my attention and I listened attentively. This dream, in combination with these events, took me to a silent retreat during the Mother’s Day weekend. The result of that retreat was the beginning of my walk with Jesus and our writing partnership. These events brought me down to my knees and taught me to trust in God for all my needs. During my weekend of solitude, I learned to listen to God’s voice in the sound of silence. That silent retreat has been so far the best gift my husband has given me!

What was your first published work ?
I had my first publishing opportunity in 1988. I published my poems at “Ecos de Puerto Rico,” a local newspaper in Guayama, Puerto Rico , my hometown. These were secular poems. I published with them from 1988 until 1989.

What is your dream as a writer?
I dream of being famous and have enough money to do the things I want to do. I pray the message of my poems help others to have a deeper and personal relationship with Jesus. There are several charity organizations I would like to help with the profits of my book.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
In addition to poetry, I also write songs and essays. The songs are both inspirational and secular, but not vulgar. I am currently writing some experimental children stories and a couple of fiction stories, too. I have not been fully successful with these two genres yet, but I won’t give up. I joined a critique group at www.writerschatroom.com and with their help I am slowly sharpening those skills! I am currently translating my book from English into German with the help of my German tutor and a German poet friend of mine. My most ambitious goal is to self-publish the Spanish version of my book before fall 2007.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Yes, how difficult it was to market my narrowed nich poetry. As a first published writer, I came full of dreams and false expectations. In a year or so, God opened my eyes and helped me to see more clearly how naïve I was! But little by little I learned to total surrender the marketing of my book to God and the results have been exceptional. No, I have not reached the Top 10 Books of the year, but I have not lost my faith that I will make it!

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
First of all, to be prepared to market their book alone and beyond their original expectations. I encourage them to pursue creative ways to market their book. I recommend them to join a good critique group and learn from other seasoned writers. Be open to positive criticism, as it will help them to grow both as writers and as human beings. It is very important to always carry your business cards with you. Opportunities might come knocking your door in the least expected ways and places. Don’t be shy to talk about your book to strangers, but don’t over do it. Be proud of your work. Don’t be discouraged by rejection letters. They are great learning tools. Read them carefully, improve your writing, and submit it again; remember you are not alone paddling that boat. So welcome aboard and cheers!

Anything else you want our readers to know?
I would like to invite your readers to come and join me LIVE on Monday, April 9, 2007 at 10:00 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time –USA) as I will be interviewed by Nicole Stevenson, host of “First Cut” internet radio show at www.artistfirst.com
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Linda Rucker Interview

Tell us a little about yourself-
Well, okay, but remember, you asked for it. LOL! I am a wannabe writer. No, really, even though I have two books published and several short stories and articles in both print and e-books, I am still just a wannabe. Why? Because I am what the industry refers to as (1. a newbie and (2. self-published or vanity published if you will. At least for my second book, "Dark Ridge". My first, "What the Heart Wants" was actually published by a so-called traditional, royalty paying publisher, but the jury came back, "not so" on that one. Without naming names I will simply say that my first publisher is the very same one that published the notorious "Atlanta Nights" and its initials are PA.
Having been burned by a couple of so called agents and one publisher, I was determined to get it right with my second book, and I did- sort of. I signed with an agent who was very good at her job, but, having been born without the patience gene, I was too anxious to wait eighteen months to three years before my book was on the shelves, so after much soul searching, I decided to fire my agent and go with Page Free for "Dark Ridge". Might have been the death knell for my book, and maybe even my career, but I have no regrets. The book is good, the cover is reflective of the contents and the experience with PF was pleasant. No complaints, so far.
So, while I am trying to promote sales and generate interest in "Dark Ridge", I am busy working on a couple of other projects, one that is especially near and dear to my heart. And what is it, you ask? I'd be delighted to tell you.
A fellow author and very dear friend, Michael Morris and I have created an organization for the education and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Our organization is called Just Say W.H.A.T. which stands for Writers Helping with AIDS Treatment. We are planning to compile several anthologies with stories written by people affected by HIV/AIDS, either through associations or being infected with the virus themselves. We will then offer these anthologies for sale on our website and all proceeds from the sale of these e-books will be donated to various HIV/AIDS Clinics where ever the need is greatest. I am very excited about the project and we have sent out our first call for submissions. The project has been well received by the Gay and Lesbian community and others affected by this virus and we are excited by the response we've gotten. People can check out our goals and submit their own stories if they visit our website at: http://www.freewebs.com/justsaywhat
Another pet project is a collaboration with another author and dear friend Marilyn Morris. She and I are working on a manuscript with hopes of interesting the folks at the Sci-fi Channel. Both of us are sci-fi fans and we love those B grade sci-fi flicks. This is a fun project, and we're hoping we can persuade the powers that be to take on our book and turn it into a movie. That would be great.
And last but not least, I am working on a couple of other books, but the going is slowed by my other involvement.
See, I told you you'd be sorry you asked.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I don't know if I ever made a conscious decision to become a writer. I just had a story in my head and one day sat down at the pc and started writing it. Before I knew it, "What the Heart Wants" was created. Some of it was taken from personal experience, some from others who were involved in the adoption triad. The story is unique, the characters believable, and I was terribly proud of it- until I held my copy in my hands. Then realization sat in and I had to wonder if I could ever become a writer. I made a lot of mistakes with "What the Heart Wants", mostly in style and formatting, pov, etc, but it was a learning experience for me and a wake up call. Just because a person has a story to tell, doesn't mean they have the ability to tell it well.
After "What the Heart Wants" was published, I was so disappointed in my total lack of knowledge of the business that I very nearly packed in my desire to become a writer and almost quit, but, I'm no quitter. I knew I had the talent to create a good story, I just needed to be educated in the how's of writing. So, with that thought in mind, I joined several online writing groups, took several writing workshops and I am still working on honing my skills and perfecting or finding my voice.

What was your first published work?
My very first published work was a short story I wrote for an English assignment when I was in the eighth grade. My teacher told us that we were to write a short story , between five hundred and a thousand words. We had a week to complete the assignment . The day we handed our finished assignment in, we were told that we would be reading the stories aloud and then the class would vote on who wrote the best story. The winner would then be entered into the school competition and from there go on to the county, state and finally the national competition.
The contest was being held by a national scholastic magazine, and the national winner would have his or her story printed in an upcoming issue of the magazine. And I won, all the way to the top. I was thrilled and I do believe that is when the writing bug bit me.
Sadly, though it was several years before I ever wrote another story, and when I did, it was for the anthology, "Forget Me Knots from the Front Porch".
So, I suppose technically speaking, "Forget Me Knots" was my second publication.

What is your dream as a writer?
Simply to write, to be accepted or at least acknowledged for my work. I don't care if I become a household name or make a fortune, I just want to be known as a 'writer.'

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
As I said, I am involved with Just Say W.H.A.T., and with the sci-fi book with Marilyn Morris. I also have a couple of books I am working on. I'm trying to promote "Dark Ridge", and it's not easy being an unknown, but since give up is not in my make-up, I keep plugging away.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Oh yeah! I wish someone had told me that it wasn't all that easy to break into the business. I wish someone had sat me down and told me that of the thousands of books published every year, the chances of mine being one of them were slim to none. I wish I'd been told that writing the book is only the beginning of the whole process and that getting signed by a big name agent or major house is less likely to happen than me winning the lottery.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Write what you know, and never, never give up. Join as many writing and critiquing groups as you can handle, take as many workshops as you can find and above all, listen to those who offer advice, use what you need and discard the rest.
Oh, and above all, find a way to develop a very thick skin, cause trust me, you'll need it.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
If anyone wants to know more about me or my work or read excerpts of my work, they can check out my website at: www.lindalrucker.com and they can visit my blog at: http://readingrucker.blogspot.com
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Online Writers Conference

Preparations are under way for this years Muse Online Writers Conference. I attended the Conference last year and found it a great help both for the information given and for networking. I've already registered for this years conference, which will take place in October. I highly recommend this event to anyone and everyone in the writing industry. Below is a posting containing more details about the Conference by it's organiser Lea Schizas:

"Our workshops are slowly coming in and placed in the WORKSHOP webpage.Take a look at what we have so far and many more to come: http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/2007workshops.htm

Hop on over to our PRESENTERS webpages and take a look also at ourline up for 2007:http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonli newritersconference/presenters. htm
This is a FREE conference to take place October 8 - 14, 2007. Seven days of FREE workshops, FREE handouts, FREE chats and all week long question and answer periods with our Presenters, plus prizes to be won every day and a FREE eBook of all the Presenters and their offerings.

Deadline for registration is August 1st, 2007 but don't wait until then because you may forget and there will be no acceptions past thisdate. Register for FREE now at: http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/registration.html

Last year we had close to 1300 attend from all over the world and we had a blast. Many attendees also had an opportunity to meet some ofthe publishers and get contracts. So hurry now while it's fresh onyour mind and register.

Tell your writing friends and readers all about us.

Lea Schizas"
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Virtual Tours

I'm currently organising my first ever virtual tour. From 5th May until 12th May I will be hosted and interviewed on numerous websites, blogs and even internet radio. I'm going to use the tour to create more general awareness of who I am and what I do and therefore will be discussing my books, ebooks, PROMO DAY!, Writers and Authors and giving out information about myself and my writing. If anyone would like to host me for a LIVE chat or interview me, you can email me at jo_bins@yahoo.com

Virtual tours are a great way to reach a large audience on an international level. If any of you, like me, are currently organising a virtual tour please leave details in the comments section of this post. Why are you touring? Is it your first time? When? Which sites will you be visiting?
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Janet Elaine Smith Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I spent 9 years as a missionary in Venezuela. My husband and I have traveled almost the entire US (42 out of the 50 states). We live in ND, and have 3 grown adults (they hate it when I call them "children"). We have run a charitable HELPS organization here for over 30 years. It provides lots of good material for books.

When did you decide to become a writer?
After we returned from Venezuela, I wrote down our experiences from the time we spent there, mainly so we wouldn't forget a lot of them. By the time I had finished that, I was "hooked" on writing. There was no way I could not write from that point on.

What was your first published work?
It was a magazine article that appeared in God's Revivalist. Fortunately, it was too long to go in one issue, as they attributed it to "Anonymous." I called the editor to ask him about it and he said "You know how humble some Christians are." Well, he was talking to the wrong one! I have copies of both articles, with the second one clearly written by Janet Elaine Smith. As far as my books, I had 3 genealogy books published, but my first REAL book was Dunnottar, my big Scottish historical, that first came out in June 2000. I was a 20-year "instant" overnight success with Dunnottar! It was the No. 1 bestselling Scottish book (out of over 8000 other titles) on Amazon.com for almost 3 months!

What is your dream as a writer?
Of course I would love to have my book on the NYT bestseller list for months like Dan Brown did, and I would like to have a $million advance from somebody, but let's be realistic about it. The truth is that I think I am living my dream as a writer. For years I told my family when they would ask me what I wanted for birthdays, Christmas, etc. that all I wanted was to have one of my books published--and a sexy nightie! Well, I now have 15 novels out and two non-fiction books out, so I am living that dream. The high point is every time I get a letter or an email from somebody who has been touched by something I wrote, even if it was just to make them laugh for a few minutes a day. I'm still waiting for the sexy nightie, but I broke down and bought myself a long flannel one. It's much more practical in North Dakota!

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I write SOMETHING every day. I write for about a dozen magazines regularly (I'm a contributing editor for Genealogical Helper and Writers Journal, and the Assoc. Editor for Memories & Mysteries, among others--some print and some online). I try to blog, but I keep forgetting that in order to be successful at blogging you have to keep posting things there! I do make a stab at it, however. I try to write on whatever book I am working on at the present time at least a little bit every day, but that doesn't always work, especially around magazine deadline time. I am constantly doing research on future projects. I also spend a lot of time marketing, both my own books and the books of fellow Star Publish authors, as I am their Marketing Director.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
No. I'm afraid that if somebody had told me that it couldn't be done, or that the chances were something like 200,000-1 (the app. number of new books published last year), I might have given up. I was too stupid to know it couldn't be done, and I think that's a good thing!

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Believe in yourself. Believe in what you write. Write what you would love to read. And don't forget to read, read, read. Every time you read something, you learn something new, even if it is what NOT to do when you write. And never give up, no matter what people say.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
I think the one thing I would love to stress is that life, fate, God, or whatever you want to call it, is on our side. Things happen that we have no control over, and that is what keeps this life as a writer so much fun and so exciting. For example, my last "old" book was just re-released from Star Publish. It is House Call to the Past, a time travel that takes place on Cape Cod in the early 1700s and deals with the Hallett family (a real family in my own family tree; my maiden name was Hallett). The day after it hit Ingram so it was available for ordering from online bookstores or could be placed on shelves in bookstores, Publishers Weekly announced that my long-time friend Mary Higgins Clark had a new book coming out. It is named Ghost Ship. It is a time travel. It is set on Cape Cod in the early 1700s. The main characters from back in time are the Hallett family. Neither of us knew about the other one's book. Now THAT is fun. Many of the bookstores I've talked to are going to put them up side-by-side in the front of the stores. So, if you see Mary Higgins Clark's new children's book, look right beside it. My own House Call to the Past might well be sitting there. Now THAT's fun!

Where can we find more about you and your books?
My main website is http://www.janetelainesmith.com/ . I also have a separate site that just features my books. You can find that at http://janetesmithstarbooks.tripod.com/ . I am on over 20,000 online bookstores and in many brick and mortar bookstores (including the "big 3" of B&N, Hastings and Borders) nationwide. If you still can't find me, try Googling Janet Elaine Smith. I seem to pop up all over the place!
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Chris Marie Green Interview

Tell us a little about yourself.
After teaching eighth graders for a few years, I became a full-time author who writes across the genres. As “Crystal Green,” I create home-and-hearth type Special Edition romances and hot Blazes. As “Chris Marie Green,” I write urban fantasy for Ace in my Vampire Babylon series.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Early, early on. When I was in grade school, I was writing short stories. Some of them were pretty warped, but I’ve always had my dark side. I also wrote adventures for Superman and Indiana Jones—action with the romance tied in, very much like Vampire Babylon. I also wrote an ongoing soap opera about my friends when I was in middle school. Then, when I was in college, I decided I could write an epic historical romance. Oh, it was just awful. Still, I consulted the Writer’s Market then sent it to the proper publishing targets, but I didn’t get a good education about what I really needed to be doing until I attended the San Diego Writers Conference. Soon afterward, I joined RWA (Romance Writers of America), and they really schooled me. I sold because of their knowledge.

What was your first published work?
It was a “home and hearth” type of romance for Silhouette Special Edition. I then sold a miniseries to them while I was still teaching. I wrote on weekends and vacations, which was exhausting! Then I sold to Blaze, then an action-adventure line called Bombshell. That led me to this urban fantasy career.

What is your dream as a writer?
To write less books for more money! Right now, I’m really pushing myself in the hope that I’ll get to this point. And this isn’t really a dream, but I do enjoy bringing readers into these worlds I create. It’s a trip to hear from people who ask deep questions about the characters and the plots.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I’m still writing for three different “sources.” I’ve just finished a few weeks of plotting new projects and I’m just about to take off for a conference: that puts me in “business mode.” When I get back, I’ll be diving into a Special Edition—one of my “happy ending” books. Hence, I’m still doing the home-and-hearth, hot-romance, urban fantasy shuffle.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
You know, since I joined RWA early on in my career, I feel as if I had a pretty complete picture of what I needed to do and what to expect. But before I got very serious about selling, I wish I had known how to present myself to agents and publishers without looking like an amateur. I highly suggest going to conferences and networking organizations to learn the business of our craft.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Just don’t talk about writing—do the writing. Sit down, work hard, then relax, but you’re never going to get published unless you produce and then submit.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
For more information, you can go to http://www.vampirebabylon.com/, http://www.crystal-green.com/, and www.myspace.com/vampirebabylon.
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Chatroom events

This is a message from my fellow writer and friend Karina Fabian.

Come join the fun on FabChat, Thursday nights at 8 PM EST.
www.fabianspace. com click on FabChat
April 12: Come talk poetry with Scott Neth.http://www.shoutlif e.com/profile_ view.cfm? uid=7610
April 19: Celebrate Karina's birthday with her as she becomes Guest of honor on her own chat show! Karina will talk about Infinite Space, InfiniteGod, religion in sci-fi, virtual book tours, dragon detectives and anything else that crosses her or your mind! Stick around afterwards for the virtual party!
April 26: Arr! Get ready for faith-filled fun on the high seas as Mary Lou Tyndall talks about her pirate series, The Redemption, The Reliance, and TheRestitution. http://www.mltyndal l.com
Karina Fabian

I wish Karina all the best with her chat's this month and a very happy birthday. For those of you that attend her chats please feel free to give feedback here under comments.
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Sandy Lender Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m Sandy Lender, and I get obsessed with stuff easily. I’m obsessed with writing, obsessed with Nigel Taiman (the main male character in my new fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods), obsessed with Duran Duran, obsessed with sea turtles (I’m a member of the volunteer group Turtle Time and patrol beaches from May 1 through October watching for nesting and hatching activity), obsessed with my cute little bird Petri (who owns me), obsessed with baseball (because I’m from St. Louis), etc. Once I let a good idea take root, it can grow out of control pretty quickly.

I’ve been in journalism and magazine publishing for 15 years since graduating with an English degree from Truman State University (then NEMO). I live in the warmest climate I could find in the United States . I believe in dragons and wish my muse would let me get more sleep. (He tends to shackle me to my desk in my writing den and leave me there for hours at a time.)

When did you decide to become a writer?
Becoming a writer wasn’t something I decided to do. It’s a directive from some force I can’t identify that I’ve obeyed since I was a child. I started writing little stories for my great grandmother when I was in grade school and I’ve just not stopped. I remember my two earliest stories were about a squeaky spider and some mice picking berries. Don’t ask why these have stuck with me here thirty-plus years later, but I remember those poor little mice being chased by a cat and one of them fainting from the stress. Funny that even back then I was influenced by stress…

The current fantasy novel about Amanda Chariss came to me when I was in high school and it has been the thing burning through my head to get me to become a published author. If not for Nigel and Chariss, I would probably still be sane.

What was your first published work?
Mrs. Zeller’s first grade newspaper! Seriously, we each had to write “an article” for the newspaper that went home to our parents. I still have it (for some reason…). I wrote a fiction piece that was a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird in high school that won first place in a district-wide contest of some sort, but I don’t remember if they published it anywhere. So I guess my first, real-life published work was in the college newspaper. Then I got real articles published when I became an editor with magazines out in my journalism career. Choices Meant for Gods is my first novel.

What is your dream as a writer?
It’s coming true right now.
Amanda Chariss, Nigel Taiman, Hrazon of Mon’dore, Master Rothahn, Kora Taiman, Henry Bakerson, Jamieson Drake…these characters that I’ve lived with since high school meet the world April 2007 thanks to ArcheBooks Publishing. I have a publisher and my career as a novelist has begun. That’s the dream that started way back when I was a little girl writing books that began with the table of contents (complete with page numbers, don’t you know).

Now that the novel is about to be reality, I keep having these “overwhelming” moments. Working on the cover was overwhelming. Sending the galleys back to the publisher was overwhelming. Opening the publisher’s website to discover my book was plastered all over the front page was overwhelming (surprising, too). (I think it’s still there, also, so you can see it at www.archebooks.com. It’s amazing.) So each time something happens in this process, a little bit of “oh, wow, the dream is coming true” hits me and I feel blessed by the events taking place.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I’m still writing and editing magazines at my day job, but I have the editing and writing of novels as my “second career” under way now. I’m also creating an online serial novel called Saving a Vampire from the Summer Sunrise, which is an entertaining, comedic, romantic thriller that takes place in sunny Naples , Fla. , during hurricane season. It has a little something for everyone so the audience in my yahoo group is varied. People can sign up to read it at http://yahoo.groups.com/group/sandysvampiresunrise/join. I’d also like to get some of my short stories published to help promote my name in the fantasy genre.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?

Yes. Don’t waste your time querying literary agents. They are the gatekeepers set in place to police the publishing industry so unknown writers don’t get in and disturb editors and publishers. You can waste a lot of money (and time) buying books on how to write glowing query letters and where to send them. Don’t bother. Your query letter lands in an in-basket with about 50 to 75 others Monday morning. Tuesday morning, another 25 to 50 land on top of it. Wednesday morning, more land on top of those. By Friday, an intern is assigned to wade through the pile and send form rejection letters to everyone in the stack that doesn’t have a recognizable name. So if you aren’t Paris Hilton, Monica Lewinski, etc., guess what you get in your SASE.

The way to get a literary agent is to accost one (oh, did I type that?) at an industry event. Schedule an appointment to meet (for fifteen minutes, if you’re lucky) at the bar, after a panel discussion the agent is part of, after the agent’s presentation on how to write glowing query letters, etc.

I got my agent because I walked up to her at my publisher’s workshop in Ft. Lauderdale just over a year ago and introduced myself. Now, did you catch that? I already had the relationship with the publisher. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it can be done.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
You will be expected to market and promote your book like a product. Even those big-time New York publishers like TOR and Random House have limited marketing budgets that they distribute cautiously among their top-name authors. Newbies don’t get any of the marketing monies. So new authors, and even established authors who are enjoying a reasonably sized audience, need to get a handle on marketing and promotion and how to write an effective press release (and I’m assuming the visitors to this site know that a press release about a new book is never about the release of the new book).

When you’re ready to convince New York Agent A that you’re the author for her to represent, you should do so professionally. If you come into the game like a professional, agents, editors, and publishers will look upon you favorably. I got lucky because my career has included oodles of marketing and public relations experience, so I had that side of the equation to offer to the publisher listening to my pitch.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
Writing is an amazing outlet for much that happens in a writer’s life. It has carried me through some difficult times and has provided me much-needed release. It has also provided me fantastic opportunities to make friendships that my life would be poorer without. The authors in the ArcheBooks family have become wonderful peers. We’re starting a forum at http://archebooks.com/phpbb.index.php where we’ll be sharing all kinds of information about books and publishing tidbits, and I recommend that sort of communications vehicle for any writer or aspiring author. Also, I have a blog where I offer grammar, writing, promotion, and vocabulary tips on a rotating basis. It’s at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com. I recommend that to anyone who wants the grammar/English lesson in layman’s terms, if you know what I mean. I guess what I’m trying to say in this last little section is that there are resources for writers and authors, like this site, where you can get real information, real tips, real guidance, and you can get it for free. Some days, you just want the dragon to win!
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Tim Quinton Interview

Tell us a little about yourself :
Born 1956 in Gonzales, Texas. I was adopted by my grandparents who raised me as their own son. Later in life I went from being the youngest child in the family, to being the oldest of enough brothers and sisters to form my own basketball team (with cheerleaders). My first marriage produced my son, Scott (yes he is referred to as Scotty, my favorite Star Trek character), a couple of years later my daughter Leia (yes, she is named after my favorite princess) and now have four granddaughters. After serving 13 years in the US Army as a medical NCO, I left the service and moved back to Gonzales where I met my wife Kathy. We will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year.

When did you decide to become a writer?
This is a good question. I actually started writing when I was still in High School. Mostly short stories and poems that have disappeared over the years. My first wife didn't show any enthusiasim toward my work, so neither did I. Then one day Kathy was going through a stack of papers I had in a metal cabinet and asked me what they were. After telling her about the books she read them and stated "You have to get these published." So even though I started writing when I was about 16 or seventeen years old. I really didn't start to seriously write until I was near 45.

What was your first published work?
My first published work is The Sea Huntress.

What is your dream as a writer?
My dream is to write stories that people enjoy to read. Not stories that make them think about social problems, how depressing life can be or how depressing my life has been, or anything else that writers try to put into their books.
What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
My only work right now is in the Sea Huntress series. The first and second book in the series have been published, and now I'm polishing up the 3rd installment, The Sea Huntress: Unwelcomed Visitors. There is also another series that I will try launching in the near future, which is named Blue Death/Red Courage: Chronicles of Team Panther.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
That people would pay to read my books. Yes, there were signs that people would read them, and that they enjoyed read them, but nothing told me that they would pay money to read them.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Be ready for what your about to do. Writing the book is only one part of the process. It's going to take a lot of hard work upon their part. Don't think that you can just write a book, then wait for the money to come rolling in. You have to do a lot of research into the process. Also don't think that every bookstore is going to wrap their arms around you, as though you were some long lost relative. You have to show them why they should stock your book. As well, don't think that you can go to a booksigning and just sit behind a table, expecting people to beg for your book. Your in competition with every other book that is in that store. You have to demonstrate to the customer why they should buy your book, especially if it cost more than others in the same genre.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
My book, The Sea Huntress, has gained more popularity than I expected in the short time that it has been out. Every, and I do mean every person that has read it always ask me the same question: "When is the next book coming out" or "Is this going to be a movie?" Not only does this do great things for my ego, but it helps to spread the word about my books, because the reader wants more. Which is what every writer should want. Right?

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News and opportunities

o Tomorrow’s guest speaker in the chatroom at http://jolinsdell.tripod.com is Arlene Evans who will be discussing her various books and CVD. The chat starts at 6 p.m. CET (that’s 12 noon EST) and lasts for 1 hour. Everyone is welcome to drop by and join in the chat. The more the merrier!

o Found this while browsing around www.novelspot.net ....
Twilight Fantasies Publications is a full-service, royalty paying ePublishing company. We are currently accepting submissions in anticipation of our May 2, 2007 scheduled opening date. At this time, we do accept simultaneous submissions; however, we do require you inform us if your work is being considered elsewhere.Twilight Fantasies specializes in romance, including erotic romance, in all genres. We do not publish erotica (without romantic elements) at this time. While we do publish erotic romance, we are actively seeking stories that are plot-driven. If a sex scene does not further the plot, it should be left out.We do consider previously published romance whose rights have been reverted back to the author.We prefer third person point of view, but will consider stories written in first person, as long as the story is engaging. We currently respond to queries within two weeks, to manuscripts within six weeks. http://twilightfantasiespublications.com/submissionguidelines. Html

o Preparations are underway for the next PROMO DAY! Event which will take place on Saturday 23rd June 2007. There are several new features this time round which will make the event even bigger and better than before. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for free publicity, networking with people in the industry, collecting reviews for your books and much more… Visit http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/promoday/ for more information.

o I'm planning a virtual tour between 5th and 12th May this year and am looking for people to post interviews to their blogs/websites, host me for a LIVE chat or radio show. Obviously I'm available for TV appearances too but they would have to be filmed in Rome :)
If anyone is interested in supporting me in my virtual tour please send me an email to jo_bins@yahoo.com to discuss details. Thank you for your help.I will of course be happy to repay the favour and host you for a chat at my website http://jolinsdell. tripod.com or post an interview with you here at http://writersandauthors.blogspot. com
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Janis Susan May Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
Oh, my! What can one say about oneself without sounding prideful or risking unexpired statutes of limitations? Let’s see… I have always believed in following my dream, whatever it happened to be at the moment, which has led me into some pretty strange places. I’ve never made much money, but I have led a rich and fulfilling life. I never thought I’d marry, but a wonderful man (the most wonderful one in the world, as far as I’m concerned) changed my mind about that. He’s a number of years younger than I, a scientific sort, a Captain in the Navy Reserves, and a lot of fun. Even though he doesn’t read fiction (other than the occasional WEB Griffin or Dale Brown) he supports and encourages my writing. I was a first time bride at the advanced age of 54, after being proposed to in a beautiful moonlit garden across the road from the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Unfortunately, my mother passed away at the age of 90 just 3 weeks after our wedding. Talk about going from the highs to the lows!
Before I married and gleefully became what some of my friends call a “Stepford wife” I believed in trying almost everything once. I have raced cars, flown planes, sung professionally, acted professionally, worked as a talent agent, been an advertising agency copywriter, editor in chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups, a jewelry designer, supervisor of accessioning for a bio-genetic DNA testing lab… the list goes on. If it sounded like fun, I did it. I do have a very low boredom tolerance.
I’ve traveled over a great chunk of the world and lived in Mexico on and off for years. I’m considered an expert shot with both pistols and long guns. When I was a child (8 or so) my cousin Mike and I would milk rattlesnakes and sell the venom to a local hospital to earn spending money; at least, we did until our parents found out!
I was one of the 50 or so women who originally founded RWA. I was one of the founders of the North Texas Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt, which is arguably the largest organization of working Egyptologists in the world. In April of 2005, I – who am not an Egyptologist – was the closing speaker at their international conference in Boston.
I like to cook and to sew and, now that I live in a house instead of an apartment, I have discovered a passion for gardening. And hot tubs. We received a hot tub for a wedding present and it is wonderful. I’ve told The Husband there are three things that if they break I’m replacing them the same day – the food processor, the microwave and the hot tub! We both like to read, and the house shows it. We have two libraries and are contemplating building a third.
The Husband and I have a neurotic tuxedo cat named Squeaky Boots and a white miniature poodle named Harriette. Both are elderly rescue animals. We had another cat, Shadow, but just before Christmas last year his health deteriorated so badly we had to have him put to sleep. I still listen for him.
Oooops. You said ‘a little’ didn’t you? Too late. Well, I did leave out some of the wilder parts…

When did you decide to become a writer?
Decide? What makes you think I had a choice?
People have asked me how I learned to write and I answer, most truthfully, ‘genetically.’
One of my grandfathers was a small-town newspaper editor/publisher, back in the era when small town newspapers were a power in the world. Both my grandmothers were at one time English teachers. Both my parents were at one time English teachers at the high school/college level. My mother went on to produce plays, be a County Home Demonstration Agent in South Texas (about which we have done a book called THE LAND OF HEART’S DELIGHT, to be released in a month or so), write a magazine column, design house floor plans, and, with my father, start an advertising agency that was for 16 of the 17 years of its existence one of the top 300 in the nation, as rated by AADA. My father was editor and/or publisher of half a dozen small-town newspapers, taught journalism at Texas A&M and with my mother founded Don May Advertising. I went to work at the agency at nine and by twelve was writing copy.
Decide? I didn’t have a snowball’s chance of being anything but a wordsmith.

What was your first published work?
Much to the chagrin of my mother, my father designed my birth announcement, using the wording of a book release. While not my own work, it did sort of set the tone for my life.
Does ‘self-publishing’ count? When I was four I wrote a book (about some kids catching an escaped lion in the park, if I remember correctly), illustrated all 8 or 10 hand printed pages and bound it by sewing the papers together with needle and quilting thread. I think I made 3 or 4 copies before I got bored and went on to something else.
In the real world, I sold some articles (on what I don’t remember) and some confessions (much to the chagrin of my rather straight-laced mother) while in my late teens and early 20s. My first novel was WHERE SHADOWS LINGER, published in 1979 as part of the old Dell Candlelight Intrigue series.

What is your dream as a writer?
To be rich and famous, of course. Or to be super-rich and infamous.
Seriously, I would like to be able to sell the kind of books I want to write, the kind I like to read, that are pretty much impossible to sell today. I want to be either Barbara Michaels or Phyllis A. Whitney when I grow up… and considering my age, that had better happen soon! Actually, one reviewer said that I was the logical successor to Phyllis A. Whitney. I hope she is canonized.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
Anything anyone pays me for. Actually, since 2005 (when my husband was sent to Iraq and told me to write books while he was gone) I have sold a romantic murder mystery - DARK MUSIC, a memoir of my mother’s time in South Texas in the 1940s – THE LAND OF HEART’S DELIGHT, a psychological thriller – WELCOME HOME, a time-travel romance set in Ancient Egypt – LOST IN EGYPT – Book One of The Sands of Time series, and a traditional Regency romance – SECOND CHANCE. (Found out about the last one just a couple of days ago!) In addition, I’ve been contracted to do part of a college textbook on archaeological illustration (my section is on the history of archaeological illustration prior to 1798) that will be published in Peru. I’m also waiting on a contract for a horror novella and have been asked to contribute an erotic novella for a new anthology.

Tell us about your books.
Well, there are synopses and excerpts from most of these on my website – www.JanisSusanMay.com - but in a nutshell :
DARK MUSIC (Vintage Romance Publishing – available now) is a romantic murder mystery set in 1968 in a resort hotel in the Canadian Rockies where they are holding a romance writers’ convention. A freak blizzard isolates the place and then someone starts killing the best-selling authors one by one.
LOST IN EGYPT (Chippewa Publishing – available now) is a time travel in Ancient Egypt. The heroine falls over the railing at the mortuary temple of the woman pharaoh Hatshepsut and lands in the time when it is being constructed, where she is mistaken for a pleasure woman by the general in charge. Then he notices her resemblance to the pharaoh’s daughter and she is caught in a dangerous impersonation that risks not only her life but the future of Egypt itself.
WELCOME HOME (Swimming Kangaroo Books – Autumn, 2007) is a psychological thriller about a socialite who comes to a small East Texas town to settle her late grandfather’s estate. He nearly ruined the town and not only does she have to deal with the enmity that incurred, but with a maddening ex-love, two men who would like to be her new love, mysterious wreaths that appear inside her locked house, dead rats, a kidnapping and several attempts on her life.
SECOND CHANCE (Awe-Stuck – November, 2008)is a traditional Regency about two couples – an aunt and a niece in love with an uncle and a nephew, but who are separated by family, a twelve year old scandal, a scheming sister/aunt, a fortune-hunting rake and the ever-censorious eyes of the Ton.
THE LAND OF HEART’S DELIGHT (Swimming Kangaroo Books – Summer 2007) is a memoir of my mother’s time working in the alien land of South Texas. Daddy always said Mother had the ‘gift of incident’ and I grew up on her stories of her adventures. Mother always said she was going to write a book, but there was never time. After she died I found in her papers a rudimentary manuscript and some notes for her book. Well, I had heard those stories all my life, so I took her notes and wrote the book. Her name is on the cover as author; mine only as collaborator.
Can’t talk about the uncontracted novellas yet, and haven’t even finished the research on the history of archaeological illustration.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
To quote Scrooge McDuck, “Work smarter, not harder.” I wish I had been told (I probably was; I wish I had listened!) that this is a business and to treat it as such. That I shouldn’t get so personally involved with my product. That publicity is my responsibility and it takes a lot of time.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Work smarter, not harder. This is a business and treat it as such. Don’t get so personally involved with your product. Learn the rules before you try to break them. Publicity is your responsibility and it takes a lot of time.
Take care of yourself. Carpal tunnel syndrome, “writer’s neck hunch,” vision problems, back strain and a hundred other sitting-down-for-long-periods-of-time related maladies are no joke. Writing is hard work, both mentally and physically and it can be very hard on your body. Get the best accessories you can afford – a decent chair, ergonomic keyboard, good wrist pads. Get up and stretch every so often. Move around. Take a walk occasionally. Good health habits will pay much greater rewards down the line than the 5 or 10 extra minutes you spend writing.
Also take care of your mind – read other things besides what you write; socialize with other people besides writers. Become and remain well-rounded. Writing is only a slice of the world – a big, wonderful slice to be sure, but still only a slice. My opinion is that living life is more important in the long run than writing about it!
On the other hand, if you are going to be a writer, you must write! Talking endlessly about your story with friends, spouses, family, critique partners or continually polishing the first three chapters for the next contest doesn’t count. Write. Lay words on (metaphoric) paper. Actually get the story written.
For Heaven’s sake, learn correct spelling and punctuation and word use; some of the things I have seen come from ostensibly ‘professional’ writers would curl the hair of even a semi-literate.
Watch out for homonymic mayhem – one wears a brooch, but broaches a cask of wine; you peek into a box, but climb a mountain peak. The examples are endless.
Become a member of 4A – the Association Against Apostrophe Abuse. Cows (or the noun of your choice) is a simple plural. Cows’ is plural possessive. Cow’s is singular possessive. The sentence “I’m going to milk the cow’s,” makes no sense whatsoever!
Sorry. The decline and disintegration of grammar, punctuation and spelling is a hot button of mine. End of rant.
Publishing has changed drastically in the last 25-30 years and I have seen it happen. Instead of being run by gentlemen who love books and literature and who would take chances on ‘non-niche’ books, the industry is now run by bean-counters who are trying to market books exactly the same way one does shoes, or fashion, or some other consumer commodity. “Hey,” they say, “number 63 is doing really well – let’s try it in purple and orange and green, too,” which translates to “Hey, western historical romances are doing really well – let’s publish a lot of them.” One publisher – who has since rescinded the comment, I have heard – actually called writers ‘content providers.’ I’d wish that person an eternity of having nothing to read but a ten year old Yellow Pages, but won’t because he’d probably enjoy it!
Never forget that publishing is a business. Your story may be the book of your heart, it may be aesthetically the ultimate expression for you, you may have sweated drops of blood over each sublime word, but if it isn’t commercially viable, you’re in trouble. This applies to serious writers who want to make a return on their investment of time, ie, make money. If all you want is the ‘experience’ and the ‘thrill of seeing my words in print’ and the self-fulfillment of having finished a book, I feel sorry for you. This is a cut-throat business, not a hearts-and-flowers we’re-all-writers-together-and-isn’t-it-wonderful high school type clique. If that is all you want, gather some like-minded friends around you and write and tell each other how wonderful you are and enjoy it to the hilt, but watch out you don’t get stepped on (or ripped off for vast amounts of money – see below) because for most everyone, books are a business. A big business, with little if any room for sentiment and very little for art.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL : stay away from the sharks. Always remember that in publishing the money flows in ONE direction – TOWARDS the author. The woods are full of wolves who just love to suck little wide-eyed wanna-be writers dry. If anyone asks you for money, run. I could tell horror stories here – one ‘agency’ that was charging these starry-eyed types $50 a month for representation and somehow never managed to submit any manuscripts, or the ‘vanity’ or ‘subsidy’ presses who make you sign ridiculous contracts, charge you mega-bucks for printing books (which you could do yourself more cheaply if you wanted) and do nothing else. (One of the most notorious of these pops up as an ad on almost every Google search on anything regarding books or publishing. Enough said – I don’t want to be sued.)
Check your contracts before you agree to them, either verbally or with a signature; if you don’t have a good (operative word – good) agent, it’s worth it to pay an entertainment lawyer to look one over if you can’t network with a group of authors – there are scads of good loops on the ‘net where you can find like-minded souls. Check with the websites PREDITORS AND EDITORS and WRITER BEWARE. A little groundwork can save you all kinds of heartache. Don’t be gullible.
And finally… the Secret of Getting and Staying Published – write a good book; and then another; and then another… Neither does it hurt to be very lucky. Believe in yourself. It’s a hard row to hoe you’ve chosen, and it’s not conquered easily. But it can be done.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
Oh, law, there’s so much I want everyone to know – information I’ve spent 30+ years acquiring, sometimes most painfully, but there’s no way to put it all in one interview. If there’s one last thing I have to say, it’s…. Buy my books! I need the money.
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Linda Helms Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and raised in small town in Virginia where I have remained all my life. Except for the occasional trip or two, there is very little I have seen outside of my sleepy town. I am a single mother of two children. I have a never-ending love for writing. This love story takes me on a journey where I can transform my thoughts and reshape them. It is in those moments I am truly free from the everyday ups and downs that life throws my way. Each time I sat down to write I somehow manage to find a little more of myself somewhere buried between the lines.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I became a writer on a dare. My son, Mikhail had dared me to write a story. As time went on, the story had turned into a book. It wasn’t long after when I realized that writing had become a passion of mine.

What was your first published work?
My first published work is Mercy Crossing. My second book “Pieces from the Heart” hopefully will be on bookshelves at the end of the year if deadlines permit.

What is your dream as a writer?
My dream is to see my books portrayed on the big screen.

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
I would tell them to set their goals high in life and settle for nothing less. A middle school teacher signed my autograph book with those words years ago. Those same words I recite to my daughter, Tiffany who plays varsity basketball.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
When reading Mercy Crossing, it is my hope that the words will reach the hearts of everyone and leave one message embedded in everybody's minds: Don’t let anger consume you so much as to find yourself asking for forgiveness.

Where can Mercy Crossing be found?
Mercy Crossing can be found on most online booksellers websites such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon or at your local bookstore. People can visit my website at www.publishedauthors.net/linda for more information about Mercy Crossing book.
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Denise Turney Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I have loved books and good story since I was a very young child. I started writing when I was 10 years old. This marks my 34th year as a writer. Generally I write family sagas and mysteries. Good story is a gift! I'm incredibly grateful to be a part of this wonderful process!
When did you decide to become a writer?
When I was 10 years old. My family had just moved to Tennessee. My sister unexpectedly came upon a book of poetry by Gwendolyn Brooks in the school library. We both were shocked that she found the book at school as the grade school we attended didn't carry many cultural books. I opened the book and started to read. The characters leaped from the pages! They reminded me of my grandmother, a neighbor, a friend. The stage was set. A feeling came over me that I cannot explain with words. All I know is that I said, "I'm a writer" and I have been since that day.
What was your first published work?
Portia - the inspirational story about a successful defense attorney who lives in Chicago, Illinois and how she uses her family, faith and the love of her fiancee to deal with the challenges of breast cancer. Portia has encouraged and strengthened people impacted by cancer for nine years now.
What is your dream as a writer?
To write powerful and poignantly moving stories that help each of us to heal and gain the courage to allow love to flow freely into and through us, one to another, to all living things.
What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I am working on two new novels. My new book Long Walk Up is released this month! I'm excited! I also am a columnist for New Citizens Press and Bahiyah Magazine.
Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Approach writing as a business AFTER you have created your articles/stories/books. At some point in the process, you probably must become a businesswoman if you intend to earn a living as a writer.
What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
Trust your instincts. Trust your gut feelings. Study the market. Write every day or at the least five days a week. The more you write, the stronger you will become as a writer. If you're looking for story ideas, be open to incorporating aspects from your dreams into your storylines.
Anything else you want our readers to know?
I love connecting with you! I am an avid reader myself! I have books in nearly every room of my house. I love books and I am so very grateful for you allowing me the chance, through your support, to do what I love and to share great, entertaining stories with each of YOU!
visit www.chistell.com
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