Interview with Taylor Marsh

Interview with Taylor Marsh


What genre do you write and why?

Modern romance, psychological thrillers

I spent 10 years in the dating, sex and relationship worlds. I was Relationship Consultant (my actual title) at the LA Weekly, then the nation’s top alternative newsweekly. I spent years talking to women and men about modern relationships.

When I decided to move from journalism and non-fiction to women's fiction, everything in my background was ripe to tap.

Interview with Taylor Marsh
http://amzn.to/2qIyfiw
Tell us about your latest book.
Alex Gantry loves T.J. Gale. It’s a new relationship that’s gone through a lot of testing already. They’re in for a roller coaster ride in Beltway Betrayers.

Thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, Alex’s ex-boyfriend, Hollywood mogul Brian Marks, is grappling with the loss of Alex to a man 20 years his junior, who Brian thinks is half the man he is.

The love triangle is as old as literature itself. In Beltway Betrayers, it gets even more complicated.

The two lovers, Alex and T.J., want Brian out of their lives, but he has no intention of granting their request without a battle.

There’s also T.J.’s ex-wife, Lisa Dalaney, whose powerful father is not happy with his ex-son-in-law dumping his daughter. Lisa cheated on T.J., but it was business to her, nothing personal. She blames Alex for her marriage imploding, which is just an excuse to ignore her own behavior.

It’s a thrill ride for the reader from Washington, D.C., to New York City, to Los Angeles, California.

How was this book published? (traditional, small press, self pub, etcc...)  Why did you choose that particular publishing route?

I’ve had two non-fiction books published the traditional route, through an independent publisher. It was a wonderful experience because my publisher was extraordinary.

As the digital era expanded, self-publishing offered authors control that they didn’t have through a traditional publishing experience. This makes self-publishing the only way to go, in my opinion. My new imprint is MM Press.

Writing a book is one thing; getting it seen, read, and reviewed is another. The marketing process an author chooses is everything, and a traditional publisher hasn’t the interest, time, or money, to devote what the author does. Having control of the marketing of your book changes the trajectory of what you can manifest.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad or good ones?

Yes, I read reviews, which also come to me via a stream of emails. Some people don't know that the number of reviews an indie author receives makes a difference. Amazon calculates these things.

A reader’s review isn't “bad or good.” It's how they experienced the book, which depends on a million variables.

I can't change how I write because of a review. As long as I've worked diligently with my editor to produce the most thrilling story I can, I'm happy, no matter the review.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Get a website. Write every day to find out what’s your beat, what moves you, and own the subject. 

Engage your commenters.

Have a wide social media presence where your brand is obvious.

Being an author is having a small business. It takes investment if you want to earn.  Be patient and think long-term.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?

My favourite quote is attributed to Ernest Hemingway, although some question whether it came from him or his biographer.

“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

Nothing was ever truer.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?


Interview with Taylor Marsh
Who designed the cover?

Mirna Gilman, Books Go Social, who also did my first cover, and will do my next.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?

After a lifetime of non-fiction writing, this is my second work of fiction, so I’m constantly learning.

Keeping the thread of each character demands extraordinary vigilance, more than I imagined before I finished Beltway Betrayers.

What was unexpected is the impact the right editor can have on my romantic fiction.

A good editor is always valuable, but the right editor for my romantic thriller made the difference, in my opinion.

Do you believe in writers block?

No.

There is a time to write and a time to think.

Anxiety can block your thought processes. Writers have to be able to control these things, which I learned when I was a performer, actress, and Broadway babe.

There is a flow, a rhythm to writing.

Relaxing is key, so writers must find how to do that for themselves.


What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

The Beltway Series, Book 3 is taking shape in my mind.

I’m letting the characters roam around in my ruminations right now and they’re having way too much fun.

I’ve not talked about this until now, but one of the characters from Book 1 will be back in the next book. She’s a young actor who’s come into her own, learning to use her power. She’s a client of Alex Gantry, my heroine, who's an elite life coach. The working title, emphasis on working title, is Beltway Hits Sin City. It’s set in Las Vegas, the place where I once spent a lot of time partying, and where I later met my husband. 

Interview with Taylor Marsh

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The Rise of Mobile Reading

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens


For years I would see people toting along their Kindles or Nooks on the subways in New York City and would think to myself that I’d never get one. The feel and smell of physical book, especially an old one, was always an attraction and part of the fun of the reading experience. It got you in the mood and launched you into the adventure of a new story. Furthermore, I’d argue against e-Readers on the grounds that if I spent over ten hours behind a computer every day, why would I continue to want to look at a screen after that? When I’m done for the evening, I’m done. My eyes are tired of looking at a screen.

Another reason why I avoided them for years was that I’m an antiquarian book collector. There’s something sensual and wonderful about an old book that gets lost in an electronic form. If given the chance, I will still buy an old used copy of something even if is available for free online at a site like www.gutenberg.org or available as a reprint in a cheap paperback, which often has a lousy layout and is not typeset all that well.

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens
http://amzn.to/2q7hPOw
It’s unfortunate that antique and used brick-and-mortar bookstores along with many indie bookstores are dying out because of high rents and overhead. Often, I’m seeking research material and not a specific title. That’s when it’s not only tough to make purchases online, but many times it’s an intuitive feel in the shopping experience that leads me to the perfect choice. Over all, the whole fun of book buying is the browsing down the aisles, the sensory overload and the “happy accidents”. As far as I’m concerned, that cannot happen online.

So? How did you think I became a convert? Well, I’m not a total convert by a long shot. Every time I go to a new city the first thing I have to do is find out where the rare and secondhand bookstores are located, and hopefully I’ll track down an item I’d never find anywhere else. However, physical books, as much as I’ve been a die-hard fan for years have some drawbacks.

If you are commuting with a book, especially on crowded public transportation books can get damaged. Secondly, they can be heavy and difficult to hold with one hand while holding on to a pole to keep your balance. I can’t tell you how many people have literally had their newspapers shoved into my face while on buses or subways. They also can get unwieldy to tote around and can get beaten up stuffing them in purses, totes or backpacks. In addition, it’s easy to get all excited about a title and find out that the type is too small and the layout isn’t conducive to easy reading. After struggling with these examples, for Christmas 2016, I treated myself to my first Kindle Paper White e-Reader.

Leery at first, I loved it! Now mind you, I still haven’t sprung for an iPad yet, but its portability couldn’t be questioned. If I was going to be stuck going to a doctor’s office and back with the long lag time while I’m there, you just can’t beat it. However, the best thing I discovered was that I can read three times as fast with it. This totally supersedes the issue when the type is printed too small, because on a Kindle you can adjust the size to your comfort level. Shopping for new titles takes seconds with no concerns about how long it’s going to take to ship or whether or not you have gas in the car or bus fare, and guess what? It’s cheaper. Now I can justify spending more on a collectible item, because I’m saved a ton electronically. My recommendation? They’re here to stay. Take advantage of all options, and definitely be a convert like I am.

The Rise of Mobile Reading, guest post by Elizabeth Crowens
Elizabeth Crowens is the pen name author of SILENT MERIDIAN, an alternate history/ 19th century “X Files” alternate history novel published by MX Publishing in London. Recently she won First Prize in Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction, is on the short list of finalists for Chanticleer’s 2016 Cygnus Awards for Speculative Fiction, Paranormal and the Ozma Award for Fantasy Fiction and received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers. She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication, BlackGate.com.

Recently, she participated on panels at The World Fantasy Convention, MidAmericon II/Worldcon, Lunacon, Heliosphere, the Writer's Digest Conference, Queens Book Festival, Philcon and was also interviewed for the radio show, Hour of the Wolf. A Pocketful of Lodestones, the sequel to Silent Meridian is awaiting a publication date. Current work-in-progress is Killer Between My Sheets, a psychological/domestic suspense novel/series.

A 15-year veteran of the film industry in Hollywood, she’s also an alumnus of Algonkian workshops and the Gotham Writer’s Workshop and a member of the Horror Writers Association, Historical Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America. An active Sherlockian, she’s lectured on Arthur Conan Doyle, belongs to several Sherlockian scions, and is an independent scholar on Eastern and Western mysticism and Jungian psychology. A blackbelt in martial arts, she’s lived in Japan. Currently, she lives in New York City.

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Book Showcase: Crossing the Street by Molly D. Campbell

Book Showcase: Crossing the Street by Molly D. Campbell


Title: Crossing the Street
Author: Molly D. Campbell

Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2qCaw4X

Book Showcase: Crossing the Street by Molly D. Campbell
About the book:
This wasn’t the way Beck Throckmorton had planned it. She wasn’t expecting to find herself in her thirties writing erotica and making flat whites for a living while she stewed over that fact that her ex had wound up with her sister. She never saw herself living in a small suburban Ohio town with an octogenarian neighbor best friend. And she definitely wouldn’t have imagined the eight-year-old great-granddaughter of that friend turning her world upside down.
As summer comes around, Beck’s life is unsettled in every way. And that’s before the crazy stuff starts: the sister taunting her with her pregnancy, the infuriatingly perfect boyfriend, the multiple trips to the emergency room. The needy, wise-beyond-her-years little girl finding places in her heart that Beck didn’t even know existed.
Beck has found herself at an emotional intersection she never anticipated. And now it’s time to cross the street.
CROSSING THE STREET is a funny, touching novel that brims life’s complexities. Filled with characters both distinctive and welcomingly familiar, it is a story that will entertain and enlighten.

Book Showcase: Crossing the Street by Molly D. Campbell
About the Author:
Molly D. Campbell is a two-time Erma Bombeck Writing Award winner and the author of one previous novel, Keep the Ends Loose. Molly blogs at http://mollydcampbell.com. Also an artist, Molly’s work can be found at http://www.cafepress.com/notexactlypicasso. Molly lives in Dayton with her accordionist husband and four cats.
Catch Up With Molly: Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly

Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly


Title: The Star in the Meadow
Author: Carla Kelly
Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 4
Book Type: Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Camel Press
Publication Date: February 14, 2017

Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly
About the Book:

Marco Mondragón and his wife Paloma are living hectic but happy lives at the Double Cross, on the edge of Comanchería. Five years after the death of Comanche leader Cuerno Verde, cautious diplomacy between the tribe and the colonists is underway to end Comanche raids into New Mexico. Paloma's time has been fully consumed by her two toddlers and newborn son and Marco's by spring planting.

The Seven Year Audit of 1784 arrives and with it comes auditor Fernando Ygnacio. After years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit, Señor Ygnacio is a broken man. Although his daughter Catalina is bitter about his mistreatment by his superiors, her storytelling abilities captivate the household, including a frequent visitor from the nearby presidio, El Teniente Joaquim Gasca, who has been undergoing his own reformation from rascal to leader.

Unknown to him, Marco has peculiar enemies plotting his downfall. When Paloma and Catalina set out on a visit to Marco's sister, meant to give Paloma relief from her busy life, the women are kidnapped. Devastated, Marco is torn between love and duty. He yearns to search for his wife, but feels bound by colonial duties to accompany his friend Toshua to Río Napestle, where Comanches have gathered to debate the region's fragile peace. In his absence from the Double Cross, will Joaquim Gasca and Toshua's wife Eckapeta be able to find the missing women?

Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter Thirty-five – “In which a husband redeems himself”

            She woke to a darkened room and a quiet house, as though everyone had deserted her. She took several deep breaths to remind her she was breathing the sweet sage and rosemary of her pillow. It was late; everyone must be asleep.
            She breathed deeper and smell another familiar odor of wood smoke and leather. She sat up in surprise and woke up completely when she realized her husband knelt by the bed.
            With a cry of relight, Paloma touched in familiar face, wondering how a man could sleep on his knees like that, especially with his bed right there, with clean sheets and blankets and her.
            “Marco?” she asked, her voice hesitant. “Marco?”
            He opened his eyes and she saw the tears in them. She came closer until she had wrapped herself around him as he knelt there. She smelled the dust of the trail on this clothes, his unwashed state, not unlike her own mere days ago, and held him close.
            “Please forgive me,” he whispered.
            Forgive him? What was he talking about? “Marco, let me help you into bed,” she said, tugging on him, wanting him next to her.
            “I failed you so badly,” he said, the words tumbling out. “I didn’t know if you would even want me in the same room, let alone in our bed, but I had to find out. Please tell me you understand. I did it for the colony.” 

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About the Author:

A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-seven novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. Carla’s interest in historical fiction is a byproduct of her lifelong study of history. She has a BA in Latin American History from Brigham Young University and an MA in Indian Wars History from University of Louisiana-Monroe.

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How Book Reviews Influence Book Sales

How Book Reviews Influence Book Sales, guest post by Anne Marie Citro

I am fairly new to this industry so I am learning on the fly as I go. The first thing I was told you have to get reviews. I understand this philosophy because I am an avid reader. I read about three books a week and I hate to spend my hard-earned money on junk.

How Book Reviews Influence Book Sales, guest post by Anne Marie Citro
http://amzn.to/2rCkZ1R
I want to know that the book I am purchasing is a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and a conclusive ending. I hate when I invest my time only to find out this is just the beginning of the story and you have to purchase the next three books to get the whole story.

This is where the reviews become so important to me. I want someone to give me a heads up and say this is only part of the story. If the author or the publishing house does not clearly state that the book is a continuation then it makes me angry and I don’t read that author again.

I have also learned to go on a book tour if you want reviews from people unsolicited. I made the mistake of giving a review for a book in order to receive the next book for free. Big mistake the publishing house now sends me lots of books and not necessarily in my genre and I have to unsubscribe to something I didn’t subscribe to because they are bombarding my email. Now lots of publishing houses mysteriously have my email. I want to review a book because I really enjoyed. I also question how honest are the reviews if people are trying to get something free from it. The one and only time I did it I know it tainted my review but I guess the publishing house is betting on that.

I stand behind the books I write. Is it for everyone? No. It is for people who love a good contemporary love story with content besides sex. Yes, it has sex because sex is part of a loving relationship, but it also has a story of overcoming life struggles in one form or another.

The hard part about reviews is they are spread all over the board. People leave reviews from the place the purchased the book and on Goodreads. I am from Canada and if you purchase my books in the United States you can’t see the reviews from Amazon.ca on Amazon.com. Sad really because I could have lots of good reviews but you will never see it.

Be very careful of companies that claim to give you reviews or travel on site like Amazon because I have been taken twice by companies like that. You give them a reviewer’s copy and you never get what they promise.

It is so hard to sell a book. I know I am a grain of sand in a beach. I just want people to read my books so I can continue to write them. I know I am never going to be a millionaire by writing books, there is just too much competition. I would love to get discovered but the likelihood of it happening is slim to none. So, I do what I love and pray that someone somehow finds my books and reads them and loves them enough to write a review.

Everyone keeps telling me reviews are so important to sell books. As a reader I agree, but as an author my experience and sales tell me differently. First and foremost, they have find your book, that is by far the hardest part. If I ever discover the magical recipe to get noticed when you are an independent author without a huge advertising budget. I will let you know. I might have written the best book you have ever read but without exposure it lost in cyber space.

Reviews are important because of the validation that it gives the author for your books content and is greatly appreciated but I would also love some validation in sales.

How Book Reviews Influence Book Sales, guest post by Anne Marie Citro
Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favorite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes.

Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband's Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.






How Book Reviews Influence Book Sales, guest post by Anne Marie Citro


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