Tuesday Talk with… author Kelli A. Wilkins

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Kelli WilkinsThank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today!

It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me! I love sharing my thoughts with readers and other writers.

How did you become a writer?

I started writing short stories in high school. After college, I took a Commercial Writer’s Program and read some of my stories in class. At the time, I was writing short horror fiction. Everyone liked the stories and encouraged me to submit them for publication. One day I read a short romance in a magazine and said, “I can write that.” So I did.

My romance novel writing career began when Amber Quill Press hosted a contest to find authors. I submitted three novellas, and they contracted me for all three. After the books were released, I got hooked, and just kept writing. To date, I’ve published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and an online writing course via Teachable.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’ve been all three! At first I was completely traditional, then I became a hybrid, and now I’m self-published. Most of my romances were originally published with Amber Quill Press. Later, I had three romance novels published by Medallion Press. Unfortunately, both of those publishers have folded. Over the last three years I’ve re-edited and self-published all of my Amber Quill romances. My Medallion Press titles will be re-released in 2019.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Depending on the length of the story or the scope of the book, it can take anywhere from two weeks to a month to write the first draft. Shorter stories like my horror novella, Nightmare in the North, usually take a week. My full-length books such as Redemption from a Dark Past and Trust with Hearts take a month (or maybe longer).

Are You a Pantser or a Plotter?
I’m both. Before I start a book, I need to know who the characters are and what’s going to happen overall. After that, I outline the scenes and start writing. As I write, I allow myself some leeway to explore things I hadn’t considered in my outline. Sometimes I add entire scenes, or I write scenes that are later omitted. I go where the story takes me.

Each book comes to me in a different form. Sometimes I’ll have an entire story jump into my head, and I’ll know everything that happens to the characters. (That happened with A Deceptive Match, A Most Unusual Princess, Trust with Hearts, and A Secret Match.)

Other times, I’ll get bits and pieces of the story and parts of the characters. Once in a while, I’ll have a character come first, and as I get to know and develop the character, I’ll find out the story. Then the other pieces fall into place, like a puzzle. (That happened with Beauty & the Bigfoot, Killer in Wolf’s Clothing, and Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.)

Writing a book is always an adventure for me, and I never know where the characters or stories will take me.

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

Not officially, but when I sit down to write a book, I “ binge write” it all at once. I don’t stop and work on other projects while I’m writing a first draft. And since it usually takes me a month to write a book, it’s almost like I’ve created my own writing challenge.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

I consider myself fortunate to be able to write in any genre or sub-genre. In romance, I’m naturally drawn to historical/fantasy settings, but if I get a good idea for a book, I’ll write it, no matter what genre it is.

I originally started out writing horror short stories, and then I alternated with romance. (I also wrote the occasional sci fi story, too.) I like to say that one half of my brain writes horror, and the other half writes romance.

Writing horror lets me tap into my dark side. I can create characters, plots, and settings in my horror fiction that have no business being in a romance. Horror has a different tone and feel to it.

I’m able to switch genres easily, so I have a good balance of writing in both the horror and romance worlds. Sometimes I blend the two into paranormal romances. My first paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover is a good mix of the two genres, and it has a very gothic feel.

When I wrote the story, I didn’t want the vampire to be too vicious (and therefore not a romantic character) and yet, I had to make sure the vampire wasn’t too watered down and not “horror” enough. Reviewers loved the book, so I think I did a good job.

My horror fiction is more psychological/spooky/creepy than gory, and I like to explore the darker aspects of a story and not always give the characters a happy ending, as I do in my romances. Nightmare in the North is a good example of how I take something ordinary (a guy with car trouble seeking shelter in a storm) and give it an unusual twist.

What’s your favorite genre to read?
The books on my shelves are very diverse. I have books in almost every category: horror, romance, contemporary fiction, self-help, new age, and historical non-fiction. I like to read a lot of different things and I’m always buying books at garage sales and flea markets.

What are you reading now?

Lately I’ve been reading John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, and the Preston & Child “Pendergast” novels. I enjoy a good detective/mystery story, and these authors have created some fantastic and memorable characters.

Where do you get the most writing done?

My writing environment is wherever I happen to be at the moment. I write all of my books and short stories in longhand, so when I’m writing I can take the pen and paper outside in the back yard, to the beach, or anywhere. When I write indoors I’m usually in the living room and have music playing in the background.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??
Like anything, there are good and bad aspects to social media, but I can live without most of it. I’m not addicted in the sense that I “have” to check Facebook or Twitter several times a day. I usually go on there a few times a week, see what’s new, post something to my friends, or promote my books, and move on. I don’t feel the need to share every moment of my life on social media platforms.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
The best advice I can give to any writer (regardless if he or she is writing horror, romance, or mystery) is the same: keep writing. Writing is a tough and solitary business. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to sit down every day and write something. You have to push through the times when you don’t want to write or revise a story. You have to pick yourself up and keep going when you get a rejection. You have to put in the hard work to create the best plot, characters, and stories you can. But the more you write, the easier it gets.

I strongly recommend aspiring authors take writing classes, either in person or online. They’re an excellent way to learn the craft of storytelling and get feedback from other writers. In 2018, I compiled my advice into an online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners. The course is based on my experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops.

It offers practical advice on how to create a story: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. Each lesson contains helpful tips all writers can use, plus fun writing exercises. The course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

What are your latest releases?
My historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense. Here are the book blurb and links:

coverRedemption from a Dark Past

Lord Sebestyen Adrik has an unsavory reputation as a madman, murderer… and worse. Lonely and searching for love, he seeks the companionship of local young women, hoping one of them will ease his torment and bring him the happiness he longs for. Katarina is his last chance—but will she fear him like all the others? Or is she the one who can lift his curse?

Desperate to avoid a forced marriage, Katarina agrees to become Lord Adrik’s latest companion, despite the rumors she has heard about him. She discovers the “Dark Lord’s” secret past and realizes he’s not the monster everyone thinks he is.

As their love blossoms, she renews his passion for life—yet they cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

When a meeting of the nobility goes horribly wrong, Sebestyen’s world unravels, and his enemies plot to destroy him. As all seems lost, a mysterious stranger arrives at the castle. Sebestyen must decide if he is a friend or a foe…and if he can find redemption in his love for Katarina, or lose her and everything else that he holds dear.

Order Redemption from a Dark Past here:

Amazon

Link to all other platforms

In January 2019 I released the second half of my flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Cupid’s Schemes – Volume 1Cupid's Scheme 1 cover

A Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 16 flash fiction vignettes, Cupid’s arrow hits the mark and ignites a spark between two strangers—whether or not they’re looking for romance. Their unusual meetings lead to new beginnings and new chances at love.

Sweet stories of couples falling under Cupid’s spell include:

* a Medieval knight courting a pretty lady
* two neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a dehydrated mermaid rescued by a handsome stranger

Order your copy here:

Amazon

All other platforms

 

Cupid's Scemes 2 coverAnd don’t miss Cupid’s Schemes – Volume 2

Another Collection of Sweet Romances

In these 12 mini-romances…

* a photographer falls for a sexy cowboy in a supposedly abandoned ghost town
* new neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a long-lost love returns in an unexpected setting

Order Cupid’s Schemes: Volume 2 here:

Amazon

All other platforms

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What’s coming up in 2019 for you?
Look for a non-fiction romance guide, more horror stories, and I’ll be re-releasing all three of my historical romances previously published by Medallion Press. If that isn’t enough, I’m also working on a few brand new romances. Stay tuned to my blog and my social media pages for updates and release info.

Thanks again for inviting me to your site. I hope everyone enjoyed this peek inside a writer’s mind. I welcome comments and questions from readers and other authors. Contact me via my site, blog, or social media pages.

Happy Reading… and Writing!

Kelli A. Wilkins

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Kelli A WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2019 Kelli released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

She also authored her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page and Twitter.

Visit her website and blog to learn more about all of her writings.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here’s a full list of where you can find Kelli on the web.

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

FREE READS: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelliwilkins2/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelli-a-wilkins

Books2Read: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins

iStock: https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Teachable Online Writing Course: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

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If you’d like to be featured on Tuesday Talk with…, contact me here.

Tuesday Talk with… author Taylor Love

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Taylor LoveTaylor Love is a new author who calls Michigan her home. An avid reader since she was a young girl, she gained a love of writing as well. She loves to read a variety of genres and hopes over time to expand her writing among several of them. She is a lover of learning a “little bit” about many things. She hopes her imagination brings her readers a few hours of enjoyment!

My goal is to tell interesting contemporary, realistic (to a degree who doesn’t love a little “make believe”) and modern romance stories for African American’s around the world.

Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Taylor!

You’re from my adopted home-state, Michigan. Are you a native Michigander?

I am. I was born and grew up in Southwest Michigan and moved to Southeast Michigan for college and stayed!

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

I have two cats that I show on my various Social Media from time to time. Ruby & Reghan, I call them my R&R.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I am self-published finally!! I have no wish to go traditional for publishing. However, I’m open to agents to shop my books around for movies and network Series etc.

I feel the same way. People are always in shock when I say I don’t send out queries.

How long have you been a writer?

Well, let’s see I won a young Authors award when I was in kindergarten. After I started writing poetry and stories in about the 8th grade and through college. Started fanfiction series that were as long as several novels after college and continued that for more than a decade. I finally became an Author Jan 2018.

Alright! Another fanfic writer. I enjoyed by fanfic days too!

Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?

My goal is to be a full time writer. It’s what I’ve been missing forever–to be happy with a career choice.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

Well I’m early in my writing career but I already have almost 30 books titled and bare outlines for them. They range from Romance, Erotica, Horror, Suspense, Drama, Urban and probably a few more categories. Right now I’m focused on my Contemporary Romance, but have already branched out into Erotic Romance with my Shorts.

How would you describe your current writing?

With my Contemporary Romance, my goal is to write stories mainly with both MC’s being African American, and showing positive, modern, adult, sexy love stories. My books focus on the building of a new, healthy relationships of the two, the romance of it all and how to “overall” deal with problems in a low drama and mature way. I want to show AA women and AA men what positive relationships can look like and that WE can have and deserve ROMANTIC tales in our books and real life. I also aim to make using condoms a normal practice of sex in romances, as they need to be in real life for all women and men.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Favorite author?

1-Romance (variety of sub-genres) 2-Horror and 3-Crime/Murder.  Fav author is Stephen King due to The Talisman being my all-time favorite book. I’ve been an avid reader of a wide range of genres since I was ten years old. That includes Shakespeare, King, Nora Roberts, Dean Knootz, James Patterson, as well as the more usually kid series. Like Hardy Boys (wasn’t that found of Nancy Drew) Babysitters Club etc.  I LOVED Christopher Pike, he does not get enough credit and I would love to see his stuff turned into great teen/young adult paranormal/suspense movies.

What are you reading now?

About to start Baby Teeth with a friend and just finished Voices of Christmas: A Collection.

 Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??

Since I’ve become an author I’m starting to move towards “can live without it” or wishing I could. It’s such a time waster and I see that now as I’m not getting writing done. Yet it’s hard to untrain yourself from it. I still wake up looking at the sites before I even leave bed.

You have a new release, tell us about it. Who’s your favorite character?

I do! Feb 22, 2019 marked the release of my third full novel. The beginning of my 2nd Trilogy called Vacation Love Series. “Crashing in On Love”.  My favorite character is Boa. LOL. And folks will just have to read to see who that is.

Please share an excerpt with us!

EXCERPT

He was funny and interesting so that was an extra benefit too. Telling amusing stories when they were in groups, being easy going and quick to smile. Then again who wouldn’t with those perfect teeth? She really wanted to ask him who his dentist was. When that Alice in wonderland thought ran through her head she cut off the drinks. It was about an hour after that when she pulled him to the side, announcing she was about to turn in for the night.

“Awe, come on. It’s only going on eleven!” Ben said his arm around her shoulders.

“I know but I’m not as young as I look.”

“Since you brought it up…how old are you?” Ben had wanted to ask all evening. With black women you never knew, they aged slowly like fine wine. While he knew she was grown enough, he really had enjoyed her company and wanted to know more about her.

“I’m none of your business old. Now you know better than to ask a lady’s age.” Tamara said giving him the side-eye while grinning.

“Hey can’t blame a man for trying. Whatever age you are, you are fine.”

“I guess not and thank you. I’m just ready to turn in, it was a long day and all that partying was unexpected.”

She didn’t mention she had to fly out tomorrow at seven am, which meant she needed to leave the around four-thirty. None of that was his business either.CIOL teaser

“Fine, let me walk you back to your room.”

“Are you staying at this resort too?”

“Yeah.” Ben asked a little confused. “What did you think? That I not only crashed a wedding but a whole resort?”

“Don’t look at me like it’s impossible. I’m sure folks do it. Plus a lot of these places have sister resorts or sometimes even day passes for outside folks. Not to mention one small crime often leads to bigger ones.” She teased.

He laughed shaking his head. “Come on, a little trespassing isn’t like doing drugs. It’s not a gateway crime.”

They were slowly walking up the beach and towards the path that led back to the buildings.

Tamara shrugged. “I beg to differ. Trespassing leads to voyeurism. Voyeurism leads to breaking and entering, which leads to theft or kidnapping.”

“Yeah…okay. What do you do for a living again? Are you a cop?”

“I didn’t say. And no I’m not a cop, I’m a lawyer.”

“Ahh, okay makes sense. Let me guess a criminal lawyer.” Ben lightly twirled a lock of her long straight hair around his finger.

Smiling Tamara just shook her head. When she told men what she did for a living they immediately thought she was jaded. They were right of course, but she was enjoying their energy and didn’t want to ruin it. With that in mind she deflected his question with one of her own.

“Maybe you’re the cop? You ask a lot of questions.”

“Can’t a guy be curious? You are a beautiful mysterious woman.”

“Laying it on thick don’t you think?” They had made it to one of the many pathways that lead through the buildings to reach the rooms.

“Nope.” He stopped them briefly so they could face each other. “Tell me counselor which part was a lie? That you’re mysterious or that you’re beautiful?”

Tamara actually found her cheeks heating, and was thankful for the darkness. It had been a long time since a man looked at her so intently and complimented her so sincerely.

“Well, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess you right on both points.”

Ben didn’t respond. Figuring now was his chance, he leaned forward. Going for the kiss he’d wanted to take all night. Damned if a loud group of friends didn’t come around the corner just then.  He saw her eyes widen to alertness and knew the moment was over.

Clearly his throat he nudged her into a walk again, trailing much more slowly behind the interrupting group.  They walked pass a pool area and into another hall when he realized they were at his door.

“This is actually my room right here.”

“Oh.” Tamara didn’t know what else to say. She was still reeling from that “almost” kiss. What had she been thinking? She didn’t know this man! Yet she had been more than ready to welcome his lips on hers.

“I can still walk you to your room or at least your building.” Ben said interrupting her thoughts.

“That would be silly.” She’d never planned to let him get to her building, much less her room. “Why can’t it be that I ended up walking you to your door?” Tamara challenged.

Ben held up his hands in surrender. “Hey that’s fine by me, I’m an enlightened man.” He smiled easily. “Thank you for a wonderful evening and making sure I got safely to my home.”

She couldn’t hold in a giggle but quickly got it together and played her role. “You are very welcome, it was a pleasure to spend time with you too. I enjoyed myself. Take care.” She went to leave when his next comment stopped her.

“Hey wait a minute. I feel cheated. Where’s my end of the night kiss?”

Tamara turned back, half amused and half annoyed he’d turned her own escape plan against her. The man did look good and sexy, standing by his door patiently waiting, his thick lips curved into a hopeful smile. She had wanted to see what he tasted like. It would be one tiny kiss to cap off her vacation. Deciding that it wouldn’t hurt anything she stepped back towards him.

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NICE!

What’s your next project or release?

Next project is the conclusion of my 1st Trilogy (SO EXCITED)! My 3rd and last book in the Instant Chemistry Series that launched my Author Career! Fingers crossed for April 2019.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Yes, stop worrying about what others do (so much). Learn, listen and do basics, but don’t be afraid to create and be NOT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE. That goes from your writing style, subject etc. The best books are those that many in power (another reason I love Indie) said no one would buy, it didn’t fit the genre or it was a sensitive niche topic. BE YOU. We don’t need more authors writing the same things.

Great advice, Taylor! Thanks for stopping by and we wish you much success with your new release!

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Taylor’s newest book, Crashing in On Love (Vacation Love Series), released last week! D’l your copy today!

CIOL cover

After crashing a wedding in Jamaica can two strangers find love?

Tamara Reed spends her days seeing the worst that love has to offer as a divorce lawyer. Yet she still finds herself drawn to weddings and a secret part of her heart still believes in love. Crashing a wedding while on a much needed vacation, finds her meeting a tempting man. He not only catches her attention but sets her blood on fire. After an intense night with him, she sneaks home to forget the vacation fling. That’s easier said than done, as memories keep her up at night and her vacation boo tracks her down. Is she ready to take a chance on love?

Benjamin Thompson went on vacation for a little work and a lot of relaxation. Who knew when he took a detour to watch a random wedding he’d get a chance to “play” as well. The woman he meets takes his breath away and knocks his socks off in the sheets. Barely exchanging any info before having the wildest sex of his life, he wakes up to find his sexy siren gone. Hooked after one taste, he tracks Tamara down only to find that she wants to keep their passionate night a onetime deal. As a successful Realtor, he’s accustomed to hard sells. But he’s determined to close this deal no matter what it takes.

Purchase Link

books2read.com/CInOnLove  

Also by Taylor Love

ins-two-books

Purchase Links

books2read.com/Running-Into-You

books2read.com/Not-My-Type

Short Erotic Romance Reads – 99¢

Amazon                                                                  Amazon

KINDLE UNLIMITED

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Author Links

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Tuesday Talk with… author Audrey Davis

 

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Audrey DavisWelcome, Audrey! Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today!

You’re from the other side of the pond but you live in Switzerland?

Thanks for having me, Felicia! Yes, we moved here in 2002 due to my husband’s job. Prior to that, we lived in Buckinghamshire, England for many years. We have two sons, born in Singapore and Sydney, Australia respectively. And I’m originally from Scotland but worked in London for a while, so we have moved around a fair bit.

Miss anything about the UK?

There are so many things I miss about the UK. Being able to speak English all the time (I fumble through in French here); the fantastic choice of food and places to go/see; friends and family – of course! – and generally the feeling of being ‘home’. Switzerland is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, but my heart still yearns for Scotland. Luckily, our eldest son lives in Edinburgh, so I get to visit fairly often, and the youngest is in Liverpool and also appreciates mum popping over. And I’m sure that’s nothing to do with being taken shopping and to nice restaurants …

 Ever travel to the U.S.?

Many times! My head is like a sieve these days (an inevitable consequence of getting old), so I can barely recall what I had for dinner last night, never mind the places I’ve visited! I’ll probably miss a couple, but we’ve been to Florida, Texas, New York, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona. I adored Sedona, especially the memorable Pink Jeep ride.

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

 Yes, married for a very long time and with two boys in their twenties. No pets, just a mildly annoying husband (although he does put up with my anti-social author behaviour and tendency to have my nose stuck in a book).

 Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

Indie and proud! If you’d told me that  less than two years ago I’d write a 300 page book, have it edited, format it and upload it on Amazon for sale I’d have called for the men in white coats to take you away. Now, I’m well into writing book three (not including a short novella I produced as a prequel to my first novel). I am tentatively approaching publishers, but despite some strong feedback I won’t be doing a happy dance just yet.

 How long have you been a writer?

All my adult life. I trained as a journalist in Scotland, and worked for various provincial newspapers and a video magazine in London (no giggling at the back, I wrote on a typewriter. Totally ancient, that’s me).

 How long did it take you to write your first book?

To be honest, I’m not sure. It developed from an online Writing Fiction course I took over a couple of months. The seed of an idea was already there, but positive feedback from the course persuaded me to develop it into a novel. It probably took something like six months, including finding a professional editor/proof reader and a cover designer.

Pantser or Plotter?

Sadly, a pantser. I have a shocking slapdash approach, writing chapters out of sequence and letting my naughty characters take me places I hadn’t even thought of. For my current book, I’ve had to print out a calendar, figure out the chronology and fill in a crazy number of plot holes. I hereby solemnly declare that – in future – I will try to be more of a plotter.

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

 Yes. I gave it a go last November. I reached 30K+ words so, technically failed, but every word is a step closer to those magical words: THE END

 You know I’m a HUGE fan of Hattie Hastings. How did that story come about?

 I know you are! When I read your reviews of the series (originally written as a novella trilogy) I was thrilled and delighted at your reaction. How did it come about? The title just popped into my head one day. From there, I had a vague idea of what the story would be but supporting characters only emerged when I started writing. That’s one of the most exhilarating – and terrifying – parts of the process. Sometimes I wonder about the voices in my head …

HH trilogy

 What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

So far, I’ve only written romantic comedy, although I always include ‘darker’ topics. After all, Hattie Hastings deals with death in more ways than one. I would love to write a twisty, psychological thriller but I’m not sure I have it in me. My default setting is to inject humour into everything, which might not work too well with a crazed serial killer!

 What’s your favorite genre to read?

I love romantic comedy – what a surprise – but I’m also a sucker for twisted thrillers, particularly if they keep me guessing right to the end.

What are you reading now?

 The Abattoir of Dreams by Mark Tilbury. It certainly ticks all the dark, twisted, ‘where is this going?’ boxes.

 Favorite beverage to read with?

 A cup of coffee (make that several cups) during the day, a glass of wine (or two) at night.

 Where do you get the most writing done?

 For a long time, I worked in my little office space downstairs. More recently, my preferred writing spot is at the kitchen table. Nice and cosy, with a radiator by my leg and easy access to the kettle and corkscrew. In the summer months, I like to sit outside and enjoy the view over the Alps. Although I tend to drift off and achieve very little.

AD at work

 Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

A bit addicted. Having grown my Twitter following from four to approaching 3.5K, I’m always checking in and get ridiculously excited when people ‘like’ my comments, share something I’ve written or follow me. Especially pretty well-known authors, although I do wonder why! I have a dedicated FB author page too, and a new author website which is very much a work in progress …

 Where do you see yourself in five years with regards to your writing?

Haven’t a clue! Hopefully with a few more books to my name, perhaps a publishing deal (a girl can dream) and several kilos lighter. Yes, I know that’s nothing to do with writing, but sitting on my butt for hours on end doesn’t help my quest to slim down a bit.

What’s your next project or release?

I’m working on another standalone novel. It’s romantic comedy again, a bit ‘out there’ like Hattie, but hopefully people will enjoy it. There’s nothing wrong with a slice of escapism, served with generous dollops of laughter and a few weepy moments.

EXCERPT – Untitled WIP (Work in progress)

A group of girls in their early twenties burst through the door, giggling and nudging each other. Despite the bitter cold, they were dressed as if going to an Ibiza nightclub. Tight, sleeveless dresses and sporting more fake tan than a Strictly Come Dancing contestant. Jinnie couldn’t help noticing one had miscalculated the tan application from the calves down, her stiletto-clad feet snowy white.

‘Hiya, Ed,’ smouldered one of the girls, flicking her long, blonde hair away from her face. ‘Didn’t know you were in town, otherwise I’d have come in sooner.’

‘How’s your mum?’ enquired another, a wodge of pink gum visible as she chewed with open-mouthed fervour.

‘She’s not too bad, Kylie,’ Ed replied. ‘Good days and bad days. Now, what can I get you ladies?’

As they flicked through the drinks list, Ed whispered to Jinnie: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll deal with these. You sort out those two’ – a couple of men in paint-splattered overalls were at the bar – ‘and I’ll fix the complicated stuff.’

Taking their orders, two pints of Belhaven, Jinnie angled the glasses and began to pour. As she did, a strange tingling feeling started at her toes and rose rapidly to her fingers. The sensation grew, as if an electric current was passing through her entire body. Before she knew what was happening, Jinnie thrust the pints at the men and nudged a startled Ed aside.

‘I’ve got this,’ she declared, reaching for a couple of cocktail shakers. ‘OK, two Zombies, a Sex On The Beach and a White Russian coming up.’

Like a human whirlwind, Jinnie spun around and measured out the ingredients. Peach schnapps, vodka, cranberry and orange juice. She flipped a bottle in the air, performed a twirl, and caught it behind her back. Oblivious to the gasps around her, Jinnie filled a shaker and agitated it at hyper speed. On to the next one. Rum, brandy, more juice and a dash of Grenadine. Swivelling her hips in time to an imaginary beat, she shook and shook some more. Grab a glass, up it goes, neatly caught in one hand. Drinks poured, on to the next one. Bailey’s, vodka and – dammit – where was the cream?

‘Jinnie, stop. Just, please … stop.’ Ed placed a hand on her arm, his other holding an opened carton of cream. She lunged for it, but he moved it out of reach. As she scowled at him, the tingling feeling began to fade. At the same time, a smattering of applause rang out around the bar.

‘It’s bloody Tom Cruise in a skirt!’ one voice called out. ‘Woo, hoo, darlin’. You available for private parties?’ shouted another. Jinnie’s vision swam for a few seconds, and she felt her legs give way. In a flash, Ed wrapped a steadying arm around her shoulder and walked her around the bar and on to a stool. Jinnie breathed deeply, her nose pressed into Ed’s denim shirt. He smelled of something warm and spicy, with an undernote of cedarwood. Nice. Was it his deodorant or aftershave. She leaned in closer and—

~~~

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Don’t let anyone, particularly yourself, stand in the way of your dream. Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint (unless you’re one of those people who effortlessly produce several books a year. How??!!) Just write when you can, keep copious notes, and hook up with like-minded people. The writing community on Twitter is amazing, and there is a ton of support on FB too.

Many thanks, Audrey! Give my best to Hattie… and Gary!

~~~

EXCERPT from The Haunting of Hattie Hastings:

Hattie dragged herself upstairs. She needed a shower, otherwise she’d be reduced to spraying herself with Febreze. Her stomach growled, her head ached and it was still only five o’clock in the evening. When was it considered reasonable to go to bed? Would eight o’clock be too early? That was three long hours away. She could take a bath instead, but that involved far too much time and effort.

As she waited for the shower water to heat up, Hattie stripped off and tossed her clothes on the bedroom floor. Seated at the dressing table, she fiddled with the annoying clasp of her necklace. Unable to undo it, she clipped her hair up, and felt a peculiar warm sensation on the back of her neck. Almost as if someone was breathing inches behind her. What the … ? Hattie swivelled around but, of course, there was no one there. Get a grip, woman!

Ten minutes later, Hattie felt fresher and no longer likely to be mistaken for a down-and-out. She dressed in her favourite pyjamas – or passion killers, as Gary had dubbed them – and headed downstairs.  She still had little appetite, but a drop of liquor might help ease the path to sleep.

Back in the lounge, Hattie surveyed the drinks cabinet. There were half-bottles of strange liqueurs they’d picked up on their holidays. What was cachaça when it was at home? She squinted at the label. Brazil. They’d definitely never been there. Tanqueray gin. No idea where that originated from, but if it got you tanked … She poured herself a generous measure and topped it up with some tonic that was a year past its sell-by date. Flatter than Keira Knightley’s chest but it did the job.

Taking a swig, Hattie wished again that she was more of a hardened drinker. A couple of these and she’d be lights out and nobody home. Admittedly, that was the effect she was going for, but the ability to chug a few more might help to numb the pain for longer.

As the gin sneaked its way around her bloodstream, Hattie swayed around the room. If Gary had been here – if Gary had been here during a party – there would be glasses everywhere. His glasses, to be precise. He’d been notorious for ‘parking’ his drink somewhere, forgetting where it was and pouring himself a new one. Hattie had tried everything, from dangly glass markers to indelible ink pens, to identify which drink belonged to whom, but Gary always left a trail of semi-supped glasses in his wake.

Suddenly, Hattie felt a peculiar sense of being watched. Had Johnny come home unexpectedly? No, she hadn’t heard the front door opening and closing. In any case, he’d have at least spoken to her before heading to his room. Her sleep-deprived and grief-addled brain was playing tricks with her, that was all.

Reaching the CD player, Hattie considered putting on some Fleetwood Mac. She could channel her inner Stevie Nicks and flap around a bit. All she needed was some dry shampoo to oomph her curls and a slightly gothic outfit. Nope, Pokémon pyjamas were not hitting the mark. She started rifling through the CD collection then … hang on … where had that glass come from?  Hattie looked in disbelief at what appeared to be a shot of whisky topped up with water. Balanced slightly precariously on one of her precious Steps CDs, like it was a coaster. She nudged it nervously aside with her finger. A quick sniff confirmed her suspicions. It was whisky. One of Gary’s favourites. Hattie would rather gargle bleach than touch the Scottish stuff. Eurgh! Who ever thought that a combination of smelly socks with a hint of plant compost would make a best-selling drink? Well, millions of people clearly did but …

HH cover

getbook.at/HattieHastings

A ghostly and gloriously witty romantic comedy – PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS A NOVELLA TRILOGY
Some people just won’t take death lying down …

Hattie Hastings is happily married to lifelong sweetheart Gary, until a terrible tragedy leaves her widowed and heartbroken. Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate moments.
As Hattie tries to convince others – including brother Jack, and best friend Cat – that Gary has returned, he finds himself under the care of spirit guide Clarence, and also befriends another inhabitant of the place called The Present.
Meanwhile, Hattie’s mum Rachel is facing a daunting battle, and Cat’s ex-husband Stewart is determined to prove he deserves a second chance.
Throw in a tentative spot of dating for Hattie and you have all the ingredients for a book that’s been described as ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’ and ‘a great feel-good read.’

‘There is nothing ordinary with this book. It is a fabulous blend of fun and sadness. One minute I was smiling and the next I had to put my Kindle down as I couldn’t see past the tears in my eyes.’
Sarah Hardy, Top 500 Amazon reviewer

‘Absolutely loved this! Funny down-to-earth characters, great pace and flawless flowing writing style.’
Amazon Reviewer

The author has created some very strong characters that made it very easy to care what happened to them. It is difficult to write about the topics of death, loss and trust, without either being fluffy or morbid. The author did this and so much more.’
Amazon Reviewer

~~~

Other books by Audrey Davis

A Clean Sweep

(debut novel)

A Clean Sweep cover

getbook.at/AudreyDavis

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Finalist – 2017 McGrath House Independent Author Awards

A laugh-out-loud tale of love, lies and second chances.
Love comes around when you least expect it. Fifty-something widow Emily isn’t expecting romance. Nor is she expecting a hunky twenty-something chimney sweep on her doorstep.
Daughter Tabitha knows something isn’t quite right with her relationship, while her boss – Abba-loving Meryl – thinks she’s found the real deal. Are they both right, or pursuing Mr Wrong?
Emily’s sister, Celeste, has the perfect marriage … or does she? Can a fitness tracker lead her down the path to happiness or heartbreak?
Susan is single, overweight and resigned to a life of loneliness. There was the one who got away but you don’t get another try, do you?
Prepare for a rollercoaster ride of emotions in a book that will grab your heart, make you smile and wish you had a chimney to sweep.

~~~

A Clean Break coverA marriage in tatters. An affair that threatens to blow their world apart. Meet Emily and Jim and discover their lives in the poignant and thought-provoking prequel to A Clean Sweep.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

99c/99p

 

 

~~~

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between use, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.

It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an on line Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Parts Two and Three were published in early/mid 2018.

Twitter     Facebook     Website

 

Tuesday Talk with… author Ann Harrison-Barnes

Ann HB banner

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Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Ann!

You’re quite welcome, I’m excited to be here.

Where are you from?

I am from Rochelle, GA.

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

To be honest, I’m separated from my husband after being verbally and emotionally abused for the second time. I have one daughter from the marriage with my first husband, no pets, though I did have a guide dog several years ago.

I can’t imagine what that was like for you, but I admire and applaud your courage.

Are family and friends supportive of your writing?

Somewhat, though I get more support from my writing friends.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I am self-published after working with a print on demand publisher, who didn’t pan out.

Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?

I am a full-time writer, both as an author, marketing my own work and as a professional freelance writer.

How long have you been a writer?

All Total, I’ve been a writer for over 8 years.

How long did it take you to write your first book?

A year and a half.

What’s the easiest part of storytelling for you? The most difficult?

The easiest part of storytelling for me is the part when I can get in my zone and let the words flow. The hardest part is when I get ready to get into that zone and my muse decides to bail out on me. LOL

Have you held or attended any book signings for your work?

Yes, I had a book signing in Atlanta on October 26th.

Pantser or Plotter?

A little in between, I plot a little, then I pants a bit and finally, I go back and layer more into the parts of the story I’ve already written. Some people call this onioning.

Introvert or Extrovert?

Somewhat of an introvert. I’m private when it comes to releasing my emotions, Yet, when I’m around family or talking with friends, I’ll gladly have a conversation.

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

Yes, I have taken it every year since 2014. Although I won once, I still love the thrill of attempting to write 50k in 30 days and talking to other writers.

Do you belong to any writing or critique groups?

I do, I am a member of Behind Our Eyes, the organization for writers with disabilities. I am also on several writing and author groups on Facebook.

Finish the sentence, “Some days I hate writing because ____________.”

Some days I hate writing, because I don’t know what to write.

I’m not yet familiar with your work, Ann, what’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

I write in more than one genre. I have infused three of my books with Christian fiction, mystery and suspense, and I’ve even thrown in a little romance when the characters lead me down that path. I have published a children’s book with adventure and mystery as well.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I love Christian fiction, cozy mystery, some memoirs and romantic suspense.

What are you reading now?

I’m in the middle of a Christian romance called Finding Joy and I’m listening to an audio book called The Christmas Star.

Favorite beverage to read with?

Coffee or Peppermint Tea.

Where do you get the most writing done?

I get the most writing done for now, sitting at the table in my parents’ camper. However, writing isn’t just sitting down at the computer and typing on the keyboard. I also get most of my brainstorming done out on the front porch when it’s warm outside.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

Unfortunately, no.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I don’t think as a writer I could totally live without social media, but I am more addicted to blogging than Facebook or Twitter.

If you could change one thing in your writing journey thus far, what would it be?

Trying not to be so comma happy. LOL! I find that when I write, I like to place commas everywhere and make longer sentences than usual. However, when I edit, those commas come out and I write short sentences.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character?

There are quite a few sources of inspiration for A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery. First of all, I was inspired by the dreams I had of climbing after getting separated from my first husband and working on getting my divorce. The second is a song called A Good Rain by Dan Seals (written by Charlie Black and Jenny Yates).

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

This song was the inspiration for the following excerpt, from a scene in Chapter nine, where Jim Peabody tells Becca Martin about how he lost his farm.

EXCERPT

“Well howdy their Bill, I ain’t seen you in a coon’s age. Jim Peabody, where in tar nation have you been and what took you so long to get back. It’s long past supper time! I was about to come out lookin’ for you.”

“He’s all right, Miss Mary. I found him stuck in a snow drift drowning’ his sorrows in the snow. Now don’t you worry your pretty head none, I brought him home in one piece.” Bill guided Jim to the front door.

“Well I’m glad he’s home safe. I kept supper hot for ya. You go in, get your coat off and sit by the fire. I’ll get your supper in a minute. Hey Bill, why don’t you come in for a bite to eat and a hot cup of coffee?”

“I’d love to Miss Mary, but I got to head on to the house for the misses will have supper waitin’ for me too.” Bill climbed back onto his snow plow.

Well, you tell Miss Lola I said hello and I want her fried apple pie recipe.”

“I sure will do it. You all have a good night, ya hear?” Bill pulled away from the house as Mary closed the door behind her.

The next few days passed in a haze for Jim Peabody as snow continued to cover the land. On Friday, the banker swooshed up the driveway in his souped-up snowmobile. “Howdy Jim, I am here to collect the property taxes on your land.”

“Here’s $200 of it. I have tried to ask for jobs, sell the land or anything to get the rest but nothing doin’ in this snow.” Jim sagged against the door frame. “Ya might as well come in out of the cold.”

The banker stepped inside the house. “You were supposed to have the money by today. Not next spring, today Peabody.

“Now listen here Mr. Hotshot banker, you try making money off of land that got hit by the drought and is now snowed under til God only knows when and then tell me that you can get blood out of a dried-up turnip. Ain’t you got any heart man?”

“I don’t need blood, just the money you owe me. Ya hear?”

“Now wait just a minute young man, my husband like to froze to death getting stuck in a snow drift a few days ago from goin’ out and looking for any type of work to do just to keep a roof over our heads.” Connor never treated us like no accounts. We worked hard to get where we are today and I don’t appreciate your attitude, Mr. Billings.”

“I don’t give a rip what your husband did or didn’t do young lady. I own this branch of the Mid-South Bank and I aim to get every penny we’re owed from this and other pieces of land in these parts. I’ve looked at Connor’s records when my firm bought this bank and I see now just why the bank couldn’t earn any money, because the previous owner took food and other goods produced by you farmers instead of cold hard cash. I intend to make this bank earn a profit.”

“Well mister big shot, you’ll lose customers and your branch will shut down in a heartbeat because around here, people don’t have all that profit you keep talkin’ about.” Jim stamped his foot in anger.

“You, young man, need to watch your mouth. I’m sure your mama raised you better’n to talk to upstanding folks like us in that manner. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” Mary clenched her fists at her sides.

“Ma’am, we’re not talking about my mother. We’re talking about my money that your husband owes on this farm. You have 24 hours to come up with the other 500 dollars to pay off the debt you owe or you can pack up your stuff and get out. That’s the bottom line, in a nutshell.” The banker stormed out the door and drove away in his fancy snowmobile.

My favorite character is Becca Martin, because I felt as if she pulled me into her story. At times I saw the scenes playing out in my head like a movie, and at other times, she started taking her journey and beckoning me to follow her.

What’s your next project or release?

I have two projects in the works. One is called Journey to the Mountaintop, which is the sequel to A Journey of Faith. The other is called The Accessibility of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing: Uploading Your Manuscript in Four Simple Steps. This book was written to help aspiring authors with and without visual impairments self-publish their own books after getting them edited, formatted and getting covers made for them.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

As a matter of fact, I do. I have quite a bit, but to keep it short, I would like to advise aspiring authors to join writing or critique groups either on a local level or on line. Also, I don’t care what you write, but write and write often, even if you don’t write every day. Writing as often as you can will inevitably help you improve your craft.

Thank you, Ann! Much success to you!

Thanks for having me.

Look for Ann around the Internet!

Website   Electric Eclectic Books Website    Electric Eclectic Books  

Facebook   Twitter   Amazon Author Page

~~~

(Ann is also published as Ann Harrison and Ann Barnes)

Ann’s latest release is A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery.

A Journey of Faith cover

Twenty-eight year old Becca Martin witnessed a tragic accident at the age of twelve. Sixteen years later, she embarks upon a journey that she believes has somehow been chosen for her by God. During this journey, she hears a voice in the back of her mind crying, God help me!, as memories she didn’t understand as a child begin to resurface in her nightmares and during the journey itself. Was this tragedy a freak accident, or is there more to the incident that meets the eye? Can Becca conquer her fear of mountain climbing while she embarks upon this journey?

The owner of Sweet Water State Park calls Zac Johnson and Jason Miller of the Tensiltown Police to investigate various incidents out on the bike and foot paths. During their investigation, Jason meets Becca along her journey and they both feel strongly drawn to each other. She longs to help the police of this small village investigate these incidents, but in order to do so, she must face her fear of climbing the rocks at Sweet Water Park, while caring for her ailing aunt and helping her uncle to run the diner.

Jason vows to stay close beside her every step of the way, but can she fully trust him and the girl in the white robe that seems to pop up out of nowhere when trouble arises? Who is the real bad guy? How does God reveal what happened on that unforgettable day on the rocks with her family? Does the memory of the incident help the police solve this rock climbing mystery? Find out more as the author pulls you into the first novel in her spine-tingling, heart-warming Stepping Stones mystery series.

Amazon

Other books by Ann

Inner Vision cover

 

Inner Vision: An Electric Eclectic Book

Amazon

 

 

Stories Outside the Box cover

 

Stories Outside the Box

Amazon

 

 

Maggie's Gravy Train cover

Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book

Amazon

 

 

Ann is also included in the following anthologies:

Awethology Light cover

Awethology Light

Amazon

 

 

 

December Awethology cover

 

The December Awethology light volume

Amazon

 

 

Gems cover

 

Gems of Strength

Amazon

 

 

~~~

Ann’s Interviews

Noreen Lace  Campbell’s World  PBS Blog   Books & Motivation  Branco Events

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Tuesday Talk with… author Empi Baryeh

Tuesday Talk E. Baryeh

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E. BaryehWelcome to Nesie’s Place, Empi!

Thanks for inviting me, Felicia. I’m thrilled to be here and looking forward to meeting your readers.

Where are you from?

I’m from Ghana, West Africa, although I call myself a citizen of the world, because I’ve visited or  lived in at least 15 countries.

You’re a wife and mom, too. How do you balance out your time?

To be honest, I don’t think I have struck a balance yet. Luckily, I’ve always been a night owl, so once my kids go to bed, I’m able to eke out a couple of hours to write before heading to bed myself. I also use my phone on my commute and during breaks. I’ve even popped in my earphones and recorded my thoughts and new scenes while driving.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

Hybrid. I have four published books at the moment and three are traditionally published, while I chose to self-publish Forest Girl. I tried my hands at self-publishing with Forest Girl because I felt it didn’t fall neatly into any romance genre and would probably not get picked up by a traditional publisher. I’ve learnt invaluable lessons about the publishing process, which has made me appreciate the contribution of editors and publishers to our work as writers. Kudos to them!

How long have you been a writer?

I started writing at the age of 13 when I stumbled upon a YA story my sister had started but never completed. That was nearly thirty years ago! (I feel so old)

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first published novel was Most Eligible Bachelor, whose first draft I wrote in a record 6 – 8 weeks in response to a contest by Harlequin. This is the fastest I’ve ever completed a full-length novel. It didn’t make the cut, but I had completed novel, which (after a few re-writes) was later published by Evernight!

The first book I actually completed was Forest Girl, which I wrote in high school (yep). I shelved it for many years, which was a good thing, because when I returned to it, I’d evolved as a writer and wanted the story to reflect this. The plot didn’t change, but the story went under the editor’s knife to fit my current writing style and skill as well as my reading audience. So over twenty years in the making!

I’ve had the pleasure of reading two of your books, Forest Girl and His Inherited Princess  and love the African settings and your attention to detail. Have you run into any culture clash with U.S. readers?

First of all, thank you for choosing to read Forest Girl and His Inherited Princess. I haven’t really had any culture clash with US readers. Like you, many of my (I’ll expand it to) non-African readers have expressed their love for the African settings and the culture. I believe some readers choose my books for the cultural adventure the stories provide in addition to the romance. And hot African heroes, of course. 🙂

Pantser or Plotter?

Pantser, for sure. Once I have a story idea, I start writing. I plan certain things, which might make me seem like a plotter. The only time I tried plotting was with His Inherited Princess. I had the story idea, and decided to outline the story before starting. Let’s just say the story turned out very different from the outline. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again anytime soon. (*nervous laugh*)

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

Yes, I’ve NaNo-ed a couple of times, but I’ve never managed to do fifty thousand words in one month. My most successful year was 2017 when I consistently wrote daily for the entire month. It came after a long break from writing, so for me, that was a win. I used it to complete a WIP, which was picked up by Black Opal Books and will be out in Spring 2019!

The biggest win, though, finding ways of creating opportunities (time-wise) to write. This has helped me beyond NaNoWriMo.

Do you belong to any special writing or critique groups?

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of West Africa, a support group for writers of West African origin and/or authors who write romance fiction set in Africa. Aside from that, I have writer friends with who serve as my critique partners and vice versa.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

Currently, I write sweet and sensual contemporary romance set in Africa and with at least one African MC. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing some romantic suspense as well as inspirational romance. I also have some WIPs that are more of general Women’s fiction than romance.

Do you have a favorite book or character in your published works?

That’s a tough one. I always fall in love with the characters when I’m writing/reading them. I have to admit, though, I’m still trapped in the force field of Omar’s charm (His Inherited Princess). He was a delight to write. Some of his lines cracked me up. (“I gave you two choices, India. Mercy wasn’t one of them.”)

Do you have a book you want to write but the thought terrifies you? (It’s okay—I have TWO!)

Oh yes! I want to write my bio and the thought of opening up to the world terrifies me. And yet, I feel it’s a story that should be told.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

Contemporary romance. I gravitate toward sweet and sensual more than hot and steamy. That said, I’d read any genre if the blurb sounds interesting. As long as there’s an element of romance, I’m open to all genres. For non-romance, I like espionage/mystery stories (think Ludlum).

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a YA titled Between the Trees by Kathy Moczerniak. It’s the story of a teenage girl who finds refuge with an aunt and uncle after suffering abuse in her own home. I plan on following that with some royal reads, starting with Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals and Delaney Diamond’s Royal Brides.

Favorite beverage to read with?

Tea. sometimes with a dash of instant coffee.

Where do you get the most writing done?

My official writing desk is very plain (so I’m not sharing any photos). No embellishments or distractions. Mostly, if my laptop fits on table, I can sit and write. Lately, I’ve done a lot of ‘first drafting’ on my phone during my commute, which helps a lot. I can’t say that enough.

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

I have toddlers who “help”. I normally have to wait until they are in bed before I can do any serious amount of writing.

Finish the sentence, “When I’m not writing, I love to think about my next scene/chapter/story or read or watch a movie.”

Are family and friends supportive of your writing career? My daughter reads every word I write, and my sons are like, “You write? Really?” My husband thinks I play Mahjong ten hours a day.

For the most part. My siblings are always telling their friends about my books and my sisters have read some. My brothers don’t read romance, but they tell everyone. My husband doesn’t read romance, but he’s an unofficial distributor and he attends my book readings anytime he can. So, I guess that’s a yes.

Netflix binger, yes or no? Favorite Netflix program?

I’ve never tried Netflix (gasp!). Okay, I’m not sure if Netflix works in Ghana. But if I went on it, I’d probably get addicted to a few shows and never make time to write.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I’m totally addicted. I don’t even understand people who ‘go off’ Facebook or Twitter. Frankly, social media is an introvert’s dream come true.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release?

My latest release, His Inherited Princess, is the story of a princess who loses her husband and is inherited by her brother-in-law according to the custom of the land. The widow inheritance trope was inspired by a true story my mother told me about an inherited widow, which made me want to write a fictional one.

What’s your next project or release?

2019 is gearing up to be a fantastic one. I have 3 stories in my immediate future, which I’m really excited about:

  • MR HOT MOCHA PERFECTION (previously promoted as A Valentine Affair), coming out February 11 as part of Love Africa Press’ Be My Valentine
  • EXPECTING TY’S BABY, a standalone sequel to my book, Chancing Faith, is coming out in Spring this year from Black Opal Books.

https://empibaryehauthor.blogspot.com/2019/01/sign-up-coverreveal-expecting-tys-baby.html?m=1

  • The third is another installment of the Royal House of Saene series (the princes) also from Love Africa Press (no release date yet).

More Royal House of Saene? YASSSS! I’m here for that!

Do you have any advice for new authors?

  • There is no perfect time to write. Make the time. Write as often as you can. Take advantage of as many ‘idle times’ in your day as possible to put something new down.
  • Use your phone or tablet.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Empi! Continued success to you!

Thanks for inviting me, Felicia. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you today.

~~~

HIS INHERITED PRINCESS

His Inherited Princess

Blurb

India Saene, Princess of Bagumi, must enter a marriage alliance to save her kingdom from an economic crisis. Tragedy strikes when her husband of a few hours is killed in an accident on the way to their honeymoon. She recovers from a coma two weeks later to discover she has been inherited by her husband’s younger brother!

Sheikh Omar El Dansuri has never wanted to be king, nor does he desire a wife. However, when his older brother dies, he not only becomes the future king of Sudar, but he also inherits his brother’s bride through an age-old tradition. Falling for the headstrong India is out of the question especially when evidence points to her as his brother’s killer.

Neither India nor Omar wanted this marriage, but the passion that burns between them cannot be denied. When India’s secret is revealed, will either of them survive the consequences?

Retail links

ALL BUY LINKS: https://goo.gl/EfDmkr

Goodreads: bit.ly/2K27m2t

Felicia’s Review

Excerpt

Her gaze dropped to his lips—generous, well-defined lips that looked chiselled; yet, she remembered their softness when he’d pressed them against her temple the other day. She shook her head. She may have gotten a clean bill of health, but the accident must have screwed with her mind, making her more vulnerable to his special brand of allure.

“Salma tells me you haven’t had your coronation,” she said, more to give her mind something else to focus on.

“No. I haven’t been crowned.”

“Why not?”HIP Princess Teaser

He paused, but before he could answer, Salma cleared her throat. “I’ll take the flowers to the head nurse now, My Lady.”

India diverted her attention to Salma and couldn’t help thinking the woman was running. “Very well, Salma.”

When her PA had left, she took in a breath and returned her gaze to Omar who stood only a couple of feet away. Funny, his brother had been taller, but she’d never had the sensation of being drowned by him. Next to Omar, however, she felt like a delicate little flower. He seemed to tower over her, large and immovable.

“Isn’t the stipulation for your coronation that you marry first? Which, according to you, we are.”

“I assure you, India, we’re married,” he said. “However, in Sudari tradition, marriage is only confirmed through consummation.”

Her eyes widened, and she nearly choked on her own saliva. It took every ounce of effort to keep her mouth from gaping. “Wh—what?”

She’d read about cultures where newlywed couples had to make love in the presence of family elders to confirm they’d slept together. She’d never imagined such a thing would still be practiced in the twenty-first century.

Clearly, she should have done a more thorough investigation about Sudar before agreeing to marry into their royal family.

Ha! As if she’d had a choice.

“Your family expects to witness your first night with your bride?”

With a casual wave of his hand, he replied. “Of course not. That would just be primitive.”

He spoke with a mild French-ness to his ‘r’. It was sexy as hell. Try as she might, she couldn’t squelch the images it pushed into her mind; images of being slowly undressed by Omar, of his hands and lips running lightly over her skin, of succumbing to his virility, allowing him to do the things his one kiss had put in her head.

The flames burning her face cascaded over the rest of her body. She fought to calm her erratic heartbeat. “How would they know we’ve consummated?”

“Nothing you’ll be uncomfortable with,” he replied. “It would suffice that you and I spend the night in the same bedroom.”

“Even if we don’t, erm…consummate?”

Had someone switched off the AC?

A beat passed.

His right brow hooked up. “Are you against…consummation?”

Was that a smile? Did he think this was funny? Time to shake off the deer in headlights sensation and take charge of this situation.

She swallowed. “Of course not.”

“I take it to mean you’re not a virgin. Good,” he said.

She raised her brows.

“When you’ve had me, I want you to know the difference.” His eyes gleamed. “Tell me, Princess India, have you had an orgasm before?”

Her eyes widened, but she stopped short of gasping at his audacity. “I don’t see how that’s relevant to you.”

“I’m your husband. That makes your pleasure of paramount importance to me.”

“Since I didn’t agree to or participate in a wedding with you, I’d say you’re getting way ahead of yourself, Omar.”

He leaned forward, and she began to tingle all over. Though he hadn’t touched her, she could feel his heat radiating into her. She stopped breathing for a couple of seconds. Did he mean to kiss her? Exert some dominance over her? Why didn’t the idea fill her with righteous indignation?

“Aren’t you even a little curious about the notes I can make you sing with just my tongue?”

A smile of pure male satisfaction came to his lips at her sharp intake of breath. God, she was in trouble.

Determined to have the last laugh, however, she squared her shoulders. “Not in the least.”

“Given the way the soft skin at the base of your lovely neck is pumping, ya jameel, I call bull.”

Princess India

~~~

AUTHOR BIO

I’m an author of sweet and sensual African, multicultural and interracial romance, which happens to be my favourite genre of romance to read. My interest in writing started around the age of thirteen after I stumbled upon a YA story my sister had started. The story fascinated me so much that, when I found out it was unfinished, I knew I had to complete it. Somehow the rest of the story began to take shape in my mind and I’ve been writing ever since.

I live in Accra, Ghana, with my husband and our two lovely kids.

I love to hear from readers and aspiring authors.

Here’s where to find me:

Blog: https://empibaryehauthor.blogspot.com

Website: https://goo.gl/hpo1U4

Facebook: https://goo.gl/K39DHE

Goodreads: https://goo.gl/p2JiDL

Instagram: https://goo.gl/BGEkB4

Twitter: @empibaryeh

Tuesday Talk with… author Holly Kerr

Tuesday Talk w/H. Kerr

Holly KerrThank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Holly!

Thanks for having me Felicia!

You’re one of our northern neighbors. Where in Canada do you live?

I grew up in Southern Ontario farm country but now I call Toronto home.

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

Married with children. I have 3 kids (17, 15, & 12) and they’re only annoying when they interrupt my writing!

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’ve been published by a small press, but now I’m a self-published, independent author, working with my own imprint, Three Birds Press.

Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?

I started out as a stay-at-home-mom/author, but since my kids are older, I’ve dropped the stay-at-home-mom bit and kept the author.

How long have you been a writer?

Forever. Doesn’t everyone say that?! But I’ve been published since 2013.

How long did it take you to write your first book?

Not that long, surprisingly, since I wrote it back in 2002 when my daughter was a baby. I would write during her naps, and I’m very grateful that she was a good sleeper! It just took a while for it to see the light of day.

Pantser or Plotter?

Maybe a bit of both? I usually have an idea where the book is going, and how’s it going to end. But there’s been lots of times that I’ve been writing and then all of a sudden realize we’re getting close to the end.

What’s your greatest strength as a writer?

I think I’m good at dialogue. And I know I can write a good action scene.

Do you have a writing pet peeve?

That’s a good question. I don’t think there’s anything. I’m pretty laid back. I might have to come back to that one.

Do you believe writers should write every day?

I know I need to write every day. I get twitchy if I don’t. But no, I don’t think you have to write every day, although I do think you need to do something with words, whether it be writing or reading. It goes without saying that writers need to read a lot.

What’s the longest you’ve sat at your desk getting words onto paper?

I’ve had a 14 hour day before. There were little breaks for food, but that was the longest. My usual is about 6-8 hours, but that might involve the business of writing as well as getting words onto paper.

Would you rather edit your WIP… or join the military?

Ha!  You know, my favourite part of the process is the revision part, and editing is kind of part of that, so I don’t really mind it. My main hatred is The Blurb!

Ugh, The Blurb! I’ve yet to meet an author who enjoys writing them.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

I write in a variety of genres, and I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. It depends on my mood!  I write women’s fiction/chick lit/rom-com, which all goes together. But I’ve also tried my hand at kid lit. I also write erotic romance under a pen name. Because I just finished Hanging On, which is women’s fiction, I’m going to have to say it’s my favourite today!

Favorite book or character from your published work?

I can’t pick a favourite book, that’s like picking a favourite child!  But a few favourite characters are Pippa McGovern, from my Charlotte Dodd action chick lit series, Cat Skatt, from Coming Home and Hanging On, and Brit, who is the best frenemy you’ll ever want! She’s from Unexpecting and Unexpectingly Happily Ever After.

Do you ever have those days when you’ve had it and walk away from your work to clear your head?

Um…today? I don’t know if I should admit this, but I’d just finished my book – literally typed in THE END – and I was hit with the worst case of self-doubt I’ve ever felt. I had to leave the house, not just my work! I’ve had other moments where I need to step away and come back with a fresh view, but today was the worst.

Finish the sentence, “If I didn’t write, I’d ___________.

 Work in a bookstore. I actually did have a job in a bookstore, but gave it up when the writing took off. I loved it

Where do you get the most writing done?

Here is my little ‘office’. I need tape on the floor to show my walls, ala Les Nessman. (Am I dating myself?!)

OMG! Les Nessman! The Thanksgiving episode with the turkey drop is iconic! 😀

Holly's office

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

I lost my cat Sebastian a few years ago and I still miss him. He used to sit by my chair in a block of sunlight. We have Nikki visiting for a few weeks, so let’s get her in this, along with Spyro, my son’s dragon. He’s really cool.

Holly's pets

What’s your favorite genre to read? Favorite author?

I read a little bit of everything; historical fiction, YA, romance. I’ll read anything by Sarah J Maas, Christina Lauren, Emma Chase, to name a few.

What are you reading now?

The Gown, by Jennifer Robson. She’s a fellow Canadian!

Netflix, yes or no? Favorite show?

Netflix, yes!  I just finished watching The Scandal and looking for something new to distract me.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love it that I stay connected with my family and friends but I hate how I get sucked in. And all the ads! Ugh!

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character?

Hanging On is a sequel to Coming Home, about a family of five sisters living in small town Ontario. Coming Home was inspired from my relationship with my sister. With Hanging On, I looked to the relationships between my aunts. When I told my aunts that I was writing a sequel to Coming Home, they wanted to make sure no one thought they were the characters in the book! They ARE NOT the characters in the book, okay, Aunt Joan!?

What’s your next project or release?

I’m excited about this one. I’ve joined together with other chick lit writers to write a series. The first book, which will be mine, is coming out in May! It’s about love on a cruise ship.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Ask for help when you need it. Never think you should publish without someone you trust looking over your work. That means critique partners, beta readers, editors. Be as professional as you can. And find a support group. This is a solo gig and it’ll drive you crazy if you don’t have backup once in a while. And always, remember you’re doing it because you love it!

Thank you, Holly! Continued success to you!

Thanks Felicia!

Find Holly Online

Website        Facebook     Twitter

~~~

Hanging On (Sisters in a Small Town Book 2), Holly’s newest book released TODAY! Check out the blurb (there’s that word again!) and links below!

Honging On cover

It’s been eight months since Maggie’s husband died and she’s doing fine–if you don’t count the urge to jump over the grave at the funeral, the weekly chats with Mike’s ghost, and the possible assault charge from the woman she punched in FoodMart.
Her sisters are there to help, but as the oldest, Maggie is used to being the one they lean on, not the other way around.
And then comes the week that changes everything. Grown daughters with babies and boyfriends. Wayward sister Dory is home, looking to make trouble. There’s even a new man in town who thinks Maggie’s ready to move on. And why now does Maggie decide it’s time to find her real mother?
What does it take for Maggie to realize that she’s not fine–she’s barely hanging on?
But she has her sisters to help out–if they don’t make things worse.

http://getbook.at/HangingOn

KINDLE UNLIMITED

~~~

Meet the Skatt sisters for the first time in book 1 – Coming Home (Sisters in a Small Town) for ONLY 99¢, but hurry, the Kindle Countdown is ending soon!

(NOT AVAILABLE ON ALL AMAZON SITES – PLEASE CHECK PRICE BEFORE DOWNLOADING!)

Coming Home cover

Things to remember when coming home:
-DON’T make your favourite sister so angry that she kicks you out, especially when the only other place Brenna has to go
is the family home, where youngest sister Cat lives with their mother’s ghost
-DON’T kiss your ex-boyfriend, who is now in love with Cat
-DON’T have a knock-out, drag down fight with Cat
-DON’T meet sexy men in a bar – well, one of them was a good thing
-DON’T believe your father isn’t the hero you always thought he was, unless you have no choice

After her perfect life explodes, Brenna comes back home and isn’t ready to to deal with any of it – the sisters who have become like strangers, the well-being townsfolk who love to nose in her business, and the family quirks that drove her away in the first place.

Is coming home the best thing for Brenna? And can sisters become friends?

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

KINDLE UNLIMITED

Tuesday Talk with… author Danielle Van Alst

TT w/D VanAlst banner

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Danielle Van Alst

Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Danielle!

Where are you from?

A galaxy far, far away

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

I’m single because I like sweatpants and staying home.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

Hybrid.

How long have you been a writer?

Since the day I could hold a pencil and make scribbles on paper.

Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?

Full-time writer, worrier, and self-doubter because that’s all part of the job description.

How long did it take you to write your first book?

About six months.

Pantser or Plotter?

A little bit of both. For my novels and children’s books I’m definitely a plotter but, for my poetry, I’m totally a pantser.

What has been your biggest challenge in your writing journey?

Two things, the first challenge would be dealing with parlaying self-doubt about my work. The second biggest challenge would be trying to find honest and competent people to work with during the publishing process.

I know you’ve written children’s books, poetry, and historical romance. Did I miss any?

I also write short stories and horror.

Do you prefer writing in one genre over the others?

I enjoy writing in all genres. I want to write all the stories!

What’s your favorite genre to read?

That’s a tough question! I guess my answer would have to be that if it has pages and words written on them, then I’ll read it!

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading Transcription by Kate Atkinson and I’m loving it! It’s a historical fiction novel that deals with WWII espionage and betrayal.

Favorite author?

Choosing a favorite author is like choosing a favorite child! I enjoy so many but, if I had to pick, my top authors are Dorothy Parker, Karen White, Susanna Kearsley, Paula Brackston, Bill Bryson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Some authors need complete silence to write. How about you?

Yes, complete and total silence. I need quiet to plot all the murder and mayhem in my next book!

Where do you get the most writing done?

At my desk.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I could totally live without it. If I could go back in time to before social media even existed I would do so in a heartbeat. I’m only on it out of sheer necessity for my work.

When you take off the author-hat, what do you do for fun?

I like to read, do graphic design, watch vintage film, dabble in photography, and I practice certain forms of mysticism.

Where do you see yourself, or where would you like to be… in five years?

I hope to have several more books out in the coming years and to keep growing my author platform. I also plan on opening a publishing company to help independent authors turn their dreams of being published into a reality and help them avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve encountered along the way.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release?

My latest release is my historical fiction/romance book Fateful Voyage. The inspiration for the book is my fascination with fate and destiny and how two very different lives can collide together in a chance meeting. I think it’s interesting how there are billions of people on this planet yet, we only have meaningful relationships with very few people. It’s almost like those lives were meant to intersect…like it was written in the stars and that’s what makes those particular relationships extra special.

Who’s your favorite character?

My favorite character in the book is Kay because she is modeled after someone near and dear to my heart. Kay is the doting mom-figure in the book and is constantly watchful over Gwen. I love how protective and nurturing she is and how watchful she is over Gwen’s wellbeing. Kay is a loving, caring, kind, and compassionate soul, and even though she can be a worrier at times, that is what makes her so enduring. Her love for Gwen is so intense that she will do anything to keep her safe.

What’s your next project or release?

My next project is a historical fiction/drama all about the witch trials in colonial America. It delves into the dark past of the witch hunts and looks into the psychological and sociological reasons for the mass hysteria that took so many innocent lives. It’s set to be release in late spring or early summer so keep your eyes peeled!

Blurb for the upcoming book: The Hunted

A Community Under Siege

Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers–mainly young women–suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. This is their story.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Never let anything strip you of your passion for writing. This is a tough crazy-making business and there will be times when you want to throw in the towel. But, at the end of the day, you have to remember your love for the craft. There is always going to be constant noise about what you should and should not be doing as an author…ignore it! Do what feels right to you. There is no right or wrong way to write. If you have talent and patience and determination then that’s all you need.

Love that advice! Thanks for stopping by, D! Don’t be a stranger! Continued success to you!

~~~

Danielle is a multi-talented writer who has published in three genres

 

Children

Poetry

Historical Fiction

Stop by her Amazon Author Page today for book links, and don’t forget to follow her on social media!

~~~

 

Banner Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Tuesday Talk with… author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Tuesday Talk banner

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Abbie J TaylorNesie’s Place welcomes author Abbie Johnson Taylor to the blog today!

Thanks for visiting with us today, Abbie. Tell us, where are you from?

Thanks for having me! I currently live in Sheridan, Wyoming, but I was born in New York City in 1961. Since then, my family has lived in Boulder, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona, before settling here in Sheridan in 1973. I went away to school in the 1980’s but returned and have lived here ever since.

Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?

I was married in September of 2005. Three months later, my husband suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home until he passed in 2012. My memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, tells our story.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

Most of my books are self-published, but That’s Life: New and Selected Poems was published by Finishing Line Press.

How long have you been a writer?

I started in 2000, so I’ve been at it for eighteen years.

Did you plan to become a writer?

Not originally. After graduating from college in the 1980’s, I studied music therapy, completing two years of coursework which included nine hours of practicum followed by a six-month internship before becoming registered. I worked with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities before taking an interest in writing.

What inspires or motivates you?

I’m inspired by anything from current events to life events. After reading a newspaper article about a protest against the war with Iraq in 2003 and having an interesting encounter with a police officer, I started writing We Shall Overcome. The Red Dress, my novel in progress, was inspired by a story I heard during a memoir writing workshop.

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It took me two years to write We Shall Overcome and another two years to publish it. My wedding and subsequent care-giving took center stage for a couple of years.

Pantser or Plotter?

I’m a little of both. I won’t start a story unless I know how it’s going to end, but I let the plot and characters take me where they will.

Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?

No, and I probably won’t. I don’t like the pressure of writing so many words in thirty days. I want to take my time.

What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?

I don’t have a favorite genre. I enjoy writing fiction, poetry, and memoirs.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I like memoirs, romance, and some general and historical fiction if it doesn’t contain too many descriptions of violence or sex.

What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?

I sing in a women’s choral group and participate in water exercise classes at the YMCA. I also work out at home with the help of audio exercise programs.

Where do you get the most writing done?

I do most of my writing at home in my office, but occasionally, I sit in my recliner in the living room or at my kitchen table or in my back yard during the spring, summer, and fall months when the weather is favorable.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I use Facebook and have a blog, but that’s it. The rest I could and do live without.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest release, and please share an excerpt with us.

My Ideal Partner is the story of how I met and married my husband, then cared for him after he suffered two strokes until he passed.

EXCERPT

In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid-forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it so they wouldn’t always depend on the local para-transit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

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What’s your next project or release?

As I said earlier, I am working on a novel entitled The Red Dress. It’s the story of how such a garment affects three generations of women.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Do a lot of reading, especially in the genre you wish to write. Try to write every day, even if it’s just a journal entry or email message. Hone your craft by attending workshops, joining writing groups, and reading books and magazines on writing.

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Many thanks to Abbie for spending time with us today here on the blog. Check out her book, My Ideal Partner—How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, available on Amazon.

cover

Amazon

Also by Abbie Johnson Taylor

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

How to Build a Better Mousetrap cover

Amazon

We Shall Overcome (Paperback)

We Shall Overcome cover

Amazon

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Follow Abbie on Social Media!

Website    Facebook    My Corner