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Everyone give a warm welcome to author S. C. Alban!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

My most current release is A Life Without Living. A paranormal romance, it’s the first book in The Strega Series. The second installment Barely Living Alive is currently in contract and undergoing edits. It will be released later this year.

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I like writing paranormal because I love the unexplained. I am a huge believer in the improbable and am fascinated with the realm of the unexplainable. I love how this genre pushes one’s imagination past everything that is known to be true in the current world.

3. What do you like to read?

I am a huge Anne Rice fan. I love her witch series and, of course, her vampire stuff. I love Richelle Mead, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Stephen King, but mostly, if it’s a good book, I’ll read it. This includes YA, SciFi, mystery, contemporary fiction, and straight up romance (including historical).

4. Favorite movie?

I am a HUGE movie fan and I love everything from slapstick comedy, to documentaries, to horror. But, there are two movies that I can watch over and over and over again. The first is Chocolat (2000), and the second is Cousins (the 1989 film). When it comes down to it, they’re both really about relationship intricacies, so, I suppose I’m really drawn to those types of films that focus on that.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

It really depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I pop on the headphones, crank up the music and just flow. Other times, I need total silence. I try to write something everyday. When I’m trying to finish a novel, I give myself a word count goal. When I’m working on a script I give myself a scene goal. It really just depends on what I’m doing that day and where the deadlines are.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

I think that would definitely be when I was scheduled to do a book signing at a pretty popular bookstore in my area. When I arrived, there was a huge sign out front that said “Author Signing Today.” My first thought was, “Great. I’m supposed to be signing here today, too. Why would they put two of us here on the same day.” I was a bit bummed. Then, the friend I was with informed me that I was the author, that the advertisement was for me. It all kind of hit me at that moment. I realized that I was an author, and everything that went along with it. It was definitely surreal.

7. How can readers find you?

Readers can find my all over social media. I also have a website. The links to my contacts are below:

http://www.scalban.com

http://www.facebook.com/scalban

http://www.twitter.com/muchasfloras

http://www.instagram.com/s.c._alban

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

The number one thing I wish I would have known before embarking on this journey was to start a blog way before I actually did. It would have given me such a better understanding of how things work and I wouldn’t have felt that I was learning it at the same time as I was trying to get my book to publication.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Actually, I often have to be reminded to eat when I’m working, and I work with a water bottle by my side. But, occasionally I’ll have something crunchy like popcorn or pita chips. Nothing too greasy though, I like a clean keyboard.🙂

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I always have a candle burning while I write, I don’t know why, it just is nice. And, lately, I’ve been keeping a few crystals/stone within reach as fidgets…. Something for my hands to do when I’m thinking about how I’m gonna write myself out of the mess that I inevitable create.

Thanks for stopping by, S.C.!

BB

Closing a door

Hey.

It’s Wednesday, not Monday. And I haven’t exactly been on the ball each week with posts here.

I did a big push and wrapped up “Emile’s Blade” earlier this week. It’s with my beta readers now, and should be under contract/with my editor at Solstice Publishing shortly after the first of September. Now I’m starting to connect all three Amari stories (Fin’s Magic, Alaric’s Bow, and Emile’s Blade) into a single book that we can release in both ebook and print formats.

I’m working with two different cons now! I’ll be a guest at Renton City Comicon in October, and a panelist at RustyCon in January. Love that these new opportunities are starting to open up to meet readers. And help authors.

There’s been other things going on, though, beyond the books. I’ve had some real issues lately with feeling like I have too many balls in the air. Work, writing, house, college (oldest heads that way in a few weeks), high school swim practice for the youngest, promoting, doctor and dentist appointments, vehicle maintenance, and about a dozen other things. It’s led me to spend more time just sitting and not wanting to participate in much of anything over being excited for the future.

A lot of this is related to my parents both passing away within seven months of each other. My dad’s death hit me really hard. When I was there the last time, I brought home one of his sweaters just to have something that still had a bit of his scent on it. My mom was morbidly obese. So am I. And I won’t die the way she did, so I’m looking into having surgery.

Our insurance won’t cover it, so I need to sell some books. LOTS of books. We’re looking at $20,000 to get this done.

So, yeah, things haven’t been the best. I never set out to lie to anyone reading this blog. If anything, I wanted to be brutally honest. To live past the age my mom was, I have to do something now. And current book sales aren’t going to get me there.

Still, it’s moving forward with the planning. It’s getting the preliminary testing and visits done now so, when the money is there, we can do this.

Oh, and I’m going to take a dream trip to Scotland when it’s done and I’ve recovered from the surgery.

Ever so slowly, the door on my past is closing. In some ways, I’ve kept it open for far too long. I don’t think I’m done grieving, which is one reason why I had to force myself to finish up ‘Emile’s Blade’. When you read it, and I hope you will, you will understand why. I’m probably going to have bad days ahead of me. When the desire to call him and give him some exciting news will remind me that he’s not able to answer any more. And there will be days where the juggling act I do will want to come crashing down. But I hope, and feel, that those days will be farther and farther apart. That the good will outweigh the bad, the memories give me more smiles than tears.

The stories that still need to be written will come to pass. The surgery, and Scotland, will eventually happen as well. And maybe, possibly, hopefully, the future I want won’t be as far away as it seems.

BB

Hey! I know, I’ve let things slide for a few weeks. It was a combination of a lot of stuff. Vacation, real life, and a half dozen other things that had to be done before we got to relax.

This past weekend, at the end of our vacation, I traveled to eastern WA. Partly to help my sister with estate stuff. Partly to lay our parents’ ashes to rest. And partly to attend my 30th high school reunion.

Yes, I AM old enough for a 30th reunion. LOL.

Now, I wasn’t one of the popular crowd back then. I had a few friends, yes, but we weren’t the ‘in’ crowd. I got picked on some because of my weight, I was ‘too smart’, etc.

There were two official gatherings. Things started to be odd the first night. Part of it could’ve been because we’d buried our parents earlier that day, but I wasn’t in a huge mood to be social. I went with the intent of staying put and seeing if I could actually recognize people over planning to work the room.

Someone I remembered as being nice but not much else got all excited when she saw me. She insisted that I ‘don’t go anywhere’ as the husband of a classmate had been dying to meet me since he found out I was going. Apparently, this guy is big on Goodreads. Found my books – and my photo – and went nuts because he remembered seeing me in her yearbooks!

That’s how it started. I had more and more classmates coming up Friday, all excited about me writing books. One of the organizers told me to bring them with me to the gathering on Saturday (I had brought the limited stock I had as a friend wanted to buy my newest one).

Saturday night, I sold books. Several books. Sold out of 3 titles, plus a copy of one other. And the one thing I heard over and over, even from those who didn’t get books, was that they’d been wondering who the ‘class celebrity’ would end up being. The one person out of almost 400 graduates who truly broke free of that town and did something famous/memorable/immortal. And that it was me.

I spent my time in high school living vicariously through them, imagining their lives to be so much better than mine. Now, they’re thrilled to have a published author come out of their graduating class.

Yeah, I can live with that.

BB

Good morning! Everyone please give author Francene Stanley a warm welcome!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

Karm Currents, released on March 16 th is the fourth and final novel in the paranormal Moonstone series. set in the little village of St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Each book is a story that stands alone. In Karm Currents, Liliha continues her telepathic sojourns where she whispers advice to strangers. But, Liliha is an ordinary woman, separated from her teenage daughters in Australia. Her youngest daughter, Alissa, arrives to live with her, and brings her grandmother. As if that interference isn’t enough, Liliha’s ex turns up to take their daughter home. And then there’s the love interest, Harry.

https://www.amazon.com/Karm-Currents-Francene-Stanley/dp/162526349X

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I love the work out possibilities that lie beneath the surface of everyday life. Perhaps we’ve lived before. If we have, we might have known each other in a previous life.

3. What do you like to read?

I read everything I can, although some of the novels are not as engaging as others.

4. Favorite movie?

Movies that contain hidden possibilities fascinate me. Labyrinth with David Bowie, all The Lord of The Rings, Chrysalis with the bunch of old-uns who moved to a higher plane … so many. However, I watched The Bourne Conspiracy Four last night and thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the action, and the way the characters assisted each other against the bad guys.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I like total silence when I’m writing. At the moment, I’m working on the first section of my memoirs, which covers the forties to the seventies. Any noise distracts me from my train of thought.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

My most surreal moment came when the local paper sent a photographer after the launch of my first book. What shocked me was my change. Instead of the calm woman who took everything in her stride, I became a shaking wreck, unable to speak without a quiver in my voice or form a proper sentence.

7. How can readers find you?

My author page at Amazon shows a little about my varied life experiences and lists my books. Link: http://amzn.to/1ljAdMf

8. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

On the shelves above my writing desk, I can gaze at photos of my three children (two deceased), an embroidery of wildflowers, my singer/songwriter brochure, photos of myself and my sister as children, my grandmother’s bible, a woven Indian headband and some preserved ginger in a jar from my German co-writer. They remind me of who I am and how far I’ve come.

Thanks for stopping by, Francene! Best of luck with your writing!

BB

Hey!

Yeah, it’s Tuesday and not Monday. There’s so many levels of chaos still at play in my life that I’m picking and choosing my battles in some ways. It should be calmer soon, I hope, and I’ll be back on track.

There’s something I want to touch on today. It’s important, and a lot of authors today don’t realize it. And that’s making a good first impression with a potential agent or publisher.

No, this isn’t an old topic I’m simply recycling. It’s important. That first impression really does matter!

In my position with Solstice, I sometimes get random emails from authors wanting to know more about our House. Love to read those, to be honest! It gives me a chance to encourage the next generation of writers to gather their courage and hit send on that email! Every now and then, though, the email makes me cringe.

When you can’t be bothered to write a proper salutation…or you decide to insert text speech or don’t correct a misspelled word…it makes the publishing executive in me cringe. Why? Because I hold out little hope for your manuscript if you can’t be bothered to spell out ‘you’.

This business is built on words. The proper usage can evoke images of beauty and horror. There is immense power in a broad vocabulary. By using shortcuts, you undermine that power.

It also cuts into your credibility. You want to be a writer but can’t use the correct version of their/they’re/there in a query letter? Or be bothered to actually use punctuation? 99% of the time, the EIC will decide against you before they even open your manuscript. If you can’t take the time to make sure your email message is great, we hold out little hope for the story itself.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t use your phone to email the query letter. Sit down and treat it with as much care and attention as you did your story. Reread it. Edit it. Polish it until it gleams. Then and only then send it off. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up to climb a mountain with nothing more than a foot of twine.

BB

Hi.

I know, I didn’t do a post last week. Things have been…chaotic.

My dad died on the 21st. We didn’t expect him to go that fast after my mom. We thought we’d have a few more years.

He went quickly, which gave me comfort. Time will make things better. So will writing.

I’d already decided my next book would be dedicated to him. That decision was made months ago, partially because of an aspect to the story. It took me more than a week to be able to move it forward, though. Too much pain, grief, to put words to paper.

Hades, I’m tearing up now as I type this.

I’m not going to tell you to hug the people you care for, or say I love you to them, because they could be gone tomorrow. We were on good terms when he went, each knowing the other loved them.

I only ask that you give a moment’s pause each day and spend 5 minutes doing something you thought of but have been putting off. Don’t let things slide. It’s the small things that take little time but we don’t do that matter. The thank you’s, the courtesy, the words that should be said and aren’t.

Don’t regret not taking time to do something small. You may think it’s insignificant, but it may not be. Because the person you do it for may think it’s huge.

BB

Everyone give Arthur Butt a warm welcome!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

GAIL IS GAEA

https://www.amazon.com/Gail-Gaea-Arthur-Butt-ebook/dp/B0193QH2SE

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

Was trying something new.

3. What do you like to read?

Everything

4. Favorite movie?

1776

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

Silence. Daily regimen

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?

Seeing my book DRAGONKILLER in paperback.

7. How can readers find you?

Twitter. Instagram, Author Page on Facebook

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

How poor sales are on Amazon

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

Scattered books by great authors.

Thanks for stopping by!

BB

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