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Everyone welcome multi-genre Solstice author, K.C. Sprayberry!

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

Paradox Lost: Their Path came out December 1, 2014. You can find here. ebook http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00PB735LI Print book https://www.createspace.com/5091838

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

This series is a combination of fantasy, time travel, and history. I love mixing genres like this mostly because it was a lot of fun getting everything to work together, but also because I wanted something different. The fantasy element comes from the paranormal powers each of the characters possesses. Time travel is what the teens in this series are learning to do. History plays a huge part because their job once they graduate is to ensure that remains as it is written and stored in the Protected Archives. But even that massive library has its weaknesses, as my trio of main characters learns the hard way.

3. What do you like to read?

I love well-written books of just about any genre. I can go from Westerns to classic fantasy, to modern sci-fi, to romance of any variety in a matter of days. As long as the plot is tight and the characters jump off the page, I will read a book.

4. Favorite movie?

I don’t really have a single favorite movie. In the 60s, it was True Grit with John Wayne. Come to think of it, any John Wayne movie had me lying on the living room carpet, chin in hands, staring raptly at the television screen. The 70s and 8s were far different. I loved musicals like Grease and Xanadu, but that was also the time of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Adored those. Tombstone and A Clear and Present Danger caught me in the 90s. Once the century turned, I have to admit I pored through the Harry Potter books while awaiting the next movie, with an action adventure, or sci-fi disaster flick to fill the insatiable appetite for mindless entertainment.

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

Do I have writing habits? I prefer to think of it as a writing habit, as in an addiction. I can’t stop writing, coming up with a new idea, plotting a different story. I have a local radio station on in the background that I don’t pay much attention to, unless breaking news interrupts me. Or a great song I can sing along with while working. Definitely write something every day, even if it’s an idea for a new book, or a plot twist on a book where I’m stuck.

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

To be honest, the night the contract arrived for Softly Say Goodbye from Solstice Publishing. We’d just learned my husband would soon lose his job due to the manufacturer where he was working would be closing. He and I had just told our then high school freshman son. All of us were like zombies, uncertain of what the future held when I decided to check my email. Our son thought I was losing my mind or having a panic attack, the poor kid. I was panting and saying “OMG!” over and over and over, pointing at the screen. He yelled what was the problem and I screamed that I’d got a contract for one of my books. In that second, our house went from silent, almost funeral, to overjoyed and ecstatic. We knew, even though times might be tough in the future, that we would survive.

7. How can readers find you?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog: http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.kcsprayberry.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Amazon book list: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-

alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=k.c.%20sprayberry&sprefix=k.c.+%2Cdigital-text

Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

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

Name branding, how important it is to being a successful author. I already had a blog and Twitter feed when I got my first contract but never did much with them. Now? I’m on many social media sites and have to carve time out of writing every day to maintain my presence. I never realized that I had to build my reputation by building those sites until I met Melissa Miller with Solstice Publishing. She’s been a real guru by showing her authors how to get their names known and sell books.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee in the morning, Diet Coke in the afternoon and evening. Lots of caffeine all the time. There are days when my teen brings me those things, when I can’t stop working on my current project, something he mutters about under his breath, but not too loudly, lest I include him in my next paragraph.

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

I have a collection of stuffed animals in a miniature baker’s rack on the wall over my computer. On the uppermost shelf is a large frog in red and gray camouflage. The lower shelf has Shrek and Donkey. Beside these friends is a plaque given to me by my husband, white with black lettering around a raven that says “I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.” E.A. Poe.

Thanks for stopping by, K.C.! Best of luck with the books!

BB

Good morning!

It’s been an interesting week. Not in writing…didn’t do much of that. But in fighting a good fight. Moving beyond those who condemn a genre solely because of what they perceive it’s about.

I’m working on a signing event at a newly opened bookstore. Until recently, when it was bought out, it was a Christian book store. The new chain, which is open to all genres, retained the staff from the prior store. Corporate, I’ve been told by my contact, is behind me. They want the event to happen. The store’s manager doesn’t.

Why? They’re devoutly Evangelical Christian and think that the entire scifi/fantasy genre is ‘demonic’, ‘evil’, ‘promoting devil worship’.

They’ve never read one of my books, but are stonewalling on committing to a date based on their perception of what I write. It’s not a personal reflection on me. I know that. They’d be this way if George R.R. Martin wanted to spend two hours in their store.

I am who I am. I write what I feel compelled to write. I do not, nor does any author, need this one person’s approval to do what we do. They need to accept we have the right to do so, and our readers have the right to purchase our titles.

My plan? Kill them with kindness and professionalism. Be upbeat, positive. Know that the event will move forward, no matter what they personally feel about it. The manager can certainly work the schedule so they aren’t there during the event. But they can’t prevent it from happening.

As an author, we’re going to encounter this. There are those who won’t want to stock our books because of what they ‘believe’ is the nature of the story. Even if they’ve never read a single word of our stories. They won’t want to come to our events, have our books signed. They’d rather see them burned.

But this is America. We have the right to write the story we have inside us. Readers have the right to purchase the work and read/review it. I stand by my titles, my stories, my conduct. These are good books, worthy of purchase.

I’ll keep that in mind over allowing someone’s viewpoint (which they are allowed to have) dictate the Path that I walk.

BB

Why it matters

Good morning! Yesterday was a whole bunch of work and brain dead on my part. LOL. I simply couldn’t come up with a good blog topic! Am happy to report that is fixed!

There’s something to be said about the internet water cooler and the anonymity it provides. One can go on a message board or chat room, create a new persona, and complain about things in your life. Your spouse, your kids, your sex life, your job, your boss, your neighbors, etc. And a lot of people do. They seek to blame others for their own failings by disparaging them.

If you’re an author, though, or any public figure, it’s not a good idea.

Why? You can be anonymous, right? If your book with XYZ didn’t do as well as you expected, why not blast them for not catering to your every whim? You can say the cover art sucked without mentioning you asked for 15 different changes that were accommodated. You can blame the editor even though you’re the one who refused to accept industry standards. You’ll be the hero, the misaligned artist whose work will never be fully appreciated because of what ‘they’ did to your book.

Don’t do it. Because it will bite you in the hiney faster than you can possibly imagine.

How you behave online as an author any more is almost as important as the content of your book. People want to connect with authors, not be blown off by a pompous jerk. They want a pleasant conversation, not a whiny one. They want to name drop you at the next cocktail party in a good way. If all you have to say is negative, they’ll talk about you. But you’ll be the butt of the jokes not the name connected with ‘you have to read their books!’.

My writing big brother, Nick Pollotta, told me once that this industry is ‘incestuous, in that everyone knows everyone else. And they talk.’ That is the single biggest truth authors need to learn. One bad post in an online forum can and will haunt you for decades. It can kill your career before it even starts. Publishers do searches for their name and read the posts. And they’ll try to figure out who the jerk is, because they don’t want to work with them. Who wants to work with someone who goes online and tells the world half of the story? Who wants to help promote someone who expects millions in sales in a month but won’t do the work to get it?

No one wants to work with a whiner. And that’s why what you say online matters.

BB

Good morning!

Vacation happened. It was fun, relaxing, and we didn’t overspend. And my freezer is well stocked with coffee again. LOL.

There’s something odd about being an author. Some of us actively pursue it, while others shy away from it. It’s the idea of authors being celebrities of a sort. Simply telling new acquaintances that you’re a published author shifts their attitude of you. Granted, some will get snarky and say things like they don’t read your genre or you must not be a ‘real’ author since they haven’t heard of you. Others will want to hitch on to your coattails.

The best ones, the ones who bother to get to know you and help you succeed, those are the ones you should cherish. Why? Because they’re not jealous, envious, or wanting something from you. They like you for you. That you have a cool job is sorta like a barista making a super picture in your morning latte. A great way to start the day, but what matters is the drink itself.

It’s easy to get sucked into the myth of being a published author. The idea that we should be able to demand much, be treated like a superstar, get things for free because we wrote a book. That’s when you need the friends who knew you before. The ones who will remind you that you’re a decent person who wrote a book, not some jerk. The ones who want you to be successful because of who you were BEFORE you wrote the book, not BECAUSE you wrote one.

They’re the ones you need with you at a con, remind you to eat or keep you on schedule. And tell you to stop being a diva and remember the readers don’t care how sore your hand is. Their feet hurt much worse after hours in line. And they’re there to see you.

To them, you are a celebrity. Even if you don’t feel like one yourself. Enjoy the ride, by all means! But don’t get so caught up on the highs that you forget how easy it is for your reader base to collapse if you’re a jerk.

Give them a reason to love you, read your work. Make yourself accessible to a point. But don’t start making demands.

BB

Good morning!

We’re off and about today. Heading towards Portland and the Columbia Gorge for a small vacation. One stop is Powell’s Books in downtown Portland. Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I signed their Wall of Fame! Yes, I plan to go by and remind myself of that incredible honor.

So….’Arine’s Sanctuary’ is now live and available for purchase! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011LM9QF0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

It may be a vacation, but that doesn’t mean promoting stops. Or writing. There’s always a way to write if I’m not driving thanks to a netbook and thumb drive. I’ll leave postcards at restaurants and bulletin boards. And I’ve got a t-shirt or two that I’ll take and wear, as well.

Just because we’re on vacation doesn’t mean we get to take time off from promoting. That should never stop. Why? Because you’ve always got the chance to run into one person who doesn’t know who you are. That you’re an author, or have books published. That one missed connection is possibly a dozen lost sales. Readers talk. And meeting an author is usually a big thing for people. It’s that air of celebrity that goes along with the job title. You wrote a book. You got it published.

And now we have to tell the world. One reader at a time.

BB

Everyone please welcome paranormal romance author, Marie Lavender!

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

My latest release is Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy. It was released on December 8th, and it is book one of the Blood at First Sight Series. The links are below:

Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/second-nature/

CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/5131233

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

I love it! I can open my mind completely, and let that inner world of the story unfold. I’ve always believed there is a lot more to the world around us than we think, things we can’t even begin to imagine. So, why not take that a step further and believe in the unknown or in fantasy worlds? Is it an escape from reality? Sure, but fiction is as well. Writing about the paranormal gives me the creative license I may not have, say, in historical writing, where past events or historical accuracy is pertinent to the storyline.

3. What do you like to read?

All types of romance – contemporary, historical, romantic suspense. I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal/urban fantasy recently, though.

4. Favorite movie?

The Princess Bride just because it’s historic, really cheesy and romantic. And for a fantasy element? ROUSes, or Rodents of Unusual Size.

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

I prefer silence usually, but there are times when certain kinds of music will enhance a scene. For example, I used Celtic music once when I was writing a historic fantasy story. Mostly, I go with whenever the muse hits me, but sometimes it can be as simple as a particularly poignant sentence that strikes me when I’m doing something else, and then I know I need to add it to my manuscript. When I am really focused on writing a specific story, I try to work on it every day, however. Even if it’s just research, that is one step of progress toward the overall goal.

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

It was strange, but good. I had opened up my email and bam! There it was, a letter from one of the many publishers and agents I’d submitted to, and instead of the rejection I expected, it was a book contract. That was so exciting, and I probably stared at the screen with tears in my eyes for about ten or fifteen minutes. It was so overwhelming, a combination of happiness and oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-this-is-real.

7. How can readers find you?

They can find me through my website, blogs or any of the numerous social media sites I currently stalk.

http://marielavender.com/

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

https://twitter.com/marielavender1

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender

http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Lavender/e/B00C10Q94I/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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

I wish I’d known that you should probably have a significant web presence before you get published. It’s been a hard journey, but I’ve learned a lot, and I’m still learning!

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

I drink lots of water, but I do have a tendency to want chocolate now and then. I try to keep something on hand usually, maybe some dark chocolate.

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

I have two main writing areas, my office desk and my bedroom. In my office, I keep a shelf nearby with my published books. I don’t look at them all of the time, but now and then it’s good to remind yourself of just how far you’ve come. I have a poster with a saying: “Life is better when you’re writing.” It was gifted to me by http://www.writing.com/ That can be a good motivational tool.

I also write in my bedroom, either just before I go to sleep or if the mood hits me when I happen to be in there. The walls are covered in light gold with hieroglyphics, and there is this whole Egyptian theme going on. In a way, it helps to keep me from being too grounded in reality, and the scenes come to me naturally.

Thanks for stopping by, Marie! Best of luck with the book!

BB

Morning, everyone!

It was a busy week last week! Over 4,000 new words down on paper for ‘Alaric’s Bow’, the follow up to ‘Fin’s Magic’! Most of that was yesterday. It felt really good to get back in the zone!

‘Arine’s Sanctuary’ will release on Friday, July 24th! The ebook is available for pre-orders now, so head on over to Amazon and reserve your copy!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011LM9QF0?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I started a contest of sorts over on my FaceBook page last week. It runs until 8 am PDT on Thursday the 23rd. Still time to get entered! Super easy to do. You simply like AND comment (you have to do both to enter) on this post:

Once I like your comment, you’re officially in the running for all the stuff listed!

It’s a short post today. I apologize for that. But there’s a story itching to get out of my head this morning!

BB

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