Archive for February, 2013

I’m pleased to announce the audiobook for ‘Daughter of Hauk’ is now available!!!


I admit it. I haven’t heard the whole thing yet. I plan on purchasing a copy in the next day or two. When I actually listen to it is very much up in the air.

Not that I think the narrator did a poor job! Ms. Miyasaki was incredible to work with. She and I had a good hour long chat back in August about my book. She was the consummate professional! Very pleasant, and her main goal was to produce a narration I was happy with. We spent a lot of time covering pronunciation of names, what male characters I felt had deeper voices, accents, and all sorts of details that were important for both her and I to get right.

The audiobook, like the ebook and paperback, has a way to listen to a sample reading before you purchase it. I clicked on this on Saturday. And turned it off within two sentences. For one reason and one reason only.

It scared the blazes out of me to hear someone reading aloud words I’d written.

It was frightening, exhilarating, and surreal on a level I hadn’t experienced before. Even though I’ve got parts of ‘Daughter of Hauk’ mesmerized (what author doesn’t?), hearing someone else read it, bring it to life in that way, is such a strange sensation. It’s a cold shower of truth that goes beyond getting that first contract or seeing it in print for the first time. Now I can hear it, and not just in my head.

It’s another brick that’s been removed from my wall of self-doubt.

‘Daughter of Hauk’ has been out for almost an entire year now. This morning, I got a message on FaceBook asking if I was going to have a table at Emerald City ComiCon this weekend. My husband and I have gone Saturday of ECCC twice now (counting this weekend) and have enjoyed it immensely. I’d never thought of having a table there, but fantasy and scifi novels have the potential of doing very well. Being a media guest would be interesting! And I’m sure it would scare me to be so.

I’ve gone way out of my comfort zone a lot in the last year. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Eventually, everyone has to find a way to work past what they fear in order to get what they want in life. It’s just taken me longer to start.



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My interview via Jessica Tornese is now up and live. Take a peek if you have the time!



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Learning to trust myself

Good morning!

The house is so quiet right now, I love it. My hubby is off on a business trip, and our girls are off school all week. I’ve got to get busy doing ‘stuff’ soon, but it’s Monday and the blog post of the week will be written!

It took time, a lot of critical thinking, and some help from a writing buddy of mine (Todd), but the necessary word count cuts to ‘Mark of the Successor’ are done and the novel has been sent back to Solstice. Time for me to wait for them to assign me an in-house editor and see what the cover art people come up with.

Five years ago, I wasn’t writing. My second novel is now being readied to come out. I discovered something very different about myself while I was doing the cuts to ‘Mark’. A new found confidence in myself that is deeper than having the courage to let my writing be read by friends, family, publishers, and readers. I began to trust myself in what kind of words were necessary to get ‘Mark’ to the word count Solstice wanted. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am really grateful that Todd took the time to give me his suggestions. At some point during my second read through, however, I started hearing my own voice in my head saying that I could do this, even without help. That this was my work, and I would know where to cut and what to keep.

That I had the capability, skill, knowledge, and confidence to do so.

I’ll admit right now, this is one of the first times I’ve felt this type of confidence in myself. I’ve spent far too many years listening to the voices from my past who told me differently. That my own soul has grown to the point that it’s overriding those other thoughts, ingrained since elementary school (back in the days where bullies were bullies and you had to suck it up because they were ‘just words’), amazed me. 

I think I could get used to that.

So, later this week I’ll be dropping in on Jessica Tornese’s blog! I’ll post a link here and share the interview with all of you once it’s up. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add the new cover shortly! 


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Jessica Tornese, an absolutely fabulous author and person, recently won Solstice Publishing’s reader’s poll for 2012 Author of the Year! She was gracious enough to stop by and answer a few pesky questions for me. I hope you all fall in love with her as much as I have!

And we also have a winner in the title contest! The EIC over at Solstice and I both fell in love with  “Mark of the Successor”! Congratulations, Charla Shaw! I’ll send you a pdf copy of the book when it releases.

On to our guest for today!

1.       The all important question everyone always wants to know: What are you working on now?

I am working on the third and final book in my Linked Through Time series. After that, I have a few plots started for other YA novels.

2.       You were recently voted Solstice Publishing’s 2012 Author of the Year. What was that like?

It was extremely overwhelming to see how much support I have. Everyone was on board to vote and spreading the word like crazy! I really am thankful to them. Now, let’s hope people feel the books are worthy!

3.       What has been the most surreal moment you’ve had since your first book was released?

I have overheard people arguing over my book, trying to figure out what they thought really happened in the book. It was awesome to know someone really cared enough about the book to be mulling it over for weeks afterward. I always love when someone emails me to ask when the next book is coming because they can’t wait to find out what happens to their favorite character. I have had those “book hangovers” before, and it’s amazing to think people feel that way about my books!

4.       Do you have a set schedule for writing each day? Or are there times where you need just one more cup of coffee?

I have three children, so I write whenever I have moment. Lately, that’s never! Between teaching, sports schedules, scouts, and church, I have no time to run three consecutive sentences together, much less write a book!

5.       What’s your favorite coffee, and how do you take it?

No coffee! Never could drink the stuff. But I love a thick milkshake!

6.       How much research goes into your books?

I try to research historical points, but most of the book is writing from experience and places I have been. The historical part is a little trickier, but I try to keep it as accurate as possible.

7.       What’s something about yourself that fans don’t expect when they meet you?

I think they are surprised that I am an author at all. Most people find out I am an author after they have already met me, so they are genuinely surprised to learn I play roles other than mom and preschool teacher.

8.       If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?

I loved coaching volleyball. I think I would like to pursue that again someday. I also want to volunteer more and get my children to start doing service work for others. It’s so important to get involved in your community!

9.       How much time do you put into polishing up your novel once the first draft is done?

I read over my book many, many times before submitting. I edit again and again, and the most frustrating part is still finding errors when the finished product is out there.

10.   Do you have beta readers and crit partners, or do you self-edit?

Self-edit.  I have had people review the second book before submitting it just to see if they had any questions, but I don’t have any regular feedback other than my husband and mother-in-law.

11.   Is there a genre you want to write in or enjoy more than others? One you’d never write, no matter how much you were asked?

I love YA books. There is so much drama, emotions, and angst during those years. I still read YA myself, and love the authors out there. Most of the plots I have saved for later are all YA. I don’t think I could ever write romance or erotica. I would laugh like a giddy sixth grader the entire time and would have no idea what I was talking about. My idea of lingerie is a t-shirt and sweats, so….that genre would be a no go.



Jessica Tornese




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So, just a day or two ago I was offered a contract for my YA/Fantasy novel tentatively titled “Lily”!!!!!!  It will be released later this year by Solstice. It’s been a GREAT week!  LOL

Here’s the thing: I need to change the title. At the suggestion of one of my friends, I’m going to ask for help here.

Below is the very preliminary blurb for the back of the book. More to give you an idea of what the book is about without giving away too much. 

Dominated and controlled by an abusive mother, Lily does what she can to enjoy fleeting moments of normalcy. When a break from school only provides the opportunity for more abuse at home, the sudden appearance of a stranger turns her world even bleaker.  Disappearing without a trace, he has left a lingering fear in Lily. His parting words to her mother, “Have her ready to travel tomorrow,” is something her mind refuses to let happen

Running away is the only answer. But before Lily can execute her plan, a shimmering portal appears in her room. Along with two strangers who promise to help keep her safe. With time running out, she accepts their offer for escape and accompanies then into a brand new world. A world in which she is 

the kidnapped daughter of a Queen, and the heir to the throne of 
Can she find her own strength to overcome both an abusive past and avoid
those who would use her as a way to power? And can she ever accept the love

of an unknown family she lost when she was stolen away?

As I said, it’s a rough draft and subject to change!
Now, here’s the contest part: Leave a title suggestion in the comments to this post and, if I decide to use it, I’ll send you a pdf copy of the book when it’s released!
So, let me know your ideas!

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I’m so excited today! I went out on a limb (for me, anyway) and asked a few authors that I admire and ‘know’ via FB if I could interview them. I’ve had some very gracious and enthusiastic replies, so my next few blogs should be interesting! Before we get to my guest today, however, I few tidbits to share.

Thanks to many of you, ‘Daughter of Hauk’ has been voted the Best SciFi/Fantasy Book of 2012 via the Solstice Publishing poll! I also came in second to the very talented Jessica Tornese for Author of the Year! Squeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and I finished the first, very rough, draft to the sequel of ‘Daughter of Hauk’. It’s off with my crit partners/beta readers at last. Taking a few days off to recharge, then I’ll be diving into commentary as it trickles back to me as well as some new writing.

On to the interview! Today, we have the wonderfully talented Robert Gregory Browne with us! The author of seven thrillers (“Down Among the Dead Men” made me a fan, “Trial Junkies” made me a rabid one), he’s also worked in the film industry. His two passions in life beyond writing: coffee and music! Please give him a warm welcome!

1. The all important question everyone always wants to know: What are you working on now?

I’m currently trying to finish the follow-up to TRIAL JUNKIES, book two in the series, which is called NEGLIGENCE. I’ll also be putting the finishing touches on a thriller called POE, which is a collaboration between myself and Brett Battles and the first book in a series that launches in March of this year.

2. How does writing scripts differ than novels? Does your experience in one help with the other?

Scripts are all external, meaning you are only given story information based on what you see and hear on screen.  With novels the author and the reader can get inside a character’s head and know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling. This can only be implied in screenplays, so you have to be careful to set up the right visual clues to get your message across.
The experience of writing screenplays gave me a streamlined approach to plot and structure which carries over to some extent to my books. So, yes, having that experience has been very helpful.

3. A normal assumption by the general population is that all authors are set for life after their first contract. What would you tell a new writer who thinks this way?

A new writer would laugh after he got over the initial shock of realizing that selling a book does not necessarily mean you can make a living at it. I wrote at night for several years before I was successful enough to quit my day job. It’s kind of a shame, because you’d think that since authors are what keep an entire industry afloat, they’d get the lion’s share of the profit. Unfortunately, that isn’t true in the traditional publishing world. The middlemen make most of the money.
What I’d tell that writer is hang in there. If you’re lucky, it gets better.

4. Do you have a set schedule for writing each day? Or are there times where you need just one more cup of coffee?

I’m usually up by six or so, drinking coffee at my desk by seven. I spend an hour cruising the web, reading and responding to email, doing the Facebook thing. Then around eight a.m. I start writing, usually reviewing what I wrote the day before, then moving on. And yes, sometimes I sneak in a second cup before starting.
Then, of course, there are days where distractions abound and I get very little done.

5. What’s your favorite coffee, and how do you take it?

I’ve found after years of experimenting that I prefer a Jamaican Blue Mountain blend with cream and sugar. Yeah, I know, “real” coffee drinkers don’t use cream and sugar. So sue me.

6. How much research goes into your books?

That depends on the book. For the book I did a couple years ago, THE PARADISE PROPHECY, I did a boatload of research, because the story revolved around Paradise Lost and missing documents and historical events that I wanted to stay as true as possible to. For my Trial Junkies books, I rely on my experience working in the legal profession (many, many, many years ago), and attorney friends who are willing to answer my stupid questions. I do a lot of research on the fly, however. I’ll be writing, discover that I need to do a spot of research, and start hitting the web.

7. What’s something about yourself that fans don’t expect when they meet you?

I’m much more beautiful in person than I am in photographs. The camera just doesn’t capture my rock hard abs and my perfectly sculpted arms and my flawless, well-toned skin. For some reason photos make me look fat and unappealing. I just don’t get it.

8. If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?


9. At least one of your novels has become a television series. Which one, and how involved in the process of creating the show were you?

Well, it wasn’t quite a television series. What it was is a television “pilot,” which CBS produced in hopes of turning it into a series. The pilot is usually the first episode you see, and if everyone loves it, they give the go ahead to make more episodes. Unfortunately, during that particular “pilot season,” everyone loved a couple other shows more than they loved THE LINE (aka Kiss Her Goodbye), and at the last minute, CBS decided not to go to series. 
It was heartbreaking, but such is life in Hollywood. As for my involvement, my only contribution was the book. Although I have to say that the screenwriter stuck very close to the storyline and even used dialogue and narrative straight from the book. He told me he considered me a silent collaborator, which was nice of him to say. They did invite me to the set to watch the filming and I have to tell you that was pretty exciting.

10. With the advent of self-publishing and indie publishers gaining traction, what marketing advice can you give a new author who has no idea how to sell their book?

I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published (and I’ve been both), selling books is such a crapshoot that nobody can really tell you how to do it. We all do the social networks, hoping that helps, but nobody knows. Even the Big Six publishers. What I DO know is that word of mouth is the best way to sell books and I was lucky enough to get a lot of that with my first indie project, TRIAL JUNKIES.

11. Is there a genre you want to write in or enjoy more than others? One you’d never write, no matter how much you were asked?

I think the only genre I’d avoid is probably science fiction. Not because I don’t enjoy reading it, but because I have a feeling I’d simply wind up rehashing better writers’ ideas and I have no desire to do that. I mean, I guess, we all do it to some extent—there’s really nothing new—but there’s something about the idea of writing science fiction that’s a bit intimidating to me.
Never say never, however. I had a bit of time travel in one book, so maybe that qualifies…
Thanks for stopping by, Robert! 

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